Edna O’Brien with director John McColgan, who presented her with a framed portrait before the tribute performance for her at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin last night. Photographs: Dave Meehan

A happy gathering of the great and the good of contemporary Irish culture assembled at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin last night to pay tribute to the (...)

Patrick Mason (c), with the writers of Signatories: Thomas Kilroy, Frank McGuinness, Rachel Fehily, Marina Carr, Joe O’Connor and Hugo Hamilton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin ***** This production’s public birth was on the exact weekend of the Rising centenary, in the same chilling gaol where many (...)

Life’s work: the first folio of William Shakespeare’s plays, from 1623. Photograph:  Graeme Robertson/Getty

Colm Tóibín Author Favourite play: Hamlet gave me permission to put an antic disposition on whenever the notion took me, to go all melancholy any(...)

Marina Carr, Rachel Fehily, Hugo Hamilton, Joseph O’Connor and Thomas Kilroy, five of the eight writers of Signatories, at Kilmainham Gaol. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Like many good things, the idea for the theatrical production, Signatories, came together over a cup of tea. Eilis O’Brien, UCD’s director of communi(...)

There’s the guts of 80 years between the youngest and the oldest eater in this long stone building. The logs in the fire are slow burners, more (...)

Patrick Mason (c), with the writers of Signatories: Thomas Kilroy, Frank McGuinness, Rachel Fehily, Marina Carr, Joe O’Connor and Hugo Hamilton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Patrick Mason surveys the tiered cells of Kilmainham Gaol, washed by the thin light of a March morning. “It’s always cold in here, isn’t it?” he say(...)

As well as currently working on an animated short film, Genieve Figgis   has an exhibition opening in Los Angeles over Oscar weekend.

Caoimhe Kilfeather Artist One of a generation of sculptors from Ireland steadily gathering international acclaim, Caoimhe Kilfeather had a busy 2015(...)

Music is a common thematic and stylistic thread in his writing – from 1970s punk to classic roll ‘n’ roll to nineteenth-century ballads. But what seems most significant about O’Connor’s work is the profoundly intelligent analysis of cultural and historical dynamics that lies at the heart of it

At the beginning of Joseph O’Connor’s early novel, Cowboys and Indians, Eddie Virago, protagonist and UCD graduate recalls “the chatter of conversa(...)

Declan Kiberd on Joseph O’Connor: He has always loved plots which are driven by musical numbers or ballad forms –Star of the Sea being the brilliant Exhibit A. He has returned in this latest novel to that lost world of the 1980s – whose laureate he surely became even before the decade had ended

It was said that in the Dublin of the 1980s, there were at least a thousand garage bands rehearsing for greatness. That may even have been true. Th(...)

Joseph O’Connor with the 2012 Irish PEN Award for lifetime achievement: “Music soothes, heals, excites, consoles, reveals our better angels and binds up the wounds. It’s a difficult thing to write about, because music is itself. It doesn’t sound like anything else.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Would you say that this novel, which, on one level, is about music and friendship, is also about English-Irishness, the lives of Irish people in En(...)