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(...)

The photograph was in black and white, very plain, almost stark, like a still from one of those cool French movies. It was taken by Robert Mapplethorpe, though I wouldn’t have known who that was ...The record was Horses by Patti Smith. In 40 years of buying records, it’s the only one I ever bought for its cover.

I remember the moment she came into my life. September 20th, 1978. It was my fifteenth birthday and an aunt who lived in London had sent me ten pou(...)

The Thrill of it All tells the story of a band called The Ships in the Night, using interviews, lyrics, memoirs and diaries.

This month The Irish Times Book Club is reading Joseph O’Connor’s latest novel, The Thrill of it All. Here is an extract from the first chapter, wh(...)

Culture Ireland’s Showcase Programme will support artists appearing at three festivals in  Edinburgh in the coming months.

Irish artists off to Edinburgh A star-studded line-up of Irish literature and theatre will feature at festivals in Edinburgh this month with the (...)

Offaly’s Paul McConway breaking the tackle against Waterford. Photo: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Waterford 1-7 Offaly 0-20 A first Championship win in four years kept Offaly’s summer alive at a sun-soaked Fraher Field, while Waterford were left to(...)

Ronan McEntire of Longford competes for the ball with Offaly’s Johnny Moloney during the Leinster SFC first-round match at O’Connor Park in Tullamore. Photo:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Down in the weeds, you spend most if your life tangled and trapped. If Saturday night in Tullamore taught us one thing, it was that teams from down th(...)

Ellen McCourt, wife of the late Frank McCourt, with Professor Joseph O’Connor before his inaugural lecture as Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. Photograph: Alan Place/FusionShooters

Award-winning novelist Joseph O’Connor has described up and coming young Irish writers as “dazzling in their scope and originality”.Speaking before hi(...)

Hall of fame: (Clockwise from left) Patrick McCabe; Frank McGuinness; Deirdre Madden; Colum McCann; Neil Jordan; Joseph O’Connor; Sebastian Barry and Dermot Healy

When Frank McGuinness, the playwright, was 16 a teacher told him that he’d never get to university, that nobody from his background in Buncran(...)

Neil White is a criminal lawyer who writes crime fiction novels. ‘People are much worse than writers are able to imagine them.’

What was the first book to make an impression on you?Any one of the Enid Blyton Famous Five books. I remember well the feeling of mild terror as the m(...)

Discotekken on ice takes place on Saturday December 20th at the Point Village and features disco and ice-rinks rolled into one yuletide experience.

The season of Christmas encompasses a range of things for all who celebrate it. However, for those less inclined to ring in the end-of-year festivitie(...)