Another Life: Michael Viney on the acre in the late 1970s (with a sky from one of his illustrations for his column)

On a black, wet night in March 1966, as Ethna, my wife, was driving us back from the west, on a wide main road, we were struck head on by a galloping (...)

Tanaiste Joan Burton got a good ducking in her over eagerness to be seen to show concern in Kilkenny. Picture: Dylan Vaughan.

Flooding and political reform were the big political issues in the first week of the new year but, as usual, the debate was characterised by overheate(...)

Heads down: the ewes turned their rumps to the wind. Illustration: Michael Viney

There are gales you can just about walk in, leaning forward, eyelashes fluttering, cheeks hollowed as if in some rocketing ascent from Cape Canaveral.(...)

David Larkin sent photographs of a garden spider (above), one of which he took through the web, showing its underside, which had markings quite different from its topside.

I have two nesting boxes in the garden, yet neither of them has ever been used. I have moved them away from the feeding tray, but still to no avail. (...)

A white swallow at Tacumshin from a photograph by Eric Dempsey. Illustration: Michael Viney

If I were going there this weekend – and I’m sorry I’m not, it’s too far – we would end up taking the road from Wexford to Kilmore Quay and then, a(...)

Blackberries come in many shapes and sizes. Illustration: Michael Viney

The glass tube with which I measure the rain for Met Éireann is kept safely sheathed on the upturned beak of a dolphin’s skull sitting on a bookcase ((...)

Fruit fly: scarce this year

A fruit fly just dropped into my glass of wine, normally there would have been many more. Also scarce or absent this year were bluebottles, black f(...)

Detail from watercolour drawings in the manuscripts of 17th-century German artist Johann Joachim Henneberger

Like the mysterious monks who created Ireland’s illuminated manuscripts, little is known about 17th-century German artist Johann Joachim Henneberger. (...)

Michael Viney explored many of the issues surrounding mother and baby homes in a groundbreaking series in The Irish Times in 1964. No Birthrigh(...)

The Sacred Heart Home opened in Bessborough, Co Cork, in 1922, managed by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary.  Cormac O’Tuama,  looks at teddies and flowers placed outside the gates of Bessborough during a memorial service on Sunday. Photograph: Provision

Until recent decades, the landscape was dotted with institutions where unmarried women were consigned to give birth in conditions of shame, secrecy an(...)