Fionnuala Walsh trains off the west Clare coast

Fionnuala Walsh’s mother couldn’t swim, so she made sure her six children could. Growing up on the Shannon Estuary, the record-breaking long-distance(...)

James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay. Photograph: Raimund Franken/ullstein bild via Getty Images

I’m in a rainbow-coloured longboat in Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay, delicately threading through a mangrove maze towards the horizon. In the distance, (...)

I had thought I had heard it all. I really believed there was little more to know about the human condition, certainly nothing that would shock me to (...)

Christmas illuminations in Tokyo. “The traditional glitter and kitsch that is the pageantry of monarchy comes now in the form of tinsel and fairy lights. It is both an expression of joyful hope in the reign of goodness and hopeful joy in its fulfilment.” Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama

Fergal Mac EoinínIt is just not natural! The sight of summer flowers in mid-November is odd. By this time of the year the Dog Daisy should be long wil(...)

A home and cars covered in snow  just south of Buffalo, New York. Photograph: Mark Webster/EPA

A powerful snowstorm swept across western New York state, creating snow drifts as high as houses, trapping people in their homes and forcing hundreds (...)

From field to your favourite local: Gearóid Cahill, Guinness master brewer at the St James’s Gate brewery, in Dublin

The unique taste, texture and colour of Guinness are the result not only of its four ingredients – barley, hops, yeast and water – but also of what(...)

François Colussi at Dollymount Strand. Photograph: Eric Luke

As I approach the premises of Pure Magic on the Clontarf road, a tall, tanned and exceptionally fit-looking man spots me and immediately stubs out (...)

Singer Donovan gave a lecture on the White Album, one of a series of 12 lectures on each of The Beatles’ albums taking place to mark the 50th anniversary of the band’s only Irish concert. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Beatles were at the height of their powers after the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. They could have luxuriated in the be(...)

Denis on a rowing shift

My eyelids open wearily. It’s one of those mornings I wish I didn’t have to get up. It’s been four hours since I closed my eyes. It is 1am as I crawl (...)

Paul Gleeson and Denis Barnett on board the boat they intend to attempt the first crossing of the Northwest Passage in the Artic Ocean next month. Due to logistical challenges it was decided to have the boat built in Vancouver by designer and builder Robin Thacker.

The iconic Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen once said that “adventure is just bad planning”. Given that he was the first person to reach the South Po(...)