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Irish Roots

Anyone who has ever studied a foreign language is familiar with the idea of a “false friend”, a word that looks identical but has a completely distinc(...)

Seán Potts, whose whistle playing with The Chieftains and Ceoltóirí Chualann elevated the instrument to a higher plain, died on February 11th a(...)

The Chieftains in September 1975. Sean Potts, Sean Keane, Michael Tubridy, Martin Fay, Paddy Moloney, Peadar Mercier and, seated in front, Derek Bell. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea/The Irish Times

The family of whistle player and founding member of The Chieftains Seán Potts paid tribute at his funeral to a passionate advocate of Irish culture(...)

Chieftains members Triona Marshall and Paddy Moloney give a performance. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Traditional music veterans The Chieftains have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to music.Paddy Moloney, Sean Keane, Matt Molloy, Kev(...)

Flautist James Galway. Photograph: Alan Betson

The National Concert Hall recently honoured two Irish musicians at opposite ends of their careers. Überflautist James Galway became the second recipie(...)

Man with the golden flute: James Galway’s gala night is at the National Concert Hall. Photograph: Alan Betson

Lifetime-achievement awards? Some recipients are embarrassed by them. Others are sniffy about them. Many are mortified by the shovelfuls of obituary-s(...)

Captivated by an idea: dancers tap out the ‘Heartbeat of Home’. Photograph: Jim Byrne

In a dark studio on a sunny day, the composer Brian Byrne and a couple of engineers are working on a recording. They’ve had some late nights. They’re (...)

Seamus Heaney’s remains are carried by his sons Michael (left) and Christopher (centre) and their uncle Barry Devlin  at the Church of the Sacred Heart Donnybrook. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Poet Seamus Heaney’s last words were in a text message to his wife Marie last Friday, minutes before he passed away, his son Michael said yesterday. “(...)

Commander Chris Hadfield performs a version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity on board the International Space Station.

While thousands of his social media followers will wish International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield and his fellow astronauts bon voya(...)

To boldly go: Kristin Hadfield at Croke Park with a picture of her father, the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield

Few astronauts have done more to involve the public in their work than the current commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield(...)