The European Parliament: Given the size of Ireland’s three constituencies, with local loyalties inevitably influencing the vote in some cases, as well as the volatility of the electorate, predicting the outcome are hazardous. Photograph:  Reuters/Vincent Kessler

The selection at the weekend of Fianna Fáil’s two candidates for Midlands-North West in May’s European Parliament elections presents a clearer (...)

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(...)

Ian O’Riordan outside Mickey’s Kitchen, a stone-cut cottage in the heart of the 6,000-acre Luggala Estate, in Co Wicklow

Each day I dreamt I woke up, the river whispering in my ear, or the wind heaving under empty sky. Then, from the half-door of my old trapper’s cottage(...)

Soprano Michelle O’Rourke: has cultivated a back-to-nature vocal loveliness. It’s mesmerising in small doses, but less impressive over longer spans

It has to be a world-record attempt. I’m talking about a new series of concerts, The Irish Canon, promoted by the Association of Irish Composers. The (...)

Liadh Ni Riada (seated), daughter of late composer Sean Ó Riada, at this year’s Sinn Féin ard fheis at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, Co Mayo, with  Daisy Mules of Derry city speaking.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin have selected a daughter of iconic composer and musician Sean Ó Riada to contest next year’s European Parliament elections for the party in (...)

Trio of friends: John Montague, his wife, Elizabeth Wassel, and Seamus Heaney in 2009. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Recently I spoke in Enniskillen at the Happy Days Beckett festival, an event Seamus would have loved for its generosity of spirit. He, like myself, em(...)

Great art always leaves a memory in your mind. In this case, I’m in the woody corner of a big field in Co Laois and the Electric Picnic is in f(...)

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