Jim Sheridan: “I did an ad lib asking kids about getting slapped at school. And within two hours we were off the air. Because the archbishop had called.” Photograph: Barry McCall

It’s midmorning at Windmill Lane Studios and Jim Sheridan – six-time Oscar nominee and recent septuagenarian – has taken a break from his Dublin postp(...)

Irish outlook: George Bernard Shaw. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty

In June 1915 WB Yeats wrote to his American friend and patron John Quinn about the Great War then raging across Europe. It was, he said, “merely th(...)

Jennifer Johnston’s How Many Miles to Babylon? – Nomad Theatre stage version including  Fergal McElherron and Sam Peter Corry – represented important attempts to re-examine the first World War and its legacy. Photograph: Colm Henry

War is ambivalent; for the powers that decide to wage it, it is as ancient as man, even older than Homer and is caused by expansionist greed and do(...)

Stephen Rea  accepting his special tribute award during The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards in February. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Stephen Rea was the recipient of this year’s Special Tribute Award at The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. The award is giving each year to someone w(...)

 President Michael D Higgins giving the opening address at Aosdana General Assembly in The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A 40 per cent cut in funding to Irish arts in recent years was an illustration of the “peripheral” place they occupy in Irish society, President Micha(...)

Photograph: Alan Betson

We live in a country that is already translated, as the road signs keep reminding us. Every new place throws a mock-historical shadow. Coill na Silíní(...)

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(...)

At the Irish Film Board  announcement of its schedule and priorities for 2015 were (from left) actor Sarah Greene, actor Tara Lee, James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, and actor and screenwriter Amy Huberman. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A tale of love and music in the Dublin inner-city of the 1980s, a literary adaptation about 1950s emigration from rural Ireland, and the contemporary(...)

What were your cultural highlights of 2014? Michael Longley’s beautifully fragile evocation of life, death, nature and memory in The Stairwell.(...)

Actor/director Steven Berkoff: ‘If there’s anything that the establishment can’t bear, it’s someone who stands out. You could say the same thing about any radical person, starting from Jesus Christ.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

“Not many people realise this, but you don’t actually learn anything at art college any more; however, you do have to go there to find that out.” A(...)