Paul O’Connell and Rob Kearney at the Celtic Manor Resort where the Ireland squad is based in advance of Sunday’s clash with France. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Penarth is home. A quiet village four train stops from the Millennium Stadium and sleepless Cardiff sounds. Thanks to rigorous scoping on Airbn(...)

“It wasn’t a predictable paper,” said Elaine Dobbyn, a teacher in Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. “I thought the State Examinations Commission did a good job of challenging the students without throwing them completely.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

There were no tears today for Leaving Cert students of English as Paper 2 performed as students hoped and, dare one suggest, expected on Thursday afte(...)

The essays worked out well, ranging across everything from celebrity culture to peer pressure, to body image. Photograph: The Irish Times

I have spent the last year trying to delete U2’s Songs of Innocence from my iPad. Damned if I’m going to kick off my Leaving Cert with a question on B(...)

Face of Louis Vuitton: Matthias Schoenaerts. Photograph: Valerie Macon/Getty

Matthias Schoenaerts is late for our appointment. “I’m so sorry,” he says when he eventually turns up. “I’ve just been working so much.” He’s n(...)

Saskia Reeves and Donal McCann taking a break from the shooting of the film December Bride in Anglesea Street, Dublin in 1989. Photograph: Paddy Whelan/The Irish Times

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s poignant film version of Sam Hanna Bell’s powerful novel, December Bride.(...)

‘Faith’s power in society comes not from any church-state concordat, but from the visible witness of Christians.’ Above,  St. Joseph’s Church, Bunnacurry, Achill,  Co Mayo. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

The influential biblical scholar Raymond Brown once produced a slender volume entitled An Adult Christ at Christmas. The title nicely conveyed Brown’s(...)

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953): while  best-known as a poet, he was also a talented prose writer. Photograph: Picture Post/Hulton Archive

Passion and an urgent rhetorical preoccupation with life’s defiance of death inspire the work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who was born 100 years ago t(...)

Jhumpa Lahiri: ‘American? Indian? I don’t know what these words mean. I’m asked where I am from. I’m from nowhere, I always was, but now I am happy knowing it.’ Photograph: Frank Miller

It all looks so easy: winning a Pulitzer Prize with her first book, a collection of short stories; then her debut novel is made into a movie, while he(...)

Seamus Heaney did not confine himself to poetry. A respected critic, he also was a distinguished academic and his translations from Greek, Latin, Italian, Irish and Anglo-Saxon reflect the extent of his learning. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Born: April 13th, 1939; Died: August 30th, 2013The Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, who has died aged 74, was described by Robert Lowell as “the most imp(...)

Pornography is a bad thing, but it is no simple matter to control or outlaw it. Photograph: AP

David Cameron has just executed a very skilful gambit. Desperate to appease the Daily Mail, keen to improve his dismal standing with female voters, th(...)