Grave of French journalist Victor Noir (1848-1870)  at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

During quieter times in Paris, a few years ago, I visited the grave of a man called Victor Noir, who in his own way, like the victims of the Charlie H(...)

 “I was regularly averaging sub-10 minute finishes then, whereas these days I’m often out of breath after three or four clues”

The usual thing, when you’ve seen an interesting film, is to want to read the book. But after a screening of The Imitation Game over Christmas, I had (...)

Anthony Trollope introduced pillar boxes to Britain and Ireland

Apart from his vast body of writing, Anthony Trollope is probably now best known for one of his innovations as a Post Office official – the introducti(...)

In the vast, noisy amusement arcade that is digital media, newspaper stories are like those little green space aliens whose existentialist plight was lampooned in Toy Story. In this case, “the Claw” is Google, and it god-like ways are endlessly mysterious.  Phorograph: Getty Images

A phrase we journalists hear a lot about these days is “Search Engine Optimisation”, or SEO for short. It refers to the art, sometimes dark, by which (...)

Horses cool down after the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at  Leopardstown. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

12.20 – The Hope-Springs- Eternal Handicap Hurdle. On the Luas from Stephen’s Green a group of veteran racegoers from Munster remember Leopardstown wi(...)

“On Thursday last – Christmas Day – I finally got around to making a debut appearance at the Goal Mile” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

I’ve been meaning to do it for years, but on Thursday last – Christmas Day – I finally got around to making a debut appearance at the Goal Mile. Dub(...)

Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

The Christmas: It’s not just “Christmas” in Ireland. It’s “the” Christmas. And we don’t “spend” it, as people in other countries do: the aim here i(...)

 “I suspect that, for kiss-licensing purposes, the plant has always been much less used on this island than in Britain.” Photograph: Hulton Archive

Few plants have exerted such mystical power over the affairs of humans as mistletoe. Here, for example, is the 19th-century poet John Clare describing(...)

Tippi, a Dachshund cross, is held by her owner during the annual Peata dog carol service in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, last week. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Christmas is the worst time, always. Most of the year I can cope quite well with not being a Protestant. But every December, around now, I start to fe(...)

A dangerous game

Michael Foley is not quite the first person to write a history of the events of November 21st, 1920. Although the queue is surprisingly short, James G(...)