Production crew and sets on Skellig Island as Star Wars Episode VII directed by JJ Abrams begins filming. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The return of crews filming the new Star Wars film to the Skellig Michael Unesco World Heritage Site off the Co Kerry coast next month will be hugely (...)

A bend on  the N86 near Camp, Co Kerry. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

A challenge by An Taisce over planning approval for a controversial €65m road widening scheme on the N86 road between Tralee and Dingle has opened bef(...)

‘Portrait of a bearded man’ by Rubens - part of the Beit collection which had been due for auction this month

A legal challenge by An Taisce alleging export licences were not lawfully issued by the National Gallery of Ireland for a number of valuable paintings(...)

On patrol: Patricia Oliver, who has also been responsible for setting up the Blue Flag programme for beaches

There’s far less litter around than there used to be, according to Patricia Oliver of An Taisce. Part of that is down to the National Spring Clean, wh(...)

Green Party’s Cllr Malcolm Noonan said voters had sent out a clear message  that they do not want the central access scheme to proceed.

Kilkenny’s controversial central access scheme, with a new bridge over the river Nore, may be in jeopardy following the election of several opponents(...)

Dublin City Council has identified more than 300 streets with antique granite kerbs, flagstones, or cobblestones needing protection. Photograph: Eric Luke

Spatulas and warm water are to replace jackhammers as the tools of the trade for construction and utility maintenance workers in historic parts(...)

An Taisce policy director James Nix said the challenge was not about interfering with the right of the UK authorities to make their own decisions, nor about being pro or anti-nuclear. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien.

A decision to give permission for a new nuclear power station on the English coast facing Ireland should be quashed, the High Court in London has hear(...)

‘Astrid’ taken by Jakub Walutek, winner of the Costal Heritage category of the Clean Coasts Photography Awards 2013.

The stunning beauty of the Irish coastline is a photographer’s dream and was the subject of An Taisce’s annual Clean Coasts Photography Awards last ni(...)

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said the Government had taken ‘the very best decisions’ in relation to the location for the children’s hospital. File Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has defended the Government’s decision to locate the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital.(...)

Swimmers and sunbathers on Portmarnock beach enjoy the long-running fine weather. The expectation of a bumper year for water quality could be scuppered by beach-goers – Fingal County Council collected 3,000 bags of rubbish left on beaches last weekend, for example. Photograph: Alan Betson

Surfers and hardy souls will scoff, but given the poor summers of recent years the quality of beach water has been somewhat irrelevant for most people(...)