President Michael D Higgins and his wife  Sabina Higgins are shown around the Forbidden City in  Beijing. Photograph: Shane O’Neill/Fennell Photography

President Michael D Higgins began his high-profile state visit to China with a tour of the Forbidden City at the heart of the capital Beijing, on a mi(...)

After the recent Imma debacle, it might have been expected that to save face – and the reputation of the Minister damaged in the politically-motivated(...)

Art at work: Heather Humphreys in her office with a painting by Steven Mannion Farrell. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Since the surprise appointment of Heather Humphreys as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in July’s Cabinet reshuffle, art-world luminar(...)

‘Irish philosophers – Richard Kearney [above], Philip Pettit, William Desmond – are never noticed in the public scene’

There was a time when people across Ireland turned on the television on a Friday night to watch a Dominican priest with arthritis talk about philos(...)

 Samuel Beckett. Photograph:  IC Rapoport/Getty Images

Michael Gambon is concentrating on his spaghetti bolognese, and on keeping it away from his green tweed jacket, when he announces: “Oh, Beckett is gre(...)

Andi Schnellman from Schnellertollemeier at 12 Points

Umea is a music town. Metal monsters Meshuggah hail from this neat, low-rise city of 117,000, huddled on the jagged shoreline of the Gulf of Bo(...)

The Gloaming will perform at St Canice’s Cathedral in August

Eugene Downes knows something about journeys. He has made countless trips in a career built on advancing Irish arts worldwide. As a former chie(...)

Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan (centre) with performers at the launch of the    St. Patricks Festival’s ‘I Love my city’ programme this week. The Minister rejected claims that the festival was ‘soulless’.   Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan has rejected claims that the St Patrick’s Day festival is “soulless”. He has however acknowledged th(...)

Who runs Ireland?

THE POLITICIANS ENDA KENNY Taoiseach Kenny holds the most powerful political position in the land. He is chief of the Cabinet, has the f(...)

Minister for Arts: Jimmy Deenihan would be more exercised by the turf cutters in Kilteevan than the funded arts sector. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Emblazoned across many of the capital’s buses are the words “The Abbey Theatre, living in the moment for 110 years”. It seems the Abbey is having anot(...)