Van Morrison from the cover shoot for his album Moondance. Photograph: Elliott Landy/Rhino

(...) impression to make, no line to sell, no image to construct or maintain. Fintan O’Toole: The obvious place(...)

Island life: inside the cottage on Achill where Heinrich Böll stayed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A great irony hangs over the Irisches Tagebuch, or Irish Journal, of the German novelist Heinrich Böll. As mass emigration reached critical levels, Bö(...)

‘The Minister for Health Leo Varadkar recently said that the health service, simply to meet current demand, needs an extra €1 billion a year’. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

As we approach a general election, there is a basic story that both the government parties would like to tell. The last seven years have been horrible(...)

Fintan O’Toole, pictured with his then-four-year-old son Samuel in ‘The Irish Times’ in August 1990, when he walked 80 kilometres of the Wicklow Way, from Marlay Park to Clonegal

(...) previous summers, Fintan O’Toole walks the Wicklow Way in the company of his then 60-year-old father and(...)

Borstal breaker: Behan pounding away on incendiary prose. Photograph: Daniel Farson/Picture Post/Getty Images

It is striking that some of the most innovative writing in Ireland in the decade after the second World War began its life behind bars. This was true (...)

“What’s wrong with taxing inherited wealth? It’s about the most progressive and least economically damaging kind of taxation there is.” Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto 2:36

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is sick of hearing about “hard choices” from people with great salaries, ample expenses and luxurious pensions. So l(...)

Patrick O’Donoghue in the RTÉ series The Gleneagle. Photograph: RTÉ

In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart’s Rick famously complains: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” And of all t(...)

Waiting for Godot: Lucien Raimbourg, Jean Martin, Pierre Latour and Roger Blin in Blin’s production of En Attendant Godot at Théâtre de Babylone, in Paris, in 1953. Photograph: Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty

In August 1945 Samuel Beckett left Dublin for the Normandy town of St Lô to work as a “quartermaster/interpreter” at an Irish Red Cross hospital. As a(...)

Ivan Turgenev: the playwright fashioned a “theatre of moods, of secret turmoil rather than explicit action”, as has his adapter Brian Friel. Portrait by Mokouski/Getty

It is almost taken for granted that there is some kind of special dramatic relationship between the two edges of Europe, Ireland and Russia. Of the ma(...)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble during a special session of the German Bundestag over the proposed bailout package for Greece last week.  Photograph: EPA/BERND VON JUTRCZENKA

There is no euro zone crisis. It’s impossible to understand what’s going on now if you start out with the assumption that there is a single community (...)