Taoiseach Enda Kenny told Greece that “in Ireland’s case we did not increase income tax; we did not increase VAT; we did not increase PRSI”. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland 2:11

Fintan O'Toole: Myths about Ireland as Europe’s best behaved state are not harmless lies (...)

Migrants try to  board lorries bound for the United Kingdom in Calais this week. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Migration is always a matter of perspective. Or rather of two perspectives. When our own beautiful young people fall from a collapsing balcony in Berk(...)

‘The payments were cut by one-third in 2014 from €150 to €100 for primary school children aged four to 11, and from €250 to €200 for secondary school students aged 12 to 17. This was a cold, deliberate choice to increase poverty among the children we know to be most vulnerable.’ Photograph: Getty Images

In government, as in medicine, the first principle should be – first do no harm. And in a State that has a shocking crisis of child poverty, the first(...)

Breathtaking: Marty Rea Richard is like nothing on earth, an ethereal creature who seems to float over the ground in his Japanese robes. This captures exactly the conception of kingship that will doom him in DruidShakespeare

The most obvious thing about Garry Hynes’s extraordinary production of Shakespeare’s Henry plays is that it is not as previously advertised. When the (...)

‘Larry Goodman’s fortune in the 1980s was built on his brilliant and relentless use of the massive EU and State subsidies available to the beef industry.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

I have never taken LSD but Irish politics reminds me that I don’t need to. The flashbacks to bad trips keep coming without chemical assistance. A liti(...)

‘One of the best of the Beit paintings to be sold at Christie’s is David Teniers’s depiction of a Flemish country dance, the Kermesse (detail, above). As a work of art, it is delightfully anarchic, with groups of people dancing, shouting, pointing and reeling with intoxication. As a depiction for the dance around the notion of the “public trust” in this whole affair, it is all too symbolic.’

It is an awkward word for an awkward action: deaccessioning. The very fact that it was necessary to make up a new word for it suggests that what is go(...)

Mary Lavin: the writer led her stories into unexpected ground. Photograph: Evelyn Hofer

Mary Lavin’s contemporaries found it hard to place or to contain her unsettling stories. Frank O’Connor, a close friend, said that “an Irishman readin(...)

Dramatic legacy: Samuel Beckett directing Waiting for Godot in Berlin in 1975; it is surely impossible to encounter the stark setting of WB Yeats’s Purgatory – a road, a tree – without thinking of Beckett’s play. Photograph: Heuer/Ullstein Bild via Getty

(...) made plays good enough not for artistocrats or pickpockets but for real live audiences. Fintan O’Toole(...)

‘The startling thing about Leslie Buckley’s announcement is it suggests that, whatever the bluster, Denis O’Brien does not take seriously the prospect the Fine Gael-led government will do anything to curb his current media power or to stop its future expansion.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

At the end of a week dominated by the implications of Denis O’Brien’s power for Irish democracy, he upped the ante. After the agm of Independent News (...)

The February 1945 edition of ‘The Bell’, Ireland’s main intellectual monthly, carried an essay by one Donat O’Donnell on the Irish Independent. The author was described only as having “recently graduated from Trinity College Dublin”. He was, in fact, the young Conor Cruise O’Brien, writing under a pseudonym.

The February 1945 edition of The Bell, Ireland’s main intellectual monthly, carried an essay by one Donat O’Donnell on the Irish Independent. The auth(...)