Ben Brosnan beside the smashed Civil War Monument at Talbot’s Bridge in Knocknagoshel: such actions invite a simplistic, polarised narrative of conflicts and aftermaths, and create amnesia about how myths were fashioned.   Photograph: John Reidy

In the midst of controversies over the legacy of the American civil war and the fate of monuments to that conflict, it was reported last week that the(...)

After defeat in the 1973 election, Lynch adopted a hands off approach to leading the opposition, which, to his critics, was born of an intellectual laziness.

“Who, in the name of God, is that?” That was the question posed by Jack Lynch 40 years ago when the new Fianna Fáil TD from Castlebar, Pádraig Flynn,(...)

Johnny Healy Rae, son of Danny Healy Rae, on the bonnet of a jeep with Michael and Danny Healy Rae during the first meeting of the 32nd Dáil at Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson

There are more Independent parliamentarians in the Dáil than the combined total in all other western democracies. Given this, it is surprising that th(...)

Kevin Myers with Michael O’Leary at the launch of the former’s memoir, ‘A Single Headstrong Heart’, last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

There were quare things going on when I was away, a reminder of what a strange little country this can be. Abandoning emails and television, I allowed(...)

Will the changing of the guard herald a more serious approach to meeting our emissions targets? Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

The rise of Sinn Féin in Ireland was dramatically underlined 100 years ago this month with the election of Éamon de Valera in the Clare East by-electi(...)

Church and State: Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin; Cardinal Francis D’Alton; President Sean T O’Kelly; the nuncio, Dr Alberto Levame; the president’s wife, Phyllis O’Kelly; and Taoiseach Éamon de Valera in 1964. Photograph: Dermot Barry

From the middle of the 20th century the balance of power between the Catholic Church and the Irish State was shifting. One book that dealt with this t(...)

Éamon de Valera with members of the cabinet during the inauguration of the Constitution in 1937. Photograph: Hulton Archive

How stands the Constitution 80 years after the Irish electorate approved it? Éamon de Valera saw it as a crucial document in the quest for increased s(...)

Minister for Transport Shane Ross. “The grandest panjandrum in contemporary Irish politics.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

At Ennis District Court last week, Judge Patrick Durcan, a former Fine Gael politician, excoriated broadcaster Joe Duffy “and all the great panjandrum(...)

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. “Interrogating the commissioner before the Public Accounts Committee has become a political blood sport.” Photograph: Eric Luke

If all goes to plan, 2018 will witness the report of the independent “root-and-branch” review of An Garda Síochána, the product of the commission anno(...)

British prime minister Theresa May: before Brexit she predicted “Border controls” if the referendum was carried; now, she speaks disingenuously of a “frictionless” Border. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

How would you like your Brexit served? Hard? Harder? Soft? Open? And what about your side dish of Irish Border; how would you like that done? Hard or (...)