People are flocking to online language courses that offer cheap and inventive ways to learn. Photograph: iStock

There was a time when having a smidgeon of French and self-consciously ordering a verre de vin could elevate someone to a status of fluency within min(...)

Razan Ibraheem, from Syria, is now working in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ballaghaderreen – population circa 2,000 – has been in the headlines now for more than a week since news that 80, mostly Syrian, refugees will be hou(...)

Mary Gallagher: “Wouldn’t it break your heart to see Aleppo ... It’s like a broken jigsaw.” Photograph: Brian Farrell

Douglas Hyde used to pop into Gallagher’s shop on Main Street Ballaghaderreen for his morning newspaper and no doubt would have had his own views on t(...)

Pádraig Mulligan with Frank Giblin and Colin McCusker in Mulligan’s Hardware and Bar, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The woman was a stranger to Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, that night about two years ago. It was quiet, and dark. The visitor was surprised. “Everybo(...)

Mary Gallagher in studio, 1967, with the RTÉ Light Orchestra. Photograph: Courtesy RTÉ Stills

Mary Gallagher, who has died at the age of 76, was the outstanding Irish violinist of her generation. Exceptionally talented as a youngster, she won i(...)

UCD is not alone in offering “literacy clinics” for struggling students. Photograph: Eric Luke

Fiona Ó Murchú, a secondary teacher in Co Louth, regularly ploughs through students’ essays. The results are not pretty. There are the forest-style(...)

Students are being saddled with debt to buy into a brand, the forum was told

University education has become “a confidence trick and a scam”, a gathering of students and academics at Dublin City University (DCU) heard yesterday(...)