“Modern” is a funny word in Ireland. In other countries, modern implies a straight line of development, from rural to urban, from agricultural to ind(...)

Camille O’Sullivan in Ancient Rain at the  Olympia Theatre,  as part of Dublin Theatre Festival

Ancient Rain ★★ Olympia Theatre It is just as well Camille O’Sullivan could sing the electoral register and make it riveting. Otherwise, this ill-(...)

Marie Heaney and her children, Michael, Christopher and Catherine, at the official opening of the new arts and literary centre in Bellaghy, Co Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Seamus Heaney’s family gathered “with mixed but generally joyful emotions” in his native Bellaghy, Co Derry, yesterday for the official opening of th(...)

 HomePlace, a new arts and literary centre which will mark the life and work of Seamus Heaney, one of Ireland’s most celebrated writers, in Bellaghy, Co Derry

On an unseasonably hot mid-September day, the small south Co Derry village of Bellaghy is unusually busy. The road past the site of the old RUC barrac(...)

In a Word ... Hospice

You might say we are in recovery. Sort of. Optimism ruled most of us for the eight months that passed between my brother Pearse’s diagnosis with lung (...)

Marie Heaney: “Women are not allowed to play second fiddle, and I never did.” Photograph: Alan Betson

With anyone else this meeting in a Dublin hotel would be no more than the usual cat-and-mouse game between author and journalist. The author gives aw(...)

When Seamus Heaney died three years ago, the sense of loss was not just profound. It was shared – between both parts of the island, between both commu(...)

Seamus Heaney at his old primary school in Anahorish, Bellaghy, Co Derry, in spring 1996. Photograph: Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archives/John J Burns Library/Boston College

During the summer, I was at the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo. While there, I was invited to Broc House, Damien Brennan and Paula Gilvarr(...)

Whatever your own attempts at making an Irish dessert, there’s plenty of fruit around in September. Blackberries in particular abound this month. Photogaph: Getty Images

What would a truly Irish dessert look like? I mean if we were to take away everything we import? To begin with, we would have to exclude sugar. We sto(...)

Bay Garnett. Photograph: David M Benett/Getty Images

Writing a profile of a woman of substance is easy to get wrong. In the effort to make a relatively unreachable subject accessible, it’s too tempting (...)