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(...)

Stephen Rea and Neil Martin, who will stage Seamus Heaney’s Aeneid: Book VI at the Kilkenny Arts Festival.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

When Seamus Heaney was 18 and attending Latin class in St Columb’s College in Derry, he studied Virgil’s Aeneid: Book IX for his A Levels. His teache(...)

The funeral of Brian Friel, at Glenties Cemetery, Co Donegal. Among the mourners was writer Eugene McCabe (left). Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

As the hearse wound around the coastal roads from Brian Friel’s Greencastle home, on the shores of Lough Foyle, traditional musicians prepared to g(...)

Georgie Fame, John Minihan and Van Morrison outside Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Soho London 1994

PAUL BRADY The first time I met Van Morrison was the summer of 1980. We shared an agent at the time, Paul Charles at the Asgard agency, and I h(...)

 Stephen Rea  and Sean McGinley  take a  bow after performing in Ages of the Moon in New York in 2010. Photograph: Ben Hider/Getty Images

The actor Stephen Rea will receive this year’s Special Tribute award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. The presentation will be made at (...)

Professor John McHale. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The Government needs to stick to an adjustment of €2 billion in the budget as any “backtracking on planned adjustments could suggest a worrying weaken(...)

Tom Paulin: seeks out ways to shock and disturb. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty

A selected poems offers not just a useful way to gauge the continuities and changes in a poet’s work but also a different vantage point on the broa(...)

Manhunter and boy: Tony Parsons. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tony Parsons says that he no longer worries about his “fading former glory”. Was his glory really fading? It was, he says. After huge success in 1999 (...)

Endgame by Wits’ End, one of two productions of the play at the festival

Seán Doran is a man who’s known for his big ideas, and – more importantly – for making them happen. The Derry-born artistic director has carpeted Traf(...)