When Adam Boulton interviewed Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney last week over the Brexit/Border issue his job was to challenge and confront Coveney over the Government’s approach and strategy.

Tayto and Saoirse Ronan are not actual emblems on our flag

U2 singer  Bono had a “brush with mortality”  last year that has shaped the band’s new album. Photograph:  Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

On the liner notes of U2’s new album ‘Songs of Experience’, the singer references 'a shock to the system'

Trump, Brexit, personal crises scuppered the release of U2’s album out today

Christmas decorations in a hallway of the East Wing of the White House during a press preview of the 2017 holiday decorations . The theme of the White House holiday decorations this year is “Time-Honored Traditions.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Analysis shows every time Trump mentiones “we can say ‘Merry Christmas’ again” or a variant thereof he receives his biggest applau(...)

Thirty-three per cent of the people surveyed said drinking spirits made them feel aggressive, whereas only  2.5 per cent said drinking red wine made them feel aggressive.

A new study explores how spirits, wine and beer affect drinkers’ moods

Sean Hughes

Youngest ever winner of the Perrier Prize, he became the UK’s biggest stand-up attraction

Harvey Weinstein, US film producer  posing during a photocall at the MIPCOM audiovisual trade fair in Cannes, southeastern France on October 5, 2015 shows . New York police said on October 12. VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

Film producers response to harassment allegations follows a well trodden path

Roger Waters:  has advised fans if they want a show devoid of political statements, they should “go see Katy Perry or watch the Kardashians instead”. Photograph:  Scott Legato/Getty Images

Fans are angered by provocative images of the US president in the Pink Floyd man’s Us + Them tour

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton onstage to sign copies of her new book ‘What Happened’ at Barnes and Noble bookstore, New York. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

With low overheads and sky-high ticket prices, Hillary Live is a book tour like no other

Virtual reality Abba: Björn, Agnetha, Benny and Anni-Frid are being digitised using techniques that capture them as they were in their spandex prime. Photograph: Richard E Aaron/Redferns

Björn, Agnetha, Benny and Anni-Frid are back – as you haven’t seen them since 1977

Mas de Notre Dame de Vie, Mougins, Côte d’Azur, France

The artist bought Mas de Notre Dame de Vie, a luxurious villa near Cannes in the South of France, from the Guinness family, and li(...)

Addiction and recovery are hellishly complex, profoundly personal and dramatically life-altering events. File photograph: Getty Images

National Recovery Month reduces addiction to selfies, thumbs-ups and confessionals

Obama’s 2012 tweet, “Four more years”, is the number 8 most-retweeted

Obama tweets less than Trump, but seven of the 10 all-time most popular tweets are his

There was clear and indisputable video evidence of the white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville last weekend. Their faces weren’t hidden under the traditional attire of hoods and robes. Photograph: Edu Bayer/New York Times

Unhidden by hoods and robes, white nationalists have been caught on camera

Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe. A number of residents find they can earn five times as much a year by renting their apartment to platforms such as Airbnb as opposed to charging €1,000 a month in rent to the local population. Photograph: Getty Images

The youth wing of the CUP party is on a mission to drive out visitors

Stephen Crowley’s photos of his daughter Hannah Photoshopped into perilous scenarios to raise awareness of the Bone Marrow Registry. For Brian Boyd story

Baby Hannah cllimbs ladders, plays with knives, drives a car. It's for a good reason

Mick Jagger: both he and Jeremy Corbyn are frauds when it comes to Brexit. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

Like fellow Glastonbury headliner Corbyn, Jagger is jumping on the bandwagon

On Trump’s mental health charge sheet we find professional accusations of narcissism, impulsivity, poor attention span, paranoia, petty grudge-holding, the use of vulgar personal abuse against opponents, delusions of grandeur, a victim complex and compulsive tweeting. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

American Psychoanalytic Association has lifted ban on members commenting on president’s mental state

Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the men’s singles final at Wimbledon. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Wimbledon winner’s remarkable revival raises questions that only he seems to be asking

Get Active: Tennis

It’s better for you than swimming, running or cycling

“Our blind acceptance and compliance with technologies means that the people who know us best – what we like, want, prefer, aspire to be – are not our governments but Google and Facebook.” Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Many of the ‘problems’ being sold to us by digital technologies aren’t problems at all

John McEnroe:   He does valuable work for the Wimbledon tournament each year by saying something ‘controversial’. Photograph: Jonathan Ford

The former champion on women’s tennis, his recurring nightmare and who will win Wimbledon 2017

A tussle for Jack Sock’s Wimbledon towel on the second day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, in London, England. Photograph: Screengrab/BBC

Furore over the Wimbledon tussle highlights a digital desperation for popularity

The way gin is served – fishbowl-style glasses with garnishes  – adds to its fashionability. Photograph: Getty Images

It’s the biggest growth sector in drink sales, and even the tonic has had a makeover

The amount of conflicting, contradictory and barely sane advice  about alcohol consumption is now such that leading scientists say this is a problem that needs treating in itself. Photograph: Getty Images

The governmental obsession with litres and units does nothing to address alcohol abuse

Sugar-shaming is not just about sugar. It’s about our wider relationship with food

Fans of US singer Ariana Grande speak to members of the press in Mancheste. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Analysis: Going to a concert will become more time-consuming and more expensive

Bono: ‘These songs don’t belong to us anymore. They belong to the people who went through stuff when they heard them first.’ Photograph:  Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The U2 singer fears the US president will undo years of work on Aids and development

The Edge performs with Bono during the opening concert of U2’s global The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Vancouver, Canada on May 12th. Photograph: Nick Didlick/Reuters

‘Eamon said this beautiful thing once - he said ‘Bono, Ali is the best thing about you’’

The “avocado rose”. This  fad has people cutting their avocados into thin slices, fanning out the slices so that they all overlap and then curling the slices towards the centre in imitation of a rose

Ireland can’t get enough of the avocado, but there’s a sinister side to the food trend

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn walks with Labour Party activists as he leaves his home to cast his vote at a polling station at Pakeman Primary School in Islington on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The Islington Labour Party of the 1980’s was achingly “right on” and as relevant today as Duran Duran

Ed Sheeran: Croke Park bound? Here he is during his recent concert at Dublin’s 3 Arena Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Speculation mounting that Ed Sheeran will play three concerts in 2018

Stories about Pepsi, United Airlines and Sean Spicer ticked the “social media storm/online backlash” boxes but none of them stand (...)

“The film and television industries are determined to remain cleaved to an outdated distribution system which is cunningly designed to maximise their profits.”

Studios create massive global hype around movies but stagger releases across markets

Vaxxed  has been banned by many cinemas over its purported linking of the MMR vaccine  to autism

Controversial ‘anti-vaxx’ film linking autism to childhood vaccinations to tour Ireland

Racegoers enjoy a drink at Cheltenham racecourse. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Excessive gambling rather than alcohol consumption is the real danger

Donald Trump: Disproves the theory that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Photograph: Erik S Lesser-Pool/Getty Images

Swivel-eyed loons among US right claim a shadowy movement is out to ‘remove’ Trump

Fighting fascism on Twitter is not what the International Brigades foresaw when they marched to Spain in the 1930s. Photograph:  Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Throwing around insults and labelling voters will not prevail against the muscular right

Ivanka Trump, with her husband Jared Kushner and their children.  The socially liberal couple claim the credit for  persuading Trump not to roll back Obama-era LGBT workplace rights. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/EPA

Backlash over decision not to roll back LGBT rights will be more damaging than travel ban

Feng shui consultant Dervilla Griffin: “I have a lovely mix of home and business clients who would generally contact me having received a recommendation from a previous client.”

Practitioner says it is not about decluttering, it is an Earth science

Venus and Serena Williams will play each other in the Australian Open women’s final on Saturday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Williams sisters and Federer proving that veteran doesn’t have to mean past it

Ruth Negga in Loving. The most important aspect of Negga’s Oscar nomination was that grave offence was caused to our nation by the Brits - going on their airwaves and into print to steal one of our own. Reverting to type.

It is the sole authority of Ruth Negga to describe her nationality and sense of place in whatever way she sees fit

Trump’s attitude to his own health is relevant here. He’s the type of person who would only take his face out of his bucket of KFC fried chicken to laugh in the face of Big Government lecturing him about his “five-a-day” intake.

His lack of interest in his own health informs his support for anti-vaccination campaigners

Brew your cappuccino in a built-in machine, before drinking it in a free-standing soaker tub, set under a showcase chandelier

Real deal: U2 tickets for Croke Park. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

U2’s Croke Park show sold out in minutes this week. Then tickets showed up online at vastly inflated prices. Is this touting, and (...)

There is still silence from Beyoncé as to the estimated $2 million she received for performing a private concert for Muammar Gadafy’s family in 2009 - at a time when it was abundantly clear to all that Gadafy was an evil despot.   (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

It is ok to play for money in front of Gadafy but not the president-elect of the USA

The Irish date - at Croke Park on Saturday July 22nd - brings Bono and U2 back to the same venue where they played the then just-released album live 30 years ago. Photograph: Chris Wattie/Reuters

‘More desperate times’ motivated U2 to revisit songs from three decades ago, says Clayton

Reliable sources have indicated that U2 are to outline their plans on Monday for a major 2017 stadium tour of their 1987 album The Joshua Tree.

Croke Park likely venue in unexpected move for band who have never toured a catalogue album

They’re the equivalent of paying for a weather app on your phone - when you could just look out the window instead

George Michael performing at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Photograph: PA Wire

Brian Boyd selects 10 songs that tell part of the story of the British pop superstar’s life

George Michael performing at the O2 in Dublin in November, 2011. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

2016 continues to be year of living dangerously for giants of music world

Frank Murray managed The Pogues, Thin Lizzy, The Frames, Elton John and The Specials

Fake news has been around as long as humans have. The first notorious use of it was when the Christian Church in the 8th century brought out the document “The Donation of Constantine”

Just like previous efforts to police the internet, the clampdown on fake stories will fail

The house Hitler was born in was siezed by the  Austrian parliament

The former dictator’s home has become a macabre Neo-Nazi attraction – a phenomenon known in the trade as “real estate disaster por(...)

A scene from the RTÉ Television drama series Tolka Row, during studio filming in 1967. From left to right; John McDarby as Gabby Doyle, Des Perry as Jack Nolan, May Ollis as Rita Nolan and Iris Lawler as Statia Nolan-Doyle.  It ran from  January 3, 1964 to  June 7, 1968.

When TV soaps were seen as a social threat and kitchen skills were part of the Inter Cert

“It is shameful to think that the actions of figures such as Rosa Parks [above] and Harvey Milk have now been replaced with the lazy, crude, stupid and infantile justice warriors, be they on  the left or right.”

Today’s alt-righters and SJWs have far more in common than they care to know

Your first pressing decision will be: curved or flat screen? Curved screens look cool but are way more expensive.

‘Home entertainment’ offers a dizzying array of choice, depending on budget and, er, taste

Squaring the circle: AerClub will be powered by the travel rewards company Avios, with members collecting three Avios points for  every €1 spent on flights booked with Aer Lingus

New AerClub frequent flyer programme is based on money spent and not airmiles flown

Snake oil? Homeopathy was always the dodgy second-hand car salesman of the alt-medical world. Photograph: iStockphoto

US law will hopefully also spell the end of aromatherapy, reiki and mindfulness

 Edward Horgan, Claire Horgan and Paul Horgan of   Horgans Delicatessen Supplies in Mitchelstown. “The Icelandic diet came in ranked first and one of the products that featured strongly in the diet was Skyr,” says Claire Horgan.

UN report ranks Iceland at the top of the list of healthiest countries due to its diet

As iniquitous as it may seem, the vote of a college graduate/artist/creative/urban professional carries the exact same weight as that of someone living in a trailer park. Dems the rules. Photograph: Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters

The people who punched the ballot for Obama in 2008 and 2012 (a good vote) but this time punched for Trump (a bad vote) are now be(...)

Leonard Cohen: lyrics of mystery and magic.   Photograph: Eloy Alonso/Reuters

From his 1967 debut album to the final recordings, here are 10 of Leonard Cohen’s best songs and lyrics

Hillary Clinton on stage with Beyoncé and Jay Z in Cleveland, Ohio, last Friday. People resent high-achieving multimillionaires lecturing them about how they should vote. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Research shows the rich and famous alienate more voters than they recruit

A Day in the Life: the Beatles song alludes to Tara Browne, who lived fast and died young, at the age of 21

Paul Howard’s biography of the Guinness heir Tara Browne – fan of fast cars, modern jazz and recreational drugs – is a masterpiece

Model Melina Gesto in a Ramones T-shirt in Paris, France. Photograph:Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Ramones top is still a fashion staple, 40 years on, underlining the power of good design

Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine debating Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence. Kaine invoked the historical discrimination towards the Irish in the U.S. to attack Trump policies on immigration. REUTERS/Rick Wilking TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Tim Kaine talked about the how the Irish had suffered in America; but this needs to be put up against what the Irish inflicted

US reality television star Kim Kardashian (centre) with her husband Kanye West, at the presentation of the Spring/Summer 2017 collection by Off-White during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris. Photograph: Caroline Blumberg/EPA

We cannot ask whether the armed hold-up of Kim Kardashian is newsworthy in a time and a place when the Kardashians are, in fact, t(...)

 Donald Trump, with lengthy tie, attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City. File photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald

Coverage of big, swinging ties drowned out by inconsequential political reportage

With more and more people now owning a pod coffee machine, “craft coffee” has now appeared on the radar.

It can’t be long before offering a guest a Nespresso will be tantamount to offering him/her a bottle of Smithwicks or a glass of L(...)

Something got torn in the natural order when actors and singers decided, on the back of a successful film or album, that they would now solve  global problems. Photograph:  Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WSJ

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the forefront of celebrities taking on intractable global problems

U2: Happy birthday

The band have been together for four decades, but have you been paying attention to their exploits? Test your Bono-ology and knowl(...)

 The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr, Adam Clayton and Bono  at a signing of their  book “U2 by U2”, in London, 2006. Photograph:   MJ Kim/Getty Images

Auditions for the ‘Larry Mullen Band’ were held on September 25th, 1976, in the drummer’s kitchen

Peig Sayers: Though Brian Boyd studied her book, he speaks better Spanish, Italian and Portuguese than he does Irish

Though I read ‘Peig’, appreciate Red Lemonade and say ‘fillum’, national identity means nothing to me

Lol Tolhurst and Robert Smith of the Cure. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

Former member Lol Tolhurst’s account soars when talking about the Cure’s early days

On a purely nutritional level alone Starbucks should be banished. A cup of black coffee contains 2 calories; some of Starbucks’ coffees contain over 500 calories a cup. Photograph: Alan Betson

....and they can take their Frappuccinos with them

The clickity-clicks speak for themselves: first-person accounts of alcoholism, mental health issues and serious physical illness attract eyeballs the way a 2,000 word think piece on a geo-political matter rarely do.

Is it a race to the bottom or just giving people what they want?

Anyone for a hygge: try a little cosiness

It’s turning your home into ‘nest’ – lock your phone away in a sustainably harvested wood box, invite your friends around and bani(...)

Apple CEO Tim Cook - a close personal friend of Brian Boyd

Ireland is in a spot of bother with Apple but it could all be sorted out with a good chat, says Brian Boyd

Law unto himself: Francis Cosby, known euphemistically as an “enforcer”,  butchered the native Irish

Stradbally’s first lord of the manor was given his Irish property by Queen Elizabeth I as a reward for his enthusiastic suppressio(...)

For the average twenty or thirtysomething, Electric Picnic comes in at a minimum of €500 for the weekend.  Photo : Haydn West/PA

The music festival hasn’t even started and already I feel like I’ve been to it 10 times this week alone

‘Just as with the Brexit vote, the BBC should be analysing these figures by socio-economic class and level of education and passing patronising judgment on same.’ Photograph: BBC

Brian Boyd: I’d rather throw myself on top of a funeral pyre than watch Mrs Brown’s Boys. But the programme wasn’t commissioned wi(...)

Mick Wall has done his research for this biography, delivering a rounded portrait of the Paisley Park star, but it falls short of (...)

‘Dr Lisa Bardack, Clinton’s personal doctor, wrote a two-page medical report which concluded that the 69-year-old candidate is in “excellent physical health”.’  Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

‘If we continue down this health probe road, we are faced with the appalling vista of a Donald Trump live colonoscopy on our TV sc(...)

‘What are Michael Phelps’s staggering 22 Olympic gold medals if not a single powerful anecdote for the quack therapy of cupping?’ Photograph: EPA/Zsolt Czegledi

Gwyneth Paltrow has consciously uncoupled from her Goop lifestyle publication

Pace yourself: if you’re over 40 and work 60 hours a week your cognitive ability could be worse than that of someone who doesn’t work at all, according to the study. Photograph: Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty

An Australian study suggests a three-day week is best once you’re past your 30s. It’s not that simple, say Irish experts

James Morrissey, owner of the Late Late Bar New York

As traditional Irish hostelries in US decline, Nu Irish Bars are gaining momentum

Rat pack: Bob Geldof and the band in the late 1970s. Photograph: Ian Dickson/Redferns

They were the shows that never happened. Now, nearly 40 years after Bob Geldof’s band were meant to play at Leopardstown, the grou(...)

Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil (left) is grabbed by Irish ex-priest Neil Horan during the men’s Olympic marathon at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

Ireland must honour promises made to Vanderlei de Lima after 2004 Olympics

John Lennon’s Austin Princess Limousine Hearse is expected to realise more than $400,000 at Sotheby’s

Rock musicians know what to buy, but even U2 can make a mistake on values

Bono sprays the audience with water  at the SSE Arena, Belfast  last November.   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Songs of Experience could be released as soon as September or October

Channel 4’s Naked Attraction:  160 people have  complained but thousands called in asking how to apply to be on the show.

That we now live our lives through camera phones and Instagram filters means the human body has never before been so centre stage.

I don’t want to hear about their night in Temple Bar, how dreamy Connemara is and nothing whatsoever about their time in the Guinness Storehouse or the Titanic exhibition. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

What we have to endure from ill-informed foreigners is tantamount to a hate crime in today’s language

World changers: Einstein, Newton and Archimedes made breakthroughs while doing nothing. Photo: Apic/Getty

It says something about the supersaturated, always-connected world we live in that some of us find the idea of doing nothing distr(...)

 Bob Geldof,  who criticised revellers for wearing Primark clothes as he unleashed an expletive-filled tirade at at Brentwood Festival on Sunday. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The bad man used ‘F-word’ at a rock festival and people needed counselling

The Picnic to Discuss Brexit: Generation Snowflake went to London’s Green Park to express their anger at Brexit. They forgot only 36 per cent of them bothered to vote. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

For all their daft Pollyanna nonsense, at least they realise that people really do matter

The shocking pallor of my exposed milk bottle white skin first prompted a mother to give out to her young child for pointing at me.

'Those people who have seen me naked avert their eyes for fear of snow blindness'

A scene from  the Scandi-noir TV series The Bridge

Entire magazine articles have been given over to tracking down the interior design wonders from Borgen

Paul Klebnikov: This week the US Department of State (Paul was a New Yorker of Russian lineage) called for an end to “the culture of impunity” seemingly afforded those responsible for his death. File photograph: Misha Japaridze/AP

A few days after he wrote about the 100 wealthiest people in Russia someone in a Lada with tinted windows shot Paul Klebnikov dead

Kanye’s real deal or lookalikes? George W Bush, Anna Wintour, Donald Trump, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Ray J, Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner and Bill Cosby with the star in the video

Everyone from Donald Trump and Bill Cosby to Taylor Swift and Rihanna seems to share a bed in the hip hop star’s controversial vid(...)

Hae Min Lee: the murder victim in the Serial case. Her family has remained silent.

In the enduring success of the most listened to podcast, Hae Min Lee’s voice has been lost

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