Jennifer O’Connell: ’There is no commute to work, it’s true. There is also no getting away from work.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Jennifer O’Connell: Working from home wasn't working, until I tried ‘co-working’

Conor McGregor had one of the most retweeted tweets of the year. Photograph: David Becker/Getty Images for Wynn Nightlife

Hot topics on Twitter this year included Brexit, #Ophelia and, em, chicken nuggets

Meghan Markle: Prince Harry’s American fiancee is the child of an Emmy-winning lighting designer and a “free-spirited clinical therapist”. Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Outsiders who try to change the family get chewed up and spat out by the machine

Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O'Connell on the diary-busting juggle of parenting, work and everything else

 At worst Ireland is seen as a version of England with more rain, worse castles and more favourable tax rates

We think we’re a vibrant, relevant country proud of its hard-won independence but others see it differently

It is alleged Kieran Creaven, a television producer in the RTÉ Sports department, flew from Ireland to meet up  in Leeds with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

Jennifer O’Connell: From vigilantism to the #MeToo movement, online justice is here to stay

The three-year-old doesn’t hate me; she wants more of me. And that makes it worse. She sobs into my chest, and I cry into her curls. Photograph: Getty Images

Jennifer O’Connell: Our life has been a blur of too many events that feel more important than taking small girls to parks

Rachel O’Reilly, killed by her husband Joe O’Reilly in 2004

TV Review: Rachel O’Reilly’s parents speak out in Mick Peelo’s fascinating documentary

These letters were not just letters; they were highly contrived, insufferably self-conscious miniature diaries, stretching over several days, and featuring scrawled quotes from Keats or Beckett, or whoever was on the Leaving Cert that year. Photograph: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Jennifer O'Connell: The yellow legal paper he had chosen was ripped along its seam

 US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad holding the first hijab-wearing Barbie based on her to be released in 2018, in New York City. Photograph: EPA/Mattel

‘Shero Barbies’ and the Irish producers bucking imagination-stifling tyranny of toy industry

Unwanted attention: Workplace harassment is not a new phenomenon and can be found across all industrial sectors in Ireland. Illustration: Getty

Seven women, aged 30 to 78, share their experiences of sexism and harassment

Assertiveness lesson: You’re a very silly woman, the Perhaps Only Somewhat Good Samaritan said. Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: I know where you work, she said. You could lose your job

Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry, who will present Six One news on RTÉ

Having a vagina and being able to deliver hard news authoritatively are not mutually exclusive

An alleged victim of Harvey Weinstein, Mimi Haleyi, at a press conference held by attorney Gloria Allred in New York recently. Photograph: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The lines between flirting and harassment are not as blurry as some people seem to be suggesting

“I relish the surge of cold, clinical fury I feel when someone cuts me off in traffic or tweets something nasty at me. I reckon I’m at my sanest, most intuitive and most invincible for that one week a month.”

I’m at my sanest, most intuitive and most invincible when I have my period

Andrew Rooney By Dara Mac Donaill

Even law and state jobs have become precarious areas. Meet the gig economy workers

Water test used at part of witchcraft trials in the 17th century. Illustration from Ludicium aquae (trial by water), 1613 edition

The witches of Irish history had one thing in common: they were women who refused to conform

Nobody knowingly raises a boy to become a rapist, just as nobody knowingly raises a girl to be a victim

We raise girls to be polite, to compromise, not to make a scene. Mistake

Emotional robots, Martian colonies and universal basic income: we ask how society will change

‘I am exhausted, and I just can’t calm myself down.’ Vogue: My Anxious Life

TV Review: It shouldn’t work but it does, thanks to the presenter’s guileless warmth

Somewhere around the age of 38 and/or child number three, shopping stopped being fun and entertaining, and became just another way in which I’m slightly failing to make the grade. Photograph: Alan Betson

I gleefully drop items into my shopping basket: an ugly metallic skirt, a red geisha shirt

You can’t ring my bell: ‘Have smartphones destroyed a generation?’

Jennifer O’Connell: Once, it caused the whole house to leap into action in wordless unison

Who will mind the children while you’re in the pursuit of romance and joint hobbies?

Jennifer O’Connell: So we gave it a go, an actual weekend away that wasn’t a wedding

Niamh Flanagan (19) in the Mater hospital, Dublin, before and after being fitted with a wig by Anne Roche. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

A Dublin business gives people with cancer and alopecia more than just their hair back

Biggest issues: Conflict over money, parenting and infidelity are common reasons to seek counselling

Six people describe why they engaged in counselling, how it went, and if it worked

A camera operator in RTÉ in 2015. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The insider view of RTÉ is irresistible and admirable, but unverified and anonymous

Natalie Cooke: “The panic takes over and you’re panicking because you’re panicking. I used to wake up at 2am and start walking the halls, holding on to handfuls of my hair. It was hideous – I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

For those experiencing it, burnout is real. And it can be devastating

You don’t know what stress is unless your kids are terrified their teachers and their classmates will find out they live in an overcrowded bedroom instead of in a three-bed semi, bungalow, or apartment like everyone else. Photograph: Frank Miller

Two weeks back at school and our whole family is stressed. But It’s not real stress

Jonathan Rhys Meyers with his wife Mara Lane. Photograph: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Lane, the wife of Irish actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, shared news of their miscarriage on the internet

Definitely, unequivocally: this time I’m walking to the door with a small hand in mine knowing this is my last first day at Montessori. Photograph: E+/Getty

Another first day at another new school. Practice does not make it easier

My baby’s second word was “Starbucks”. Photograph: Alan Betson

We should resist the slow, creeping Starbucksification of our towns and cities

Mariah Carey, left, “too fat”; and Amal Clooney, right, “too thin”

Jennifer O’Connell: Let me save you the trouble of reading the internet

The same shark  swam down an identical freeway during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy

The great white from Hurricane Sandy has turned up during Hurricane Harvey

 Beauty shot: “Allure” magazine  announced recently it was banning the term “anti-ageing” – or “anti-aging” – from all of its print and web pages

Why is it that women are so desperate to become less than we are – smaller, younger?

We've rounded up some of the most popular, influential and quintessentially Irish hashtags of the past decade.

Taylor Swift: “My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard.” Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

After the ‘groping trial’, the debate over whether she is a good or bad role model is over

I didn’t know what “no nasal bone” meant in practice, but I knew it was nothing good. Photograph: Getty Images

Jennifer O’Connell: Babies die because of limited access to ultrasound in Ireland

Louis Masai’s Elephant

No wall painted during the Waterford Walls festival has ever been tagged or vandalised

Clarks: the footwear firm sparked a sexism row after naming a girls’ shoe range Dolly Babe and a boys’ line Leader. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Jennifer O’Connell: Clarks shoes isn’t the only peddler of back-to-school stereotypes

Tony Soprano sees his therapist Dr Melfi over his panic attacks in The Sopranos.

Jennifer O'Connell: Despite a growing openness, we still fear mental-health issues

Cage Fighter Conor McGregor in Kellys Hotel fashion shoot. Photograph: David Sleator

A Conor McGregor article in ESPN magazine makes Dublin sound like 1920s Chicago

Grainne Byrne: “Friends advised me to take a few jobs off my CV and my LinkedIn to make myself look younger”

With life expectancy growing, many of us will live for decades after our retirement, These over-50s entrepreneurs decided to start(...)

In one Harvard study participants who read on light-emitting devices took longer to fall asleep, experienced less REM or dream sleep, and had higher alertness before bedtime than people who read regular books

A digital device in the bedroom, even if it isn’t used, is associated with poor sleep

But don't think you can just put your lady lumps in any old underwired M&S number. Oh no

Modern grandads: There’s no limit to what they won’t do for their grandchildren. Photograph:  Getty

Jennifer O’Connell on red nails and the (grand) father of invention

The Handmaid’s Tale: as long as we behave as though sex is part of every encounter between men and women, men will continue to have good reason to sideline women

Women are shielding themselves from advancement, not harassment

An ad for Aptamil provoked an outcry in 2016 when it showed boys dreaming of being a rock climber and a mathematician and a girl as a future ballerina

A new report says sexist ads aren’t just annoying – they restrict our choices, aspirations and opportunities

‘You don’t sleep for two days. You can barely move. The three steps from the kitchen to the hall are Mount Kilimanjaro.’ Photograph: Getty Images

I’d like to be able to hold down a grown-up, long-term relationship with a gym. Instead, I have short-term, meaningless flings

A computer  generated image of Facebook’s proposed Willow Campus, at  Menlo Park, California. Photograph:  Facebook/Reuters

Facebook is building a village for its workers in Silicon Valley – bringing a whole new meaning to work-life integration

Ed Sheeran  quits Twitter because of the abuse he’s been getting on the platform. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Social media has shown us that when humans gather with no rules, savagery prevails

'He never made a sound. Never shouted or tried to placate her. That was the worst part, the silence.'

Abusers do not always look like abusers – and victims can look like gentle giants

This recent study isn’t the first piece of scientific evidence to highlight downsides of delaying fatherhood. Photograph: Getty Images

Why, in the face of scientific evidence, is the idea of a male biological clock still a taboo?

Multiracial Ken: Mattel has released 15 new dolls – all named Ken –  in his “most diverse line-up to date”, starting with two new “broad” and “slim” body types. Photograph: Mattel/PA Wire

Barbie’s feminist, identity-fluid boyfriend is having unsettling private thoughts

According to our survey’s results, many of us believe we are overworked and underpaid. Photograph: Thinkstock

The 35s-54s are struggling financially more than any other age group. Four people tell their stories

Google has said it will stop scanning the contents of Gmail users’ inboxes for ad targeting. Photograph: Loic Venanceloic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Google is to stop reading users’ emails. But do we really care about online privacy?

The Guardian hailed Leo Varadkar’s appointment as evidence of “a new, progressive Ireland”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Jennifer O’Connell: Irish people may be kind but the systems that govern us are not

Requests for sexual imagery can come two or three sentences into an online interaction, An Garda Síochána says. Photograph: Getty Images

Parents cannot imagine their children sharing sexual photos of themselves. But they do

Ant McPartlin feels he has ‘let people down’ following a battle with depression, alcohol and substance abuse. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

The TV star’s plight may start a conversation about men’s mental health and infertility

Gary Spain at home with his daughters Hannah and Aisling. Gary’s wife Catherine Fallon-Spain died in 2005. Photograph: Alan Betson

Four fathers who ended up going it alone share their very different experiences

When you’re frantically juggling, it’s all too easy to mistake “urgent” for “important”. Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: I’m getting better at prioritising the truly irreplaceable stuff

Róisín Ní Chonchúir with her son Connell Gallagher (8). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

We ask women who proceeded with or terminated pregnancies what they did and why

Odd couple: Donald Trump and Melania during the 2016 presidential campaign. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

She’s hardly a subversive, but Melania Trump has failed in her first duty as first lady: to make the US president look good

In one week in 2016, four people were admitted to hospital in Galway with ‘selfie wrist’.

Twenty-nine people have died while taking selfies in 2017. Only five have died in shark attacks

Dublin at dawn. “The housing market’s grand – as long as you’re not trying to buy a house or rent a house”

Jennifer O’Connell: ‘Ireland is a gorgeous country which we seem determined to maim’

Photograph: Alan Betson

Jennifer O’Connell learns some life lessons from a trip to A&E

Sherna Malone and husband Brendan McCormack, with twin daughters Ella (left) and Zoe in Rosscarbery, Co Cork.  Photograph: Emma Jervis Photography

We speak to three people who decided enough was enough and changed their lives for the better

'Advice from Irish grannies tends to be considerably more pragmatic.' File photograph: Stockphoto

Students should remember that grandmothers – not billionaires and popstars – know best

A woman and child leaving  the Manchester Arena after the May 23rd attack. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Experts advise on how to help a child understand the Manchester Arena attack

Dermott (Oisin Stack), possessor of the ‘maddest stare on TV’and Alfie (Shane Richie) in ‘Redwater’. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

TV Review: As a tourism initiative for Waterford, it’s a roaring success. But as a drama ...

In Ireland, to admit that your child won’t be making their communion is like saying you’ve signed them up as a junior member of a political party. Photograph: Getty Images

Opting out of Communion is not easy in Ireland. We wouldn’t segregate children by their parents’ politics. So why are we segregati(...)

Members of the O’Tooles and Castleknock teams shake hands after a game during an U10 football tournament in Clontarf. “Girls’ involvement in team sports tends to fall off a cliff ‘right at the time when they would benefit most’.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Finding physical activity they enjoy more important than relentless drive for success

Lip service: a mouth made up in Maybelline’s Touchable Taupe gives me the illusion that I am a fully functioning adult

Jennifer O’Connell: Does the world really need research on what men think about why women wear make-up?

Richard Dawkins:  confident the Irish people would vote to overturn the blasphemy law if there was a referendum on the issue. Photograph: Don Arnold/Getty Images

Atheist author rails against Ireland's blasphemy law but says he would ‘love’ Irish citizenship

Ireland’s fresh-faced, rosy-cheeked hopeful Brendan Murray, who was handpicked by Louis Walsh to represent us, is likely to be on stage around 8.40pm on Thursday.

When is it on, what are Ireland’s chances and is ‘sounds like Ed Sheeran’ this year’s trend?

Erica Stoll and Rory McIlroy had an Irish wedding – with a disappointing lack of bridezialladom. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

My eye was fused shut by a mosquito bite. It was the best day ever

 Ivanka Trump with the Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and the president of the National Council of German Women’s Organisations, Mona Kueppers in Berlin, Germany. Photograph:  Getty Images

Blonde ambition: She’s a ‘gateway Trump’ – and just as big a menace as her father

Summer’s here kids. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill

How hot was 1995? When were statues seen to move in Ireland?

Never, ever assume someone is pregnant, even if you’re both on the labour ward and she’s screaming for an epidural. Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: Small talk is fraught with peril. A few rules can help avoid catastrophe

24% of women on maternity leave check their email. One in four does so daily. Photograph: Getty

Opinion: Employers can’t punish women for being pregnant. We manage that ourselves

By  forking out  €410,000 for a non-descript three-bed, your lifestyle could involved a daily supply of  flowers.

Jennifer O’Connell: The hope. The greed. The nauseating sense of deja vu

Facebook chief executive  Mark Zuckerberg:  the media was unimpressed by Zuckerberg’s promise to do better regarding live-streaming of attacks. Photograph: AP Photo/Noah Berger

Opinion: More than 1 million people have watched the killing of Robert Godwin. It’s not just an internet problem. It is a humanity(...)

‘This would have been a very loving gift from a husband to wife,’ says auctioneer Damien Matthews “This would have been a very loving gift from a husband to wife,” said auctioneer Damien Matthews ahead of the auction.

This ‘ladies companion’ from an Anglo-Irish family is to be auctioned in Co Meath

‘I have never believed those who claim they don’t go to coffee shops to eavesdrop.’ Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: ‘The best coffee shops require something all the Starbucks community noticeboards in the world can’t emulate: (...)

“The iPhone’s principal achievement has been in ushering in a decade of constant, low-level guilt.”

Jennifer O’Connell: Love should mean rarely having to say you’re sorry – certainly not 2,629 times in 11 years

The Republic of Ireland women’s soccer team  outlined their grievances with the FAI at a  press conference this week. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Will outrage over Ireland’s soccer team change how women’s sport is treated?

The study in the ‘Journal of Pediatrics’ says breastfed babies wake more often at night, which means more time to cry. Photograph: Getty Images

Danish and Japanese babies cry least,according to a new global study

The joy of an auction is about watching other people battle it out over the stuff you’d never dream of buying

Jennifer O’Connell: ‘Your first successful bid at an auction is like an alcoholic’s first sip of booze’

Will your outfit flying with your airline?

Footwear and manners are a must . . . and a Christmas tree is surprisingly OK with Delta

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (right) and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pose for a photograph ahead of their meeting  on March 27, 2017. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/AFP/Getty Images

With its sexist front page, the ‘Mail’ has unintentionally done humanity a favour

Transcendence: Ben Rafter (11) drew this picture for an exhibition, ARTzheimer’s – a collection of powerful statements about love, loss, isolation, identity and memory – which opened this week

Yet amid the slow loss, there are moments when glimmers of the person emerge from the shrouds of the disease

The so-called “dark web” is providing ready and relatively risk-free access to drugs for a demographic that defies the stereotype of the Irish drug addict. Photograph: Getty Images

Tech-literate drug users are buying steroids, cheap medicines and ecstasy

On the Waterford Greenway, the longest off-road walking and cycling trail  in Ireland

Off-road track, along an old railway, includes coast, viaducts, tunnel and spectacular gorge

Kabbalistic? A customer looks at Madonna’s  children’s book The English Roses. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty

British politician George Galloway is to write a children’s book. Celebrity alone will not sell his efforts to such discerning rea(...)

Do you have a genuine claim to citizenship, or are you as Irish as soda bread biscotti?

A shrine, with an image of the Virgin Mary on part of the site of the former mother-and-baby home run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam, Co Galway, where the remains of an unknown number of babies and toddlers were found buried. Photograph: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Ireland has always been a good place for children to grow up – as long as they were the “right” kind of children

Karima Merchant: “Landlords in Dublin are trying to take advantage of you being foreign any way they can”

International tech workers say Dublin's high salaries don’t always cover rent, childcare and health costs

The robots are coming: but don’t start building that bunker just yet. Photograph: E+/Getty

My weather bot recommends snowboots in spring. Another confuses trains and planes

For a small nation, we've plenty to boast about

A cure for leprosy? The Connemarathon? The home of Botox, or Viagra? Birthplace of the MGM lion? Whatever its claim to fame, know (...)

The first time I ran all the way up the hill near my home, there was no magic, no flow, no dopamine high. There was just two feet, pounding painfully on the footpath. Photograph: Getty Images

I’m going to focus on rediscovering some actual awe rather than looking for it online

I’ve had several, fantastic live-out nannies and childminders over the years, some of whose presence in my life I mourn daily

We clean before the cleaner arrives and we make the cups of tea for the au pair

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