Four-year-old Cian Walshe plays in the sea off Portmarnock Beach, Dublin, on Friday. Liberated from work and the obligations of daily life, there is a sense of air and space. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

There are echoes of childhood in this break from rat-race culture and commodification

Protesters hold placards calling for the resignation of Boris Johnson's special adviser Dominic Cummings outside the entrance to Downing Street in central London. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty

A nation that does not confront its national identity will not be able to move forward

Grand Canal Dock: Big Tech bosses have decided they don’t need offices. Many places where young people work – bars, restaurants, cafes, salons, clothing shops – will disappear completely.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Generation to be worst-hit by post-epidemic recession will act to effect real social change

Mike Murray runs through Phoenix Park with his son Donnacha and spaniel Pip. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

The OPW must not throw away the opportunity for the park – the lungs of Dublin – to become car-free

Mikey O’Brien, Conleth Teevan and Rhona Drummond with baby Felix at his naming ceremony in August 2018

Key piece of legislation on parenting issues yet to be fully enacted five years after referendum

The Sligo school was in Dublin. Many of the Trinity scenes were shot in Drumcondra

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh: His department turns with all the speed and nimbleness of an aircraft carrier reversing in a storm. Photograph:  Leon Farrell/PA

With Covid-19, McHugh left it to last minute to cram for final exams and created a mess

For many pubs, the economics of a place like Dublin are completely incompatible with what physical distancing requires. Photograph: Eric Luke

Nighttime economy can be reset to boost big ideas beyond clutch of usual lobbyists

Graffiti art by Maser featuring the slogan ‘Maser loves you’ in 2008. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

October 11th, 2008: Ireland’s street artists come out from the underground

A giant landart painting, Beyond Crisis, by French artist  Saype in the alpine resort of Leysin, western Switzerland. Photograph: Valentin Flauraud for Saype/AFP via Getty Images

The metaphors used to give meaning in both pandemics are strangely similar

Bob Geldof: When Self Aid took place at the RDS, some 17.3 per cent of the workforce was unemployed. Photograph: Terry Thorp

In 1986, U2, Van Morrison and Clannad sang for jobs, but not everyone was in tune with it

The project marries two of Ireland’s most talented artists – Rooney and director Lenny Abrahamson

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: new government is likely to be a transitionary phase before the new era of Irish politics begins. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A positive legacy of coronavirus crisis should be a decisive throwing-out of old politics

French producers were unable to keep up with the booming export demand for champagne. Photograph: Frank Miller

Archive: A 1989 shortage of French bubbly was attributed to demand from Ireland

Clockwise from left: Frances Black, Darina Allen, John Creedon, Eavan Boland, Ann Rossiter, Ailbhe Smyth, Brendan Gleeson and Sheila Gallagher

Brendan Gleeson, Eavan Boland, John Creedon and others pass on advice during this uncertain time

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at a media briefing. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Paltry, insulting coronavirus ‘supports’ compound a sense of helplessness

Over the years, the debate around pubs serving or not on Good Friday populated The Irish Times’ letters pages on an annual basis.

An Irish Times article from 1981 stated ‘drink and the Irish go together like gin and tonic’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spun an anecdotal tale without offering any evidence to back it up. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

His callous off-the-cuff remark reminds us that he is not beyond scrutiny

A typist wears a mask to protect against Asian flu in the UK, 1957. Photograph: Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty

From the archive: The southside of the city was hit harder than less populous northside

Brazilian artist Marina Esmeraldo:  I think people who work with creativity are full of ‘the great discontent’

Life Lessons: Brazilian artist Marina Esmeraldo

When Fine Gael pulled the tablecloth off the national dining table to tackle Covid-19 and left the crockery still standing, it really was some trick. There were no consultancy fees or communications agencies. It just…happened. Photograph: Getty Images

The equitable social model we are using to guide us through Covid-19 can be a guiding light to how we rebuild society

Firemen hosing down the ruins of Kilteragh, Sir Horace Plunkett’s house outside Dublin, which was burned down by forces opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty during the Irish Civil War, February 1923. Photograph:  Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From the archive: The destruction of Irish country houses, or Big Houses, between 1919 and 1923 saw about 275 houses destroyed

I have a few things I live by that motivate me to work harder and trust the process: “You don’t hustle you don’t eat”, and “Impossible is nothing”.

Rapper and artist JYellowL says he is firm believer in sharing your blessings and empowering others

The brand of capitalism governments have been shovelling fuel into the furnace of is broken. It doesn’t work. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Capitalism is burning out and the pandemic is nothing if not a great, discombobulating leveller

‘Not every woman is a born mother, although Irishwomen, as a race, have the reputation for being so’, Barbara Dickinson wrote in 1944.

How Mother’s Day become mainstream ‘as appreciation of all the unselfish service’

Roseleen McDonagh’s motto for life is ’just keep going’.

Life Lessons: An insight into Rosaleen McDonagh’s life and times – the good, bad and ugly

Ireland is better equipped to deal with this moment than many other places, and we are an empathic nation that cares. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

We must let go of individualism; slowing the spread of Covid-19 is every person’s work

Lynette Haith, from Redlands, California at the 1992 St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin. Photograph: Joe St Leger

From the Archive: Gay rights groups went to court and held protests over exclusion

How do you self-isolate when your entire family lives in a  hotel room in Dublin?

The city was already coughing and spluttering, and it’s about to become very sick indeed

Patricia Scanlan: “My sense of humour has got me through a lot.” Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall

Life Lessons: The popular author on inspirations and moments that changed her life

Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

Party is repeating its Hillary Clinton mistake by pinning hopes on status quo candidate

Kathleen Clarke, the first female Lord Mayor of Dublin.

From the archive: Kathleen Clarke became the first female Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1939

Thommas Kane Byrne: ‘I have received so much love and support in my career thus far. I’m very lucky’

Life Lessons: Thommas Kane Byrne, actor and playwright

Memo to companies: stop the gender-washing, box-ticking corporate feminism and really get to grips with the root causes of inequality in the workplace. Photograph: iStock

The empty rhetoric of female empowerment within corporate culture makes me queasy

WB Yeats was invited to speak at St Bartholomew’s Vicarage by the Rev Walter Simpson, as part of the parish’s annual sale of work in 1923. Photograph: Getty Images

From the archive: ‘Mr Yeats was enjoying the satisfaction of recognition in his own lifetime’

Pygmalion on South William Street is also doing away with ticket sales for its popular club nights and international guest DJ performances. Photograph: Pygmalion

Pygmalion booker says link up with Peter McVerry Trust will run throughout year

An unfulfilled goal?  ‘My unfinished PhD thesis. To this day, it still bothers me that I did not see it through and earn my doctorate.’

Life Lessons: Vicky Phelan, cervical cancer advocate and author, on overcoming life's big challenges

Having spent a campaign attacking Sinn Féin – a tactic which completely backfired – Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil politicians are now continuing that failed approach.  Photograph: Getty Images

Sinn Féin has benefitted from Fine Gael’s vapid neoliberalism and lack of engagement on issues that matter to people

 Irish folk singer Maura O’Connell at the Clarence Hotel in Dublin in 2013. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

From the archive: In 1981, Maura O’Connell was voted the number one female singer by Hot Press

Caroline Flack was subjected to relentless tabloid stories throughout her career, particularly about her relationships. Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Many of us engage with social media without considering why. Our usage patterns need a rethink

Kate Dolan: The moment that changed my life was when my short film Catcalls played at Fantasia film festival in Montreal in 2018. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Life Lessons: Kate Dolan, writer and director of films, music videos and commercials

This election was coloured not just by the desire for change, but also an electorate being able to conceptualise the possibility for change because of how much Irish society has changed in the past five years or so. Photograph: Damien Eagers

The recent referendums showed the Irish electorate that radical change is possible

In 1952 Archbishop John D’Alton of Armagh drew a correlation between people going to dances and the spread of TB. Photograph: iStock

From the Archive: ‘The remedy will come, not from legislation, but from the common sense of the people themselves’

Sinn Féin appeals to a renewed sense of ambition and self-belief from within the country. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Getty Images

This election is rooted in the recession, housing crisis, and the politicisation of young people

1970: The stamps and coins stall at the Pansy market on Montague street. Photograph: Tommy Collins/The Irish Times.

From the archive: ‘The true junk lover knows that time is even more essential than money to successful junk hunts’

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald launching her party’s general election manifesto. Photograph: Alan Betson

The election campaign suggests people value a booming society over a booming economy

Telefís Éireann’s St Brigid’s Cross  design in  1962. Photograph: RTÉ

From the archive: The distinctive and iconic design was removed by the station in 1995

Hugh Wallace, presenter of The Great House Revival

Life Lessons: It was a new beginning, with new work, says the architect and RTÉ presenter

I also believe there is a hidden female Sinn Féin vote that is less documented. Young women I speak to who are voting for Sinn Féin cite their admiration for Mary Lou McDonald, and her ability to rise above the noise and political pettiness and communicate directly in the media

Irish young people are politicised not by old-fashioned tribalism but along issues

Ads in the newspaper in January 1919 featured everything from ‘exhibition jazz dances’ at a ballroom on Adelaide Road, to ‘jazz teas’. Photograph: iStock

From the archive: ‘A new form of music introduced from Africa probably’

Jo Spain’s latest book is Six Wicked Reasons

Lessons Learned: ‘When I decided to write my first book, I thought people would think I was daft but a good friend said to me “why(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. ‘By focusing on abstracts such as Brexit, and appealing to people’s self-interest by pitching tax cuts, Fine Gael has laid out its stall.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Abstractions of Brexit more comfortable for the party than homelessness and gang crime

A worker folds linen for tea towels at a Belfast linen factory in 1949. Photograph: George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images

From the archive: In 1917, The Irish Times printed an article about ‘our debt to William III’ for his contribution to the Irish te(...)

Cellist, singer and composer, Vyvienne Long

Life Lessons: Singer, cellist and composer on challenges, influences and achievements

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a photocall in London in November 2017 after they announced their engagement. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Meghan Markle finds herself in a toxic fan ecosystem fuelled by tabloid press narratives

Gerry Fitt addressing a party conference in Belfast. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

From the archive: ‘There has been a need in Northern Ireland for a strong political alternative to the Unionist Party’

The pain that emanates from neglect or perceived neglect is something that has not been heard or treated in Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Prosperity now is very public, and a lot of inequalities are very hidden

A news story about the beauty benefits of so-called radiamic clay made quite a stir in 1913. Illustration: iStock

From the archive: Was this article in 1913 an early example of ‘native advertising’?

Mark Zuckerberg,  founder of Facebook, listens during a House committee hearing in Washington, DC, US. File photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It used to be a privilege to be on social media, but it is now a privilege to be off it

Taking a Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot in 1971. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea/The Irish Times

From the archive: If you’re taking the plunge over the festive season, remember the feminists who did so before you

Minister for foreign affairs Brian Lenihan with An Ngoc Dung (2) and Van Quoc Thanh (3) at a party for Vietnamese refugees at Blanchardstown hospital, Co Dublin, in 1979. Photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

From the Archive: A 1979 Christmas party for Vietnamese refugees saw coconut cake and Molly Malone

Le Galaxie: Their live shows acted as a pressure valve for a generation under incredible strain

The band offered a sparkling antidote to the misery and dourness of the recession

Mitch Albom. Photograph: Adela Loconte/WireImage

Life Lessons: ‘Success is what matters the most’ is the worst advice the author has got

Brenda Fricker and Daniel Day-Lewis in Jim Sheridan’s 1989 film My Left Foot, based on the book by Christy Brown.

From the archive: Looking back at one of the greatest nights ever in Irish cinema

The behemoths got bigger in a landscape where streaming giants took over

The Decade in Culture: The most impactful books, series and performers of 2010-19

Remember that algorithms are constantly steering you online. They are constantly laying out tracks in various directions in front of you, the train, the “user”.

Christmas dinner is as good a place as any to promote literacy on internet algorithms

Dan Colley: ‘I’m a paradoxical combination of space cadet and control freak. I’m sure it’s very annoying.’ Photograph: Enda Rowan

Life Lessons: Dan Colley, theatre director and dramaturg

Tara Street Baths, where about 50 children had been brought to be washed and newly clothed before being sent to England, on  October 23rd, 1913. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

From the archive: 50 boys and girls were brought to Tara Street Baths to be washed and sent away

Fontaines D.C.’s Grian Chatten. Photograph: Visionhaus

Review: Dublin’s gentrification is inspiring a generation of musicians, led by Fontaines D.C.

“Ireland has golden visas, we just don’t really talk about them.”

Application numbers for our immigrant investor programme are rocketing in Ireland

Late night Christmas shopping in Dunnes Stores in 1997. Photograph: Frank Miller

From the archive: December 8th used to mark the start of the Irish Christmas season

Fine Gael byelection candidate Verona Murphy arrives to vote at Ramsgrange Parish Hall, Co Wexford, on Friday. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Verona Murphy’s candidacy saw the party validating toxic forms of discussion

 Danny La Rue as the Merry Widow Twanky in Aladdin at the London Palladium. File Photograph: PA Wire

From the archive: In 1971, Danny La Rue had just returned to his hometown of Cork for the first time in 18 years

Lisa Connell is managing editor of Gay Community News.

Life Lessons: Lisa Connell, managing editor of Gay Community News

Verona Murphy, centre: That Fine Gael are standing by her will come back to haunt them. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Alarm bells are ringing, and we must stop downplaying and appeasing this shift

The international breakout success of Rejjie Snow, a rapper from Drumcondra, Dublin, preceded another international breakthrough, the Cabra artist Kojaque. Photograph: Getty Images

From the archive: Scary Eire first appeared in The Irish Times on December 19th, 1992

Dorje de Burgh’s work features in HALFTONE, Dublin’s Print Fair at the Library Project

Life Lessons: Photographer Dorje de Burgh

A study published in 2014 of GSAs in Canadian schools showed heterosexual boys in schools with GSAs were half as likely to attempt suicide. Photogrpah: Getty Images

Schools need gender and sexuality alliances to foster tolerance and wellbeing

A garda requests a list of goods from a lorry driver at a checkpoint on the Dublin-Belfast Road at the Border in February 2001. Photograph: Ferran Paredes/Reuters

From the archive: ‘A catastrophe looms,’ read The Irish Times editorial in March 2001

Dolly Parton. Photograph: John Lamparski/Getty

Dolly Parton and Emma Blake murals are up; small beanies and CGI actors are down

Cathy Kelly: “Time and experience have taught me to trust myself, that my wisdom can be my guide.”

Life Lessons: Author on learning to trust herself, meditating and remembering a dear friend

The fact that RTÉ isn’t creating podcasts that large Irish audiences are listening to is incredible. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Voluntary redundancies will not save the broadcaster if it refuses to take creative risks

Apart from the therapy sessions which the Screamers engaged in they spent time working as a community, weaving, and driving home cattle. Photograph: Pat Langan

From the Archive: The group who lived in Burtonport ‘found society pathetically wanting’

Hannah Gadsby attends the 8th AACTA International Awards on January 4, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for AFI

Comedian coming to Dublin with Douglas, the follow-up to her groundbreaking show Nanette

The Cork Urban Soil Project is ‘creating community through compost’. Photograph: thecusp.ie

Yes to an urban soil project in Cork, but no to designer AirPod cases

Pop survivor: Christina Aguilera on stage at Dublin's 3Arena. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

As she explodes on to the stage, her current energy is as fierce as her past legacy

Down Claiborne charts the decline of Claiborne Avenue in the New Orleans district of Tremé after a six-lane overpass was constructed.

Brutal urban planning forms the spine of a new film by the Irish experimental film-maker Moira Tierney

The silent protest walk in Oughterard in September against a direct provision centre at the former Connemara Gateway Hotel. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

What we are witnessing now is what happens when governments refuse to lead

Jack O’Connor is the country director of Movember in Ireland.

Life Lessons: Jack O’Connor, country director of Movember in Ireland

Tara Stewart: with her customised clothes and bright streaks in her hair, she has the stance of an extrovert, but behind this public persona is an unexpected shyness. Photograph: Kinlan Photography.

RTÉ R&B and hiphop DJ speaks of on-air nerves, social media and ethics of branding

“The rink has been frequently attended by fashionable crowds, and all agree that the floor is the best they have ever used.” Photograph: iStock

The opening of three new rinks in 1909 for ‘votaries of the graceful art of roller skating’ was covered by The Irish Times

Hot: taco time at Órale behind The Belfry pub in Stoneybatter.

Yes to Órale’s delicious tacos, but no to Breaking Bad’s disappointing sequel El Camino

Sinéad O’Connor performing at the Cork Opera House the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival on Saturday night, guinnessjazzfestival.com. Photograph: Clare Keogh

Outside, a frantic trade for tickets in the cold air. Inside, a bottomless love for the artist

 Coast guard divers prepare to go down to salvage a migrant boat that capsized and sunk  off Lampedusa, southern Italy. Photograph: Pasquale Claudio Montana Lampo/EPA

Aligning with far right to defeat resolution on Mediterranean rescues is disgusting

Gabriel Rosenstock: “If we’re talking about this incarnation, marrying Eithne was a change, for the better.”

Life Lessons: Poet Gabriel Rosenstock on haiku wisdom, Gandhi and dwelling on the positive

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