Delighted Monaghan fans at Pearse Park, Salthill celebrate the  victory over Galway which earned the county a semi-final place against Tyrone. Photograph:  Laszlo/Geczo

Frank McNally on the trials and tribulations –and rare ecstasy – of being a life-long Farney supporter

Karl MacDermott: comic writer juggles anarchic humour with wise insights to yield universal truths.

Karl MacDermott’s imagination and instinct display wit and wisdom on human condition

‘And every creek a banker ran,/And dams filled overtop;/We’ll all be rooned, said Hanrahan,/If this rain doesn’t stop.’ Photograph: Getty Images

An Irishman’s Diary: ‘As the poem progresses, the prayed-for deluge arrives, in Biblical quantities, until that too becomes a prob(...)

James Patrick Craig’s preference, revolutionary in its own way, was that rules and spelling should be founded on the language as it still lived, wherever that was. But since he spoke the Donegal version himself, he thought that the best place to start.  Photograph: David Sleator/THE IRISH TIMES

An Irishman’s Diary: James Patrick Craig may be largely forgotten, but his songs live on

Remembering Gen Humbert (centre in big hat) and troops in a re-enactment at his home in Saint-Nabord last month.

An Irishman’s Diary on a weekend in Lorraine

Portrait of Brian O’Nolan, by his brother Mícheál Ó Nuallain

An Irishman’s Diary about Arthur McBride and Flann O’Brien errors

An Irishman’s Diary on why Irish bogs sometimes cough up hairballs

Antony Gormley’s ‘Tree  for Waiting for Godot’ will be exhibited in the Grand Yard at Castle Coole in Enniskillen as part of the Happy Days Festival. Photograph:

Soft Border, Hard Beckett: An Irishman’s Diary

Kinnegad – A warm welcome. Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

Flat but unflattered – An Irishman’s Diary

Playing the blues in Heuston Station in Dublin

An Irishman’s Diary on the music of trains

Aloys Fleischmann (left) playing chess in Oldcastle Camp, Co Meath. He was interned as an “enemy alien” during the first World War.

Guests of the Nation – An Irishman’s Diary

Square hay bales in Carrick-on-Shannon

An Irishman’s Diary: Square bales in a round hole

If the Costello Memorial Chapel has any claim to architectural fame, it is as the smallest of its kind in Europe

Magaluf of the Midlands or Irish Taj Mahal?

‘I told my youngest, Daniel, that I might tag along on the way to his last day in sixth class, seeing how nice the weather was.’ Photograph: Frank McNally

An Irishman’s Diary: For the past 15 years I got to walk the kids around the Royal Hospital Kilmainham

‘A squadron of Dublin gurrier seagulls swooped low overhead, two of them dropping ordinance within metres of where I stood.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

An Irishman’s Diary: Birdies, ducks and the outer plumage of the Ouzel Galley Society

‘Depressing as this spectacle was, it also had the strange effect of bringing Behan even more alive than his sculptor, John Coll, had.’ Photograph: Frank McNally

Brendan Behan gazes forever at a blackbird singing beside him. But on Monday, he seemed to be surveying the rubbish

‘It may be that, as experts suggest, their mating period has already passed, and that while human wedding season is only starting, the ducks have moved on, in every sense.’

The ducks were still wild animals, even after weeks of turning up for breakfast, dinner, and tea, with an ever-increasing air of e(...)

Republic of Ireland fans at the European Championships in 1988. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

In six days in Germany in 1988, Ireland learned we could do a little better as a country

George  Borrow.  Photograph:  Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

Irish-born, in 1871, William George Dowsley emigrated to Eastern Cape in 1904

Marsh’s Library: Hardened scholars know where it is, and have been poring over its contents since 1707. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Marsh’s Library has the world’s sole surviving sample of at least 387 books and pamphlets

Count Eduard Taaffe was Austria’s prime minister at the time of the Materling incident. Photograph: Adèle/Getty Images

The Austro-Hibernian Count Taaffe was among those who lived in that part of Dublin

The way she went involves negotiating a 30-foot escarpment, steep and densely overgrown

Pseudonymous clowning: Flann O’Brien/ Myles na gCopaleen by his brother Michael Ó Nuallain. (Collection of Boston College USA)

Review: Maebh Long had to set herself some rules when tackling the author’s epistolary chaos

Singer Daniel O’Donnell is greeted by a mourner as he attends the funeral of funeral of country music star Big Tom. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Thousands pay last respects to country singer -– and say goodbye to a forgotten era

Like paradise? New Ireland Assurance HQ on Dublin’s Dawson Street

An Irishman’s Diary about one of Dublin’s most distinctive (but now threatened) buildings

Myles Joyce: a perfect symbol of the fate of Ireland under colonial rule.

James Joyce portrayed Myles Joyce as the personification of a nation that could not explain itself to the world

‘Every time we drove past, the collie would emerge from cover to launch an ambush at the tyres, trying to bite them as they sped by.’ File photograph: Getty  Images

An Irishman’s Diary: ‘I like to think there may be the odd old mutt holding out somewhere, like the Japanese soldier in the jungle(...)

Claude Debussy’s departure from this world coincided with the onslaught of what became known as the Paris Gun. Photograph: Getty Images

While the performers head for the wings with no intention of staying there, I think: ‘Here we go. Offenbach again’

In 1941, The Irish Times quoted a Dr Raverty from Bray to the effect that loss of rest in summertime was damaging public health.

For an experimental period between 1968 and 1971, daylight saving was extended to the whole year

Daniel Lynch was rewarded for generous offer of clemency with a ticket for the the Grand Slam decider. Photograph: Frank McNally

Thousands who travelled for Six Nations decider witness true ‘I was there’ occasion

Grand-slam decider: Dylan Hartley and Rory Best, the England and Ireland captains. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Frank McNally: Grand slam would make view from Six Nations summit all the sweeter

Mickey Spillane was a product of the two countries that play in Lansdowne Road today. Photograph: Lou Krasky/AP

The visitors can expect a céad míle fáilte today but next year in Edinburgh, it’ll be a ceud mìle fàilte in return

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