Contingency planning is the name of the game for arts festivals and events in the coming year

The survey in May-June 2020, when many countries were under some form of lockdown, used a sample of 2,360 adults across four regions – the island of Ireland, Britain, the US and New Zealand. Photograph: iStock

A pandemic plus: Irish people cooking more from scratch, according to study

Sean Millar

Elaine Kelly, Steve Wall, Sharon Shannon, Seán Millar and others on a tough year for the arts

Karen Whooley teaching sixth-class students at St Audoen’s National School in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pupils and students around Ireland, and their teachers, on learning in Covid-19’s shadow

Tommy Tiernan in Samhlú 2020

TG4’s joyous and surreal film celebrates the resilience of art in the age of Covid

Starving children in Ethiopia around 1984. Photograph: Keystone/Getty

Anne O’Mahony looks back on four decades working amid war and famine

Charlie Byrne sorting books for delivery at his bookshop in Galway city. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

For writers, publishers and retailers, the pandemic is presenting unusual challenges

Helen O’Rahilly and her 90-year-old aunt Monica, which went viral and now tweets coming out as rapid pocket-sized book (called Stairlift Ascends) for Christmas. Photograph: Alan Betson

Helen O’Rahilly’s witty musings about her Aunt have gained a legion of followers

Happy Christmas your arse: Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan. Photograph: Tim Roney/Getty

Radio 1 won’t play The Pogues’ original to protect its ‘particularly sensitive’ listeners

Clare Duignan (left), chairwoman of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, pictured with  Minister for Culture and the Arts Catherine Martin. Photograph: Fennell Photography 2020

Three-year pilot, costing €2.5m per 1,000 participants, proposed by recovery taskforce

Birdsong will be played each day from 8am to 9am in rail stations until the end of November. Photograph: iStock

Art project aims to treat commuters to daily dose of bird singing

A queue outside the new Lotts & Co on Clontarf seafront. It will have a a full service foodhall, with delicatessen, rotisserie, greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger

Dublin 4 favourite Lotts & Co opens second outlet on the northside

An  illustration by Alan Clarke showing Ross in the National Library Reading Room, which  was specially commissioned by the library. Illustration: Alan Clarke

Cultural phenomenon and ‘national treasure’ immortalised by the Orts

Collins chose lockdown as the word of 2020 because it is “a unifying experience for billions of people” across the world. Photograph: iStock

TikToker and Megxit among mostly coronavirus-related terms on dictionary's top 10 list

“Give us our freedom, Joe Biden!”: The protest at  the Clark County Election Department, Nevada.  Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

With tensions running high in the disUnited States, these little glimmers of daftness lightened the mood

 Venues across Ireland were lit up red in support of the EPIC pre-budget submission launch. Photograph: Leo Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

Industry says CRSS excludes specialist SMEs which don’t have public-facing businesses

The National Symphony Orchestra is to move from RTÉ to the National Concert Hall. Photograph: RTÉ

Budget allocates funds for orchestra’s planned move to National Concert Hall

The sector has been among the worst hit by Covid, as one of the first to go and likely one of the last to come back. Photograph: iStock

Variety of measures will impact organisations and some individuals in sector positively

‘Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on arts, cultural and sporting activities,’ Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said. File image: Getty

Industry groups welcome pledged €50m increase in Arts Council funding to €130m

Niall Henry, artistic director of Blue Raincoat Theatre Company in Sligo.

Henry marks 30 years of absurd, visual drama as Blue Raincoat packs up till Covid allows

A ’civic force field’ at the heart of recovery. Liam Carney in a scene from the Abbey production of The Great Hunger, for reduced audiences in the grounds of Imma. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Recovery may take until 2025 as sector hit far harder than other areas of economy

At the launch of Open House Dublin 2020 were Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan, Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, Open House Dublin manager Karen Lee Walpole and Irish Architecture Foundation chair  Brian Moran. Photograph:  Marc O’Sullivan

To plan this year’s festival in a pandemic, the organisers had to think outside the usual spaces

The level of suspicion of a Covid vaccine was a surprising finding in The Next Normal

Suspicion of a vaccine was just one finding of RTE’s Next Normal survey of life in pandemic-hit Ireland

Cascando by Samuel Beckett. Photograph: Declan Colohan

In September, Galway was where citizens could stumble on something wonderful

Óró:‘Periodically performers turn on taps; the sound of the water behind the music is enveloping, and the pools that build up evoke flooding and climate crisis’

Galway 2020 production defies categories, incorporating music, dance and theatre

Shane Tivenan: came across Violet Gibson when listening to Lisa O’Neill’s song about her

Madrid-based author’s first published story is about Irish woman who shot Mussolini

 Blackrock village. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

One has the lowest virus levels in Dublin, the other one of the highest. Why the discrepancy?

Many primary and some secondary schools have updated uniform policies to incorporate a choice of trousers, but a surprising number rigidly stick with skirts-only. Photograph: iStock

It’s time for an end to uniforms that enforce antiquated notions of femaleness

The Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste awards values taste above all else

Republic of Ireland producers won 396 awards, with 172 winners in Northern Ireland


Livestreamed orchestra, an interactive universe, live dance and theatre and online rap

Fifth-year Salerno Secondary School students wearing the newer trouser and older skirt school uniforms. From left: Síofra McCormack, Leah Ruane, Sarah Casserly, Cliodhna McDonald and Ria Banerjee. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

While a growing number of schools offer a choice of trousers, the majority of girls in secondary schools are stuck with the tradit(...)

Paul Regan’s film On In-Between sees him drifting along River Liffey.

Trying to capitalise on opportunities presents difficulties for an event usually based on live settings

This everyday drama between two people unfolds outside on Meetinghouse Square in Temple Bar

Dublin Fringe Festival: Format is perfectly suited to present circumstances and evokes intense intimacy at great distance

Before You Say Anything, Photograph: Simon Lazewksi

Dublin Fringe Festival: This thoughtful and skilfully executed work is subtle, timely and beautifully paced

Steve Wall: ‘The people and places and experiences of Clare were a huge part of me becoming a songwriter’. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

The 2017 car crash that devastated the actor-musician’s family came back into focus recently

Garry Hynes, Conor Linehan, Marie Mullen, Peter Daly, Venetia Bowe, Dónal Gallery, Tim Doyle, Sarah Morris, John Olohan, Liam Heslin, Garrett Lombard, Megan Cusack, Marty Rea and Rory Nolan.  Photograph: Boyd Challenger

She wasn’t just founder of the Abbey; she created theatre for the ordinary people

Now we know where Maisie Williams went after playing Ayra Stark in Game of Thrones: as Kim, she headed into the  in Two Weeks to Live. Photograph: Sky

The new drama series about a young misfit who leaves the wilds on a revenge mission

Martin McGuinness, then Sinn Féin chief negotiator, at the party’s 1999 ard fheis. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

A new film explores the double life of the former Sinn Féin politician and IRA leader

Caitríona Perry and David McCullagh, who presented RTÉ’s flagship Six One News on Monday

McCullagh’s eyebrows don’t move, even when the health minister utters an alarming statistic

Billie Piper stars as Suzie Pickles in the new drama series I Hate Suzie.

TV Review: The new drama series about a 35-year-old self-absorbed, shallow and self-destructive singer and actor is disconcerting

Improvised Music Centre celebrates the work of jazz hero Charlie Parker in online concert

Culture over the next week: Esker Festival Orchestra on its plans

Carl Beech wrote a blog detailing appalling abuse in 2014. Photograph: Dawn Beech/BBC

Review The documentary examines the man behind the ‘mindblowing’ false sex abuse claims

Dáithí Ó Sé and Roses, 2017. Photograph: Andres Poveda

A Rose can now be gay or a mother, but must be 18-28, unmarried, female and of Irish origin

Stanley Townsend on stage ahead of the Kilkenny Arts Festival production of Solar Bones, as producer Selina O’Reilly (right) and Gemma Reeves of Rough Magic prepare socially distanced allocated seating at the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny. Photograph: Mark Stedman

Limit of six for indoor events and 15 outdoors but theatres, museums, cinemas can take 50

 The audience at Irish Chamber Orchestra concert Eight Seasons performance at Kilkenny Arts Festival X on Sunday. Photograph: John Kelly

‘Explicit guidelines’ needed to avoid confusion for public and those working in arts, says council

The audience at Irish Chamber Orchestra’s outdoor concert Eight Seasons at Castle Yard in Kilkenny Arts Festival X. Photograph: John Kelly

A brave marker for continuity as the multi-arts festival adapts for online and socially distanced shows

Musica manoeuvres from Camerata Ireland Orchestra.

Camerata Ireland showcases Beethoven; Dave Flynn strikes a chord; theatre nights

Maureen Kennelly: ‘I think having a really successful arts organisation to cling to is a really empowering thing’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

New director of the Arts Council on the challenges the sector faces in age of Covid-19

Macnas’s flagship project Gilgamesh will go ahead, but has been reworked with smaller performances

Revised European Capital of Culture year will run to March 2021

Fancy a trip? Fíbín artistic director Philip Doherty’s Fiach promises to ‘take you on a joy-ride of comedy, drama and suspense’.

Elsewhere, interactive website Zoonosis offers a sideways look at how the pandemic is affecting us

The Abbey Theatre during lockdown.

Pandemic fallout: New research shows high levels of concern about indoor events

Solar Bones fit-up begins at Kilkenny Arts Festival X. Photograph: John D Kelly

Kilkenny summer festival reshaped,Bewley’s Cafe Theatre returns and Abbey Theatre’s Dear Ireland online project

Selina Cartmell: ‘I continue to believe in the potential of the Gate to be a crucial incubator of great Irish creative talent’

Theatre that hired more than 500 freelancers in 2019 depends on box office for 67% of income

Departing directors: Neil Murray and Graham McLaren at the Abbey Theatre in 2016. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Neil Murray and Graham McLaren due to leave in 2021, when their role will be split

Gavan Ring and the Con Tempo Quartet performing at the ruins of Holy Cross Abbey, to be broadcast on Friday, July 31st. Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts was cancelled this year because of Covid

Cahirciveen’s tenor voices, Carlow’s virtual reality and Irish National Opera

Chris Walley and Alex Murphy with Baby Star in The Young Offenders Chris Walley and Alex Murphy with Baby Star in The Young Offenders

Review: The return of our soft-hearted, soft-headed Cork yobs is right on form

The Government’s package would ‘support and nurture’ arts and culture ‘through difficult times’

Sector ‘will be among the last to recover’ from pandemic’s effects, says Minister

Staff wear PPE in St James’ Hospital, Dublin during the RTÉ Investigates: Future Health Care programme.

TV review: RTÉ Investigates: Future Health Care is not alarmist, but it is alarming

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh,

Museums and galleries are open with new exhibitions and shows

The Festival of Curiosity runs from July 16th to 19th

Plenty of virtual amusement and projects for younger people over the next week, and beyond

Dig In is open six nights a week and for weekend lunch. Photograph: Gabriela Szeplaki

The Camden Street venue includes works by Banksy, Conor Harrington and Chloe Early

Cellist Eimear Reidy presents an arboreal project Whose Woods these are.

This week features several digital editions of Irish summer festivals, plus a new event from The Irish Times

I Oedipus is an aria from a new opera by Roger Doyle, which will debut online through the Clonmel Junction Festival. Image: Trish McAdam

Clonmel Junction festival and Druid Debuts among arts events going virtual this month

Friday Night Sessions with Fergus Sheil

Events from West Cork Chamber Music Festival to Friday Opera Sessions are migrating online

Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations. Photo: Bríd O’Donovan

Their books The Narrow Land and Constellations win €20,000 and €10,000

Susannah Dickey: the Belfast-based writer’s first novel will be published next month

Susannah Dickey shares Eric Gregory prize for her collection Bloodthirsty for Marriage

Wexford Festival Opera: Lisette Oropesa will perform in this year’s closing event

Waiting for Shakespeare to feature performances by Lisette Oropesa and Celine Byrne

Shelter & Place is a digital monument to our unseen stories and quarantine spaces

Highlights include Bloomsday, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Cork film fest and a virtual quarantine visit

Les Doherty as Leopold Bloom with Darina Gallagher, Bloomsday festival director, as Molly at the James Joyce Centre, Nth Great George’s Street, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Virtual kidneys, readings, music: a wealth of online events based on James Joyce’s Ulysses

The diverse performers, filmed during the height of pandemic, include actors Olwen Fouéré (above) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor

In New Day Will Be: A Short Film for Bloomsday 2020 actors and others worldwide, including Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke, draw (...)

KiwiCo camps kick off online from June 22nd, and offer loads of free content for 3 to 11 year olds

Activities are curbed due to Covid-19, but there’s plenty of ways to keep kids occupied

I May Destroy You: Michaela Coel as Arabella in her new BBC drama

TV review: Michaela Coel tackles a harrowing, complex theme with the lightest touch

Samantha Barry: The tale of young Irish journalist made good in a prestigious woman-focused international media brand.

TV review: RTÉ’s documentary tracks the rise of the journalist from Cork to New York

Resilient/Resilience, a large-scale street art project with Joe Caslin (Cruinniú TV South Dublin)

This week’s cultural events, online and offline, include Cruinniú na nÓg and Midsummer Moments

‘You won’t be seeing me on high stilts,’ warns Daniel

In TG4’s new series Daniel and Majella conduct a chat show sa bhaile in Donegal

Social distancing measures in place at Hodges Figgis bookshop on Dawson Street in Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Retailers try to chart safe path to reopening without losing what makes them special

Fringe past: Outdoor performance of The Lighthousekeepers

Reimagined line-up sees experimental work outdoors, plus landmarks as performance spaces

Ciara Higgins, Director of Great Music in Irish Houses. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Lockdown sees Carlow Arts Festival move online while INO’s Friday Opera Session streams on YouTube

Cultural Lore, Day of the Straws: Marie Brett, in collaboration with Katie Holly, explore how social history surrounding the 1832 Cholera epidemic relates to Covid-19

Cork Midsummer Festival’s 12-day programme includes theatre from your garden

Cancelled culture: among the many events called off because of coronavirus is this weekend’s Forbidden Fruit festival, at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, in Dublin

National Campaign for the Arts launches ‘comprehensive and achievable’ proposals

Pandemic: the first cases of coronavirus in Gaza were reported in March. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty

More than 200 artists back Amnesty International’s call for military embargo

Cathy Belton: the actor plays Patricia Hennessy in the crime drama Red Rock

The actor on baking, her favourite podcasts and getting upstaged by Dame Daisy

Maureen Kennelly, the new director of the Arts Council of Ireland. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taking over the Arts Council from her kitchen table, the new director faces an upended sector

Kilkenny Arts Festival: The Big Chapel X, which was performed throughout the town of Callan for the 2019 event. Photograph: John D Kelly

Kilkenny decision follows calling off of Galway International Arts Festival in July

MayDay: Catherine Quinn and her granddaughter Hannah Quinn-Mulligan at their farm in Co Limerick

TV review: RTÉ captures the pain and pleasure of 24 hours during the pandemic

Cancelled: Sam Jinks’s In the Flesh sculpture exhibition, at Galway International Arts Festival in 2019; the festival was just one of this year’s scrapped events. Photograph: Andrew Downes/Xposure

€6.4m and 19,000 days of paid work lost; 2.4m people miss out on artistic experiences

Zak Moradi. Photograph: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

TV review: A beautifully crafted RTÉ documentary explores the lives of aspiring citizens

Brian Moore and Cliona Eogan with their children Charlotte, Eleanor and baby Louisa

Photographers are using the lockdown to document the lives of people living within 2km

Lockdown: we’re about to start week eight of living with coronavirus restrictions. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Focus on the simple things, and be kind to yourself and others, says our advice columnist

Kari Kola’s artwork Savage Beauty turns Connemara Mountains emerald and blue. The public presentation in March 2020 was cancelled because of Covid-19. Photograph : Christopher Lund

Local and national partners to deliver ‘reimagined’ programme running into 2021

The Ladies Who Lunch: Meryl Street in Take Me to the World. Photograph: YouTube/

Actor toasts Stephen Sondheim; Abbey sends us a postcard; and socially distanced dancing

Dear Ireland: Brendan Gleeson performs a monologue written for him by Pom Boyd

Blindboy and Brendan Gleeson kick off series of 50 pieces on theatre’s YouTube channel

Sing Street: Zara Devlin with Brenock O’Connor

Zara Devlin, locked-down star of Sing Street, is to perform in its online Covid-19 fundraiser

Dear Ireland: Patrick O’Kane, Nicola Coughlan, Timmy Creed, Gina Moxley, Brendan Gleeson, Denise Gough, Caoilfhionn Dunne, Leah Minto and Lucianne McEvoy

The theatre brought 100 writers and actors together online to make sense of the pandemic

#PillowChallenge: Halle Berry’s entry. Photograph: Instagram/halleberry

Halle Berry’s #PillowChallenge, Maser’s painting raffle, dancers’ spirit-lifting moves

Anne Enright, author of Actress, one of the authors featured. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Audiences can tune in to watch Anne Enright, Kevin Barry, Sara Baume and more

Matt Damon: in method-acting training for an Adam & Paul sequel? Photograph: Twitter

The New York Times was led up the garden path when it tried to track down the stranded actor

Jon Bon Jovi on his video call with pupils at Marsh Pointe Elementary in Palm Beach Gardens, in Florida

#applaudthefrontline, a Phoenix rises, and free cars for returning Irish medics

Deirdre O’Kane: ‘I mean, the home-schooling. Jesus, what a disaster’

The comedian on Zoom cheats, stand-up and ‘beating the s***’ out of a chicken breast

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