Over the years Brendan O’Connor has dialled down the sardonic sneer [...] and he’s now an empathetic interviewer who wears his knowledge of books, culture and history lightly. Photograph: Kinlan Photography

The new presenters’ life experiences are more in tune with those of listeners

The self-indulgent incoherence of David Fincher’s Mank, with Gary Oldman as Herman Mankiewicz, Arliss Howard as Louis B Mayer and Tom Pelphrey as Joe Mankiewicz. Photograph: Netflix

Streaming giant Netflix has spent gazillions making movies, with little of quality to show for it

Waterford Whispers News sketch. Screengrab: RTE

Hugh Linehan: The New Year’s Eve rape joke was less satire than a failure of imagination

Owen Roe pictured  after winning Best Supporting Actor Award at the The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards last year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Nominations for each categories in annual awards usually announced in early January

Melania Trump: Dramatic interest in her has been sporadic and usually confined to parsing the semiotics of her wardrobe. Photograph: Carlos Barria

It's all over bar the kicking and screaming, but who's going to make the spin-off?

Cool viewing: Netflix releases In the Midnight Sky, George Clooney’s post-apocalyptic thriller set in the Arctic, on December 25th

George Clooney’s In the Midnight Sky and Jamie Foxx’s turn in Soul will have us curling up together on the couch again

Pillow Queens: playing the Other Voices virtual event

The continual threat of lockdown makes planning very difficult for the arts

Claire Duignan, chairperson of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, and Minister for Culture and Arts Catherine Martin at the launch of the taskforce’s report last Tuesday. Photograph: Fennell Photography.

A report from the taskforce for the arts has a Christmas wish-list of recommendations

The Den gang have returned for new episodes. Photograph: RTÉ

The broadcaster tends towards mediocrity and self-satisfaction, not humour

Some critics see The Wizard of Oz as an allegory for the political issues that consumed the US. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

America at the Crossroads: The two presidential candidates have a combined age of 151

Cardi B: Blame it on the boogie - and the Armenian estate agent. Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

This week, Cardi B annoyed Azerbaijan, and Jon Bon Jovi irked the Orange Order

DruidGregory at Coole Park marks Druid’s return with a Galway  tour until October 17th. Coronavirus leaves all art hanging in the balance. Photograph: Matthew Thompson

That is a nightmare for anyone trying to put on an event such as a festival

Brendan Gleeson delivers ‘a mediocre impression and possibly a great performance’ as Donald Trump, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Photograph: Showtime/CBS

Critics expect US president to hate actor’s take in The Comey Rule. But he did it anyway

Minister for Finance  Paschal Donohoe: both the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) and the Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group (Epic) have published their pre-budget submissions. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Next budget needs to include huge supports for a sector brought to its knees by Covid-19

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney, the subject of a new BBC Sounds podcast. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Everyone is listening to podcasts but their viability is threatened by lack of listener data

The urban theorist Richard Florida argued for new forms of urban living. Photograph: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

The notion of a re-set world is thought-provoking. Change, good and bad, is coming

Minister for Media,  Arts, Culture and Sport Catherine Martin: Did she sanity-check Government decisions or was she even consulted? Photograph: Daniel MacDonald

Yet she appears not to have been fully involved in agreeing new restrictions on gatherings

Simon Harris’s ‘honest conversation’ suggestion may be a reference to the news media brushfires that keep cropping up around issues such as foreign travel. Photograph: Alan Betson

The phased timetable has outlived its usefulness, but the new approach has hazards

DruidGregory: Marie Mullen will play Augusta, Lady Gregory

DruidGregory begins a 15-venue tour at Coole Park, the writer’s Galway estate, next month

 Nigel Farage: his  Brexit Party in the UK is a populist movement built around a strong leader  which uses  the organisational techniques of the internet.  Photograph: Getty Images

Does weak UK regulation allow influential think tanks to peddle the interests of anonymous donors?

 Presenter Laura Whitmore, who is from Wicklow and lives in London, received vile abuse on social media after posting about  being as a guest on The Locker, a British Army-backed podcast, Photograph: ITV

We should support Laura Whitmore’s freedom to appear on whatever podcast she pleases

There was no Galway International Arts Festival this summer, but there will be an autumn version for arts enthusiasts. The festival opens on September 3rd with John Gerrard’s Mirror Pavilion, above. See giaf.ie for details

Despite Covid-19, key elements from the summer line-up are ready for an autumn showing

One of the four statues removed by the Shelbourne Hotel. Photograph: Wiki Commons

It would be regrettable if we found new reasons in the 21st century to destroy what’s left of old Dublin

A trip  to Dublin Airport this week was a stark reminder   that below the apparent normality, strangeness remains everywhere. Photograph:  Kate Geraghty

Right now, someone, somewhere is surely working on the first great work of Covid art

Guardian says its revenues will be down by more than £25 million this financial year

It has often seemed as if company wanted to accelerate demise of print so it could become purely digital as soon as possible

Lisa Hannigan and Loah performing with Kevin Murphy, left, in the Shaw Room at the National Gallery of Ireland as part of the Other Voices Courage series. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In the midst of a vast social, political and cultural experiment, we need all the data we can get

Masha Gessen: Vladimir Putin’s assault on LGBT+ rights forced the writer and their family to leave Russia for the United States. Photograph: Naima Green/New York Times

The writer Masha Gessen sees parallels between the US and Russia under Putin

Director Lenny Abrahamson contributed to report published by the Arts Council’s Expert Advisory Group. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The recovery of the sector may take until 2025 if nothing is done to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19

Galway International Arts Festival: Covid-19 stopped the event going ahead as planned for the first time in its 43-year-history. Photograph :Andrew Downes/xposure

Expert advisory group urges Government to act immediately to avoid slow, four-year recovery

From left, Megan McDonnell, Hazel Clifford, Michael Shea, Aoibheann McCann and Holly Hannaway in the Lyric Theatre and Dublin Theatre Festival co-production of The Playboy of the Western World which had been due to be part of the festival. Photograph: Mark Stedman

Wexford Opera Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival also announce alternative events

Work on a Falls Road mural of George Floyd who was murdered by police in Minneapolis. Protests took place across the world, including in Belfast and Dublin. Photograph: Pacemaker Press

Issues around race and social justice are increasingly important in Ireland too

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.  There is a legitimate fear that when it comes to crunch time in political negotiations and budgetary discussions, high-flown words about the importance of the arts are swiftly forgotten. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

As the country reopens, cultural events will be last to come back – if they come back at all

Out of the ordinary: Daisy Edgar Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell in Normal People. Photograph: Enda Bowe

Inevitably and rightly, the TV series is softer in tone than Sally Rooney’s novel

Author Philip Roth in 1968: The literary lechery of Roth and his ilk was thought to be progressive, but now seems seedy. Photograph: Bob Peterson/The Life Images Collection via Getty Images

A story about Philip Roth leering at ‘colleens’ in Dublin exposes a Neanderthal attitude

Electric Picnic 2019. This year almost 70,000 people were expected to attend. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Refunds now available but ticket holders advised they can be retained for use in 2021

Kraftwerk on stage in 2004, with Florian Schneider on the right. File photograph: Juerg Mueller/Keystone via AP

Florian Schneider’s death is a reminder of how influential – and emotional – their music was

The title of Normal People seems a little more archly ironic than it did previously.

The Abbey’s Dear Ireland shows how artists can bring a valuable insight to current events

Nazi governor Otto von Wächter with his wife Charlotte, daughter Traute and son Horst at Zell-am-See train station, Salzburg, Austria, in 1944. Photograph: courtesy of Horst Wächter

Philippe Sands tells the tale of a leading Nazi whose son denies his father’s criminality

There is a wildflower park off Collins Avenue, Dublin 9. Photograph: Tom Honan

The French term for an urban wanderer has new relevance under Covid-19 restrictions

Dear Ireland: Edna O’Brien and Brendan Gleeson have been announced as among the artists taking part in the Abbey Theatre project. Photographs: Alan Betson and Rich Polk/Getty

Theatre asks writers to create monologues for 50 performers, to premiere online this month

Fianna Fáil’s  Niamh Smyth: “While I do not expect us to be matching funding set by the German or English governments, the sums involved show they clearly value their arts community more than the outgoing Government here”

The Covid-19 crisis has put millions of independent artists and small companies around the world under existential threat

‘As we all educate ourselves about this, expect a surge in sales of tripods and lenses, as well as Instagram-style beautification apps’. Kathy Bates in Misery. Photograph: Columbia Pictures

Isolation has opened our eyes to how easy it now is to communicate in sound and vision with distant workmates, family and friends

Macnas, whose parades are a core part of their work, receive this year’s special tribute award. Photograph: Brian Arthur

Celebrating drama in a crisis: awards reflect remarkable work produced by Irish theatre and opera companies

 It was only 17 days ago that Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn    said that Electric Picnic would go ahead in early September. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

So many festivals and gigs have been cancelled, while the future for theatres, music venues, galleries and cinemas is uncertain

Owen Roe winning Best Supporting Actor Award at last year’s awards in the NCH. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Irish Times managing director expresses hope event might be held at later date

A woman plays the saxophone from her balcony during home confinement due to the novel coronavirus in Valencia. Photograph: Jose Jordan/STR/AFP via Getty

Coronavirus will profoundly damage the arts but new creative spaces will also open

 Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Pritzker Architecture Prize-winners: Architecture has a deeper impact on our daily life than most other forms of culture which get more coverage. Photograph: Alice Clancy

Irish triumph in Pritzker prize should draw attention to a neglected, crucial artform

All Together Now headliner  Iggy Pop: the septuagenarian  is making a living as the Andre Rieu of the moshpit generation. Photograph: Bjorn Tagemose

The hollowing out of the youth-oriented music industry is a harbinger of things to come

Artists Jesse Jones and Emmet Kirwan at the launch of Paying the Artist. Photograph: Maxwell’s

The key issues driving the vote for change are in lockstep with the problems facing artists

Her new work, Actress, is about a mother-daughter relationship in bohemian Dublin

Gabriele D’Annunzio giving a speech in front of  legionnaires on March 18th,  1920, in Rijeka, Croatia. Rijeka is, along with Galway, European Capital of Culture 2020. Photograph: De Agostini via Getty Images

A century ago, Rijeka was taken over by a poet who declared himself dictator

The 45-minute documentary was produced by Rothco Accenture and aired on Virgin Media Two in December

With its eye-watering budget, The Story of Water takes ‘native content’ to a new level

Marian Finucane: Her most memorable interview was with her great friend, the writer Nuala O’Faolain, in 2009, when O’Faolain was terminally ill with cancer.

With a career spanning almost five decades, the radio presenter was at the vanguard of media and social change

Fiachra Ó Marcaigh:  At the age of 25, he was appointed to the board of the weekly magazine Anois, and he would be associated with Irish language publishing for more than 30 years.

Pioneering journalist in new technology who was immersed in the Irish language

In Eastwood’s film, Richard Jewell, Kathy Scruggs, played by Olivia Wilde, has sex with an FBI source to get information. There is no evidence this happened.

In the film, a real-life female journalist sleeps with a source. There’s no evidence it happened

Australian writer Clive James: The TV reviews he wrote for the Observer newspaper from 1972 to 1982  left a lasting impression. File photograph: Alan Porritt/EPA

Australian critic created template which has allowed writers freedom to shine ever since

Ardmore Studios: Planned  expansion suggests the current environment and incentives in Ireland are attractive enough for investors. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Wicklow studio has avoided fading to black, thanks to new opportunities in international TV-making

House of The Dead: the barrister Brendan Kilty saved 15 Usher’s Island from structural collapse

If the core and front of the house are safe, does it matter what else gets built around it?

Nazi Criminal Adolph Eichmann in his cell in Galami Prison, near Haifa, waiting for his trial to open. Photograph: Gpo/Getty Images

This book seeks to reflect on the modern phenomenon of impersonal, bureaucratic murder.

 Too often, the attributes that made Gay Byrne great – relentless professionalism, personal empathy and a willingness to push boundaries – are lacking in the current day-to-day output. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

The worst culprits in this whole sorry affair are undoubtedly the current Government

 Broadcaster and presenter Gay Byrne at Caesar’s Italian Restaurant, Dame Street, Dublin in 1971. Photograph: Pat Langan

‘Gay found the pulse of his country and kept his finger firmly placed there’

Spotify’s Family Mix looks at the listening habits of you and your nearest and dearest to come up with a playlist which supposedly reflects those habits. The result is distressing. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Individually tailored streaming means we are now all living in our own bubble of sound

Transformative vision would include a move away from large footprint in an expensive Dublin suburb. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Art sale and Lyric rumours distract from the savage changes needed at State broadcaster

Leo Varadkar at U2’s Croke Park concert in 2017: artists and performers still haven’t found what they’re looking for from the Government. Photograph: Eric Luke

Three years after vowing to double Arts spending by 2024, the Government is already a year behind

Exterior of the Communicorp building at Grand Canal Quay in Dublin. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Radio bans of Irish Times and The Currency journalists show something is deeply amiss

Canadian author, journalist and social activist Naomi Klein: “We are in this period of this profound social fragmentation and one of the things that this framework gives us is a sense of common purpose.” Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty

The author argues for a radical, anti-capitalist green new deal solution to climate challenge

The 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon was marked this year

Historical and popular culture landmarks offer valuable opportunities to reflect on events

The interesting novel to write about Brexit would be from the point of view of Leave. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

The notion of ‘culture’ has been complicated and diluted by its co-option for so many uses

Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

I naively thought Netflix would mean the world’s best films and TV at your fingertips

Donald Trump: ‘We’re in a constant state of shock that all of these norms are being broken,’ Maureen Dowd says. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty

Pulitzer prize-winning columnist on turmoil in Washington and thriving journalism

Writer Paul Howard and the Ross O’Carroll-Kelly statue. Howard’s latest comic novel, Schmidt Happens, is in bookshops on August 29th. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The SoCoDu rugby-loving idiot savant does not translate internationally. That’s a good thing

Toni Morrison:  RTÉ’s Radio 1’s culture programme Arena discussed her life and work, with contributions from Anne Enright and Paul Muldoon. Photograph: Lee Romero/The New York Times

Government must face new realities when replacing TV licence with broadcasting charge

Billy Bragg: the singer thinks the age has passed when music can act as a vehicle for social change. Photograph: Alan Betson

The protest singer tells the Irish Times politics podcast punk was about solidarity, not Brexit-style masochsim

The Wizard of Oz: an authorless masterpiece. Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty

The reality of creative control is increasingly muddy in what is a large team sport

Andrew Breitbart speaks at  Tea Party rally in 2010. Photograph  Ethan Miller/Getty

Newly emboldened social conservative in age of Trump seek to roll back recent change

In black and white: ‘I do not think an idea has ever crossed Donald Trump’s mind. This is elemental,’ Michael Wolff says. Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff goes back inside the White House in his new book

Toy Story: the four films must be among the greatest cinematic achievements of contemporary Hollywood

One is cinema that blurs into TV, the other TV that blurs into cinema. Both are brilliant

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Josepha Madigan, Paschal Donohoe and Richard Bruton at St Laurence O’Toole school in Dublin city for the launch of Creative Youth. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Children from all backgrounds could benefit from music, drama and art in every school

Book lovers  waiting to enter the Secret Garden venue at last year’s  Dalkey Book Festival. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The growth of spoken-word festivals reflects our hunger for real-life experiences

Jacob Rees-Mogg: his book on 12 Victorians   is described  as “a dozen clumsily written pompous schoolboy compositions”. Photograph: Bloomberg

When writing a real stinker of a review once defamation laws are not breached then every insult and rhetorical flourish should be (...)

Family: Ballymun was chosen ‘because it’s an internationally recognisable landscape’ for a story that could happen in any city

We hear about TV’s current Golden Age but Family was as great as anything today

There’s a dispiriting cookie-cutter feel to radio’s book segments. Photograph: iStock

BBC’s cost-cutting instruction to staff not to read books reveals the shallowness of media

Bob Woodward: ‘I think there’s a lot of pomposity, particularly on television’. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty

Donald Trump has adopted Nixon’s Watergate strategy, says the veteran Washington reporter

Marty Rea and Eileen Walsh in Beginning by David Eldridge at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

The intermission - or interval to you and me - is a threatened species in theatre and an extinct one in cinema

Madonna: the singer has entered a culture war about what pro-Palestinian advocates refer to as ‘apartheid Israel’

The singer faces calls to boycott next month’s contest. But it is impervious to politics

Douglas Kennedy: The Great Wide Open takes in the Nixon/Ford/Carter/Reagan years, with walk-on parts from Donald Trump and Brendan Kennelly

Douglas Kennedy’s time living in Ireland – where he managed the Peacock theatre and wrote for ‘The Irish Times’ – feeds into his n(...)

Radical right: Deporah Lipstadt sees little new in the chants in Charlottesville  in 2017. Photograph: Edu Bayer/NYT

Deborah Lipstadt: Anti-Semitism is still with us but not taken seriously in politics

The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards judges Paula Shields (centre), Catriona Crowe (second from right) and Ella Daly (far right) with, from far left, Gerard McNaughton and Ruth McCarthy of Tilestyle. Photograph: Tom Honan

Controversial co-productions boost national theatre’s tally

March of time: winter and summer clock changing may soon be a thing of the past.

Ready for 4am June dawns, 10ams in December and resetting at the Border?

Bernard Loughlin was the first director of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Co Monaghan

Bernard Loughlin ran artists’ retreat at Annaghmakerrig in Co Monaghan for 18 years

Warm relationship: Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July. Photograph: Doug Mills/NYT

In ‘House of Trump, House of Putin’ Craig Unger claims the US leader is a Russian agent

Aretha Franklin on The Andy Williams Show in 1969. Her influence can clearly be heard in successful contemporary acts such as Adele and Beyoncé. Photograph:   Getty Images

The singer (76), who has died at her Detroit home, made life-affirming soul music

The festival is presenting its first full-scale staged opera, The Return of Ulysses, Claudio Monteverdi’s retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, which has never before been staged in Ireland.

As always, Kilkenny’s strong musical tradition is paramount

A performance in  the Secret Garden at Butler House in Kilkenny last year. The Secret Garden series will take place twice daily at August’s festival. Photograph: Pat Moore

Opera version of the ‘Odyssey’ and an open-air Shakespeare production will run in August

Seeing Red, by Taffina Flood, on the shortlist for the 2018 RCSI Art Award, in association with The Irish Times and the RHA Annual Exhibition. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Award comes with prize of €5,000 and commission worth €10,000

Sheila Pratschke has now dealt with three ministers and has shown herself unafraid to wade into the fray when necessary. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘I’m the person who should speak out ... I did what I thought was right’

Project seeks subjects that ‘capture the zeitgeist’ of the country

Irish dancers at the 41st World Irish Dancing Championships in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A poll reveals Ireland’s attitudes to the issue ahead of European Year of Cultural Heritage

The Abbey Theatre will receive €7 million for its 2018 programme. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Decisions on grants totalling €28.4 million made by council for 2018

Labour MP Anna Soubry: one of several MPs who have received violent threats on Twitter. Photograph:  Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

House of Commons committee cites violent threats against MPs on social media service

More articles