I like a giant pair that sit on my head like a bright, white Do Not Disturb Sign on my imaginary office door. Photograph: iStock

Now, if I forget to bring a pair to the office, I’m liable to turn the car around

A protest in Waterford in 2016 seeking a second cath lab for University Hospital Waterford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

The cath lab was closed when John Doherty went to UHW with chest pain on a Saturday

Pat ‘the Lawnmower Man’ at Kearney’s on Convent Street in Tallow. ‘Give somebody a majority for five years and let them get on with it.’ Photograph: Mary Browne

Election 2020: Locals keen to see who delivers on rural problems they think are being ignored

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: royal family split. Photograph:Facundo Arrizabalga/EPA

Consciously uncoupling from Harry’s family will end the couple’s Sisyphean cycle

 Marian Finucane’s husband, John Clarke (centre), as her remains  are taken from church after funeral mass at St Brigid’s Church, Kill, Co Kildare. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Public and private Marian remembered at funeral mass for veteran RTÉ broadcaster

The coffin arrives at the funeral of broadcaster Marian Finucane at St Brigid’s Church in Kill, Co Kildare. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

‘She will be remembered for her keen intellect, warmth, wit, and kindness,’ mourners told

‘I met people who may be in their final days or weeks of life, and who are facing whatever might come with grace: gratitude for all they’ve had, sadness, a sense of humour, courage and no small amount of fear.’ Photograph: iStock

Jennifer O’Connell: Against the odds, the hospice is an extraordinarily uplifting place

 Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg, Maria Bailey and vaping: A round-up of the subjects to avoid this Christmas

 Whether by accident, or by dint of socialisation, most of   the planning, shopping and the writing of to-do lists falls to me. Photograph: iStock

A lot of what needs to be done at this time of year isn’t emotional labour; it’s just labour

At Our Lady’s Hospice the emphasis is on caring for the whole patient, not just treating the illness. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Patients at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross find their own way of dealing with death

Homesickness isn’t really about place. It’s about experiences. It’s a longing for memories of another time, memories that don’t yet exist, and now won’t ever exist. Photograph: iStock

Jennifer O’Connell: Our line was ‘it’s only a day, after all’, to be repeated over and over

A St George’s Cross flag flies on a market stall in Newcastle-under-Lyme, a Labour seat for nearly 100 years. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Bloomberg

‘The British like a slightly bumbling upper-class person. That’s part of the psyche’

Ian Austin, former Labour MP for Dudley who is urging his constituents to support Boris Johnson. Photograph: Jennifer O’Connell

Two weeks since I last visited Dudley North voters are obsessing about ‘the lesser of two evils’

Instead of a reception desk with a bank of smiling staff waiting to murmur sweet nothings about wifi codes and breakfast being served until 10am, there’s a bank of iPads

One day, we’ll have to explain to young children what olde worlde phrases like ‘phone call’ and ‘customer service’ and ‘drove myse(...)

Chris Gray outside the Facebook Ireland offices at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin. He is suing Facebook Ireland and CPL Solutions for psychological injuries he claims he suffered as a result of his work. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Cases follow claim of ‘psychological injuries’ by former content moderator Chris Gray

Chris Gray outside the Facebook Ireland offices at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin. The former content moderator has issued proceedings in the  High Court against Facebook and CPL Solutions, over psychological trauma he claims he suffered while working for the social media giant between 2017 and 2018. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Chris Gray’s work for company entailed watching videos of stonings, torture and executions

Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook:  ‘These jobs can be very challenging. That goes for the full-time employees as well as the contractors.’ Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Content moderators ‘suffering injuries’ to protect internet users from harmful material

A former content moderator is suing Facebook Ireland for psychological injuries he claims he suffered as a result of his work

Former content moderater claims psychological injuries from ‘graphic and violent’ posts

Dopamine fasting isn’t about getting away from your phone because it’s making you unhappy; it’s about getting away from your phone because it’s making you too happy. Photograph: iStock

It is worth reminding ourselves that a phone a communication device and a productivity tool. That’s all.

Michael Gilick: ‘If Brexit goes ahead, it will just divide people even more. And that frightens me.’ Photograph: Jennifer O’Connell

Conservatives target West Midlands seat as frustration with Corbyn’s leadership builds

Undecided student voter Muskan Kudhail: ‘We’re such an old country and we’ve always bounced back from everything.’ Photograph: Jennifer O’Connell

Marginal Seat: First-time voters in Dudley North defy the stereotype of apathetic youth

Manager of the Sedgley Community Hub and Cafe Marie Wilkinson serves a coffee to Linda Chatwin. Photograph: Jennifer O’Connell

Older voters in Sedgley are deeply unenthusiastic about the Labour and Tory leaders

Brian Tranter at his market stall in Dudley. He remembers a time when “you could leave one job in the morning, and have another in the afternoon”. Photograph: Jennifer O’Connell

Jennifer O’Connell finds Brexit on the minds of Dudley North, a marginal seat in the sights of the Tories

‘Children with unsupervised internet access is a norm in urgent need of a national discussion.’ Photograph: iStock

Jennifer O’Connell: I haven’t banned the internet. I just don’t want it in my kids' pockets

Fine Gael election candidate Verona Murphy canvassing in New Ross, Co Wexford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

General feeling is the Fine Gael byelection candidate is unscathed by recent controversy

Old-school cooking: Rosa makes Marguerite Patten’s baked egg custard

Jennifer O’Connell’s daughter digs out old family recipes for a 1950s baking weekend

Every media company in the world is facing the same challenges, and many are proving much better at tackling them than RTÉ. Photograph: iStock

The days of ‘We’ll make it home in time for the Late Late’ are gone, and so are those audiences

Dick Glennon, Charlie Talbot, Tom O’Toole and retired Bord na Mona employees Harry Boyle and Michael Farrell from  Edenderry Men’s Shed

Scepticism in Offaly about plans to replace jobs at Shannonbridge power plant

Kanye West: Mainstream US media is falling into the same trap with him as Trump. It’s alternately ignoring him, and treating him like the punchline to a grim, postmodern joke. Photograph: ShowBizIreland/Getty Images

Rapper’s hint at running for White House may not be just a stunt. Remember Trump?

Jennifer O’Connell on how to combat violent pornography and victimisation

Gay Byrne and his wife, Kathleen Watkins in 1993

There were certainly notable missteps, but he gave Irish women a much-needed voice

Supt John Gordon and Chief Supt Lorraine Wheatley speak to the media after the sentencing. Photograph: Alan Betson

Boys sentenced were ‘remarkable for their apparent ordinariness’ before murdering Ana Kriégel

Sometimes, I feel like the last remaining adult whose night-time routine involves nodding off holding a glass of wine in front of episode eight of a Netflix series I can’t remember anything about.

Having navigated imposter syndrome of our 20s, and the pureed carrot and Calpol era of our 30s, we’ve arrived at a new, more terri(...)

Donal O’Brien, general manager of  the Reg, Waterford, says cocaine contributes to a more violent atmosphere in the city. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Waterford publicans gather to tackle the increasing problem of drugs use on premises

In good hands: grandparents shoulder a lot of the childcare burden. Photograph: iStock

What happens to the magic when being a grandparent becomes an obligation instead of a pleasure?

Borrisokane residents Mags Donnelly, Robert Armitage and Margaret Bevan-Hanger at the apartment complex earmarked for asylum seekers. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene

How Borrisokane and Ballinamore have reacted differently to direct provision

Deborah Orr: the journalist spoke about her breast cancer’s return with pitch-black humour. Photograph: Hachette

I met her just once – when interviewing her ex, Will Self – but she made a lasting impression

I worry we’re losing the art of listening in the virtue-signalling, outrage-mongering online shouting match

Jennifer O’Connell: Listening to an opposing view isn’t endorsing it. Civility isn’t weakness

Katie de Gama: ‘I couldn’t have told you one fact about the Famine. I hadn’t ever heard of it.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

What is it like to be one of the 114,500 British people living here in the Brexit era?

Ece Temelkuran: ‘Young women are not embarrassed of being powerful.’ Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty

The Turkish writer Ece Temelkuran on how Ireland shouldn’t be complacent about populism

Patron saint of shade: Nancy Pelosi’s new Twitter cover photograph

Trump tweeted an ‘insulting’ photo of Pelosi. She put it on her social media accounts

Royals on tour: Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan the Duchess of Sussex in South Africa this week. Photograph: Epa/Kim Ludbrook

Jennifer O’Connell: I like the royal couple but I’m siding with the tabloids on this

Bonga Dlamini-O’Carroll and husband Dean Dlamini-O’Carroll at their home in Thomastown with their dogs Robin and Bieber.Photograph: Alan Betson /The Irish Times

‘The children have never heard any negative comments about our gender or relationship’

Nobel Prize in literature winner Toni Morrison: When she got the official call in 1993, she insisted the Swedish Academy fax her the evidence. Photograph: Francois Durand/Getty Images

Pranks and misundertandings do occur. Just ask Toni Morrison, Alice Monro or Donald Trump

 Activists in Argentina  disguised as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale.  In hellish, dystopian Gilead, handmaids are given the names of their captors as a way of obliterating their dignity. Photograph:  Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images

It is time we remembered all Josephs and Marys whose dignity, freedom and lives were stolen

Google’s European headquarters, Dublin. The notion that Google, or any private company, might be drafted in to help to solve the State’s homeless crisis should make us all nervous. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google is not an altruistic enterprise. Its primary responsibility is enrichment of its shareholders

Edinburgh Castle high above the city illuminated green for St Patrick’s Day.  File photograph: PA

Tall tales and time machines in a glistening sandstone city that is the jewel of East Lothian

Why do women experience far more harassment on a bike than men?

Only one in every 250 teenage girls gets to school by bike. And it has nothing to do with school skirts

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral in Dublin of an Irish man Joseph Tuohy. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

Hundreds gather for Irish man who was separated from his mother at five years of age

The silent protest march makes its way to the former Connemara Gateway Hotel in Oughterard on September 14th. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Government slow to learn lesson from Brexit and populism sweeping other countries

Joseph Tuohy: his story echoes those of other emigrants who went to England and lost their way

Joseph Tuohy, who died in July, never got over being separated from his mother as a boy

The love that dare not speak its name.

She knew there was someone to be told. Someone no one else knew about. Another man

British prime minister Boris Johnson ‘is a smirking dilettante who fancies himself an intellectual’. File photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: Unfortunately, sometimes terrifyingly, we often get leaders we deserve

 The closed Shamrock bar on the Killarney road in Newcastle West, Limerick. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

Ireland has 1,500 fewer pubs than in 2006. Nowhere has seen a steeper decline than Limerick

 Climate change activist Greta Thunberg addresses the media during a news conference in Plymouth, England. Thunberg has crossed the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat to attend a conference on global warming. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photo

Articles of 2019: How can a 16-year-old girl in plaits inspire such rage?

‘I get great value out of it,’ says Nell O’Neill (right) and Anne Carroll. Photograph: Jennifer O’Connell

Ireland’s free travel scheme is ‘an extraordinary social programme’, believe older users of bus and rail services

Facebook. File photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty

One described witnessing Isis executions, child exploitation and animal torture

If you follow somebody because they seem just like you, I can see how it might be irritating when they start flogging frozen chips for cash. But you could just hit mute

Who is more inane, the influencer posting about their #blessed life, or the outraged follower?

Dún Laoghaire rooftop view

It’s our oldest commuter town, a major port – and a planning mess. Poor little rich suburb

Joanne Smith, home care provider with Home Instead Senior Care Waterford: ‘There will always be a few you’ll never forget.’ Photograph: Patrick Browne

As one of the fastest growing occupations in Ireland, there are some 44,000 people working in the senior care industry

Residents at Charleville Sheltered Housing. Photograph:  Michael MacSweeney/Provision

‘We just do whatever it is to keep them in their own home as long as possible’

Loveliness test: Cork Rose Stephanie McCarthy and Galway Rose Órla McDaid. Photograph: Andres Poveda

What Roses will least likely say, and everything else you need to know about the festival

We’ve been talking about the effects of second-hand smoking for nearly half a century. It’s time we started a conversation about second-hand drinking. Photograph: iStock

If you’ve been groped by a drunken stranger in a bar, you’ve experienced second-hand drinking

Ovarian freezing to gene editing: Babies could be made very differently in 21st century

Rose of Tralee: the joy is that no hint of modernity is allowed. Photograph: Domnick Walsh

Talent and ambition are tolerated, but notions are a no-no. Basically, it’s Ireland selecting its fantasy daughter-in-law.

Dublin Airport: Sean Mackessy, airfield electrical supervisor. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

What happens to all the swag? Does Brexit spell trouble? Jennifer O’Connell finds out

And baby came too: Mini festival goer at last year’s Electric Picnic. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Jennifer O'Connell: If you thought I was fun before I had kids, the toddler-toting festival-goers brag, see me now!

I have fleeting moments where I feel wise or calm or in control but, most of the time, I’m winging it. Photograph: iStock

Instead of being a life-stage, ‘adulthood’ has become a fraught, anxious goal for many of us

Fonsie Mealy with the early doll’s house (which sold for €48,000) and Tara’s Palace treasurer Jenny Johnston. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tiger heads and brown furniture: a day at the Kilkenny auction yields lots of stories

‘Is it always this crowded? It’s a disgrace,’ says Pink Jumper, making a show of rummaging in her bag, while the ticket inspector waits. ‘You’d really want to put an extra carriage on.’

The Philosopher says he’s going outside. This is surprising because the train is moving

Glitz and glam: hopefuls attend Ladies Day at the Galway Races. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

‘You’ve so many fashionable and talented people in one place ... It’s great for inspiration’

As a parent, it is hard not to wonder exactly what you’re doing when you put a smartphone into your child’s hands for the first time. Photograph: iStock

Children viewing endless, sexually explicit, violent material shouldn’t be inevitable

Two-year old looking out from the train’s window.

If our starting point is that parents who use childcare are neglectful, we’re setting a low bar for the standards we expect

Fonsie Mealy and Tara’s Palace treasurer Jenny Johnston with the doll’s house that was  sold by the children’s charity for €48,000. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The 1810 mahogany house, once owned by Vivien Greene, had guide price of €3,000-€4,000

“Parenting a newborn is like finding yourself in a Beckett play: you’ve no idea what you’re doing or what it all means or how it’s going to end, so you just turn up and muddle through.”

If I could go back, there’s lots of advice I’d give myself – not that I’d have listened

Ní Dhubhda is hoping to avoid replacing her daughter’s school uniform this year. “Everything is crested, and has to be ordered from a specialist uniform supplier

Sandra calculates that back to school costs for her daughter will come to €1,367 this summer

  Family and friends following the hearse in the Liberties on their way to the funeral Mass of comedian Brendan Grace. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Echoes of their father’s sharp wit as eulogies delivered by each of Grace’s four children

Kilrush town hall and square, Co Clare. Photograph:  Eamon Ward

It’s not so much that the town had a tough recession – the boom never really arrived

Sleeplessness is this year’s gluten intolerance: it’s the latest, tediously fashionable affliction of the worried well. Photograph: iStock

Sleep has become the preoccupation of my generation

Sallins, Co Kildare: the population has doubled between 2002 and 2016 from just under 3,000 to almost 6,000. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Our series on challenges facing rural Ireland looks at what happens when a town doubles in size

Frances Street in Kilrush, Co Clare. Photograph: Eamon Ward

A whole tier of Irish towns and villages need major investment. Can they be saved?

 ‘To try to get the children off screens, we’ve tried relaxed self-regulation; strict, top-down governance; old-fashioned bribery’. Photograph: istock

Give Up Yer Aul Screens: Minecraft was no match for Project Runway family edition

The Catholic Church’s 31 page document rejecting gender fluidity landed during Pride month.  File photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Jennifer O’Connell: Church rejection of gender fluidity was perfectly timed for Pride month

Project Parenthood means pouring every particle of ourselves into transforming these small humans into functioning bigger ones. Photograph: E+/iStock/Getty

Why is it heresy to say you love your children fiercely but they don’t always make you happy?

Young woman examining her skin while looking herself in a mirror at her bathroom.

Jennifer O’Connell: Ageing is not for the faint of heart, but it’s better than the alternative

Thriving family business. Drogheda butcher Justin Callaghan, of Justin Callaghan & Sons. Photograph: Tom Honan

You already know you are what you eat. But experts say you also are where you live

A real woman’s 'summer readiness' wish list has never had anything much in common with the fantasies that magazines keep trying to peddle us

What do women want for summer? Clothes that fit and sandals you can walk in

Kitchen in Node Living Dublin  Photograph: Miki Barlok

Users say co-living schemes suit students and young workers – but for ‘just a few months’

Twenty thousand passengers were affected by the signal failure. File Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Major signal fault left a yawning information chasm for passengers, writes Jennifer O’Connell

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photograph: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

The footage was slowed down so that the US house speaker seemed to slur her words

Jeremy Kyle: his show, launched in 2005, was one of the early TV formats to capitalise on our endless appetite for human suffering. Photograph: ITV

Jennifer O'Connell on The Jeremy Kyle Show, emblem for these paradoxical times

‘Every single one of us can be profiled based on what they’re reading, watching, listening to.’ Photograph: Thomas Winz via Getty

But the recordings aren’t used to serve you ads. The industry has better ways of doing that

Imam Ibrahim Ndure with his daughter, Amie. ‘I feel like people don’t know enough, and that’s why they’re rejecting us. If they knew more, there wouldn’t be a problem,’ says Amie

‘Anti-Islamic agenda’ linked to withdrawal of permission for new Kilkenny cultural centre

Men need to step up to the plate and do their fair share of housework. Photograph: Getty Images

Jennifer O’Connell: 90% of Irish women do housework, compared with just 50% of men

Photograph: Jena Ardell/Moment/Getty

We have more choice than ever, but we are still in thrall to the concept of marriage. Why?

Maximum intoxication at minimum speed was the goal. Photograph: Getty

When your 16-year-old asks you to buy them a bottle of Jagermeister, laugh in their face

Irish gems: Sydney has the Bondi to Coogee walk. We have cliff walks in Kilkee (above) and Dunmore East. Photograph: Alan Betson

Jennifer O'Connell: It takes real determination to be idle on this spectacular little rock

 Patrick Quirke  arriving at court. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

In Bansha and Cashel, where many suspected Quirke’s guilt, the talk is of little else

Summer’s here kids. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill

When did holy statues move? How hot was 1995? What beach was voted Ireland’s best?

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