Charlie Haughey gets ready to recreate that Duran Duran video. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Leo Varadkar has been accused of trying to ‘get down with the kids’ via 1980s pop icon Kylie Minogue. Here’s how our former leader(...)

Kevin the Carrot: will you be rooting for him this Christmas?

Psycho carrots, a reverse-ageing Elton John and Melania Trump as a Stepford wife

Irene Edwards: “We don’t talk politics in the shop.” Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

The Welsh port town voted Leave. Were locals ‘led like lambs to the slaughter’?

Host Ryan Tubridy and the School of Uke ukulele orchestra from east Cork during  auditions for the Late Late Toy Show in Cork. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

The lead-up to Christmas would not be the same without Black Friday, Cyber Monday, John Lewis ad day and the Fine Gael ardfheis

Let Her Fly: Ziauddin Yousafzai with his daughter in the 2015 documentary He Called Me Malala

The activist’s courage has never wavered, despite the Taliban’s attack on his daughter

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra at rehearsal in the National Concert Hall. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Playing in the RTÉCO is no easy task, not least as rumours swirl about its future

Power for the people: Classic Marvel Comics titles from the 1960s and 1970s. Screengrab via Pinterest

The man behind Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk and the Uncanny X-Men made it okay to express your feelings while w(...)

The John Lewis Christmas, The Boy and The Piano, features Elton John. Photograph: John Lewis & Partners/PA

No dyed purple swans? No jewelled obelisks? This is disappointing, writes Patrick Freyne

Ciara Kelly: 'It’s really important in media to have different voices and different people represented.' Photograph: Tom Honan

The former GP does not hold back on her Newstalk show, even if it gets her into trouble

Spice cadets: Sporty, Baby, Scary, Ginger and Posh get ziggy wit’ it. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA

Patrick Freyne: The bolshie popstrels ruled the 1990s. Can they make Britannia cool again?

Darragh Doyle of Foodcloud delivering items to Paula Mahon of Jobstown Against Drug Dependency. Photograph: Dave Meehan

A nationwide initiative that aims to cut food waste and to stop people going to bed hungry

Rahul Mandal (centre) is crowned champion by judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith (right) Photograph: C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA

The show’s idyllic setting sits outside the common market, part of no customs union

Joan Freeman, Liadh Ní Riada, Michael D Higgins, Seán Gallagher, Peter Casey and Gavin Duffy. Surely some only marginally-compromised elder statesfolk could have been conjured up to give Higgins some proper competition? Photograph: Tom Honan

It’s about time we had a moneyed trigger-happy weirdo as head of state. #diversity

Podge, Rodge and Doireann Garrihy (God love her)

After eight years off TV, the irreverent puppets still say ‘mickey’ a lot. And that’s kind of it

Bressie: “I navigate anxiety in a very healthy and very manageable way every day, and I think there is a perception that it’s not part of my life any more.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bressie has written a book for children with the message that it’s okay to feel sad

Prince Harry  with Meghan Markle: crack cocaine for Britons who have given up hope of bettering their lot and see sitcom repeats on UK Gold as “rolling news”.   Photograph. Ian Vogler/Reuters

You say you’re not interested in the royal family, but you know you are. We know it too

 Candidates (from left) Peter Casey; Liadh Ni Riada; Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Patrick Freyne: You could argue that it would be better to run a Rose of Tralee-style pageant

Former US president Bill Clinton plays the sax with BB King (right) and Dave Boruff (centre) in 2001. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty

I’m easily swayed by politicians who do art. Here are some of my favourites

“I’m a big narcissist. I’m in every scene.” Amy Huberman during filming of Finding Joy. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The quips fly on and off camera during the filming of Finding Joy, RTÉ’s new comedy

Lord Sugar with this year’s Apprentice candidates, who include ‘the Beyoncé of business’, a ‘mumpreneur’, an ‘extremist’, a molester of metaphorical bulls and   a human ATM. Photograph: Jim Marks

The show only tests ability to suck up to Lord Sugar and laugh loudly at his lame jokes

And it’s goodnight from me . . . The Coop and the Cap on Virgin Media’s ‘The Tonight Show’

The Kerry TD co-presented ‘The Tonight Show’ with Matt Cooper, cleverly infiltrating Dublin’s liberal media. What next, ghost-writ(...)

Senator Lynn Ruane, who has just written her autobiography, in Killinarden, in Tallaght. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Watching friends die gave the Senator the drive to experience life, motherhood and education

That’s entertainment? Electric Picnic. Photograph: Dave Meehan

In a horrible vision, Patrick Freyne is visited by the Ghost of Electric Picnic Future

John Connors: “I went home to my mother and said, ‘What’s a knacker?’ And I could just see the dread in her face.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Love/Hate actor on creativity, anti-Traveller bias, and being too outspoken

Yuval Noah Harari: “The reality of the 21st century is frightening, so I understand why people wish to turn away from it. But we don’t have any choice.”

The Israeli historian on nostalgia, nationalism and the need for global co-operation

Pope Francis arrives at the Phoenix Park to celebrate mass. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Patrick Freyne: Boy (14) forces his family to travel from Kerry to park for ‘historic’ day

Pope Francis waves as he leaves after attending the Festival of Families at Croke Park during his visit to Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Reuters

Patrick Freyne: Pope Francis receives families, gets selfie with a child and gives a speech with a mother-in-law joke

Rick role: never gonna give up trying to replicate the golden-voiced croonster’s buoyant bouffant

Patrick Freyne: Hobbits, Phil Collins, The Monkees – these were my role models

Internships are technically meant to be a form of skills training. In recent years, however, “internship” has become shorthand for “unpaid job”. Photograph: Getty Images

The Irish arts industry functions thanks to unpaid interns. Yet many feel unappreciated

Photograph: Klubovy/E+/Getty

Conor and Zhanna O’Clery’s experiences encapsulated life in the Soviet Union

The choir of St John the Baptist Catholic church in Killeagh, Co Cork, which will  sing at the World Meeting of Families. Photograph:  Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Mass-goers in Dublin and Cork on their relationship with God, Catholicism and the Pope

 Russian president Vladimir Putin with US actor Steven Seagal  at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool

I didn’t know he was accused of sexual assault and was an apologist for a KGB-trained autocrat

His large face was mesmerising and his Mona Lisa-like smile seemed to draw more and more information from me. I began to feel self-conscious.

I respect him. He’s the only mogul in Ireland with no intention of running for the presidency

Ilac Centre Library. Photograph:  Tom Honan/The Irish Times

In other countries libraries may be under threat but there’s a queue every morning outside Dublin’s Central Library

Simon Rich: smart and goofy hot takes on modernity. Photograph: Melissa Fuller

Review: former ‘Saturday Night Live’ writer’s short stories don’t go deep, but they will make you lol

Bosco: a ginger-haired, property-owning gaelgoir with an uafasach temper

Patrick Freyne: Freaks and Geeks,The West Wing, Friends – why not?

Conor McGregor at the World Cup with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Photograph: @thenotoriousmma/Instagram

MMA fighter’s praise for Putin comes during quite a week for preposterous men

Does your area suffer from a particular problem, such as illegal dumping? Photograph: iStock

We want to hear about the challenges communities face, and potential solutions

Marion Graham greets RTÉ’s Marty Morrissey. Photograph:  ©INPHO/James Crombie

Patrick Freyne spends a day with the commentator who went from being a 'Yank' blow-in in Co Clare to one of the most loved charact(...)

The Court Buildings in Smithfield, Dublin, where the Children’s Court is located. Photograph: Alan Betson

Dublin’s Children’s Court deals with cases from thefts of sweets to joyriding and assault

President Michael D Higgins studies an installation titled Inner Labyrinths by artist Caoimhe O’Dwyer during the preview of the NCAD Graduate Show 2016 on Thomas Street, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Bertie? A Healy Rae? ‘That eejit Bono’? A better bet is a basket of cuddly kittens

Do you feel such placements are exploitative, or are they mutually beneficial?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Patrick Freyne: Prince should feel at home here, given he looks like a John Hinde postcard

Tom Hanks in The Post: we swoon, fan ourselves or need to be alone for a few minutes with “our thoughts”

Patrick Freyne: As Leo Varadkar was siding with Trump on the media, I thought: How did I get here?

‘We need to de-stigmatise sleep as being for a lazy or weak person’

The cast during rehearsals of Paul Howard’s ‘Copper Face Jacks’ in the Olympia, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for the Irish Times

Paul Howard’s musical tells story of a Kerry woman following her dream of working in VHI

Ciaran Duffy and the girls at a training session at St Marys Youth Club in East Wall, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Patrick Freyne joins a session at Fun Direction, which encourages girls to play sport and where he learns that unicorns poop candi(...)

All changed, changed utterly: many companies no longer want to invest in expensive long-term employees with pensions and workers’ rights

Automation is destroying jobs and the employer is no longer your paternalistic chum

The Greenway by Iconic Offices. David Lawlor and Amos Unkovich of Brand New Creative use the break-out booths. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Co-working spaces are thriving in Ireland, and changing the way we work

The Love Islanders continue conforming to strange ideals. Photograph: ITV

A simple people, the islanders national costume is as basic as their minds are pure

Poldark? More like Phwoahdark! Photograph: Mammoth Screen/BBC

Patrick Freyne: Poldark’s full of existential conundrums. And heaving, glistening chests

Prince Charles and Camilla walk on Derrynane beach in Co Kerry. Photograph: Niall Carson, Getty Images

Windolene, fresh paint and no spelling test – a great day for Kerry

Prince  Charles exits a model of a famine bothán during his visit to UCC. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision.

Royal greeted by entrepreneurs and academics on visit to University College Cork

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall meet fishmonger Pat O’Connell as they visit the English Market. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Starstruck Cork does its best to make Charles and Camilla laugh at the English Market

‘Glow’: No-one has ever said “let’s try and cash in on the lucrative retro women’s wrestling market”. But it works.

The band of eccentric wrestlers return while Gotham seems fun compared with murderous Brexit Britain

Australian musician and writer Nick Cave. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/GettyImages

The audience asks the questions in this raw, intimate and revealing show

You need the umbrella, the togs, the wind breaker and don’t forget the chips on the way home. Photograph: iStock

Delicious, daring and downright useful ideas for making the best of our summer days

Gimme shell-ter: a snail in ‘A Wild Irish Year’

They never once say ‘Observe this majestic tool’ or ‘This bird is a complete shithead’

Lionel Shriver. 'She wears her Ray-Bans throughout the interview, peering over the top when she’s particularly interested in my questions.' Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty

It’s one thing to be provocative, the writer says, but her critics should at least read her

Barry McGuire during an operation by robot at St Vincent’s Hospital. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Doctors could soon be taking a more hands-off approach to even more procedures

She-Ra, a warrior person from the gender-essentialising world of Eternia. She had a tautologically monikered brother, He-Man

The Powerpuff Girls turned out to be a template for a new generation of feminists

Jonathan Dowling, youth worker at Belvedere Youth Club. By the age of 10, he says, he was robbing shops and by 14 he was helping older boys to steal cars. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Vulnerable teens are easily tempted into lives of crime. A project in Dublin tries to divert them from this

Daniel and Majella O’Donnell: Driving your husband around the country to be adored by B&B owners – now that’s love

Feast goes on the table and all restraint goes out the window when Ireland’s first couple arrive at the door

Mick  is flailing his arms, waggling his bum and generally Jaggering (it’s a verb). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

For more than two hours, they pummel our senses with some of the best rock music ever

Paula Abdul with her dancing cat MC Skat Cat

The music videos of the 1970s and 80s changed me, not always in a good way

Australia’s Jessica Mauboy performs ‘We Got Love’ at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon. Photograph: Reuters/Rafael Marchante

Serbia, Sweden, Australia all got through. But we don’t care, cos we’re already in the final

Måns Zelmerlöw, whose winner for Sweden in 2015 was written by a production team who have written for Fifth Harmony and Iggy Azalea. Photograph: Nigel Treblin/Getty

Other countries throw stars and hit songwriters at the contest. Is there any path back to glory?

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” is back to celebrate its 20th anniversary, now hosted by Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson might not be PC, but he is always innovating. Why not hatmaking?

Ed Sheeran is the type of man who croons sweet songs to a lady lover until she shouts “Jesus Ed, I’m trying to sleep.” Photograph: Reuters/Hannah McKay

Patrick Freyne: What I learned from the role models making the headlines

Cillian Murphy and Eva Birthistle star in ‘The Delinquent Season’.

On the set of ‘The Delinquent Season’, director and writer Mark O’Rowe talks about working with Murphy, Andrew Scott and Catherine(...)

Women shelter from the rain on the fourth day of the Punchestown Festival 2018 in Naas, Co Kildare.  Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

On day four of Punchestown Festival, even the lads are making an extra effort to look good

John Gray: stresses the point some atheist thinkers inherit their beliefs from western monotheism and spend very little time developing their own philosophies.

John Gray explores fixed idea, unquestioning atheism in his new book Seven Types of Atheism

Francis and John Brennan are ‘At Your Service’. Photograph: RTÉ

At Your Service: The Brennan Brothers tackle Irish hospitality in a very Irish way

Ifrah Ahmed, International Person of the Year at the People of the Year Awards. Photograph. Robbie Reynolds

Irish Coast Guard, Tuam historian and people of Ballaghaderreen among the winners

Barbara Ehrenreich almost revels in explaining how little control we actually have over our lives. Photograph: David Scull/The New York Times

Barbara Ehrenreich seeks to undermine all the ways in which contemporary middle-class westerners try to control their lives and fo(...)

Harry, who will be problematically dressing as Captain Jack Sparrow, and Meghan Markle. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will be a fight to a choral version of the Benny Hill theme

Dermot Bannon

Stories of 2018: Watching the ‘Room to Improve’ architect repressing his rage is my favourite thing on television

Smoke rises on the Syrian side of the border in Hassa, near Hatay, southern Turkey, as Turkish jet fighters hit People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions. Photograph:  Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

At least three Irish men are fighting with Kurds in Syria, part of an international battalion of ‘villagers, students, sons of but(...)

Facebook: when the virtual world was young a simple man named Mark Zuckerberg had a simple dream to create a website through which he could meet and rate chicks. Photo illustration: Chris Jackson/Getty

Patrick Freyne: I used to have an ill-thought-through opinion only a few times a week

“If we had a kid I’d call him Opus”: St Patrick’s Day, aka Johnny Murphy. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Patrick Freyne takes his place for Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade

Patrick Freyne getting into the St Patrick’s Day spirit in his Carrolls Irish Gifts outfit. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Carrolls Irish Gifts shops are as apt a symbol for contemporary Ireland as anything else

Star Trek – The Next Generation: Picard and Wharf with the pesky Irishman Danilo Odell

Patrick Freyne: Butcher, Benatar, Swayze, Smith, St Patrick . . . Who comes out tops?

Heading for  Terminal 2  at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Behind the scenes with flight-controllers, drug-searchers, bird-scarers and plane-spotters

Bake that: Roisin Conaty, Harry Hill, Bill Turnbull and Martin Kemp in  The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer, which has always been on Channel 4

Patrick Freyne: Ignore the mythical Beeby Sea: Great British Bake Off has always been on Channel 4

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones take another twirl on their  endlessly twirling money-magnet. Photograph: Reuters/Kimimasa Mayama

Now in their seventh decade as a band, Jagger and his vassals are bringing their nostalgic money-printing machine to Croke Park

Winning Streak: presenters Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy. Photograph: Bryan Meade

As ‘Winning Streak’ approaches its 1,000 show, presenters Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy talk about the cash-crazy extravaganza

Don’t Tell the Bride: Jennifer and Robbie visions for their big day were never going to match up. Photograph: RTE

The male is always presented as someone who, if left unattended, would starve or catch fire

Wear protection: Daniel and Majella

From Yeats and Maud Gonne to Daniel and Majella, romantic Ireland isn't dead and gone

Sabrina and Joe with their dog Cindy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Many people offset the pain of homelessness by keeping a pet – mostly dogs, but also cats, rabbits, and an iguana

Damien Dempsey: “People thought I was a joke act or a gimmick.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

He has a busy year ahead, with a just-announced summer show at the Iveagh Gardens

Poppy, Jemima, Humpty, Little Ted, Big Ted. from the BBC children’s series Play School. We need them now more than ever

'One Day at a Time' and 'Roseanne' are on their way back; here are some olden-days shows that should also be remade, like "womanni(...)

Louis Walsh: 'I say things I shouldn’t say and as I’m saying it I know I shouldn’t say it.' Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Ireland’s Got Talent’ star on ungrateful popstars and being falsely accused of sex assault

Anne Buckley wants to see a ‘sensible’ drug policy that focuses on addiction as a health issue. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Anne Buckley spent 17 years on heroin and methadone: ‘an addict, a thief, a zombie’

Pompeo plays the Meredith Grey of the title, Grey’s Anatomy, a title which suggests that all the characters live inside her head like the Numskulls from the Beano. Photograph: Buena Vista Television

Fourteen years of fires, hostage situations, MRSA and ‘romps’ on this entertaining show

Domini Kemp speaks to prisoners at Wheatfield Prison while running her entrepreneurship programme, now in its second year. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Prison Entrepreneurship Programme being run in Wheatfield Prison looks to harness energies in a positive way, and has been pro(...)

''Fix us!' we demand of our TV screens, or Ryan Tubridy when we grab him by the shoulders on the street. 'Make us better!''

Patrick Freyne: We’ve come to the point where we want TV to solve all our ills

Shane MacGowan at his 60th birthday celebration at the National Concert Hall, in Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

If a bomb went off at the National Concert Hall gig that would have been it for the Irish music scene

Marty Morrissey with Ksenia Zsikhotska dancing the quickstep. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Patrick Freyne: This is where the experiment in democratic self-governance has led

Shakespeare - what a lightweight!

Patrick Freyne’s guide to living, learning and being when you make it into third level

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