‘Good-looking waiting staff wandering around with brown paper bags’ Photograph: iStock

I sat out until I couldn’t feel my fingers and got a raging cold that is NOT Covid

Former president Mary McAleese. Her new memoir, Here’s The Story, details her extraordinary life and career. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The former president on criticising the church, life during lockdown – and her new memoir

When I first started to see these “wearable” accessories on the arms of my friends, I was horrified. I hated everything about them. Photograph: Getty Image

I’m in a new phase of life, when I know exactly how many steps I’ve taken each day

Coronavirus restrictions: A view of a Garda checkpoint in Fairview, Dublin over the weekend. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

‘Lockdown, The Sequel’ is just nowhere near as enjoyable as the original

A trial run of a new Cycle Bus set up by parents and children as Dublin City Council supports initiative to make school gates safe, at Greenlanes National School, Clontarf, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bicycles – or ‘Freedom Machines’ – are having an excellent pandemic. I stand and rejoice

Nick Hornby: ‘The book will succeed or fail on whether it’s any good.’ Photograph: Mike Marsland/WireImage

The 1990s ‘lad lit’ writer has moved into the ‘richer’ territory of women’s lives

Jane Fonda. Photograph: composite image; main photograph by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images

As an octogenarian, the movie star is still trying to change the world

 John Gerrard’s Mirror Pavilion, a centrepiece of Galway International Arts Festival’s Autumn Edition. giaf.ie. Photograph: Colm Hogan

Her new philosophy is to go about daily life as normal, while wearing a face mask

‘In the weeks coming up to last Christmas, I bought phones for the girls. I did it against all my instincts.’ File photograph: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

They were given the devices as a temporary measure. You can imagine the mourning

A new app for people working from home replicates typical office sounds like the photocopier, printers and chatty co-workers. Photograph: iStock

For many of us with school-age children, the next few weeks will represent a sort of respite period

A man walks past a sign  in Dublin calling for the resignations of those who attended the Oireachtas Golf Society event. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The worst might be yet to come, and there’s only so much we can take. If it’s okay to say that

Not looking like 50 slightly softens the blow of the Big Five Oh, but not enough to make any tangible difference. Photograph: Getty Images

There are fewer good years left ahead, by any calculation, than there are behind

Joyce Carol Oates: ’never/ever walk in the woods in sandals.’ Photograph: David Livingston/Getty

Novelist’s shots of her horribly blistered instep have gone viral after a weekend-walk run-in

Anthony Horowitz: ‘We are in an atmosphere that is more fractious than it used to be and I don’t want to engage in that’

Anthony Horowitz says he’d probably have been a horrible person without his writing

‘You gotta get ’em up there, girls!’: Tampax’s banned Tampons & Tea television advert

Why is everything to do with periods still embarrassing, offensive or ‘over-descriptive’?

Kathleen MacMahon at her home in Dublin. ‘It takes a long time to get skilled at this. It’s a craft. The learning is immense. It takes time and you have to make mistakes.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The author of Nothing But Blue Sky life after a loved one’s death and the curse of likable characters

Bressie reckons we should give every politician a ukulele. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Some claim the ukulele is not an instrument, except maybe of torture. That’s just snobbery

The things you learn and the things you remember when you are allowed be together again

Writer talks of novels, heartache, looming 50th, criticism, compassion and trans issues

The first sunrise of the new millennium over the Burren in Co Clare in 2000. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Clare is the new Costa del Sol, sideways rain or sporadic shine

 Author Sheila O’Flanagan, pictured at home in Clontarf, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The best-selling Irish author talks about female novelists and a silver cheetah called Bliss

16/09/2016 -- Emma Donoghue the author of Room photographed in Dublin.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Written long before coronavirus hit, her new novel is set in Dublin during the 1918 pandemic

A loyalist demonstrator throws stones at security forces  in Portadown on July 10th, 2000. File photograph: Dan Chung/Reuters

As we mark our anniversary, I can promise my partner I will rarely be boring

In her latest novel, Curtis Sittenfeld reimagines Hillary Rodham’s relationship with Bill Clinton. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Getty

Curtis Sittenfeld’s compelling new novel reimagines the paths of America’s power couple

Marian Keyes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times Marian Keyes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times Marian Keyes: ‘I really think less value is put in general on women’s voices, across the board.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

The writer on Irishness, feminism, mental health and happy endings

Decathlon in Ballymun, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Making life different post-lockdown will have to be a conscious, deliberate act

The Coronashamer

We learned a lot about ourselves in the pandemic, and perhaps behaved a little oddly

The Heavens Are All Blue is part medical memoir part love story by Lennon and McGarry

The Heavens Are All Blue is part medical memoir part love story

‘It will feel positively patriotic to spend money at surf schools this summer.’ File photograph: Eamon Ward

It will feel nothing but fulfilling to spend in Irish restaurants, hotels and surf schools

TikTok: it’s a young person thing. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

You could get lost in TikTok. Many have. It’s the only app worth knowing about

Tina and  Sandra Kelly outside Penneys store, which reopened on Friday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

We are like caged animals let loose from our centrally heated, Netflix-enabled prisons

Miss Roddy gets a special cake on her 100th birthday, in 2017. Photograph: Rachael Ingle

Miss Roddy’s results came back positive. She was isolated, but the virus didn’t take her

‘She sprinted to her nanny, flinging small arms around her waist.’ Photograph: Getty Images

My eyes stung as I watched the transgressive moment between grandmother and granddaughter

Racism in Ireland: Amanda Adewole, Felicia Olusanya and Tobi Lawal talk to the Irish Times Women’s Podcast

Three young black Irish women share their experiences with the Irish Times Women’s Podcast

Róisín Ingle: It was time for an Emergency Grand Day Out.

After a trip to the sea, I feel myself again. We all need to find our Shelly Banks

Matt Damon: the actor has fecked off home after living in lockdown in Ireland. Photograph: Elizabeth Weinberg/NYT

Morale in my house is at an all-time low. Time to tell each other how we really feel?

The day the earth stood still: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Washington. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A night in a friend’s garden shows us what we’ve lost and found in the pandemic

Sisters Róisín and Rachael Ingle. ‘Thank you, Rach’

Today is the anniversary of the day 66.4% of us voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment

John Hobson with his wife, Queenie, at their daughter Caroline’s wedding last year

My partner’s father went to hospital with a sore hand to find out he had a brain tumour

Normal People’s intense, glorious love story has made a lot of us return, gingerly, gently, to our younger selves. Photograph: Enda Bowe

One in five people – some single, some not – has ‘reached out’ to an ex during lockdown

Amy Huberman talked about life in lockdown with her husband, Brian O’Driscoll. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The actor and author spoke to The Irish Times Women’s Podcast for its 400th episode

Johnny Logan: in 1980, all over the country, many girls and young women (and of course boys and young men, but we didn’t talk about that in those days) were having ‘feelings’ for him. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Johnny Logan was probably the first person I fancied. The year was 1980. I was eight

‘When asked to partake in a Zoom, I don’t yet have the guts to refuse’

I can’t blame my friend for not wanting to Zoom. Lockdown socialising has lost its lustre

Johnny Logan at home in Ashbourne, Co Meath

The Eurovision winner talks about music, religion and family. Then things get a bit awkward

‘Next month, we can look forward to hugs with our older relatives, if they live close enough. And then – sing hosannas! – July 20th will arrive, a sacred day that surely should be pronounced a Holy Day of Obligation.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

In the gradual lifting of lockdown, we at last have something to look forward to

‘I went upstairs. Got into my bed. Crawled under the duvet.’ Photograph: Getty Images

It started badly and got worse: a dead magpie, a Scrabble defeat, social media abuse, fear

“I suddenly wanted to see more things growing. I went around the corner to Aldi and picked up whatever packets were there. Begonias. Gladioli. A packet of seeds that just said wild flowers.” Photograph:  iStock

Even the news that's meant to make us feel good is getting on my nerves

Whatever way you slice it, toast – comforting, carb-loading toast – is the perfect sustenance in a crisis. Photograph: Getty

Paul Flynn’s thighs, homemade doughnuts, and My Mate Gerry’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Hello, hello: a chance meeting after a break from The Beatles jigsaw

When would I ever find the time to do the 1,000-piece Beatles jigsaw . . . oh right

Dubliner Conor McMeel as part of the team from Imperial College, London that won University Challenge. Photograph: BBC

The stories that cheered us up today... from neighbourhood safaris to Zoom weddings

People doing random acts of great kindness around this country brighten up these darkest of days. Photograph: iStock

We are all doing what we can to get through this. We can only do what we are able for

Cormac Flood (8) putting up  Easter window decorations in Dodder View, Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

We’ve all got a desperate dose of lockdown lethargy

 Ruby Moss   (12)  who is in lockdown in her home in Cabra, Dublin. ‘I’m enjoying not having to go out anywhere and having infinite pyjama days,’ she says. Photograph: Tom Honan

How are Irish children coping with lockdown? Five of them tell us about their lives

 Ron Sexsmith  seems, on the whole, more comfortable in his skin these days.  Photograph:  David Wolff – Patrick/ Redferns

New album has all the melodic beauty and subtlety fans have come to expect

We talk about how tranquil our secret place is, how lucky we are to know about it. Photograph: iStock

In this grotesque new world we have to find other ways to hold each other

Actor Matt Damon with The Corner Note Cafe owner Mary Caviston in Dalkey, Co Dublin, last week. Photograph: Justin Farrelly.

The star has been posing with fans in Dalkey, where he’s riding out the pandemic

Michael Ryan, who has been teaching President Michael D Higgins for about a decade, is giving an online yoga class to raise money for Childline

The President’s yoga teacher is leading an online class for charity this weekend

We have to dig into what we are really feeling. And then of course we have to be brave enough to face what we find

Coronavirus: Some days you want to put the duvet over your head and forget the world

Sinead O’Connor, 1988, with the perfect  hairstyle for self-isolation. Photograph: Paul Bergen/Redferns

On these bad hair days and bad news days, our pandemic pals help make things better

Author Liz Nugent. Her books are commercially successful, and she has a growing number of fans hungry for her next work. Photograph: Tom Honan

‘I am not a disabled writer. I’m a writer who happens to be disabled’

Rosemary Smith drinking wine in her front garden having a socially distanced chat with her neighbour Deborah Harpur. Photograph: Tom Honan

‘It might be four months. I’m taking it one day at a time. I can’t think further than that’

Signs of happiness in the new world of coronavirus. Photograph: iStock

Twitter users have been telling us what has been making them #IrishTimesHappy

'I was queuing outside the pharmacy last week as I looked across at the daffodils.' Photograph: PA

In the ‘new abnormal’ we queue for everything: prescriptions, racks of lamb, fish and chips

I am not a Pandemic Superparent. None of us is

Detailed daily schedules are being shared that include sewing lessons and poetry readings

Author, playwright and Irish Times columnist Hilary Fannin. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Columnist had varied career before attending Trinity in her 50s allowed her learn more about herself as a writer

An early portrait of The Beatles. From left: Paul McCartney, Pete Best, George Harrison  and John Lennon. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The fifth member of the band talks about picking yourself up and getting on with it

Róisín Ingle: I’m thinking of my own mother, sitting at the window of her bedroom, looking out at us. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

This Mother’s Day, think of the mums at home, in houses that have become like prisons

Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale began with a virus. My friend reminded me of that on the phone the other night. You can find a feminist angle to anything, usually. Photograph: Jim Watson /AFP/Getty Images

We have many questions and few answers. How many will it take? Will we prevail?

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. They’ll bring me breakfast in bed. Photograph: iStock

Róisín Ingle: When the answer finally arrives, my eyes sting with relief

For Matilda on Sunday night, people dressed up as various characters

Everyone simultaneously presses play on the same Netflix film, then chats virtually

A lot of us are attractive but not in the way that would get us a spot on Love Island

I care much more for their attractive personalities than for their symmetrical features

Actor Liam Cunningham in Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

The Game of Thrones actor on the refugee crisis, Mary Lou, and making women faint

It was a queen of scones. With clotted cream all day long. Photograph: iStock

Róisín Ingle: If I had to choose between good friends and guanxi, I know what I’d pick

Rehearsing for The River,  a contemporary dance work, at  Dance House in Dublin. The work involves a group of 20 women mainly from Sherriff Street and Ballybough. Photograph: Tom Honan

A group of women from Dublin's inner city have taken a leap from their comfort zone to express themselves in music and movement

Rachel English: “I remember when my first book was published going on holidays a couple of weeks later, and just being a complete wreck.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Morning Ireland presenter chats to Róisín Ingle about her new novel, RTÉ cutbacks, health scares and the death of Keelin Shanley

The Best Day: Taylor Swift as a child in the video for her song

Recently I had to help my daughters stand up for themselves. I’ve marvelled at their maturity

Sometimes “the right time” arrives at “the wrong time”. Photograph: iStock

Róisín Ingle: In front of my kids I force myself to be a right-on, liberated, shame-free parent

Agnes still recognises William sometimes, even though she was diagnosed with dementia in 2016

Róisín Ingle: Despite her dementia, Agnes still recognises William sometimes

The blackboard from Derry Girls showing the differences between Protestants and Catholics. Photograph: Dylan Llewellyn/Twitter.

Róisín Ingle: That’s because their great skill is being organised. Mine is losing stuff

Joya and Priya Hobson at Utah Beach where their great-uncle Eddie was part of the Normandy landings

Róisín Ingle's girls didn’t want much: just to travel to another country, and experience a bit of 'proper' sunshine

Des

In his new show the comedian explores his complicated relationship with his mother

Cooking with Paris: Paris Hilton makes the culinary impossible possible. Photograph: Paris Hilton/YouTube

The stinking-rich heiress and reality-TV star makes lasagne in 16 mesmerising minutes

The Canadian knew at nine-years-old that he wanted to be an astronaut but first joined the army and US airforce as a fighter pilot

Writer and Open House Festival board member Colin Batemen with festival founders Kieran Gilmore and Alison Gordon

The Open House Festival has seen the Co Down resort revive its roots as a seaside paradise

Róisín Ingle gets her copy of The Time of My Life signed by Gay Byrne in Eason’s

We are a better, more mature, kinder country now because of Gay Byrne

Spuds and butter making at least one reader happy this week.

Here’s what is making Irish Times readers happy this week

Gina Miller. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The anti-Brexit activist – hero to many, hate figure to others – says ‘we are in a dangerous time now’

Marian Keyes: feck is “nothing like the other word, the one with the u”

The Irish writer’s new BBC Radio 4 show began with the theme of Ireland and the Irish

Can we reduce the amount of family time we spend on screens this summer? Well, we can try. Photograph: iStock

Give Up Yer Aul Screens: Devices may be everywhere, but they don’t have to take over your summer

Róisín, Joya and Priya ready for a bumpy  excursion on a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat).

Róisín Ingle: Watersports, seafood and stunning scenery are the perfect combination

Supermodel Yasmin Le Bon at a Brown Thomas event in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The supermodel talks menopause, ageing and marriage to Simon Le Bon

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Tommy Horkan (11) from Mount Merrion in  Dublinhaving fun at Explorium. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

Schools are on their midterm break next week. Here are some great options to keep kids entertained

Hugg: Fiona Twomey with a painting donated by Una Sealy for Saturday’s art sale at St Andrew’s Resource Centre on Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Milly Tuomey’s mother, Fiona, has founded Hugg, a bereavement support group

Pupils from Scoil Úna Naofa in Crumlin preparing for their performance in the National Youth Orchestra festival. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

No Child 2020: Scoil Úna Naofa gives its pupils a chance to learn an instrument – free and in school hours

The late poet Mary Oliver speaks during a women’s conference in 2010  in Long Beach, California Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

We asked what was making you happy this week and here’s what you said

Natalie Suleman, aka Octomom, at home with her octuplets. Photograph: John Francis Peters/New York Times

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