Liverpool striker Mo Salah: A great footballer, but can he wield a big, yellow plastic bat? Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

I’m not sporty, unless you count swingball, in which I won a gold medal 40 years ago

Oleh Psiuk and his  Kalush Orchestra will be representing Ukraine at the Eurovision.

Europe would also happily give the Russians ‘nul points’ if they weren’t already banned

I don’t know what I was thinking really bringing all those books and all those reading glasses to America. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing, reading, lying on a sun lounger kind of holiday. Photograph: iStock

On vacation in Florida, I found the the ‘real America’ while hunting for cheap reading glasses

Terri Harrison was repatriated against her will when she was 18 from London to Bessborough where she had a baby boy

New book shares the harrowing experiences of three women at Cork mother and baby institution

Period pants are cleverly designed underwear brands that absorb blood and can be thrown in the washing machine to be used over and over again. Photograph: iStock

I can bang on about period underwear the way other people enjoy discussing the merits of certain lipsticks or football teams or ai(...)

Speaking on The Women’s Podcast, Sinead McSweeney announced Women’s Aid as the company’s main charity partner for 2022. Photograph: Getty Images

Social media can be force ‘for bad as well as for good’, says managing director

I wanted to write a message for the future people and not an angry flea to deposit in the ears of Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin. Photograph: iStock

I got out the good pen, poured myself a glass of wine and began to overthink

Rebecca O'Flanagan with Lana Udachina at Moy House, Lahinch, Co Clare. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Yulia, Lana and Ivan’s story is illuminating for anyone considering opening their homes

The terraces of Seville Place amid new buildings and construction sites on Sheriff Street Upper, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

The secret code of many people on the street was that you hid where you were from

Matriarchal music, from John Lennon’s tribute to his mother Julia to the Spice Girls' magnificent Mama

Five young people speak about their sex lives and how the pandemic has changed things – for better and for worse. Illustrations: Getty Images

Some got into bisexuality or new practices. Others saw their sex lives wane or their porn use grow

The message at the heart of Pixar movie Turning Red is that growing up is a beast

A Pixar movie arrives at just the right time to support me through the next few years

Karen Egan: ‘My first reaction was, I don’t have time for this. I was in complete shock and denial’

The singer, actor, composer and writer on her largely autobiographical new show, Warrior

Ahead of world happiness day, we asked a range of people to share their happiest memories. Photograph: iStock

It’s world happiness day on Sunday. We asked some people when they have been happiest

Будь ласка, пам’ятайте, що в цій країні заборонено відмовлятися від чашки чаю, навіть якщо ви не п’єте чай

Для нас велика честь що ви тут. Ось кілька практичних порад

‘For further research on tea etiquette watch a television programme called Father Ted.’ Photograph: TV Times/Future Publishing via Getty Images

We are honoured to have you here. This is what you need to know about us

I know, in theory, opera is a fine art. And yet it has always left me cold as an artform

I am not proud of my ‘agin’ for opera. But recently I reassessed this lifelong dislike

It’s been a long time since myself and M, my partner in serial karaoke crimes, got together to sing. Photograph: iStock

Blinded by the disco lights, I try not to think of Ukraine. Normal life must go on

In a few short days, in most settings, those scraps of cloth covering our lower faces, will be optional, no longer mandatory. Photograph: iStock

I won’t be judging anyone’s facemask choices. I hope I won’t be judged for mine

Mia Döring’s chilling memoir of rape and abuse argues that the entire sex trade is evil

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

A magical new production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe brings joy to the world

A promotional shot for Adidas’s new sports bra collection. Photograph: Adidas

This week two ads for women’s clothes made headlines for different reasons

Leslie has got people into walking who, like me, for whatever reason, don’t want to only exercise outside. Photograph: iStock

Now that I’ve discovered Leslie, an older American lady, I’ll never walk alone

I like mine soft, but a little bit fudgy inside. That’s the holy egg grail for this boiled egg lover and, while it might sound simple, achieving this consistently can be fraught. Photograph: iStock

How do I like my boiled eggs cooked? Let me count the ways

Róisín Ingle:  ‘For many years I believed it was my fault  for eating too many chips and inhabiting the wrong kind of body.’ Photograph: Tom Honan

A well-known woman recently asked us not to talk to her about her body. I understood why

I wanted to mark the ending of the carry-on, and the beginning of whatever this next bit turns out to be. Photograph: iStock

Here’s to a good Old Fashioned night out and the heartening sights of Camden Street

Author Raven Leilani is interested in what she calls the ‘deeply psychic labour’ of being a minority attempting to sublimate themselves in order to survive. Photograph: Miranda Barnes

Raven Leilani’s acclaimed debut novel about a flailing, fallible black woman soars to the top

We know better than to go looking for inspiration from the Benny Hill school of marketing don’t we? Photograph: iStock

There might be currency in all those pennies finally dropping about violence against women

Interviewers and guests for the Irish Times Winter Nights festival.

David Baddiel, Mike Ryan, Brian O’Driscoll and Caitlin Moran among the online guests

There are a good few ‘runners shops’ near Covent Garden where runners are more commonly referred to as trainers or sneakers. Photograph: iStock

I noticed my daughter’s grotty runners. Holes in her socks added to the Dickensian look

The swab had barely hit the back of my nasal cavity before the old double lines showed up on the Riddled-ometer with everyone else also getting positive tests. Photograph: iStock

My loss of taste and smell provided a morning of entertainment for the children

Robyn Flemming’s story of recovery, self-discovery and travelling the world spans three decades. The book, Skinful, is also a valuable addition to the growing ‘quit-lit’ genre

A new memoir offers a timely portrayal of ‘grey area drinking’ – and explains how to beat it

 I dreamed about Pat Kenny after watching a video of him being ambused in a park over his vocal support of vaccine passports. Photograph: Frank Miller

If you’ve any sense you’re now mildly depressed, reliant on alcohol or worrying about homeschooling

‘We were talking about grief. That’s how the trifle came up.’ Photograph: iStock

Making the festivities happen is intoxicating – a diversion we’ve never needed more

Joan Collins: ‘This new thing in which people have to apologise all the time is kind of pathetic.’ Photograph: Fadil Berisha

‘My parents stressed to me that life is not a bowl of cherries. Life is a bowl of cherry pits’

Ann Ingle – Róisín’s mother –  photographed at her home in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Oscar Wilde wrote that every woman’s tragedy is to become her mother. Not me

It turns out that the widely-accepted notion of ostriches sticking their heads in the sand is a bit of an optical illusion. Photograph: iStock

While they’re here for Christmas, the C-word, P-word and V-word are banned

Why is domestic violence by men such a huge issue all over the world? Photograph: iStock

It’s time to change the conversation around male violence against women

In song after song on 30, she’s fiercely honest about the impact of her leaving her relationship and sorry for the pain it caused, especially to her young son. Photograph: Simon Emmett/Columbia Records/PA Wire

Instead I listen to Adele, and remember the day I realised my marriage was over

Daniel O’Donnell: “I think that in life everything happens to get us to the next stage whatever that is.” Photographs: Stuart Mostyn/Redferns/Getty (left) and BBC (right)

The singer reflects on his career, marriage, business nous and family alcoholism

Distract yourself. Put the Christmas decorations up early. Eat more sweets. Take a duvet day or three. Photograph: iStock

Distract yourself. Put the Christmas decorations up. Eat more sweets. Take a duvet day

Musician Paul McCartney and poet Paul Muldoon on stage at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London on November 5th. Photograph: Mark Allan/MPL

The former Beatle launched his book The Lyrics with a talk in London. It was fab

This historic trip off the island will be mostly told through the medium of food and beverages

It’s Irish Times Food Month. So let me tell this story through the medium of food and beverages

Paul McCartney on stage at the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall in conversation with Paul Muldoon on Friday November 5th. Photograph: Mark Allan/MPL

It’s a big misconception ‘that I broke The Beatles up … Once a headline is out it sticks’

I search for soothing words on my phone which I thoughtfully put into night mode so I don’t disturb the gently snoring, deeply sleeping person beside me

I decide I need to declutter my one wild and precious life so I can be profound again

Imelda May: ‘Reading poetry is a better way to end the day than with technology or reading the news’

The musician on writing poetry, growing up in the Liberties, and pre-Christian Ireland

Festive fear: After we discuss it as a family and look up cheap beds online, we decide to tell my unvaccinated relative that he can stay for Christmas.

My fully vaccinated self and fully vaccinated partner don’t say yes straight away

‘It was a shared, intimate celebration of two very different women who later in life have become great friends. Late friends, I’ve found, make great friends.’

One hundred candles, two women and one party to celebrate entering our sixth decade

‘To be completely honest since October 1st I’ve been having an extravagant birthday month and make no apologies for tearing the complete arse out of it.’ File photograph: Getty Images

The birthday present I crave is the same one I wanted at 30 and 40: to feel at peace

Laura de Barra, author of Décor Galore and The Gaff Goddess. Photograph: CJ Nash

Author’s new book, Décor Galore, willbe catnip for anybody who struggle to make best of their home

TV presenter Lucy Kennedy in Dún Laoghaire. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

She ‘lives with’ people like Sarah Harding and Katie Hopkins but isn’t famous herself, she insists

Maeve Binchy at home in Dalkey, Co Dublin in 2010. Photograph: Eric Luke

A festival celebrating the beloved author, full of wisdom and advice, takes place this weekend

Hector Ó hEochagáin: 'I want people to open their minds about who is walking the streets of our country. There are some amazing people out there'. Photograph:Andrew Downes/Xposure

Hector is back on TG4 but still reeling from the death of his brother Freddie in June

Former Japanese imperial army soldier Hiroo Onoda waving upon his return home, at Tokyo international airport, after living for some 30 years in the Philippine jungles. Photograph: Jiji Press/AFP/ Getty Images

We’re all adjusting to the relaxing of restrictions and the shy return to this new version of normal

Almost 40 per cent of participants in a recent study reported that their mental health had deteriorated since they started cocooning. Photograph: iStock

There is a silence around the impact of cocooning on the older generation

Comedian Joanne McNally: 'I think women don’t see themselves represented in live comedy as much, especially in Ireland'

She’s found comedy success in ‘being a normal 30-something who loves Zara and white wine’

I joined a synchronised swimming group for a few days. I blame the Olympics

Pamela Uba as she was crowned Miss Ireland 2021 at a spectacular outdoor ceremony at Lakeside Manor, Co Cavan, on Sunday

Pamela Uba, a 26-year-old medical scientist, is the first black woman to win the pageant

Rosaleen Linehan photographed by Damien Eagers

The effervescent octogenarian is gearing up for her new show, Backwards up a Rainbow

Sally Rooney photograph by Ellius Grace/New York Times

The Normal People author is now a literary superstar, a rise to fame echoed in her new novel

I only live 2km from where I used to be an office worker. It’s only a 27-minute walk for this very slow walker. A 10-minute cycle

I’ve conducted a highly unscientific audit on my working remotely situation, and decided that overall I am a better person out of (...)

 Senator Marie Sherlock (left) with Ann Carroll and Brian O’Toole from the Community After School Project (CASPr) on Mountjoy Square in Dublin. If the system is not amended, they estimate they will need to fundraise almost €30,000 “to try to maintain some level of care”.  Photograph: Damien Eagers

Under new plan, some children are seeing cuts in vital after-school services

Sharon Horgan: ‘The more I do this job, the more I want to make something people are actually waiting for.’  Photograph:  Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Writer-producer-actor is not ready to make a comedy about post-50 phase of her life just yet

‘We went onstage and looked out at hundreds of happy, expectant faces. A portrait of joy’

I’d never ached to be alone more than during the past weeks. I could not focus on anything

Rather than remind  women and girls to be situationally aware, it might be better  to tell men and boys  to stop abusing and harassing them. Photograph: iStock

Róisín Ingle: Every day is a school day, but it’s not girls and women who need to learn

Portland Row: we opened all the windows and did a joyful drive-by past the crowds around Kellie’s family home, beeping the horn and cheering as the guards waved us on.’ Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

After the Olympic champion’s win I’m prouder than ever to call her part of Dublin home

Dart art: Night Train – Summer’s Evening, Blackrock, by Gary Coyle, from his exhibition On Returning

It’s heartbreaking to see cycling – the best way to get around Dublin – under serious threat

Róisín Ingle: the robe arrives. It fits. It also feels deeply comforting. I wear it around the house. I wear it to the shops. I wear it for a walk in the park

You can keep your Forty Foots and your Sandycoves. The Half Moon is hardcore

Bella Mackie’s first book, called Jog On: How Running Saved My Life, was a non-fiction best-seller. Photograph: David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Bella Mackie talks about writing her darkly hilarious debut novel, How to Kill Your Family, that was partly inspired by her childh(...)

Fanore beach Co Clare: ‘Down on the Flaggy Shore, our hearts get blown open and caught off guard with a spontaneous swim’

Dear Clare, we were so close and then it all ended overnight. I miss you. Fondly, Róisín

B is the end of life care co-ordinator at the hospital

End-of-life care in a pandemic was different, with family goodbyes handled from afar

Author Alix O’Neill

Author says Derry Girls gave her and others ‘license to tell the other side of the Troubles’

I’ve travelled to Northern Ireland with my big plate for essential reasons:  an essential family gathering. Photograph: Getty Images/iStock

I’ve dreamed of this for more than a year and a half. Don’t cry, I think to myself

Chris O’Dowd and Mary Lou McDonald among those appearing at this year’s event

 Matt Damon is in Byron Bay, Australia, filming his latest project, Thor: Love and Thunder. File photograph: Mike Marsland/WireImage

The actor on childhood with Ben Affleck, being a dad, staying grounded and loving Ireland

Has the virtual world come to an end? Photograph: iStock

We are in the last throes of the virtual now. That’s what you’d hope, anyway

The best place to live

Why I love where I live, by Róisín Ingle, David McWilliams, Jennifer O’Connell and more

‘You’ve the best job, drink pints and type away,’ one smiles. Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

Grogan’s pub, 10.30am. Everyone’s here. It's like a festival. We’re finding the lost things again

Crowds gather in the sunshine on South William Street, Dublin at the weekend. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Crowded streets outraged the chief medical officer, but what did he expect?

Ryan Tubridy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

TV and radio broadcaster may divide opinion but he has learned to ignore the haters

Sinéad O’Connor. Photograph: Ellius Grace/New York Times

The Dubliner talks about her searing new memoir on the Irish Times Women’s Podcast

One man told me he was sick of asking to be added to the WhatsApp groups for his children. “I asked one woman and she said, ‘sure, what’s your wife’s number?’”

It’s time for fathers to gain acceptance to the school gate mummyverse

Dermot O’Leary. Photograph: Hodder

TV presenter talks fatherhood at 47, celebrity and the role of Catholicism in his life

‘I should explain to anyone lucky enough to have never heard of a kettlebell that it’s a kind of weight yoke used in a gym scenario.’ Photograph: iStock

It’s not the trainer’s fault, but all regular exercise does is give me a pain in the hoop

 Gerry Hussey  at Sandycove in Co Dublin. Gerry has written a self-help spiritual book called Awaken The Power Within. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Gerry Hussey wants to help people 'be proud of who you are and care less about what other people think'

I’ve watched the video of long-haired teenage girls running along the platform a hundred times or so now. I’ve watched it on a loop to see how long it will take to be desensitised to it.

Rage comes up from the part of me that had to expect the unexpected when I was a teenage girl

Jennifer Zamparelli. Photograph: Andres Poveda

The Baldoyle native did some soul-searching as she turned 40 mid-pandemic

I will not be shaking hands into the future. I’ll be sticking to a casual verbal greeting – ‘howiya, horse’ – and a non-committal wave. Photograph: iStock

Vaccine hesitancy is real – and so is back-to-normal hesitancy, I can attest

I’m sick of the sight of my house. And there are tents all along the canal. Tents, count ’em and weep. Photograph: Laura Hutton

I know I’m lucky to have a house, but I’m not in love with mine at the moment

Twin studies have historically been some of the most valuable research tools in the world, helping to explain human behavioural, medical and physical traits. Photograph: iStock

As my identical-twin girls turn 12 I try my first ever twinsperiment

This time has knocked something out of some of us. Something that might come back. But also something that may not. Photograph: Getty Images

There’s a tentative opening up this week but we’re not all rushing out to explore

Some people in Dingle seem to have decided you are somehow responsible for Quaid’s crime. Photograph: Getty

The sexually assaulted among us understand what you have been through

 Sarah McInerney, RTÉ radio and television presenter pictured in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Barna native looks back on her career to date before her move to Prime Time next week

Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1958 film adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Photograph: MGM Studios/courtesy of Getty

Three generations of the family reach Cat on a Hot Tin Roof phase of lockdown

“Context has become very unfashionable. We don’t want to wait for the person’s explanation where they describe why they behaved the way they did.” Photograph: Mikimad/Getty images

The departure of Teen Vogue’s new editor is a salutary tale for anyone active on social media

Aer Lingus airplane Airbus A320-214 landing at Heathrow Airport, UK

I feel like a peeping Tom, sticking my nose into the lives of people going beyond 5km

Bob Geldof: ‘I am brain dead, and it’s like nothing happens in my head.’ Photograph: Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty Images

‘I owe practically everything to England,’ says Geldof. Its people ‘are essentially anarchic’

The walrus spotted on the coast of Valentia Island on Monday: Walruses in the wild can sing non-stop for days at a time. Photograph: Alan Houlihan/PA Wire

Not to rain on your virtual parade, but I never expected another pandemic Patrick's Day

Talking on low walls: Grand Canal Dock, Dublin during the first 2020 lockdown. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

This Level 5 is very different from the first, hardcore one. We’re not as scared

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