Anne Griffin: ‘You don’t need an MA to be able to write a book but for me it gave me the confidence to know I could actually do it.’

The novelist on becoming a writer, her fascinations with death and upcoming book

Tolü Makay Tolü Makay: At boarding school she was  called ‘by my middle name, Elizabeth, instead of my first name. It taught me that I didn’t have a voice’

The singer spoke to Róisín Ingle at Saturday’s Irish Times Big Night In online event

Shapewear, corsetry and push-up bras, once tools of sexy and feminine power, have evidently been on the wane

Sales of sports bras have risen as women chose comfort over curves

’I miss a hotel swimming pool. I miss wandering around in a towelled dressing gown. I miss the dinky shampoo bottles.’

There’s something about the no-man’s-land of a hotel room; you can shrug off life

 Tanya Sweeney with her baby Isola Cregan, in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

My new and greatest fear – that of losing my child – now colours everything

 Aoibhinn Ní Súilleabháin, academic, TV presenter and former Rose of Tralee. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

The broadcaster and academic spoke to Róisín Ingle at The Irish Times Big Night In

In the last year, TV has become the very glue binding us together, writes Tanya Sweeney

TV has become the very glue binding us together but heaven forfend if your watching styles don’t sit neatly with the otherS

 Irish fans were recently amazed to find a €2 Irish beauty icon on the shelf of her home.

Tanya Sweeney: The iconic grey jar is beloved by other celebrities including Rita Ora and Amanda Holden

A couple of years ago, I happened across a hardcore coffee snob in a coffee shop closer to home. Photograph: Getty

Tanya Sweeney: When Covid happened, coffee drinking almost seemed mandatory

Orlando Bloom: the actor says he takes Brain Octane Oil. Photograph: Victor Boyko/Getty for Balmain

The reaction to the star’s health regime says a lot about our odd attitudes to wellness

Sports journalist,  podcaster and activist Joanne O’Riordant. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The sports journalist/podcaster spoke to Róisín Ingle at The Irish Times Big Night In

Jameela Jamil: ‘I had an eating disorder for 20 years and a nervous breakdown when I was 26 . . . I realised that I wasn’t going to survive this Earth anymore if I didn’t do something about it.’ Photograph: Amanda Edwards/Getty

The Good Place actor on self-love and ‘the evils’ of the beauty and fashion industries

Ready – nearly – to leave  lockdown. Photograph: Getty

Will meeting friends be an anticlimax? Going to a gig overwhelming?

Comic Relief: Paul Mescal, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Andrew Scott in the London church where they spent a day filming their Fleabag-meets-Normal People sketch

The Irish Comic Relief sketch debuts on British TV on Friday March 19th. Here’s how it was made

Eating lunch in front of your computer screen is a joyless exercise. Photograph: Getty

Skipping your daily lunch hour means missing out on five hours of ‘me time’ a week

Missing: a poster appealing for help in the disappearance of Sarah Everard in London. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty

Women are sharing stories of being harassed and attacked. Might things change this time?

Former presidents of Ireland Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson in 2016. Photograph: Maxwells

The former president was speaking to Róisín Ingle at The Irish Times Big Night In

In our 20s we felt it entirely appropriate to sit around together and talk loudly about our sexual misadventures. Photograph: Getty

With most of my friends in relationships, the curtain is down on glorious dating talk

Declutterer and author of Stuff Happens, Emma Gleeson: ‘If you don’t address why you’re holding on to clutter, it’s like going on a crash diet – it won’t stick and you’ll be back to square one within months.’

Professional declutterer Emma Gleeson examines why we hold on to so many things

Colin Farrell: ‘When I went away, I always felt I was representing Ireland in some way.’ Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

The actor spoke at a virtual event in the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival

It’s just not the same: Paul Mescal appearing at the Emmys via Zoom last September.  Photograph: ABC

Tanya Sweeney: Events remind me of lost privilege of sitting with friends in anticipation

This week’s haul included a new foundation to complement the other five or six, a third teapot, bedclothes, a jumpsuit, a spree of six new books and new kitchen chairs. File photograph: Getty Images

Surely I’m not the only one emotionally spending my way through the Covid-19 pandemic?

Wedding plans: Kylie Minogue and Paul Solomons look set to marry in Melbourne. Photograph: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty

Kylie Minogue is set to marry Paul Solomons. It’s going to be low-key. Or perhaps enormous

Are other parents nostalgic for smaller versions of their kids; balder versions, more chubby-legged versions; less mobile versions?

Tanya Sweeney: Does everyone believe their child is – objectively – the most beautiful?

‘I’ve never forgotten it – even in that moment, she was so incredibly selfless and brave.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Medical professionals on the patient that changed their outlook on work, or life, forever

Daisy Buchanan: the British journalist’s new book is   both smoothly observant and brilliantly, giddily filthy. Photograph: Grace Plant

'Women have appetites and as they sometimes rage out of control, the worst thing we can do is repress them'

In the noughties, heels were the embodiment of glossy, aspirational femininity. Photograph: Getty

Bonjela and painkillers: How little we women value our own personal comfort

Great outdoors: snow could arrive in Ireland next week. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty

Improvise a toboggan. Make an Insta-ready snowman. Light a fire. Snowproof your house

Daniel Kinahan, whose involvement with top-tier boxing has come under scrutiny. Photograph: Collins Dublin

‘Panorama: Boxing & The Mob’ TV review: A comprehensive investigation into Daniel Kinahan

Thumbs-up: ‘Close cousin of the middle-finger emoji’

Tony Holohan texted that Covid-19 infection was rising in Dublin. Donnelly sent a thumbs-up

Dublin-born, Los Angeles-based Paul McClean creates homes for America’s super-rich

The Kardashian way: life is often boring, hard, tragic and depressing – we should be taking any opportunity we get to spoil ourselves and our loved ones, to rejoice that we are still here, and to appreciate what we have. Photograph:  Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Tanya Sweeney: Throw everything you’ve got at the milestones and achievements in life

John King: ‘We were wrong about Trump’

The CNN anchor spoke to Fintan O’Toole at the Irish Times Winter Nights festival

Paris Hilton: why the indignation about her approach to having a family? Photograph: Daniel Jack Lyons/New York Times

IVF is never easy. If gender selection is a perk, why shouldn’t she make the most of it?

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘This virus is a deadly one. Over 3,000 people have died in the Republic of Ireland, and 1,700 in the north of Ireland. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘By May-June, we should have a surplus of vaccines,’ the Taoiseach says

‘Hang on, am I adopted?’  Dara Ó Briain has spoken publicly for the first time about his adoption. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The comic found tracing his birth mother ‘positive’ but ‘unnecessarily hard’

Paul Howard stands next to a statue of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly in Dublin. “I set out to make him the most hateful character in the books.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw

The author discussed comedic gold and the origins of Ross at The Irish Times Winter Nights Festival

‘Keep going. I love an auld cry.’ Photograph: Getty

We’re scared of tears. We’re embarrassed by them. We often see them as a weakness.

Nowadays, there are an estimated 67 million domestic workers worldwide

Tanya Sweeney: In Ireland, we have a funny relationship with the idea of house cleaners

There is scant evidence to suggest that Melania Trump has had any kind of influence on her husband in the past four years. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

The first lady used to act as if under duress. But she remains detached even after last week’s riot

Your relationship with your mother-in-law will be a complex one - but does the cliche hold up? Illustration: iStock

Tanya Sweeney: I’m officially acquiring a mother-in-law – and I couldn’t be happier

To say that we are clean out of emotional bandwidth and can’t take on another moment of negativity is probably stating the obvious. Photograph:iStock

Tanya Sweeney: A tiny break in stride is nothing to lose the bap over

Gone for good: some of the businesses that closed in 2020. Photographs: The Irish Times

Owners of restaurants, pubs, shops and cafes on how Covid-19 closed their doors for good

The only positive thing about walking into a hair salon for the first time in a year is that your stylist can’t really chastise you about home trims. Photograph: Getty Images

Tanya Sweeney: To be accused of not caring about your appearance used to be a huge denigration

Kathryn and Fintan Cahill (right) in their home Virginia, Co Cavan with their guests for Christmas Rolf and Denise McLaughlin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

The pandemic means many people will have a very different Christmas this year

Writer and academic Emma Dabiri: “The difference with this [and other social media platforms] is that now the creator is getting paid as well as the platform. Maybe it’s a fairer model. It’s quite radical in some ways.”

Covid-19 has changed everything and makes an audience subscription model attractive

Olivia O’Leary: ‘A little part of me has begun to stop being a journalist.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The broadcaster talks sexism, ageism and Golfgate on The Irish Times Big Night In

This might be the only year you get to choose what you eat, what you watch, who you speak to. It can get you back in touch with what Christmas really means to you. Photograph: iStock

If you choose to fly solo during the festivities, here’s how to really enjoy your own company

Realistically, you should have at least a carload of junk for the recycling centre.

Tanya Sweeney: There is something inherently stressful about upending your possessions

Buy them a membership, subscription or ecologically sound product – or make your own

Tanya Sweeney: ‘My cute, curious, affectionate, joyful baby has been replaced by a changeling’.

If I knew the ‘terrible twos’ were coming, why do I feel so at sea?

Dolly Parton photographed by Stacie Huckeba

Country icon on depression, weight stigma and visiting Páidí Ó Sé’s pub in Co Kerry

Socially distanced cinema

A wealth of cultural activity resumes all over the country this week as restrictions are eased

 Marie Cassidy: “Women are very good at modern forensic pathology  because we are happy to be part of a team.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Working as the chief state pathologist made Cassidy very well known, something she found ‘disconcerting’

Research shows men’s sexual desirability peaks at age 50, while women hit their prime at 18. Photograph: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Tanya Sweeney: My experience of a relationship with an age difference was a disaster

Leta Powell Drake says to Elliott Gould, ‘But they’ve all made a fortune, Elliot,’ like a frustrated stage mum

Leta Powell Drake’s 1970s access-all-areas savage chats with the stars have gone viral

Claire Byrne: “I didn’t feel sick enough not to be broadcasting.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

An ‘early adopter’ of Covid-19 in March, she continued to broadcast through the illness

A  Macra na Feirme survey found that only 57 per cent of Irish people interact with their neighbours on a regular basis. Photograph: Getty Images

Tanya Sweeney: I doubt I’d have made it through recent months without the tribe on the doorstep

Back in March, the Zoom quiz seemed like a great idea . . . it didn’t take long to see them for the folly that they were. Photograph: Getty Images

Tanya Sweeney: A Zoom quiz invitation? I thought we’d waved that blight off for good

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown. Photograph: Netflix

The fourth series of the much anticipated 10 episodes was reportedly produced on a €110 million) budget

Sorcha Judge at her home office: “It helps to reach out to your colleagues. Even before a meeting starts, make sure to have that social chat.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Starting a job at a physical remove from colleagues is challenging – but it has upsides

Caitlin Moran: ‘I honestly thought middle age would be a beautiful era of serenity.’ Photograph:  Rune Hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images

The writer and firebrand says the ‘maintenance shag’ vastly improved her relationship

Amid the chintzy swan figurines and the souvenir plates from Mallorca we found stuff that made memories return like an avalanche. Photograph: Getty Images

After my mother died, a weekend spent clearing out my family home brought our family closer together

This year’s celebrations won’t be like the Halloween we know and love but people can still have fun and stay safe at the same time. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Even in Level 5, with a little creativity and ingenuity you can still get a a kick out of the scariest season of the year

Just dropped on Netflix – A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster Hunting. Photograph: Netflix

Round off the week with festive activities and a new spooky instalment of the Babysitter’s Club

Geocaching requires a device with GPS, and the app, to find caches hidden all over Ireland by fellow players. Photograph: iStock

Try out geocaching, make a sock puppet or take in some time-travel adventures on TV – and there’s an easy one-pot wonder to cook f(...)

You could try Pandemic the board game. Photograph: iStock

Try a family quiz show, a local nature lesson, some board-game action and a kitchen crowdpleaser

Paper games require little to no equipment, try Xs and Os, dots and boxes, or hangman

Meatballs for dinner, a new Pixar film on TV and back to basics with indoor paper games

Stuck for mid-term inspiration? Here are plenty of great ideas the whole family can enjoy to get you started

‘In a just world, a nude photo shouldn’t have the power to damage someone’s reputation, or end a career, or even cause embarrassment.’

How is the naked female body something so loaded with toxic meaning?

French writer, feminist activist and member of the Paris Council Alice Coffin. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

One French feminist says women should, but is this throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

We have worn out the phrase ‘We must do a Skype soon’ to the point that it’s lost all meaning. Photograph: Getty

We’re letting go of each other without much of a fight as all joy deserts our interactions

 Billie Eilish attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood in February 2020. Photograph: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Despite her groundbreaking music, opinions about her body always, always get in the way

Actor Dominic West and wife Catherine FitzGerald in a public display of affection outside their home in the Cotswolds  after West was seen kissing actor Lily James in Rome. Photograph: GlosPics/MEGA/GC Images

West and wife Catherine FitzGerald put on a public display of affection after pictures emerge of actor kissing Lily James

Love in a Covid climate: boil-washing masks doesn’t feature highly on the Hot Things To Do Together list. Illustration: iStock

If anyone asks how I’m doing, my first instinct is to reply, ‘Well, we’re still together, so that’s something!’ And it is

At their best, music gigs can make me shiver with happiness. Photograph: Getty

If I try hard enough, I can feel, smell and hear my happy place: a live music gig

Elizabeth Day: The author, journalist and broadcaster’s  How To Fail podcast is listened to by millions of people worldwide. Photograph: Jenny Smith

The author and presenter of the How To Fail podcast on overcoming multiple miscarriages, reclaiming failure and counteracting the (...)

Eileen Flynn: ‘A lot of my teachers believed in me.’  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The Senator and Traveller was speaking at the Women’s Podcast ‘Big Night In’ live event

It’s a lovely sisterly concept but  sending the lift back down could  put yourself at a professional disadvantage. Photograph: iStock

Sending the lift back down requires a woman to be at a certain, fairly exalted point in her career

Suzanne Kane and her husband Joey at their home in Walkinstown. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times.

The relaxed atmosphere of lockdown has led to a spike in pregnancies, says one hospital

Chrissy Teigan and John Legend: she shared the loss of their baby with her  40 million social media followers. Photograph: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

The rawness in her words and photos are likely to make others feel much less alone

Friluftsliv: People hike above Lough Tay, in the Wicklow Mountains. Photograph: iStock

The Norwegian practice of ‘free-air life’ offers the ideal escape room during the pandemic

Photograph: Getty

The Dignity with Dying Bill gives hope to people whose lived experience demands a choice

Caroline Flannery: ‘It was a really awkward space, with lots of slopes and nooks and crannies, which are notoriously difficult to design anyway.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

The awkward top floor of a Dublin Georgian has been reworked as a bright city pad

The problems arise when you find out that these gestures are all for show, designed to lure the interest of potential lovers. Photograph: iStock

If he says he’s a feminist or if she adds #BlackLivesMatter to her profile, tread carefully

Katherine Ryan’s new Netflix series The Duchess is a none-too-distant cousin of Catastrophe or Motherland, both co-written by Sharon Horgan. Photograph: Oliver Upton/Netflix

The Canadian stand-up on ‘laddish’ comedy culture, her Irish dad and flipping stereotypes in new series The Duchess

Ellen DeGeneres: ‘I take responsibility for what happens at my show.’ File photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty

Apology over harassment allegations has tang of woman using right buzzwords but not really believing them

To experience that kind of love twice over is barely believable

I’m already missing the newborn phase even though it felt like someone was very nicely pushing my head underwater

Going for the sensible option isn’t always a good idea. Photograph: iStock

Friends in my class applied for law, physiotherapy and medicine. Not a single one of us are in any of those jobs now

Ask any of these callers what they might like to see happen, and almost all of them wish for a health system that took their respective conditions more seriously. Photograph: iStock

Tanya Sweeney: What I learned volunteering for a mental health helpline

Francis (left) and John Brennan run the Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry.

Familiarity breeds contentment in some of our best-loved family-run hotels and country houses

Matt Damon takes all precautions on return to Ireland. Oh no, hang on it’s a still from The Martian

Warning: The Irish are suddenly not so fond of Americans coming from a Covid hotspot

Tim and Fred Williams react to U2’s Where the Street Have No Name. Photogaph: YouTube

Videos of YouTubers Tim and Fred Williams listening to classic songs have racked up millions of views

‘I relayed the earliest days of our romance to a friend. He was lovely, I told her, but I’m not sure where this is going.’

‘We can never see contentment for what it is when we’re there, living it in that moment’

 Cahal Sweeney from Dublin and his girlfriend Abbi Purches from Boston who have been separated for over six months during Covid-19. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Abbi and Cahal had spent just a fortnight in each other’s company when Covid-19 hit

Terri White, editor of Empire, has written a new memoir, Coming Undone, in which she evocatively details a childhood pockmarked with poverty, violence, sexual abuse and shame.

Terri White’s memoir, Coming Undone, is a catalogue of violence, abuse and horror

An influencer’s life may look effortless, but it requires more than a smudge of Vaseline on the lens. Photograph: Getty

A cold war has been brewing between traditional journalists and influencers for some time

21 Glandore Park, Dún Laoghaire, asking €575,000, was sale agreed in just two weeks.

The snobbery that lingers around bungalows means there could be gems galore out there

Caroline Flack (left), Jack Charlton and Naya Rivera. Photograph: PA/The Irish Times/Getty Images

When a well-known person dies, the spectacle carries on for days in the news agenda

Anne Doyle on retirement: ‘If I could have afforded it, I would have gone out earlier.’ Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

The former RTÉ newsreader on her popularity, perks of retirement and not enjoying lockdown life

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