Christmas 2020:  All of the settings, scenarios and behaviours are a disaster for everything Covid-related. It is a confluence of everything we’ve been told to avoid. Photograph: Francis R Malasig

We must work out how to enjoy festivities safely without breaking our hearts

UCD president Prof Andrew Deeks: put under pressure at meeting of governing authority,  especially by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Calls for expert group to be set up amid fallout from Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin controversy

The UCD campus. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

University president was told last year there was ‘no evidence’ of commitment to tackle issue

The Sorting Office development  on the corner of Cardiff Lane and Hanover Street East in  which Google was going to lease office space.

It was so obvious to anyone living in or near the city centre that it was not going to end well

Abandoned tents after last year’s Electric Picnic. Photograph: Dave Meehan

There can be no reduction in the €350 unemployment pay for the industry’s workers

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

The academic and broadcaster recounts her experience of harassment by a colleague

We need to create new forms of being, working, socialising and thriving. We know what the pandemic has taken but what has it given us? Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Rather than view 2020 as a ‘wasted’ year, we can see it as moment of communal pause

Taoiseach Micheál Martin takes questions from the media  Photo Damien Storan. PA Photo.

The parties in power have simply failed to recognise that the world has changed

An anti-lockdown and anti-facemask protest which took place in Dublin on Saturday. We have seen what happens in other countries when distrust in an ‘establishment’ is weaponised by people who prey on a collapse in accountability and in turn use it to bolster their own interests and desire for power. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

This latest scandal will not only damage social cohesion – it will threaten democracy

Theresa Chimamkpam and Elias Jegede with some of  their belongings outside the property on Berkeley Road in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Black-clad men removed furnishings while three gardaí allowed them to pass by

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how direct provision is a threat to public health.’ File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Amid a pandemic, the people of Ireland have done their job. The system, however, has not

Caroline O’Donoghue: There is a sort of loneliness at play in her second novel, Scenes of a Graphic Nature

The writer grapples with Irishness, placelessness, loneliness and ‘the rage generation’

For some, the “death” of town may also provide opportunities that were previously unavailable to anyone without deep pockets and international investors. Photograph: Alan Betson

Covid-hit economy and culture will mutate and prosper for creative and nimble

Once again, Fine Gael in particular is demonstrating what is now an almost pathological detachment from the electorate. Picture: Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD. Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

There are multiple things informing this epically thick moment for a government quickly becoming known for its incompetence

QAnon conspiracy theorists: There are QAnon “documentaries” loaded with false claims  and the conspiracy has been gathering followers across social media, particularly on Facebook. Photograph: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency

Facts and digital literacy must kill off QAnon ‘documentaries’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with Barry Cowen in 2016. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Party’s amateur-hour show in Government is an insult to the seriousness of the moment

Phoenix Park after being reopened to traffic. Photograph: Alan Betson

If they roll over on decision to allow traffic to return, FG and FF will have their measure

If women have been harassed off the stage, perhaps the only option left is to turn the spotlight on themselves. Photograph: iStock

Irish comedy and trad the latest industries caught up in a moment of epic truth-telling

 Micheál Martin: At the heart of this new Government is a delusion that its existence is some sort of conclusion. Combining the ghosts of the crash with an out-of-touch Fine Gael, who insisted the country was flying when so many people were sinking, will not work out well.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

How is making Micheál Martin Taoiseach the preferred option to an election that would decimate FF

Una Mullally: ‘In recent years, it has been heartening to see a younger LGBTQ+ generation take up the mantle of interrogating the logic and ethics of acceptability politics and corporate nonsense.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

An end to the corporate presence at Pride would be a welcome development

Liveline presenter Joe Duffy has steered many excellent conversations throughout, be they on racism, education equality, the human cost of the pandemic, and everything in between

Experienced and empathetic presenter's voice has permeated lockdown on Liveline

People at a Black Lives Matter protest rally outside the US embassy in Dublin on Monday, June 1st. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The need to end this cruel and inhuman direct provision system is being called out

Four-year-old Cian Walshe plays in the sea off Portmarnock Beach, Dublin, on Friday. Liberated from work and the obligations of daily life, there is a sense of air and space. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

There are echoes of childhood in this break from rat-race culture and commodification

Protesters hold placards calling for the resignation of Boris Johnson's special adviser Dominic Cummings outside the entrance to Downing Street in central London. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty

A nation that does not confront its national identity will not be able to move forward

Grand Canal Dock: Big Tech bosses have decided they don’t need offices. Many places where young people work – bars, restaurants, cafes, salons, clothing shops – will disappear completely.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Generation to be worst-hit by post-epidemic recession will act to effect real social change

Mike Murray runs through Phoenix Park with his son Donnacha and spaniel Pip. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

The OPW must not throw away the opportunity for the park – the lungs of Dublin – to become car-free

Mikey O’Brien, Conleth Teevan and Rhona Drummond with baby Felix at his naming ceremony in August 2018

Key piece of legislation on parenting issues yet to be fully enacted five years after referendum

The Sligo school was in Dublin. Many of the Trinity scenes were shot in Drumcondra

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh: His department turns with all the speed and nimbleness of an aircraft carrier reversing in a storm. Photograph:  Leon Farrell/PA

With Covid-19, McHugh left it to last minute to cram for final exams and created a mess

For many pubs, the economics of a place like Dublin are completely incompatible with what physical distancing requires. Photograph: Eric Luke

Nighttime economy can be reset to boost big ideas beyond clutch of usual lobbyists

Graffiti art by Maser featuring the slogan ‘Maser loves you’ in 2008. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

October 11th, 2008: Ireland’s street artists come out from the underground

A giant landart painting, Beyond Crisis, by French artist  Saype in the alpine resort of Leysin, western Switzerland. Photograph: Valentin Flauraud for Saype/AFP via Getty Images

The metaphors used to give meaning in both pandemics are strangely similar

Bob Geldof: When Self Aid took place at the RDS, some 17.3 per cent of the workforce was unemployed. Photograph: Terry Thorp

In 1986, U2, Van Morrison and Clannad sang for jobs, but not everyone was in tune with it

The project marries two of Ireland’s most talented artists – Rooney and director Lenny Abrahamson

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: new government is likely to be a transitionary phase before the new era of Irish politics begins. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A positive legacy of coronavirus crisis should be a decisive throwing-out of old politics

French producers were unable to keep up with the booming export demand for champagne. Photograph: Frank Miller

Archive: A 1989 shortage of French bubbly was attributed to demand from Ireland

Clockwise from left: Frances Black, Darina Allen, John Creedon, Eavan Boland, Ann Rossiter, Ailbhe Smyth, Brendan Gleeson and Sheila Gallagher

Brendan Gleeson, Eavan Boland, John Creedon and others pass on advice during this uncertain time

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at a media briefing. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Paltry, insulting coronavirus ‘supports’ compound a sense of helplessness

Over the years, the debate around pubs serving or not on Good Friday populated The Irish Times’ letters pages on an annual basis.

An Irish Times article from 1981 stated ‘drink and the Irish go together like gin and tonic’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spun an anecdotal tale without offering any evidence to back it up. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

His callous off-the-cuff remark reminds us that he is not beyond scrutiny

A typist wears a mask to protect against Asian flu in the UK, 1957. Photograph: Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty

From the archive: The southside of the city was hit harder than less populous northside

Brazilian artist Marina Esmeraldo:  I think people who work with creativity are full of ‘the great discontent’

Life Lessons: Brazilian artist Marina Esmeraldo

When Fine Gael pulled the tablecloth off the national dining table to tackle Covid-19 and left the crockery still standing, it really was some trick. There were no consultancy fees or communications agencies. It just…happened. Photograph: Getty Images

The equitable social model we are using to guide us through Covid-19 can be a guiding light to how we rebuild society

Firemen hosing down the ruins of Kilteragh, Sir Horace Plunkett’s house outside Dublin, which was burned down by forces opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty during the Irish Civil War, February 1923. Photograph:  Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From the archive: The destruction of Irish country houses, or Big Houses, between 1919 and 1923 saw about 275 houses destroyed

I have a few things I live by that motivate me to work harder and trust the process: “You don’t hustle you don’t eat”, and “Impossible is nothing”.

Rapper and artist JYellowL says he is firm believer in sharing your blessings and empowering others

The brand of capitalism governments have been shovelling fuel into the furnace of is broken. It doesn’t work. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Capitalism is burning out and the pandemic is nothing if not a great, discombobulating leveller

‘Not every woman is a born mother, although Irishwomen, as a race, have the reputation for being so’, Barbara Dickinson wrote in 1944.

How Mother’s Day become mainstream ‘as appreciation of all the unselfish service’

Roseleen McDonagh’s motto for life is ’just keep going’.

Life Lessons: An insight into Rosaleen McDonagh’s life and times – the good, bad and ugly

Ireland is better equipped to deal with this moment than many other places, and we are an empathic nation that cares. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

We must let go of individualism; slowing the spread of Covid-19 is every person’s work

Lynette Haith, from Redlands, California at the 1992 St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin. Photograph: Joe St Leger

From the Archive: Gay rights groups went to court and held protests over exclusion

How do you self-isolate when your entire family lives in a  hotel room in Dublin?

The city was already coughing and spluttering, and it’s about to become very sick indeed

Patricia Scanlan: “My sense of humour has got me through a lot.” Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall

Life Lessons: The popular author on inspirations and moments that changed her life

Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

Party is repeating its Hillary Clinton mistake by pinning hopes on status quo candidate

Kathleen Clarke, the first female Lord Mayor of Dublin.

From the archive: Kathleen Clarke became the first female Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1939

Thommas Kane Byrne: ‘I have received so much love and support in my career thus far. I’m very lucky’

Life Lessons: Thommas Kane Byrne, actor and playwright

Memo to companies: stop the gender-washing, box-ticking corporate feminism and really get to grips with the root causes of inequality in the workplace. Photograph: iStock

The empty rhetoric of female empowerment within corporate culture makes me queasy

WB Yeats was invited to speak at St Bartholomew’s Vicarage by the Rev Walter Simpson, as part of the parish’s annual sale of work in 1923. Photograph: Getty Images

From the archive: ‘Mr Yeats was enjoying the satisfaction of recognition in his own lifetime’

Pygmalion on South William Street is also doing away with ticket sales for its popular club nights and international guest DJ performances. Photograph: Pygmalion

Pygmalion booker says link up with Peter McVerry Trust will run throughout year

An unfulfilled goal?  ‘My unfinished PhD thesis. To this day, it still bothers me that I did not see it through and earn my doctorate.’

Life Lessons: Vicky Phelan, cervical cancer advocate and author, on overcoming life's big challenges

Having spent a campaign attacking Sinn Féin – a tactic which completely backfired – Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil politicians are now continuing that failed approach.  Photograph: Getty Images

Sinn Féin has benefitted from Fine Gael’s vapid neoliberalism and lack of engagement on issues that matter to people

 Irish folk singer Maura O’Connell at the Clarence Hotel in Dublin in 2013. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

From the archive: In 1981, Maura O’Connell was voted the number one female singer by Hot Press

Caroline Flack was subjected to relentless tabloid stories throughout her career, particularly about her relationships. Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Many of us engage with social media without considering why. Our usage patterns need a rethink

Kate Dolan: The moment that changed my life was when my short film Catcalls played at Fantasia film festival in Montreal in 2018. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Life Lessons: Kate Dolan, writer and director of films, music videos and commercials

This election was coloured not just by the desire for change, but also an electorate being able to conceptualise the possibility for change because of how much Irish society has changed in the past five years or so. Photograph: Damien Eagers

The recent referendums showed the Irish electorate that radical change is possible

In 1952 Archbishop John D’Alton of Armagh drew a correlation between people going to dances and the spread of TB. Photograph: iStock

From the Archive: ‘The remedy will come, not from legislation, but from the common sense of the people themselves’

Sinn Féin appeals to a renewed sense of ambition and self-belief from within the country. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Getty Images

This election is rooted in the recession, housing crisis, and the politicisation of young people

1970: The stamps and coins stall at the Pansy market on Montague street. Photograph: Tommy Collins/The Irish Times.

From the archive: ‘The true junk lover knows that time is even more essential than money to successful junk hunts’

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald launching her party’s general election manifesto. Photograph: Alan Betson

The election campaign suggests people value a booming society over a booming economy

Telefís Éireann’s St Brigid’s Cross  design in  1962. Photograph: RTÉ

From the archive: The distinctive and iconic design was removed by the station in 1995

Hugh Wallace, presenter of The Great House Revival

Life Lessons: It was a new beginning, with new work, says the architect and RTÉ presenter

I also believe there is a hidden female Sinn Féin vote that is less documented. Young women I speak to who are voting for Sinn Féin cite their admiration for Mary Lou McDonald, and her ability to rise above the noise and political pettiness and communicate directly in the media

Irish young people are politicised not by old-fashioned tribalism but along issues

Ads in the newspaper in January 1919 featured everything from ‘exhibition jazz dances’ at a ballroom on Adelaide Road, to ‘jazz teas’. Photograph: iStock

From the archive: ‘A new form of music introduced from Africa probably’

Jo Spain’s latest book is Six Wicked Reasons

Lessons Learned: ‘When I decided to write my first book, I thought people would think I was daft but a good friend said to me “why(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. ‘By focusing on abstracts such as Brexit, and appealing to people’s self-interest by pitching tax cuts, Fine Gael has laid out its stall.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Abstractions of Brexit more comfortable for the party than homelessness and gang crime

A worker folds linen for tea towels at a Belfast linen factory in 1949. Photograph: George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images

From the archive: In 1917, The Irish Times printed an article about ‘our debt to William III’ for his contribution to the Irish te(...)

Cellist, singer and composer, Vyvienne Long

Life Lessons: Singer, cellist and composer on challenges, influences and achievements

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a photocall in London in November 2017 after they announced their engagement. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Meghan Markle finds herself in a toxic fan ecosystem fuelled by tabloid press narratives

Gerry Fitt addressing a party conference in Belfast. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

From the archive: ‘There has been a need in Northern Ireland for a strong political alternative to the Unionist Party’

The pain that emanates from neglect or perceived neglect is something that has not been heard or treated in Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Prosperity now is very public, and a lot of inequalities are very hidden

A news story about the beauty benefits of so-called radiamic clay made quite a stir in 1913. Illustration: iStock

From the archive: Was this article in 1913 an early example of ‘native advertising’?

Mark Zuckerberg,  founder of Facebook, listens during a House committee hearing in Washington, DC, US. File photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It used to be a privilege to be on social media, but it is now a privilege to be off it

Taking a Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot in 1971. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea/The Irish Times

From the archive: If you’re taking the plunge over the festive season, remember the feminists who did so before you

Minister for foreign affairs Brian Lenihan with An Ngoc Dung (2) and Van Quoc Thanh (3) at a party for Vietnamese refugees at Blanchardstown hospital, Co Dublin, in 1979. Photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

From the Archive: A 1979 Christmas party for Vietnamese refugees saw coconut cake and Molly Malone

Le Galaxie: Their live shows acted as a pressure valve for a generation under incredible strain

The band offered a sparkling antidote to the misery and dourness of the recession

Mitch Albom. Photograph: Adela Loconte/WireImage

Life Lessons: ‘Success is what matters the most’ is the worst advice the author has got

Brenda Fricker and Daniel Day-Lewis in Jim Sheridan’s 1989 film My Left Foot, based on the book by Christy Brown.

From the archive: Looking back at one of the greatest nights ever in Irish cinema

The behemoths got bigger in a landscape where streaming giants took over

The Decade in Culture: The most impactful books, series and performers of 2010-19

Remember that algorithms are constantly steering you online. They are constantly laying out tracks in various directions in front of you, the train, the “user”.

Christmas dinner is as good a place as any to promote literacy on internet algorithms

Dan Colley: ‘I’m a paradoxical combination of space cadet and control freak. I’m sure it’s very annoying.’ Photograph: Enda Rowan

Life Lessons: Dan Colley, theatre director and dramaturg

Tara Street Baths, where about 50 children had been brought to be washed and newly clothed before being sent to England, on  October 23rd, 1913. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

From the archive: 50 boys and girls were brought to Tara Street Baths to be washed and sent away

Fontaines D.C.’s Grian Chatten. Photograph: Visionhaus

Review: Dublin’s gentrification is inspiring a generation of musicians, led by Fontaines D.C.

“Ireland has golden visas, we just don’t really talk about them.”

Application numbers for our immigrant investor programme are rocketing in Ireland

Late night Christmas shopping in Dunnes Stores in 1997. Photograph: Frank Miller

From the archive: December 8th used to mark the start of the Irish Christmas season

Fine Gael byelection candidate Verona Murphy arrives to vote at Ramsgrange Parish Hall, Co Wexford, on Friday. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Verona Murphy’s candidacy saw the party validating toxic forms of discussion

 Danny La Rue as the Merry Widow Twanky in Aladdin at the London Palladium. File Photograph: PA Wire

From the archive: In 1971, Danny La Rue had just returned to his hometown of Cork for the first time in 18 years

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