Catherine Clinch in An Cailín Ciúin, which was adapted from a Claire Keegan story

The shame and derision that once strangled the language appears to have evaporated

Vanessa Murphy and Anna Cabrera of Las Tapas de Lola will open a sister restaurant, La Gordita, on Montague Street. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Gigs, festivals, events and films ... here’s what’s trending this week

The narrative that insinuates that taking defamation cases is a sport specific to Sinn Féin is also disingenuous. Above, Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Sinn Féin is misguided in placing itself in the same bracket as the elites it rails against

Greta Gerwig is directing a new Barbie ‘biopic’ starring Margot Robbie. Photograph: Getty Images

Events, trends, fashion, film, podcasts ... here’s what’s trending this week

Protesters against a proposal to build a 114-room hotel around the Cobblestone pub in Smithfield, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The capital's Cobblestone pub and Capel Street saved by people power

The National Gallery of Ireland: Aramark  recently won a €7.5 million catering contract at the gallery. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Deal with US company caused discontent among staff over links to direct provision system

 Senator Sharon Keogan  frequently  adopts the ‘just asking questions’ stance,  an attempt to amplify or drop in poor information, misinformation or disinformation while simultaneously not attaching herself to it. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sharon Keogan has been spouting bizarre things online and in the Seanad for a while

We’re loving James Kavanagh’s new podcast, What Did You Eat This Week?

Events, trends, fashion, TV, podcasts ... A Friday fix of things to spice up your life

‘What has changed, is a collective maturity in meeting hate with love, however flawed, and however, tragically, necessary.’ File photograph: Getty

Darkness will always descend, but does not have to be dominant tone of our landscape

At the end of 2021, Irish Poster Advertising Ltd, the outdoor cultural and entertainment poster company, went into liquidation after 36 years in operation

Outdoor sites advertising independent cultural events are gone

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has instructed that Ireland’s €500,000 Immigrant Investor Programme (golden visas) no longer be open to Russian applicants.  The vast majority who pay are Chinese millionaires. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Boosting coffers through sale of Irish residency is unethical filtration of migrants

Familiar scenes: St Patrick’s Day 2022. Photograph: Sam Boal/

The apparent end of one crisis has made way for joy but also a nagging sense of unease

 Members of the Army Ranger Wing: The militaristic pontificating by excitable and immature Fine Gaelers speaks to a mode of being in the party that loves to grandstand and play geopolitical dress-up. Photograph: Alan Betson

Bluster about acquiring military might will do little to aid Ukrainians

Sarah Grace: The Irish Times article , she says, allowed her to ‘stand behind my story, to literally put my face to it. I felt invincible after it.’ Photograph: Laura Hutton

Her new book is not just an account of a vicious sexual assault, but a handbook on how to cope

Labour’s Ivana Bacik: In an age of anti-elitism among the electorate, is it a good move to choose someone perceived (rightly or wrongly) as elite? Photograph: Tom Honan

If Ivana Bacik replaces Alan Kelly as leader she will know key issues electorate demands

Head of 2FM Dan Healy said The 2 Johnnies would bring ‘an Irishness to the station’. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Comedy duo were just doing their thing. The big mystery is: what was 2FM thinking?

Demonstrators protest outside the National Gallery of Ireland over its decision to award a catering contract to Aramark. Photograph: Jack Power

Several groups cancel upcoming events at National Gallery in Aramark protest

Solas’s mural on Cathy McGovern’s house in Sandycove: Owner has spent more money navigating the archaic planning system than she did commissioning the original mural. Photograph: Tom Honan

Urban landscapes are beautified by colour artistry on walls. But bureaucracy is a threat

Maeve Higgins in Cobh, Co Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The comedian on making it in the US and Ireland’s ‘overlooked, undervalued’ women

Charlie Flanagan’s latest wheeze is to develop a scheme for US citizens to retire in Ireland and to buy property here, in a housing market where an affordable home is already totally beyond the reach of young people.

Charlie Flanagan plan to lure US citizens to retire here insults our unhoused youth

Recruitment shortages raise wages, which adds to the mix of the inflation spiral we’re in. Photograph: iStock

Industry faces linked problems of inflation, low morale and a staffing crisis

Anyone who thinks the wave of studio/one-bed build-to-rent schemes will address the needs of people who need cheap accommodation is delusional.

Cheap form of city accommodation was replaced by pricey studios and one-beds

Socialising in Temple Bar following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions: The Taoiseach pulled a rabbit from a hat, and in a puff of smoke, the pandemic was gone. In reality, that’s not exactly the case. Photograph: Damien Storan/PA

If the pandemic induced personal growth, how can that be reflected by the State?

The Garda does not have a full and honest picture of violence against women in the home because it is ignoring and closing off cases by the thousand.  Photograph: Getty Images

The architecture of misogyny that limits women’s freedoms is being dismantled. Yet violence against women persists 


State employer gives cosy jobs for life, is a sexist waster of talent and can hardly fire you

“Priced out of Dublin, rural Ireland and towns outside the commuter belt have become an option for many people who make their lives in Dublin but can’t afford to buy a house in the capital.” Photograph: Alan Betson

What is the point of toiling away in Ireland when there are only kips of places to rent, the quality of life is poor and city life(...)

The Fruit and Vegetable Market in Dublin’s Smithfield is now a glorified toolshed. Photograph: David Sleator

Historic Fruit and Vegetable Market used as storage space by Hilton hotel builders

Outdoor diners on  Capel Street: Next year doesn’t have to be about sitting on a curb drinking a pint out of a plastic glass. Photograph: Alan Betson

Future socialising requires imaginative leap towards living our lives outside buildings

 Leader of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald: The popularity of the party isn’t about Sinn Féin in totality. It is about the unaddressed issues Sinn Féin says it will tackle. Photograph: Alan Betson

Better-off voters now backing Sinn Féin as culture and ideology change

We journey to live music to dissolve our despair, and now it’s time to properly care for those who create that art and connection. Photograph: Getty Images

The Government needs to put more money on the table to ensure musicians keep going

Renovation work in Doha: Every piece of journalism about Qatar 2022 should focus on the loss of life of those who built it, the corruption and allegations of bribery that led to it, and the human rights abuses characteristic of Qatari society. Photograph: Karim Sahib/AFP

Beauty of sport coated in blood of migrant workers and tainted by broadcast rights

Data centres will be using 30 per cent of our electricity – with some projections as high as 70 per cent – by the end of the decade. This is untenable.

Government decides to not just swallow industry’s spin, but repeat it as policy

St James’ church in Dingle

Musicians look back on the local festival that became an Irish cultural juggernaut

Coppinger Row, named after the street it has operated from for 13 years in Dublin 2, will close on December 31st

Owner Marc Bereen gives staff redundancy notice after landlord Aviva puts lease on market

If you already own a car, then why not modify it, instead of chucking it and buying a new one? Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

A million new EVs on Irish roads by 2030? It won’t happen, of course, but nor should it

 Capel Street: Last year, it seemed like everyone was bursting to socialise. This time around, it’s not uncommon  for people to be shirking the social occasions and spaces they so deeply missed. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Unease and Covid fears will keep many of us away from pre-Christmas meet-ups

News broke on Thursday that the Science Gallery, an Irish success story, is to close. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Squat evictions and Cobblestone and Science Gallery plans among factors fanning flames

‘Nobody who cares about democracy, decency and safety could argue that antagonistic, spiteful protests [...]outside Leo Varadkar’s home are normal or acceptable.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Obsession with civility can deflect from legitimate anti-government criticism

‘As the pandemic progressed, I realised that I didn’t want a “return” to gigs I was familiar with, I wanted a progression towards something new.’ Photograph: EyeEm/Getty Images

Una Mullally and Conner Habib’s National Concert Hall series explores what we can do better

‘If we don’t get the average rent down by 50 per cent, we will not be able to sufficiently staff shops, hospitality businesses, healthcare and construction.’ Photograph: iStock

The housing crisis is exacerbating staff shortages and political stupor is behind it

Author Michael Harding in the Poisoned Glen, at the foot of Mount Errigal, in Co Donegal. Photograph: Joe Dunne

The author says starting a podcast helped him relate to people when he felt vulnerable

The owner of the Merchant’s Arch pub in Temple Bar is seeking to knock one side of the laneway at Merchant’s Arch made up of a two-storey building, and build a three-storey-over-basement hotel and restaurant. Photograph: Tom Honan

The Cobblestone and Merchant’s Arch are just two of many sites subject to change

Marching to the Dublin City Council offices: people are now protesting the literal removal of texture and grain, of spirit and meaning, of culture and community. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

If so many can turn up and close a street, imagine what housing protests will look like

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the opening of Google’s new data centre in June 2016. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

In its evangelical zeal for data centres, the party failed to see the obvious consequences

Herbert Park:  We must allow public barbecuing and scrap the bylaws that make public drinking illegal. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Our capital city can be revitalised cheaply and made more fun to live in. Here’s how

The Bernard Shaw on Richmond Street South: Along with other venues, its closure  was a canary in a mine alerting broader society to an amenities crisis as public space was eroded and overpoliced. Photograph:  Tom Honan

Coalface operators require stable venues to resist plague of developer-led speculation

An Amazon employee sorts items into the waiting robots at the company’s facility on Staten Island in New York. Photograph: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

In other cities around the world, people protest the prospect of company arriving

We’re living among the wreckage of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil’s grand plans and big pronouncements. Photograph: iStock

We have to get them as far away as possible from housing policy to address crisis

This drip-drip of departures is driven first and foremost by the housing crisis. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Poor quality of life, particularly in Dublin, has been badly exposed by the pandemic

Wild Youth at July’s pilot festival at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Wild Youth, Pillow Queens, Elaine Mai, Mango and others, on continued event closures

   It’s clear that Catherine Martin is trying, and there are obviously other political forces at play that see Green Party Ministers disregarded. Photograph: Tom Honan

Government’s inaction that is actively damaging the industry is unacceptable

Grafton Street: What are we ‘opening back up’ into? When ‘real life’ returns, how will people cope with its inadequacies or anti-climatic aspects? Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government must reconsider values that propel policy in era of collective stress

Tom McFarland: ‘I have to bury myself in this whirlpool of artistic pain to make something great? I think that’s bulls**t’

Tom McFarland of the duo on writing their third album and leaving their label

Neighbours and friends of boxer  Kellie Harrington celebrate her Tokyo Olympic gold medal win in the street outside their homes on Portland Row in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

For all the lofty talk about the importance of community, Portland Row just showed it

 James Vincent McMorrow on stage at the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, in June. Photograph: Tom Honan /The Irish Times

We cannot pretend to value art yet have cities that are hostile to artists

A Google data centre

These energy vampires will drain already lacklustre efforts to meet climate targets

Labour Candidate Ivana Bacik at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

What was once radical and ‘unelectable’ is now mainstream and very electable indeed

Una Mullally: ‘James Geoghegan is in many ways a Fine Gael trope.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Dublin Bay South candidate has run superficial campaign based on brand of bland nothingness

The actor, comic and writer on the painful process of creating her new TV series in lockdown

Dublin’s Aviva Stadium is lit up in the rainbow colours of Pride: UEFA  saw a rainbow stadium as a political statement, yet did not see banning it as an equally potent political statement. Photograph: ©INPHO/ Tommy Dickson

Covid restrictions gave cis-straight people an opportunity to empathise with the queer experience

Surveys show most workers are dead against a return to being stuck in an office full time. Photograph: iStock

Varadkar’s out-of-touch ‘back to the grind’ mentality belongs in the 20th century

Pyrite cracking in Dublin. Unlike the mica redress scheme, the pyrite redress scheme offered 100% compensation. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

State has never properly dealt with building issues that emerged during and after Celtic Tiger

Aoife Noonan’s new project is a series of cooking classes given online from her Co Meath kitchen. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Aoife Noonan has swapped her chef’s whites for teaching people to bake in their own home

Members of the public brave the bad weather in Dublin’s city centre on May 20th. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Lockdowns have given us time to imagine a changed world after the pandemic

The Dubliner has left radio and written a surprising novel. What compelled her?

Sinead O’Connor sings at the funeral Mass of puppeteer Eugene Lambert in 2010: Like many girls and women in Ireland and elsewhere, her life was honed and hemmed by misogyny. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Sinéad O’Connor avoids cliche in brilliant account of artistic life lived on her own terms

Dublin’s  Capel Street: a six-weekend-long pedestrianisation trial will begin in late June. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

People want more public amenities in city and are making local government comply

Housing activists outside Apollo House in 2017. Photograph: Elaine Edwards

When people can gather safely, a movement akin to anti-water charges protests will begin

New homes at Mullen Park, Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fine Gael’s ideology is so embedded they cannot even recognise it themselves

People outside the Jigsaw community centre, at Belvedere Court near Mountjoy Square in Dublin 1, in 2018. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Pandemic may offer opportunity to transform Georgian squares into cultural venues

“There’s no reason why we can’t have bookshops setting out their literal stalls on streets and in public squares and parks.” File photograph: iStock

Feeding your mind is essential – and reading has helped many battle through pandemic

Young people have massive political influence, if they use it. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The young have had a devastating pandemic. Politicians will ignore this at their peril

Aldborough House on Portland Row, one of the  most spectacular Georgian buildings in Dublin, has been allowed fall into dereliction.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Forget whitewater rafting – we need ideas that benefit those who live here

Outdoor dining in Dublin last October. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

The lack of provision of public toilets is just a symptom of a much bigger problem

Social media platforms – especially Facebook – and entities such as YouTube create a radicalisation pipeline that works quickly and often privately.

Those who fall for wild unfounded internet ideas must be helped with compassion

Sarah Grace was attacked in her apartment in Grand Canal Dock in Dublin in July 2019. Photograph: Alison Grace

Sarah Grace discusses disclosure of therapy notes with Minister for Justice

Sarah Grace was attacked in her apartment in Grand Canal Dock in Dublin in July 2019. Photograph: Alison Grace

Sarah Grace says aspects of what victims face in court are ‘barbaric’ and ‘unacceptable’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

To have a leader happy to tread water in an era of profound change is quite sad

What white people can do next: Hazel Chu and Emma Dabiri. Photographs: Dara Mac Dónaill and Joanne O’Brien

Race, inequality and how we have a unique opportunity to create a better country

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sarah Grace will bring recommendations including ending practice of ‘therapy notes’

 We are not in control of the situation, but we are in control of how we react to it. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Rage and frustration will not work. Positivity and emotional intelligence are best tools

David Balfe: ‘I think there’s a great responsibility that comes when you’re opening up topics like that’

The deeply affecting For Those I Love project memorialises a friend who died by suicide

While many people may balk at the idea of being on the board of a local pub with convoluted decision-making processes, it doesn’t need to be like that. Photograph: iStock

Community ownership of pubs and spaces will protect both commerce and venue users

Anyone engaged with issues doesn’t care about     Fine Gael’s fluffy social media-driven campaign, which includes a video of Richard Bruton baking scones. Photograph:  Laura Hutton

Enacting policies that address women’s concerns is needed, not a fluffy online campaign

Sarah Grace is highly critical of elements of  the courts system: ‘The only thing that kept me going was if I leave, he walks, and this is going to happen again. And I can’t do that’

Solicitor Sarah Grace wants the system to change for sexual assault survivors like her

British composer Daphne Oram: invented Oramics, a method of painting shapes on to 35mm film which were then converted into sound.  Photograph: Daphne Oram Trust

Magical documentary maps genre as soundtrack to its female artists’ liberation

Citizens in Codogno in northern Italy attend the unveiling of a memorial for Covid deaths on February 21st, exactly a year after the the town recorded the first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in Europe. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP

A day of remembrance a year after our first Covid-19 death could offer catharsis

The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the self-employed and business owners whose work connects directly with others. File photograph: iStock

Resentment, caused by a specific societal divide, will be the defining force in 2021

Born in 1958, Keith Haring grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania. He moved to New York in 1978, evolving from a street art start to an international art star. Photograph: Joe McNally/Getty

Simon Doonan intentionally sought to reflect ‘the crazy energy’ of Haring’s 1980s New York

A selection of knives confiscated by An Garda Síochána and put on display in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Una Mullally: Government can tackle knife crime by tackling poverty and inequality

Labour Party Senator Rebecca Moynihan   has been at the forefront of efforts to tackle period poverty. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

If Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael care about this, why not Labour’s superior Bill?

Gemma Dunleavy’s Twitter biog is ‘Sheriff St born bread n buttered’.

‘No one around me was into art. It wasn’t a normal thing in my family or around my road’

The GameStop event pulls at cyber-anarchism, anti-capitalist  action, pure internet divilment, pandemic boredom and  recession-revenge. It reflects the urge to “burn it all down”.  Photograph: Tiffany Hagler-Geard

Motivations multifaceted and actors diverse but late-stage capitalism was target of move

It’s okay to find things hard right now. But it is temporary, even if it feels like we’re stuck in a loop. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Our politicians are not immune to the national meltdown provoked by Covid-19

If initial lockdowns offered personal, cultural and economic revelations, then a third one could offer political ones. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A desire for radical change may grow out of this latest period of reflection

The Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Tipperary, which was a mother and baby home operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from 1930 to 1970. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Church’s guilt was meted out through violence and oppression. That is not our shame. It is their guilt

Trump is always showering love on his followers, and in turn, they love him, hence the dominance of Trump flags over American flags in the DC crowd. Photograph: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Biden saying that Capitol riots do not reflect a true America is profoundly unhelpful

Micheál Martin’s populist insistence that people could be ‘given’ a Christmas reprieve  led to actions that people previously would have avoided. Photograph: Julien Behal

People who should know better broke Covid-19 guidelines, but messaging came from the top

Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin, Louise O’Reilly and Lynn Boylan at Leinster House. There will be plenty of column inches filled  with Sinn Féin anthropology and the almost David Attenborough-esque commentary on the seemingly mythical future of a left-wing coalition government. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

It’s about a new generation with higher standards, who have aspirations

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