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

Lisa Connell is managing editor of Gay Community News.

Life Lessons: Lisa Connell, managing editor of Gay Community News

Verona Murphy, centre: That Fine Gael are standing by her will come back to haunt them. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Alarm bells are ringing, and we must stop downplaying and appeasing this shift

The international breakout success of Rejjie Snow, a rapper from Drumcondra, Dublin, preceded another international breakthrough, the Cabra artist Kojaque. Photograph: Getty Images

From the archive: Scary Eire first appeared in The Irish Times on December 19th, 1992

Dorje de Burgh’s work features in HALFTONE, Dublin’s Print Fair at the Library Project

Life Lessons: Photographer Dorje de Burgh

A study published in 2014 of GSAs in Canadian schools showed heterosexual boys in schools with GSAs were half as likely to attempt suicide. Photogrpah: Getty Images

Schools need gender and sexuality alliances to foster tolerance and wellbeing

A garda requests a list of goods from a lorry driver at a checkpoint on the Dublin-Belfast Road at the Border in February 2001. Photograph: Ferran Paredes/Reuters

From the archive: ‘A catastrophe looms,’ read The Irish Times editorial in March 2001

Dolly Parton. Photograph: John Lamparski/Getty

Dolly Parton and Emma Blake murals are up; small beanies and CGI actors are down

Cathy Kelly: “Time and experience have taught me to trust myself, that my wisdom can be my guide.”

Life Lessons: Author on learning to trust herself, meditating and remembering a dear friend

The fact that RTÉ isn’t creating podcasts that large Irish audiences are listening to is incredible. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Voluntary redundancies will not save the broadcaster if it refuses to take creative risks

Apart from the therapy sessions which the Screamers engaged in they spent time working as a community, weaving, and driving home cattle. Photograph: Pat Langan

From the Archive: The group who lived in Burtonport ‘found society pathetically wanting’

Hannah Gadsby attends the 8th AACTA International Awards on January 4, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for AFI

Comedian coming to Dublin with Douglas, the follow-up to her groundbreaking show Nanette

The Cork Urban Soil Project is ‘creating community through compost’. Photograph: thecusp.ie

Yes to an urban soil project in Cork, but no to designer AirPod cases

Pop survivor: Christina Aguilera on stage at Dublin's 3Arena. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

As she explodes on to the stage, her current energy is as fierce as her past legacy

Down Claiborne charts the decline of Claiborne Avenue in the New Orleans district of Tremé after a six-lane overpass was constructed.

Brutal urban planning forms the spine of a new film by the Irish experimental film-maker Moira Tierney

The silent protest walk in Oughterard in September against a direct provision centre at the former Connemara Gateway Hotel. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

What we are witnessing now is what happens when governments refuse to lead

Jack O’Connor is the country director of Movember in Ireland.

Life Lessons: Jack O’Connor, country director of Movember in Ireland

Tara Stewart: with her customised clothes and bright streaks in her hair, she has the stance of an extrovert, but behind this public persona is an unexpected shyness. Photograph: Kinlan Photography.

RTÉ R&B and hiphop DJ speaks of on-air nerves, social media and ethics of branding

“The rink has been frequently attended by fashionable crowds, and all agree that the floor is the best they have ever used.” Photograph: iStock

The opening of three new rinks in 1909 for ‘votaries of the graceful art of roller skating’ was covered by The Irish Times

Hot: taco time at Órale behind The Belfry pub in Stoneybatter.

Yes to Órale’s delicious tacos, but no to Breaking Bad’s disappointing sequel El Camino

Sinéad O’Connor performing at the Cork Opera House the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival on Saturday night, guinnessjazzfestival.com. Photograph: Clare Keogh

Outside, a frantic trade for tickets in the cold air. Inside, a bottomless love for the artist

 Coast guard divers prepare to go down to salvage a migrant boat that capsized and sunk  off Lampedusa, southern Italy. Photograph: Pasquale Claudio Montana Lampo/EPA

Aligning with far right to defeat resolution on Mediterranean rescues is disgusting

Gabriel Rosenstock: “If we’re talking about this incarnation, marrying Eithne was a change, for the better.”

Life Lessons: Poet Gabriel Rosenstock on haiku wisdom, Gandhi and dwelling on the positive

Ireland was a trailblazer, as the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace in 2004. Photograph: Matt Morton/PA Wire

From the Archive: Issue of ban was consistent theme in Irish Times’s letters pages

Producer Adam Fogarty and rapper Karl Mangan, aka Mango & MathMan.

The Dublin duo's debut is filled with sounds of the capital, overlaid with sincere and bittersweet observations of everything that(...)

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Platt in The Politician. Photograph: Netflix

We love Spitalfields pub and Gwyneth Paltrow’s acting; SAD and big cars leave us cold

‘One of the reoccurring characters in the Brexit soap opera is the most widely used document of Irish citizenship, the Irish passport.’ File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Easy access to Irish passports remains off limits to some sectors of our society

Camera Shy by Craig Dodds and Kurb Junki

Life Lessons: Kurb Junki, artist and film-maker, on trusting people, forever growing and using time wisely

Irish Halloween: Theodora FitzGibbon wrote in 1969 that using whiskey made her grandmother’s barm bracks ‘very popular with the gentlemen’

From the Archive: Fairy revels, jack-o’-lanterns and the first October bank holiday

Elton John. His memoir, Me, is out now. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

We love Brendan Gleeson as Trump, and big-star memoirs; Insta-interiors and commuting are leaving us cold

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty

Democratic presidential hopeful's zinger last week, an example of punching down, was a worrying strategic fumble

Sabine Dargent

Life Lessons: Sabine Dargent, set designer

O’Neill was pretty resolute about the reality of clubbing in Dublin at the time. While he didn’t give evidence in court, he told gardaí in his statement, “if there were no ecstasy there would be no rave discos. If there were no rave discos there would be no ecstasy”. 

From the archive, 1994: Five undercover gardaí were offered drugs on entrance to Asylum nightclub

RuPaul. Photograph: Michelle Groskopf/The New York Time

RuPaul and Bonnie Greer are up, Facebook ads and arguing about The Joker are down

Paschal Donohoe and Simon Coveney at O’Devaney Gardens, Dublin, in 2016. “What was once public housing was earmarked for ‘redevelopment’... and now just 30% will be public housing.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Government has failed so badly on solving crisis that it is moving the goalposts

Owen Roe receives a Special Tribute Award at The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards in March, 2019. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

Life Lessons: The big change is the overwhelming love you feel for your child, it’s something you only fully understand when it hi(...)

A skater at the board park in Co Galway. File photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

From the archive: The skateboarding craze took up a number of column inches in the late 70s

Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort in The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch film is a big letdown but we love Ikea blue cheese and fake fur coats

Volunteers tied  ribbons around trees due to be cut down for BusConnects on Merrion Road in Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

Una Mullally: Project needs to be balanced against risk to established neighbourhoods

Hilda Tweedy was chair of the Council for the Status of Women, established in 1973.

From the Archive: Proposals to remove Ireland from the National Council of Women of Great Britain and Ireland were met with resist(...)

  Lilly Singh: the boring bastion of late night US TV chat shows does something interesting. Photograph:  Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Lilly Singh and Jennifer Lopez are up; Justin Trudeau is down

‘Listen to everyone around you and always be willing to learn, unless it’s Boris Johnson.’ Photograph: Ruth Medjber

Life Lessons: No one teaches you how to raise children, but their love is the best drug in the world

We need to build social housing and affordable housing. But this Government has repeatedly signalled through its inaction  that it is ideologically opposed to building housing for its people. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

State could provide social housing if likes of Apple, Google and Facebook paid full tax

John King of Claregalway. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The Times We Lived In: Published October 8th, 1924

Fewer doughnuts, more beignets please

Amanda Palmer and beignets are up, but we’re asking, who needs Avozillas?

‘When we started making Extra Ordinary, we wrote on a piece of paper “A film only we could make” with a sharpie and taped it on the wall in our office’

Life Lessons: Mike Ahern, co-director and co-writer of the film Extra Ordinary

The canaries in the coal mine have been screeching for some time. Photograph: iStock

If you thought 2019 was mad, bad and sad for Dublin's development, get ready for 2020

‘For a smart, charming young woman like Maeve Brennan, able to waltz her way into the pages of Harper’s Bazaar and the New Yorker, the choice between Ireland and exile cannot have required much agonising.’

From the archive: ‘Irish literature’s best-kept secret ... everyone should be reading her’

Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd star in State of the Union on BBC Two, Sundays. Photograph: BBC

Chris O’Dowd is great in a new BBC comedy series, but we’re feeling the autumn chill in our bones

The Bernard Shaw, Richmond St South, Dublin 2.A general view of The Bernard Shaw and Eatyard.Photo: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

The beauty of the rough-around-the-edges Dublin venue lays in its imperfections

YouTube: increasingly the ideas we are consuming are not chosen by us but for us, and often by algorithms that know more about what we will find compelling than our own minds do.

Recommendation algorithm can lead online viewers up the radicalisation pathway

Saint Sister: the Northern Irish singing duo are participating in Culture Night this month.

Life Lessons: Morgan MacIntyre, one half of singing duo Saint Sister, her biggest flaw, best advice and her motto for life

The contents of an American food parcel in December 1946. Photograph: Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images.

From the archive: Worth remembering wartime rations amid Brexit shortages fears

Joanne McNally: ‘I want them to laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh. That’s all. I’m just a clown.’

The Dublin comedian, who was adopted, explores what’s in our DNA in her new show

Fans in the crowd for Kodaline on the main stage at Electric Picnic. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Brands and agencies need to realise that less is more as advertising hurts atmosphere

God Zone: “Recently the moment my life changed was when I stopped obsessing over doing it ‘big and bombastic’ and started embracing the nearby, normal and now

Life Lessons: Musician God Knows performs solo and as part of Rusangano Family

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage: The same people who scoff at the idea of him  getting into government are probably the ones who said Boris Johnson would never make it to the top. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

Brexit Party is branding, communication and simplicity. Who cares about truth?

The comedian has come into her own in New York. She talks about her film Extra Ordinary

Zendaya as Rue Bennett in Euphoria. Photograph: HBO

Stradbally is up with Electric Picnic in full swing, Dancing with the Stars with Sean Spicer is down

Festivalgoers at Electric Picnic in 2005. Photograph: Haydn West/PA

From the Archive: ‘Despite the promises, the beer and toilet queues proved as frustrating as always’

E-scooters from scooter-sharing company Lime are seen on Berlin’s Friedrich Strasse  on July 26, 2019.  DAVID GANNON/AFP/Getty Image

Last thing Dublin needs is a scooter hire app

The Instagram-friendly feature wooden tree, which is encircled with soft seating in Dublin's new €55 million Marlin hotel.

Much of capital’s contemporary aesthetic appears presided over by a colourblind aristocrat

Paul Alwright, aka Lethal Dialect, is a rapper and actor from Dublin.

Life Lessons: Dublin rapper and actor Paul Alwright aka Lethal Dialect

There are 71 species of shark in Irish waters. Photograph: iStock

From the Archive: Angling expert Richard Burrows reported on the sport of shark-angling in his Irish Times column

Alarm clocks: get your phone out of the bedroom. Photograph: iStock

We're liking compostable bags in supermarkets and no-nonsense boots, but finding beige a bit... well, beige

In May 1969 St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, was causing a stir. Photograph:  Brenda Fitzsimons

When pressed, the priests-to-be admit that one day there could be a scandal

Colin Stafford-Johnson has worked on wildlife productions for networks including RTÉ and the BBC

Life Lessons: Colin Stafford-Johnson is an award-winning nature cameraman

WeWork chief executive Adam Neumann: a visionary, an operator and an innovator, as well as a community and culture creator, according to the office-rental company. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

WeWork IPO campaign exemplifies sector’s delusionally grandiose nebulousness

The Irish Times article on April 28th, 1943.

From the Archive: ‘Little girls stood at the windows of the burning building crying to be taken out’

Bryan O’Sullivan and his husband, James O’Neill. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Bryan O’Sullivan and James O’Neill’s projects include Ballynahinch Castle, where they recently wed

The beloved giant 3D squirrel on Tara Street in Dublin is no more. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Phone-box defibrillators are welcome on our streets, but we miss the art that’s removed

An original Fine Gael “Blueshirt” being prepared for auction in Dublin in 2007. Note “Fine Gael” badge on shirt at top right. “Fine Gael might not be on the same march as the American right wing, but we are existing at a moment where the danger of the rise of the right is acute.”  File photograph: PA Wire

We are existing at a moment where danger of the rise of the right is acute

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