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

Francis Danby’s The Opening of the Sixth Seal: illustrates a section from the Book of Revelations which foretold cosmic calamity and a multitude of disasters all at once.

Solstice gives us turning point from which to look forward to better, brighter days in 2021

‘Grief was compounded by the surreal nature of how Covid funerals were carried out.’ Photograph: Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

Services are not in place to deal with immense trauma suffered

The band Cream are ‘the high point of western civilisation as far as I’m concerned’, Chief Justice Frank Clarke told the Ireland’s Edge event in Dingle, Co Kerry. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

He did not discuss the Séamus Woulfe issue, in an interview at the Ireland’s Edge festival

Fontaines DC playing their now Grammy-nominated album, A Hero’s Death, in Kilmainham Gaol: In 2020, people have leaned hard on music to cope. Photograph: Alan Betson

Artists’ low earnings proof of disordered economics and society’s fear of the mirror

If they didn’t care about public health advice, everyone drinking on the street would instead be in a house or an apartment  boozing together in comfort and warmth. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Government should be empowering smart decisions not infantilising people

Mark Zuckerberg testifies remotely during the Senate judiciary committee in Washington. Photograph: Bill Clark/Pool/AFP via Getty

Firm does not even directly employ these low-paid workers in their distressing roles

During a confidence vote on the Tánaiste,   Leo Varadkar on Tuesday, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin traded   insults. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The party’s relentless attacks on the Opposition are proving counter-productive

People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, react to the presidential race being called by CNN in Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s favour. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

Supposed bastion of freedom barely holding on to flawed democracy a salutary warning

Roderic O’Gorman: his inability to shout ‘stop’ as the situation was spiralling out of control shows the Government is getting lost in the paperwork and missing the context. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

People don’t want legislation papering over gaps on such matters

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Labour leader has mellowed and could oversee an improbable rebirth of his party

The now-closed Bernard Shaw on Richmond Street: The things that emerged from the last recession – independent venues, studios, small and scrappy creative spaces – were literally bulldozed.  Photograph: Tom Honan

Cheap rent and studio space would foster creativity but Dublin forces its artists abroad

We need to focus the public’s mind on how they spend and use that spending to help local businesses. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Spend money strategically by shopping at home-based independent businesses

Una Mullally: “As the pandemic unfolded, there were so many echoes of my own experience with illness.” Photograph: Hazel Coonagh/GCN

My experience with illness provided tools for dealing with a global pandemic in ways I could never have predicted

Face masks and social distancing reminders in Dundalk, Co Louth. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Narratives that get a lot of airtime such as ‘people don’t want a hard lockdown’ may not be true

The division between the get-its who are viscerally experiencing the pandemic’s recession, and the don’t-get-its who aren’t, may be the most profound and disruptive social and political aspect of this pandemic. Photograph: iStock

Unequal impact of pandemic on employment will feed resentment

Melissa Plunkett was welfare officer at UCD for the academic year 2018- 2019. Photograph: The Irish Times

The 2018-2019 student welfare officer recorded 363 allegations of harassment and assault

Dublin street horses: Right now, at Molyneux Yard in the Liberties, plans are in train to erase a bastion of this culture.

Una Mullally: Generation after generation kept horses in the Liberties, yet council seems to have no regard for this culture

Pillow Queens: 'An antidote to people who are up their own holes'

With their debut album In Waiting, the Dublin band’s world is about to get bigger

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Social Protection. Photograph: Nigel Kelly/ Tir Na Nog Photos

The ‘tapering’ bears all the hallmarks of Fine Gael’s delusional sense of meritocracy

A quiet street in  Temple Bar. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Multiple ideal areas are bereft of life as the city council does nothing to help

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

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