Lady Edith Blake  wrote on a wide array of topics based on her experiences abroad, including a history of the Maroons of Jamaica, the restoration of the Ming Dynasty, the position of women in China and life and death in Ireland.

Edith Osborne led a privileged yet troubled childhood. Her father, Ralph Bernal, was a liberal MP and a member of a fledgling political dynasty while (...)

In 1903, Melville surprised newspaper readers and crime fans by announcing his retirement. In truth, he had been recruited by the War Office for the new intelligence gathering agencies which would become MI5 and MI6.

Like many Irish emigrants, parts of William Melville’s history are uncertain. Family lore, as recounted in the excellent research curator Helen O’Carr(...)

Women draw tickets during the Irish Hospitals Sweep Hurdle draw (sweepstakes) at Ballsbridge in Dublin in January 1986.Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Margaret Thatcher told Peter Mandelson “you can’t trust the Irish; they’re all liars”. That was a bit harsh, maybe. But we’re certainly not above the (...)

Joan Gilletlie with Marie Heaney at the Gilletlie watchmaker and jewellery shop in Wicklow town which has just celebrated 200 years. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Behind the counter of Ireland’s oldest jewellery shop, 16 antique pocket watches hang in a wooden cabinet. It’s a fitting display case for a 200-year(...)

Sinn Féin leaders at the first Dáil Éireann in 1919 include Éamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Cathal Brugha, Arthur Griffith, William Cosgrave, Terence MacSwiney and Richard Mulcahy. Photograph: Hulton Archive

The revolution of 1916-1923 is usually presented in our history books as part of the physical-force tradition of Irish nationalism, but in reality it (...)

President Michael D Higgins said John Redmond had followed in a line of constitutional nationalists who had won concessions from the British government which had improved the lot of ordinary Irish people. Photograph: The Irish Times

President Michael D Higgins has described John Redmond as a “patriot and a courageous politician who sought to do what he thought was right in the bes(...)

Lot 9, estimated at £700-£900 (€786-€1,010), is a pencil-drawn cartoon that appeared in ‘Punch’ magazine

“Do collectors who start with one first edition, one Penny Black, or one Ferrari, have any idea of where it’s going to end?” The question is posed by(...)

John Redmond: died 100 years ago

The Irish parliamentary tradition owes a debt to John Redmond, the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghail has stated. Redmond was leader of the Irish Parl(...)

Theresa May and Arlene Foster: the DUP this week helped to kill the thing it purports to love – the power and prestige of Britain. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty

It has never seemed more apt that perhaps the greatest work of English literature, William Shakespeare’s King Lear, is about the consequences of a cap(...)

A demonstrator waves a Catalan separatist flag in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters

In seeking to smash the ballot boxes and the voters in last Sunday’s referendum on independence for Catalonia, the Spanish authorities inevitably scor(...)

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