Minister for Media,  Arts, Culture and Sport Catherine Martin: Did she sanity-check Government decisions or was she even consulted? Photograph: Daniel MacDonald

When Catherine Martin was appointed Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht seven weeks ago, scepticism was expressed in s(...)

The Bloods: Recce Platoon Soldier - Night Vision, Private Oisin Roche, 2019 (left); Battalion Mascot and Handler, Irish Wolfhound Fionn, Private James Dooley, 2016 (centre); and Soldier, Camogie Player, Private Ciara Nevin, 2019

Amelia Stein’s The Bloods, at the new Butler Gallery in Kilkenny, shows the men and women of the Defence Forces in all their guises Unless you’r(...)

Stanley Townsend will perform in Rough Magic’s production of Mike McCormack’s award-winning novel Solar Bones. Photograph: Peter Searle

Like everyone, most of my culture over the past few months has been online. And a great deal of what I have seen, while occasionally wonderful, has se(...)

Macnas, whose parades are a core part of their work, receive this year’s special tribute award. Photograph: Brian Arthur

There should have been applause. There should have been cheers. There should have been hugs and kisses and jokes and a few convivial jars after. Inste(...)

Broadcaster Bláthnaid Treacy preparing for the official programme launch of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture in Eyre Square, Galway. Photograph:  Aengus McMahon

If you agree with Plato that a good start is half the battle, you’d be worried for Galway 2020. Quoted in different ways since 400BC, the Greek philos(...)

 Rex Ryan in  The Ridleys, at the Peacock Theatre. Photograph:  Ste Murray

It was a dramatic year for theatre, bookended by two moments of crisis. The first played out in the full glare of public attention. The other, which i(...)

Niall Vallely: ‘I decided not to sit down and write charts and arrangements, and trusted that it would be more about these individuals playing music together than trying to get everybody to fit into some vision that I had’

When concertina player Niall Vallely premiered his provocative new Sounds Like Freedom project at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August, the night was (...)

Rough Magic and Kilkenny Arts Festival Much Ado About Nothing Maeve Fitzgerald, Margaret McAuliffe, Clare Barrett, Ventia Bowe_Pic John D Kelly

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING The Quad at St Kiernan’s College, Kilkenny ★★★★☆ A lot goes on in Much Ado about Nothing. In the mingled memories of Shakespe(...)

Martin Hayes: ‘I always bring a gadget with me when I’m playing concerts ... right now, it’s the Midas Stage Box, which gives me control over the way my sound is shaped for the audience.’ Photograph: Erin Baiano

Current favourite book I’m reading The Essentials of Theory U by this guy from MIT, Otto Scharmer. It’s about ways of communicating and solving probl(...)

John Godfrey: “So, really, the primary, core thinking behind quiet music is that this is a music you choose to engage with, and if you don’t want to it’s not going to shout at you.”

John Godfrey arrived at the University of York as what he calls “a very strait-laced classical musician”. Wilfrid Mellers was still in charge of the(...)

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