Mark Levins: a key player in the Irish music scene

Mark Levins, who died on Christmas Day, was a key player in the Irish music scene, not only as a well-respected guitarist, but also as a technical wiz(...)

“One of the most tiresome duties was the six-hour night watch in the radio room. Little happened. Rarely was a telegram sent or received.  So, sitting there in my shorts, as the ship ploughed steadily through the blackness of the tropic night, I started to read Ulysses.”

One hot afternoon in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, I sought refuge from the boiling tropical sun in a shaded bookshop. There, in one of the long (...)

Why did people of the 19th century consider tomatoes to be poisonous? The answer lies in the origin of tomatoes. Photograph: Frank Miller

My elderly American cousin was talking tomatoes as she drove me into Salem to walk the heritage trail and visit the courthouse. Tomatoes were the last(...)

 1949: A female factory worker folds linen for tea towels at a   linen factory. Photograph:     George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images

There is not much trace of the Dublin Linen Hall now. The names of the nearby streets (Lisburn, Lurgan, Coleraine) are among the few reminders that fo(...)