Tom Murphy in 1975: ‘His genius was to be able to create an immediate and vividly detailed social realism but somehow raise it to the heightened levels of the operas he loved so much.’ Photograph: Eddie Kelly/The Irish Times

Tom Murphy was a prolific playwright who thought of himself as writing music for the spoken voice. “When I hear music, I hear an emotion. When I liste(...)

‘Nominating a legacy contact is harder than it looks, not least because of its brutal implication. The simple fact that it exists at all is a stark reminder that life is finite. Which is such a bummer. Facebook isn’t the place to go to learn that you’re going to die.’ Photograph: Getty Images

As a man in my mid-30s in the year 2015, I spend the bulk of my life diligently and repeatedly carrying out one simple task – ignoring the prospect of(...)

 Sir Edward Carson: he  was  willing to carry resistance to Home Rule to almost any length, legal or illegal. Photograph:    Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Edward Carson’s long shadow

Unlike Margaret Thatcher, an Irishman who toyed with treason and brought Ireland to the brink of bloody civil conflict was given a state funeral by th(...)