Barry Ryan (44) is a senior lecturer in international relations at Keele University in Staffordshire. Originally from Co Limerick, he moved to the UK (...)

Brian Dowling in his hurley workshop in Kilkenny. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Ireland’s ash trees, even if they manage to escape the ash “dieback” fungal disease, face an alarming threat from a beetle that is slowly moving westw(...)

 Embalmer Glyn Tallon at Tallon Mortuary and Embalming Theatre,Navan, Co Meath: ‘I think the way we mourn our loved ones in this country is exceptional.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Embalming is something I’ve been interested in since I was about 10. I wondered what happened when people passed away and I also wondered why they lo(...)