Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

On a tour of Ireland, one might easily ask: where are the women? There are statues to a few (we counted just five), a smattering of commemorative plaq(...)

Centre stage: The Lost O’Casey, Asking for It, Ruth Negga in Hamlet, Tara Flynn, and Cillian Murphy in Grief is the Thing with Feathers

When the first major shows of the year were a handsomely realised revival of Sive, John B Keane’s rural tragedy of desire and materialism, which packe(...)

I’m a Girl!: for the heroine of Yasmeen Ismail’s book her sex is a point of pride, even if it defies stereotype and the expectations of those around her

“I’m a girl!” the heroine of Yasmeen Ismail’s picture book of the same name shrieks as she scoots around, making messes and unbearable noise. “I’m sup(...)

Deirdre Kinahan: “People ask ‘How do you feel about being on the main stage?’ I say bring it on.” Photograph: Shane Cowley

It is two years since the Abbey Theatre began its programme to commemorate the centenary of 1916, ushering in a new gender consciousness in Irish thea(...)

Water test used at part of witchcraft trials in the 17th century. Illustration from Ludicium aquae (trial by water), 1613 edition

Society has always feared powerful women. Witches have been a feature of folklore right across the globe, from the troll-whisperers of Scandinavia, to(...)

A prison photograph of Michael Cleary from the General Prisons Board Penal File. Photograph: National Archives

When Johanna Burke went to pay her cousin Bridget Cleary a visit, she found the 26-year-old being held down and force-fed a concoction of herbs and mi(...)

The Books That Define Ireland, by Tom Garvin and Bryan Fanning, looks at 30 classic Irish texts, from history and social issues to the fictional w(...)