Little boys stare across the barbed wire at British soldiers on the Crumlin Road with the wire to enforce the divide between Catholic and Protestant homes, in 1969. Photograph: Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty

It is Belfast in the summer of 1969. There is unrest, unease, rioting, but the hostilities we now call the Troubles have not begun. The Troubles are s(...)

It speaks to the continuing grimness of this island’s history that so many will still baulk at the suggestion that ‘very few significant distinctions’ exist between your average unionist and your average nationalist. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Oh great. It’s the month when one bit of Ireland congratulates itself on not understanding another bit of Ireland. If you are reading this outside the(...)

Bernie Sanders participates in a news conference with Democratic politicians, in Washington, last week.  Photograph: Michael ReynoldS/EPA

Oppressive regimes hide economic inequalities with bread and circuses. The US does it with a mere idea: classlessness. It explains the national self-i(...)

Emmet Kirwan and Ian Lloyd Anderson, stars of Dublin Oldschool which is on at the Project Arts Centre from December 11th-22nd

When were you closest to death? Ian: I got kicked around in town one night in my early 20s. I remember thinking “I’m in trouble here”.  Emmet: I(...)

A portrait of author Ian McEwan at the Soho Hotel in London. Photograph: Lauren Fleishman/The New York Times

Ian McEwan’s bananas arrive at the table. “I had a craving for a banana,” he says, half-apologetically: “Would you like one?”  Having just spent(...)

Kinesio Tape first caught the public’s attention at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games when 50,000 rolls were donated to athletes. Photograph: iStock

Over the past decade there has been a global spread of a dinky, brightly-coloured product, strips of which are often seen adhering to the skin of runn(...)

Steven Pinker: an Enlightenment man to the tips of his Newtonian hair, the Harvard professor bucks the zeitgeist with an argument that is both familiar and transgressive. Photograph: Chona Kasinger/New York Times

Populism’s strangest byproduct is a new role in international public life: leadership of the resistance. Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Justin Tr(...)

“An honest acknowledgement of past wrongs should not stop people of faith from speaking out against injustice, or from defending the vulnerable.”Photograph: David Sleator

Tony Campolo, the American sociologist and pastor who prayed the benediction at the 2016 Democratic convention after Hillary Clinton’s nomination for (...)

Mick Wallace TD: Just back from operating in a frontline Mash unit. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

If depictions of future parliaments from 1960s sci-fi had worked out, our leaders would now enter debates in crisply starched jumpsuits with Nehru col(...)

Liam Neeson in Silence by Martin Scorsese, based on the novel by Shusaku Endo.

Shusaku Endo’s translators chose a good English-language title for the Japanese writer’s most famous novel. The protagonist of Silence, a 17th-centur(...)

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