The late John Moriarty. Andy O’Mahoney  on an RTÉ radio programme in 1985 introduced him with the words: ‘My guest tonight is one of the most remarkable people that I’ve ever met in my entire life.’ Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop out of society – to turn off the mobile phone, leave the rat race and retreat to the wilds? Diogenes was perhaps the(...)

Iris Murdoch: ‘It’s been easy to dismiss Murdoch as a philosopher because she was such a brilliant novelist.’ Photograph: Getty

Iris Murdoch was born on Blessington Street, Dublin, on July 15th, 1919. While she left Ireland at a young age, this did not “remove the country from (...)