Mary Hanrahan: ‘I try to live in the present and be grateful that I am so blessed.’ Photograph: Tom Honan

After initial uncertainty, retired school teacher Mary Hanrahan is feeling safe and content in her cocoon. The widowed mother of three, who is in her(...)

Singer Cathal Coughlan: ‘I can watch Isabelle Huppert in anything.’ Photograph: Bleddyn Butcher

Current favourite book The best thing I’ve read in the last few months is Sinéad Gleeson’s Constellations. It’s profoundly moving and relates to a lo(...)

Microdisney: 30 years on the curdled rage and honeyed melodies are still intact

Microdisney National Concert Hall, Dublin ★★★★ There was a subtle difference between Microdisney’s Saturday night’s “official” return show at the Nati(...)

Christopher Coleman: jailed for dangerous driving causing the death of Eugene Maher

An unlicensed driver who “ploughed into” a 62-year-old cyclist – killing him - and drove away has has been given an extra nine months in jail followin(...)

Flanagan’s Fields in Rialto, a community garden using 21st century methods to grow food. Photographs: Richard Johnston

Some people become gardeners, while others are born green-fingered. A shining example of the latter is Dublin-born Michael Flanagan (1833-1931), th(...)

Art historians Rachel Moss (left) and Catherine Marshall. Photograph: Eric Luke

Rachel Moss is an art historian and assistant professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture in Trinity College, Dublin. She lives (...)

June Shannon: ‘The biggest improvement on the buses is the real-time information at bus stops, which is pretty accurate.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The bus is at the bottom of the transport hierarchy. It is now languishing well below the bicycle. It was in this lowly position even before the natio(...)

North Sea Scrolls: Andrew Mueller, Luke Haines and Cathal Coughlan. Photograph: Ki Price

North Sea ScrollsKevin Barry Room, NCH****Billed as an “evening of revelations” and pitched as an alternative and hidden history of Britain and Irelan(...)

James O’Toole, author of 
Revolution, A Beginner’s Guide
. ‘No working class person would use the word ‘proletariat’. So I really wanted to make these words accessible to people from my own background.’   Photograph: Aidan Crawley

At 99 degrees, writes James O’Toole, water might be warm, but it’s still water. One more degree and it becomes something new. So it is with revolution(...)

Outgoing Dublin city manager John Tierney: “If a decision had been taken then to meter new homes, today we would have 40 per cent of the national housing stock metered at no cost to anybody.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Instead of abolishing water charges in 1997, the then rainbow Coalition government should have required that all new houses be metered for wate(...)