The Hodges Figgis shop on Dawson Street, Dublin. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Hodges Figgis closed down for four hours in 1995. It was to allow for the legal transfer of ownership from UK company Pentos to new owners Thorn EMI, (...)

Colm Toibin: ‘I was editor of Magill at 27. I wrote my first novel as a way of keeping the daily business of Garret Fitzgerald and Charlie Haughey and all those stories at bay.’ Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI

Colm Tóibín is not just famous; he has a public persona. The red-framed spectacles that hang round the writer’s neck are not quite so well known as(...)