Heinrich Boll

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Candice Gordon, first full-time cultural officer for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, based  in the Irish embassy Berlin: “Cultural diplomacy is about opening dialogue and finding connections between countries, not forcing things down people’s throats.” she says.   . Photograph: Tom Taylor

Ireland’s image in Germany is “positive but limited”, with ingrained ideas of hard-drinking wild Celts playing traditional music, says Candice Gordon,(...)

Daniel O’Donnell welcomes the Mary from Dungloe contestants on stage during a concert. Ireland’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2011 might have been helped by his popularity in certain small countries. Photograph: North West Newspix

Twenty years ago I was asked to talk to a senior Australian politician about the Celtic Tiger. I recounted the vital role played by European Union mem(...)

President Michael D Higgins and Chancellor Angela Merkel at the chancellery in Berlin during the President’s three-day State visit last week. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Ireland’s early diplomacy with Germany didn’t end well in 689 AD. Kilian, a Cavan-born missionary, annoyed a Würzburg noblewoman for suggesting she wa(...)

Germany’s then federal chancellor Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel in 1992: perhaps the high-point of Irish-German relations was two years earlier, when the Irish EU presidency assisted Mr Kohl’s push for European acceptance of German unity.   Photograph: Thomas Imo/Photothek

When President Michael D Higgins arrives in Berlin on Tuesday evening for a three-day state visit to Germany, he is marking nine decades of bilateral (...)

Ireland: what do we do now, now that we are happy? Illustration: iStock/Getty

The results of the 2019 Sign of the Times survey by Behaviour & Attitudes are published by The Irish Times today. The annual snapshot of Irish (...)

Heinrich Böll in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, in 1971. Photograph: Gordon Standing

These days, whatever walk of life we’re in, we all have to have a second job. It’s unpaid, often thankless, sometimes even a little dangerous. But it (...)

Romanian president Klaus Iohannis:  One of the big stumbling blocks to tourism development is the poor infrastructure. Roads are like those in Ireland before EU money. Photograph: Jacek Turczyk

Sitting in a guest house in the heart of the Danube Delta, eating a delicious fish stew made with pike while a group of ethnic Russians performed a fo(...)

People pay their respects in front of dozens of coffins containing remains of more than 600 victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. File photograph: Themistocles Hakizimana/Reuters

Between 2001 and 2015, sales of translated fiction grew by 96 per cent. One reason, argues Daniel Hahn, who last year established a prize for first tr(...)

How remiss of me. And I thank esteemed colleague Frank McNally (I bow three times facing Monaghan!) for reminding me in an Irishman’s Diary last month(...)

“Tale of the Tongs”, from Spirit of Place, in Inisturk.   Photograph: spiritofplace-design.com

I’m out on the headland at Kilcummin, in north Co Mayo, looking for art. It’s a bright, cold winter’s day, and signage has guided me through the tiny (...)

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