Michael Cleary

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 A battering ram is used to break into a house on the estate of Captain Hector Vandeleur in Co  Clare, during an eviction of tenants for the non-payment of rent in 1888. The tenants have stuffed foliage in the doors and windows to hinder entry. Photograph:  Sean Sexton/Getty Images

While leaving their Christian names on the streets of the town they built, as noted here earlier in the week, the Vandeleurs of Kilrush earned a more (...)

Offaly line up for the Allianz  League clash against Laois in O’Moore Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Should it have come to this? The All-Ireland hurling championship has rarely been more open or egalitarian so there is a bitter irony that Offaly, th(...)

Tony Walsh’s abuse of one boy in Ballyfermot from 1978 to 1983 was so extreme that he was sentenced in December 2010 to a total of 123 years.

Former priest Tony Walsh, who was jailed on Wednesday for indecently assaulting a boy 35 year ago, was described by the Murphy Commission as “the most(...)

Beaghmore Stone Circles in Co Tyrone, a few miles northwest of Cookstown. Photograph: Ken Williams

Less than 100 years ago, dark skies dominated Ireland. For millennia, the stars guided farmers and helped form our earliest mythologies, while the cyc(...)

Pope John Paul II  in Ballybrit in 1979

Historic as Pope John Paul II’s 1979 Mass in Galway was in its own right, it also marked the occasion of my first ever hangover. Please don’t judge me(...)

Pope John Paul II in Galway in 1979. Photograph: The Irish Times

When Pope Francis flies into Ireland West Airport for his brief visit to Knock shrine on Sunday week, he will have to atone for past sins, not least (...)

Fr Michael Cleary gives a warm-up address to the audience before Pope John Paul II celebrates a Young People’s Mass in Ballybrit, Galway, in October 1979.

During the last papal visit I went to see the pope in Galway. I hadn’t intended to, but I was a bit drunk. Myself and a friend emerged from a pub in B(...)

Pope Francis: seen by many as separate from the institution he leads, and which he himself struggles to reform. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

It is the story of a photograph: four cardinals, all Irish, and one president, Mary McAleese. The occasion was the elevation in 2007 of the then prima(...)

The UCD eight which won the Junior Championship of Ireland (then an adult grade) in 1947.

The glories of 2017 may still be fresh in the memory, but this weekend is all about the 2018 season for ambitious Irish rowers. Some 230 athletes have(...)

Water test used at part of witchcraft trials in the 17th century. Illustration from Ludicium aquae (trial by water), 1613 edition

Society has always feared powerful women. Witches have been a feature of folklore right across the globe, from the troll-whisperers of Scandinavia, to(...)

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