Irish language protesters dressed in crocodile fancy dress  outside DUP’s Nelson McCausland  office in  Belfast. Photograph: Alan Lewis, PhotopressBelfast

Returning briefly to the vexed question of how many fadas there should be in St Fechín – discussed here earlier in the week – I have now seen the erro(...)

 Tadhg Beirne competes in the air with Mark Wilson of England. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

In one of the quieter moments of the Ireland-England game on Saturday, I found myself marvelling at the extraordinary revival in popularity of the old(...)

English poet Edmund Spenser moved to Ireland on an ill-fated attempt to benefit from the plantation of Munster. Above,  Kilcolman Castle, Co Cork, where he lived.  Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

In Irish, as you probably know, “brat” means “flag”. In English, it means “an unruly child”. The two concepts would not appear to have much in common,(...)

Photograph: Getty Images

I hope it won’t come to this during the Great National Lockdown of 2020, but if food supplies do run a bit low over the weeks ahead, we can always fal(...)

Illustration: iStock

I see from a recent feature in the Spectator that one of my favourite Hiberno-English phrases has gone truly global. It featured in a column headlined(...)

Medieval owners  of books often took out insurance in the form of admonitions or even curses, appended to  the books and threatening retribution on thieves

That story about the Tralee library book returned after 67 years reminds me of another loan of similar vintage, but involving a more celebrated borrow(...)