Founders of the Gaelic League, Connradh na Gaedhilge, Eoin MacNeill (1867 - 1945) and Doctor Douglas Hyde (1860 - 1949). MacNeill supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and was a delegate for his government to the Irish Boundary Commission. Photograph: Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The role of the Irish language in the ongoing Stormont impasse has led to much talk of the language being politicised, weaponised and otherwise instru(...)

Iris Murdoch,  novelist, playwright and philosopher. Photograph: Getty

I first read Iris Murdoch’s writing in 1999, shortly after her death and the Penguin reprint of her Booker Prize-winning novel, The Sea, the Sea (with(...)

 Mick O’Dea’s portrait of Eamon de Valera. In Tom Murphy’s An Aspect of the Rising, the prostitute  works herself into erotic ecstasies by unleashing a torrent of blistering invective towards the Long Fellow. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Of all the myths of Easter 1916, perhaps the most misleading is that the Rising was relentlessly mythologised. That may have been true in the politic(...)