Roy Foster

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A former customs guard hut is illuminated on the Irish Border  in Ravensdale, Ireland. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty

The Irish Border is the defining feature of Ireland’s modern political geography. Established in law in the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, it was int(...)

The house on Usher Island in Dublin, built in 1775, was rented by James Joyce’s great-aunts in the 1890s, where he often visited them. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

A controversial plan to convert the location of the setting of James Joyce’s famous short story, The Dead on Dublin’s quays into a 54-bed hostel has b(...)

John Millington Synge. Drawing by John Butler Yeats, National Gallery of Ireland

Born in Dublin 150 years ago today (April 16th), John Millington Synge would still be only a baby when the event that inspired his greatest play happe(...)

A plaque on Cesca Chenevix Trench’s birthplace records her name in English but describes her as an “Artist and Gaelic Leaguer”.

During a tragically short life that began 130 years ago this week, Cesca Chenevix Trench made a long political journey. Born in Liverpool of Anglo-Iri(...)

The Boomtown Rats: Ireland’s original all-conquering rockers. Photograph: Ian Dickson/Redferns

Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats were, Thin Lizzy-excepted, Ireland’s original all-conquering rockers. Back when U2 were just a twinkle in the eye of (...)

 Black & Tans guarding Dublin street after a shooting on Gloucester Road.

One of the striking developments of 1919 in Ireland was the extent to which the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), policing Ireland since 1836, came unde(...)

One historian posits that Protestants’ propensity to be ‘more sparing with the doughnuts’ may be one reason for their lower mortality rates. Photograph: iStock

Protestants live longer than Catholics, according to new Central Statistics Office research – a fact attributed by historians to their thriftier lifes(...)

‘When the Good Friday Agreement was painstakingly achieved I felt it had an almost poetic complexity,’ writes Michael Longley. ’You might say that today Northern Irish politics more often resemble bad prose.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Two quotations – possibly (maybe even probably) the two best-known poetic references to the Troubles and peace process – are cited a number of times i(...)

Statues of Strongbow and Aoife flank Christ Church Cathedral in Waterford, designed by John Roberts.

A mischievous memoir by Malachi O’Doherty is titled I Was a Teenage Catholic. Those of us who were teenage Protestants in the 1960s must feel a simila(...)

The modern Irish Border as proposed in Sir James Dougherty’s final assessment, May 11th, 1914.

Nearing a century in existence the Irish Border has become the defining feature of Ireland’s political geography. The Border was established in law in(...)

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