Sean Macentee

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In December 2017, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar assured Northern unionists: “The Irish Government has no hidden agenda.” Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

During the difficult, bloody days of 1972, Fine Gael’s Garret FitzGerald wrote to a contact of his in Northern Ireland: “I have had further occasion t(...)

The German team line up and raise their right hands during the national anthems ahead of the 5-2 loss to Ireland in Dalymount Park in 1936. Photo: Pathé News screenshot

It had been three years since Adolf Hitler had risen to power as chancellor of Germany when the country’s national football team touched down in Baldo(...)

Seán Lemass: The Lemass tapes will substantially re-shape our knowledge and understanding of Lemass himself, of Fianna Fáil in and out of government, and political history in the four decades after 1932.

Old tapes can throw new light on history. Seán Lemass was a politician who never wrote an autobiography, but he left behind an extraordinary series of(...)

The Mill Enterprise Centre: within a few months of opening, it was home to 15 companies in sectors from gaming and social media to financial services and engineering and was rapidly running out of space.

In May 2014 the doors opened at The Mill, Drogheda’s purpose-built enterprise centre on the Newtown Link Road. What makes it somewhat different to oth(...)

  Former Taoiseach,   Jack Lynch  ... John Peck, the British ambassador in Dublin, reported asking him   how important the issue of reunification was to the Republic’s electorate, and “his answer amounted to saying that they could not care less.” Photograph: Eric Luke

In January 1923, an interned nationalist teacher in Belfast wrote to the new Free State’s minister for education, Eoin Mac Neill: “The bitter part is (...)

Liam Ó Murchú made people who had little knowledge of Irish believe they did have the language. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Liam Ó Murchú, who has died aged 86, was widely known as a TV broadcaster and author but will be best remembered as a champion of the Irish language. (...)

Illustration: Jesus Conde/Getty
Church, State and marriage

As debate on the marriage-equality referendum continues it is relevant to remember that, in one of the unreported conflicts in this area, Catholic pre(...)

TK Whitaker: realised at an early stage that a reliance on tradition and “high-sounding cliches” would not serve this State’s maturation. Photograph: David Sleator / The Irish Times

How do you write the biography of the man many regard as Ireland’s greatest public servant without it being a gushing hagiography? With considerable d(...)

Former minister for finance Ernest Blythe who, in a previous era of austerity, cut the old-age pension still found public funds to translate Dracula i(...)

Frank Aiken as minister for external affairs at the United Nations

On February 13th, 1973 Fianna Fáil leader Jack Lynch announced the sudden retirement of Frank Aiken from politics on the grounds of “doctors’ orders”.(...)

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