Taoiseach Micheál Martin   in Deansgrange cemetery during a wreath-laying event to mark the 50th anniversary of Seán Lemass’s death. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The absence of a statue to Seán Lemass or a significant commemoration in his name is “shameful”, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said. Paying tribute to(...)

Detail from a postal first-day cover issued to mark the 50th anniversary of Northern Ireland.

It was the Russian minister Grigory Potemkin who gave his name to the putative village of the same name. The story, no doubt embellished, is that whil(...)

Edwin Poots, tipped to succeed Arlene Foster as DUP leader, speaks to the media in the grounds of Stormont Castle, Belfast, in 2017. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Anniversaries tell us far more about the present than the past. So it has already proven in the North, where the controversy over how to mark 10(...)

A street in Belfast: In its current form, the Northern Ireland economy would be exceptionally challenging to merge into any united Ireland. Photograph: Mark Marlow

For much of the first 50 years of independence, our Dáil parties and wider society cared more about the idea of a united Ireland than about the realit(...)

Ian Paisley. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

A new BBC TV series on the Troubles claims former DUP leader Ian Paisley supplied money to the Ulster Volunteer Force to carry out a number of bombing(...)

It wasn’t until the 1980s that Gerry Adams (above) and Martin McGuinness began driving forward the policy of the Armalite and the ballot box. Photograph: Pat Langan

The difference between the politics of a quarter of a century and a half a century ago in Northern Ireland is that in 1969, there was a single-party u(...)

Police under attack during the civil rights demonstration in the Bogside area of Derry city. Photograph: Express Newspapers/Getty

How the Troubles broke out. February 1967: The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) is founded as a non-sectarian organisation to tackle(...)

A man is led away past a police waterwagon after he was injured during the police baton charge during a civil rights march on October 5th, 1968. Many believe this was the start of the Troubles.

It is perhaps unsurprising that in Ireland the most sustained period of intense violence in modern Irish history is universally known by the neutral, (...)

Nine-year-old Patrick Rooney was  the first child to be killed in the Troubles in Belfast in 1969. Pictured are his  brother Con Rooney and mother Alice  at there home in Belfast. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the opening days of the Troubles. Here Susan McKay starts a week-long series of articles where she looks backs(...)

1968: Front row - Willie Breslin, Dermie McClenaghan, Johnny White, Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh, Michael Canavan, Billy Kelsall, Ivan Cooper, John Hume, James Doherty, John Patton, Claude Wilton, Brendan Hinds. Aidan McKinney is in the third row, directly behind Dermie McClenaghan; Terry Doherty’s hair is visible but his face is obscured behind Michael Canavan. Photograph: Larry Doherty

On a bright, cold Sunday morning, six men line up in the middle of Derry’s Craigavon Bridge. It is 50 years since they stood on that same bridge, arm(...)

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