Tom Paulin

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Anton Thompson McCormick above the beach at Ballycastle. As a teenager he had heard Iris Robinson, then the chair of Stormont’s health committee, on BBC Radio Ulster, declaring that her Christian beliefs told her that homosexuality was “an abomination”.

“It’s a limed nest, this place, I see a plain Presbyterian grace sour, then harden, As a free strenuous spirit changes To a servile defiance.../...it (...)

At Oxford, one fellow student told me he was scared of me because I was from Derry, “and the IRA were from Derry”.

Oxford was a bit of a shock at first, meeting all those jolly Delilahs and willowy Ambers who’d been sent to boarding school as children and seemed to(...)

The Door Was Open And The House Was Dark is the title of the third-last poem in Human Chain. Seamus wrote it in memory of his dear friend David Hammon(...)

Marie Heaney and her children, Michael, Christopher and Catherine, at the official opening of the new arts and literary centre in Bellaghy, Co Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Seamus Heaney’s family gathered “with mixed but generally joyful emotions” in his native Bellaghy, Co Derry, yesterday for the official opening of th(...)

Stephen Rea and Neil Martin, who will stage Seamus Heaney’s Aeneid: Book VI at the Kilkenny Arts Festival.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

When Seamus Heaney was 18 and attending Latin class in St Columb’s College in Derry, he studied Virgil’s Aeneid: Book IX for his A Levels. His teache(...)

The funeral of Brian Friel, at Glenties Cemetery, Co Donegal. Among the mourners was writer Eugene McCabe (left). Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

As the hearse wound around the coastal roads from Brian Friel’s Greencastle home, on the shores of Lough Foyle, traditional musicians prepared to g(...)

Georgie Fame, John Minihan and Van Morrison outside Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Soho London 1994

PAUL BRADY The first time I met Van Morrison was the summer of 1980. We shared an agent at the time, Paul Charles at the Asgard agency, and I had jus(...)

 Stephen Rea  and Sean McGinley  take a  bow after performing in Ages of the Moon in New York in 2010. Photograph: Ben Hider/Getty Images

The actor Stephen Rea will receive this year’s Special Tribute award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. The presentation will be made at (...)

Professor John McHale. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The Government needs to stick to an adjustment of €2 billion in the budget as any “backtracking on planned adjustments could suggest a worrying weaken(...)

Tom Paulin: seeks out ways to shock and disturb. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty

A selected poems offers not just a useful way to gauge the continuities and changes in a poet’s work but also a different vantage point on the broa(...)

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