Willy Wonka

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 The “Festival of Britain” appears under threat as the DUP will only support it if it is called the “Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” and held in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency of Arlene Foster. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

There were plenty of Brexit-themed japes to be found on April Fool’s Day this year although, to be honest, they were hard to distinguish from the othe(...)

Tanya Sweeney pictured at home in Stoneybatter, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

“How are you feeling?” People are routinely beaming at me as though I’ve invented penicillin, or won an Oscar. It seems churlish to admit to the truth(...)

Leo Varadkar receives a birthday cake from DCU students and staff in Ballymun. The guest list for the Taoiseach’s birthday party has been putting noses out of joint. Photograph:  Julien Behal

It’s been like living through the opening scenes of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory this week in Leinster House, with a cast of increasingly for(...)

A Muppet Christmas Carol: What the dickens is going on?

Apparently, as well as shouty Brexit end-times, Christmas is happening. Here are some classic Christmas films to watch, lest you feel insufficiently C(...)

 Shaun Usher: “I became obsessed with the concept of letter-writing and how it was dying out.” Photograph:  Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images

When Shaun Usher started his website nine years ago, he didn’t have world domination on his mind. “I literally started the blog to pass the time in a(...)

Observers of Theresa May’s management of Brexit might raise some questions about the details and progress made. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool/EPA

There is a scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the (original) movie adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, where Wonka (Gene Wilder) demons(...)

In my day they’re what passed for tasty Christmas treats. We’d have sprouts for dessert covered in cream and they’d often come in selection boxes next to the Revels. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

It’s December, and thanks to “liberals” (sorry for whispering but I’m in The Irish Times office) there’s absolutely no sign of any celebration anywher(...)

Connie Doody, co-founder of Lir Chocolates, with her granddaughter Eimear Hehir (6) from Ballyea, Co Clare. Photograph: Andres Poveda

We’re sitting in Ann Murray’s office at the Lir Chocolates factory near Navan, Co Meath talking about Brexit. Or is it Lir’s expansion plans? Maybe we(...)

Halloween bounty: 45 chocolate bars, 10 packets of chocolate buttons, 17 packets of jellies . . . Photograph: Getty

The youngest tipped over the pillowcase. Time to count the bounty. Here we go: 45 chocolate bars, 10 packets of chocolate buttons, 17 packets of jelli(...)

Reece Morrison of Wilsons Auctions helps display hundreds of items of memorabilia  which are to be auctioned at the firm’s showrooms in Mallusk, Co Antrim. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The auction of a huge collection of movie and TV memorabilia seized from a criminal who turned a nuclear bunker into a drugs factory has generated int(...)

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