China is a booming market for luxury items, even as the economy slows, and high-end brands seem ready to cater for every waking hour of the super rich(...)

The first case decided by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg involved Ireland. Photograph: Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

It has been 10 years since we gave further effect in Irish law to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and tomorrow is the 60th anniversary (...)

The proposal to grant Van Morrison the freedom of Belfast is expected to receive the backing of Belfast City Council next month. Photograph: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Van Morrison is to receive the Freedom of Belfast, the highest honour that Belfast City Council can bestow. It is expected that the council will agree(...)

Brendan Gleeson: ‘I did learn what it was to work a normal life. That does help in grounding some of the work. I worry about younger actors who haven’t done anything else.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

We have perhaps become a little blase about Brendan Gleeson. Over two decades, the broad-faced, endlessly gregarious Dubliner has carved out a positio(...)

Mark Twain once allegedly stated that “history does not repeat itself but it does rhyme”. For historians, politicians and military commanders it is ve(...)

The annual push by RTÉ Radio and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland to promote the merits of radio advertising got underway this week with an “If(...)

A flying object is seen on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in this 1981 photograph. The “truth” may still be “out there”, as fans of The X-Files will argue, but the British military authorities are no longer looking for it. Photograph: Reuters

The last of the British government’s UFO files have been released.The “truth” may still be “out there”, as fans of The X-Files will argue, but the Bri(...)

Nelson Mandela and his then wife Winnie saluting well-wishers as he leaves Victor Verster prison, February 11th, 1990. Mandela spent 27 years incarcerated as a political prisoner of South Africa’s apartheid regime. Photograph: Ulli Michel/Reuters
Nelson Mandela - a timeline

July 18th, 1918 - Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela near Qunu, in Transkei (now Eastern Cape), the youngest son of a counsellor to the chief of his Th(...)

Former president George Bush: “I’m comfortable with what I did,” he said. “I’m comfortable with who I am.” Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Former US president George W Bush, one of the most controversial presidents of the modern age, has said he is comfortable with(...)

A Union flag flies at half mast over the Houses of Parliament, and next to the Big Ben clock tower, after the announcement of Margaret Thatcher’s death. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

In the first World War, the chimes of Big Ben were silenced for two years lest they give guidance i(...)

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