Andy (Shane Murray-Corcoran) and Maggie (Iseult Casey) are a young couple from Tipperary who begin a romance when they become students together at TCD. The relationship runs into problems, however,  when Andy’s father Brendan (Ardal O’Hanlon), who’s been suffering from depression since his wife left him, attempts suicide....

Last week didn’t get off to a good start. The Irish Times broke the story of the girl who sought an abortion and was subsequently, but not consequently, sectioned.I would have thought the best outcome was both mother and baby alive, but those who would think themselves liberal and progressive didn’t hesitate to hijack a personal pain...

One of the minor masterpieces of modern Irish literature is Seamus O’Kelly’s long story The Weaver’s Grave, which recounts the animadversions of two old men asked to find the family burial place in the local Cloon na Morav in Connacht.The request comes from the young widow of the dead man, but they are more interested in their...

The dust hasn’t yet settled from the UK general election, and debate across Britain is febrile over the wisdom and propriety of Theresa May’s Conservatives placing themselves in debt to the DUP.Astonishingly and – one might think –  irresponsibly, the controversy is but rarely over whether Britain’s governing...

Roy Hattersley, a former MP and Minister in Britain,  prefaces his congenial history with a fascinating autobiographical fragment in which he recalls the ease with which his father could translate Latin inscriptions during their frequent visits to historic churches.After his death he discovered that his father had once been a priest. During...

 Tomorrow, during the now ever-expanding festivities recalling the day in 1904 on which James Joyce’s Ulysses is set, will see a host of events of all kinds for all tastes, from  sit-down breakfasts at the Joyce Centre to esoteric playlets performed by one actor.This year, though, Dublin City Council has ensured that what are now...

In 1965, Michael Viney published an influential pamphlet, The Five Percent: A  Survey of Protestants in the Republic, reprinting a series of articles from The Irish Times. The title gave its name to a sociological anxiety: will the five percent shrink to four or even three; will the Masonic Five subvert the comfortable majority?When Jack...

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