Ireland

Aristocrats by Brian Friel at Donar Warehouse Credit: Johan Persson

Brian Friel’s Aristocrats should be called ‘Posh People Move House’

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Non-stop chatterbox and mystifyingly revered fabricator of sub-Chekovian paddywhackery, Brian Friel has received another production at the Donmar. His play…

Did Ed Balls mean to make a documentary on the joys of Trump’s America?

4 August 2018 9:00 am

The thing I most regret having failed ever to ask brave, haunted, wise Sean O’Callaghan when I last saw him…

Why has the National given over its largest stage to one of the nation’s smallest talents?

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The National has made its largest stage available to one of the nation’s smallest talents. If Brian Friel had been…

The result of the Irish referendum is a triumph of light over darkness. For others it is the other way round

It’s not for Westminster to decide Northern Ireland’s abortion law

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Predictably enough, there have been no calls this week for the Irish referendum on abortion to be re-run, no complaint…

Pope Francis raises the white flag

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Just before Ireland voted overwhelmingly to end the country’s constitutional ban on abortion, Catholics in the fishing village of Clogherhead…

The Irish border is the EU’s problem, not ours

12 May 2018 9:00 am

In deference to public exhaustion, I’ve largely avoided Brexit in this slot. But a columnist’s output ought rightly to echo…

The Good Friday Agreement is not a peace but a truce

14 April 2018 9:00 am

The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this week, is not a peace, but a truce. This does…

It is the Europhiles who are the head-bangers now

24 March 2018 9:00 am

For almost as long as I can remember, Eurosceptic Tory MPs have been defined by the media as ‘head-bangers’. As…

The DUP is quite likely to cave in over ‘regulatory alignment’. Here’s why they should not

9 December 2017 9:00 am

I’m afraid I have a deep faith in the Democratic Unionist Party’s capacity to cede an issue of principle in…

David Trimble: The Irish government is dragging Brexit into dangerous territory 

2 December 2017 9:00 am

When I negotiated the Good Friday Agreement nearly 20 years ago, no one foresaw a day when the -United Kingdom…

How to be good

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Suffering, wrote Auden, takes place ‘while someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along’. His…

Looking back, losing bits

16 September 2017 9:00 am

As Roddy Doyle’s 12th novel begins, Victor Forde, a washed-up writer, has returned to the part of Dublin where he…

Fudging Ireland’s border issue can only mean Troubles ahead

3 August 2017 1:00 pm

The question of what kind of border after Brexit will exist between Northern Ireland and the Republic will, I predict,…

The untrustworthy Winston Churchill, 1916

14 May 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Colonel Winston Churchill’, The Spectator, 13 May 1916: The return of Colonel Churchill to the House of Commons, which we are…

Might Eurovision determine the outcome of the EU referendum?

14 May 2016 9:00 am

You might not think that the Eurovision Song Contest (screened live from Stockholm tonight) could have any connection with how…

The Spectator’s advice on keeping Ireland quiet in 1916

7 May 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Reconstruction’, The Spectator, 5 May 1916: What Ireland wants just now is firm and judicious military government. The rebellion of last…

Irish Citizen Army soldiers on rooftops in Dublin before the Easter Rising of 1916

The holy relics of the Easter Rising: from hallowed flags to rebel biscuits

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The reverence for those involved in the Easter Rising is evident in an exhibition devoted to its centenary, says Harry Mount

Ireland’s new spirit of gentle maturity

2 January 2016 9:00 am

A gentle spirit has survived Ireland’s many changes

The micro-businesses that give me hope for Belfast

21 November 2015 9:00 am

At Stormont on Saturday, we observed a minute’s silence for the dead of Paris. Our conference group of Brits and…

Guinness and oysters — or beef and Haut-Brion — in deepest Ireland

21 November 2015 9:00 am

We were talking about the West of Ireland and agreed that there were few greater gastronomic pleasures than a slowly…

Maybe bitcoin isn’t the work of the devil, after all

7 November 2015 9:00 am

I confess to being an out-and-out Luddite when it comes to bitcoin and other so-called crypto-currencies. To the extent that…

Domhnall Gleeson as Jim Farrell and Saoirse Ronan as Eilis in ‘Brooklyn’

Colm Toibin on priests, loss and the half-said thing

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Jenny McCartney talks to unstoppable literary force Colm Tóibín about loss, priests and half-said things

Euroscepticism is growing all over Europe

3 October 2015 9:00 am

Europhiles have warned us for years of the dangers of Britain leaving the EU. But all the while a different…

If there’d been a Gilbert and Sullivan opera about Roland Barthes, it might have sounded like John Banville’s The Blue Guitar

12 September 2015 9:00 am

The Blue Guitar is John Banville’s 16th novel. Our narrator-protagonist is a painter called Oliver Orme. We are in Ireland,…

Dublin: a small town wrapped in a great city

Theatre, gossip and Guinness: the craic of Dublin

5 September 2015 9:00 am

What a delight it is to toy with a wooden newspaper-holder rather than a smartphone, tucked away in the cosy…