Arts and Entertainment

A light-hearted play about Christianity written almost 20 years ago is at the centre of an “astonishing” censorship row after performances were cancelled by councillors in Northern Ireland who deemed it “blasphemous”.

Ireland beaten by Scotland at Murrayfield

Scotland struck late through Joe Ansbro to launch their build-up to the World Cup with an uninspiring win over Ireland at Murrayfield.

Kidney expects 'shadow' Ireland team to give all

Declan Kidney has told his team not to keep anything in reserve in the World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at Murrayfield today. "When you play a Test match, there's no holding back," Ireland's head coach said. "You either go for it or you don't. If you operate at 80 or 90 per cent, you increase your chances of picking up a knock."

David Prosser: We can still win our money back on the black horse bank

Outlook If the Government was forced to "mark to market" its positions on Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland – the accounting requirement that regulators have imposed upon the banks when it comes to their own assets – the public finances would currently be in the region of £25bn less healthy. The taxpayer paid around £45bn for its stakes in Lloyds and RBS – 41 per cent and 83 per cent respectively – but the holdings combined are worth just £20bn today.

Lloyds sees profits plunge

Part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group today insisted that its EU-imposed sale of 632 branches was on track as it unveiled a huge loss in the first half of the year.

Before World Cup odyssey, a few home truths on pitch

Warm-up games will hold lots of clues for hopes in New Zealand

Britain at greatest risk of terrorism

Britain is now at greater risk from terrorist attacks than any other Western nation, according to research.

All change for Ireland as Poundland sets up shop

It's the one place on the high street where you never have to ask: "How much does this cost?" Whether it's a pregnancy test, a pair of reading glasses, a dozen batteries, a camping knife or a bottle of bleach, everything in Poundland will set you back just that – a pound.

90th anniversary of Shackleton’s final expedition

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton’s final voyage to Antarctica. The Irish explorer was a key figure in the Heroic Age of Polar exploration, and his death in 1921 marked the end of this period of discovery.

Poundland to expand into eurozone

Bargain chain Poundland is to expand into the eurozone after today announcing plans for a number of new stores, starting in debt-ridden Ireland.

Dyson delighted to clean up in Ireland

England's Simon Dyson completed a month to remember by winning the Irish Open in Killarney yesterday. The 33-year-old from York took the first prize of over £221,000, a fortnight after finishing ninth in The Open – an event he went into as fifth reserve less than a week before it started.

Sebastian Barry: Troubles in the family

The Booker-longlisted author Sebastian Barry tells Leyla Sanai how his own ancestors' bloody history inspires his novels about Ireland's violent past

McIlroy and McDowell left to fly Irish flag after Clarke misses cut

There will be no Darren Clarke or Padraig Harrington for the huge crowds to cheer on in the final two rounds of the Irish Open here, but Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell plan to fill the void.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Young Vic, London

On the peeling, whitewashed wall of the dank Connemara cottage, there's a poster that bears the legend: "May you be half an hour in heaven afore the devil knows you're dead". It's a bit too late for that forlorn hope now, though. The two female characters in The Beauty Queen of Leenane dwell in a hell on earth of their own devising – a perverted symbiosis of mutual torture and resentment. Maureen Folan, the archetypally plain and lonely 40-year-old spinster, is bullied and bossed around by her selfish old mother who plots to thwart her daughter when a last chance of love shows up in the shape of personable local chap on a brief trip home from his navvying job in England.

Breast cancer screening has not cut death rate, says study

Breast cancer screening has had little impact on falling death rates from the disease, new research indicates.

Scandal of abuse at Irish tycoons' care homes

Inspectors left 'appalled' by substandard conditions
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Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable