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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project