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”.

Hockey: Middleton double relieves England

Two goals from captain Barry Middleton helped England get their European title defence off to a winning start with a 4-2 victory over Ireland in Monchengladbach. Middleton's first put England ahead for the first time in the match while his second late in the game relieved the pressure that had been building following John Jermyn's penalty corner goal ten minutes from time.

O'Driscoll returns but Ireland suffer third loss on the spin

Ireland 22 France 26

The Guard, John Michael McDonagh, 96 mins (15)

The FBI descends on the West of Ireland and runs into Brendan Gleason's bullish, wayward policeman

The Secret Scripture, By Sebastian Barry

When all seems lost, there's always the plot

Morgan faces old team-mates as captain

In a selection as surprising as it may prove indelicate, England yesterday announced that the Irishman Eoin Morgan will be their captain in a one-day international against Ireland next Thursday. It is one thing to poach another country's player – albeit with their co-operation and understanding – but it is another then to ask him to orchestrate their downfall.

O'Driscoll ready to put his neck on the line in trial against France

There will be a sharp intake of breath from the whole of Ireland when Brian O'Driscoll, still the best player in the British Isles and indisputably the finest outside centre of his generation, makes his first tackle on a Frenchman in Dublin this evening.

Cook to lead fringe England squad to take on Ireland's Cup heroes

There was a time when playing Ireland across the water would be nothing much more than a jolly for England's cricketers. But no longer – and certainly not after a certain World Cup result that did wonders for the sale of the dark stuff all around the globe.

Teenage waiter arrested over the murder of two Britons in Turkey

A 17-year-old Turkish waiter has been arrested after two women from Northern Ireland were found murdered in western Turkey.

Waiter held in Turkey murders probe

The prime and only suspect over the murders of two Northern Ireland women in Turkey is a teenage waiter who had been in relationship with the daughter of one of the victims, sources said today.

Alastair Cook set to lead fringe squad in Ireland

Alastair Cook is likely to lead an England team minus several star names in a one-day international against Ireland in Dublin next Thursday.

Hard-working Banimpire can prove a killjoy for Bunting

Even in the absence of two older rivals, who might have set them a stiffer standard, the three-year-old fillies still have enough differences to sort out to make a real puzzle of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks today. They are fortunate that Midday was instead asked to represent their sex against the colts yesterday, and that Snow Fairy has been scratched in the hope of faster going in France on Sunday. But life is complicated enough for the three fillies who were divided by barely half a length in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

4,000 jobs at risk as MBNA credit card division closes

About 4,000 jobs are at risk after Bank of America decided to exit its credit card business in the UK and Ireland. The division, known as MBNA, employs about 3,500 people at its site in Chester, and 500 people in Ireland. It boasts one of the largest portfolios in Europe, with more $19bn (£12bn) in credit card loans.

Martin Johnson defends England side after defeat

A defiant Martin Johnson insists England have not become a poor side overnight following their disappointing 19-9 World Cup warm-up defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

Crew pulled from sea as Fastnet yacht capsizes

Twenty-one crew members on board a racing yacht were dramatically rescued last night after it capsized off the Irish coast.

Choppers scramble for dramatic Fastnet Race rescue

In a major rescue operation the crew of 21 on the biggest boat in the Rolex Fastnet race had to be rescued as the American-owned 100-foot Rambler capsized close to the Fastnet Rock and lighthouse off the south-west tip of Ireland. The Baltimore lifeboat was on the scene, two Sikorsky helicopters scrambled and an Irish naval vessel sent to the scene.

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Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

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Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

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