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”.

Call for Northern Ireland's police ombudsman to resign

There were growing calls today for the resignation of Northern Ireland's police ombudsman Al Hutchinson and one of his top investigators.

Rugby round-up: Coach Kidney bemoans Ireland's inability to keep the ball

Ireland coach Declan Kidney insisted his team needs to improve after a 19-12 defeat to France on Saturday. The first-half of the World Cup warm-up in Bordeaux was dominated by the hosts, and despite an improved second-half from his team, Kidney refused to be too cheered.

Clerc's try helps France deal Irish second defeat

France 19 Ireland 12

Sir Hugh Orde: Commissioner in waiting?

His intelligence, dedication and wit command admiration – even from opponents. But is he too plain-speaking for the politicians to make him the country's top copper? And does he want the job?

Cullen urges response as Irish gear up for France

Leo Cullen has demanded Ireland raise their intensity when they return to the setting for their disastrous 2007 World Cup.

Last Night's TV: Monty Halls' Great Irish Escape/BBC2<br />Carrot or Stick &ndash; a Horizon Guide to Raising Kids/BBC4

"It's like a drug," mused Monty Halls, surveying the Connemara coastline. "You just want to sleep and relax." He was talking about the views, of course. For the next six months, Halls will be living on an island just across the water from a place called Round Stone. And he's right: looking at the twinkling lights and sweeping coast, you do just want to nod right off. Unfortunately, it's an instruction Halls seemed to have taken to heart. For the next 50 minutes, to the soporific soundtrack of something that wasn't Titanic's but may as well been given the proliferation of pan pipes to be heard, we got observations on multi-coloured shop fronts, unsuccessful hunts for whale carcasses and anecdotes from Halls's childhood (his sister, apparently, would chase him round the house with a handful of sprouting potatoes, such was his fear of spuds).

QPR sign goalkeeper Brian Murphy

QPR have completed the signing of former Ipswich goalkeeper Brian Murphy on a two-year deal.

National Irish Bank reports &euro;400mn loss

National Irish Bank has reported a pre-tax loss of 400 million euro (£348.3 million) for the first six months of the year.

Investment Column: Telecity can rise above Irish problems

Our View: Hold

Share price: 450.5p (-36.5p)

No company can operate in a vacuum, but Telecity, which operates data centres around Europe, appears better equipped than most to weather the current financial storm.

Rapid decline could make curlew extinct in Ireland in decade

The curlew, the wetland wader with the decurved bill and haunting call, has almost vanished from Ireland in a mere 20 years, in one of the most dramatic declines ever recorded for a bird in the British Isles.

Wallace Clark: Yachtsman and adventurer who sparked a revival of sea-rowing boats

The death of the charismatic author, businessman and adventurer Wallace Clark brings to an end a life lived with vigour and panache. Clark was known in the yachting world as the semi-professional yachtsman who commissioned the Aileach – the first full-sized replica Hebridean war galley to be built for over 300 years. However, back in his native Ulster he was more celebrated for his classic volume Sailing Round Ireland, which still sellsi well more than 30 years after publication. By the time the Aileach was launched at Moville, Clark was 65, yet he still slept on bare planks in the open air alongside his men when skippering the 16-oared craft from Ireland to the Outer Hebrides.

McClean switches to Republic

James McClean has left the Northern Ireland squad to face the Faroe Islands after becoming the latest player to opt for the Republic of Ireland. "My dream has always been to play for the Republic of Ireland," insisted the 22-year-old.

Ireland cling to a silver lining as Kearney makes his return

Scotland 10 Ireland 6

John Michael McDonagh: Stand aside, junior &ndash; big brother coming through

'The Guard' sounds like indie hit 'In Bruges' and the directors share the same surname. But this time it's McDonagh major in charge.

Ansbro helps Scots stumble and fumble past Ireland

Scotland 10 Ireland 6: Robinson's men look very fit but worryingly short of skill in their victory over weakened opposition
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