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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee