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Marlene Dietrich

Mary Kenny: Celebrities often feel they need cosmetic surgery - but for how long can you fight Father Time? 

Actresses - yes, some women in the performing arts still prefer not to be called "female actors" - and songstresses often avail of cosmetic surgery. Looking younger than they are is part of their job. So it isn't surprising that Debbie Harry, the American singer, actress, songwriter and model, now aged 74, has compared facelifts to a flu injection - just a regular procedure. In her profession, it is.

Author and ex-RUC officer Colin Breen at home in Bangor

A troubling experience: Colin Breen recounts nightmares writing second book 

When Colin Breen was writing his second book of recollections of RUC officers of their service during the Troubles, he found it a troubling experience. "I was getting these strange dreams of people trying to kill me, or of horrific terrorist incidents, but rather stupidly it took me a while to realise what was going on," he says. "It dawned on me that I was reliving some of the stories that officers had told me about and which had happened to them. After all, I had been writing these stories for the book day after day.

Modest men: (from left) Michael, Jim and James Gallagher at home in Burtonport, Co Donegal, with a photo of their boat, Irine

'Mum had got her lifesaving badges just two months before the tragedy... it hurt her to think that she couldn't save her own dad' 

Jean Mavitty remembered a boathook, but had no memory of who was holding it when she was pulled out of the water. She was beside herself - not just with the shock of being thrown into the Atlantic, but with the knowledge that her father had disappeared. She had been wearing his coat, with his spectacles in one pocket. She had to be restrained from jumping back in to try and find him.

Alex Kane outside Gleneyre

Adopted as a child, Alex Kane recalls nothing of his first six years... yet he is still haunted by terrifying nightmares. So, what happened when he made his first return visit to the orphanage where he had lived? 

Of all the words I've written in the past 40 years - and there have been a few million of them - none have come close to generating the response to a piece I wrote for the Belfast Telegraph Weekend Magazine on April 5, 2014. It was the first time I'd written about my adoption, my struggle to speak (I was mute when I left the orphanage in 1961), the nightmares which still haunted me almost 60 years later and how the sheer determination and unconditional love of Adelaide and Sam, my adoptive parents, allowed me to begin my life again from scratch.

Geoff Knupfer on a searchfor Columba McVeigh in 2013

Lost and found: Geoff Knupfer on the exhaustive search to find the Disappeared... and how locating the remains of Moors Murders victim Pauline Reade showed him why closure is vital for the families of the dead 

He has looked into the eyes of murderers such as Myra Hindley and those behind some of the worst IRA killings in our dark and troubled history. But former policeman Geoff Knupfer wasn't interested in confessions or motivations, he simply wanted to know where the human remains are situated so families could bury their loved ones and move on beyond a painful past.

Drawing inspiration: Ian Pollock’s This Could Be Your Lucky Day

Considered displays that speak to you on an uncomplicated level 

Art serves many purposes, not least of which is simple pleasure to the eye and to the soul. Often we find images that are presented to do just that, but are considered less important, merely decorative daubings and not worth more than a passing glance. How wrong is that? Art has a tremendously important role to play in our lives. It is there to question, to challenge and to make bold statements about society and our world, and in so doing has made changes for the betterment of mankind.


From Belfast Telegraph