Belfast Telegraph

A memorial in Soloheadbeg marks the spot where two RIC policemen were murdered by Irish Volunteers, a seminal and controversial event in Ireland’s fight for independence

Alban Maginness: Why murder of two policemen in January 1919 still haunts political establishment in Irish Republic 

Next Monday, January 21, sees the 100th anniversary of the sitting of the first Dail in the Mansion House in Dublin. Having triumphed over the Home Rulers of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the famous 1918 General Election, Sinn Fein, as promised, boycotted the Westminster parliament and set up a new Irish parliament, the first such parliament since the abolition of the old Irish parliament by the Act of Union in 1800.

Model looks: Demi Moore starred in a new campaign for the cosmetics company started by Helena Rubinstein

Like the right to vote, there was a struggle for the right to wear make-up, led by two formidable matriarchs 

I had a bit of a tidy-up of my bedroom recently, and realised that I owned (at least) 47 lipsticks: in addition to all the other unguents, potions, skin creams, moisturisers and assorted cosmetics.A monument to vanity? Or a modern woman's entitlement to make the best of herself and present a cheerful face to the world? Lipstick, especially, is hugely cheering and a small luxury that goes a long way.

Martina Anderson

Ruth Dudley Edwards: 'Infamous five' I'd dump in dreary place so they could contemplate their failings 

Annually, after wide consultation, I provide a list of people I think Northern Ireland would be better off without. Since the object of this exercise is not to depopulate the place dangerously, I've had to rule out such sweeping suggestions as "all Stormont MLAs and their Spads", "anyone with more than one woodchip boiler", "all rude anti-Brexiteers" and "anyone who begins a sentence on the radio with the word 'So'".

Belfast poet Michael Longley has called on unionists to embrace the Irish language

Fionola Meredith: Why we should take heed of poet Longley's words on the Irish language 

The days between Christmas and New Year have a curious, other-worldly quality all of their own. The wild excess of gift-giving and feasting is over, but most people are still off work. If you venture outside you find the roads are almost empty, apart from die-hard spenders rushing to the post-Christmas sales - as if there hasn't been enough spending already. There's nothing much to do except eat leftover turkey sandwiches or sip another glass of Baileys, if you still have the stomach for it.

Exquisite works: The Adoration of the Magi

Mary Kenny: The pre-Raphaelite artist who fused faith and beauty to create enduring Christmas masterpieces 

In our era of multiculturalism, perhaps the image of The Adoration of the Magi is quite apt: the three wise men who bring gifts to the infant Jesus are depicted as representing three different ethnicities. King Gaspar of Godolie hails from the region we now call the Yemen; Melchoir, King of Tarsis, is from a province of Turkey, and Balthazar, King of Nubia, would have travelled from Egypt-Sudan.

Alf McCreary

‘As a child a voice in my head told me to say goodbye to dad ... I told him I loved him and he died during the night’ 

Rosamond Bennett is married to Karl, a part-time primary school teacher and a musician. They have three children, Louis (18), Judy (17) and 13-year-old Reuben and live in Whitehead. Rosamond, who turned 50 this year but jokes she prefers 42, became CEO of Christian Aid Ireland earlier this year after 22 years in the corporate world. She is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.

Anyone puzzled at the enduring appeal of Dickens need only examine his greatest legacy to the world - Christmas - to discover the key to his popularity. [stock photo]

Gail Walker: What Dickens taught us is that the people who need us most could be on our own doorstep 

Outside the air is crisp as snowflakes fall from a darkening sky, prettily frosting the lattice panes while inside the fire roars merrily in the grate. Lit by the glow of the flames and tasteful candlelight, the expectant upturned faces of cherubic children. Who can that be, coming up the garden path? Why, ’tis none other than old Mr Fezziwig and — ’pon my soul — he has brought some revellers with him, to sing no doubt rousing renditions of appropriately seasonal songs and revels.

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