Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Kevin Humphreys arriving for the launch of the Pathways to Work strategy at Government Buildings yesterday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Analysis: Unemployment is falling – but the scars of the economic crisis remain

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at Aras An Uachtarain with the Federal President of the Republic of Austria  Dr Heinz Fischer and Mrs Margit Fischer  at the start of an official visit to Ireland. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Athlone Community Radio issued invitation to Higgins to be interviewed by asylum seekers

Almost two years after details of a new after-school childcare scheme were announced, just over 100 children are availing of it

Just over 100 children in scheme that was due to offer ‘upwards of 6,000’ places

Ellen Doyle with her son, Kaylan, in East Wall, Dublin.  “I just couldn’t make it work.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Ellen Doyle says the cost of childcare is a major barrier to parents returning to work

‘Low tax countries like the US rank highly in the top-10 of global competitiveness according to the World Economic Forum. But so too do higher-tax countries like Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.’ Above, Minister for Finance  Michael Noonan prior to delivering the Budget last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES

Online poll: Options range from reducing income tax to funding better childcare...

Kathryn Torney, deputy editor of The Detail, Joanne McDowell, director of the Big Lottery Fund Northern Ireland, Steven McCaffery, editor of The Detail, and Lisa McElherron, head of public affairs at the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action. Photograph: Big Lottery Fund/PA Wire

Data journalism project to shed light on vital public services in Northern Ireland

The revised planning laws are likely to close loopholes that allowed exchanging money or land in lieu of social housing

Only a fraction of social and affordable homes were ever delivered

The draft law is likely to require that social units are “predominantly on site” Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

10 per cent of units in new estates or apartment complexes wil be set aside for social use

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald says: “Familiesnow have different expectations.” Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Move would let fathers play more active role in family life, says Fitzgerald

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