‘Budget day was enlivened by the arrival in the chamber of the two new TDs elected in the two byelections (Paul Murphy, above, and Michael Fitzmaurice) and in a welcome development both were given an opportunity to speak on their first day.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Opinion: After seven belt-tightening budgets, it was not practical to expect the Coalition to deliver another one of the same (...)

Man of the cloth: WT Cosgrave disguised as Brother Doyle in 1920

An extract from ‘Judging W. T. Cosgrave’, a new biography of the Free State leader

Victorious: WT Cosgrave at College Green after his election as president of the executive council of the Free State in 1923. Photograph: Hulton Getty .

Liam Cosgrave talks about his father’s ruthlessness and efficiency, aspects of the Free State’s Civil War leader explored in a new(...)

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál  Martin  with Belfast woman Maíria Cahill yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

FF leader Martin accuses Gerry Adams of “despicable” behaviour over allegations

Máiria Cahill and Micheál Martin at Leinster House yesterday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Cahill and Adams give different versions of conversations on alleged assaults

Maíria Cahill, the grandniece of leading IRA figure Joe Cahill,   photographed at Leinster House today. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Maíria Cahill says apology is owed over how Sinn Féin and IRA handled abuse allegations

President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins, with Robert  Skidelsky (left) and Edward Skidelsky, at the Institute of International European Affairs. Photograph: Eric Luke

Higgins warns of technocracy’s ‘encroachment’ on democratic debate

Matt and Kay Hayes from Baldoyle, Dublin watch Minister for Finance Michael Noonan  TD during the announcment of Budget 2015 at Government Buildings.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Concessions in tax and welfare should benefit almost every family in the country

Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin during the budget photocall yesterday at Government Buildings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Coalition emphasis on ‘the squeezed middle’, says Minister for Finance

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