Ciarán Lynch: ’Significant preparatory work has been carried out over the past few months’

Chairman denies inquiry is bogged down and says oral hearings will begin shortly

Liam Twomey: “It would be extremely bad manners for the ECB to refuse to attend the inquiry.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Twomey to write to Draghi to stress need for presence at banking investigation

Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, at a press conference in Government Buildings outlining revised water charges. Photograph: Alan Betson

Opinion: Alan Kelly has done a good job in bringing certainty to the water charges issue – other Ministers need to do the same

President Michael D Higgins: “I have a very good working relationship under article 28 of the Constitution.” Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Analysis: President Michael D Higgins’s good relations with Taoiseach have helped minimise political conflict

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly at a press conference in Government buildings outlining revised water charges. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Weak or wise? The Government took the only option and drastically slashed charges

President Michael D Higgins delivering the keynote address “On International Human Rights and Global Development” at the University of Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, yesterday. Photograph: Fennell Photography

Analysis: Higgins comes close to challenging Government during South African speech

Sean MacBride:  his first action after his appointment as minister for external affairs in February 1948 was to draft a message from the government to Pope Pius XII.

Documents reveal subservient approach to Catholic Church of leading republican figure of 20th-century Irish politics

Winston Churchill:  “ I still hope for a united Ireland. You must get those fellows in the North in, though; you can’t do it by force.”

Then leader of British opposition said in 1951 he wanted to come to Republic

Frederick Boland, the secretary of the department  of external affairs in 1948: “Even strongly anti-communist Italians might take exception to intervention of a foreign government in Italian affairs, however, helpfully intended.”

Funds channelled through Vatican embassy

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