‘Being stigmatised for being pregnant outside of marriage was a common phenomenon until recent decades in Ireland. We routinely condemn those times.’  Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: ‘There are two very vulnerable people in this nightmare who have been let down by our selective indignation’

‘The young women’s father spoke eloquently to me about how difficult it is to demand high standards of work and commitment, all the while knowing that under current circumstances, it is impossible for them to go to third level.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: Their parents are not permitted to work, and neither are they

‘Eddie and Monica’s six children, aged from six to 27, have all been educated at home, although their older children decided to enter formal education in their teens.’ Above, Eddie O’ Neill with some of the children (Eamonn, Elva, Oran  and Emmet). Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Opinion: When they refused to pay the fine imposed on them, they were each sentenced to 10 days’ in prison

‘Being a politician at national level, if you are not from Dublin or nearby, means a lot of time spent away from home.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Opinion: Ireland is among the 10 lowest-ranked EU countries when it comes to political and economic representation of women

 Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivers Progress’ inaugural annual Philip Gould Lecture on July 21st in London –   Labour “has to be progressive and base policies on reality, not a delusionary view of the world”, he sid .   Photograph: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images

New Labour’s legacy is not progressive – it is narcissistic. And has affected our politics too

Opinion: Tumblr presents a virtually parodic version of allegedly liberal values

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as Watson and Holmes: sharing a flat but not a bed

Opinion: Reporting the Christian bakery sends the message that it is not okay to disagree

‘Leah Libresco’s unusual qualities may be indicated by the fact that it was livestreamed by iCatholic.ie, but she was also extensively interviewed by Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland.’

Opinion: Personalised abuse indicates if someone says “I hate you!” they may really be in pain, she suggests

‘Rather than discussing how technology could ease the endurance test, we could just have shorter but deeper courses, and have exams where it is normal to pause, gaze at the ceiling and really think, rather than just frantically scribble.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: Could the keyboard be mightier than the pen when it comes to exams?

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