Opinion: Seeds may have been sown for a breakdown in relationship with TDs

Labour leader Joan Burton, with her deputy, the new Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly: tackling the housing issue is a pressing political imperative. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Opinion: Unemployment and the lack of affordable accommodation are fuelling political instability

‘Attention is focused on the fortunes of James Reilly with a general consensus emerging that he will cease to be Minister for Health next week. Reilly is an issue politician and health, in particular universal health insurance, is his issue.’ Above, Reilly  at the launch of the White Paper on Universal Health Insurance earlier this year. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Opinion: Giving the European Commissionership to Hogan in line with expectations gives Kenny more space to rebrand his Government(...)

‘Brian Crowley MEP always resented efforts by Mount Street apparatchiks and senior party figures to manage the vote between candidates in the European elections.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Opinion: Fianna Fáil MEP is most successful Irish election candidate ever

‘On the week in which Jeremy Paxman retires from his role presenting the BBC flagship Newsnight programme it is worth reflecting on whether that aggressive style of political interviewing actually serves the viewer and the process of democratic debate.’  Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA

Opinion: Conflict makes for more dramatic television than the calm exchange of ideas

‘The first election of the recession was the 2009 local elections in which Sinn Féin got almost exactly the same vote as it got in 2004 and Mary Lou McDonald lost her European Parliament seat.’ Above, McDonald canvassing for the 2009 elections with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Opinion: Party did not get immediate electoral bounce out of the economic downturn

‘In the next few months Enda Kenny has to develop a new relationship with a new Labour leadership and seek to calm Labour nerves.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Opinion: Kenny’s Coalition management skills now look ropey

Opinion: Many of the Independent councillors were endorsed by their local Independent TD

‘SIPO used the occasion to draw attention again to the limited nature of the information which the parties are required to provide.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Opinion: Sipo renewed its call for legislative change to require parties to publish full accounts

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