A woman touches an icon of the Virgin Mary during a pilgrimage to    Lourdes .... “inside the Domain, there is a intensely spiritual atmosphere, even when you are not taking part in a procession”. , southwestern France, on August 24,   (Photo: Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images)

‘People rarely talk about how so many charities would fall apart without the fundraising done by students ’

Monica O’Connor  being taken by gardaí from her home  to prison. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Opinion: Would better communication and a change of culture have helped both the Kings and Monica O’Connor?

‘In the early 2000s, senior social care managers and police continued to believe that the scale of the problem was exaggerated.’ Above, a protest outside Rotherham police station following the publication of the child exploitation  report. Photograph:  Lynne Cameron/PA

Opinion: It is naive to believe the Irish Child and Family Agency can overcome all the flaws of the previous regime in a short ti(...)

‘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

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