New side of Leo Varadkar: the Fine Gael TD told Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ last weekend that he’s gay. Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly
Who is Leo Varadkar?

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar is an unusual politician. He has a high IQ and a small ego. He’s a ‘bit odd’ socially and seldom (...)

‘For most people a bonus is the peacetime equivalent of a war medal – a hard-earned reward for striving in exceptionally challenging circumstances.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘The Davos summit will welcome back many of the same movers and shakers whose reckless exuberance virtually destroyed lives and ec(...)

Then mInister for education Niamh Bhreathnach (left) and Mags O’Brien celebrate victory in  the divorce referendum at the RDS on November 25th, 1995. Photograph: Frank Miller

1995 referendum that gave separated people the right to divorce was barely carried

Kingsmill Massacre – Alan Black, the sole survivor of the massacre, in 2000 laying a floral tribute at the Bessbrook Town Hall memorial to those killed – “Atrocities like these can never be expunged from a conscience or explained away.”  –  Picture by Stephen Wilson/Pacemaker

Universal yearning to find meaning in barbarity

‘Even 35 years on, Charvet Charlie, his bagman, his stately home, his befurred, entitled mistress, his grovelling Uriah Heep ministers, the phone-tapping, the tails, the threats, all remain too close, too familiar, too infuriating to be classified as fascinating or entertaining, especially at this point in our history, when it is all too clear how the seeds of that poisonous culture would re-erupt like ragwort, again and again, across the decades.’  Above, Aidan Gillen as Charlie Haughey

‘The RTÉ series is described as “fascinating”. But Charlie Haughey’s corrupt, thuggish little power play will always elicit other (...)

Power to the people: water-charge protesters on Merrion Square. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Anadolu/Getty

From the Rehab controversy to the John McNulty affair and the Irish Water debacle, the people of Ireland finally had enough

 ‘To dismiss the Roscommon-South Leitrim Independent byelection winner Michael Fitzmaurice as a turf-cutter would be reckless.’   Photograph:  Mick McCormack

‘In its ideal manifestation, localism is a driver of practical, community activism. Its flipside however, can be a reckless indiff(...)

Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

Social enterprise, civil disobedience and a more accountable political system could help Ireland work better. But for starters, le(...)

‘The Dublin protests also got a mention in the same feature, including the placards denouncing the “Ministry of Thirst” and the fact that Ireland was the only country in the OECD that did not charge its citizens for water usage.’ Above, people taking part in the anti-water charges protest march in O’Connell Street, Dublin earlier this year. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘If the protests are about something other than water – as the leaders are insisting now – why hijack World Human Rights Day, fro(...)

More articles