Rev Ian Paisley: political outsider scorned by the aristocrats and merchant princes of the unionist establishment. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Comment: former first minister heaped poison into well of sectarianism

 ‘Labour is transfixed on “office” (ie ministerial office), insisting, against all the evidence, that only in “office” can it serve the interests of those who depend on it.’ Above, Eamon Gilmore, giving the party leader televised address at the end of the Labour Party Conference in February. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Opinion: Party never had ‘core values’, apart from two brief dalliances with socialism

‘Treachery has not gone away, you know, and no new leader of Labour will change that.’ The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore speaking on his resignation as Labour Party leader. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Opinion: Labour claims it had ‘no alternative’ to cuts to most disadvantaged

‘A report by  Gráinne McMorrow SC, published earlier this month on the killing of a prisoner, Gary Douch, in Mountjoy jail suggests the prison system is  dysfunctional.’ Photograph: David Sleator

Opinion: Maybe it was a mistake for the British parliament to promise us home rule

‘The Smithwick tribunal inquired into allegations that a “mole” in Dundalk Garda station had tipped off the IRA about the presence of the officers.’ Above, Judge Peter Smithwick.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Opinion: More than a ‘few bad apples’ in the force

A tribunal of inquiry, chaired by, for instance, Peter Kelly (above), augmented by a banking expert and Kathleen Lynch, a sociologist at UCD, would have the capacity, legal authority and expertise to do a thorough job. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Opinion: Thirteen questions have to be answered

 ‘What matters is the size of the wage bill.’ Fans take a picture of a statue for former Manchester United manager David Moyes. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Opinion: What makes a successful football club?

Former financial regulator Patrick Neary, arriving at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to give evidence during the trial of three former directors of Anglo Irish Bank. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Opinion: What former regulator told Anglo trial

Vincent Browne (left), then-editor of Election ‘82 , with  Nora Owen and  Bertie Ahern. Photograph: The Irish Times

Opinion: Belfast Agreement, joining the euro and the financial crisis among biggest changes

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