‘We now also have the ridiculous situation in which Denis O’Brien’s spokesman uses the airwaves to condemn Deputy Murphy for “peddling lies” in the Dail but listeners are not told what her allegation is and are in no position to judge for themselves whether the spokesman’s strident condemnation is itself true or not.’ Above, Denis O’Brien. Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times Controversy over Dáil claims raises serious issues about democracy

Michael McDowell: ‘Deputy Catherine Murphy’s speech was firmly grounded in the public domain; it did not concern the private, intimate, domestic borrowings or banking affairs of just anyone or just any businessman’

 ‘The appointment last year of Jimmy Deenihan as Minister for Diaspora Affairs certainly gave the issue of emigration more political visibility and he has spent much time meeting and greeting emigrants.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times Diarmaid Ferriter: Emigrants’ voting rights should be extended

‘In the absence of political will to do anything substantial to enfranchise Irish emigrants, talk of the “global Irish family” is just self-serving and lazy blather’

Newly elected Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Kilkenny, Deputy Bobby Aylward (wearing purple tie)  arriving at Leinster House  with Micheál Martin and members of the Fianna Fáil Party. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin Stephen Collins: Averil Power’s defection has strengthened Micheál Martin’s hand

Challenge facing Fianna Fáil is to replicate byelection performance

 ‘Robert  Putnam believes that the “neo-traditional model” of family, that is, stable, durable marriages of biological parents, where both parents are likely to work but also invest significant time into parenting, leads to a range of positive outcomes for children.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien Breda O’Brien: Fintan O’Toole’s appeal on child poverty is worthy of support

‘Until Irish people can re-discover the sense that the poorer kids are also our kids, a crusade to end child poverty will never receive the support that it deserves’

‘Forty years on, this very French, eclectic gathering, lubricated by copious wine and fromages to die for, provided some telling snapshots of the country’s, and particularly its left’s, uncertain, confused, and depressed mood and the langueur of its politics.’ Photograph: Getty Images  Patrick Smyth: French left facing unpalatable choices

‘The tension between the republican, secular state, caricatured as Paris and its elites vs rural France, is very much alive in its politics and daily life’

‘We all know that the start of our budgetary problem was the “When you have it, you spend it” Charlie McCreevy philosophy. The then finance minister did add, when he said this in 2001, that “the mistake is to try to spend it when you haven’t got it”.’ Cliff Taylor: Why we should future-proof our national finances

‘The public sector pay deal will leave €300 million going to higher public pay out of total planned spending increases of €750 million’

Above, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech to the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, during the State Opening of Parliament, in London on Thursday. REUTERS/Alastair Grant/Pool Warning that welfare cuts impasse will delay justice for Troubles victims in North

‘The Stormont House Agreement was included in the queen’s speech, but as there is still no agreement as to what it actually contains, it will remain open to political manipulation’

‘Slowly, but surely, we have been chipping away at what former President Mary McAleese succinctly describes as “the architecture of homophobia”.’  Mary McAleese, who was speaking at a Belong To Yes event, with Dr Martin McAleese, Ciara Sheehan and Nathan Beatty, (right). Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times LGBT youth action has helped pull down ‘architecture of homophobia’

Fifty per cent of LGBT young people still consider suicide owing to stigma and homophobic bullying and one in five LGBT pupils avoid school

“Time to put it back in the closet, time to let it be just one little part of me and not my defining characteristic” said Vivian Cummins, (right, above, with Erney Breytenbach) . Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons Kathy Sheridan: Some Yes campaigners faced subtle, shocking bigotry

‘However they cloaked their arguments, the thrust of the No campaign was to call into question the full humanity of its opponents’

‘In his allies’ eyes, David Cameron enjoys unprecedented political capital: his domestic sceptics have been silenced; and his European Union counterparts have had to hold their tongues, too, because he has done what many of them cannot.’ Above,  Cameron with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker before the Eastern Partnership Summit session in Riga, Latvia, last week. Photograph: REUTERS/Ints Kalnins Why Britain’s EU referendum would benefit from 2016 timetable

Mark Hennessy: ‘United front on display from the Conservatives will face challenges long before the text of the bill clearing the way for the referendum will reach the Commons’

‘The most significant No campaign was run by the church, and in particular by the bishops who many felt might have kept their power dry. However archbishop Eamon Martin (right) issued a pastoral letter three weeks into the campaign, and the Dublin archbishop Diarmuid Martin (left) also entered the fray.’   Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin Jane Suiter: Lessons from the Yes and No campaigns

‘In terms of the traditional campaign both sides postered heavily in streets and neighbourhoods, but there were differences both in the message and in impact’

‘Tens of thousands of those inspired to vote Yes to one amendment by the impressively uplifting “Yes Equality” campaign apparently saw no contradiction in rejecting the other.’ Above, members of Get the Boat 2 Vote, a group of Irish people who returned from London to vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: DAVE MEEHAN Rejection of presidential age referendum shows ageism at heart of Irish society

Young people are, by every measure, a marginalised group in Irish society

‘Gerry Adams’s handshake with Prince Charles this week was not an isolated gesture of reconciliation. Sinn Féin has for some time had a section devoted to outreach to unionism, with party chairperson Declan Kearney playing a leading role in its work.’  Photograph: BRIAN LAWLESS/AFP/Getty Images Time for a new kind of ‘Ulster covenant’ to rekindle the peace process

Could a campaign – led by reconciliation and civil society groups – drive a fresh initiative?

‘This contradictory aspect of equality led Karl Marx (above) to argue, when criticising the Gotha programme adopted by the German Workers’ Party in 1875, that the equal rights it proclaimed were in fact constrained by their emergence in capitalist society judged by the amount of labour they supply.’ Photograph:  Henry Guttmann/Getty Images Paul Gillespie: Why equal doesn’t have to mean identical in marriage vote

‘Various political philosophies have struggled with the issue of how to reconcile definitions of equality as identity with the human experience of individual difference’

‘One can also only imagine how much it took for Prince Charles on Tuesday to shake the hand of the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams who was such a significant figure in the leadership of the organisation which had killed his beloved Mountbatten.’ Photograph: Adam Gerrard/ WPA Pool/Getty Images Noel Whelan: Amid forgiveness in Mullaghmore we should not forget the past

‘While some may breathlessly trumpet Gerry Adams’s magnanimity in shaking the prince’s hand, the real bravery for peace was on the British side of that encounter’

Rónán Mullen: ‘The very use of the term “marriage equality” on the ballot paper is designed to make voters think they are anti-equality if they’re leaning towards a No.’ Photograph:  Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES Head to head: Rónán Mullen argues against same-sex marriage

‘A No vote will force the Government to reconsider in what circumstances a child can be brought into the world using a donated sperm, or a donated egg and surrogate mother’

 Colm O’Gorman: ‘I feel, perhaps for the first time in my life, like I could be a fully equal citizen. I have felt this way because of the people I have met, people I do not know, who have told me that I am one of them.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times Head to head: Colm O’Gorman argues in favour of same-sex marriage

‘Our family has the same potential to be indispensable to the welfare of the nation and the State as the families of those vocal on the No side’

‘Their stories offer compelling insights into the negative impact gaps in services and system-oriented practices have on the lives of children and their families’. Photograph: Getty Images Economic crisis had serious consequences for thousands of Irish children

‘In March, 1,054 children in 471 families were homeless. Meanwhile, over 1,400 children are currently spending formative years of their lives in direct provision’

‘Ireland’s recent courageous decision to deploy peacekeepers to the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF) to help address the worsening crisis in Syria was a strong testament to its commitment to the United Nations.’ Above, vehicles of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force are seen near the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights, on May 4th, 2015. Photograph:  JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images Ban Ki-moon praises leadership and courage of Irish men and women

UN secretary general says handshake between Prince Charles and Gerry Adams shows others they can turn their back on conflict

‘Wildly exaggerated fear tactics’: A poster advocating a No vote in the marriage referendum. Photograph: Aidan Crawley John Fanning: Campaign advertising – the good, the bad, and the scurrilous

‘With a general election now less than a year away, the referendum ads raise the wider issue of the effectiveness of political advertising’

‘Jim Allister, leader of Traditional Unionist Voice, accused the DUP of “the worst excesses of the abuse of power” in the Assembly’s lifetime.’  Photograph:Paul Faith/PA Eamonn McCann: Assembly committee powerless in the face of ‘abuse of power’

‘All parties other than the DUP voted to “note” the report which had castigated McCausland and Brimstone while upholding Palmer’s account. The report was “not worth the paper it was written on”, scoffed McCausland’

‘Perhaps, it might be useful to consider some of the ideas of the new EU Mortgage Credit Directive, making all residential mortgages non-recourse, and ending reckless home-loan lending once and for all.’ Photograph: Getty Images Distressed mortgage-holders need three key issues to be addressed

‘Evictions to nowhere’ can constitute a violation of human dignity

‘Over the past two and a half years alone, we have, with the support of our EU partners, made great strides in bringing Georgia into line with the highest European and international standards.’ Above, The Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Photograph: Getty Images Removing EU visa requirements for Georgians would signal important change

‘We trust that the EU will continue its support for Georgia’s European path, matching reforms with increased integration’

‘In January the Catholic publication The Tablet quoted Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh (above) as calling for a referendum debate “free from insult or injury or hurt to any person whether they be people of a homosexual nature or people of faith.” I found the assumption at the heart of this statement both telling and troubling. What about homosexual people of faith?’ Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times Crusade of bishops against amendment may mislead voters

‘As a gay Catholic I rather naively hoped that the Church would take the view that the referendum concerned the civil rights of the LGBT community and in no way impinged upon religious marriage’

‘Another matter not discussed in this campaign to date is a theological body of opinion which believes Jesus knowingly acknowledged and blessed a same-sex union.’  Photograph: Getty Images Catholic Church teaching on marriage has changed down the centuries

‘Generally, in a pastoral context, bishops are sensitive to gay people and groups, as are most priests’

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘I encourage everyone to vote and to reflect carefully’

‘My position is that of Pope Francis, who . . . made it very clear that he was against legalising same-sex marriage, yet he was consistent in telling people not to make judgments on any individual’

‘The reality is that the vast majority of children are raised by their biological parents and this will not change with a Yes vote. But the concept of parentage is much broader than biology.’ Photograph: Getty Images Tanya Ward: ‘Marriage equality in no way undermines the rights of children’

‘A child’s wellbeing doesn’t depend on the type of family they grow up in’

‘If we redefine marriage as the Government proposes, we redefine the family as well. And we redefine it in a way that will leave some children disadvantaged.’ Photograph: Getty Images Government’s dictatorial attitude makes people slow to say they’re voting No

‘The unsubtle message is that the only reason anyone could have for supporting the No side is that they are homophobic bigots’

‘Then there’s our own Belfast Agreement, into which the Human Rights Act is woven. The latter’s repudiation would breach international treaty obligations, specifically in relation to the British-Irish Agreement that underpins the agreement.’ Photograph: Getty Images Patrick Smyth: UK is on wrong path with human rights changes

‘Would Westminster legislate to allow the writ of the ECHR continue to prevail in Northern Ireland and Scotland while not in the rest of the UK, creating two legal rights regimes within the UK?’

As a priest, I subscribe to the Christian understanding of marriage that it is a sacrament celebrated between one man and one woman.  Photograph: Getty Images ‘I don’t care what they call it, I’m in favour of marriage equality’ – Fr Gerard Moloney

‘While I see it as a sacrament, I believe it’s up to the citizens of the State to decide how they define marriage and who can enter into it’

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