Neil Kinnock, former leader of the British Labour Party, used his 1985 conference speech to challenge the militants head on. Photograph: Alan Betson Unionism needs to find its Neil Kinnock to take on the extremists

Unlike Sinn Féin, unionists have yet to confront the cranks in their ranks

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on September 22nd. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images Richard Pine: Bewildered Greece becomes refugee from reality

Chief threat to European stability is the mindless fear of otherness

To much of the pro-choice lobby, Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws aren’t just wrong, but an example of how far she lags behind other modern countries.  Photograph: Eric Luke Why Ireland should not be embarrassed by its abortion laws

What is left unsaid is how extreme laws are in countries we are being asked to look up to

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Work hard, dream big, want it enough, say these wealthy, white, highly educated women, and you can achieve anything. Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is not a feminist icon. This is why

Evidence shows an increase in women business leaders has little impact on anyone but leaders themselves

Part of the University College Dublin campus: the students’ union recently ran a campus survey on consent. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill No dating, please, we are Generation Snowflake

Irish 20-year-olds may be having lots of sex but the thought of dating terrifies them

The most obvious interpretation of any decision to delete article 40.3.3 is that the people will have decided to completely withdraw constitutional protection from the unborn Abortion on demand the legal outcome of repeal of Eighth Amendment

Simply removing protection for the unborn opens the way to unlimited abortion

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: The budget must support domestic business and encourage  foreign direct investment. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times Budget must help entrepreneurs to create jobs

Continuing to create employment vital to continued recovery on more widespread basis

 Donald Trump, with lengthy tie, attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City. File photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald Brian Boyd: What is with Donald Trump and those ties?

Coverage of big, swinging ties drowned out by inconsequential political reportage

Neither St Augustine nor St Thomas Aquinas held that the foetus in the early stages of development has a full human soul. Photograph: Getty Fintan O’Toole: Anti-abortion ‘zygopaths’ make a mockery of equality

It is wrong to equate a woman to a group of cells at the moment of conception

The late French philosopher Paul Ricoeur:  religions  can be “driven and invigorated by the unkept promises of their own histories of foundation”.  Photograph:Juerg Mueller/AP/Keystone/ Rite&Reason: Why we should teach religion in school

Religions as bearers of possible truth are contributors to the search for truth

Syrian men carrying babies make their way through the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held Salihin neighbourhood of the northern city of Aleppo. Photograph: Ameer Alhalbi/AFP/Getty Images Fintan Drury: Ireland has failed Europe’s refugees once again

The failure of the majority of our politicians to engage meaningfully in Europe’s humanitarian crisis of today cannot be excused

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool: he has said, “If you want real opportunities for everybody you have to invest in a way that doesn’t increase inequality.” Photograph:  Oli Scarffoli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images Why Ireland needs a Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders

No political vision sets out appropriate role of the State in creating a fairer society

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “A Corbyn-led Labour is now far closer to the values of Connolly than the current Irish Labour Party.” Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters Roger Cole: Why Jeremy Corbyn will be the UK’s next prime minister

Labour leader will displace Theresa May because he leads a movement, not just a party

A hard future awaits for Theresa May without a vision for soft Brexit

No 10 needs to start defining what the gentler road out of the EU looks like, whatever ructions it causes with hardline Tory leavers

“Even with the UK outside the customs union, modern electronic customs clearing should make physical Border checks unnecessary.” Photograph: Alan Betson It is time to stop the apocalyptic fearmongering over Brexit

EU importance to the Irish economy and the peace process in North is overstated

Party political conditions have driven reform and potentially  overextended the Dáil’s reach in doing so. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times Kieran Coughlan: Dáil vote reform may be unconstitutional

The recording of abstentions by TDs could leave new laws open to legal challenge

The 5th Annual March for Choice in Dublin on Saturday: “The crowd was diverse, but the largest demographic was young people.” Photograph: Eric Luke Una Mullally: Ireland’s tipping point on abortion just took to the streets

This generation is not going to take what they have inherited in the Constitution

‘Only 40 per cent of parents send their children to a crèche, so the Government should offer more than just this option.’ Breda O’Brien: Zappone has got it wrong on childcare

Incentivising people to send children to a crèche ignores many other options

Greece’s former minister for finance Yanis Varoufakis and novelist  Elif Shafak  at the Zurich Dalkey Book Festival in June. He was a “disaster” as finance minister, said academic Bridget Laffan. Photograph: Conor McCabe Stephen Collins: Worrying signs the past is about to repeat itself

Irish politicians who led us out of financial crisis are not getting the credit for it

Perhaps those who criticise the “tone” of campaigners for reproductive rights should examine why the quest for bodily autonomy makes them uncomfortable. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd Una Mullally: This is not the moment to tone down the Repeal the 8th campaign

If you aim for the clouds, you might get to the rooftops. If you aim for the stars, you might reach the clouds

An Apple MacBook in the European Parliament. The EU Commission claims Ireland has granted illegal tax benefits to Apple. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA World View: Ireland’s Apple windfall is developing world’s loss

Apple’s Irish HQ sees profits earned in vulnerable regions being sent to the State

The ongoing and planned strikes are building financial problems for Dublin Bus. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins Bus disputes might drive rail workers down strike route

Union fears over privatisation at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann need to surface

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan with  Dara Murphy TD and Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Mr Noonan is in a financial cul de sac in terms of helping the large mass of middle-income earners.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Cliff Taylor: Squeezed middle is paying too much tax

Obsession with cutting USC leaves real flaws in income tax system ignored

The Central Library at Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, where staff are objecting to a decision by management to open on Sundays without any library staff present. Photograph: Eric Luke. Diarmaid Ferriter: Self-service libraries are not true libraries

Many library users need assistance and libraries have to be staffed by those with knowledge to be true to their mission

A protest against  TTIP and CETA outside the European Union headquarters in Brussels, on Tuesday. The protest followed  mass rallies in Germany. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images Farrel Corcoran: Media letting Ireland sleepwalk into further loss of sovereignty

TTIP and CETA trade deals with US and Canada have huge implications yet lack coverage

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe giving a briefing following the Government decision on the Comptroller and Auditor General report on the Nama sale of Project Eagle. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times Colum Kenny: Nama investigation will fail to get full facts

Oireachtas that wants to investigate Nama is the same one that let it loose in the first place

‘This week we have again seen the political potency of water charges.’ Noel Whelan: Expect more Fianna Fáil flip-flops on water

Latest move to abolish charges for good took some members of the party by surprise

Something got torn in the natural order when actors and singers decided, on the back of a successful film or album, that they would now solve  global problems. Photograph:  Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WSJ Brian Boyd: Brangelina break-up could benefit the world

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the forefront of celebrities taking on intractable global problems

Jamie Bryson leaving Parliament Buildings in Belfast where he gave evidence to Stormont’s Finance Committee on the controversial sale of Nama’s NI assets to a US investor. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire Newton Emerson: Jamie Bryson is a remarkably dangerous peaceful person

He testified against the DUP over Nama, then exposed SF for trying to coach him

Gauging performance through the lens of the top-ranked universities skews our understanding of national performance and educational quality, and creates perverse benchmarks. Photograph: Getty Images Make decisions based on evidence, not on university rankings

Rankings need to focus more on educational quality rather than prestige and reputation

Nicola Cassidy: Our social media reflects us. And we should not be made feel guilty for wishing to share or connect in the first place. Putting pictures of your kids on Facebook is just part of life

Images we share help us connect with other parents, with friends, with acquaintances who might be going through the same thing

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Kenansville, North Carolina. Photograph: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst Kathy Sheridan: US networks sell their soul for Trump ratings boost

American friends wonder why the media cannot ignore the Republican candidate for a week

Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge: The Government’s national transport investment strategy has been heavily weighted towards connecting other cities with Dublin. The urgent focus  should be on connecting those cities with one another. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Time to put second-tier cities at heart of national plan

Urban policy must look beyond Dublin to drive regional development and growth

Waterford TD and Independent Minister John Halligan threatened to “bring all hell down” on the Government if Fine Gael did not deliver on an agreement with him to fund a cath lab. Photograph: Cyril Byrne Why Waterford needs a second cath lab

Cardiac patients in the southeast must not be left to languish on waiting lists

The iPhone 7 plus is shown during an event to announce new Apple products on  Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Your new iPhone’s features include oppression, inequality and tax avoidance

Arrogant towards critics and governments, glutted with cash and yet plainly out of ideas, Apple is elegant shorthand for a redundant economic system

Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan and Taoiseach, Enda Kenny while speaking at the launch of the action plan for education. Photograph: Alan Betson Fintan O’Toole: Between aspiration and reality we build a bridge of bullshit

There is nothing wrong with having high hopes, but action plan for education is an exercise in denial

View of the procession of the Council Fathers on  October 11th, 1962, in front of St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, at the opening of the first session of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Photograph:  OFF/AFP/Getty Images Irish Church paying price for blocking Vatican II reforms

Changes to Christianity not implemented as these involved loss of clerical power

 UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon speaks at the  start of the summit on refugees in New York. Photograph:  Justin Lane/EPA UN summit on refugees fails to offer solutions

Uncertainty remains on whether summit and pledging conference will have a lasting legacy

Moves to ban petrol and diesel cars completely by 2025 are gaining serious ground in Norway and the Netherlands. Pat O’Doherty: Ireland must cut its dependence on oil

Incremental changes in existing technology are not enough to cut carbon emissions

German chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference after an EU summit n Bratislava, Slovakia. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Derek Scally: Who could replace Angela Merkel?

The German chancellor is increasingly vulnerable amid backlash to her migration policy

‘The average parent in Britain will post nearly 1,500 photos of their child before they turn five.’ File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto Una Mullally: Why must parents put pictures of their kids on Facebook?

Oversharing photo-posters are embarrassing themselves as well as their children

What really matters is that Nama chose to ignore the big red flag raised by Pimco and proceeded to sell the Northern Ireland property loan book to Cerberus. John McManus: Why Nama is in such trouble over Project Eagle

State agency should have blown the whistle on Northern Ireland sale but chose not to

Only time will tell whether inside the party of “new politics” the old-style Haughey-era Fianna Fáil is simply waiting to burst out, when the opportunity arises. Stephen Collins: Fianna Fáil old bones may be poking through ‘new politics’ flesh

Prospect of a sooner-than-expected election has seen party shift into populist gear

Nama  chairman Frank Daly and  chief executive Brendan Mc Donagh. ‘Any government or party that protects them may well pay a heavy price.’ File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times Mick Wallace: Nama’s chairman and chief executive must resign

It is long past time our Government should have stopped pretending everything is grand

“For the UK to concede a separate deal for Northern Ireland with Brussels would endanger Westminster sovereignty, notwithstanding Theresa May’s undertaking to involve the UK’s three devolved territories in the Brexit negotiations.” Illustration: The Irish Times World View: Belgium offers a way out of the Brexit impasse

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales could all have separate relationships with the EU similar to Flanders and Wallonia

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