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

A rally organised by the federation of Dublin anti-water charges campaign. Photograph: The Irish Times Diarmaid Ferriter: Be wary of shameless, populist water charge abolitionists

The determination of politicians, not to do what is best for the environment or what is equitable, but what is most popular is undiminished

People who want to fulfil their civic duty by voting, but who don’t want to vote for Trump or Clinton, can vote for Mike Maturen Breda O’Brien: US struggles to find an honest candidate for president

The best bet seems to be a car salesman and professional magician

French president Francois Hollande welcomes German chancellor Angela Merkel for a working meeting at the Elyseé Palace in Paris a day ahead of a EU summit in Bratislava. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images Suzanne Lynch: No sign of any grand plan for post-Brexit Europe

Officials admit there is unlikely to be much progress before next year’s German and French elections

Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy. The assault on the C&AG  was  done with all necessary courtesy but there is no hiding however that what NAMA is saying is that the C&AG is not fit for the purpose of assessing NAMA: Frank Miller / THE IRISH TIMES Noel Whelan: Nama’s attack on the C&AG may backfire

If watchdog not fit to oversee Nama then somebody or something else will have to

Some 8.2m people in Spain have bought something in Primark, more than even the Spanish home grown Zara, but you can detect a low level of anger. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images) Europe does not love us as much as we think

Our response to the Apple tax ruling has not gone down well in Spain and elsewhere

Cable television companies pioneered tailored media packages, but now on top of that you join Netflix to watch Stranger Things and Amazon Prime to watch Transparent. You used to have a phone bill, and electricity bill, and a gas bill. Now you have a phone bill, an electricity bill, a gas bill, a TV bill, a Netflix bill, a Spotify bill, a mobile phone bill, an internet bill…   Una Mullally: TV learned the lessons of the music and newspaper industries

An irritating number of streaming services is the price we pay for quality programming

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said he accepted the C&AG report’s findings, but that he also had confidence in Nama. Those two positions may not ultimately be reconcilable. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times Pat Leahy: Report raises unsettling issues about Project Eagle

Kenny and Ministers caught in dispute between two of State’s most important agencies

The parties at Stormont have a “one of ours and one of yours” culture regarding public appointments – fair nepotism, if you like. Photograph: PA Newton Emerson: The North is riddled with nepotism

Practice is intrinsic and inevitable in such a very small place but we choose to ignore it

Frank Daly: How could there be such a huge chasm between Nama and  the C&AG report? Photograph: Alan Betson Frank Daly: Nama is right and the C&AG is wrong

State watchdog has no expertise in valuing loans and does not live in a commercial world

On a purely nutritional level alone Starbucks should be banished. A cup of black coffee contains 2 calories; some of Starbucks’ coffees contain over 500 calories a cup. Photograph: Alan Betson Starbucks should be run out of Ireland - never mind Howth

....and they can take their Frappuccinos with them

In the case of the Hawe family, it was the total absence of warning signs that ensured the father would be the reporters’ focus. His sheer ordinariness and apparent decency were a legitimate part of that focus. Photo credit : Hawes/Coll families/PA Wire Kathy Sheridan: Reporting of the Hawe killings subject to common decency

No journalist, decent or sleazy, lazy or meticulous, sets out to exclude a woman victim from a horrific, national news story

Widow Joanne McGibbon (centre) with her daughters Michaela and Seana and at a vigil in the grounds of Holy Cross Church, Ardoyne for Michael McGibbon. who was shot dead in North Belfast earlier this year. “She made a heartfelt appeal for change in her community, so that paramilitary groups could no longer try to control people through fear, intimidation and murder.” Time to rid Northern Ireland of the shadow of the gunman

Independent Reporting Commission will monitor implementation of new plan

Imagine the seven floors – all suspended from the roof, incidentally – as reading rooms, with panoramic views from the continuous runs of full-height windows, especially breathtaking from the upper levels. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh. Frank McDonald: Central Bank building should become a new library for Dublin

Plan to move Central Libary to former Coláiste Mhuire on Parnell Square misguided

Sheep being uinloaded at the 2016 Virginia Show. Clan Credo helped finance the building of the Virginia Show Centre. Photo: Virginia Show Rite & Reason: Social finance demands far more from investment than profit

A leader in its area, Clann Credo was founded by Presentation nun Sr Magdalen Fogarty

Ajai Chopra of the IMF. The the dominant emotion about the 2010 troika bailout was  Relief. Relief that someone else was taking charge. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) Fintan O’Toole: Ireland is being held back by fear

Underneath our bluster is an insecurity that prevents us from adapting to the changing world

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