Martin McGuinness had a confidence, intelligence and empathy that stood out. But he also had a ruthlessness that was honed in the Derry cauldron of his time. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ruthless he was, but crude stereotypes do not do justice to the man or the times

Bishop Eamonn Casey at the papal youth Mass in Galway in 1979. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Former Bishop of Kerry was a highly compartmentalised man in his 1970s heyday

It was always felt by some that being in Europe would help end partition and Brexit has raised the issue again

The British establishment lacked consistency while the Free State washed its hands

Historian Catherine Corless with a list of the names of missing children from the mother and baby home  run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Ireland’s long moral panic led to extraordinary and dehumanising situations

Private army: the East India Company had 260,000 soldiers at the start of the 19th century. Illustration: Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty

Book review: Shashi Tharoor’s angry history of British rule in India is a timely response to empire nostalgia

 Cardinal Desmond Connell  had no truck with what he considered unqualified people speaking about religion. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

There are still powerful bureaucrats in the Vatican who think they know best

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said the 1916 commemorations ‘struck exactly the right note’. Photograph: Johannes Simon/Getty Images

British foreign secretary’s response to 1916 celebrations betrays an empire mindset

 Kerry Babies tribunal: Protesters outside the Department of Justice on January 29th, 1985 voiced support for the Hayes family  over their treatment  by gardaí and the tribunal.  Photograph: Pat Langan

Latest inquiry recalls State’s controversial handling of Kerry Babies case

’What was created was a health system that became extraordinarily uneven and managerial, with significant regional variations.’ File photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Its history is one of turf wars, appeasing vested interests and scaremongering

Douglas Hyde

Brian Murphy’s book show how Ireland’s first president set the tone for the office

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for  Rural  Affairs Heather Humphreys  and Minister Dennis Naughton at the launch of the Action Plan for Regional Development : would the Government not be better with a more compact, and so more realistic, plan?  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

New three-year plan contains too many commitments and not enough priorities

 Ronan Fanning: Many of the issues he addressed in his history writing – especially the extent of independence and interdependence in Anglo-Irish affairs – have an added contemporary resonance because of Brexit.

Irish negotiating about Brexit should look to lessons from history

Key player: TK Whitaker (far right), who died on January 9th, at Dublin Airport in 1967 with Taoiseach Jack Lynch (centre) and Minister for Finance Charles Haughey (second right). Photograph: Jack McManus

TK Whitaker, who has died at 100, said things to ministers that other public servants would not, and his hard-hitting memos often (...)

Fine Gael’s Michael Noonan dismissed criticism over the State’s approach to vulture funds at an Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness hearing in May 2016.

There is growing resistance to the notion that the sale of people’s debts was necessary

Susan Murray a TCD business student and model wearing a ballgown designed by Brid Nihill during a photocall to publicise the 1999 Trinity Ball. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

What may be an enjoyable slice of nostalgia pie for Trinity graduates may leave others with indigestion, suggests Diarmaid Ferrite(...)

Eamon de Valera, in addressing the League of Nations when the Irish Free State held the presidency of the League Council, highlighted his disquiet about the larger powers dominating international organisations

There is precedent for Taoiseach taking on foreign affairs challenge but he must bring coherence and planning

‘Homelessness should be treated as an emergency and more Nama-owned vacant properties occupied.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Priorities include an end to direct provision, child poverty – and Roy Keane’s beard

A card from the Frongoch camp: ‘In Frongoch, Michael Collins had became a dominant figure in what has been described as the ‘university of revolution’.’ Photograph: © National Museum of Ireland

Hundreds of internees from the Rising returned to an already changing Ireland

Former minister for arts John O’ Donoghue  emphasised the need for an ‘arm’s length’ between State and the arts. In th3e background is Frieze, by Fergus Martin and Anthony Hobbs, 2003. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Since the foundation of the State, its relationship with the arts has been ambiguous

Stuart Cole of Adam’s  and Sarah Kinlen with the  Patrick Pearse letter   urging rebels to surrender. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Questions over ownership of historic note that was up for auction will come up again

Fidel Castro  in Shannon during a stopover in 1982. Castro  left a box of  Cohiba cigars for then-taoiseach Charles Haughey.

Irish policy towards Cuba hardened under Lemass and did not soften until 1995

Catríona Crowe, the former head of special projects at the National Archive, has referred to “our depressing history of archival self-destruction”. Picture: RTÉ

Ireland has long history of destroying documents and understaffing institutions

Taoiseach  Séan Lemass and president Éamon DeValera signing the proclamation to dissolve Dáil Éireann in March 1965. Photograph:  INM/Getty Images

Kenny is a ruthless survivor with no vision and Martin’s FF is entrenched in tribalism

’Notions of community and civility have taken a battering during this election but that does not mean they are dead, given that Trump also managed to generate much disgust and distress in the US.’ Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

In dealing with the incoming US president, Ireland should not let self-interest rule

Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster speaking to journalists in Downing Street recently. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Dismissals of claims that Brexit could damage peace process are worrying

Charles Stewart Parnell, founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, addressing an anti-rent meeting in Limerick in 1879. Image: Culture Club/Getty Images

How the whip system has reduced the Dáil to a galley of whipped voting slaves

The flourishes of both Patrick Pearse and James Connolly are evident in 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

We have had a number of ‘mission statements’ over the past 100 years, but have any visions become reality?

Wrong location for   archive? The Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina, Co Mayo. Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

The former president should follow the practice of her predecessors and donate her papers to the National Library, the National A(...)

‘O’Leary revelled in a coarse, hectoring and hate-filled discourse that would make Donald Trump proud – and his primary targets were public servants.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ryanair boss is an ideological soulmate for the party that talks centre but thinks right

Cool customer: Ireland captain Paul O'Connell looks on as the match is called off just before kick off due to a frozen pitch during the RBS 6 Nations match between France and Ireland at Stade de France on February 11, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

In ‘The Battle’, the Munster, Ireland and British and Irish Lions powerhouse has written an honest memoir of his battle-scarred li(...)

Democratic US vice-presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine and Republican vice-presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence: both have Irish roots. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

They may have experienced racism but Irish migrants have a history of attacking others too

A Guinness advertisement in Elephant and Castle, London. Photograph: Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images

Mary Mitchell O’Connor’s blunder latest in series of botched efforts to connect with emigrants

John Bowman: has gathered an original and challenging mix of material. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Selected personal testimonies make for a picture of Irish life that undercuts ‘official’ history

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.

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

A rally organised by the federation of Dublin anti-water charges campaign. Photograph: The Irish Times

The determination of politicians, not to do what is best for the environment or what is equitable, but what is most popular is und(...)

Perhaps reminders of difficult parts of the national experience should  also be present on All-Ireland Sundays in Croke Park. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Abuse survivor Mannix Flynn wants name changed, but is that such a good idea?

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands on a red carpet in Shannon Airport during a visit in 2014. Photograph: Sean Curtin.

Dollar Exports Advisory Committee called for tax concession on profits from exports

President Michael D Higgins speaking at the Beal na Blath commemoration, Co. Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

President was right to speak of the need to recognise the atrocities committed by both sides

Diarmaid Ferriter on Tom Inglis’s book unravelling why we Irish are the way we are

At the national hunger strike commemoration march last year,  at which family members of those who died during the hunger strikes hold  portraits of those who died. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

On this day 35 years ago, INLA hunger striker Michael Devine died in the Maze prison, the tenth and last of the hunger strikers to(...)

A mural depicts the late Bishop Edward Daly (right) waving a white handkerchief  in the Bogside area of Derry. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

‘Ironically, given his profile during and after Bloody Sunday, Daly was wary of political involvement’

‘It is a reliable and steady companion. It encourages and reinforces positive behaviour and it only needs to be recharged every few days. It tells her how fabulous she is with great regularity and gusto.’

I wonder where all this data goes. What is done with it and by whom?

 US President George W. Bush (R) drives with British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) in his truck after Blair arrived at the Bush’s Prairie Chapel Ranch 05 April 2002 in Crawford, Texas.  STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images

Blair believed he had a moral certainty and a purpose that was superior to the anti-war movement

Diarmaid Ferriter: “The wheel has turned over the decades in relation to Anglo-Irish relations and how joint involvement in the EU transformed perspectives.” Photographs: The Irish Times

Younger unionists keen to stay in EU may feel less trenchant about their unionism

‘During the referendum campaign, Charles Powell, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, insisted that had she been voting she would have voted to remain with the aim of reforming from within.’ Photograph: PA

Thatcher insisted that it was highly damaging ‘to try to suppress nationhood’

In 1853, in response to the unprecedented wave of immigration that saw 3 million arrive in the US in the previous decade, the Know Nothing Party emerged as a force in US political life

Arrogant self-certainty is central to Trump’s campaign, but it is more sinister than that

Taoiseach Jack Lynch had been more than happy to host Ali in his office at Leinster House; indeed, judging by contemporary reports, the atmosphere was positively giddy. Photograph: Kevin McMahon

Civil servants kept the ‘boastful, bombastic man’ away from ageing president

Almost 40 years ago, this newspaper caused a huge stir and was denounced after its exposé of Garda brutality.

Mistakes made dealing with subversion in the 1970s should not now be made in reacting to gangland crime

Winston Churchill’s long, complex, contradictory relationship with the Irish is explored in a new book. The conclusions are intere(...)

‘Perhaps the Irish in the UK should make the most of the unprecedented interest in their voting rights from an Irish government, because it certainly will not last beyond the Brexit referendum.’ Photograph: Getty Images

There is a shallowness and hypocrisy about the Irish Government’s current mission

 ‘We seem to have lost our islands a long time ago; did they finally sink?’  Above,  Inishbofin Island, Co Galway. Photograph: Frank Miiller

One Inishbofin fisherman’s battle is relevant in Brexit debate

Fr Paul Connell, president of the Joint Managerial Body and the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools: took issue with remarks made by Diarmuid Ferriter. Photograph: Sally MacMonagle

But it is unacceptable that some un-baptised children are treated like second-class citizens in school choice

President Michael D Higgins  opens the the new Military Archives building. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The State got a lot of things right during the 1916 commemorations, including the decision to invest in the Military Archives

The GPO 1916 by Thomas Ryan: The 1916 Rising and the executions in its wake were like a lottery win for balladeers as well as allowing the work of The poets of the Revolution to travel far and wide

This great, mammoth collection shows how Irish revolutionary writers sang from one hymn sheet, writes Diarmaid Feritter

Downey frequently looked back to evaluate contemporary politics and society. Photograph: Alan Betson

But he believed the answers to Ireland’s problems lay in the here and now

Luas Strikers photographed at the Luas Depot in Sandyford, Dublin. Picture Nick Bradshaw

The letters sent to Luas workers invokes the ghost of the 1913 Dublin lock out

 Protesters wearing masks of Enda Kenny  and Micheál Martin.  The difficulties of bringing the two parties together are underrated. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The challenge is to provide a contemporary response to the points addressed by Blythe in 1927 and Kelly in the 1970s

When asked about the Civil War, former taoiseach Seán Lemass welled up and eventually replied: “Terrible things were done by both sides. I’d prefer not to talk about it”

It is time to face up to the fact that we still have to make good on the promises of 1916

The Stinging Fly: In the Wake of the Rising: presents memorable and evocative new perspectives on 1916

A visceral collection of pieces by modern Irish writers depicts another side of 1916

Donald Trump speaks at a conference in Washington last week. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

“Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. The American system is not working for them”

Padraig Pearse (1879 - 1916), the Irish writer, educator and nationalist politician, and one of the signatories of the Proclamation.

Insightful studies of the men who signed the Proclamation are undermined by lack of rigour

‘Irish women’s book clubs have their own particular flavour, often of grapes.’ File photograph: Getty Images

We could all benefit from women discussing how we should be governed

Missing home? Not feeling your Irishness? Here come Luke Kelly, Christy Moore and The Blades to the rescue

 Captain Eoin Rochford from The Defence Forces Headquarters reads the Proclamationduring the 97th anniversary commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising at the GPO, Dublin, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

This week schoolchildren will be asked to draw up their own proclamations

‘I had always assumed only Fine Gael politicians bought their suits in Brown Thomas.’  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

‘Richie Ryan had no time for well-heeled whingers who formerly owned posh department stores’

Donogh O’Malley: “I believe that it is essential for a government from time to time to propound bold new policies which both catch the imagination of the people and respond to some widespread if not clearly formulated demand on their part”. Photograph: Eddie Kelly/The Irish Times.

Our politicians could benefit from reading some documents at the National Archives

 Alan Rickman Liam Neeson and  Aidan Quinn in Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins

Older programmes on 1916 may have been better at bringing Irish history to life

RTE should do something interesting to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bishop and the nightie controversy

What remains in Nos. 14- 17 is significant and evocative; the restoration of these buildings, showcasing their 18th century features and allowing visitors to see the 1916 attempts to tunnel between the houses, will make it a significant attraction and permanent monument to the status of Moore Street in the 1916 story. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘There is ignorance behind the well-intentioned ‘Save Moore Street’ slogan’

“There is far too much reliance on notes made available to download, which undermines independent research.” Photograph: Getty Images

My parents do not know the half of what I got up to in college, and that is how it should be

There is not a chance the Government will fulfil Philip Lane’s  “hope” that the next government “takes seriously” the need to balance public spending with the need for a “safe level of public debt”.   Picture Jason Clarke.

What we are witnessing are testosterone fuelled, arrogant assertions that the establishment have things under control

Pearse’s writings “consistently and deliberately and without reservation equate the patriot and the patriot people with Christ.  Photograph courtesy of the National Archives of Ireland

in 1966 Fr Francis Shaw castigated the idea that Irish people in 1916 had been in need of redemption by the shedding of blood

Fr Albert Bibby and Fr Dominic O’Connor,  Franciscans who served as chaplains to the IRA from  1916 to 1922

The tricky role of priests in the War of Independence is chronicled in this important, thorough but awfully expensive work, writes(...)

Flooding along the banks of the Shannon River near Athlone Town this week. In October 1954, the Athlone correspondent of The Irish Times “reported that the river had risen to a height never experienced before”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Challenge for those who can do something is to respond more robustly

Mein Kampf: “At least with authoritative and objective contextual information, its republication will contribute to that education; it will also serve as a reminder of what a turgid, boring, rambling and terrible read it is.” Photo: Russ Juskalian/The New York Times

It is the logical conclusion of a decades long process of public acknowledgment of Nazi past

Portrait of Eamon de Valera. Photograph: Bachrach/Getty Images

Ireland’s ‘best known historical writer’ utterly fails in this badly researched ‘personal perspective’ of the Irish century, says(...)

Colum Eastwood wins the SDLP leadership contest with new deputy leader Fearghal McKinney during the Party Conference last Saturday. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Colum Eastwood needs to dig his own trench and move his party out of the Hume shadow

English politician and writer Augustine Birrell (1850 - 1933) when chief secretary for Ireland. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The first World War provided both the opportunity for Irish republicans to plan their revolt and evidence that their ambitions wer(...)

  Former Taoiseach,   Jack Lynch  ... John Peck, the British ambassador in Dublin, reported asking him   how important the issue of reunification was to the Republic’s electorate, and “his answer amounted to saying that they could not care less.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Despite the rhetoric, there is a deep ambivalence about partition throughout Ireland

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness and Michael Murphy celebrate after the GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final in 2012. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The former Donegal manager’s memoir, co-written with Keith Duggan, is a powerful blend of defiance and vulnerability, writes Diarm(...)

It is no harm to remind ourselves how sound this age old advice is, given the furore during the week over the World Health Organis(...)

The memorial to the ten Achill Islanders killed in the Kirkintillock bothy fire

Ten young migrant workers from Achill Island died in Kirkintillock bothy fire in 1937

Italian Airforce planes mark Republic Day in Rome. There is a strong case to be made for such a public holiday here. Getty

Government is running scared of making such a bold move at precisely the time when a bold move would be appropriate and popular (...)

Nazi reference says much about the hubris, arrogance and delusion of aggrieved, self-pitying gamblers who strode the Celtic Tiger (...)

Easter Rising 1916: Commemorative periods prompt much propaganda and education is essential to counteract it.

Simplistic narratives are complicated by new sources

A barricade in Pearse Street, Dublin, during the Easter Rising in 1916, in which fewer than 2,000 poorly armed, amateur soldiers fought the forces of the British empire. Photograph: Hulton archive/Getty Images)

Although militarily unsuccessful, the Rising and execution of leaders that followed had transformative impact

 Ruairí Quinn said he saw himself as an “unreconstructed socialist”. Photograph: Frank Miller /	THE IRISH TIMES

‘After nearly 40 years in politics, Ruairí Quinn is more than entitled to his final war cry’

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers his State of the Union address at the European Parliament in Strasbourg,  on September 9th. Juncker called on EU countries to agree by next week to share 160,000 refugees, warning that Greece, Italy and Hungary can no longer cope alone. Photograph: AP Photo/Christian Lutz

‘Successive Irish governments were wary of a generous approach to refugees for different reasons relevant to particular eras’

Michael J Carney on the Great Blasket Island, Co Kerry, where he was born in 1920. He died in August in Massachusetts at the age of 94. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

Mike Carney recorded ‘my father told them to write down that the government killed him’

Above,  Michael Collins  in London for the treaty negotiations  in December 1921. Photograph:  Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Collins wrote to Art O’Brien to express his disapproval about an intelligence operation that had been delegated to a woman

‘On Monday, the Government will discontinue this scheme, and with it, one of the most amusing Irish websites, www.heritagecertificate.com’

‘How should we characterise this certificate experiment of the past five years? Crass? Embarrassing? A tacky attempt to try and ex(...)

Ireland and End of the British Empire: The Republic and its role in Cyprus Emergency

From left, Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys, Lord Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhalaigh, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins, at the Centenary Commemoration of the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa, at Glasnevin Cemetery. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

It seems the Government is not interested in historical nuance or debate about what precisely it is commemorating

An account of a deeply private man, but his grandson’s efforts are lengthy and lack insight

Pilgrimage .... Fr Tony King, recently called for Croagh Patrick, Mayo’s holy mountain, to be declared off limits to extreme athletes. Photograph: Alan Betson

Climbing Croagh Patrick can be a joy, but not if you are covered in dust and falling on loose stones

Pat Rabbitte: “I share the puzzlement as to why we get 19 per cent of the vote and 90 per cent of the blame. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish TImes

Party punished for abandoning its principles and identity

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for an EU summit at the EU Headquarters in Brussels this week. Photograph: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

‘The Irish Government’s current smugness is an indication of just how little appetite there is for analysing the European project’(...)

‘In recent years vulture speculators have been easily able to wipe out what a rebellion against British imperialism could not.’ Above,  John Crowe from Artane at  a protest outside Clerys on O’Connell Street, Dublin in support of workers who lost their jobs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Two controversies bring into sharp and depressing focus the issues of vulture capitalism and the debasement of our national herit(...)

Giovanni Trapattoni and  John Delaney at the Galway Races in 2008.  Photograph: Eric Luke Staff Photographer

‘Who knows how many grubby deals Blatter sanctioned in his 15 years at the helm of Fifa’

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