“Leo Varadkar’s Republic of Photo-Opportunities is a terrific success . . . Fine Gael has hit a six-year high at 34 per cent and his approval rating is 52.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tweeting Taoiseach understands modern voters want bite-sized news light on detail

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told Apple executives he would consider changes to the strategic infrastructure Act to speed up the planning process for “large-scale projects” such as its Athenry data centre.  Photograph: Tom Honan

Job are desirable but State should not change laws to facilitate light-taxed Apple and its ilk

President Michael D Higgins:  it’s hard to think of someone more suited to serve the next seven years, as the State celebrates the centenary of the War of Independence and the Civil War.  Photograph: Frank Miller

His promise to serve a single term was a mistake, a result of unjust focus on his age

Simon Coveney: the failure of his effort to move hundreds families from hotels and B&Bs by July 1st was rewarded with Cabinet promotion. Photograph: Eric Luke

Council must hand back refurbished properties to owners within five years

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House in Dublin. Photograph: Niall  Carson/PA

Taoiseach glad-hands Trudeau and sends Deasy to DC as emigration flood continues

The newly elected Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his predecessor Enda Kenny at Leinster House. Photograph: Maxwell Photography

He is globalist, anti-abortion and fired a class missile with his anti-welfare fraud campaign

Fine Gael leadership candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney debate with each other at the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

What a choice for Fine Gael: the first openly smug minister or the first openly generic one

Departing Taoiseach Enda Kenny photographed in Dublin on Monday. “He bounds out of office with that cheese-wire cut grin of his, ever youthful and excited about the glow of three-pension heaven that awaits him.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Enda Kenny squandered majority and focused on trivia and spin

As campaigns go, the pro-choice movement is in a better position with a motivated young female power base and a sense of humour. “Get your rosaries off my ovaries” is one of their many great slogans

Our parliament is not set up for the quick end to the abortion debate that is needed

Alan Shatter, a dogged and nuanced legal mind, would make for an uncomfortable figure on the backbenches for Enda Kenny where his future hung on every last vote. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Despite being vindicated by the O’Higgins report the former justice minister has got little sympathy from the public

Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Washington on Thursday: elected a TD in 1975, he was in a better position than most to do something about the horrors that continued in his time. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Behind the shamrock blinkers and pleasant poetry, we’re just hypocrites

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “The contradiction means that a Taoiseach elected in 2011 with a mandate for change so huge he could have done anything, leaves having altered little.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It’s a system that sees the Taoiseach accept the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal but then pose happily next to the man damned by(...)

Maurice McCabe: “Finding justice for Maurice McCabe is a side issue to the boxset drama series that is politics.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

We need to be able to hold senior civil servants to account for decisions that harm citizens

Michael and Danny Healy-Rae on the bonnet of an SUV to celebrate the first meeting of the 32nd Dáil, outside Leinster House. File photograph: Alan Betson

The Healy-Raes only differ from the US president in how they conceal their wealth

Enda Kenny during his 2012 trip to the White House: the Taoiseach should visit Trump with confidence and respectfully express our feelings about torture and human rights. Photograph: Leslie E Kossoff/LK Photos/PA Wire

It might be trendy to join the condemnation but the sensible approach is to wait and see

Joseph Fiennes and Michael Jackson, whom he portrayed in Sky Arts’ satire  Urban Myths.

We don’t need permission from their families every time we parody public figures

Meryl Streep accepts her Golden Globe award, “deluded into thinking that holding another shiny award gave her the right to lambast the choice of 63 million ordinary voters.” Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP

For celebrity activism to be authentic it must come at a cost to the individual

Someone moons at Rose of Tralee (picture actually shows previous winner Geraldine O’Grady). Photograph: Eric Luke

Des Cahill does the splits, Dr Eva is in choc shock and someone moons at Rose of Tralee

Snowfall: “I’ve seen frosty mornings where the spray of a leaking hose made art out of dead stalks of cow parsley.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Country walk brings a peaceful loneliness that’s the perfect antidote to a noisy year

It’s curtains, for the last time,  for the turkeys of Drumlusty

After 40 years the Callan family is bowing out of the seasonal fowl business

Season of goodwill: Christmas is peak season for charities and Ireland has about 24,000 of them. Photograph: Getty

Ireland’s charity sector is in urgent need of tough regulation and downsizing

While the diverse group of immigrants, farmers, liberals, hippies and tiny Tories might sing together, there’s little harmony.

The public sector, left wing, emigrants, farmers and elite all play their parts

Participants during the NUI Galway Feminist Society and Students Union organised “Slutwalk” in Galway city.

Women have to get men, and drag queens, onside in fight for equality and stop sweating small stuff

Donald Trump, played by Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, right, was easily the most parodied candidate in US election history and he still won

Satire exaggerates to make a point but just serves to confirm prejudice

In Lisbon, Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave “paced the stage like a man who had lost his keys, clutching a tiny iPad as a life raft”. Photograph: Andre Kosters/EPA

Paddy Cosgrave’s creation is a global Irish brand as big as Tayto but as disliked as Bono

That the documentary was broadcast at all proved its own theme: the constant underestimation of Enda Kenny. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Documentary elevated Taoiseach into some sort of ruthlessly clever and manipulating leader

‘In hand-me-down wool blazer and red tie, clutching a holy book, my communion photo made me look like Mormon-meets-mini-Tory. I was delighted with myself and the suit has served as camouflage ever since.’

If privilege allows them to say what they like, it should allow them to wear what they like

 Gerry Adams, Taoiseach Enda Kenny,  Joan Burton and Micheál Martin at the TV3/Newstalk television debate: subjective newspaper articles on Mr Adams’s performance were passed off as hard news. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Our own media has questions to answer about coverage of the last election

Childcare subsidies are being handed out with such fanfare that Katherine Zappone enjoyed a “Varadkar” of media homage this week, to use the new collective noun for inexplicably positive PR.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

They endured a 65% tax rate and entertainment from Big Tom and Twink

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