‘The convent in Muckross Park, Donnybrook, is full of exceptional women, but none of them would begrudge praise given to Sr Barnabas Kett (Barnie), as they grieve for her just as much as her beloved family of origin do.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine that you worked closely with thousands of people, and your phenomenal memory allowed you not only to remember the(...)

‘In Ireland, we have a sad tendency to conform when it comes to political ideas, whether it be the rigid consensus of the 1950s, or the apparently ideologically opposite, but in fact, eerily similar 2015 version.’  Photograph: Getty Images

Twitter is not the real world. This may seem an obvious statement if you are not on Twitter. It may appear less so if you are. The main require(...)

‘Lots of people won’t get to be raised by loving biological parents because of neglect, abandonment, or tragic circumstances. Children can turn out really well despite all sorts of challenges. But usually, we recognise that not being raised by your Mam or Dad constitutes a loss.’ Photograph: Getty Images

When it comes to the redefinition of marriage, every major political party, every newspaper’s editorial line, every celebrity is telling us one thing:(...)

Through volunteer photographers at Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, baby Liadan’s parents find comfort.  Photographer: EIleen Hyland

We Irish pride ourselves on how well we deal with death. Old traditions such as the wake, so long as they did not turn into a drunken debauch, had tre(...)

‘Ironically, moderate Muslims are likely to suffer most in the fallout from the Paris murders, and were also most likely to suffer in the aftermath of the publication of provocative cartoons or commentary.’  Above, Hassen Chalghoumi (left), Imam of the Drancy mosque in Paris, leaves flowers and prays near the Charlie Hebdo offices on Thursday. Photograph: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

In the wake of the murders of the Charlie Hebdo team, it is imperative that there is a united front in condemning murder and violence as a response to(...)

‘My mother is 15 years dead this year, and I found myself thinking about the Christmas pudding that she used to steam in a gallon tin.’ Photograph: Getty Images

This Christmas, I found myself with tears in my eyes about a pudding. And not even a real one, but the memory of a pudding. My mother is 15 years d(...)

‘The capacity for wrongdoing lies within each of us. Simple things like working in a residential unit where there is a strong culture of care, versus working in one where the opposite is true, can cause us to act in ways that those closest to us would find surprising or even appalling.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Like many others, I have people in my life with high levels of vulnerability. So, for a week, I wimped out. I could not bear to watch the Prime Time I(...)

‘For three decades Australians on low incomes have been able to access no-interest and low-interest loans through Good Shepherd Microfinance.’  Photograph: Getty Images

Our track record of caring for the most vulnerable members of our communities, whether they be people with intellectual disabilities, people in care, (...)

A candlelight vigil outside the Dáil in response to the death on Molesworth Street, Dublin  of Jonathan Corrie, who was homeless. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

No doubt the outrage over Jonathan Corrie’s death is sincere, but as Alice Leahy of Trust pointed out, the people who are homeless die prematurely eve(...)

‘Students understand that the key question is whether teachers should be the final judges of 40 per cent of the work they will do for State certification. And just like their teachers, they think that is a really bad idea.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Here’s an interesting thing. Second level students who understand what the strike next week is about, largely support their teachers. In contrast, mos(...)