Monica O’Connor  being taken by gardaí from her home  to prison. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Last Wednesday, five-year-old Ashya King was reunited with his parents at a hospital in Malaga. God knows what the days without them must have been li(...)

‘In the early 2000s, senior social care managers and police continued to believe that the scale of the problem was exaggerated.’ Above, a protest outside Rotherham police station following the publication of the child exploitation  report. Photograph:  Lynne Cameron/PA

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council: Where everybody matters. You couldn’t make it up, but that is the slogan on the download page for Prof Alexis (...)

‘Being stigmatised for being pregnant outside of marriage was a common phenomenon until recent decades in Ireland. We routinely condemn those times.’  Photograph: Getty Images

Our concern for migrant women seems to vary greatly. Take a migrant woman in inadequate accommodation somewhere in Ireland. She doesn’t speak English (...)

‘The young women’s father spoke eloquently to me about how difficult it is to demand high standards of work and commitment, all the while knowing that under current circumstances, it is impossible for them to go to third level.’ Photograph: Getty Images

A very nervous teenager opens her Leaving Cert results, aware of her parents’ high expectations and that her older sister achieved high points two yea(...)

‘Eddie and Monica’s six children, aged from six to 27, have all been educated at home, although their older children decided to enter formal education in their teens.’ Above, Eddie O’ Neill with some of the children (Eamonn, Elva, Oran  and Emmet). Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

My friends of nearly 30 years, Eddie O’Neill and Monica O’Connor, are due to be jailed (at the time of writing) because they are principled people; it(...)

‘Being a politician at national level, if you are not from Dublin or nearby, means a lot of time spent away from home.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Browsing Trinity News (the Trinity student newspaper) last February, I was dismayed to see how few women were running for office in the student union.(...)

 Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivers Progress’ inaugural annual Philip Gould Lecture on July 21st in London –   Labour “has to be progressive and base policies on reality, not a delusionary view of the world”, he sid .   Photograph: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Tony Blair gave the inaugural Philip Gould lecture this week. Gould is credited in Blair’s speech as the inventor of New Labour and of the Third Way. (...)

Who’s rearing your children? If you have a child aged nine or older in possession of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or all of the above, chances are tha(...)

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as Watson and Holmes: sharing a flat but not a bed

Curious thing, the decline of male friendship. In the wildly popular BBC series Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the cha(...)

‘Leah Libresco’s unusual qualities may be indicated by the fact that it was livestreamed by, but she was also extensively interviewed by Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland.’

‘Having better fights about religion’ was the title of a talk given by blogger Leah Libresco and hosted by the Irish Catholic last Wednesday. Her unus(...)