‘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(...)

Peter Mathews: new Bill. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / THE IRISH TIMES

The classic satirical film Network features Peter Finch in the role of Howard Beale, a network anchor with declining ratings. He accidentally salvages(...)

‘If a wife discovers that her husband is buying the “services” of a woman working in prostitution, the sense of betrayal is immense. Why is that?’ Photograph: Getty Images

There are questions that are central to the debate about prostitution. Are there some things that should not be sold, even if a person is willing to s(...)

 ‘Brittany Maynard, found meaning in actively promoting the “right to die”.’ Photograph: Maynard Family, File

Brittany Maynard, who had a terminal form of brain cancer, has received enormous support for her decision to die at a time of her own choice, surround(...)

 ‘The Sophia housing project is an excellent intensive residential intervention, but sometimes, much more low-key and local initiatives can prevent people ever reaching an extreme stage such as homelessness or facing a care order.’ above, children playing at the Sophia housing project. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Prevention is not only better than cure, but also cheaper, particularly where a cure may become progressively more difficult or even impossible. Two s(...)

‘I believe Gerry Adams  when he says that he prioritised the peace process so that no young person would have to kill or maim in the name of freedom. However, it is still utterly chilling that he seems to believe that violence was perfectly understandable in the absence of such a process.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

“ Wouldn’t every leader of a political party love to be as bulletproof as Gerry Adams?” my friend mused a week ago. It was only when he saw my eyebrow(...)

‘Pope Francis called for discussion on family life, and we are getting discussion, but we have not been used to grown-up discussion in the Catholic Church. Instead, we have been excellent at mutual excommunication, and caricature.’ above, Pope Francis waves to members of the media as he leaves a morning session of  the synod on family issues, at the Vatican. Photograph: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Anyone trying to understand the interim discussion document which emerged from the Synod on the Family this week could do worse than read a blog post (...)

‘The report points out astonishing anomalies in the way that children’s cases are treated. Take the issue of care orders, where children are taken into the care of the State, usually into foster care, for their own safety.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Sometimes, the news is good. In Dr Carol Coulter’s latest report from the Child Care Law Reporting Project, the case of a very bright and very angry l(...)