‘This Government’s only commitment to marriage is to re-defining it to make it gender-neutral and then repeating loudly that it represents no change at all.’ Above, Eileen King, Keith Mills and Tom Finegan  during the Mothers and Fathers Matter press conference  in Dublin where they unveiled their new campaign posters and put questions to the Referendum Commission this week. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

This week a little girl was egged as she sat innocently near a No poster. She went into anaphylactic shock and, had it not been for the quick actions (...)

‘Let’s not forget Marriage Equality, whose name even ended up on the referendum ballot paper.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Suppose I confessed that over the past number of years, the Iona Institute, of which I am an unpaid patron, has received millions of American dollars (...)

Retired Supreme Court justice Catherine McGuinness with community garda Kerrie Sullivan at Pearse Street station, Dublin, on Sunday. Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

In 2006, the president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), John Egan, threatened the then government that gardaí would field candidates in(...)

‘There is genuine horror at the stories emerging of migrants drowning in their hundreds, and the danger, as Pope Francis put it, of the Mediterranean becoming a vast cemetery.’ Above, rescued migrants  after disembarking from the Italian Navy vessel “Bettica” in the harbour of Augusta, this week.  Photograph: AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi

‘Below decks, hundreds of men, women and children huddled together in the dark on bare wooden floors with no ventilation, breathing a stench of vomit (...)

‘I think I know what prompted Mary McAleese to speak out – deep compassion for a minority in Irish society who have been badly treated in virtually every country in the world.’ Above, former President Mary McAleese with her husband Dr Martin McAleese. Photograph: Frank Miller / THE IRISH TIMES

The media did not always love Mary McAleese, you know. Eoghan Harris got pilloried for calling her a tribal time bomb, but he was just better at sound(...)

‘A somewhat silly hypothetical question from a reporter eager for a story (who serves pizza at weddings?) resulted in credible death threats, police protection, and the family being forced to close their business temporarily.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Some time ago, the O’Connor family, who run a small pizzeria, received a query from a reporter. “Would you provide pizza for a gay wedding?” the repor(...)

‘Being a male who experiences domestic violence is doubly stigmatising, because it is seen as emasculating, and because people are frankly sceptical that women can inflict damage on men in the same way.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Simone George, a solicitor and researcher, chose to introduce a report on domestic abuse in Ireland with an unusual image – a box of shoes. Sitting in(...)

‘Micheál Martin is obsessed with electoral success in Dublin, but he believes that the way to gain it is by “modernising” the party. He has surrounded himself with people who think the same way, and is doing the equivalent of sticking his fingers in his ears and going “nah-nah-nah-nah” to anyone inside or outside the party who says anything different.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Political commentators are ignoring one reason for Fianna Fáil’s continuing poor performance in opinion polls. Fianna Fáil under Micheál Martin is ali(...)

‘Pregnant models stalked down the catwalk, and instead of carrying dinky little handbags, some of the models toted beautiful babies.’  Photograph: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

As someone who would not recognise a Dolce & Gabbana outfit even if I found it in Martina Navratilova’s dustbin, it was interesting to watch the v(...)

‘The Government operates a system of direct provision for asylum-seekers, so that each adult gets €19.10 a week, along with accommodation and food. People languish for years in a system originally intended to be a temporary measure for six months or so.’ Above, a group of  asylum seekers, refugees and supporters which marched from the Dáil to the Department of Justice last year protesting about the system of direct provision. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Some time ago, I visited a direct provision hostel that is within walking distance of the Dáil. Although it is so centrally located, no one to whom I (...)