‘Enda Kenny’s newly apologetic stance is convoluted. He sounds like a penitent rattling off the “Bless me father for I have sinned . . .” mantra but then refusing to say what sins he seeks absolution for while simultaneously blaming some lads he was with for leading him astray.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

This week last year the political news headlines were dominated by stories and commentary about how Enda Kenny was avoiding substantial engagement wit(...)

‘On his own motion or having being persuaded by some apparatchik, Enda Kenny ignored the all-female shortlist and instead decided to bestow the Seanad seat on John McNulty.’

It is the most blatant and inept incident of cronyism I can recall. That is saying something: I did, after all, work for Fianna Fáil in the 1980s. (...)

 North’s First Minister Peter Robinson insists Stormont institutions are not fit for purpose.   Photograph:  Arthur Allison.

As you read this news media elsewhere will be dominated by the outcome of the Scottish referendum. The campaign for and against independence has under(...)

‘We can expect more public clashes between Leo Varadkar (aove) and the Taoiseach and indeed between Varadkar and other Cabinet colleagues in the weeks and months ahead as tensions rumble about his straight-talking, they would say self-serving, style.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

If the Government gives off a sense of being unsettled about its budget strategy, it may be because, having taken it easy over the summer, the Cabinet(...)

“It’s showtime,” were PJ Mara’s opening words at the launch of the 2002 general election campaign. It was a signature moment in an era of boom-time auction politics.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Last weekend the Sunday Independent ran a piece claiming that PJ Mara is to be brought back to run Fianna Fáil’s next general election campaign. Whate(...)

Demonstrators at a pro choice protest in Dublin earlier this month.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

In order to advance their view on the abortion issue the campaigners on both sides seem determined not only to take side swipes at politicians opposed(...)

‘To borrow a phrase popular in the Reynolds camp at the time, when Dick Spring wasn’t himself taking offence he had Fergus Finlay to take offence on his behalf.’   Photograph: Paul Goulding

In 2001 RTÉ’s Andy O’Mahoney invited four of us into his radio studio to discuss Albert Reynolds for a series he was recording called Na Taoisigh – Le(...)

‘Enda Kenny should be able to defuse this controversy by giving full and frank answers to parliamentary and media questions. Until and unless he can do so, the Callinan controversy will continue to be a political time bomb under the Taoiseach’s credibility.’ Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Section 9 (1) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 provides: “The appointment of a person to be the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána shall be made by the (...)

 Leo Varadkar:  refreshing directness. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar needs to be careful. Such is his press and public acclaim these days that some of Enda Kenny’s apparatchiks might decide become to do a M(...)

Last Tuesday morning, before the reshuffle of Ministers of State was announced, former Fine Gael minister Ivan Yates – who knows a thing or two about (...)