‘One can also only imagine how much it took for Prince Charles on Tuesday to shake the hand of the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams who was such a significant figure in the leadership of the organisation which had killed his beloved Mountbatten.’ Photograph: Adam Gerrard/ WPA Pool/Getty Images 1:38

On the night that Lord Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb in Mullaghmore in August 1979, Prince Charles wrote in his journal: “Life will never be t(...)

‘Remember that those impacted by this referendum are real people whose real lives cannot be dismissed by false slogans. They are our brothers, sisters, daughters and sons, our family, our friends.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Over recent months many have shared their stories and exposed their lives so that we might appreciate how much the marriage equality referendum means.(...)

‘David Fitzgerald (above) is  proving to be a strong candidate. Many objective observers who have visited Carlow-Kilkenny in recent weeks speak of his positive disposition which is connecting with voters.’ Above,  Fitzgerald,   celebrates as it’s announced in Dublin  that Kilkenny City is winner of the SuperValu TidyTowns competition,  last year. He was there in his capacity as Chairman of the Kilkenny Town Tidy Towns Committee. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Any assessment of the potential outcomes for the forthcoming Carlow-Kilkenny byelection has to start with the reality that in the last general elec(...)

‘The marriage bar is one of the few remaining ways in which gay and lesbian couples are discriminated against  in our laws. Ending this discrimination matters to them. It matters to them more than we in the heterosexual community have ever realised.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Last week I wrote about two of the posters being used by the No campaign in the marriage referendum. This week I want to talk about their third poster(...)

‘We always expected that the No campaign would go negative and go nasty at some stage before May 22nd. This week, however, they erected posters that suggest they are prepared to go nasty early.’

Sometimes an issue compels me to get up from the comfort of the pundit’s armchair and get into the campaign arena. Marriage equality is such an issue (...)

Senator Katherine Zappone and Senator Feargal Quinn at the press conference in 2012 to launch  the consultation process on the Seanad Reform Bill. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

One of the reasons the 2013 referendum to abolish the Seanad was defeated was that those of us in Democracy Matters, the civic society group campaigni(...)

John Martin of The Land League speaking to members of the media, at the entrance to Gorse Hill, the home of the O’Donnell family, at the Vico Road , Dalkey. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Government politicians and advisers will no doubt have enjoyed some down time over the Easter break. They will have savoured their recent bounce in th(...)

Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil giving the presidential address at the end of the ard fheis in 2012. Political scientist Tim Bale addressed that ard fheis and suggested lessons the party could learn from the Tories. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

In March 2012 Fianna Fáil invited leading UK political scientist Tim Bale to address its ardfheis. Bale had just published a book entitled The Conserv(...)

‘Fine Gael has had its national conference since the last Ipsos/MRBI poll and that gave them the opportunity to road-test some of their key lines for the next election.’ Above: the Fine Gael national conference earlier this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The 5 per cent surge for Fine Gael in this week’s Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI poll is significant. It is significant in quantum, it is significant in its t(...)

‘Niall O’Dowd’s reminder and characterisation of Adams’s centrality to the peace process certainly served the interests of Sinn Féin, especially in the week that’s in it. There was no mention from the podiums in New York, or it seems the following day in Washington, of Adams’s recent troubles arising from how his party and the IRA responded to reports of child abuse.’ O’Dowd made his comments at the  Irish America Hall of Fame in New York, on Monday, at which former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke. Photograph:  EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

At an annual St Patrick’s week lunch in New York this week at which Hillary Clinton was inducted into the Irish America Magazine’s hall of fame, publi(...)