One of the most prominent questions arising from the results of last week’s local elections is: who are all these Independents? A detailed answer to t(...)

‘SIPO used the occasion to draw attention again to the limited nature of the information which the parties are required to provide.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

In recent months, when investigating the expenditure of the Rehab Group and the Central Remedial Clinic, the Public Accounts Committees and others hav(...)

‘The centrepiece of this week’s  political confetti was a media event hosted by Brendan Howlin on Tuesday to itemise initiatives which will benefit from the Stimulus Package.’  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

This was one of those weeks when the sheer scale and power of the Government’s press and media operation became apparent. When it gets its act togethe(...)

‘The Secretary General of the Department of Justice was asked by the Taoiseach, rather than the Minister for Justice, to visit the Garda Commissioner who then resigned the following morning.’ Above,   Alan Shatter  with Commissioner Martin Callinan during Templemore Garda College  50th anniversary celebrations earlier this year. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Alan Shatter was not pushed this week. He did not jump. As is often the case in such situations, the ground fell away from under him. The fact that he(...)

‘One thing that is already clear is that the Mary Lou momentum has already been stalled. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

In its profile of Lynn Boylan, the Dublin European election candidate, on the party website, Sinn Féin emphasises the fact that she is a member of its(...)

 ‘The scenes at the ASTI conference were pure TV news gold. They generated the type of lively footage that pushes any item up the running order.’ Photograph:   Patrick Browne

Whole libraries of books and shelfloads of theses have been written about how news priorities are determined. The perennial question of which e(...)

‘Public skirmishes between the government partners over water charges needs to be seen through a slightly broader lens than just focusing on what happened before and after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

This week’s public skirmishes between the Government partners over water charges need to be seen through a slightly broader lens than just focu(...)

‘The strategies suggested by Averil Power and her task force failed to work, it was because they were not even tried.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Two weeks ago the researchers and producers behind Vincent Browne’s new monthly TV show The People’s Debate (...)

‘Was it pure coincidence that this political difficulty for the Taoiseach Enda Kenny was solved on the Tuesday morning by the commissioner’s resignation?’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

This week the Northern Ireland committee at Westminster held hearings into the process of how on-the-run republicans came to receive letters re(...)

‘It is  disturbing the contents of correspondence of such importance from the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan (above) was not brought to the attention of the Minister for Justice, until after he returned from Mexico.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

It is difficult for us now to appreciate the practical challenges faced by ministers in previous decades when trying to communicate with each o(...)