‘The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll  suggests that the momentum is with the Yes side, this 80 per cent compares to 76 per cent Yes in polls by the same agency last October and 64 per cent Yes in polls by this agency in 2012. If proponents of this constitutional change want to win, however, they should ignore this and all previous polls on the issue.’ Photograph: Getty Images

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll published last weekend again showed a large majority in favour of the referendum which the Government proposes to hold(...)

‘Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael also know, however, that their vote could shrink below a point where even together they couldn’t form a government. Any doubt Fine Gael may have had about that will have been displaced by yesterday’s Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.’

The suggestion from Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny this week that the next general election will be a choice for voters between a Fine Gael-led governm(...)

Fiona O’Malley with party president Michael McDowell, Bobby Molloy, PD leader Mary Harney and former leader Des O’Malley blow out the candles on the cake to mark the party’s 20 years in political life at their party HQ  in Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator

The two most interesting precedents for the emergence of a new party in the Irish political system were Clann na Poblachta in July 1946 and the Progre(...)

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly at Government Buildings Dublin, earlier this week. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

In the water-charges package announced this week the Government not only sought to tackle the central concern of affordability by cutting and capping (...)

Brian Farrell chairing the 1982 televised debate on RTÉ between the then taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald (right) and the opposition leader Charles Haughey. Photograph: Paddy Whelan / THE IRISH TIMES

They say you should never meet your heroes. In my case, they were wrong.As a teenage politics obsessive, I got to meet the megastar that was Brian Far(...)

“It is interesting that the Fine Gael backbencher Eoghan Murphy (above) in his article on political reform here on Wednesday included an express call for the disbandment of the EMC and suggested its operation might be unconstitutional. He has a point.” Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

The ongoing Irish Water saga, in addition to exposing weaknesses in our parliamentary system and fault lines between the Coalition partners, has also (...)

‘The fact that the Government no longer has a majority in the Seanad raises the possibility that Senator Feargal Quinn’s legislation will get some traction.’ Photograph: Alan Betson, Irish Times

I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record on the theme of how dysfunctional our parliament has become but I feel compelled this week to take(...)

‘Fergus O’Dowd  said Irish Water would establish “local contact points”, would make an annual report to the Oireachtas . . . He has been demoted and has recently emerged as one of Irish Water’s most trenchant critics.’  Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

‘That in respect of each and every sections undisposed of, the section is hereby agreed in Committee, The Title is hereby agreed in Committee, the Bil(...)

‘Micheál Martin  (above) would be gone as leader if there were any obvious successor who could guarantee improving fortunes. There is no such person in the current parliamentary party.’  Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil gathers tomorrow night for its annual Cáirde Fáil dinner in one of Dublin’s largest banqueting rooms. It is the party’s annual social cele(...)

 ‘Ireland managed to exit the Troika bailout relatively early because government fiscal policy was operating to a strict four-year economic plan. Now 10 months later the Government is about to launch its first post bailout budget without any detailed overall economic road map.’ Above, Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform with Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance at the announcement of the bailout exit. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

This week our political system is settling into the traditional Irish rituals of budget-making. There will be bits and pieces of speculation today and(...)