Share traders dressed in carnival costumes work a their desks in front of the DAX index at the stock exchange on Shrove Tuesday in Frankfurt, Germany February 9, 2016. Frankfurt’s bourse traders follow a long tradition by wearing carnival costumes on Shrove Tuesday. (Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

European markets ended lower again yesterday with banks stock again in focus. US stock indexes also traded lower, as cautious investors doubled down (...)

 David Ford: to appeal judgment.  Photograph: Arthur Allison.

The Belfast High Court judgment on access to abortion in the North has rightly been described as historic. The outcome of the case taken by the Northe(...)

Aiming high: Brian Cody of St Kieran’s College and JP Treacy of CBS Kilkenny during the GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Croke Cup final in Nowlan Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

School sports are big business. When parents choose where to send their children, schools with a reputation for sporting prowess will catch their att(...)

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The court is acutely aware of its own limited enforcement powers and is hesitant to find violations in cases touching on deeply contested moral issues. Photograph: Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, the Northern Ireland High Court ruled that abortion laws in Northern Ireland violate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by fail(...)

Margaret O’Driscoll in her council home in Clonakilty, Co Cork. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

The housing crisis in Dublin may make more headlines, but the problem is not confined to just the capital with the combination of rising rents and sho(...)

My sister Angela and I on holiday in Salthill with our aunt Margaret, and, on the motorbike, Noeleen, girlfriend to our brother Vincie

In the picture my sister Angela and I are on holiday in Salthill with our aunt Margaret, who brought us up. It’s 1956. The girl on the motorbike is(...)

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar who said the HSE would be abolished over the term of the next government. Photograph: Collins

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is to be dismantled in the term of the next government, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said on Saturday. He also(...)

 South Africa’s Duane Vermeulen: “If we don’t win we are out. We have to give our all. I’m ready to do that.” Photo:  Steve Haag/Gallo Images

A history of violence. Recent cuddlings of these gargantuan men is drenched in bloody yet wincingly enjoyable rugby. There have been 50-pointer(...)

Munster’s Doug Howlett is tackled by Scott Waldrom of New Zealand in their 2008 match: “I don’t think I felt more alive in a match.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Every wannabe David, with understandable trepidation, is already lining himself up against a rugby Goliath. New Zealand against Namibia. Australia (...)

Jessie Buttanshaw and Megan Lynch, (right) with their Junior Cert results at The High School, Rathgar, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The 59,522 students who sat this year’s Junior Cert get their results on Wednesday, with figures showing a continued rise in the proportion of candida(...)