The government has yet to schedule a vote on the future of Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, but the issue has already established itself as a (...)

Children write on the blackboard in a Marseille school. File photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

I doubt the bloggers and tweeters who are railing over the latest assault on French know what February 14th is.  Valentine’s Day? Good try. It’s(...)

Keith Earls sat out Ireland’s training session at carton House on Tuesday. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Ireland squad limited themselves to a run-out of medium intensity for about 45 minutes amid the snow flurries at their Carton House base yesterday(...)

Team mates: Donnacha Ryan and Paul O’Connell on the pitch. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Player, friend, team-mate, educator, motivator and standard-bearer – Donnacha Ryan knew Paul O’Connell in each one of those guises. They rubbed shou(...)

Paul O’Connell celebrates scoring a try against Wales in 2002. Photograph: Inpho

Alas and alack, there will be no Indian Summer on the Côte d’Azur. Regrets, he’ll have a few, right until the anti-climactic end and that is indeed a (...)

 French journalist and author Nicolas Hénin: ‘Bashar al-Assad is responsible for between seven and 10 times as many civilian deaths as Islamic State.’  Photograph:  Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Nearly five years after it started, the war in Syria has claimed some 300,000 lives. Now the Russian air force is pounding the country’s second city, (...)

Karl Marx: his warning that history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce has modern application. Any populist government in Europe might succeed in raising growth with banking policies – but this make them so dangerous. Photograph: Imagno/Getty

Rereading John Weitz’s biography of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s Banker, I noted some interesting parallels between the 1930s and now that I had not cons(...)

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness: “Everybody has to be very conscious of the great importance of these anniversaries . . . We need to be very dignified and very respectful.”  Photograph: Alan Betson

Sinn Fein is currently examining how best to commemorate those who died in the First World War and deserve to be remembered for the sacrifice they mad(...)

“It’s a day for boot, bite and bollock,” said Ronan O’Gara on the RTÉ panel. Photograph: Anthony Wallace /AFP/Getty Images

For youngsters, John F Kennedy is the man who promotes wind energy on the telly, but for the rest of us he’s the fella who foresaw how many would feel(...)

Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray  crashes through the tackle from Justin Tipuric of Wales to score the opening try during the RBS Six Nations match  at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland 16 Wales 16 Ireland and Wales don’t do dull, and don’t do predictable, and so it continued in this entertaining Six Nations opener at the A(...)