American plane  at Shannon: Dermot Ahern, minister  for foreign affairs from 2004 to 2008, said Ireland was one of the first countries to raise concerns with the Americans about whether Shannon was  used as a refuelling stop by CIA-leased aircraft to transfer al-Qaeda suspects and other detainees around secret prisons in eastern Europe and Asia and to Guantánamo. Photograph: James Horan/Press 22

The government received assurances directly from US president George W Bush and his national security adviser Condoleeza Rice that Shannon Airport was(...)

Migrants arriving at Porto Empedocle in Sicily after being rescued approx 40km off the Libyian coast by a Dutch freighter the Dinteldijk. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Governments must focus on saving lives rather than keeping foreigners out at a time when more people than ever are embarking on risky sea crossings in(...)

The Rendition Project and Reprieve have identified 27 aircraft used by the CIA in its rendition programme which they claim landed more than 200 times at Irish airports on global circuits that ferried al-Qaeda suspects around secret prisons or “black sites” between 2001 and 2006. File photograph:  PA Wire 1:08

The invoice states that the trip lasted four days in November 2012 and flew from Washington to Kabul in Afghanistan and back again stopping for fue(...)

Dr Michel D’Hooghe: ‘I have been in football for 42 years and 26 on the executive committee, but this is the hardest period of my life. You are just considered like a murderer.’ Photograph:  Stuart Franklin /   Getty Images

Long-serving Fifa administrator Michel D’Hooghe claims he is being treated “like a murderer” as he is investigated as part of the World Cup anti-corr(...)

‘We can be very strict on our thoughts and see them as wrong or sinful.’ Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Q I am in my late 30s and in a three-year relationship with a 30-year-old woman. We have our ups and downs, but we are crazy about one another. Whe(...)

Thailand’s prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who led a military coup in May, had  promised that a general election would take place in 2015 but his deputy today said the poll was unlikely to take place until 2016. Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

A Thai general election planned for next year will be delayed until 2016, a deputy prime minister said on Thursday, pushing back the promised retur(...)

Beacon Hospital  non-executive chairman Colm Doherty. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Beacon Hospital, the private hospital owned by entrepreneur Denis O’Brien, has appointed a new board led by non-executive chairman Colm Doherty, t(...)

On safari: African elephants in South Africa. Photograph: Thinkstock

I am 60 on January 2nd and want to celebrate. I would like to go somewhere warm and welcoming, where myself and my long- suffering husband can real(...)

China’s president Xi Jinping at Parliament House in Canberra yesterday. China and Australia have  signed a declaration of intent on a landmark free trade deal more than a decade in the making. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

China’s anti-corruption dragnet spread its tentacles overseas with the capture of 288 fugitives suspected of committing economic crimes who had fled (...)

Police show pictures of body parts found in parcels. A baby’s head and foot, a heart and a tattooed ‘sheet of skin’  were found on Saturday after staff at a shipping office in Bangkok scanned the packages. Photograph: Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters

Thai police said today two Americans suspected of trying to send infant and adult body parts in parcels to the United States had fled the country.A ba(...)