David Norris, left, and Geoffrey Dudgeon of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association. Photograph: Pat Langan

The government considered using Aids as an argument to retain laws that outlawed homosexual acts, in preparation for a case at the European Court of H(...)

 Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes premises at Ballsbridge: The Hospitals Sweepstake argued the State had a moral obligation to its employees, as thoughts turned to the idea of the  National Lottery. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

A proposed national lottery would damage betting on horse racing, Lord Killanin warned then taoiseach Garret FitzGerald in 1985, State papers show. (...)

The survey in 1985  found fluoridation of public water supplies had contributed significantly to the prevention of dental disease. Photograph: Getty Images

The state of Irish children’s teeth in 1985 compared “very unfavourably” with that of their counterparts in other developed countries, a government me(...)

A vital glimpse into the past

The annual release of government archives under the 30-year rule has provided illuminating insights into the process that led to the historic signing (...)

Peter Sutherland: ‘Countries can share Syrian refugees or choose from three options: leave them on the beaches,  lock them in camps or send them back to the hell they’ve escaped.’

In the shadowy, wood-lined study of his London home, Peter Sutherland’s oval face drifts in and out of the pool of light cast by a green desk lamp. H(...)

The life of Jack Harte, who has died aged 94, could be said to have typified much of not just Ireland’s, but Europe’s, experience in the twentieth cen(...)

Clare Daly outside Leinster House following the defeat of the Fatal Foetal Abnormality Bill. Photograph: Fergal Phillips

Before explaining why his Government was about to vote down a Bill aimed at helping parents struggling to come to terms with a fatal diagnosis for the(...)

Independent  Gerard Craughwell speaking after his election. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

It says a lot about the state of politics in this country when the main Government party loses a Seanad election it should have won by a mile and t(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton  after their first joint press conference yesterday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Less than an hour after Joan Burton became Labour Party leader last Friday week, negotiations on the future shape of Government kicked into action.Wi(...)

Fine Gael director of elections  Richard Bruton (left),  Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter take part in a photocall calling for a Yes vote in the referendums. Photograph: PA

2011: Fine Gael election manifesto promises to call a referendum to abolish the Seanad.April 11th, 2013: Former tánaiste and attorney general Michael (...)