Archbishop of Tuam   Michael Neary: “None of us should entrust the decisions of our conscience to another on issues like this which are, literally, matters of life and death,” he wrote in a letter  to Enda Kenny at height of the controversy over the Government’s abortion legislation. Photograph: Frank Miller

  An archbishop contacted the Taoiseach at the height of the controversy over the Government’s abortion legislation, saying he hoped Enda (...)

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin  before the budget announcement yesterday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Ireland: the best small country in the world in which to leak budgets. They don’t do suspense in this Government. No spoiler alerts necessary with Mic(...)

Fianna Fáil’s public expenditure spokesman Seán Fleming has  insisted the Government’s capital spending plan is heavily dependent on private investment. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Government’s capital spending plan has been dismissed as a “wish list” drawn up with the general election in mind by Fianna Fáil’s public expendit(...)

Party says domestic wealth creators not valued by the Irish State. Photograph: The Irish Times

The rate of universal social charge (USC) paid by the self-employed would be brought into line with PAYE workers under proposals from Renua. The part(...)

Senator Marc MacSharry. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Sligo was to the fore on the political radar this week, what with the Cabinet decamping for a day to Lissadell House and Senator Marc MacSharry turnin(...)

Before the banking inquiry ...  Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern “accounted for his stewardship   with some aplomb.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The banking inquiry has not produced the fireworks and public humiliations anticipated by many, but it is all the better for that. If it induces a sen(...)

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny  and his wife Fionnuala voting in the Local and European election’s at the polling station in St. Anthony’s national school, Castlebar, Co Mayo last year. Photograph: Keith Heneghan

There is one man who will ultimately decide the date of the general election. His confidant on that momentous call is a football. In his usual homesp(...)

File image of young asylum seekers accommodated  at Knockalisheen, Meelick, Co Clare.  File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The number of asylum seekers in the direct provision system has risen in the past year with the biggest increases in Balseskin reception centre in Dub(...)

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys has said her department did not have the funds, estimated to be in the region of €12 million, necessary to buy the paintings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys has said her “door is open” if the trustees who run Russborough House want to meet again over the sale of valuabl(...)

A spokeswoman  for Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys said the Minister “was not consulted in advance and she had no role in the decision-making process” on the sale of the Beit paintings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The decision by the trust that runs Russborough House to sell valuable paintings in London to raise funds was presented as a “done deal” to Minister f(...)