Labour Seanad leader Ivana Bacik described retiring Senator Feargal Quinn as “a model for us in terms of his activity and immense contribution to the Seanad over those years”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The Seanad adjourned indefinitely after tributes were paid to retiring Senators and voters were praised for retaining the Upper House in the referend(...)

Women demonstrating at the Abbey Theatre during the Waking The Feminists event in November to highlight the lack of gender equality in the Abbey’s programme of events for 2016. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

An Aran island arts centre has set out to counter the Abbey Theatre’s 1916 commemorative programme by ensuring that 90 per cent of its plays this yea(...)

Speakers on stage at The Theatre of Change Symposium, at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin from left; Gideon Levy, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Mark O’Halloran, Mary McAuliffe, Jaki Irvine, Nuala Hayes, Penny Arcade, Fiach MacConghail, Sarah Jane Scaife, Zoe Lafferty, Lian Bell, Dominic Campbell, Dr Emer O’Toole, Dr Susan Cahill and Fearghus O’Conchuir. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The opening day of the Abbey’s Theatre of Change Symposium, the first event in its commemoration programme for 2016, took place on Thursday. Opening t(...)

Enda Kenny delivers a speech during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris. Photograph: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Irish involvement with the climate change talks in Paris did not get off to a very auspicious start 10 days ago when Taoiseach Enda Kenny made a speci(...)

Plays and protests

Controversy and the Abbey Theatre seem to go hand-in-hand, as if there is in the DNA of our national theatre a button that triggers moments of notorie(...)

Actress Meryl Streep at the premiére of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at the Savoy cinema in Dublin in September 1998. She played Kate Murphy in the screen adaptation of Friel’s play. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Meryl Streep has paid tribute to the playwright Brian Friel describing him as a “tender dramatist, an insightful humanist and a lovely man”. Streep st(...)

Michael Lowry: TD spent most of his allowance on PR and consultancy in the second half  of 2014. Photograph: Courts Collins

Independent TD for Tipperary Michael Lowry spent most of his parliamentary leaders’ allowance in the second half of 2014 on PR and consultancy fees,(...)

 Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said: “Some comments made previously earlier on in the week by a colleague of mine were unnecessary and probably silly, to be frank - you know, lecturing people as regards the consequences of what happens if they don’t pass this legislation.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The Government had a comfortable Seanad majority of 31 to 26 in the first vote on the Water Services Bill, with the support of four Independents.Senat(...)

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar:  “If the Seanad does reject the Water Services Bill, the existing arrangements apply.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The Government is uncertain of the voting intentions of some Senators nominated by the Taoiseach as it prepares for crucial votes on water charges leg(...)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys who refused to answer questions in the Seanad about  Mr McNulty’s appointment.

When Fianna Fail senator Ned O’Sullivan rose to speak in the brief Seanad debate on the appointment of John McNulty to the board of Imma on Tuesday, h(...)