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(...)

Town centres like Clara Co Offaly (pictured) are under pressure, according to Barry Cowen. Photograph: Frank Miller

Strong action needs to be taken to stop the “hollowing out” and decimation of historic and vibrant towns across Ireland, the Dáil has been told.Fianna(...)

“Sinn Féin Easter Lilies swaying across the way caused great affront to FG party chairman Charlie Flanagan.”

Consider the lilies of Sinn Féin, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin . . . They grow abundantly at this time of the year(...)