Jack Marrinan (right) at a GRA delegate conference in 1979. Photograph: Eddie Kelly/The Irish Times

John Marrinan, who has died aged 81, was a key moderniser of policing in Ireland. Always known as Jack, he was assigned to protection duties at the ho(...)

Bob McDonagh, who has died aged 91, was a former secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and an ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, (...)

Róisín Ingle with former Labour deputy leader and novelist Liz McManus

Former Labour deputy leader and novelist Liz McManus has said she is in favour of gender quotas in the Dáil. “I think a lot of people have come(...)

Enda Kenny: As the taoiseach is permitted to nominate 11 members of the Seanad it enables the holder of the office to bring in people from outside the political system. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised he will look outside the Dáil when it comes to picking ministers if he leads the next government. In a Christmas in(...)

Gerry Adams, Ruairí Ó Bradaigh and Martin McGuinness at Sinn Féin’s Wolfe Tone Commemoration at Bodenstown in 1986. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

A surprise pre-election visit to Derry by taoiseach Garret FitzGerald on April 30th 1985 was strongly criticised by Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness. (...)

At times the Ireland of 1984 seemed to resemble something from a Flann O’Brien novel. Photograph: The Irish Times

Nineteen Eighty-Four conjures up a world of Big Brother, thoughtcrime and doublethink. George Orwell’s novel, completed in 1948, imagines the triumph(...)

US president Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, in the Ronald Reagan Pub in Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, in 1984. Photograph: Pat Langan

The Garda Síochána exceeded its powers in detaining a group of women protesters for the duration of US president Ronald Reagan’s visit to Dublin in (...)

The Irish Hospitals’ Sweepstakes building in Ballsbridge in 1984: plans were being made for a State takeover of the company. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Garret FitzGerald initially backed the idea of nationalising the Irish Sweepstakes when he was taoiseach, despite its troubled financial history. A(...)

Jim Mitchell: argued that the government should consider the threat to the creditworthiness of the State if ISL were liquidated. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

A bitter row between two senior Fine Gael cabinet ministers over Irish Shipping Ltd (ISL) is revealed in the State papers.With the State-owned company(...)

President Ronald Reagan and Ms Nancy Reagan during their visit to Ireland. President Reagan is drinking a pint of Guinness in the Ronald Reagan pub in Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary. File photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

It was a time when a Labour party in coalition with Fine Gael took a kicking in European elections, two cases involving the deaths of babies shook the(...)