John Halligan (left) and Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance group, at Leinster House. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

There will be considerable interest in the performance of Independent candidates, given opinion polls are suggesting they could hold the balance of po(...)

Former Independent TD Jackie Healy Rae. File photograph: Peter Thursfield

Some are snobbish about Independents. Some look down on constituencies for electing them. They “tut, tut” about voters who vote for them. It’s an at(...)

‘As long as my children can quote at least one line from ‘The Snapper’, their Irish heritage is intact.’

Since I’ve been away from Ireland, there’s nothing I miss more – not even Superquinn sausages or spectacular winter sunrises – than the lyrical, ve(...)

The funeral of former Kerry South TD Jackie Healy-Rae is led by Jackie’s pony ‘Peig’ past his pub in Kilgarvan village. Photograph: Eamonn Keogh/MacMonagle

He was buried wearing the cap. It could not have been any other way. Charlie Chaplin had his bowler. John Wayne had his Stetson. And Jackie Healy-Rae (...)

Mourners carry the coffin of Jackie Healy-Rae into his pub in Kilgarvin on Saturday night. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Former Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae has completed his last journey through his native Kilgarvan, in Kerry.His coffin was shouldered the mile-long r(...)

 Mourners arrive in the rain to pay their respects to the late Jackie Healy-Rae in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry this afternoon. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Hundreds of people gathered in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, for the removal of the remains of former Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae.From early afternoon, lo(...)

Jackie Healy-Rae: a “committed and passionate public servant”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Cross-party tributes have been paid to former Kerry South Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae, who has died aged 83.Mr Healy-Rae, who died in Kerry Genera(...)

Jackie Healy-Rae, who has died aged 83 , was a colourful and wily grassroots politician who achieved significant national influence as an Independent TD supporting minority Fianna Fail-led governments. Photograph: Eric Luke Staff Photographer

Jackie Healy-Rae, who has died aged 83 , was a colourful and wily grassroots politician who achieved significant national influence as an Independent(...)

Cherry blossom in bloom in Tokyo. If only the school year was as shortlived. Photograph: Reuters

April in Japan means two things: cherry blossoms and a new school year. If only they could be matched for brevity. As an English teacher(...)

If the flat cap fits:  Michael Healy Rae, who featured in At Home with the Healy Raes. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Two programmes featuring the Healy-Raes in as many months? There must be a notion that the south Kerry political family, or Brand Healy-Rae as they’re(...)