The Whitaker consensus: For my entire lifetime, the three pillars of that consensus have shaped Irish government.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

When it comes to Irish elections, the bloody obvious is usually wrong. The most obvious thing about this election is that, on February 26th, the Irish(...)

The principle German security fear is of a France ruled by Marine Le Pen.” Photgraph: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Finalité describes the intended endgame of European integration according to federalist theory. Finality, in contrast, looks increasingly like the out(...)

John Bruton was part of a guard of honour at the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former taoiseach John Bruton has criticised the Government’s decision to send Defence Forces officers with Tricolours and copies of the Proclamation (...)

Defences Forces personnel march past the GPO in a previous  1916 commemoration. Former taoiseach John Bruton has criticised plans  to have Army personnel visiting schools as part of the 1916 centenary. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Former taoiseach John Bruton has criticised the Government’s decision to have Army personnel visiting schools as part of the 1916 commemoration progra(...)

Brian Cowen served as taoiseach from May 2008 to March 2011. Photograph: The Irish Times

The Department of the Taoiseach has yet to give the go-ahead for an official portrait of former taoiseach Brian Cowen, almost five years after he left(...)

The events that will have the least impact are the ones that people view as the most controversial or divisive, the ones that politicians negotiate over in terms of properness and suitability. Photograph: Frank Miller

There are two types of people living in Ireland right now; those who are sick of 1916, and those who are sick of people who are sick of 1916. Get used(...)

The government authorised the minister for foreign affairs  to submit the harp and shamrock to the World Intellectual Property Organisation for registration as trademarks. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The registration of the harp and the shamrock as Irish emblems was delayed because of a row between departments over who should carry the costs. The(...)

Former minister for industry, trade, commerce and tourism John Bruton and former minister for finance Alan Dukes: in advance of Bruton’s trip to Delhi, a telex read,  “Ambassador has suggested that the air-conditioning be turned on in advance and that whatever household staff are absent might be recalled.” Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Former minister for industry and commerce John Bruton got permission to swim at a hotel in Delhi while staying in the ambassador’s residence on a pri(...)

President Michael D Higgins: Convened the  meeting in Áras an Uachtaráin which extended to over three hours. Photograph: PA

The majority of those present at yesterday’s Council of State meeting said President Michael D Higgins should not refer a proposed law governing the (...)

The on-again, off-again Anglo-Irish affair known as the peace process was going through one of its more tempestuous phases yesterday. The we(...)