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(...)

Katherine Zappone: said every Senator could highlight statistics in their own community, and there were 173 people homeless in the South County Dublin Council area

More than 160 homeless people are living “in the shadow of Leinster House”, the Seanad heard following the death of homeless man John Corrie (43) on (...)

Prof John Crown: spoke of number of people he knew who had died through self-harm. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Independent Senator Prof John Crown said he personally knew of 14 people who had died through self-harm.“These included a few nurses, medical student(...)

Campaign: an Ebola awareness mural in Monrovia, Liberia. Photograph: John Moore/Getty
Why Ebola is winning

Finger-pointing, conspiracy theories, barely repressed panic and many more dead bodies: the battle against Ebola isn’t going well. As Ireland starts t(...)

‘While endless columns and air time are sacrificed to fulminations over the McNulty fiasco, the would-be stroke that has reduced the Oireachtas to an orgiastic lather can be reduced to one small and boring fact: Enda Kenny’s contempt for the Seanad.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / THE IRISH TIMES

There are times when Prof Morgan Kelly’s dismissive description of this State as “tiny and boring” is annoyingly apt. Our political dramas are small a(...)

Seagulls above the boardwalk on Dublin’s quays. It could be argued that the city’s seagulls are more highly evolved than those in other parts of the country. Photograph: The Irish Times

Seagulls, is it? It must be frustrating to be a Senator intent on getting loads of work done and trying to reform the system from within. You toil day(...)

Minister  of State Kathleen Lynch: “It is the first step along the way to ensuring that all our citizens have GP cover.”    Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The Minister for Health has removed the “gagging clause” in the legislation providing free GP care for children under six. The Health (General Practi(...)

Professor John Crown said the primary loyalty of any health care provider should be to their patient, not to the system. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The Government suffered an embarrassing defeat in the Seanad yesterday on the Bill providing for free GP care for children under six years.Independent(...)

James Reilly: ‘With us being the first country in Europe to do this, smuggling would be extremely difficult because they are different from everything else that is available in Europe.’ Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Smuggling cigarettes would be extremely difficult in Ireland once plain packaging was introduced because they would look very different from everythi(...)

Mattress Mick, who was hailed by a desperate Tubridy as “the stuff of legend”. Photograph: Dave Meehan

The sunshine may be giving the country a much-needed fillip, but not everyone welcomes the summer. Ryan Tubridy (2FM, weekdays), for one, bemoans the (...)