Swearing in: Michael D Higgins during his inauguration at Dublin Castle in 2011, flanked by his predecessors Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese. Photograph: Maxwell

It was a Friday afternoon, two days before Michael D Higgins’s visit to France in February 2013. At Áras an Uachtaráin, in Dublin, and the Irish Em(...)

President Michael D Higgins: accompanies by group of key officials and dignatories. Photograph: Alan Betson

At least eight key Government advisors and senior civil servants attended last week’s royal banquet at Windsor Castle for the (...)

 President Michael D  Higgins and his wife Sabina with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip before the banquet  at Windsor Castle. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Britain and Ireland shall “no longer allow our past to ensnare our future”, Queen Elizabeth said last night. In an addr(...)

 The President Micheal D Higgins and his wife Sabina departing for their State visit to Britain at Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel today. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

President Michael D Higgins has arrived in London for the first ever State visit to Britain by an Irish president. Mr Higgins and his wif(...)

Liam Herrick has been director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust since 2007. Photograph: Eric Luke

A human rights specialist with a long record in equality and legal reform will be announced as President Michael D Higgins’s new special adviser this (...)

Fr Peter McVerry, the social activist, has said he would be in favour of the legalisation of all drugs. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Fr Peter McVerry, the social activist, has said he would be in favour of the legalisation of all drugs.Fr McVerry made the comments to the Irish Times(...)

Deterrent?: under Megan’s Law, US towns can put up signs about sex offenders. Photograph: Dith Pran/New York Times

In Germany paedophiles can volunteer to be castrated. In the US their faces and personal details are disclosed on official websites, and towns signpos(...)

Irish Penal Reform Trust said holding a prisoner in isolation should be used only “as a measure of last resort”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

DAN GRIFFINA prisoners rights’ group has called on the Irish Prison Service (IPS) to reduce the use of solitary confinement and prolonged lock-up in p(...)

 Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman

Noel Callan was 22 years old when Michael McHugh, an older workmate, approached him with a plan to rob the labour exchange in Ardee, Co Louth. The rob(...)

Senator Ivana Bacik, who prepared the report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, said it contained “concrete, credible recommendations”, many of which were cost-neutral. Photograph: Bernard Walsh

Prison sentences of less than six months for non-violent offences should be replaced with community service orders, a new report has recommende(...)