Don Keough was among the first recipients of an Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award honouring members of the Irish diaspora

Irish-American businessman Don Keough, a champion of Ireland who promoted Irish studies in the US and encouraged American corporate investment into Ir(...)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe was one of the speakers at the annual Irish Hotels Federation conference. The conference heard how the Government’s special VAT rate was crucial to lessening the rate of insolvency within the industry. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

There were 145 insolvent hotels in the State at the end of 2014 and the industry would have been in much worse shape were it not for the Government’s (...)

Pope Francis: had been speaking at a general audience when he said it was okay to smack children to discipline them. Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

In his comments last week Pope Francis was not encouraging parents to hit their children, a Vatican spokesman has said. In a statement, Fr Federico(...)

“What faith are we to have now in the Holy See’s commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child?” former president of Ireland Mary McAleese  has asked in a letter to The Irish Times.  File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Former president Mary McAleese has criticised Pope Francis’s apparent support for parents smacking their children in the name of discipline.Ms McAlees(...)

In a word

The number of refugees in the world recently exceeded 50 million. Half are children. The country most affected is Syria. More than 2.5 million of its (...)

President Michael D Higgins recalled the 11 million victims at the Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration  in the Mansion House, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The world has a duty not to allow those killed in the Holocaust to “die twice” by forgetting them, President Michael D Higgins has said. Speaking at (...)

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin greets Shaikh Hussein Halawa, the imam of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland after Mass in the Pro-Cathedral. Photograph: John McElroy.

The need to build “a culture of dialogue and respect’’ was stressed by Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin at a Mass in the Pro-Cathedral in solid(...)

Former president Mary Robinson with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the funeral of Dr Maeve Hillery today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

President Michael D Higgins has led the mourners at the funeral of Dr Maeve Hillery in Sutton, Dublin, today.Dr Hillery, widowof former president Dr P(...)

Ireland’s ambassador Isolde Moylan with Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, whom she met dozens of times, in his compound in Ramallah in 2000

Since 2010, Isolde Moylan, who has served as a diplomat for 40 years, has been accredited to five countries: Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. (...)

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon is among those on the shortlist for the Tipperary International Peace Award. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

A holocaust survivor, a Burmese human rights lawyer and the United Nations secretary general are among those shortlisted for the Tipperary Internation(...)