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(...)

 Fianna Fáil candidate Mary Hanafin canvasses resident Frank McGee  in the Park area of Cabinteely, in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown constituency. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

On a cold, wet, dark February night five years ago, I drove out to Blanchardstown to meet a young Fianna Fáil councillor, David McGuinness. I was doin(...)

 Alan Kelly’s campaign launch in Nenagh, Co Tipperary  at the weekend. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

“I don’t take no for an answer. If someone tells me no, it only encourages me. It only encourages me to go back and make sure it is a yes. You all kno(...)

Poll position: election posters outside Government Buildings. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The election campaign got off to an undignified start on Wednesday with Taoiseach Enda Kenny rushing in and out of the Dáil before a bemused Leas Cean(...)

Labour leader Joan Burton and others arrive for the formal launch of the Labour Party  campaign held at the Bord Gáis Theatre, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Somebody in Sinn Féin has a sense of humour. The party launched its election campaign in Dublin’s Royal Irish Academy, otherwise known as the RIA. A l(...)

Lucinda Creighton: “We have put in a huge amount of work over the past two years to get to this point”

Renua Ireland could hold the balance of power in the next government, leader Lucinda Creighton has said. Ms Creighton was speaking as the party outl(...)

What the voters really want is for politicians to find all the square pegs they can get their hands on and jam them into round holes. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

We want change but also want more of the same Opinion polls are extraordinary. You quickly find out that what the voters really want is for politicia(...)

‘I will not have any  dealings with Michael Lowry or any other independent,’ when it comes to the formation of a new government the Taoiseach said on Friday.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has for the first time emphatically ruled out seeking the support of Independent Tipperary TD Michael Lowry for a future governme(...)

Irish Congress of Trade Unions general secretary Patricia King. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The vast bulk of members of the out-going Fine Gael parliamentary party have declined to back a charter drawn up by the trade union movement setting o(...)

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(...)