‘Seán MacBride  had sent an even more obsequious letter to archbishop McQuaid on his own election to the Dáil.’

It is difficult to believe how much the religious atmosphere of Ireland has changed over the lifetime of many of us. Life itself, of course, has chang(...)

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar orders a cost review  of the controversial policy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has cast further doubt on the Government’s plan to introduce universal health insurance (UHI) by ordering a major re(...)

If you were asked to name the book or books that defined Ireland for you, which would you choose? That’s the challenge UCD academics and bestsellin(...)

Suddenly, women no longer had the right to decide how, when and where to give birth. Photograph: Getty Images

Since the publication of the report into perinatal deaths at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, various commentators, including Liam Do(...)

Lucinda Creighton: frequently spoken of as a potential leader of Fine Gael. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Any list of the most impressive Irish politicians of 2013 has to include Lucinda Creighton. This weekend last December, Creighton began a frantic six-(...)

Tommy Bowe scores a try at the Aviva stadium. The IRFU, GAA and FAI are trying to protect the status quo. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The proposal to phase out alcohol sponsorship of big sporting events is sensible, practical and to be expected. It should be uncontroversial. There is(...)

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid with then taoiseach John A Costello and (standing behind) Costello’s ADC, Mick Byrne. Costello told the Dáil: “I, as a Catholic, obey my church authorities and will continue to do so . . . There will be no flouting of the authority of the bishops in the matter of Catholic social or moral teaching.”

The preoccupations of the Irish Catholic hierarchy in the early years of the State were the twin and related evils of company-keeping and danci(...)