Former president Mary McAleese has criticised the Catholic church’s view on corporal punishment. File photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

The Catholic church’s support for the corporal punishment of children has been raised with Pope Francis by former president Mary McAleese, according t(...)

As a constitutional lawyer Mary Robinson “went as far as the wall and peeped over, but she didn’t cross it”.   Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The election of Mary Robinson as Ireland’s first woman president 25 years ago was an extraordinary event, Bride Rosney has recalled. Former special a(...)

The Lord Mayor of Cork has become embroiled in a war of words with the Royal British Legion over his failure to attend or send a deputy to the legi(...)

Norman Parkinson photograph of Baroness Thatcher: her belongings are being sold. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

As briefcases go, there’s none more exclusive than the red leather prime ministerial dispatch box embossed, in gold, with the royal cypher of Queen El(...)

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(...)

Santa Claus school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last week: It’s easy to forget what Christmas is about, which is Santa Clause travelling to Bethlehem and climbing down the stable’s chimney. Photograph: Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty

Aldi: Given the season that’s in it, the letter A should really stand for Advent – and in another, more godly world, it does. But in the world(...)

Roads cut through the site where EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point nuclear power station will be constructed in Bridgwater, southwest England. File photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Chinese president Xi Jinping sealed a multibillion dollar deal to finance nuclear power stations in Britain, crowning a visit that prime minister Davi(...)

Xi Jinping and Britain’s Prince Philip review a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony for the Chinese premier in London, England. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Chinese president Xi Jinping rode in a gilded carriage to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday after a royal salute began a pomp-laden visit that Britain hope(...)

Air Force Blue ridden by Ryan Moore (right) wins the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Photograph: Daniel Hambury/PA

Air Force Blue’s superb Dewhurst Stakes success on Saturday was a 13th Group 1 success in 2015 for Aidan O’Brien and the champion trainer’s reach is (...)

A cast iron Hong Kong post box is seen with British royal cipher in Central District, Hong Kong, China, October 2015. Photograph: Alex Hofford

Hong Kong is currently grappling with one of the key identity issues that post-colonial territories, including Ireland, all have to deal with – what d(...)