Pensioner Catherine O’Brien at her home in Glounthaune, in Co Cork.  Photograph: Michael Mac Sweney/Provision

I was born in Chingford in Essex and grew up around London during the war. I worked as a primary teacher but after I met my husband, Dick, who was als(...)

 New Taoiseach Enda Kenny  is congratulated by colleagues as he leaves Leinster House to drive to Áras an Uachtaráin to meet with President Mary McAleese. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

The Coalition last month assessed how well it had done in implementing its programme for government. Modest as always, it awarded itself 93 per cent, (...)

 President Michael D Higgins:  Central to what he describes as his “presidency of ideas” is a desire to challenge, to provoke, to question assumptions and orthodoxies. Photograph: Frank Miller

The role of president is rich in ambiguity. The Constitution lays down some things the holder of the office must do (appoint the taoiseach and governm(...)

The HIQA report into the death of Savita Halappanavar recommended the development of a National Maternity Strategy. It took the deaths of Sally Rowlet(...)

The Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaiose. Róisín Molloy, whose son Mark died in Portlaoise, told the launch the greatest apology she and other parents could get was to implement the new maternity  strategy. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Detailed information on the safety of the State’s 19 maternity units is to be published by the HSE next month. The statements will allow intending mo(...)

The strategy does not propose closing any of the Republic’s 19 maternity units. Photograph: Getty Images

Women are to be given far greater choice in making arrangements for giving birth as part of a radical 10-year strategy for transforming the country’s (...)

Future vision: Labour wards will be redesignated “high-intensity birth centres” but most women with normal or medium risk will be delivered in “low-intensity birth centres” that will not routinely offer epidurals, foetal heart monitoring or oxytocin to speed delivery.

Pregnancy and birth are the most normal of human events and yet the recent history of adverse outcomes in Irish maternity hospitals has been anything (...)

“We know from the divorce and marriage equality campaigns that, in order to be passed, the effect of a referendum must be clearly spelt out in advance – people need to know what they are voting for.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

We need to repeal the Eighth Amendment. This amendment, passed in 1983, has cast a blight over an entire generation – our generation, too young to hav(...)

A Bollywood Kids dance was part of the Diwali Festival of Lights organised by the Indian Cultural and Sports Community Galway and Indian Society at NUI Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Galway’s Indian community celebrated “light over darkness” at its annual Diwali festival at the weekend, when a tribute was paid to former particip(...)

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: Argued that a patient-safety body within the HSE would never win public acceptance. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The creation of a new patient advocacy service to provide advice and support to users of the health service is to be announced by Minister for Heal(...)