Do we really need an army these days? Defence Forces? Surely, a costly luxury that was once the sine qua non of statehood, but today has little real r(...)

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney has said he does not believe Sinn Féin is telling the truth about the current status of IRA structures.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney has said he does not believe Sinn Féin is telling the truth about the current status of IRA structures. He said Mi(...)

Members of the Defence Forces form a Guard of Honour at the State Ceremony to mark the Centenary of the founding of the Irish Volunteers in 2013. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The Government’s new White Paper on Defence includes a new employment support scheme aimed at disadvantaged young people. Defence Forces personnel wil(...)

“Fine Gael has always stood for the rule of law, believing that with rights come responsibility - the solemn responsibility of all Irish men and women to respect and adhere to those same laws.” - Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fine Gael must never cease in challenging the propaganda that suggests violent protest is virtuous and effective, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzger(...)

Simon Coveney is also getting it in the neck for over-hyping the potential of the US beef market. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Dairy farmers have spent the last two years ramping up production ahead of the ending of milk quotas. Egged on by Government, they’ve expanded herd nu(...)

Irish processors exported only 31 tonnes of beef, worth €194,000, to the US during the first six months of 2015. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Another Irish beef processor has been granted a US export licence. The Slaney Foods processing facility in Co Wexford has become the third Irish plant(...)

The State’s beef exports to the US were worth just €194,000 for the first six months of 2015. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Irish beef exports to the US were worth just €194,000 for the first six months of 2015, well short of the Government’s €100 million target by the end (...)

 Rotbunt cows on the  Co Louth farm where a five-year-old dairy cow had contracted classic or typical BSE, a Department of Agriculture investigation found. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson

Ireland’s risk status for BSE has been reclassified to “controlled” following the recent discovery of an infected animal in Co Louth. The change, w(...)

The research hypothesis was that those taking action against badgers might actually contribute to maintaining bovine TB. Photograph: Getty Images

Uncontrolled and illegal disturbance of badgers has “contributed significantly” to new bovine tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks in nearby cattle herds, acco(...)

Cows being milked. Michael Hanley, Lakeland Dairies chief executive, says the EU failed to recognise the impact of geo-political issues.

The current slump in milk prices may last another nine months, the chief executive of Lakeland Dairies has warned. Michael Hanley said global market(...)