‘The point of investigating the past is not just avoiding the mistakes that were made then, because times have changed so utterly that we are very unlikely to bury poor children in unmarked graves.’ Above, the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

In the film Calvary, there is a scene where two airport workers are waiting to load a coffin onto an aircraft. They are having a chat and one of them (...)

‘All Hallows was once a seminary. It always had a lovely atmosphere, but once vocations declined, it became a warm, humane college of higher education primarily for lay people.’  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Paddy McNamara, now deceased, left formal education at primary level and did his Leaving Cert after retirement. He then studied for a BA, and at 80 be(...)

‘All Hallows was once a seminary. It always had a lovely atmosphere, but once vocations declined, it became a warm, humane college of higher education primarily for lay people.’  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Paddy McNamara, now deceased, left formal education at primary level and did his Leaving Cert after retirement. He then studied for a BA, and at 80 be(...)

Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP

Something about the “BringBackOurGirls” campaign reminds me uneasily of the Kony 2012 video that went viral at an astonishing rate. The fate of the Ch(...)

‘These letters provide significant background to an important era in US history.’  An  undated  image  of Jacqueline Kennedy with Fr Joseph Leonard. Photograph courtesy of  Sheppard’s Irish Auction House

There is a video doing the rounds of a cat chasing away a dog that had attacked a little boy and dragged him off his bike. Cat videos are an internet (...)

‘For decades, people have been warning about the democratic deficit at the heart of the EU.’ Above,  counting European election votes at the RDS Count Centre in 2009. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

After all that has happened in the past week alone, how many Irish people will vote in the European elections for the person they consider will be bes(...)

‘What about justice for children who are short-changed in education, or social services? If they fall foul of the law, will they receive the same understanding?’ Photograph: Getty Images

Twenty years ago when I had my first baby, a social worker friend of mine named Helen came to visit me in hospital. She was pensive and sad. She had j(...)

‘This weekend as two popes are canonised, there will be a number of predictable media narratives. It has been declared that the canonisation of Good Pope John is overdue (true), while the canonisation of Pope John Paul is a disaster, because of his lack of action over sexual abuse, and his innate conservatism.’ Photograph: Michael Kappeler/EPA

Both John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were popes in the media age. Newsweek ’s veteran relig(...)

‘You might argue that it was somewhat tasteless to mock a Catholic sacrament during Holy Week. You might even wince a bit at the satire of “singing priests”, given that the best known singing priests are humble men who raise phenomenal amounts of money for charity.’ Photograph: Getty Images

The apology published by The Irish Times today is an important acknowledgment that Martyn T(...)

‘Ruairí Quinn said the vital skills will be the ability to find, use and re-use knowledge.’  Photograph: Frank Miller

As the state visit to Britain was happening, teachers at second level were seizing the opportunity to discuss with students why it was so signi(...)