Fianna Fáil candidate Mary Hanafin canvasses resident Frank McGee  in the Park area of Cabinteely, in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown constituency. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

On a cold, wet, dark February night five years ago, I drove out to Blanchardstown to meet a young Fianna Fáil councillor, David McGuinness. I was doin(...)

TDs Stephen Donnelly, Róisín Shortall  and Catherine Murphy with other  Social Democrats as they  launch their manifesto on O’Connell Street. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The next government should not reduce taxes but instead use all available resources for investment in services, the Social Democrats have said. The p(...)

Labour’s Joanna Tuffy: I am relatively happy . . . I feel momentum going towards us. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Private polling research by the Labour Party has given it hope that it could capitalise on concerns of a large block of non-Coalition supporters that(...)

Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Ann Phelan: Labour needs ‘real numbers’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A group of Labour TDs, including a Minister of State, has said the party should not re-enter a coalition with Fine Gael after the election if it does (...)

National School Rules Handbook  states that Religious Instruction is the most important part of a school day. Photograph: Eric Luke Staff Photographer

With a general election on the horizon I am reminded of how and why I first got involved in advocacy for children’s rights. In 1997 I was living in Du(...)

The number of Dáil seats has been cut from 166 to 158 and the number of constituencies from 43 to 40. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Big changes in the shape and size of many Dáil constituencies have changed the electoral map of Ireland since the last general election. The number(...)

A native of Kerry, Pat Carey (now 68) spent his earlier career as a school teacher, principal and community worker. Photograph: Alan Betson

When Pat Carey’s name was mentioned as the politician at the centre of allegations of abuse dating back more than a quarter of a century, the reaction(...)

Undated picture of Barbara Walsh.

There can be few burial grounds more beautiful than Maínis in south Connemara. With Saint Macdara’s and Mason islands to the west, it looks out on a r(...)

Social welfare office in Dublin: the Government controversially  outsourced its job-finding scheme to   recruitment firms Turas Nua and Seetec. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Private sector operators of the Government’s new JobPath scheme are to be paid a sequence of “job-sustainment fees” based on the length of time they k(...)

In a volatile and fickle world even the largest party is not immune from car-crash elections – Fine Gael in 2002 and Fianna Fáil in 2007 bear testament to that. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Franklin D Roosevelt’s line that “the only thing we need to fear is fear itself” doesn’t wash too well with your average Dáil Deputy these days. (...)