MacGill Summer School director Joe Mulholland has confirmed US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley will open the event this summer. Photograph: Eric Luke

The annual MacGill Summer School will take place in Glenties, Co Donegal from Sunday July 19th until Friday July 24th this year.The theme for the even(...)

File photograph: Former Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery (right) with Enda Kenny,  Phil Hogan and Richard Bruton. Minister for Children James Reilly has said he would welcome Mr Flannery back to the party.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Minister for Children James Reilly has said he “absolutely would welcome” former Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery back into the party. Dr Reilly sa(...)

Young people aren’t apathetic , “they’re dismissive of the recycled establishment bull, just as much as all ages are” – 2010 protest by  Dublin Focus on Youth, a coalition of youth projects/services   to warn the Government against making any further cut to youth services. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Generation Apathy was the title of a talk about youngsters at the MacGill Summer School last week. Bearing in mind that few people outside the sphe(...)

Time and time again, politicians fail to trust people, says Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Politicians should have enough trust in voters to turn down demands for projects such as schools rather than giving in to every request, Minister for (...)

Frank is on track to become Fine Gael’s version of Bertie Ahern. Photograph: North West Newspix

If there is such a thing as a bottomless navel, the MacGill Summer School has found it. Some 34 years gazing into it now. And always more fluff to min(...)

Dr Maurice Hayes called for “the transfer of substantial powers and responsibilities to a reinvigorated local government”. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Ireland’s political difficulties are compounded by a “lack of engagement” by the electorate and especially by the young, the MacGill Summer School ha(...)

Emily O’Reilly in her office as she prepares to publish her final report as Ombudsman today before taking up the role of European Ombudsman in Strasbourg. On the wall behind her hang portraits of her two predecessors, Michael Mills (left) and  Kevin Murphy. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

An apocryphal tale has it that a former Canadian ombudsman deliberately avoided reading the piece of law establishing his office; that way he never kn(...)

Alex White’s concern about the gaps in the system is clearly genuine. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘In due course” is a phrase straight out of the playbook of political obfuscation. Along with “at the appropriate juncture” and “in the fullness of ti(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: promised that during his term in office he would increase total employment by 100,000. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

There is a consensus among many of the political correspondents that Enda Kenny has had a good year in office, that exiting the bailout will be almost(...)

Professor Diarmuid Ferriter of  UCD: a timely critique of the power the Economic Management Council has accrued to itself

I left Glenties yesterday with my head full of the insights of others and my in-box full of their scripts. I also came away with enough material to in(...)