The fall in oil prices could represent the equivalent of a trillion-dollar tax cut for the global economy. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

As recently as August, barely four months ago, it was possible to describe Ireland’s economic recovery as “tentative”. Two pieces by this columnist – (...)

President Michael D Higgins: embarks on his longest official visit this Saturday when he travels to Africa for 22 days. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

President Michael D Higgins has said that he and he and his wife Sabina have been moved by the support he has received since assuming office. Presiden(...)

Jean Tirole (61) works at the Toulouse School of Economics in France.

French economist Jean Tirole has won the Nobel prize for economics for his research on market power and regulation. The Royal Swedish Academy of Scien(...)

 Irish architects Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, at home in Rathmines, Dublin. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey are having a moment: they have just been awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal – one of world architecture’s top prizes, (...)

French Economist Thomas Piketty  pictured speaking at the TASC conference in Croke Park, Dublin today. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

A “progressive wealth tax” would be the ideal solution to resolving global wealth inequality, according to French economist Thomas Piketty, associate (...)

French economist and academic Thomas Piketty, poses in his book-lined office at the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), in Paris. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

French economist Thomas Piketty published a detailed 4,400-word defense of his best-selling book on income inequality against allegations that he reli(...)

Ukip leader Nigel Farage  with  Ukip MLA David McNarry  having  a pint at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.  Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Ukip leader Nigel Farage was nearly denied his customary pint after campaigning in Belfast yesterday. When he arrived at the Europa Hotel in central(...)

Get yourself connected: a conference at NUI Maynooth this week heard what life might be like in a ‘smart city’. Photograph: Getty Images

Be careful what you say over social media in Chicago. Your casual comments could be scrutinised using “sentiment analysis” and you may attract (...)

Colin Scott, dean of the UCD Sutherland Law School, says UCD is leading the way in new methods to teach law. Photograph: David Sleator

UCD’s school of law has come a long way since the first students graduated in 1911. For one thing, the School has stopped publishing the exam results (...)

Yvonne Farrell (left) and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects. Photographs: Alice Clancy and James Harris/Royal Academy of Arts London

How do you feel? Does the space you are in have an impact on that? “It’s such an enormous question,” says Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, sittin(...)