American plane  at Shannon: Dermot Ahern, minister  for foreign affairs from 2004 to 2008, said Ireland was one of the first countries to raise concerns with the Americans about whether Shannon was  used as a refuelling stop by CIA-leased aircraft to transfer al-Qaeda suspects and other detainees around secret prisons in eastern Europe and Asia and to Guantánamo. Photograph: James Horan/Press 22

The government received assurances directly from US president George W Bush and his national security adviser Condoleeza Rice that Shannon Airport was(...)

The then US president Bill Clinton with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams in the Oval Office of the White House on March 17th, 2000. The success of the Northern Ireland peace process was one of Clinton’s greatest achievements. Photograph: William Vasta/AFP/Getty Images

The journalistic dictum that the more comfortable you make people, the more they will reveal applies to the world of academic historical research t(...)

Barack Obama’s  policy shift on Cuba shows a more determined leader who is working through his promised agenda before his term ends. Photograph: Pete Souza/Reuters

US president Barack Obama’s decision to radically shift US policy toward Cuba is the latest and most striking example of a president unleashed from th(...)

Against the backdrop of Edward Snowden’s revelations of the UK’s GCHQ mass data-harvesting from cables linking Ireland to Britain and North America, t(...)

American aid worker Alan Gross, a former Cuban prisoner released on humanitarian grounds, speaks at a news conference with his wife Judy Gross in Washington DC yesterday. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama said the US has chosen to “cut loose the shackles of the past” by normalising relations with Cuba and re-opening economic ties(...)

A  banner reads ‘Viva the revolution for ever’ in Havana, Cuba. The leaders of the US and Cuba have agreed to restore diplomatic relations. Photograph: Ernesto Mastrascusa/EPA 1:24

President Barack Obama has announced the “most significant” shift in US foreign policy towards Cuba in more than a half century, unveiling plans to no(...)

Pakistani school girls pray for victims who were killed in an attack at the army-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday. Photograph: Ilyas Sheikh/EPA

The massacre of more than 130 Pakistani school children by Taliban gunmen was a chilling reminder of Hillary Clinton’s warning to Islamabad in 2011 th(...)

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush. He  is the first Republican to announce formally that he is exploring a candidacy. Photograph: Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Jeb Bush, the son and young brother of former US presidents, has fired up the next race for the White House by announcing that he will “actively ex(...)

Demonstrators fill Pennsylvania Avenue as they march towards the US Capitol building during the national Justice For All march against police violence in Washington December 13th, 2014. Photograph: Reuters

Two women carried a placard with a picture of their cousin, Darryl Briston, who died of a heart attack in December 2012 after being tasered by police (...)

US house speaker John Boehner (centre) after the passage of the $1.1 trillion spending bill in the House of Representatives. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The narrow passage of a budget in the US House of Representatives to keep the government open came at a price for liberal Democrats but concessions (...)