Floral tributes are laid  at a mural to Savita Halappanavar on  Camden Street in Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland has voted No to tribalism and fear in overwhelming decision to remove the Eighth

Brexit is fuelled by an English nationalism as crude and self-deluded as Irish nationalism used to be

Twenty years ago we voted for a new vision of Irish nationalism. Don’t let Brexit drive us back

Repeal the Eighth: there is no compassion if we cannot ask “What if that were me?” Photograph: Tom Honan

We cannot vote to impose on others what we do not really know ourselves

“Tom Murphy would have given every one of his great plays for one short hour of that pure, transcendent self-expression.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

This is the text of O’Toole’s eulogy delivered at the service in the Mansion House

Then Minister for Health Charles Haughey with ‘Irish Times’ columnist John Healy, right, in November 1978 at the launch of ‘Nineteen Acres’, Healy’s new book, published by Kenny’s of Galway. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

In 1983, the conservative Catholic John Healy could also be a staunch opponent of the Eighth Amendment

Tom Murphy: He gives us a world of broken, displaced people, a culture that cannot cohere. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Writer of ‘A Whistle in the Dark’ and ‘Conversations on a Homecoming’ dies at age of 83

Women such as Vicky Phelan, above, have to give up everything – privacy, intimacy, ultimately life itself – to try to make the State break its long habits of secrecy and silence. Photograph: CourtPix

Our Republic still exists in the long shadow of shame. Why would it not?

The 13th Amendment of 1992 enshrined the right to travel to have an abortion – it did not actually say “travel to England” but that is  what it has come to mean in  practice. Photograph: Getty

Anti-abortionists depend on pagan England to uphold their vision of a holy Ireland

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Along with many others, he has lacked the will, the skill, the ruthlessness and the vision to create a national health system that starts with the patient. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Ireland has failed to create a health service owned by people and not vested interests

Bertie Ahern: will his achievements be eclipsed by his shortcomings? Photograph: David Sleator

The former taoiseach resigned 10 years ago this weekend. We assess his legacy

In all the justifiable outrage about the  failures of the State’s cervical cancer screening programme brought to light by Vicky Phelan’s legal action, we must not lose sight of the brutal truth that unnecessary death is a systemic question. Photograph: Collins Courts

Women’s health is a matter of faith and the medical and political authorities must be believed without question

The referendum on the Eighth Amendment will be held on May 25th.

Constitutional ban means Ireland too extreme even for mainstream social conservatives

Jacob Rees-Mogg: the Brexiteer blends Warren Mitchell’s Alf Garnett and Al Murray’s Pub Landlord with PG Wodehouse’s Gussie Fink-Nottle and Monty Python’s Upper-Class Twits. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

If Brexiteers knew anything about Irish food they would keep their mouths shut

“She wasn’t weeping or pleading. She was calm, controlled, determined. She had a mind and she had made it up.” File photograph: iStockPhoto

I was 18 when asked to help a girl get an abortion. I knew it was not about me, it was about her

Family values: If Barack Obama’s lawyer paid off a porn star to conceal her story of having sex with him shortly after his wife had given birth, conservatives would have reacted with rage and disgust. Photograph: Retrofile/Getty

The rich were only pretending they cared about prudence, law and family values

The Brexit referendum: one of the most important moments in contemporary British and Irish history. File photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

The party is implicated in what appears to be a serious undermining of the voting process

Military footing: Donald Trump salutes coastguards shortly after firing FBI head James Comey. Photograph: Getty

The blowhard president is poised to bumble into a major military conflict

An anti-abortion march in Dublin in 1982. “If you believe that abortion is a great moral evil, Ireland before the Eighth was just about the best place on Earth.” Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Effect was arguably to break silence on abortion and make it more acceptable

Borderlands: A disused border post near Newry. Photograph: Getty Images

Essential reading: From bleak pictures at border towns, to the threat of a return to a raw and recent past

Denis O’Brien: There is no doubt  that he genuinely sees himself as an embattled figure. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

He has long seen himself as a victim of widespread media and political efforts to do him down

“As fathers and father figures, we need to talk to our boys about what it means to be a man. We need them to be aware, not just of the harm they can do to women, but of the harm they can do to themselves.”  File photograph: Getty Images

Decency shouldn’t have to be defined as manly. Belfast rape trial shows what can happen if it isn’t

Martin Luther King addresses 25,000 civil rights marchers in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 25th, 1965. Photograph: Stephen F Somerstein/Getty Images

King’s murder 50 years ago in Memphis represented an irreparable loss to humanity

Dr Martin Luther King Jr makes his last public appearance at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3rd, 1968. The following day King was assassinated on his motel balcony. Photograph: AP Photo/Charles Kelly

King delivered this speech on April 3rd, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was shot next day

Save the 8th: the anti-abortion group has hired Kanto, a British data-analytics and political-campaigning company run by Thomas Borwick. Photograph: save8.ie

Why has Save the 8th hired consultant at heart of Trump-Mercer-Brexit data nexus?

Dark web: Cambridge Analytica is controlled by a key funder of the hard right in US politics, the billionaire Robert Mercer, who also owns AggregateIQ’s intellectual property. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Before the Brexit vote back in 2016 the party hired the firm’s AggregateIQ stablemate

Donald Trump and Leo Varadkar: the Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced to think deeply about its place in the world. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Leo Varadkar’s sycophantic US speech was a travesty of Irish culture and history

London children:  we played the same games and watched the same TV programmes and listened to the same pop songs

The Irish culture of my childhood defined Ireland as whatever England was not

Steve Bannon, former adviser to president Donald Trump, and  Marine Le Pen, president of  France’s far-right party Front National (FN),  giving a joint press conference during the FN party annual congress on March 10th in Lille. Photograph:  Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

We need to take the reactionary threat seriously without taking seriously the grandiose self-image of the reactionaries

“Leo Varadkar comes from a generation that places an enormous premium on being connected and being in touch, that is locked in the feedback loop of approval.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

The Taoiseach prefers strategic communications to communicating a strategy

British prime minister Theresa May delivers a speech on Brexit at the Mansion House in London last Friday. Photographer: Chris J Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Recent history shows the UK cannot deliver a smooth and invisible border

  British foreign secretary Boris Johnson: he has suggested the Irish Border could be monitored in the same way the London congestion charge is but it would take a vast infrastructure to cover the 110 million annual trips across 300 different border crossings. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Momentous EU text on the Border has left the DUP and the Tories praying for a miracle

Anti-Brexit demonstrators protest  outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, England. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Tory hardliners are driven by a bizarre and contradictory economic determinism

April 10th, 1998: taoiseach Bertie Ahern, British prime minister Tony Blair and US senator George Mitchell shaking hands after they signed the historic agreement for peace in Northern Ireland. Photograph:  Dan Chung/AFP/Getty Images

Brexit’s true believers have just realised the treaty makes the hard Brexit they desire virtually impossible

“Two World Wars and two World Cups”: Chris Waddle, Stuart Pearce and Gareth Southgate (above) will be allowed to retake their penalties until they score. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Allsport/Getty

From penalty shoot-outs and the Falklands to Rory McIlroy and bendy bananas

Tom Murphy: his daring imagination has found its varied embodiments on the stage. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Scholars and critics will use this fine book as the diving board from which to plunge into the fascinating depths of the great Iri(...)

 Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland. The Muslim population is small but growing rapidly, from 49,000 to 63,000 between 2011 and 2016. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Ten years ago, integration was an imperative. Then the our Republic did nothing

What can be done: the refurbished Shaw Room in National Gallery of Ireland

Plan isn’t visionary but €725m might rescue some national institutions from years of neglect

 The Natural History Museum on Dublin’s Merrion Square is earmrked for priority funding under the National Development plan. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

National Development Plan: €75m a year will go a long towards making the main national cultural establishments fit for purpose

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage speaking at the Freedom to Prosper conference at the RDS. Photograph: Bryan Meade

A campaign to get Ireland to follow Britain out of the EU is doomed to fail

From 1963 onwards, the pill was imported into Ireland to keep menstrual anarchy at bay. This involved lying on a heroic scale. Photograph: Getty Images

Having to make rape claim to access abortion services recipe for deceit and hypocrisy

The Hundred Years’ War begins: the English claim to the throne of France and the grand rhetoric of Brexit’s revival of the glorious Englishness of Agincourt are bold and thrilling as well as being bonkers. Photograph: Getty Images

Even the worst Brexit will be nothing like the catastrophe of the Hundred Years War

College Green in Dublin: class is very much at work in the controversy over its proposed civic plaza

Behind the College Green bus ban is old-fashioned class discrimination

Former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives to give evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Naill Carson/PA

Ex-Garda chief shed no light on strategy of impugning McCabe’s motives at tribunal

Footlights: Tyrone Guthrie in the early 1960s. Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch/Corbis via Getty

Fintan O’Toole on Christopher Fitz-Simon’s edition of the great theatre director’s delightfully lively letters

Rónán Mullen outside Leinster House last October.  “We have a tradition here in Ireland where children with Down syndrome are perhaps more cherished than in many other countries,” he has claimed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Those who favour Eighth Amendment repeal will have to show why it will not lead to ‘screening out’ of people with disabilities

US President Donald Trump after addressing the crowd during his swearing-in ceremony. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

As Donald Trump was sworn in a year ago, few believed he’d be as bad as they feared

The very fact that non-Catholics arrogantly expect the same treatment as everybody else is a challenge to the whole concept of faith-based medicine. Photograph: iStock

The A&E crisis could easily be solved in Catholic hospitals by turning away infidels

File photograph: iStock

The HSE’s grotesque winter festival has become as regular as Christmas

Peter Sutherland: no one personified quite as clearly as he did the two sides of neoliberal globalisation: its phenomenal energy and its terrible destructiveness. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

As a father of globalisation Peter Sutherland leaves a problematic legacy

November 2010: protesters hold placards depicting then taoiseach Brian Cowen and then minister for finance Brian Lenihan, as they march past the GPO in Dublin. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

The Crash – 10 years on: Is Ireland a wiser and better-governed place than it was in the years of folly and frolic?

Michael Caine as Charlie Croker in ‘The Italian Job’.

The last moments of ‘The Italian Job’ are a perfect metaphor for the UK in 2018

Czechoslovakia, August 1968: Prague residents and students on  top of a Soviet tank in Wenceslas Square. Photograph: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images

Fifty years ago the world was on the brink of revolution. Then the right struck back

US president Donald Trump: his inauguration was aggressive, dystopian and, at the time, deeply strange. And it was followed by blatant lying. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Nothing will be quite the same after Trump, Weinstein and Brexit

Within hours, Trump issued a recantation: “The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.”

Eighth Amendment law about locking up women and doctors really is step too far

Brexit Britain: Theresa May decided to embrace a phoney populism. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty

Decades of demonisation made the EU a natural fit in the search for an 'oppressor' to revolt against

Conor McGregor arrives at Blanchardstown District Court in Dublin, where he was facing a speeding charge. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Crumlin shook off the negative stereotypes of my youth, but he is bringing them back

Theresa May and Arlene Foster: the DUP this week helped to kill the thing it purports to love – the power and prestige of Britain. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty

The DUP’s brinkmanship and manoeuvring have exposed Britain’s powerlessness

“The problem that the Brexiteers most relentlessly ignored has come to determine the entire shape of their project”

If the UK mirrors customs union, why bother leaving EU in the first place?

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker leave after making statements at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Drama of Border talks shows how well EU protects members. Is there a lesson there?

Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe Garda at the Charleton tribunal. Photograph: Alan Betson

Political damage of McCabe saga rooted in instinct to punish troublemakers

Leo Varadkar: The political crisis reveals a malaise that goes much deeper than the department of justice

It is not just the Department of Justice that is ‘dysfunctional’. It is Irish democracy

Portrait of Jonathan Swift  by Charles Jervas in London’s National Portrait Gallery. Photograph: DeAgostini/Getty Images

350 years after his birth, Swift’s savage indignation can still reach right into our hearts

Sgt Maurice McCabe arriving for aPublic Account Committee meeting in 2014.Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘We have to assume withholding of the emails from Charleton was deliberate’

This is arguably the most difficult single moment an independent Irish government has ever faced. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Our politicians are indulging in high-wire acts when they should be playing poker

Leo Varadkar briefs the press at 10 Downing Street after meeting with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May  on September 25, 2017. Photograph: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

An alliance decades in the making is threatened by an utter lack of progress over the post-separation border

“How could Frances Fitzgerald possibly have forgotten reading such an explosive revelation in relation to the most politically destructive saga of recent years?”   Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The weirdness of this political crisis is that so far it is all cover-up and no crime

At the announcement in London of the 2023 Rugby World Cup host were Irish bid chairman Dick Spring, Minister for Sport Shane Ross, Brian O’Driscoll and IRFU president Philip Orr. Photograph: Dave Rogers/Inpho/Getty Images

We’ve lost our exotic allure without replacing it with the attraction of efficiency

The truth is that this is not a zero sum game – boys and men have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this period of openness.

Men and boys are victims both of abuse and of the toxic idea of masculinity that fuels it

‘After 25 years without the Border-crossing rituals, they will, if they return, seem impossibly absurd.’ File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The UK’s move may result in a return to the pointless rituals of inspection at the Border

Bono & Hamilton

Fintan O’Toole: Ireland has sold its soul but is getting a very good price for it

The Sophia housing project on Cork Street in Dublin, which was set up to provide sanctuary for families living in crisis. Photograph: Alan Betson

Cattle disease outbreak showed how State can use every sinew to solve a crisis

Donald Trump: bearing grudges is what his supporters do best. They want a tale of resentment and revenge. Photograph: Eric Thayer/New York Times

Trump – one year on: The president plays a character, one whose divisiveness his supporters adore

Gate Theatre founders Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir: The theatre has a special place in the history of the struggle for sexual equality and respect in Ireland. Photograph: The Irish Times

A case taken by an actress against a Trinity student in 1747 gives the lie to the notion that there was a time when sexual harrass(...)

The Luas Red line. “If they did not already know it, they now know that they are vulnerable to sexual menace, even in public places.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Men’s treatment of women will not change unless boys are taught manners

Fintan O'Toole: Shaw changed not what people thought but the way they thought

Tom Humphries: the former Irish Times journalist pleaded guilty to two counts of defilement of a child and four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act.  Photograph: Courtpix

Fintan O'Toole: It would be easier if the men who do these things were not men but beasts

The Central Bank. The Dirt scandal is not ancient history – we’re still living with it. The Dirt scandal was the great alarm bell. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

The betrayal of basic ethics goes so deep only the criminal law can root it out

 Derville Rowland Director,  director general of financial conduct at the Central Bank, and the bank’s governor Philip Lane. The Central Bank has still not made a single report of suspected fraud. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

The banks’ rip-off of customers is not a scandal. It is either a miracle or a crime

December 1928: Irish dramatist, essayist, critic and pamphleteer George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) working at his desk. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images

George Bernard Shaw knew that the rich are no better than the poor. But though the argument seemed settled then, it now rages more(...)

Richard Branson: while his behaviour is open and public and there is no suggestion he seeks to bully women, it does create images of beautiful young women in a working environment being bodily manhandled. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Tubridy interview with Branson avoided issue of ‘fun’ manhandling of women

By including Today FM, which has nothing at all to do with the original issue, in its fatwa, Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp has declared the separation, and editorial independence, of Newstalk and Today FM a fiction. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Blacklisting ‘The Irish Times’ is an exercise in distraction but it raises important questions

Tom Murphy: it is hard to think of more than half a dozen of his contemporaries in the English-speaking theatre who have created so much work of such high voltage. Photographed in 2008 by Bryan O’Brien

Culture Shock: The ‘Bailegangaire’ writer produces both realism and myth

A makeshift memorial in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard following last Sunday night’s  mass shooting in Las Vegas. Photograph: Chris Wattie/Reuters

Atrocities are tolerable when they are fed by a very profitable consumer industry and the fantasies of power it creates

File image of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave looking onto the main square at Collins Barracks in Dublin. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Like the Ireland of his time, Cosgrave’s achievements were a function of his limitations

Demonstrators at the March for Choice in Dublin last Saturday. Photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Eighth Amendment needs to be finally uprooted, not fertilised with yet more equivocations

'The Tories have stabbed the DUP not in the back, but in the front.' Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Despite their deal, the Conservatives are cutting the ground from under their ‘mates’

British prime minister Theresa May gives her landmark Brexit speech in Florence, Italy. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Theresa May and Brexiteers both insist on a damaging binary view of the UK and Europe

‘If the market couldn’t solve a housing crisis when we were building at a rate scarcely ever matched in any country, it is never going to do so.’ Photograph: Frank Miller

Political solution needed as building industry cannot solve permanent emergency

Newstalk: George Hook has been working at a station where the line between news and opinion has blurred

Fintan O’Toole: Who’d want to be associated with his views on rape? Not advertisers

Newstalk presenter George Hook. File photograph: ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

George Hook’s rape comments are the result of the station’s flagrantly sexist strategy

Charles Haughey:  surely he and Mara did not think Keane was going to hotfoot it down to Temple Bar to open an experimental black box theatre space

Martin Keane’s tales of getting the inside track show gap between rhetoric and reality

The Border problem can be dealt with only if the UK stays in the customs union and, preferably, also the single market. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar must show steel and support Jeremy Corbyn over Theresa May

We might say that the most distinctive thing about contemporary Irish identity is precisely its radical openness

Fintan O'Toole: A reimagined republic should define the new Irish identity

Capt Peter Kelleher reading the Proclamation at the GPO, Dublin, last year. Photograph: Maxwells

We have moved beyond the shame and glory of the past, but have yet to invent our future nation

Aiden Harris Igiehon. The Irish teenager was born and raised in Clondalkin, Dublin, and has a basketball scholarship at the Lawrence Woodmere Academy in New York. Photograph: Tom Honan

Ireland’s old markers of land, nationality and religion fail to reflect changes in society

‘All the evidence is that if one set of stories no longer makes sense, people do not simply become realists. They become prey to any old story at all.’

Globalisation, migration and Catholicism’s decline have undermined stories of ourselves

Cars cross the controless border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, in Donegal, Ireland on June 25, 2016. PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

The Brexit position paper feels more like an early move in the blame game than a credible plan. But this is not a game, it’s deadl(...)

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams: espousing a crude, tribal majoritarianism on the question of Irish unity. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Brexit has made Irish unity more likely, but we need to reunify people first

Ryan Tubridy’s books about John F Kennedy’s visit to Ireland was accepted for the artists’ exemption. Tubridy makes €495,000 a year from RTÉ

Fintan O’Toole: The artists’ tax exemption scheme has become an embarrasment

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar ahead of a speech in Belfast on August 4th, 2017. Photograph: Getty

British politicians’ time-wasting and ignorance has shifted the balance of power

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