An international study found  the number of involuntary admissions to psychiatric care in Ireland had risen from 46.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 to 52.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016.

‘Austerity measures and lack of clear policy guidance has resulted in very little progress’

Fianna Fáil’s spokeswoman on disability called on Tusla to ‘get its act together’ regarding  services for children with disabilities.

Foster carer in ‘Molly’ case says HSE, Tusla left her ‘financially, emotionally and physically drained’

The information card issued to members of the Association of Catholic Priests

Kildare and Leighlin diocesan priests rebuke suggestion to ‘prepare for worst’ if called

 Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy at a conference about safeguarding children in Limerick city. Photograph: Keith Wiseman

To relax would be ‘a profound error which would compound the historical failures’, conference hears

Brendan Ogle, left, at the launch of the Home Sweet Home emergency housing plan  in 2017. Mr Ogle issued defamation proceedings against RTÉ last year. Photograph: Eric Luke

RTÉ’s John Kilraine has begun legal action over Facebook post by Unite’s Brendan Ogle

Prof John Monaghan: he first became involved with the SVP in 1985 in Leixlip, Co Dublin, and from then to 2010 remained an active member locally. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Retired lecturer at Trinity College Dublin was the society’s national vice-president

More than 60 per cent of the Catholic dioceses on the island of Ireland presented no financial information on their websites at all. Photograph: Getty

Lay Catholic lobby group criticises church’s lack of financial transparency

In a word . . . Gimp

I interviewed Donal McCann once, and approached with nervous uncertainty

The Rally for Life anti-abortion demonstration in Dublin in 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists will create a bear pit ahead of referendum

Al Porter: Resigned last November from Today FM where he had presented a lunchtime show.  Photograph: Brian McEvoy

‘May heads on plates be off the menu in 2018,’ says Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin was the principal celebrant at Mass for World Day of Peace in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook Dublin on Monday. Photograph: John McElroy

Diarmuid Martin praises gardaí, Defence Forces and Naval Service at new year Mass

Pope Francis exchanges Christmas greetings with Vatican employees on Thursday. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP

Abortion referendum, pope’s visit and new bishop appointments will dominate 2018

Msgr John Delaney who won €500,000 in the Euro Millions Plus draw.

Priest with links to Kennedy clan lands €500,000 lottery win

In a Word . . . Sated

So sated are we by now that a prolonged doing-without will put an edge to life by the arrival of that lesser month, February

Tatiana Rusu who works in Donnybrook Fair in Malahide, Co. Dublin,  sold a €500,000  EuroMillions ticket to a priest. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

‘Lucky’ cleric pledges to share his winnings with those in need as woman who sold ticket describes him as ‘nice gentleman’

Pope Francis: urges faithful to see global migration as “an opportunity to build peace”.   Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope calls for peace, not the ‘sowing of violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia’

Matt Murphy (85) and Michael O’Sullivan (58) pictured got married in Dublin on Friday to avoid inheritance tax. Photograph: Collins

Two grooms, two witnesses, a harpist and the registrar attended

Traditional Church crib. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Some staff and patients angered by management ban on cribs in foyer and wards

Alice Leahy at the Alice Leahy Trust on Bride Road, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Alice Leahy Trust provides showers and clothes for those living on Dublin’s streets

Sean O’Boyle founder of the Columba Press.

Publishing titles included ‘The Glenstal Book of Prayer’ which sold over 150,000 copies

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said he would be upset if the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution was repealed.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Diarmuid Martin says church has ‘a right to present position respectfully but strongly’

Two elderly friends plan to marry next month to avoid inheritance tax. Photograph: iStock

Two men in their 80s plan to marry next month in bid to avoid large tax bill

GAA players sleeping-out at the GPO in Dublin on Saturday night. Photograph: Ruairí McKiernan Twitter account

Gaelic Voices for Change see players in Ireland, US and Canada show solidarity with homeless

‘I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today,’ said very ancient Greek in 650(...)

Dublin’s Michael Darragh MacAuley is among those taking part. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Alarmed at reports that Ireland has highest child homelessness rate in Europe

The exterior of the former Magdalene laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

‘All memory of what occurred in this place will be erased’ if building sold, says councillor

Rev Trevor Morrow: “very deeply concerned” recommendations would create similar conditions to those in Britain. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Although particulars vary, all faiths accept abortion allowed in narrow circumstances

John Bruton: “Does the right to human life not extend to humans before birth?”

Huge change in values has taken place since abortion referendum, says Mary O’Rourke

Iseult NicDiarmada from Gaelscoil Mide, Kilbarrack, Dublin 15 , enjoys  Snowy the rabbit at the Mansion House Live Crib. Photograph: Conor McCabe

Mansion House crib delights children as Luas-dodging farmer brings animals in daily

Bishop Kelly is himself a priest of Galway diocese and his appointment as Bishop there represents a break with the practise established  of appointing outsiders as bishop of any particular diocese.

Appointment breaks pattern of episcopal appointments from outside dioceses

Recently I received emails from London-based fashion designer Tom Cridland offering clothes that last 30 years – part of his campa(...)

The Irish phrase in the ‘Our Father’ translates as “don’t allow us into temptation”, rather than the “lead us not into temptation” of the English version.  Photograph: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

‘It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department,’ says Pope Francis

 Minister for Health Simon Harris with  children from St James National School looking at a model of the new children’s hospital. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

European Investment Bank loan of €490 million for National Children’s Hospital

A Palestinian seeks cover during clashes at Huwwara checkpoint, near the West Bank City of Nablus. Clashes erupted after an announcement of a general strike and day of rage in protest at US president Donald  Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital. Photograph: EPA

Muslims reject Trump acceptance of holy city as ‘the capital of Zionist occupying forces’

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he was proceeding with plans to set up a new statutory registration board for counsellors and psychotherapists. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy may have no role post-2018

Amhrán na bhFiann displayed prior to a match in Croke Park. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Amhrán na bhFiann’, out of copyright since 2012, was used to promote Dunnes Stores

In a word . . . Wish

I might persuade Kim Jong UN to enter the Rose of Tralee – as Pyongyang Rose

Clare Daly: she said “over 80 per cent of abortions are by pills”

Since 2013 just one woman lost an appeal of a decision refusing her an abortion

Homeless man sleeping on Kildare Street, Dublin. Intercounty players are organising sleep-outs on December 16th to draw attention to homelessness.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

‘We can no longer accept this level of inequality’ says Wexford star Diarmuid Lyng

Almost 600 defibrillators across the State require urgent safety updates to ensure they work in emergency situations, the Health Products Regulatory Authority has warned. Photograph: iStock.

Cardiac episode sufferers’ lives at risk in Ireland if defibrillator devices not checked

Recording the moment at the Irish Citizenship ceremony at the Convention Centre Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Do not forget your own country, your own people, your own traditions’, advises judge

I propose that the new brand for our Midlands should be ‘Tranquillity Ireland’

In a word . . . work

Then there were those secular Freudian sanctifications of work as sublimated lust

‘The word ‘Christmas’ no longers conveys the significance of the God who joined the human caravan and walked in our shoes,’ Catholic priest says

Catholics should substitute word ‘nativity’ for Christmas, Desmond O’Donnell says

Bernard Francis ‘Barney’ Casey was born in the US on November 25th 1870 to Irish immigrant parents

Fr Solanus Casey known for his attention to the sick and abilities as a spiritual counsellor

In a Word . . . women

For so long women were like ‘Indians’ in America before 1492 or Aborigines in Australia before 1770 – they didn’t exist!

Fr Ronan Drury: From Mullagh in Co Cavan, he was ordained in 1949. He died peacefully at Dublin’s Mater hospital on Thursday evening surrounded by his family and friends.

Priest ‘re-energised by the promise and possibilities of Vatican II’ dies at 93

Archbishop Eamon Martin: “The days when we could consider the priest as a lone ranger are long past.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Eamon Martin tells of ‘downcast’ atmosphere among young priests at tumultuous time

Pope Francis after this week’s general audience in St Peter’s Square:  in 2013 he declared the founder of the Presentation Sisters, Nano Nagle, “venerable”. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/ETA

Catholic church explores how investments can promote solutions to climate crisis

Alice Leahy: “The politicians haven’t a clue, really.” Photograph: Jason Clarke

Politicians failing to approach homelessness via ‘basic human issues’, says campaigner

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “People have underestimated the effect of the [child sexual] scandals on young people.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Diarmuid Martin says gender issues a bigger factor in falling engagement than sex abuse

President Michael D Higgins, and his wife, Sabina, with Caitlyn Melia and Jake Anderson, students at St Patrick’s national school in Chapelizod, John Fitzsimons of Camara and Edel Gormley, acting principal of the school. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Camara ‘has changed the lives’ of two million people in Africa, the Caribbean and Ireland

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin ordains James Daly and Bill O’ Shaughnessy to the priesthood for the Dublin Diocese. Photograph: John Mc Elroy

Christian life ‘not about blindly following a pre-established rulebook or imposing rules’

Writer and broadcaster Olivia O’Leary with Dr Donald E Ross, president of St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin, on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Emojis are ‘the equivalent of a bunch of sterile filling-station forecourt flowers’

Census figures showed Ireland was experiencing fast growth in its Jewish population but a representative body has said it may have been a coincidence. Image: iStock.

Hundreds of families in high tech industries have returned to Israel since Census night

The information card issued to members of the Association of Catholic Priests on how to deal with abuse allegations.

Bishops accused of ignoring church guidelines and denying priests’ rights

 Fr Mark Patrick Hederman: “I never wanted to be a priest, never had the vocation.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Former Glenstal abbot says pandemic of child abuse and incest is a ‘religious problem’

A fan points to his chest as he shouts at West Bromwich Albion’s James McClean, who is wearing a shirt without a poppy. Photograph: Reuters

Footballer shows ‘great restraint and integrity in enduring these annual taunts’

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who has been accused of holding negative views towards the Church. Photograph: The Irish Times

‘No reconciliation’ with Dublin priests following his response to 2009 Murphy report

The Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and established the Communist order which dominated there and eastern Europe for much of th(...)

Former Abbot of Glenstal Mark Patrick Hederman said most bishops were “more pleasant, less pompous, and more approachable that others from the past”. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Annual meeting of priests hears bishops ‘not all as bad as painted’

All our major churches are ageing and in decline.

Would the Celtic Tiger madness have overrun this country if schools had instilled Christian values?

Ireland ‘still has a good percentage of church attendance’ across the denominations. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Fr Vincent Twomey says recent research shows ‘practical atheism’ has become norm in UK

 Sr Orla Treacy speaks to pupils at the Loreto secondary school in Rumbek, South Sudan, where she is principal.

‘Bravery and humanitarian commitment’ of Sr Orla Treacy recognised by awarding body

The vandalism at Errislannan Church of Ireland near Clifden. A GoFundMe online campaign has already raised over €20,000 towards repairs at the church.

Attack at Holy Trinity Church which caused €70,000 worth of damage blamed on juveniles

It may be a function of growing older – but as time goes by death does lose its sting

Market Square looking down Main Street Ballaghaderreen, Co  Rocommon. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

BBC-TV3 film follows Ghassan (21) and his family as they settle in to Roscommon town

The first official English-language translation of the rite of exorcism has been approved by the Catholic Bishops of the US. File photograph: Thinkstock

‘At no time should the exorcist be alone with an afflicted member of the faithful’

Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy board meeting at Castle Leslie cost of €1,500. Photograph: Alan Betson

Oustings come after revelation IACP spent €53,000 on committees in first half of year

Brian O’Doherty

Renowned international artist has said ‘Ireland does not appreciate its foreign achievers’

Bishop Paul Tighe: has been appointed secretary to the Council for Culture in the Vatican

Bishop Paul Tighe becomes secretary to the Council for Culture

In a Word . . . Knee

How war was averted when I marched on crutches against the Bush-Blair project of 2003

Ibrahim Halawa with Fr Seamus Fleming who made a presentation to welcome Ibrahim home after his four years in prison in Cairo.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Dubliner says he is ‘taking time off’ with his family following his return from Egypt

The ransacked Holy Trinity Church of Ireland church on the Errislannan peninsula in Connemara, Co Galway  which was extensively damaged this week.

Archbishop says vandalism in was onnemara motivated by anti-Christian sentiment’

Archbishop Eamon Martin: “We should not ignore the fact that increasing numbers of Catholic children are no longer attending Catholic schools.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Archbishop claims State seeking to dilute right to access school with faith-based ethos

Ibrahim Halawa: the freed Irishman with media at Dublin Airport after spending four years in an Egyptian prison. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Freed Irishman vows to help innocent prisoners around the world

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Pluralism and democracy no licence to silence diverse views - Diarmuid Martin

IACP board accused of lack of transparency over €75,000 expenses, travel and spending

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran:  under Act, health workers ‘required to participate in what they believe to be fundamentally immoral’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Bishop Kevin Doran says health workers ‘have no recourse to conscientious objection’

Prof Gerry Whyte from TCD. Photograph: Alan Betson

Prof Gerry Whyte of TCD’s Law School addresses conference on abortion in Athlone

 Ibrahim Halawa seen after he was freed from jail on Thursday. The Irish man has been issued a new Irish passport and is expected to return home within days.

Irish man’s release comes a month after he was found not guilty on several charges

A man was found dead at Adair Lane on Thursday morning at about 2am

Man in 30s discovered dead in Temple Bar, second man dies after being hospitalised

It is believed the three-metre high bronze ‘Mother and Baby’ statue was taken from a green area in Finglas. Photograph: Cllr Paul McAuliffe

Three-metre high bronze statue was taken from a green area in Finglas on Monday

Prof Mary Horgan will on Wednesday become the first woman president of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland in its 363-year history. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Prof Mary Horgan backs vaccine use and does not consider herself a feminist

My late father believed he walked on water, unaided, and probably skipped and jumped as well without once sinking

Adelaide Road synagogue in  Dublin 2. Photograph: Paddy Whelan/The Irish Times

Number of Jews in State reaches 2,557 with over half of them living in Dublin

The crude divorce rate in Ireland is 0.6 per cent, according to the Eurostat.

Couple must prove they are living apart for four years before they can divorce

Fr Pierre Pepper delivers mass at St Rynagh’s Roman Catholic Church in the village of Banagher County Offaly in March 2nd, 2015. File photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

People with no religion fastest growing part of Irish population

 Archbishop  Michael Jackson:  Photograph: ‘We were told two years ago that what happened to Jonathan Corrie would never happen again.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / THE IRISH TIMES

‘People who were promised housing two years ago can expect to die on the street’

‘An exception was Pope Francis, widely recognised as “a good man driven by the basic insights of the gospel of Jesus Christ – mercy, justice, peace, love, reconciliation”.’  Photograph:  Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

A general failure exists to respect individual in Rome and within religious congregations

RTÉ presenter Sean O’Rourke responded on-air to a formal complaint made by Sinn Féin’s former director of publicity Danny Morrison. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Morrison complains to RTÉ over ‘water was too good for them’ reference to hunger strike

Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin emphasised the need for reconciliation between Christian faiths  at the Church of Ireland St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Catholics and Protestants should ‘combine’ efforts in speaking out on key ethical issues

If there were more non-drivers like us, consider how attractive our cities might be

In a word . . . angling

Consistent to both angling and porn is the heart as a lonely hunter

Ideology must not be allowed dominate debate over education in Ireland, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Archbishop of Dublin says Catholic schools have an imperative to serve the poorest

Six men have begun training for the Catholic priesthood at St Patrick’s College Maynooth this autumn, the lowest number since its foundation in 1795. Photograph: iStock

Church of Ireland has twice as many students starting ministry studies

St Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg Island. Photograph: David Sleator

Fr Laurence Flynn to take over as prior of Donegal pilgrimage shrine

Former president Mary McAleese taking wine after receiving Communion at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, in 1997. Photograph: Frank Miller

Development brings to mind president’s ‘wafergate’ furore of 1997

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