Russian president Vladimir Putin: the only deterrent available to his threat of invasion must be the prospect of  sustained crippling sanctions against Russia and Belarus. Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Kathy Sheridan: Negative stereotyping of older people can knock several years off a life

Covid has exposed insidious ageism in society that has serious implications

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.  Photograph: Alan Betson Anti-democratic campaign against Sinn Féin wheels out the same old bogeymen

Increasing support for my party is clearly making opponents apprehensive

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI: ‘Overwhelmingly likely’ he was aware of at least four child abusing priests among his clergy while he was archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982. Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images Hypocrisy of Benedict is writ large in 2010 letter to Irish Catholics

The former pope excoriated Irish bishops for their handling of abuse allegations

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI: ‘Overwhelmingly likely’ he was aware of at least four child abusing priests among his clergy while he was archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982. Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images Is our Republic corrupt? Graft is the cancer that can derail and destroy

Whatever the answer, we can’t afford to ignore public perceptions of corruption and avarice

Even the church doesn’t really defend it in principle – it merely sits on what it has. And yet, it goes on. Why? Photograph: Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Fintan O’Toole: Ireland is no longer Catholic. Why are our schools?

Political inertia in the face of sweeping social change is simply indefensible

The Sue Gray report, due this week, cannot sanction – the word on the street is she has uncovered more parties – but it can damage. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout 6:29 Anne Harris: Johnson’s latest trouble comes from those he scorned

The story of this prime minister’s decline is a plain old English revenge drama

The Sue Gray report, due this week, cannot sanction – the word on the street is she has uncovered more parties – but it can damage. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout Una Mullally: We are changing, so why aren’t the systems of society?

If the pandemic induced personal growth, how can that be reflected by the State?

To be told the hybrid Leaving Cert option which eased stress last year is out of the question is shocking. 5:50 We must have a hybrid Leaving Cert this year

Arguments for return to exam-based model flawed and unfair to students

What are Irish fathers and mothers doing that has our streets and our public places so frequently populated with foul-mouthed young men lacking in respect, unrestrained in their obscenity and brimming with aggression? 4:46 Good parenting is key to tackling male violence

Mothers and fathers must be supported to raise children with values and decency

What are Irish fathers and mothers doing that has our streets and our public places so frequently populated with foul-mouthed young men lacking in respect, unrestrained in their obscenity and brimming with aggression? David McWilliams: The rich will own the metaverse. Our children will live in it

‘What worries moralists about the future are the very things that are exciting investors’

There is a record €135bn or so sitting in household spending accounts. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw Irish economy set to take off as easing of restrictions triggers a spending surge

Uncertainties remain but one thing we do know is a mini consumer boom is coming

Something for everyone now that coronavirus is in retreat? Not likely; tough fiscal decisions loom for this Government. Pat Leahy: Coalition will need to relearn art of saying no as pandemic recedes

A more ‘normal’ sort of politics and Government business will return as focus moves away from Covid-19

Something for everyone now that coronavirus is in retreat? Not likely; tough fiscal decisions loom for this Government. Why radicals went quiet on Europe

Far right and left parties have quietly been dropping their hardest eurosceptic policies

‘At one point during the session, only 26 TDs were present. There was, Miriam Lord noted, a very poor attendance from male deputies.’ File photograph: The Irish Times Jennifer O’Connell: Ireland has a proud history of blind eyes, hypocrisy and empty words

Conversation on violence against women means nothing if system doesn't change

The biggest cloud on the horizon is the emergence of new variants that are as transmissible as Omicron but completely escape immunity induced by the current vaccines. Kingston Mills: Is Covid gone or will dangers keep lurking?

Effect of new mutations on transmission, immunity and severity difficult to predict

The biggest cloud on the horizon is the emergence of new variants that are as transmissible as Omicron but completely escape immunity induced by the current vaccines. Breda O’Brien: Women need to work with men who despise misogynist behaviour

Righteous anger should spur us to bring about change but also needs careful handling

Vladimir Putin retains a remarkable 63 per cent approval rate in Russia because of his success as a national psychologist. Photograph: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP What makes the mind of Vladimir Putin tick?

No brain can survive unconstrained power for 21 years without becoming distorted

Since the day a century ago when Michael Collins and his colleagues took over the reins of power this State has never strayed from the democratic path. File photograph: Getty 5:05 Stephen Collins: Centenary events foster a simplistic narrative of independence

We in the Republic need to remember the past without allowing it to poison the present

Since the day a century ago when Michael Collins and his colleagues took over the reins of power this State has never strayed from the democratic path. File photograph: Getty Diarmaid Ferriter: Will an Garda Síochána tackle sordid aspects of its own history during centenary?

Apologies long overdue to those who suffered egregious behaviour of gardaí in 1970s

Oxfam Ireland has estimated that a 1.5 per cent wealth tax on Irish billionaires could raise more than €700 million in revenue and a tax on Irish millionaires owning more than €4 million could raise €4 billion. Photograph: PM Images/Iconica/Getty Taxing our 17 billionaires will not fix inequality

Efforts to confront inequality must also build solidarity

Belfast port. goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain rose by a fifth last year, according to the CSO. Photograph: Port of Belfast/PA Wire 5:24 Newton Emerson: Welcome to the North – the gateway to Ireland

Sea border inspection figures cast protocol in a gentler orange light

Belfast port. goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain rose by a fifth last year, according to the CSO. Photograph: Port of Belfast/PA Wire 5:18 Finn McRedmond: Boris Johnson should pay more heed to the classics

The prime minister’s hero Pericles was brought down by misplaced self-confidence

Floral tributes laid at the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was killed  on Wednesday January 12th. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire 4:06 Once again it has taken a tragedy for us to see things clearly

Ashling Murphy’s death has focused minds in a way goodwill alone could not

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin,  Fine Gael leader (and then-taoiseach) Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at the Prime Time leaders’ debate ahead of the 2020 general election. “If there were to be a coalition involving Sinn Féin, their ministers or candidate for taoiseach would not be chosen by their elected members of the Dáil.”  Photograph: Tom Honan Michael McDowell: Does it matter how Sinn Féin organises itself?

Control of SF is exercised by an eight-member ‘politburo’ with a five-three Belfast majority

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin,  Fine Gael leader (and then-taoiseach) Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at the Prime Time leaders’ debate ahead of the 2020 general election. “If there were to be a coalition involving Sinn Féin, their ministers or candidate for taoiseach would not be chosen by their elected members of the Dáil.”  Photograph: Tom Honan How to end coronavirus and prevent the next pandemic

Nobody knows where next variant or virus will develop – only that it will spread if left unaddressed

Trad musician friends of Ashling Murphy console each other  at her funeral. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Kathy Sheridan: Misogyny is the soup in which boys are raised

No one one is suggesting laddish banter inevitably leads to murder – it’s more complex

Floral tributes and candles are left after a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of  Ashling Murphy: There were no vigils in New York, London and Edinburgh for Jastine Valdez.  Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/ PA Wire Ashling Murphy killing: Worst outcome of this sad time would be to make men the bad guys

Reason tells us that random attacks cannot be purely gender based

Floral tributes and candles are left after a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of  Ashling Murphy: There were no vigils in New York, London and Edinburgh for Jastine Valdez.  Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/ PA Wire Origins of spirituality reside in positive care experienced by a child

John McGahern’s fiction offers a perspective suffused with spiritual meaning

Women live with a baseline level of threat, just below the surface of consciousness. Photograph: iStock Fintan O’Toole: Every woman walks around with a mental Geiger counter; no man does

Places that women fear are not beyond the Pale of normality; they are all around them every day

You do not need any academic or professional qualification to write an oped, but you must offer some reason as to why our readers would be interested in your views on the subject about which you are proposing to write. Photograph: Getty Images How to write an opinion piece for The Irish Times

The most important rule is to have a clear point to make and get to it quickly

You do not need any academic or professional qualification to write an oped, but you must offer some reason as to why our readers would be interested in your views on the subject about which you are proposing to write. Photograph: Getty Images It is ‘all men’ who must now step up and speak out

Calling out unacceptable behaviour towards women is never easy but not impossible

The Garda does not have a full and honest picture of violence against women in the home because it is ignoring and closing off cases by the thousand.  Photograph: Getty Images Una Mullally: We either want to use every tool we have to address violence against women or we don’t

The architecture of misogyny that limits women’s freedoms is being dismantled. Yet violence against women persists 

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and former leader of the party Gerry Adams at Leinster House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins No room for complacency over Sinn Féin in government

There has been little or no consideration of how the party is controlled and by whom

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and former leader of the party Gerry Adams at Leinster House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins 6:31 Fintan O’Toole: Ireland would not be viable without 10 big US corporations

Without revenue from multinationals the State would face radically different choices

Reopening economies have pushed up energy prices, where supply problems – notably in the gas market – have also been a big facto Photograph: iStock Inflation is back with a bang but how long will it stick around?

Cliff Taylor: There are several reasons to be nervous about the outlook

The unrelenting stress endured by teachers over the course of the pandemic has frequently been ignored or dismissed. Photograph: EPA Schools are facing intolerable strain and a reckoning is coming

Politicians take for granted gargantuan pandemic efforts teachers are making

The unrelenting stress endured by teachers over the course of the pandemic has frequently been ignored or dismissed. Photograph: EPA Social contract at heart of planning process is broken

Successive ministers have left us with a mockery of the usual democratic process

We’ve laid the flowers, lit the candles and asked the questions to which there are no answers. 6:21 Here’s what women don’t want to happen after the murder of Ashling Murphy

Jennifer O'Connell: ‘Stop giving us advice on how to stay safe. Stop glamourising violent men’

For much of its existence the State – though politically stable – was not good at building a society of comfort or warmth, of opportunity or equality for many of its citizens. Photograph: Getty Images Pat Leahy: The State is neither failed nor perfect: it is a work in progress

Recent decades have been dizzying and change mostly for the better, we’re going in the right direction

For much of its existence the State – though politically stable – was not good at building a society of comfort or warmth, of opportunity or equality for many of its citizens. Photograph: Getty Images Femicide is not due to bad men ‘acting alone’

Seeing wider patterns could inform policy actions required to tackle issue

A camera lens focuses on the door of 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, as Boris Johnson faces calls to resign. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA Stephen Collins: NI protocol may be weaponised again as Boris Johnson clings to power

The prime minister’s fate now lies in the hands of senior civil servant Sue Gray

Sculptor Aidan Harte with his bronze statue of the Púca Diarmaid Ferriter: Have we really got to stage where the auld Púca must be cancelled?

‘Sinister’ sculpture of pagan mythological figure will now not be erected in Clare town

Sculptor Aidan Harte with his bronze statue of the Púca 5:17 Finn McRedmond: We don’t need our athletes to be thought leaders

Whatever Novak Djokovic thinks of the Covid vaccine is really irrelevant

Everything we know about Boris Johnson indicates he will sit tight. File photograph:  Getty 5:18 Newton Emerson: Boris Johnson’s fate and politics of the union

In Northern Ireland the Prime Minister’s destiny is seen in the context of Brexit in particular

From 2005 to 2020, Ireland’s big success story in addressing climate change was in the electricity sector. Photograph: Alan Betson 5:01 How did Ireland run out of electricity?

State must focus on energy security and decarbonisation as two go hand in hand