While a woman is pregnant, we don’t comprehend her developing pregnancy as separate from the living, breathing woman standing in front of us. Pregnant women, not lawyers, can best protect developing life

Abortion is an intensely personal issue. Behind politics, it is about reality and equality

The EU Division has returned to Iveagh House and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is one of the most powerful people in the Cabinet.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill World View: Brexit puts Irish diplomats centre-stage

Iveagh House excels at big issues such as UN and EU. Brexit will focus its energies

Gerry Adams: he understands that  the facts can change if the symbols are maintained. Photograph: Getty Images Sinn Féin must not shirk its responsibility to lead

A government in the North would be a powerful dynamic in the Brexit process

Rising rents and property prices are a double whammy for younger age groups and there is a real danger this is going to get worse before it starts to get better. Photograph: Frank Miller Cliff Taylor: Irish economy is screwing young people

Even with jobs, youth caught in backwash of collapse and recovery with house prices

 The late Anthony Clare: his last book, “On Men: Masculinity in Crisis”, was published in 2000: he seems to have been remarkably premature in some of his pronouncements as well as being too reductive. Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons Diarmaid Ferriter: Phallic man is alive and well

We must hear women’s testimonies now because we have underestimated how deep the abuses went

French president Emmanuel Macron is received by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, earlier in November 2017. Photograph: Bandar al-Jaloud/AFP/Getty Lara Marlowe: Macron mediating in Lebanese-Saudi crisis

Saad Hariri’s Paris visit comes amid odd resignation and tense political situation

Ellie Kisyombe direct provision activist and the co-founder of Our Table at a  United Against Racism rally and march last year calling for the end to the  Direct Provision System. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times Time to stand up for people in direct provision

We do not have to wait for a catastrophic story about an individual in direct provision. We know the system exists, and we know that the Irish government has the power to dismantle it

Lisa Chambers’ statement implied that our national capacity to address such threats was somehow undermined by the Taoiseach tweeting a picture in which the membership of Committee F was identifiable. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Noel Whelan: For tweets sake give Varadkar a break

Suggesting Committee F picture is security breach is ludicrous – you can easily Google it

Do not believe anyone who says that by leaving the EU, the UK is turning its back on the world. The exact opposite is true.” Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters Boris Johnson: UK and Ireland can strengthen ties via Brexit

Britain’s looming exit from the EU does not amount to cold-shouldering Ireland

Property taxes collected  in Dublin today should be put to use specifically in Dublin to resolve the city’s housing crisis.  Photograph: Getty Images Local authorities have to get back into providing public housing

National housing policies may not be the best way to address what is a regional problem

‘Northern Ireland could not mirror Hong Kong and become a link between the EU and the UK.’ Photograph: Getty Images Newton Emerson: North cannot become a stable Brexit bridge

It is laughable to suggest Northern Ireland can function like Hong Kong after UK’s exit

Union Jacks outside a pub in Chelsea, London, England. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien Stephen Collins: Republic continues to embrace a European identity

Leo Varadkar’s wearing of the poppy shows the pluralist nature of modern Irishness

‘De Valera repeatedly stated that, rather than curtailing the rights of women, the aim of the provision was to protect women.’ File photograph: iStock We need to talk about a woman’s ‘life within the home’

The outmoded constitutional provision deserves a proper debate before any referendum

The Simon Community Rough Sleeper Team, serving food and hot drinks to homeless people and rough sleepers on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin.Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times Varadkar’s homeless comments reveal his true colours

The Taoiseach has betrayed a lack of empathy that is matched only by his contempt for our intelligence

A patient undergoing surgery in Nairobi Kenya. Research shows that surgeons who have undergone their specialist training in the East, Central and Southern Africa region overwhelmingly stay and practice in their home country. Solving Africa’s chronic shortage of surgeons

Training surgeons in country ensures that the skills are retained where they are needed most

The ignorance of Boris Johnson and his fellow arch-Brexiteers has set a trap for them. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images Boris Johnson might find his Irish cake hard to digest

British foreign secretary is either clueless about Border or doesn’t give a damn

Dublin’s Mansion House:  A mayor directly elected by 1.2 million people would be a powerful figure and  command huge respect and credibility locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Dublin needs an elected mayor. It will never happen

Noel Dempsey: Too many potential rivals would oppose giving the city such power

Tweeting Taoiseach: “It’s not called photobombing when you stand in front of something to take a photo,” sniffed FF Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee Kathy Sheridan: Is a tweeting Taoiseach a good or a bad thing?

Varadkar’s shared Twitter photo with a llama could be media savvy or just a bit childish

“Leo Varadkar’s Republic of Photo-Opportunities is a terrific success . . . Fine Gael has hit a six-year high at 34 per cent and his approval rating is 52.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Oliver Callan: Leo Varadkar proves a master of distraction

Tweeting Taoiseach understands modern voters want bite-sized news light on detail

Europe’s economic and social progress are two sides of the same coin

The European Pillar of Social Rights will renew the social model that has always differentiated Europe from the rest of the world

‘After 25 years without the Border-crossing rituals, they will, if they return, seem impossibly absurd.’ File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Fintan O’Toole: Brexit means we are bordering on the absurd

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

President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont and Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy. File photograph: Sergio Barrenechea/AFP/Getty Image Catalan crisis is nothing more than Spanish party politics

The European Union is right to refuse to intervene in what is essentially a local row

Tsar Nicholas II blessing his troops. File photograph: Getty Images The Russian revolution Vladimir Putin would rather forget

The revival of the Orthodox Church and tsarist devotion has complicated the 1917 centenary

Places such as the Kylemore on O’Connell Street meant something and felt of the city. Una Mullally: Another bit of 'Dublinness' has been chipped away 

Isn’t it funny the things we can recall from so long ago? It’s because they mean something in their own odd ways

Hawkins House is littered with long-abandoned reports and policy documents. It has a significant cadre of people who do little and obstruct any semblance of reform. Photograph: Cyril Byrne Whatever happened to the promise of Sláintecare?

Varadkar and Harris must cure the Department of Health of its structural ills

Katie Ascough pictured in University College Dublin. Photograph: Jack Power If you are pro-life be confident, brave and unafraid

My impeachment as UCD students’ union president must not hinder debate

Bono & Hamilton Bono is a hypocrite – and so is Ireland

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

Dublin, 1968: the 10-child Murphy family, whom the corporation moved into a slum on Benburb Street after Mrs Murphy fell behind on her rent.  Photograph: Mirrorpix via Getty Ireland’s slum landlords have little to fear, today as a century ago

Diarmaid Ferriter: Politicians’ threats have never meant much in practice

An anti Brexit poster in Newry: the Brexit process is a lose-lose nightmare for the Government. Photograph: Aidan Crawley Brexit presents only a landscape of pain

While we hope for progress in trade and Border talks, the goal is damage limitation

Tax avoidance: if a country behaved like Apple – which is richer than many countries – it would be regarded as a rogue state. Photograph: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Society relies on a social compact. Time for tax-avoiding multinationals to sign up

Pat Leahy: The political centre needs to force big business to pay its way

Eric Hobsbawm:  writing in the late 1980s, he regarded the Russian revolution as the central event of the 20th century as one-third of humanity lived under communist regimes deriving from those events. World View: Centenary of Russian revolution well worth marking

Whatever about Putin’s unease, events of 1917 set the tone for the hundred years since

Harvey Weinstein: Did his impeccable liberal credentials make it harder for women to accuse him of repellent behaviour? Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Breda O’Brien: Consent should be minimum moral standard

Consent is low bar in sexual relations amid repellent behaviour and dominance

Many tech and pharma licences and intangible assets are being moved to Ireland. Ireland must not overextend welcome to multinationals

Encouraging tech and pharma firms to move IP to Ireland comes with a big price

IBundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw take part in the Captain’s Run at the Aviva Stadium ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan Questioning Bundee Aki’s right to play for Ireland says more about us than him

There has been no similar discussion in Ireland regarding the upcoming debut of Irishman Ian McKinley for Italy’s rugby team

John Halligan:   rural colleagues are rightly furious at how he has managed to leave the Independent Alliance open to even more ridicule. Photograph: Cyril Byrne Noel Whelan: John Halligan is not cut out to be a Minister

Fantasies about North Korea reveal dangerous self-delusion

It is hard to assign a motive to what the banks are up to but one major benefit of dropping sand into the personal insolvency engine is that a rising property market is helping to resolve problem mortgage cases. Photograph: Frank Miller Banks using cynical legal manoeuvres to avoid mortgage write-downs

Process grinding to halt as banks contest legal and technical points

Many in Ireland  well-disposed to remembering the Irish dead of both World Wars are sickened by the  poppy fascism which seems to reach new levels of absurdity every year in Britain. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA Poppy must not be twisted into symbol of division

Nobody needs to explain their wearing of the poppy in remembrance of war dead

Sinn Féin’s president Gerry Adams and leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill: party has bent the old Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil order out of shape, creating a grand coalition against it. Photograph: Peter Morrisson/Reuters Sinn Féin’s rise in Dublin confounds Belfast Agreement

As most popular party among under-35s in Republic, SF is also main opposition

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un:  desire by Finian McGrath, Shane Ross and John Halligan to attempt intervention in the most dangerous crisis currently facing the planet is a mystery. Photograph:   AFP/KCNA via KNS/STR Ministers’ trip to N Korea would be mockery of foreign policy

A propaganda coup for murderous Pyongyang regime is no laughing matter

Anti-Apartheid demonstration in 1970 in Dublin before the international rugby match at Lansdowne Road: the IRFU has presented less a defence than an undiplomatic spear-tackling of its principal competitor South Africa. IRFU ridiculing of South Africa rich in wake of passivity on apartheid

For decades, Irish rugby body refused to boycott sporting interaction with Springboks

Harvey Weinstein: It is important we talk about the rape culture issue now, because we are experiencing an outpouring of sex abuse allegations on social media and elsewhere. After Weinstein, the deluge. Photograph:  Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images Flawed notion of ‘rape culture’ is lacking in logic

A mildly bawdy text from a colleague is not on the spectrum that ends in forced sex

Chair of the Citizen’s Assembly,  the Honourable Ms Mary Laffoy: the 13 proposed measures that emerged are rooted in pragmatism vital for what’s immediately facing Ireland and the world. Photograph: Tom Honan. Citizens’ Assembly ideas confront worst of global warming

Climate change is a pressing moral issue and action is needed for future’s benefit

Michael Colgan: do allegations suggest he might be a bully or a sexual harasser? Bullying and sexual harassment deal different toxic punches

Kathy Sheridan: It is vital to distinguish targeting a gender from brutal abuse of power

The Sophia housing project on Cork Street in Dublin, which was set up to provide sanctuary for families living in crisis. Photograph: Alan Betson Fintan O’Toole: Let’s imagine the homeless have foot-and-mouth

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

All our major churches are ageing and in decline. Rite and Reason: church-run schools have failed at a deeper level

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

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