‘Robert  Putnam believes that the “neo-traditional model” of family, that is, stable, durable marriages of biological parents, where both parents are likely to work but also invest significant time into parenting, leads to a range of positive outcomes for children.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien Breda O’Brien: Fintan O’Toole’s appeal on child poverty is worthy of support

‘Until Irish people can re-discover the sense that the poorer kids are also our kids, a crusade to end child poverty will never receive the support that it deserves’

‘Forty years on, this very French, eclectic gathering, lubricated by copious wine and fromages to die for, provided some telling snapshots of the country’s, and particularly its left’s, uncertain, confused, and depressed mood and the langueur of its politics.’ Photograph: Getty Images  Patrick Smyth: French left facing unpalatable choices

‘The tension between the republican, secular state, caricatured as Paris and its elites vs rural France, is very much alive in its politics and daily life’

‘We all know that the start of our budgetary problem was the “When you have it, you spend it” Charlie McCreevy philosophy. The then finance minister did add, when he said this in 2001, that “the mistake is to try to spend it when you haven’t got it”.’ Cliff Taylor: Why we should future-proof our national finances

‘The public sector pay deal will leave €300 million going to higher public pay out of total planned spending increases of €750 million’

 ‘The appointment last year of Jimmy Deenihan as Minister for Diaspora Affairs certainly gave the issue of emigration more political visibility and he has spent much time meeting and greeting emigrants.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times Diarmaid Ferriter: Emigrants’ voting rights should be extended

‘In the absence of political will to do anything substantial to enfranchise Irish emigrants, talk of the “global Irish family” is just self-serving and lazy blather’

Pope Francis salutes the crowd as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday. Speaking to an Argentinean newspaper, he said he has not watched television since 1990. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images Donald Clarke: By ignoring TV the pope is reaching for the remote

Pope Francis shut himself off from the cultural oxygen of his parishioners by shutting himself off from TV

‘I was emotionally overwhelmed by the acknowledgment of my small part in their campaign but I was also deeply distressed by the intensity of their gratitude.’ Above, crowds celebrate in the court yard at Dublin Castle, the Central Results Centre, at the results of the referendum on marriage equality. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times Noel Whelan: We had been blind to prejudice facing gay community

‘Even on the Yes side many of us had, however, failed to appreciate the true extent to which passing this referendum would matter to gay man and lesbian women’

‘One can also only imagine how much it took for Prince Charles on Tuesday to shake the hand of the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams who was such a significant figure in the leadership of the organisation which had killed his beloved Mountbatten.’ Photograph: Adam Gerrard/ WPA Pool/Getty Images Noel Whelan: Amid forgiveness in Mullaghmore we should not forget the past

‘While some may breathlessly trumpet Gerry Adams’s magnanimity in shaking the prince’s hand, the real bravery for peace was on the British side of that encounter’

Rónán Mullen: ‘The very use of the term “marriage equality” on the ballot paper is designed to make voters think they are anti-equality if they’re leaning towards a No.’ Photograph:  Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES Head to head: Rónán Mullen argues against same-sex marriage

‘A No vote will force the Government to reconsider in what circumstances a child can be brought into the world using a donated sperm, or a donated egg and surrogate mother’

 Colm O’Gorman: ‘I feel, perhaps for the first time in my life, like I could be a fully equal citizen. I have felt this way because of the people I have met, people I do not know, who have told me that I am one of them.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times Head to head: Colm O’Gorman argues in favour of same-sex marriage

‘Our family has the same potential to be indispensable to the welfare of the nation and the State as the families of those vocal on the No side’

‘Their stories offer compelling insights into the negative impact gaps in services and system-oriented practices have on the lives of children and their families’. Photograph: Getty Images Economic crisis had serious consequences for thousands of Irish children

‘In March, 1,054 children in 471 families were homeless. Meanwhile, over 1,400 children are currently spending formative years of their lives in direct provision’

‘Ireland’s recent courageous decision to deploy peacekeepers to the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF) to help address the worsening crisis in Syria was a strong testament to its commitment to the United Nations.’ Above, vehicles of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force are seen near the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights, on May 4th, 2015. Photograph:  JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images Ban Ki-moon praises leadership and courage of Irish men and women

UN secretary general says handshake between Prince Charles and Gerry Adams shows others they can turn their back on conflict

‘Wildly exaggerated fear tactics’: A poster advocating a No vote in the marriage referendum. Photograph: Aidan Crawley John Fanning: Campaign advertising – the good, the bad, and the scurrilous

‘With a general election now less than a year away, the referendum ads raise the wider issue of the effectiveness of political advertising’

‘Jim Allister, leader of Traditional Unionist Voice, accused the DUP of “the worst excesses of the abuse of power” in the Assembly’s lifetime.’  Photograph:Paul Faith/PA Eamonn McCann: Assembly committee powerless in the face of ‘abuse of power’

‘All parties other than the DUP voted to “note” the report which had castigated McCausland and Brimstone while upholding Palmer’s account. The report was “not worth the paper it was written on”, scoffed McCausland’

‘Perhaps, it might be useful to consider some of the ideas of the new EU Mortgage Credit Directive, making all residential mortgages non-recourse, and ending reckless home-loan lending once and for all.’ Photograph: Getty Images Distressed mortgage-holders need three key issues to be addressed

‘Evictions to nowhere’ can constitute a violation of human dignity

‘Over the past two and a half years alone, we have, with the support of our EU partners, made great strides in bringing Georgia into line with the highest European and international standards.’ Above, The Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Photograph: Getty Images Removing EU visa requirements for Georgians would signal important change

‘We trust that the EU will continue its support for Georgia’s European path, matching reforms with increased integration’

‘In January the Catholic publication The Tablet quoted Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh (above) as calling for a referendum debate “free from insult or injury or hurt to any person whether they be people of a homosexual nature or people of faith.” I found the assumption at the heart of this statement both telling and troubling. What about homosexual people of faith?’ Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times Crusade of bishops against amendment may mislead voters

‘As a gay Catholic I rather naively hoped that the Church would take the view that the referendum concerned the civil rights of the LGBT community and in no way impinged upon religious marriage’

‘The aching heart of this campaign has been the spectacle of such people sacrificing their privacy in debates and interviews, tearing open old scars and exposing their most intimate core to the public gaze.’ Photograph: Getty Images Kathy Sheridan: Where is the God of Love in the same-sex marriage debate?

‘Would He approve the kind of reasoning that consigns up to 10 per cent of his human creation to a living purgatory’

‘Irish marriage has already changed in far more fundamental ways than is now being proposed. And those changes haven’t destroyed it. They’ve purified it by rooting it, not in systematic discrimination against women, but in the love between equal people.’ Photograph: Getty Images Fintan O’Toole: Marriage was nothing to be proud of in 1983

Legal changes over the years profoundly altered the state of marriage for the better

‘Stabbings in the country’s jails and the use of sharps is on the increase.’ Photograph: Alan Betson Our prisons are at a crossroads following fatal stabbing

‘While the shock and horror reverberates around Cork jail this week, prisons everywhere will feel the tension’

Eamon Ryan: ‘Our carbon pollution is the equivalent to the footprint of the 400 million poorest people in the world.’ Photograph: Getty Images The Path to Paris: Why we need to take a great leap forward on climate change

‘The inconvenient truth is that our Government and the various agencies of the State and the business world here have no story to tell about climate change’

 Rory O’Carroll: ‘Working in the field of social work I have seen gay people suffer hugely with issues around their emotional wellbeing at the hands of stigma.’ Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan Rory O’Carroll: ‘I will vote to end discrimination against gay and lesbian couples’

Children who are part of same-sex couple families deserve and need constitutional protection, says Dublin footballer

Arthur Beesley (left): ‘There are greater and more pressing inequalities that should be tackled’; and Hugh Linehan: ‘There is no logical reason for the existing age limit of 35 on candidates standing for the presidency.’  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times Head to head: Should the age for presidential candidates be 21?

Yes, says Hugh Linehan. No, argues Arthur Beesley, in an Irish Times online debate on the referendum

‘Another matter not discussed in this campaign to date is a theological body of opinion which believes Jesus knowingly acknowledged and blessed a same-sex union.’  Photograph: Getty Images Catholic Church teaching on marriage has changed down the centuries

‘Generally, in a pastoral context, bishops are sensitive to gay people and groups, as are most priests’

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘I encourage everyone to vote and to reflect carefully’

‘My position is that of Pope Francis, who . . . made it very clear that he was against legalising same-sex marriage, yet he was consistent in telling people not to make judgments on any individual’

‘The reality is that the vast majority of children are raised by their biological parents and this will not change with a Yes vote. But the concept of parentage is much broader than biology.’ Photograph: Getty Images Tanya Ward: ‘Marriage equality in no way undermines the rights of children’

‘A child’s wellbeing doesn’t depend on the type of family they grow up in’

‘If we redefine marriage as the Government proposes, we redefine the family as well. And we redefine it in a way that will leave some children disadvantaged.’ Photograph: Getty Images Government’s dictatorial attitude makes people slow to say they’re voting No

‘The unsubtle message is that the only reason anyone could have for supporting the No side is that they are homophobic bigots’

‘Then there’s our own Belfast Agreement, into which the Human Rights Act is woven. The latter’s repudiation would breach international treaty obligations, specifically in relation to the British-Irish Agreement that underpins the agreement.’ Photograph: Getty Images Patrick Smyth: UK is on wrong path with human rights changes

‘Would Westminster legislate to allow the writ of the ECHR continue to prevail in Northern Ireland and Scotland while not in the rest of the UK, creating two legal rights regimes within the UK?’

As a priest, I subscribe to the Christian understanding of marriage that it is a sacrament celebrated between one man and one woman.  Photograph: Getty Images ‘I don’t care what they call it, I’m in favour of marriage equality’ – Fr Gerard Moloney

‘While I see it as a sacrament, I believe it’s up to the citizens of the State to decide how they define marriage and who can enter into it’

Political reporter, Ursula Halligan, who made her personal case for a Yes vote this week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Una Mullally: We have come a long way but there’s one hurdle left

In the 1803 Proclamation of Independence, Robert Emmet wrote: ‘Show to the world that the Irish are not only a brave, but also a generous and forgiving people’

‘The 228,000 young, well-educated Irish citizens who left Ireland in the past five years grew up in a more tolerant and diverse Ireland.’ Photograph: Getty Images Who won’t vote in the referendums? The exiled children of Ireland

If the same-sex marriage referendum fails, one reason would be failure to update Irish voting laws

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