Vacant houses: Two years’ worth of housing could be delivered through assertive action on empty private properties.  Brenda Fitzsimons	Coming months will tell us if Government has the will to deliver on housing plan

Enduring problems such as rents and vacant properties must be faced up to

John Redmond, like Adams looked for “interim and transitional” arrangements leading to a united Ireland. Gerry Adams has more in common with John Redmond than he might think

Redmond’s position was similar to that articulated recently by Gerry Adams on the difficulties Brexit causes in Northern Ireland.

Laundry? My laundry basket currently holds 40 tops, 10 pairs of trousers and three hoodies waiting to be ironed – at the knockdown price of €1 each that’s €53 worth I’ll do for free. Don’t try to tell me stay-at-home parents are only worth €30,000 a year

Try getting someone to do the work of a stay-at-home parent: massive responsibility, no status, no pay and no time off

Fr Paddy Moran at Arba Minch prison in Ethiopia. Photograph: Simon Murphy African prison could teach us a thing or two

An Ethiopian jail may show the way towards a humane and effective programme of prisoner rehabilitation

File photograph of a property-rental queue at Northumberland Road, Dublin, in 2012. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times Una Mullally: Tiny flats and endless queues creating bunk bed generation

As usual, it is the poor and young who are suffering the most amid the renting crisis

The onstage demonstration at the Rose of Tralee raises the question of whether fathers actually get a fair deal when it comes to access and other related issues in the family courts. Photograph: Getty Images Steps needed to recognise fathers’ role in childrearing

While heartbreaking cases of fathers denied access to their children do happen, thankfully it is not common

Dessie Farrell, chief executive of the Gaelic Players Association: “To achieve the level of excellence required at intercounty level, our players need to be supported by a range of services on and off the field.”  Photograph: Damien Eagers / Sportsfile GAA must support welfare of county players

Critics of the new GPA support programme fly in face of international research

Health October 2010. Nurse HSE initiatives to recruit nurses to the Irish health service have failed

‘The worldwide nursing shortages and ageing workforce highlight the importance of improving the recruitment and retention of nurses within the health care systems’

  President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a press conference in Davao city, southern Philippines, EPA/CERILO EBRANO World View: Philippines president’s ‘war on drugs’ unleashes wave of killings

New leader Rodrigo Duterte has made good on his election campaign promises

President Michael D Higgins speaking at the Beal na Blath commemoration, Co. Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision Higgins’s reflection on Civil War highlights edgy issues

President was right to speak of the need to recognise the atrocities committed by both sides

FG TDs Leo Varadkar and Kate O’Connell on campaign trail: “Election promise peddled by most political players was we could abolish the USC without raising revenue elsewhere.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill Cliff Taylor: Reality check needed on election promise to abolish USC

Party politics risks pushing the tax system back to looking like it did before the ‘bust’

 Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: conventional wisdom has Varadkar ahead but Coveney  making up ground. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Fine Gael leadership set to loom large in next Dáil term

Two questions dominate conversation: When will Enda go? And will it be Simon or Leo?

Brianna Parkins onstage at the Rose of Tralee:  If she had called for the retention of the Eighth Amendment, would media people be queuing up to congratulate her, and to offer her a drink? Rose’s comment on ‘Eighth’ blurs lines of light entertainment

Double standards in the media have become increasingly obvious

 Leo Varadkar TD with Fine Gael Dublin Bay South candidate Kate O’Connell in Dublin, as  the party announced their plans to abolish the USC by 2020. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times Harsh realities of Budget 2017 will wake up Irish politics

The next 10 weeks will be the first test of ‘new politics’ following its summer slumber

Employees check electronic cigarettes at a production line in a factory in Shenzhen, southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters Now is not the time to tax e-cigarette liquid

We know that there is a vast differential in risk depending on how nicotine is consumed

 Leaving Cert students at Belvedere College, Dublin. File photograph. Mark Stedman/ Leaving Cert reform should focus on ‘real world’ skills

How does the exam tell an employer what they need to know about a new worker?

Advertisers’ use of social influencers fosters the delusion of empowerment

The power of word of mouth has shifted to putting words in people’s mouths

Daithí McKay. Photograph: Pacemaker McKay witness scandal is just the latest blow to the onward march of Sinn Féin

Newton Emerson: It looks like this attempt to move the party upmarket is becoming increasingly ad hoc as it fails to produce any stand-out performers

‘Police in Nice forced a woman on the beach to remove items of clothing that they deemed were not in line with “good morals and secularism”.’ Photograph: Vantage News Burkini ban is another way to subjugate Muslim women

‘Given the similarity between burkinis and the wetsuits often needed to navigate the cold Irish waters, the beachside burkini question in Ireland may be a moot point’

‘Retention and recruitment of our professional staff is essential. We must make every effort to persuade the best and brightest professionals we train to remain in our health service.’ Photograph: Getty Images Why Simon Harris’s five actions to address hospital waiting lists won’t work

‘If the public health service were a business it would not last very long’

‘Irish nationality is something that I’ve considered and discussed for a long time, and something that I’d take very seriously.’ Photograph: Getty Images After Brexit: Why I want to apply for an Irish passport

I’m not hijacking the birthplace of my father to avoid a couple of visas, nor am I casually jumping ship

‘Just as with the Brexit vote, the BBC should be analysing these figures by socio-economic class and level of education and passing patronising judgment on same.’ Photograph: BBC Mrs Brown’s Boys – the best of sitcoms, or the worst?

Brian Boyd: I’d rather throw myself on top of a funeral pyre than watch Mrs Brown’s Boys. But the programme wasn’t commissioned with bitter cranks like me in mind

‘She’s covering something up, and it’s that freakish, disqualifying digit.’ Above,  Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks to greet people after  a fundraiser in Piedmont, California on Tuesday. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP Will Hillary Clinton’s 11th toe trip her up?

‘Just try to come up with some other explanation for why she’s so infrequently photographed in sandals or flip-flops’

‘More than one-third of Irish children live in households experiencing two or more types of material deprivation such as being unable to afford to heat their homes.’ Photograph: File image/Getty Images Despite recovery, Ireland remains a hugely unequal society

Children and women are worst hit by a society whose policies refuse to cherish all its people equally

‘The offences alleged against Pat Hickey et al are not criminal offences under Irish law’. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES Irish-Brazil co-operation on extradition or exchange of information is unlikely

‘Any release of information here could have an impact on the criminal process’

About 600 people in 120 caravans arrived in  the town of Ginsheim-Gustavsburg (above), southwest of Frankfurt,  and camped on a site beside the Rhine. File photograph: Wikimedia Commons Freedom of speech: Irish Travellers, trolls and Trump

‘The surge of racist/xenophobic attacks and comments following Britain’s Brexit referendum demonstrated what happens when people feel they have permission to vent their bigotry’

‘Possibly the formation of such ministry might evolve along the lines suggested recently by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin  when he said he would like to see seminarians living in a smaller community from where they could be “linked to a particular parish while continuing their studies”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons Why does the Irish Catholic Church need two large, traditional seminaries?

Financial burden of Maynooth and Rome’s Irish College on church in Ireland too great

‘One of the failures of Dáil Éireann in recent years has been its inability to respond to scandals by prompt and effective reform.’ Photograph: Getty Images Five ways to restore Ireland’s pride after recent controversies

‘It is better to have a few good rules and get tough about them, than to have a myriad of regulations that are enforced haphazardly or not at all’

‘In travelling around three counties at the centred edge of Ireland, I was reminded of the richness and diversity of rural Ireland, the complexity of community, and struck by the depth of change that is happening with a speed we haven’t yet grasped.’ Photograph: Getty Images Why the ‘middle of nowhere’ in Ireland is the heart of the country

Vincent Woods: The great urban-rural myth

The film set of BBC TV series Ripper Street at the Kings Inns in Dublin last year. Series four starts tonight (August 22nd). Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times What is the attraction of ‘Ripper Street’?

Remember that no one ever stood trial for those brutal serial killings

‘Encouraging large numbers of young people to enter third-level courses without assessing their aptitude for the subjects they propose to study or their capacity for self-directed learning will inevitably lead to declining standards and thwarted aspirations.’ Photograph: Getty Images Not all Leaving Cert students are suited to third-level education

‘The most depressing evidence of the dumbing down of the Leaving Cert was the reaction of teachers to the exam papers reported in The Irish Times’

‘Whatever one thinks of the burkini, it is hard to see any way in which legislating against it could be helpful.’ Photograph: Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images Burkini beach ban: must French Muslim women become invisible?

‘Some suggested passing off a headscarf as a way to avoid frizzy hair; others posted Harry Potter donning an invisibility cloak’

The Data Protection Commissioner’s threat of legal action unless Dublin City Library and Archive voluntarily removed the database was heavy-handed. Removal of Dublin electoral database unwarranted

Opinion: Data Protection Commissioner should reverse electoral list clampdown

‘Neo-liberal political entities, such as Fine Gael, love such [commercial] “relationships”, because it removes the responsibility of the State to altruistically fund things.’ Photograph: David Sleator Una Mullally: Dublinbikes scheme hits the brakes

The council faces a difficult conundrum about financing the popular bicycles

As Jack O’Connor suggested, the pension system has the capacity to do as much damage to the State’s finances in the long term as the banking crisis. Photograph: Getty Images Stephen Collins: USC should be diverted to pensions

State pension is unaffordable in the long term and the pensions paid to retired public servants are even more unaffordable

‘Jaime Herrera Beutler (above) is  only the ninth woman to give birth while serving in the US Congress. She received an experimental treatment involving replacing missing amniotic fluid with saline, and her baby, Abigail, was born at 28 weeks.’ Photograph:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Breda O’Brien: Why terminology matters when it comes to pregnancy loss

‘It would be wonderful if we could discard flawed terms like fatal foetal abnormality and incompatible with life’

At the national hunger strike commemoration march last year,  at which family members of those who died during the hunger strikes hold  portraits of those who died. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw Diarmaid Ferriter: The hunger strike narrative is not as simple as it seems

On this day 35 years ago, INLA hunger striker Michael Devine died in the Maze prison, the tenth and last of the hunger strikers to die

Caught in a torrential downpour on Parkgate Street in Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency Stormy outlook: average summer for this generation, a bad summer for the next

‘Temperatures in Ireland are running more than 0.5 degrees higher for the three summer months than the average for 1961-1990’

A range of business and academic figures defend technological innovation as historically precedented and socially progressive. Photograph: Getty Images Rupert the Bear’s warning on AI, robots and jobs

‘He draws on recent dystopian business literature predicting imminent loss of jobs to machines, which talks of 47 per cent of US jobs at risk of replacement in the next 20 years’

Minister for Sport Shane Ross fields questions from journalists in Dublin Airport after he returned from Rio. Photograph: Aidan Crawley Cliff Taylor: Ross’s ticket inquiry faces legal minefield

Non-statutory inquiry can only succeed if facts are presented to it

‘Dr Lisa Bardack, Clinton’s personal doctor, wrote a two-page medical report which concluded that the 69-year-old candidate is in “excellent physical health”.’  Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP Brian Boyd: Why Olympic fitness fads shouldn’t send us rushing to the gym

‘If we continue down this health probe road, we are faced with the appalling vista of a Donald Trump live colonoscopy on our TV screens’

‘Shane Ross should have fully informed himself of his legal and administrative options and the limitations before he left for Rio.’ Above,  Ross watching Michael Conlan’s bout. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO Shane Ross needs to be better prepared to tackle Rio ticket controversy

‘Gubu does not do justice to the events surrounding the Olympic Council of Ireland this week’

Martin McGuinness: ‘The Taoiseach needs to lead in defending our national interest in the working out of the Brexit vote. The clock is ticking.’ Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Remain must mean remain: why we need an all-Ireland response to Brexit

Martin McGuinness: ‘Economic uncertainty is damaging trade and investment and causing currency fluctuations that impact particularly on cross-Border business and exports’

‘Smart sports journalists barely veil their incredulity when an athlete does something incredible.’ Above, the statue of  Christ the Redeemer overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro.  Photograph:  Mario Tama/Getty Images The Rio question: F the cheaters – but which ones?

Una Mullally: The haze of cheating that has hung over this Olympics at times looks as if Christ the Redeemer is holding out his hands in exasperation

‘Judge Lynch replied, with learned accuracy: “You are a bit of a c*** yourself”.’  Photograph: David Barrett/Photoshot Why I want to reclaim the C-word for myself

Judge under fire for using the C-word in court in response to swearing defendant

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