Crumlin housing project. File photograph: Tony Linck/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Fintan O’Toole: Snobbery is at the root of the housing crisis

Millions of us grew up in local authority houses. We are no worse than anyone else

Dejected: Conor McGregor after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas. Photograph: Stephen R Sylvanie/USA Today/Inpho David McWilliams: Conor McGregor knows the rules of winner-takes-all economics

His postfight expression said it all. Being second best is next to worthless in the modern world

‘Humans are notoriously bad at estimating future risk. This kind of thinking is fatal when it comes to climate change.’ Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire Breda O’Brien: Modern values make climate disaster more likely

Western culture is in direct conflict with the urgent need to take collective action

Market and consumer capitalism predicated on unlimited growth is in conflict with planetary limits. Photograph: Natalie Behring/Reuters Climate is not just changing – it is breaking down

Danger and destruction of global warming must trigger real modification of behaviour

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar. Photograph: AFP/Getty Pat Leahy: Deep down, Fine Gael knows Government's time is up

State is currently stuck with a zombie Government unable to do anything

Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe at the first day of the Charleton tribunal. File photograph: Alan Betson Garda corruption and neglect is dangerously resilient

Despite intense scrutiny, discipline and skewed loyalty remain fatal flaws in the force

US Republican Beto O’Rourke, running for the Senate seat in Texas arrives for a campaign rally at Texas Southern University in Houston. Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters Liberal Irish-America is not dead and gone

For every Mike Pence there is a Tim Kaine or Joe Biden who support abortion rights

Former Garda commissioner  Martin Callinan. “We are drawn by Charleton into a world where we cannot trust appearances. We could not trust the person, Martin Callinan, who had the job of keeping us safe.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien Fintan O’Toole: Only lasting comfort in Charleton's tale is hero Maurice McCabe

Only enduring comfort of this moral tale is that it has a hero in Maurice McCabe

Flooded homes in the wake of Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina, last month. Ireland will not escape from the negative effects of climate change. Photograph: Johnny Milano/The New York Times Why the Government ignores climate change

Our national response is characterised by an unrealistically optimistic effect

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: in 2016, he and his party membership settled for confidence and supply out of genuine national motives. Photograph: North West Newspix Noel Whelan: Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael stuck with each other

Confidence and supply deal works and, apart from dramatics, neither party wants election

Could Northern Ireland become Ireland’s Gibraltar for EU citizenship purposes? Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Rights of Irish citizens in North a thorny post-Brexit problem

Nationalists and possibly unionists will have to find a niche somewhere between resident and emigrant

Eamon Ryan insisted the Irish people are ready, willing and able to do their bit on climate change, and he could well be right. Picture Nick Bradshaw Next election may show Fine Gael has misjudged public mood again

Stephen Collins: Government puts self-interest over national interest on carbon tax

Ashers bakery in Belfast: the owners have won their appeal in the so-called “‘gay cake” discrimination case. Gay cake case was costly, divisive and ill advised

The judgment was a victory for freedom, which means a victory for all of us

President Donald Trump is joined by Nikki Haley, his ambassador to the United Nations, at the White House in Washington, Oct. 9, 2018. Haley said here that she would resign her post at the end of the year, marking a high-profile departure of one of the few women in Trump’s cabinet. Haley said she had no intention of running for president in 2020. (Samuel Corum/The New York Times) Nikki Haley is the latest Trump enabler to ruin her shot at redemption

You expect those emerging from the Twilight Zone to declare what is so stunningly obvious to the rest of the world: the president is a racist and sexist bozo who is a clear and present danger to world peace

The sacred markets themselves are driven by sentiment and senior financial services people inhabit their own little world. Photograph: Michael Dalder Kathy Sheridan: Post-crash, trust in officialdom has died

Public realises bankers and politicians choose to keep them in the dark

Housing provision requires the patchy alignment across all stakeholders and the dearth of mutual trust being overcome. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg Budget’s housing initiatives need all sides to work together

Tight stakeholder collaboration is vital for effective solution to our housing problem

Interested groups listen to Minister Donohoe, as he delivers Budget 2019 Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times Steady as she goes: Budget 2019 dodges the landmines

Donohue avoids the rabbit-from-a-hat surprises of predecessor McCreevy

The Minister for Finance delivering Budget 2018. Paschal Donohue today, like all of his modern predecessors, is so busy making sure the ship is not sunk by gross inequality that he can barely think about the course of the voyage. Photograph: Alan Betson Fintan O'Toole: Bad social policy makes for bad budgets

Ireland’s finances are worse than other countries in four key ways

Archbishop Óscar Romero: In his weekly sermons, broadcast all over he country by Catholic radio stations, he took to reading lists of the latest atrocities by security forces and the death squads in El Salvador. Photograph: Leif Skoogfors/Getty Images Óscar Romero was a martyr by default

Assassinated El Salvadorean bishop to be canonised in Rome

Stephen Fry: referendum has been prompted partly by the English comedian’s discussion about  God with Gay Byrne on RTÉ. File photograph: Mike Lawrence/Getty Images Hell no: Blasphemy vote is facile

Colum Kenny: When it comes to freedom of speech in Ireland, there are bigger fish to fry

Students arrived at the Raise The Roof rally in their thousands. The mobilisation of a new generation of students in recent years as a strong activist force is hugely significant. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters Una Mullally: What can we learn from successes of housing protests?

Building a movement is all about making alliances, even if some internal conflict occurs

For many of us in America, it has been stunning to see how quickly President Trump and his administration are shattering the cultural norms of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images Jane O’Meara Sanders: How to fix western democracy

I’m an educator and I believe democracy depends upon an educated populace

If the Land Development Agency had existed in 2008 our current housing supply shortfall would not have been as severe as it is now. Photograph: David Sleator The Land Development Agency is not a free-for-all for private developers

It will be an important mechanism for the State in countering any housing crash

The top 5% in the country own over 40% of the wealth and what’s more, 85% of this wealth is in the form of property and land. David McWilliams: Why do we tax income instead of wealth?

Budget 2019 is a political pageant that avoids true economic action

 Theresa May delivers her keynote address on the final day of the Conservative Party conference, on Wednesday. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters Theresa May and the great British brain robbery

The British prime minister’s enemies could be said to be her greatest asset

US president Donald Trump with his nominee for the supreme court, Brett Kavanaugh, last July. In the postwar decades, judges around the world looked to the US supreme court for inspiration. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed another battle will be over

As the US supreme court turns inward, the rest of the world is in turn paying less attention to it

Photograph: Thinkstock Breda O’Brien: Abortion legislation will force GPs out of healthcare

If doctors are legally bound to act against their conscience they will leave

 Arlene Foster has failed to lead her party back to power-sharing, and how ironic, given her expressed concerns about nationalism, that she should make common cause with cheerleading nationalists in the Conservative Party. Photograph: Getty Images It’s hard to know what the DUP is about anymore

Arlene Foster does not seem to have contributed to the welfare of the North for a long time

Photograph: iStock Follow the money: Budget 2019 is about spending not tax cuts

Ministers are playing up tax reductions, but the extra cash is going to higher spending

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  he wants a lengthy extension to the confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil  or he wants an early election. Fianna Fáil wants to deny him both Tough two weeks ahead for Varadkar as he tackles ‘October trinity’

How the Taoiseach handles the budget, Brexit and Fianna Fáil could determine his future

We need political leadership on climate change

Ireland’s target for renewable energy will be negotiated with the EU in the coming months

Most surprising thing about May’s speech was that she survived to give it

Brexit is a challenge to test any charismatic, brilliant leader. May is neither

So far Government measures to improve housing supply have produced more noise than results. Photograph: Getty Images Patrick Honohan: Echoes of crash present and we should heed them

Government is conscious of fiscal risks but budgetary planning must take more account of them

A protester with cardboard cutouts depicting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. When the Cambridge Analytica story broke in March, many were shocked at the way that Facebook had approached data management. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters Why does nobody seem to care about the latest Facebook data breach?

With social media giants holding a monopoly, we need ways to them accountable when they misuse our data, which is where regulatory enforcement comes in

Arlene Foster’s latest warnings about ‘blood-red’ lines, has only served to remind me that unionists have been concerned about the Union for a long time.   Niall Carson/PA Wire Alex Kane: My top ten list of existential 'threats to the Union'

Unionists have been saying for most of my lifetime that the Union is under threat but its still here

DUP leader Arlene Foster: The absurd over-reaction to her remarks, made off-the-cuff in response to a reporter’s question, indicates the extent of nationalist paranoia that the DUP is leading the British government by the nose Foster is rattling around inside a logical trap set by May

The DUP knows the limits of its influence are about to be exposed as deadline nears

Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan: on the night of the bank guarantee the  options were grim. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien Stephen Collins: Ireland's bank guarantee worked

Main political parties have paid a high price for doing the right thing

Among women: Eamon de Valera, the primary architect of the Constitution Reference to woman’s place in home must be removed from Constitution

History shows article was drafted in a patriarchal and repressive environment

Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh: “Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer,” Kavanaugh recited several times in different ways, drawing a contrast with all those shouty, prissy liberals and their non-beer tastes. Photograph: Erin Schaff/the New York Times Kathy Sheridan: Drinking and lying catches up with Brett Kavanaugh

US supreme court aspirant’s claims about his behaviour are not credible

 Two men dressed as customs officers protesting  outside Stormont against Brexit. There is a solution which protects the open Border, and the jobs that go with it, without adding to regulatory checks across the Irish Sea. Photograph:  Getty Images London must respect the Belfast Agreement

Northern Ireland should have a choice in the event of hard Brexit

An assessment of the €2 billion of unplanned additional spending provided to health since 2015 show that no politician has voted against any of them. Photograph: Getty Images Runaway health sector spending putting public finances and economy at risk

Almost €2bn of unplanned increases in health spending in just four years

It is widely accepted at least 10,000 new units of social housing are required each year to meet demand The 10 reasons why house prices and rents must fall

Many now realise house prices will quickly fall if sufficient numbers stop bidding or buying

Today I never wear a clerical collar. I feel embarrassed to be identified as representing a clerical caste that permitted abuse. Photograph: iStock My 30 years as a priest have brought no little disappointment

Starting out, I never dreamed I would fall foul of Rome or become disgusted by its failings

 Judge Brett Kavanaugh  testifying   before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on Thursday, September 27th, 2018. Photograph: Erin Schaff/The New York Times Fintan O'Toole: Brett Kavanaugh shows White Irish Catholic is now core of US reactionary politics

The nominee for the US Supreme Court is part of a wider reactionary mindset in which being Irish means you can dismiss your own privilege

“The problem is clear. Residential property values are much higher now than when the tax was introduced.” File photograph: Getty Images The Local Property Tax is being slowly choked to death

The Government seems to be on a course that will stunt the usefulness of the tax

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