Lynn Ruane, President of Trinity College Students Union with her daughters Jaelynne and Jordanne. “She will be one of the most interesting politicians in the new Oireachtas, irrespective of how long it lasts.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES Noel Whelan: A colourful Seanad but hopefully the last of its ilk

The most dramatic shift in the line up of the 43 senators on the vocational panels was the Sinn Féin breakthrough

Rents in Dublin are higher than in many European capitals. And the Dáil just wrings its hands. Colum Kenny: Irish Water shambles a sign of a deeper malaise in Irish society

If politics fails again by delivering further inadequacy, social unrest is more likely

Flowers at the Sunset House pub, Dublin. “Interestingly another murder happened a few short hours later in Dublin’s inner city within a short distance of a closed Fitzgibbon Street Garda station.”  Photo: Gareth Chaney Opinion: Garda Commissioner misses opportunity to make case for resources

The first meeting of the Policing Authority was marked by an overabundance of jargon at the expense of substance.

 Ronan Mullen after his election to the  NUI Seanad in 2007. He toppued the poll in 2016 election. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.  How can ‘people like us’ vote for Ronan Mullen?

Educated people voted for one of the country’s most unashamedly conservative politicians

The chairman of St Vincent’s Hospital has  dismissed as sensational the “tale of nuns attempting to control Irish maternity services”. However, history shows that ethos affects treatment. File photograph:  Dave Meehan Catholic Church’s influence over Irish hospital medicine persists

Nuns sit on St Vincent’s board of directors and doctors must sign contracts promising adherence to hospital ethos

A baby at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees at the Greek-Macedonian border. Hanging the country out to dry and expelling it from the euro area as it grapples with Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War is not an option.  REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis Suzanne Lynch: Stakes are high as Europe mulls debt relief for Greece

Europe’s twin challenges of the refugee crisis and the Brexit referendum may strengthen Greece’s hand as it enters a crucial stage in its bailout negotiations

President Barack Obama fielded a question on Northern Ireland during a town hall meeting with young Britons at the Royal Horticulture Halls in London. Photograph: Stephen Crowley/New York Times Newton Emerson: Integrated education key to forging Northern Irish identity

Obama praises progress in London - but Sinn Féin and DUP support segregation

“So when our shiny new, rehydrated government salutes the press and public from the plinth of Leinster House soon, remember that they are not waving, but drowning.” Una Mullally: Water debacle embodies all that is wrong with Irish politics

Which is the worst kind of politics; establishing a company so flawed it was doomed to failure, or using water charges for populist gain?

The Vartry Reservoir in County Wicklow where a 153-year-old tunnel at Callow Hill is a “very vulnerable part” of the water supply system for the capital, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES Stephen Collins: Fianna Fáil stance on Irish Water is about politics not policy

The events of the past week or so do not augur well for the operation of a Fine Gael-led minority government

The proposed solution to under-capacity in a broke public health system is to avail of over capacity in a private health system that faces its own financial challenges (PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images) John McManus: Are we about to bail out the private hospitals?

It is hard to believe that we have created a private hospital system that is too big to fail

An Gaeltacht sign near Claregalway, Co Galway. File photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy Comment: The Gaeltacht must be broken and remade to save Irish

You can’t have Irish speakers without the Gaeltacht and you won’t have a Gaeltacht without serious social change

Those who fought in the entertainment trenches during the 1960s were not exactly following gluten-free, organic diets. “Too much is not enough” was the cheerful refrain in those early days when it came to drink and drugs. Photograph: Justin de Villeneuve/Getty Images Brian Boyd: Nothing unusual about number of celebrities dying in 2016

Those who made their name, from the 1960s onwards, are reaching an age when their death doesn’t come as a surprise

 Waiting times for MRI brain scans were estimated to be on average 20 times longer in the public system than in the private. Pic : Bryan O’Brien Opinion: Universal healthcare is an achievable and vital goal

It is unjust that the lives of people who cannot afford health insurance are at risk due to their financial status

“Instead of waving rifles or proclamations, we should proudly hold aloft our Form 11s.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw Fintan O’Toole: Publishing tax returns a good way to revive ideals of Rising

Confidentiality of tax returns is unquestionable only because it is unquestioned

 The Capuchin Day Centre which was founded by Br Kevin Crowley in 1969 has journeyed with people in need for almost 50 years.   Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill / THE IRISH TIMES Rite & Reason: Capuchins still bearing witness on 400 years of Irish history

Priests attended at executions of 1916 leaders from the beginning on May 3rd

The perception was that Prince was brilliantly nuts, an absolute eccentric in every facet. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters Una Mullally: Farewell my wacky purple Prince

Every time you saw Prince appear on stage, there was pure joy emanating

We, as Irish people, given what we suffered on decrepit ships in the past, should   support a Humanitarian Assistance Zone. Photograph: Patrick Bar/SOS Mediterranee via AP Humanitarian zone needed to stop refugee drownings

A legal framework is required to process refugees fairly in north Africa

Could John Redmond really have “won over” Ulster if given time? Probably not, but we can say for sure he would have tried. Chris Dooley: John Redmond’s legacy should be studied not distorted

Those who claim British never intended to introduce home rule are arguing against evidence

The Musudan rocket is understood to have a range of at least 1,864 miles, long enough to strike, among other targets, US military bases in Guam.  EPA/KCNA SOUTH KOREA OUT World View: North Korea missile test brings China and S Korea closer

China and South Korea have an interest in short-term stability in North Korea

Seán MacBride; A co-founder of Amnesty International he voted yes to the Eighth Amendment, and wrote an influential newspaper article two days before the Referendum. Amnesty abandons values of Seán MacBride

Amnesty International is manipulating the right not to be tortured in order to invent a ‘right’ to end a tiny human being’s life

Some children are, through the circumstances into which they are born, at risk of harm. Carol Coulter: Outrage no substitute for serious discussion about child protection

If the rhetoric that accompanies every instance of child abuse that comes into the public domain is to mean anything, we need an honest discussion of priorities and resources.

The election of Fianna Fáil’s John Curran as chair of the Dáil  committee on housing and homelessness shows TDs are capable of adapting to circumstances and forming new alliances. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times Stephen Collins: Minority government faces major challenges

The compromises needed by all sides could fatally undermine new alliance

 Ornua, the artists formerly known as the Irish Dairy Board,  paid nine senior executives a total of €9 million over the past two years. Cliff Taylor: Executive pay hikes don’t chime well with calls for wage restraint

Irish business chiefs are getting big hikes that make the demands of the Luas drivers look almost reasonable by comparison

Downey frequently looked back to evaluate contemporary politics and society. Photograph: Alan Betson Diarmaid Ferriter: James Downey took the long view

But he believed the answers to Ireland’s problems lay in the here and now

Why on earth, I wondered, does the village of Howth need American infiltration from United States’ based beans? Opinion: Does Howth really need a Starbucks?

American journalist disappointed to find the chain edging out local coffee shops

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. “In reality Fianna Fáil will have Enda Kenny’s new government by the proverbials in both the Dáil and the Seanad.” Photograph: Maxpix Noel Whelan: The Seanad will be Enda Kenny’s next problem

The new government will not have working majority in the Seanad if Taoiseach true to the new politics

The potential for successful challenges brought by a person who has had their suspended setence reactivated will very much depend on the individual facts of a case.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times Judgment does not affect validity of criminal offences

High Court decision on suspended sentences creates certain procedural problems which must be resolved

In Switzerland, the only peaceful country to adopt an all-party administration, parliament uses a “magic formula” to give  parties seats  on the seven-person Federal Council.  Introduced in 1959, this “zauberformel” has worked quite well. Opinion: There is a better way to form a Government than 50 days of chaos

The power-sharing model associated with post-conflict resolution can provide an alternative

The news that Andrews Lane Theatre is to be turned into a 115-room hotel means another big dark room where people danced will be gone. Una Mullally: Dublin is buzzing but where are the dance clubs?

With the demise of Hangar there is not a single designed-for-purpose music-driven nightclub in the city centre

Dublin port. The availability of world-class infrastructure in telecommunications, energy, water and transport is necessary to support sustainable growth. Competitiveness must be at the heart of a new Programme for Government

The same urgency and commitment that went into stabilising the economy must now go into maintaining and improving Ireland’s competitiveness

Now Martin has dramatically re-engaged northwards, using his Arbour Hill address last week to demand “direct engagement by both the Irish and British governments”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES Newton Emerson: Micheál Martin’s Arbour Hill comments are out of step

An election will now be held in which the people of Northern Ireland can only blame themselves for the outcome

St Patrick’s Day in London: There are 660,000 Republic-born people living in Britain who will be entitled to vote, plus 1.5 million with varying degrees of Irishness in their identity. Photograph: by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Alastair Campbell: Get on your phone and play your part in beating Brexit

The campaign to remain in the EU can bypass the media’s propaganda

The Fine Gael-Labour cabinet meets shortly after the 2011 election: “In 2011, the formation of a new government was urgent and crisis-driven . . . But the current, unprecedented delay in forming a government is due not just to the absence of a crisis.” Photograph: Maxwells Eamon Gilmore: Labour needs Fianna Fáil guarantee government would last

Only reason for party to join minority government would be to implement key policies, but these take time

Last year in Ireland, almost 4,000 children were born to parents who live together but are not married. Anthea McTeirnan: Still waiting after 30 years for a Census that includes me

Not giving people who organise their lives outside of marriage a box to tick on the Census form is not really acceptable.

Joshua Molloy and Omar Hussain: Both born in England and both travelled the best part of 6,000km to fight in in someone else’s war. John McManus: How does Joshua Molloy differ from the Supermarket Jihadi?

Both men eventually seem to have grown tired and disenchanted with war and fighting

Political correspondents come back from their long-range patrols of the Kildare Street jungle with thousand-yard stares and wearing necklaces made of ears – the ears of the nameless politicians who confide in them. They know where this is going. Ed O’Loughlin: Dispatches from the Kildare Street trenches

Dogs will feast on the putrid, fly-blown corpses of backbench deputies forced to ‘go over the top’ in another tragic election

Brian Boyd: Celebrities cannot have it both ways when it comes to privacy

Latest superinjunction in the UK highlights double standards when it comes to keeping private lives private

Brexit: A young Irish woman’s view

I revel in the fact that I can travel and work in the UK due to our joint EU membership. Could it be that in a matter of months all of this could be taken away?

Corporate tax avoidance is now a huge political issue forcing the government to stand up to the corporations: President Obama’s effective blocking of the Pfizer/Allergan deal is a resonant moment. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Fintan O’Toole: US taxpayers growing tired of Ireland’s one big idea

For ordinary Americans our foreign direct investment wheeze is too shady for comfort

The Gazette on 61 Middle Abbey St  was in fact the last building on that side of Sackville Street to be saved – the fire “stopping immediately short of this office”. Photo:  PA. Rite& Reason: How the Church of Ireland Gazette reported the 1916 Rising

‘the horror of Dublin, fired by the hands of her own sons, and of Irish blood shed by Irish hands’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny launching census 2016: The CSO acknowledges that current format of the question should be reviewed and we are committed to examining it in advance of the next census, expected to be held in 2021. Economic environment means Census 2016 has to cut its cloth

Census is the only source of the detailed statistics the private and public sector cannot operate without

September 1961: A member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) stands guard at a customs boundary post in Northern Ireland. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images) Brexit: Theresa Villiers misleading on return of Border controls

If the UK fully withdraws from the EU, Ireland faces a difficult choice between the CTA and Schengen

Limerick's Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle where patients are waiting on trolleys in corridors to have operations due to overcrowding.The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said there were 569 patients on trolleys in hospital emergency departments this morning - the highest number ever recorded.Pic Emma Jervis / Press 22 Una Mullally: Private health insurance is simply paying to skip queues

The HSE features a collage of crises, and colonoscopy waiting lists are just one

Census enumerator Ciaran Lynam in the Gardiner Street area of Dublin. Census 2016 takes place on April 24th and forms are being distributed now. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw Census 2016 will get religion all wrong

Millions of careless ticks can be used later to justify the Catholic Church’s near monopoly on the state’s schools.

Luas Strikers photographed at the Luas Depot in Sandyford, Dublin. Picture Nick Bradshaw Diarmaid Ferriter: Right to strike is also part of the legacy of 1916

The letters sent to Luas workers invokes the ghost of the 1913 Dublin lock out

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