Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly’s proposal to look at prioritising the vaccination of 18-30 year olds was killed off before lunchtime. File photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Vaccine proposal was killed off by a combination of Government’s terror and Opposition’s opportunism

CreditL Vogue/Tyler Mitchell

“You have had your fun and now I am left to pick up the pieces”

As every day goes by, it becomes clearer and clearer  the Government has opted for a second lockdown because we can’t do anything else. Photograph:  Paul Faith

Ireland lacks institutional wherewithal to do anything but lie low til Covid passes

Hairdressers work at a hair salon that opened today for the first time since March during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis on May 4, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Other European countries have taken a different approach to Ireland

HSE staff and volunteers from NUI Galway College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Galway Airport Community Testing Centre simulating COVID-19 testing on staff members, before the centre opened for testing last month.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

EU roadmap sees capacity for large scale testing as a prerequisite for exiting lockdown

Gardai conduct COVID-19 checkpoints this afternoon on the Westbound carriageway of the M4 Motorway.Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

New case figures do not give an accurate picture of the spread of coronavirus

The Beacon Hospital, Sandyford, Co Dublin. Private hospitals have agreed to provide their facilities on a not-for-profit basis to help deal with the surge in coronavirus cases that is expected over the next two weeks and beyond. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

‘Many’ and ‘some’ are words people use when they don’t have accurate figures and oftentimes translate as ‘not a lot’

A black swan and a reflection.

Events characterised by failure of the supposedly clairvoyant to predict the future accurately

Demonstrators protest over the potential  opening of a    direct provision centre in Oughterard, Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Ireland is as predisposed to racism as any society although we are probably more prone to self-deception

British prime minister Boris Johnson: mulling over potential solutions to the backstop standoff. Photograph: Finnbarr Webster/Reuters

At this late stage there seems little appetite for alternatives to the backstop

A progressive tax system has to be finely balanced if it is to be sustainable. And one of the weights on the scale is access to very high quality education at a significant discount for the middle classes.

The fiscal arguments for this state of affairs are flimsy, but change is still unlikely

Timothy Schmalz’s sculpture of homelessness: It is hard not to feel unease at the notion the wealthy get to choose how they contribute to society. Photograph:  Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star

Inviting wealthy to fund housing may add philanthropic legitimacy to tax avoiders

The ascent of Mytaxi has not been the cause of untrammelled joy for drivers either. Photograph: Alan Betson

Success in Ireland and new €5 cancellation fee point to winner-takes-all capitalism

Robert Watt is widely reported to have been one of the “senior officials” who have counselled against proceeding with the rural broadband plan because it does not represent good value for the taxpayer.However, the Government is determined to press ahead with the project.

Senior civil servant warns over €3bn rural broadband fiasco in waiting

A referendum is to be held in TCD on whether the student union should stop funding the University Times to the tune of €14,000 a year. Photograph: Alan Betson

Controversy over reporting by student newspaper has upside for freedom of expression

You could argue the toss about Paschal Donohoe’s maths and Leo Varadkar’s dissembling but what is inescapable is that they are not listening to the one body whose mandate is to ensure prudent economic management to ensure we avoid a repetition of the economic catastrophe that enveloped us in 2008. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Worrying to see Taoiseach and Paschal Donohoe demonstrating ambivalence to expertise

“There is no scientific basis for those who might try to claim that positive discrimination towards female scientists is futile on the basis that science itself says men are better.” Photograph: Lyn Alweis/Getty Images

Study showing women are more empathetic, men more analytical, stresses social factors

Minister for Health Simon Harris. ‘Harris is caught in the headlights of public opinion and seeking unwarranted inquiries in order to be seen to be doing something.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Malak Thawley case shows limits of his trigger-happy approach to the health service

Disinterested pedestrians passing a young adult male  on a Dublin bridge in 2011. Photograph: iStock

Life expectancy has started to peak as inequality rises

Stepaside Garda station. Reopening it may be a small price to pay in order to safeguard our democracy. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

John McManus: Minister and Independents are a bulwark against strong-man politics

Robert Pitt, the then chief executive of INM, passes Leslie Buckley, the company’s then chairman, at the media group’s AGM in Dublin last August. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former chief executive crucially was an outsider in tightly-knit corporate Ireland

Newspapers piled up at Panda Waste Service, Ballymount Road, Dublin 12: Not only is Panda getting me to work for free, it can also fine me. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

John McManus: Panda has enslaved me as an unpaid rubbish sorter facing fines

Irish Volunteers and one Irish Citizen Army member inside the GPO in 1916: behind both the Rising and Brexit vote was desire for a return to a halcyon age.  Photograph: Defence Forces Military Archives, Cathal Brugha barracks

Irish smugness about UK folly must be tempered by memory of independence

It has emerged that after Ireland changed its laws, Apple made one of the three “stateless” companies resident in Ireland and the other two in Jersey. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Paradise Papers: Apple says it changed residency of its Irish subsidiaries but insists move did not reduce tax payments

A housing estate under construction: the Glenveagh prospectus doesn’t seem to see any risk that the growing public discontent about the shortage of affordable housing will  result in any  significant Government action.  File photograph: Alan Betson

€700 million new entrant Glenveagh sees little chance of meaningful intervention to reduce prices

Once vulture funds start to believe they will lose money – or miss out on profits – by delaying development, they will start building houses. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

Vulture funds must be convinced that building homes now is the rational course

A torture chamber in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Domestic dead ends force campaigners to turn to Geneva in effort to embarrass Government into action

Independent TDs such as Mick Wallace have shown that you can win votes by using using Dáil privilege to raise issues of public concern. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

The squabbling post Paul Murphy’s acquittal is a small price to pay for an open forum

 St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Taxpayer-funded assets will be controlled by opaque group with deep enthusiasm for private medicine

“It is business as usual with house prices being squeezed up, loose bank lending and incentives for first-time buyers.” Photograph: Alan Betson

John McManus: Politicians and builders are united in need for rising house prices

Nicholas Kearns (right), the former High Court president and deputy chairman of the NMH, arriving at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, this week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

SVHG has protected its own financial interests through taking control of the new hospital

My  Right2Ruralbroadband movement will be modelled on Right2Water. The first step towards my seat in the Dáil  is to establish that broadband is a human right and a public good

Maybe the the time is right for a new movement modelled on the water campaign

“There will always be a light on in Áras an Uachtaráin for our exiles and our emigrants.”

Offer to extend presidential franchise raises uncomfortable questions about diaspora

The law is not perfect. There are grey areas, and it often lags behind changes in societal norms. Yet it is reasonable to say that as a society we have agreed what constitutes the limit of free speech

Few believe free speech should have no limits, but where is the cut-off point?

Angela Kerins. The High Court judgment in a case taken by the former Rehab chief executive confirms that parliamentary privilege extends to Oireachtas committees. Photograph: Collins Courts

Kerins case judgment means committees are free under privilege to abuse citizens

Enda Kenny at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: With Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, the Taoiseach    met a number of senior executives privately and hosted a dinner for another 45. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Fragility of Goverment due to growing anger over inequality probably not mentioned

‘It seems like an act of folly not to have used Nama in some way to reset the price of building land so that someone on the average wage could afford the average house.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

The Irish economy is set to repeat its old mistake of excess mortgage-lending

“You must believe impossible things in order to understand why Apple does not believe it must pay tax.” Photograph: Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

The US giant thinks that governments exploit loopholes to make firms pay tax

The blame for what happened in 2007 rests with  politicians. By the same token, the credit for the economic turnaround in the 1960s must also go to politicians such as (from left to right) Seán Lemass,  Jack Lynch and TK Whitaker. Photograph: Jimmy McCormack

Did his plan’s success paradoxically contribute to the crash and rise of populist politics?

Only the top 20 per cent of Irish households have a disposable income in excess of €60,000 and can be said to be “living the dream”.

Fair rewards are elusive and this creates a breeding ground for populist solutions

All at sea: the price tag of a ship like the recently launched LE Samuel Beckett is €48 million, which is also the estimated cost to Ireland of making good on its promise to accept 4,000 Syrian refugees by September 2017.

We are slow to take in refugees but dispatch rescue ships with great gusto

You are not going to win very many votes telling people that the Government’s job creation policy is the best guarantee that they will be safe in their beds. Photograph: Frank Miller

New figures are not good news for politicians on the ‘reopening Garda stations’ bandwagon

What really matters is that Nama chose to ignore the big red flag raised by Pimco and proceeded to sell the Northern Ireland property loan book to Cerberus.

State agency should have blown the whistle on Northern Ireland sale but chose not to

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager went out of her way on Tuesday to encourage other countries and the US to try to recoup the tax “owed” to Ireland. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

The money does not belong to us and we should give it back to its owners

Carina Fitzpatrick said she was subjected “to the Garda’s subjective news regarding personal modesty at Knockanstockan”.

Carina Fitzpatrick made a statement on everything from parenting to sexuality

In 2009 charities associated with a Dublin law firm were used as part of a scheme, managed by a US hedge fund, to buy up bonds in a collapsed Icelandic bank Glitnir.

Charties have been used for years to reduce tax on international deals done from Dublin

Simon Coveney at the launch of the Government’s housing plan. The package for first-time buyers represents a massive subsidy for an industry that is fundamentally uncompetitive and is now playing chicken with the Government. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

It’s not that the Government can’t bring down house prices, more that they don’t want to

 NAMA at the Treasurry Building .Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Reluctance to face up to Project Eagle fiasco may cost agency dearly

 Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy.  The car is still speeding along and he is in no danger of catching it. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Irish Water is to Murphy what Euroscepticsm was to Johnson. It is the single issue that keeps on giving and that he never wants to(...)

Little concern that a resurgent Dáil will be allowed stray too far from the economic status quo

Seán Quinn: When he entered the sector, other insurers expressed their bafflement at how he could write insurance profitably at such prices, but that did not stop them cutting premiums in response. Photograph: Alan Betson

If motor insurance is so unprofitable, why does anybody do it?

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)

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

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.

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

Michael Lowry, whose complex tax affairs have become public knowledge by default. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times Dara Mac Donaill

Would we elect more politicans like Michael Lowry if we knew about their finances?

 Frank Flannery: “absolutely confident” he never signed a letter from Joe Holden of Bank of Ireland in relation to a  Jersey account.   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Pity Frank Flannery and all those caught up in the Mossack Fonseca leak

Developer Ray Grehan.

Ray Grehan's quarter-share in €50m Dutch casino transferred to British Virgin Islands firm

Patrick Pearse: the Daily Telegraph writer Charles Moore portrayed the rebel leader as a religious fanatic

UK commentators have gone where Irish ones fear to tread

Vampire squid prey: Residents of Cruise Park Drive, Tyrrelstown. Pictured left to right, Alena, Lilian (6), Hannah (4) and Martin Malinowsky. Picture Nick Bradshaw

Nobody who just got a Dáil seat wants to be the Irish version of Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and Syriza - who stood up to internationa(...)

Caring industry: Exploitation of these moslty young women is the rational response of anyone who cannot access affordable well regulated child care; which is pretty much everybody with children. Photograph: Getty

Workplace watchdog’s ruling will be honoured more in the breach than the observance

’We are going to Borgen the bejaysus out of you bunch of Scandi-loving ingrates’ Photograph: Mike Kolloffel MAG TV

If social democracy is what it takes to preserve the civil war fabric of our political system then so be it

The Government’s habit reached its denouement in efforts to reform the profession

Gardaí at the service for  David Byrne in St Nicholas of Myra church on Francis Street: A visitor to Dublin  in the vicinity   might have assumed  they had happened across the funeral of a pillar of the local community. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

How can it be considered a success when gardaí facilitate a public celebration of crime

Richard Barrett: Publicly expressed his concern over the State’s failure to provide adequate levels of social housing.  Photograph: Eric Luke Staff Photographer

Somewhat inexplicably the Government do seem slow to take up his offer of help

Members of the public beside a mural in Dublin’s Temple Bar area by street artist SUMS supporting a yes vote in the marriage equality  referendum. Niall Carson/PA Wire

During the marriage referendum they overtly tried to influence the outcome of the democratic process in their favour

 Belcamp House on the Malahide Road, Dublin.   An 18th century Georgian country pile that saw out its later days as a boarding school and seminary. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

The price of sites must bear some sort of relationship to what people are prepared to pay for a house

Why should government’s  fund – via taxes forgone – Zuckerberg’s perfectly laudable desire to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”. Photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

No need to get too excited about Facebook boss giving our money away

Former IFA general secretary Pat Smith. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Pat Smith’s salary is no more or less troubling than that of any other successful executive

The failure of the coalition to agree on a housing package highlights the bind it is in.

Some need house prices to return to 2007 levels and others need them linked to 2015 wages

 Thomas Flynn, Moatview Avenue, Coolock was jailed for 12 years with three suspended at Clonmel Circuit court as he was one of seven men who broke into the home of Mark and Emma Corcoran at Burnchurch, near Killenaul in November 2013. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

A thousand more on the dole in Garda district leads to extra 50 break-ins and thefts

Walking: Nama chairman Frank Daly and Brendan McDonagh, chief executive arriving at the Public Accounts Committee, (PAC) in Leinster House earlier this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

When you look at the background the agency’s position does not really hold water

The Asgard II, which sunk off the French coast in 2008. Photograph: Coiste an Asgard/PA Wire

Alantic Youth Trust want insurance money from sunken ship to help fund new vessel

EirGen employs 100 and manufactures high potency drugs for cancer chemotherapy

Miami-based Opko acquires Waterford-based manufacturer of generic cancer drugs

Eircom is seeking permission from its lenders to potentially sell its telephone exchange site on Crown Alley in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Telecoms group wants covenants limiting its indebtedness significantly relaxed

 Athens, Greece: polls indicate a left-wing party which wants to repudiate Greek loans will take power

Eurogroup chief says room to manoeuvre if new government honours its agreements

 ‘The overt message was equally simple. Growth is up, unemployment is down and we did it by engaging in a constructive northern European manner with the troika.’ Above, Enda Kenny (right) with Alexander Stubb  Prime Minister of Finland, during a panel session of the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.  Photograph: EPA/Laurent Gillieron

Enda Kenny’s efforts to use Davos to send a message to voters back home do not seem to have worked out so well

French President Francois Hollande: The ECB’s decision “should not stop us from carrying out reforms”

French president commits to faster reforms alongside ECB launch of quantitative easing

Governor of the Banks of England Mark Carney and managing director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde smile prior to a panel “A Richer World, but for Whom”at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Bank of England chief says Frankfurt’s plan will preserve prospects of prosperity in Europe

Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland yesterday. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Fragile recovery threatened by a ‘sense of populism’, Taoiseach says

British chancellor George Osborne, in Davos, welcomed the quantitative easing announcement but said it was not sufficient for a European recovery. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Expected weakening of euro should boost Irish exports and tourism

ECB chief Mario Draghi said the intervention would continue “until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation which is consistent with our aim”. Photograph: Michael Probst/AP

Quantitative easing expected to benefit Irish exports and tourism and bring more lending

Enda Kenny speaks next to Alexander Stubb, prime minister of Finland, during ap panel session of the  World Economic Forum  in Davos. Photograph: EPA

Taoiseach expresses hope that Greece remain within euro zone

Walk on by: Snowmen representing countries worldwide during an exhibition from the NGO, action/2015, on the sideline of the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Photograph: EPA

Stimulus programme dominates opening day of Davos economic forum in Switzerland

Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham

Snowden documents reveal how British intelligence target Irish internet traffic

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is a global network of 185 investigative journalists in more than 65 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is global network of 185 journalists in 65 countries

The Minister’s plan to get Éamon Ó Cuív on board didn’t succeed. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Events out west cut to heart of a flaw in the environment versus development debate

The number of Irish developers who got it right can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Photograph: Getty Images

A different model is needed for the property market

Dermot Smurfit Jnr: “I think Michael has respect for me. . . I would be super disappointed if he didn’t say: ‘Dermot is a good operator’ ”

The young pretender to the Smurfit crown on gambling, gaming and the ability to assess and manage risks rather than just take them

Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee chairman John McGuinness: gave  insight into how the committee operates and what its real agenda is. Photograph: Eric Luke

Business Opinion: PAC chairman John McGuinness dealt fatal blow to inquiry

Part of the explanation for the catastrophic misjudgment of the blanket bank debt guarantee was that the then government did not know what it was letting itself – and by extension the taxpayer – in for. Photograph: Eric Luke

Even with different rules we would likely have faced a deep crisis in 2008

One suspects investors’ experience in Cavan will be more damaging to our reputation than events around Garth Brooks in  Croke Park. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill	/The Irish Times

A story with many elements of a good country song

Pat Phelan: “Internet commerce is a really unfair business on the merchant because no one else takes any risk. So it’s all down to one guy and what happens is he’s told to go ahead and later he’s told, sorry that was fraud.”

Merchants takes the hit in internet fraud and Cork entrepreneur Pat Phelan has devised a tool to help them spot dodgy customers

The Bundestag, in Berlin. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Business Opinion: German plan is so good it makes it difficult for us to plan long-term

Because of the limited powers available to the Central Bank, there is not much that can be done by the monetary authorities to rein in prices until this happens Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Opinion: The emergence of non-bank mortgage financing could be disastrous

Brian Comer: Operates on a deceptively simple rule of thumb that if something is for sale in a top city at significantly less than it cost to build, it’s a deal. Photograp: Ken Lennox

With assets worth €2 billion, the Comer brothers have come a long way since leaving school in their early teens to work as plaster(...)

 Minster for Finance Michael Noonan: said  he was not aware of any plan to link debt relief to tax reform. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Retrospective recapitalisation commitment can still be leveraged

Johnny Ronan: it emerged last week that the developer is starting his comeback with a €40 million purchase of an office block in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Opinion: Treasury Holdings liquidator to rule on whether to impose restrictions

Zappos staff: “Like American high school kids celebrating the end of term.” Photograph: Zappos

Who is in the driving seat here? Zappos or its employees?

Frank Salmon, owner of CMS Distribution, the Kiltimagh-based technology products distribution and manufacturing business

Group has invested more than £2 million in new systems

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