Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol on January 6th.  Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

We’ve taken to aping the protest style of Trump supporters

Marian Finucane and John Clarke. Photograph: Kieran Slyne

He recalls her ‘peculiar’ attitude to doctors, their ‘crazy’ love and their late daughter

‘The ghost of Christmas future had arrived, manifest in European borders shutting down to UK arrivals. Mile upon mile of trucks were stacked on the M20 to Dover.’ Photograph:  Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty

Rather than a sign of weakness, a U-turn shows the presence of a functioning mind

John le Carré. File photograph: David Azia/the New York Times

The author’s story is a reminder to keep in sight the millions of decent Britons

Brian Stanley: When  he rises in the Dáil next week the only useful statement would be a declaration that the time is long past for using the murdered dead as a means to an end

England has long been a haven for our loved ones needing to escape social shaming or seeking a decent life

The past never goes away. It is in our DNA, our folk memory, our mindset. It’s what still sends men out to acquire guns and murder innocents like Lyra McKee. Photograph: Jess Lowe

Careless tweets from influential people like Brian Stanley matter terribly

RTÉ presenters David McCullagh and Miriam O’Callaghan with retiring reception supervisor Phil Collins

Controversial gathering daft and stupid but hardly a hanging offence

My friend was unaware of the law that takeaway drinks cannot be consumed within 100 metres of the pub that sold them. Does everyone know that? Photograph: Getty Images

‘Save Christmas’ drive relies on narrative of the emigrant’s return that belongs to another era

Mr Justice Séamus Woulfe: Man of majestic self-certainty. File photograph: Alan Betson

At a human level, judge is in a pitiable position. At institutional level, he’s a source of fascination

The question for his enablers will always come back to this. Were the tax cuts, the regulation-slashing, the right-wing “originalist” judges worth the plunge into the Trump sewer of lawlessness, nepotism and corruption? Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Can we ever go back or have the four years of his presidency taken us in too deep?

‘When a Covid-19 vaccine emerges, the mother of all marketing and reassurance jobs will be required.’ File photograph: Damien Eagers/PA Wire

Scepticism, fear and anti-vax beliefs contrast with stay-away patriotism of 1967 emigrants

Out in the world, the dismay at this ceaseless, shouty Babel of voices, political leaks, agenda manipulation and all shades of one-upmanship, is palpable. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Covid-19’s icy fingers are ripping the heart and hope out of ordinary people, but we need to find a unity of purpose

CervicalCheck’s clinical director, Dr Nóirín Russell, says people are afraid to  come into healthcare settings because of fear of Covid-19. Photograph: iStock

Out of 110,000 smear test invitations sent this summer, only 12,000 women responded

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan. It’s no secret that Government and Nphet meetings have hardly been a hive of harmony up to now. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Country is split down the middle just when it needed unity of purpose

Donald Trump. Photograph: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

This is a president in desperate need of vast injections of cash to save his bacon

 ‘British prime minister Boris Johnson developed the idea of an EU blockade in a typically blustery, mendacious article.’ Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Simon Coveney’s BBC interview offered a steely rebuke to idea each story has two equal sides

UK prime minister Boris Johnson  at 10 Downing Street in London on Tuesday. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The UK is still our neighbour despite Boris Johnson’s obfuscation on Brexit

Former commissioner Phil Hogan: EPP think tank  Wilfried Martens Centre researcher Eoin Drea seems to think  our ignorant bloodlust blinded us. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Social solidarity will not flourish where power sticks thumbs in its people’s eyes

The Station House Hotel in Clifden, Co Galway,  where the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner was held last Wednesday. Photograph: Hany Marzouk/PA Wire

Best of 2020: Woulfe, Hogan, O’Rourke and Hayes trigger lazy comparisons with the Galway tent

John Hume: “Politics is not only about principles but the ability to put principles into practice. The second is as important as the first.” Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan/Collins

There is a trove of lessons there for the new crop of politicians who want to learn

Vicky Phelan has confronted her own death to the point where talking about it has come to seem almost normal, a gift in itself for all who must face up to crucifying prognoses. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The time for a debate in Ireland on assisted suicide has come

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte: Apart from being a member of the frugal four, he was never ambiguous about his views on Hungary and Poland. Photograph:  Stephanie Lecocq

Rule-of-law conditions in EU deal target its authoritarian, hate-spouting nationalists

Mary Kenny: Her decision to fire a serious, legal question about Irish travel restrictions out to Twitter just days before her flight was distinctly odd.

There is no room for Covid-19 risk-taking or bellyaching about 14 days of quarantine

Public-service announcement posters in Melbourne counter a conspiracy theory that 5G technology causes Covid-19. Photograph: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Polls show high percentage of populations harbouring belief in conspiracy theories

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary is the new Chief Whip but he did not get a ministerial position. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The ‘understanding’ that Ministers represent their regions is a dangerous fiction

Clare Bailey, leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Diving into the Republic’s politics at such a critical moment is quite a departure

Are there any differences at all between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael?  Photograph: Damien Eagers/Leon Farrell/PA Wire

The Civil War ceased being relevant to FF and FG policies in the 1950s

An Amazon fulfilment centre in Peterborough,  England. Photograph: Chris J RatcliffeAFP/Getty Images

Despite criticism of how it treats workers, the company is having a good pandemic

 US president Donald Trump: Every malignant, divisive, racist word that has left his mouth, every lie, every declaration of support for a murderous autocrat, has led to this juncture in world affairs where a killer virus is just another electoral tool. Photograph: Oliver Contreras/EPA

Covid-19 committee must realise this is not the gotcha territory of the banking inquiry

Eoin O Broin  tweeted a link to an Oliver Callan skit about Leo Varadkar checking his notes on the Late Late Show, and said that  “criticising, questioning and lampooning those in power is healthy, and should never be shut down”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Kathy Sheridan: Oliver Callan and Eoin Ó Broin should know better

 People take part in a “reopen” Pennsylvania demonstration last week  in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US.  Hundreds of people  gathered in the US state  to protest measures that are urging most of the nation to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. File photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

Almost every reckless decision ever can be traced to someone persuaded he was a brilliant maverick

Michael Lowry: appears impatient as others battle with the Covid-19 pandemic and Britain’s flight to Brexitland, while dealing with the three-way election verdict. Photograph: Tom Honan

Constituency supremacy ideology of no use to FF and FG in government formation

The psychological and physical benefits of a short walk outdoors should not be denied to older, vulnerable people. Photograph: iStock

A designated time each day would help those struggling in mandatory confinement

More than four out of five of us believe the current Government is doing a good job. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Why rush into an unsatisfactory arrangement while Covid-19 threat remains?

‘In the shadow of grief, upended lives, separation and tragic death, we are taking back control, not by chasing imperial phantoms but by recognising that we are the weapons capable of facing down Covid-19.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

On the whole, the language on this pandemic is suddenly quite cosy, but many dangers lurk

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi makes a statement about the US government’s response to coronavirus, March 23rd. Photograph: Epa/Joshua Roberts/ pool

Virus has introduced a new loaded label, ‘elderly with underlying conditions’

Shelves empty of toilet rolls in The Merrion Centre, Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Reaction to coronavirus has become virtual laboratory for national self-scrutiny or lack of it

The attempt to conflate a lack of trust in the HSE’s approach with other government trust issues is  bewildering. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

From facemasks to distrust of experts, coronavirus has brought out the worst in us

 As court officers escorted Harvey Weinstein off to custody, he left behind the walking frame on which he had conspicuously leaned for much of the trial. A telling detail about the man.   Photograph: Todd Heisler/the New York Times

Kathy Sheridan: The fight now moves on to Los Angeles

 David Cullinane of Sinn Féin: as long as their own representatives bring up the murky past, it is the media’s job to report it. This is not bias. It was not a mainstream journalist who dredged it up by shouting “Up the Ra” as recently as election night or suggesting that they “broke the Free State”. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Kathy Sheridan: Sinn Féin must grow accustomed to a vastly higher degree of accountability

“We know what we have and we value it. Ireland came fifth of 65 democracies worldwide in terms of our contentment with our democracy in a 2019 study.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Nothing about line-up of potential leaders suggests we have succumbed to an Orban or Salvini

 Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty: “But I call it just fairness. It’s about fair play.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Claims of privileged education serve too easily to deride Fine Gaelers across all media

That we should never cling to nurse for fear of something worse but that change for the sake of change is what landed the world with Brexit and Donald Trump.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Kathy Sheridan: Ask hard questions but beware of dangers of change for sake of change

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin faces Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in an election debate tonight. File photograph:  Leon Neal/AFP via Getty

Mostly they demonstrate if a candidate can remember their lines or not

“Holding a Saturday election seems enlightened, presuming that plenty of promotion is invested in the change; the fact it’s a weekend is no guarantee that people will prioritise the vote but it removes a lot of excuses.” File photograph: Frank Miller

Brexit showed how easily a country can tip over into something toxic and delusional

“You would have found [virtue signallers] upbraiding people for agonising over a blazing Notre Dame while children were being bombed in Idlib.” Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Moral grandstanding fosters anger and obscures improvements in many areas

“A frequently-cited hope in the financial meltdown was that a kinder, more contemplative spirit would emerge among all the folk who had slightly lost their way in the gold rush.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Big gift for Christmas 2019 Ireland is the fact that it’s not Christmas 10 years ago

 Brexit has morphed  from unicorns and sunlit uplands to getting “the incubus of Brexit off our collective backs”. And the worn-out people’s response is a weary, hypnotic “get Brexit done”. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

The perpetrators feel invincible. Lying is the default. Good luck to us all

Kevin Dowd, brother of  New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, holds one of his guest columns signed by President Donald Trump, in Rockville, Maryland. Trump wrote: “Kevin – thank you – you truly get it! Best wishes, Donald Trump.” Photograph: Gabriella Demczuk/New York Times

NYT columnist briefly handing controls to her Trumpist sibling leaves readers with a problem

Fine Gael local election candidate Verona Murphy canvassing at New Ross, Co Wexford. ‘We are still no wiser about the source of Murphy’s claims despite the gravity of them.’ Photograph: Patrick Browne

Fine Gael’s reaction to candidate's comments on immigration is infuriating

Lorraine Clifford-Lee canvassing in Portmanock, Dublin, last week. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

'Fact-free nonsense': Why would an educated young woman believe such things, never mind tweet them?

Ana Kriégel’s murder was carried out by a boy who saw a female object, not a sensate being.  Photograph: RTÉ News

Concerns over fact that most teenagers view pornography has been known for a decade

Katie Hill: Just a year ago, the newbie representative was a shooting star on Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team. Photograph: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

The former US congresswoman has said she was worried that if she stayed in office, more compromising images would emerge

 One Government Deputy  compared some stupidly casual voting practices by certain Dáil members to the worst excesses of the Charles Haughey era. Photograph:  Getty Images

Fuss over voting practices is not on a par with historic political scandals

Extinction Rebellion activists were based in Merrion Square in Dublin for the duration of their ‘action week’.  Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Lord Mayor’s acquiescence to Merrion Square camp puts city chief in bind

A motorcyclist in Pettigo, Co Donegal. For urban dwellers accustomed to a Dublin Bus/Luas/Dart stop down the street, it must be hard to understand the head-melting time, effort and frustration involved in relying on rural public transport. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Kathy Sheridan: Ryan’s suggestion taps into perception of bubble-living urban dwellers

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: a man with an undeniable air of entitlement and still prone to stupid gaffes. Photograph:  David Young/PA

Taoiseach’s after-dinner jibe at Fianna Fáil was a cheap and silly potshot

Ode to a Grecian urn: Heracles engages in the first of his 12 labours,  helped by the goddess Athena, two characters referenced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in meeting Boris Johnson. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty

Brexit mess, modern politics and the potential wisdom of myth

The scene outside Parliament in London on Tuesday. Tempers are rising and unity and solidarity are needed to demonstrate  that something sacred to us is at stake. Photograph:  Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images

The clock is ticking on towards October 31st and some kind of vent is called for

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson  places his foot on the table during a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace in Paris, France, on August 22nd. Photograph:  Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP/Getty

Putting your foot in it: Boris Johnson’s bad manners at Élysée Palace is another example

Edna O'Brien. Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty

Fearful of what? ‘Many things – people, life, swimming, bicycles, shouting, animals...’

Killian Foley-Walsh. “The president of Young Fine Gael who lit a small party fire by attending a conservative student conference addressed by Mike Pence is still only 24 and may have picked up a few life lessons already.” File photograph: Killian Foley-Walsh/Twitter

Young America’s Foundation funding merits close ideological inspection

Brenda from Bristol became the British vox pop breakout star of 2017, when a BBC reporter broke the news to her of another general election and she responded: “You’re joking Not another one! Oh, for God’s sake. Honestly. I can’t stand this. There’s too much politics going on at the moment”

In a world where social media means no opinion ever goes unexpressed, the vox pop is hauling sand to the desert

British prime minister Boris Johnson inspects poultry  at Shervington Farm, near Newport, Wales, on Tuesday. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

Brexiteers are putting pressure on Dublin to act on something they do not care about

Boris Johnson arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters in London on Tuesday after being announced as Britain’s next prime minister. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Next British prime minister peddles the same false hope and belief in his own centrality

My message to Ms 2121 would be heavy on curiosity. Did Field-Marshal Sixtus Rees-Mogg end up running Dambusters, the second World War theme park once known as England?  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

New census questions inspire reflection on what a reader from the past might want to know

 Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, with Kim Darroch,  British ambassador to the US after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington in November 2017. According to media reports, US president Donald Trump has said he will no longer work with Darroch after emails in which the ambassador referred to the White House as a ‘uniquely dysfunctional environment’ were  leaked. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Leaks tell us everything about the feral rage coursing through Brexit patriots

Maura Higgins has been dubbed a feminist icon because of her remarks on Love Island. Photograph: Facebook

Occasional act of assertiveness by a female contestant cannot belie all the self-regard, exterior personalities, sexual predation,(...)

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds in a photo which appeared in some newspapers earlier this week.

Right to privacy is not so straightforward when running for prime minister of the UK

Majella Moynihan in 1998. ‘The Garda Representative Association had failed so comprehensively in its purpose to protect and defend her that she wasn’t even aware of its existence.’  Photograph: RTÉ

Atmosphere that pervaded the Garda and society wrecked many lives

Boris Johnson, the bookies’ favourite to become UK prime minister, leaves his home in London on Tuesday. The great achievement of his handlers has been to get him a haircut and keep him hidden for weeks. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images

This is a time when we can only feel a deep well of sympathy for ordinary British people

US president Donald Trump and Britain’s prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Neil Hall

The dangled bait of a US-UK trade deal is laced with predatory controls and manipulations

Green party leader Eamon Ryan: may be a national treasure. Photograph: Ryan  Gareth Chaney Collins

Eamon Ryan and Terence Flanagan are beacons for struggle leading to success

Local candidates: what constitutes the massive workload of which they speak? Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Just 8.4% of funds flow through local government compared with Denmark’s 66%

Flowers for sale beside the Spire, on O’Connell Street. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Beleaguered street deserves the best we can offer in design and creativity

There is no law against a ragbag militia taking over a swathe of the capital’s main thoroughfare and calling it a march. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Dissidents failed to anticipate furious backlash from new generation

The steeple of Notre-Dame cathedral collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Declan Ganley’s response to Notre Dame fire was in stark contrast to the unity elsewhere

A worker carries  a box out of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers offices in London in September 2008: alarms were flashing many years before it  filed for bankruptcy but it didn’t suit the banking culture to heed them.  Photograph: Andrew Winning

Some 3,000 bank workers express concern about their employers’ values

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Kylie Minogue with others at the singer’s gig at the 3 Arena: He was never shy about his fandom. Photograph: Tiernan Brady/Twitter

For years we craved youth in politicians. Now we have it, we should cut them some slack

The Irish Freedom Party has spent an estimated €40,000 on a big billboard campaign. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Embryonic grouping is raising cash to run candidates in European elections

Then FAI chief executive - now executive vice-president - John Delaney in the crowd watching  Saturday’s game against Gibraltar. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Good governance: Football is big business and needs to be run properly

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald pictured taking part in New York’s St Patrick’s Day parade. Photograph: Twitter

Why are people shocked at Sinn Féin’s leader marching with a 100-year-old banner?

Lisa Smith, two to the right from then taoiseach Bertie Ahern, in 2008, when she was a member of the Defence Forces. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Group’s atrocities already notorious when ex-soldier travelled to Syria

Kathy Sheridan: ‘Lessons learned from the experience of other countries with online safety commissioner and a six-week consultation period offer a chance to get this right, or as right as it can be for now.’ File photograph: iStock

What can be done about erosion of civility and humanity is a challenge for us all

Ellie Kisyombe, photographed for the Irish Times Magazine. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Anyone running for office must be candid but she is also a tireless advocate for asylum seeker’s rights

Departing old-timers will do nicely. This year they include Brexit boyo Nigel Farage (left) – a Eurosceptic since 1999 but not too sceptical to grab the EU’s parting handshake, worth €172,000 in his case. Photograph: François Lenoir

Easy to see why MEPs keen to get noses in Brussels trough

Leave campaigner Arron Banks (left), who is being investigated by the British National Crime Agency. The mysterious deeds and motives of men like Banks – the self-styled “bad boy of Brexit” – will be life-changing for many. Photograph:   Victoria Jones/PA

Big questions remain about source of Leave campaign’s funds

Clockwise from top left: Shaun Harkin, Daniel Scott, John Harley and Mícheál Roarty were killed in a single-vehicle road crash in Co Donegal on Sunday night.

Road death reduction has come a long way but there’s no room for complacency

The Gillette ad has been accused of being patronising and preachy, and worse, of reducing the #MeToo movement to an ad for shaving

A noxious, belligerent, misogynistic streak has leached into every social and political interaction

Political fictions: Richard Goulding as Boris Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings and Oliver Maltman as Michael Gove in the new Channel 4 TV drama, “Brexit: The Uncivil War”. Photograph: Joss Barratt/Channel 4/PA

Boris Johnson’s showmanship must not be let reduce politics to entertainment

It’s the sheer resilience of human beings that makes the heart a wonder

Boris Johnson on BBC’s “The Andrew Marr Show”: crowned Idiot of the Year by the “Economist”. Photograph: Jeff Overs

Faulty assessments, unrealistic expectations and hazardous decisions are UK’s norm

Post-delivery, exhausted, possibly injured, new mothers negotiate a fractious, fragile newborn with cribs and accoutrements in a cramped, tiny space in a crammed, six-bed ward in Holles Street. How is this an acceptable beginning for the new lives we are supposed to cherish, along with labouring women and highly pressurised staff?

Planning deadlines loom, building costs rise and not a block has been laid

The Irish Times clock.   Campaigners say   clock-change would give us the promise of a little more light at the end of the working day, enough to remind that we are not doomed to live in eternal darkness. Photograph: David Sleator

Why every October, as nature is facilitating a natural adjustment to fading light, do we voluntarily hasten the onset of darkness?

Theresa May: we felt her pain, nodding mournfully that she was doing her honest best with the terrible cards she had been dealt. Then the real Theresa May popped up again. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

In our rush to sympathise and praise we almost forgot Brexit is about immigration

In Irish universities,  77 per cent of professors are male and only 23 per cent are female. Stock photograph: Getty Images

Women-only posts plan triggers outrage but figures show deep-seated problem

Minister for Health Simon Harris, whom former HSE chief executive Tony O’Brien accused of being “a frightened little boy” who “runs scared of headlines”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

McCabe and CervicalCheck episodes show harm done by political posturing

Irish presidential runner-up Peter Casey: made no attempt to meet any Travellers as he didn’t want to “invade their privacy”. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

No heroic crusader, businessman knows very little and does not bother to find out

As for the incumbent, questions remain unanswered and his sometime tetchy demeanour suggests a man who after seven long years of presidential adulation has grown unaccustomed to being questioned. Photograph: Frank Miller

No individual should be allowed glide, unquestioned, through 14 years in the nation’s most prestigious job

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