Those most likely to be consistently poor today are those who are unemployed, out of work due to sickness or disability, or lone parents. Photograph: iStock

Up to the late 1960s the Republic had a fairly rudimentary welfare system. Those who were out of work were more likely to emigrate than to live here o(...)

Labour Party leader Dick Spring speaking at a press conference to urge a Yes vote in the 1986 divorce referendum. Photograph: Jack McManus

A failure to introduce State benefits to cover divorced people would ultimately give rise to the accusation that divorce was “only available to those(...)

An ESRI study on the key risk factors in being long-term unemployed has facilitated emergence of a targeted approach and earlier intervention. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

In the immediate postwar years, the United Kingdom and many other European countries developed comprehensive social welfare systems while Ireland lagg(...)