Official figures confirm the number of people departing the Defence Forces has surged in recent years.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Defence Force pay rates compare very favourably with other parts of the public service and some claims about conditions were “misleading” and “wildly (...)

Demand for Irish passports is at a record level with applications up 8.5 per cent year on year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

More than 10,000 applications for an Irish passport were received in one day last month, an Oireachtas committee was told. Demand for Irish passports(...)

Internally displaced women walk to a food distribution in the early morning at the Protection of Civilian site (PoC) in Bentiu, South Sudan, earlier this month.  The site was established in January 2014, when 7,000 civilians entered the UN base to seek protection, shortly after the start of the South Sudanese civil war. The camp hosts over 20,000 households and the numbers keep rising every day. Photograph: Stefanie Glinski/AFP/Getty Images

Overseas aid is something of an anomaly in Irish policy-making. Expensive yet largely uncontroversial, it attracts positive reviews from across the wo(...)

Ibrahim Halawa: Arrested after a protest in August 2013 and is being held in an Egyptian prison

Ibrahim Halawa, the Irish teenager imprisoned in Egypt, was described as being “in reasonable spirits ” by the chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on(...)

Omaima (left), Fatima and Somaia Halawa, sisters of Irish teenager Ibrahim Halawa, campaigning for his release from prison in Egypt. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Barristers examining the case of Ibrahim Halawa believe the release of the Irish teenager, who has been detained in Egypt for almost two years, could (...)

Mary Lou McDonald: accused the Tánaiste of “a limp and lily-livered’’ response to the issue ,

The Dáil yesterday observed a minute’s silence in solidarity with the people of Gaza. The gesture was proposed by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams who, w(...)

An Israeli soldier prays today next to an Israeli self-propelled 155mm howitzer belonging to an artillery unit deployed at an unspecified location next to the Israeli border with Gaza. Photograph: Atef Safadi/EPA

The Dáil observed a minute’s silence in solidarity with the people of Gaza and the Middle East at lunchtime today. Ministers and TDs stood in response(...)

 Noel Dorr: raising such matters required a well thought-out approach as it would be wrong for a visiting delegation to make their hosts feel as if they were saying: “We’re better than you.”  ,

Ministers on trade missions should raise concerns about human rights abuses when visiting states where such issues exist, but only to a point their ho(...)