Archbishop Diarmuid Martin looks on as President Michael D Higgins signs a book of condolence for victims of the Sri Lanka bombings in the Pro-Cathedral. Photograph:  John McElroy

A Mass for victims of last week’s bombings in Sri Lanka heard of the risk of “increased militarisation” in the country and of a “destructive narrative(...)

Dr Sindy Joyce has been appointed to the Council of State. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A member of the Traveller community appointed by President Michael D Higgins as one of his advisers sees her new role as a rebuke to attacks on her co(...)

ActionAid ran a pilot programme in Cork to raise awareness and to change mindsets about FGM. Pictured is a similar, recent programme in Milan, Italy

When women become defensive about use of the word “mutilation” in the term female genital mutilation, preferring to call it “modification” or “cutting(...)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un:  interest in the Northern Ireland peace process is growing in Korea, especially among those who prioritise improved inter-Korean relations over political unification.  Photograph:  KCNA/VIA KNS/STR/AFP

Two news stories simmered through the summer months, between which few people likely saw any connection. One was the crisis surrounding the Korean pen(...)

Dr Andreas Weber: mingles his vast scientific knowledge with a poetic turn of phrase which draws readers into connections with the natural world.

 Every now and again, an academic, an entrepreneur or even an economist comes along to challenge conventional thinking. German biologist, eco-phi(...)

Former Irish president Mary McAleese: “It needs to be removed in conscience, in justice and . . . it has no basis in divine law”. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Former president Mary McAleese is among more than 100 international Catholic academics who have signed a ‘Scholars’ Statement’ challenging the church(...)

Sport and politics: One of the most eye-catching survey findings was that a majority of people in the North (54 per cent) would actually prefer a single all-Ireland team.

In the Snow Patrol song, Lifening, Gary Lightbody sings, “Ireland in the World Cup, either North or South”, then adds yearningly, “This is all I ever (...)

Methodist notes

Christians in Science (CiS) is an international network of people interested in the relationship between science and faith. CiS Ireland holds regular (...)

Shaykh Dr Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri  founder of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council.

A Muslim anti-extremism declaration, drawn up to ensure that all visiting Islamic speakers to Ireland abide by norms of peaceful and respectful discus(...)

Walton Empey, archbishop of Dublin from 1996 to 2002, said: “I certainly have no hesitation in calling for a Yes vote.” Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Two retired Church of Ireland archbishops of Dublin and a leading Catholic theologian have called for a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum(...)

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