Ireland’s 2001-2002 membership of the UN Security Council, dominated by the response to the 9/11 attacks, was the last time Ireland held one of its 10 non-permanent seats.

Richard Ryan, Ireland’s permanent representative at the United Nations, was preparing for the second week of the Irish month-long presidency of the UN(...)

Former US first lady Barbara Bush. ‘She was the ungainly, insecure daughter of an austere, beautiful mother who put her down.’ Photograph: Reuters

Barbara Bush was an expert at throwing shade, even before the term existed. When Congressman Dan Rostenkowski gave the then US first lady a shampoo fo(...)

Former US president George W Bush with John Bolton in 2005,  a fervent believer in pre-emptive war. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It’s unnerving covering a president who is treated like a boy king, requiring minders; who is easily swayed because he is underinformed; who can sit s(...)

You haven’t escaped yet. Before awards season closes down for a month or two – it’s now almost as long as the football season – we beg your indulgence(...)

UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond: rose because of the baseless hunch  people with little outward charisma must possess great depth. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

This time last year, another technocrat of crisp appearance, whose decisions could swing the British economy this way or that, was pressed to resign b(...)

‘ I think Trump’s trying out different things on the North Korean leader. He’s trying to out-crazy him.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Maureen Dowd, whose political column for The New York Times is syndicated every Monday in The Irish Times, talked to foreign editor Chris Dooley about(...)

Businesses are in the unenviable position of trying to work on contingency planning at a time when the UK is still stumbling its way into negotiations with Brussels. Photograph: Alan Betson

“We’re back to Donald Rumsfeld’s known unknowns,” says Frank Kelly, chairman of Bookselling Ireland, of the possible longer-term consequences of Brexi(...)

A protester holds a placard  during an anti-Trump rally in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: EPA/Clemens Bilan

Right wing populism – a la Trump, Marie Le Pen and others – is on the march. In the US we are already seeing how such populism threatens democracy and(...)

Rarely seen: Melania Trump with her husband on  inauguration day. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Now, stacked on the Trump tower of petrifying things we have to worry about – war with Iran, war with China, war with Mexico, war with Islam, war with(...)

The hous that US president Barack Obama intends to rent after leaving office, in the upmarket Kalorama neighbourhood of Washington. Photograph: Gabriella Demczuk/New York Times

US president Barack Obama and his family plan to move to a mansion in the upscale Kalorama neighbourhood of Washington, a mere two miles from the Whit(...)

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