Surveys show three-quarters of Irish people have not taken illegal drugs. Is that a sign of the success, or the failure, of drugs policy? Photograph:  Paul Faith/PA Wire.

When it comes to narcotics, the only cliche more commonly used than “the war on drugs” is the one that says “the war on drugs has failed”. Surveys sh(...)

Mourners at the funeral of Eileen Battersby in Drogheda at St Peter’s Church, Drogheda, Co Louth.  Photograph: Donall Farmer

Literary critic, author and journalist Eileen Battersby was a “brilliant”, “beguiling”, “beautiful”, “courageous”, “dynamic” romantic who lived by her(...)

A cult of male homosexuality/bisexuality was apparently not only prevalent but widely tolerated among the upper echelons of Gaelic society.

In recent years, Irish society has undergone sweeping transformations, including legalisation of same-sex marriage and decriminalisation of homosexual(...)

Máire Whelan: as part of her duties as AG, she had to consider which serving judges might be most suitable for promotion to the Court of Appeal. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The appointment of Máire Whelan, the former attorney general (AG), to the Court of Appeal has raised a number of questions that arise from the fact th(...)

Outgoing Attorney General Máire Whelan was nominated on Tuesday to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeal. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

On Tuesday, the Government nominated the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, to the Court of Appeal to fill the vacancy on that court that existed since t(...)

Garrett Sheehan   said Ireland’s automatic imposition of a life sentence for murder in all circumstances ‘absolutely needs to be looked at’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Juries conducting independent online research during criminal trials is a major problem, a retired senior judge has warned. Garrett Sheehan, who step(...)

One of the long-standing concerns of the society has been the low number of solicitors appointed to senior judicial posts. It is understood the society feels the system proposed by the department would help to address this. File photograph: iStockPhoto

The proposed shake-up of the system for appointing judges has split the two arms of the legal profession, with solicitors rowing in behind a controver(...)

Gay rights activist Tonie Walsh: “People were conditioned into a state of fear by the existence of the law.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

It was well after midnight when Tonie Walsh was woken by the ringing phone. On the line was a panicked friend. He had been out in Dublin and decided t(...)

Nell McCafferty  outside the Criminal Courts of Justice on  Parkgate Street, Dublin:  she  concedes conditions are better but believes the building is far from ideal. “The thing that stood out for me, I cannot hear anything. You could hear everything in old Bridewell.” Photograph: Court Collins.

She is known as a social campaigner, a playwright and an outspoken feminist but Nell McCafferty first made her name as a District Court reporter for T(...)

The judges of the Supreme Court,  back row, from left: Mr Justice Peter Charleton, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, Mr Justice Liam McKechnie, Mr Justice John MacMenamin, Mr Justice Frank Clarke and Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne; and front row, from left: Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, Chief Justice Ms Justice Susan Denham, Mr Justice John Murray and Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell, at the Supreme Court yesterday as they signed and issued a direction under the Constitution to give rise to the division of work between the new Court of Appeal and a reformed Supreme Court. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Some 258 cases from the Supreme Court’s waiting list have been transferred to the new Court of Appeal following a direction by the Chief Justice, M(...)

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