People will not passively accept a situation where others are not contributing fairly or at all, while continuing to reap the benefits. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Thomas Hobbes’s social contract may seem a long way from the fraught issue of how unpaid water charges will be handled. Yet, it’s right at the heart o(...)

Accept that anxiety is something that every single one of us is managing; some just feel it worse than others. Photograph: iStock

Whether it’s the back-to-school panic that is invading many homes, the “Monday fear” following a weekend of excess or the crippling anxiety that forc(...)

Westport: named Best Place to Live in Ireland in June 2012

Westport’s sculpture The Sentinel, commissioned to mark the town’s victory in The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland competition, has itself be(...)

A homeless  man in Dublin. “It seems that when a lot of people searched their memory for examples of the recovery, nothing much came to mind, so they concluded it wasn’t happening in any meaningful way.” Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

It now seems that the result of Election 2016 may be decided by a contest between fear and anger. The Opposition parties hope that voters’ anger at au(...)

Greg Foley: “In our desire to improve the education of students, maybe we’ve gone too far and are afraid to demand more of our students.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Teachers have long been used to helicopter parents: those who hover over their offspring to ensure their every whim is catered for. Now there is a new(...)

Sky-high cost of childcare: childcare accounts for about 35 per cent of income for Irish parents with two children; the average in the rest of the EU is between 10 and 12 per cent. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty

Just as swallows herald the arrival of summer, the scramble by political parties in recent days to declare their childcare credentials is a sure sign (...)

‘If communication with teachers and students is good, there’s less likely to be conflict with parents.’ Photograph: Getty Images

How can you help your children to reach their full potential in school? Dozens of studies make it clear what matters most in a child’s education is(...)

Psychologist Dr Maureen Gaffney: “I’ve been deeply troubled by the way the campaign has been run by some elements on the No side.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Clinical psychologist Dr Maureen Gaffney has said she was so troubled by how some on the No side in the same-sex marriage referendum campaign were co(...)

Ireland’s most borrowed: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, now also a hit film with  Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck

What do a disappearing wife, the driver theory test and a lot of wimpy kids have in common? They are among the subjects covered by Ireland’s most b(...)

100 days of happiness

Maybe you’ve been watching Dr Maureen Gaffney’s show on, “How to be happy”, which involves a somewhat scientific approach to attaining happiness invol(...)

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