Time for political reform already passing - Martin

Micheál Martin addressed the MacGill Summer School earlier today (27 July) on the subject of political reform, saying: "If things keep going as they are, not only will there be no real reform there will be very significant steps backwards. Government will be less accountable, parliament will be more irrelevant and reform will be the most devalued word in Irish politics."

The full text of his speech is below.

Phone hacking scandal: A drama of Shakespearean proportions

The phone hacking scandal has all the trappings of a Shakespearian drama, writes Paul McElhinney

Many of Shakespeare’s tragedies involve the key players ending up dead on stage. In the phone hacking scandal so far, two of Britain’s most senior police officers, the CEO of News International and a senior executive of News Corporation, have all resigned and a former News of the World journalist central to the drama, has been found dead – a high casualty level.

Hunger crisis unfolding: Somalia and beyond

The severe drought across much of east Africa is a human emergency that requires urgent attention. It also signals a global crisis: the convergence of inequality, food insecurity and climate change. By Paul Rogers.

Cloyne report points to larger problems

The Cloyne report reveals some shocking truths about the way allagations of abuse were handled, as well as the influnce the church still has over primary schools. The following is the full text of a speech made in the Dail yesterday on this issue by Independent TD Stephen Donnelly

Ireland in the late 1970s. A young man enters the seminary. The priestly vocation is a challenging one, and accordingly, in 1978, this young man goes for a psychological assessment.

Homophobia in Ireland: forgotten but not gone?

There have been some significant steps forward in LGBT rights in Ireland in the last few years, but homophobia is still a problem. This needs to be addressed by significant changes to the education system, writes Alan Moss

Cloyne report published

The Report by Commission of Investigation into the handling by Church and State authorities of allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse against clerics of the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne was published today (13 July). The report describes the handling of allegations, complaints, suspicions and concerns about child sexual abuse in respect of 19 clerics. The inquiry which forms the basis of the report was ordered by the Government in 2009 and the findings submitted to the Minister for Justice and Law Reform in December 2010.

Workers 'hung out to dry' by Bruton's failure to legislate

Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton has announced that he will not be introducing legislation to temporarily cover workers in the wake of last week’s High Court ruling on Joint Labour Committees (JLCs).

Last Friday (8 July) Mr Bruton gave an assurance that he did intend to introduce temporary measures in the wake of the ruling.

'Troika' told bailout agreement must be updated

At a meeting with officials from the ECB/IMF/European Commission 'troika' yesterday (11 July) Social Justice Ireland argued that Ireland's bailout agreement "is dispossessing poor and vulnerable people of their meagre resources so as to re-pay those banks, financial institutions and others who gambled recklessly but lost their gamble."

At the one and a half hour meeting the delegation said that “an updated Memorandum of Understanding is required which would achieve economic growth and financial stability while securing real protection for poor and vulnerable people."