Extension of guarantee 'most expensive U-turn in Dáil history'

Speaking during a Dáil debate on extending the banking guarantee by twelve months today Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty accused Fine Gael and Labour of "the single biggest and most expensive political U-turn in Dáil history" and of writing "another blank cheque for the banks, including Anglo Irish Bank."

Said Doherty:

Do we want more women in politics?

It's high time we took gender equality seriously. That means removing barriers to women’s participation in politics. By Eoin Ó Broin.

Women make up almost 50% of the population. Yet astonishingly, only 15.1% of TDs in the Dáil are women.

The 2011 general election was one of the most dramatic in recent history, with a record 84 seats changing hands.

The 'tough decisions' that aren't so tough

Irish politics is based on the idea that the State's job is to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. By Vincent Browne.

Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and the others in this Cabinet can reasonably anticipate that the more outrageously unfair the coming budget will be, the more it will be welcomed in the corridors of power in Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt and Paris, and the more Ministers will congratulate themselves for taking tough decisions that are in fact not remotely tough on themselves or their cronies.

Kicking the can down the road on abortion legislation

Developments in the Eurozone have been an issue in the Dáil all year and each time that there is a summit we get an opportunity to speak on the matter, before and after. Week 29 was another such occasion and this is what I said to Finance Minister Michael Noonan, “All of the summits have adhered to a trend whereby we get a great sense of optimism in the lead-up followed immediately afterwards by a degree of rallying on the markets before sober reality kicks in some days later and any gains are lost. Europe has proved unsuccessful to date in solving the main problems it faces.

This ship of State is leaking badly

This was not a leak. It wasn't even a 'leak'.The 40-page document detailing Ireland’s budget plans for 2012 and 2013, and the covering letters of intent from Minister for Finance Michael Noonan discussed by the Bundestag’s finance committee yesterday were not faxed under cover of darkness from deep within the Department of Finance.

'We need to put more pressure on Europe to give us a fairer deal'

During Week 27 I had an opportunity to speak on different issues relating to Health Services delivery in Wexford and their impact on the community. Here is an extract from my address to the Minister for Health James Reilly, “I will start on a positive note by commending the Government on going ahead with funding for accident and emergency and maternity units in Wexford, which were much needed. For some strange reason, Wexford has been poorly treated for a long time.

Higgins: 'It is necessary to move past the assumptions which have failed us'

In his inauguration speech this afternoon, Michael D. Higgins spoke of "the challenges that I face, that we face together, in closing a chapter that has left us fragile as an economy, but most of all wounded as a society." Read the full text of his speech below.

Muintir na hÉireann and friends of Ireland at home and abroad, there can be no greater honour than to have been elected Uachtarán na hÉireann – President of Ireland. I thank you the people of Ireland for the honour you have bestowed upon me and I accept and appreciate the great responsibilities of that office.