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.

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.

New rules needed for appointments to public bodies

Public bodies have become central to the Irish system of government, but this is not reflected in the way the boards of these bodies are appointed. A new report by TASC claims that a new system must be put in place to ensure the best people fill these roles, and to combat the current system of political appointments. By Bernard O’Rourke.

Independent think-tank TASC today issued a report calling for new rules to govern appointments to the boards of public bodies, of which there are currently over 600.

Public spending cuts are a political choice

Recent cuts in spending and taxation increases have been blamed on the terms of the EU-IMF bailout. But is the Goverment simply using this as an excuse to deflect blame away from themselves asks Michael Taft

Even the IMF doesn't believe this

The Troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund have passed Ireland with flying colours in their latest quarterly review. But this does not mean the end of Ireland's financial woes, writes Michael Taft

News Corp backs out of BSkyB takeover bid

News Corp has embraced the inevitable in dropping its bid for BSkyB. But it's just another day, another bombsell, in this extraordinary saga, writes Angela Long.

Jeff Randall, immensely likeable business journalist on Sky News, was as usual giving it large. ‘I’ve seen some pretty big mea culpas in my time, but this is the biggest of them all.’

Yoke of Murdoch loosens for politicians

The mice are roaring. A subject people is standing up to its oppressor. Angela Long on today's Commons debate about Murdoch, The News of the World, and the BSkyB bid.

There’s all-party agreement in the British parliament, at last out in the open, that the Murdoch press is a Bad Thing. Today (13 July) the House of Commons will stand solid behind a motion introduced by Labour leader, Ed Miliband. This motion declares that News Corp is not a fit and proper organisation to have a major role in the journalism enjoyed by the British public.

Cutting pay of judges could be a simple Act

The Oireachtas should legislate on this issue as they did for other public servants – and that should be that. By Vincent Browne.

This government and the last government have made a thorough mess of the judicial pay issue. The judges have made a thundering mess of it too.

There was, and is, a simple resolution: the Oireachtas should pass an Act providing for a reduction in the pay of judges in precisely the same terms as enactments on the reduction in the pay of other public servants, and that should be that.