Targeting TDs' dress sends the wrong message says 'Ming' Flanagan

Yesterday, during a debate on suicide prevention, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan took his Dáil colleagues to task for comments made about Richard Boyd Barrett's choice of clothes, saying, "If abuse is constantly thrown at Members because of the way they look, that will send a signal to young people that if they do not look the same as everyone else then there is something wrong with them when there is not." His full speech is below.

Week 4

Week 4 was dominated by the Moriarty Tribunal and its findings into the behaviour of T.D. Michael Lowry and businessman Denis O’Brien, in relation to the phone licence. The manner in which both individuals cast dispersions on Judge Moriarty in their efforts to undermine the case against them left a lot to be desired – here is a part of my Dáil speech:

My body politic - part three

The final part of our interview with Seanad candidate Rosaleen McDonagh. By Colin Murphy.

Rosaleen McDonagh in her own words:

On being a Traveller:

"I just love it. Everything I read, everything I write, every bit of music I hear – I project my Traveller identity onto that. I love the Traveller accent. When I go away I have to ring my family just to hear that heavy Traveller accent. I'd walk the earth to find it."

On racism:

My body politic - part two

The second part of Politico's interview with Seanad candidate Rosaleen McDonagh. By Colin Murphy.

Rosaleen McDonagh's signature issue is the recognition of Travellers as a distinct ethnic group. She falters when talking about this. "It's very emotional for me."

She justifies such recognition, at first, in terms of its ends: "It would change our status; it would recognise all the wrong doings against Travellers; we would be afforded affirmative action programmes in education, employment, and accommodation."

Payback main reason for political donations

The only reason anyone would give money to a political party is because they expect to get something in return, writes Vincent Browne.

Senior counsel have advised the Government that a ban on corporate donations would be unconstitutional. Other senior counsel have advised others that a ban on all private donations to political parties would be unconstitutional.

Politicians are prone to defer inter alia to senior counsel. As though what a senior counsel says is the end of the matter constitutionally.

'We the Citizens' launches in Dublin

The "We the Citizens" initiative launched today in Dublin's Royal Hibernian Academy. Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, it aims to show "how Ireland can benefit from her citizens engaging in new forms of public decision making." As part of the project, a national citizens' assembly will be held in Dublin on 25 and 26 June. Its agenda will be decided by seven citizen-led events around the country and by a nationwide poll, conducted by an independent polling company.

My body politic

Colin Murphy interviews Seanad candidate, Traveller activist and playwright Rosaleen McDonagh

"I'm a posh pavee," says Rosaleen McDonagh, "a good little Traveller."

Rosaleen McDonagh is a playwright. She has three degrees. She also has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair, and has a speech impediment. And she is running for election to the Seanad.

"My disability is a camouflage for my Traveller identity. If I was a different sort of Traveller woman, without a disability, I'd be less amenable to settled people."

Mósesdóttir: Ireland should draw on Icelandic dissent

In October 2008, the Icelandic bank, Landsbanki, collapsed. With it collapsed its online Icesave branch and the investments of 340,000 British and Dutch savers. Iceland’s Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund lacked the funds to compensate its investors. The Icelandic government initially refused to take responsibility for the failure of a private bank.

Electorate voted for change but got more of the same

Remember all the promises before the election about new politics, more openness, real debates and proper accountability? This past week we have been given a flavour of what this new politics, openness, accountability and all that are really about, writes Vincent Browne.