Cullen's resignation brings a controversial political career to a close

Martin Cullen today announced his decision to resign from cabinet and as a TD. Cullen is suffering from a severe back ailment which causes him chronic pain, and has forced him to withdraw from politics.

This decision may push forward the expected cabinet reshuffle. Cullen's resignation follows the resignation of Willie O'Dea and Trevor Sargent from their ministries.

Legal eagles and government simply don’t mix

The Greens have been in therapy for a week now, and there is little evidence of their collective nervous breakdown abating.

Involuntary electro-convulsive treatment may be the only remedy, and Fianna Fáil is outside with the jumpstart paraphernalia.

(Mary McAleese has signed the consent order in the absence of the Greens’ capacity to make any informed decision themselves.)

(Picture: Most barristers can't run anything, aside from themselves)

Fianna Fáil’s new pension framework criticised

Fianna Fail’s new pension framework, unveiled yesterday, has been met with criticism from opposition parties and social activists.

The overhaul of the state system will increase the pension qualification age over the next 18 years, from the current age of 65 to 68 years of age in 2028. Under the new framework, the government is also introducing a supplementary, publicly run pension scheme for workers not already covered by a private work pension.

Brian Cowen's speech at the launch of the National Pensions Framework

"I am delighted to be here today, together with the Ministers for Finance and Social and Family Affairs, to launch the Government’s National Pensions Framework.  My colleagues will each say something about the importance of this development from their particular perspectives. However, I would like to say a few words from an overall government point of view.

End of an era as Paisley decides to step down

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Rev. Ian Paisley has announced that he will not seek re-election in forthcoming general election. He announced his decision today in his local constituency paper, the Ballymena Guardian.

The decision of the 83 year old founder and former leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) opens the way for his son, Ian Paisley Jr., to contest the election as the DUP's candidate in the North Antrim constituency.

Ministers who deserve to be fired – but won’t be


Several cabinet ministers deserve to be reshuffled. Reshuffled a lot - in fact , reshuffled out.

It would be nice to name and shame them, but since - by definition - they are shameless, shaming them is impossible.

So let’s just name them. Two of the three Marys, for starters. The odd one out is Mary Coughlan - though she could do with a bit of reshuffling as well.

University teacher's union criticises Conor Lenihan speech

The General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers, Mike Jennings, has warned of the negative effects of allowing private interests dictate research produced in Irish universities.

Jennings claimed that budget cuts and an emerging need for universities to attract private capital in order to fund research are a "huge curtailment on the horizons of research" and "a massive intrusion into the whole idea of a university".

Sargent did right thing for wrong reason

He had to go, but not for some silly and inconsequential letter – he and others colluded to harm public welfare.

Trevor Sargent deserved to be driven from office and from public life.

He, in collusion with others, has done great harm to the public welfare. He has joined with others in mortgaging the country’s future and the welfare of citizens.

He, in association with others, supported measures that are palpably unjust and has condoned such conduct by false claims to be acting in the public interest.