Minister for Health James Reilly is over his quota of ministerial advisers and without any specific expertise in his priority area of health reform – universal health insurance. Martin Connor, Reilly’s most senior special adviser, was appointed last June for six months and in December signed a three-year contract worth €480,000.
While there are many questions to be asked and answered during the referendum campaign on the Fiscal Treaty, let’s start with asking about its cost. By Michael Taft.
The very first question that should be answered is how much more austerity the passage of the Fiscal Treaty will mean. After all, this is a ‘fiscal’ treaty. It is intended to have an impact on Government budgets. So the first question should be: what fiscal impact will this fiscal treaty have on Ireland’s fiscal policy.
On March 1, five judges of the Supreme Court upheld Ian Bailey's appeal against an extradition request made by French authorities in connection with the murder of film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork in 1996. The extradition request was refused as "there was no actual intention by the French authorities to try Mr Bailey at this stage, as required by Irish law – section 21.A of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) Act, 2003".
Over the next few months parliamentarians will have the opportunity to show respect for women, for the Constitution and for the people who elected them by legislating for the constitutional right to abortion where the life of the mother is at risk. It's an opportunity they must not miss. By Fiona de Londras.
Time and again Irish governments have shrunk from legislating for the conditions in which abortion could take place here. Enough. By Vincent Browne.
In February 1992 the Irish government claimed a diplomatic triumph in persuading our partners in the European Community to agree to a protocol to the Treaty on European Union which seemed to insulate Ireland from any interference, via European treaties or law, with our constitutional protection to the right to life of the unborn.