The blaspheming of Islam is not protected by freedom of speech

There is no absolute right to freedom of speech. There is no "right" to defame people or groups and our laws reflect this robustly in the libel laws and other laws. These laws protect an entitlement to respect, which we all recognise as an important (the most important?) ingredient in social relations. The contention that there is a "right" to blaspheme the sacred prophets of religions is a nonsense.

Man in agitated state left in prison cell for ten days

A man awaiting deportation in Cloverhill prison was not moved to the Central Mental Hospital, despite being in an agitated state and despite a psychiatrist's recommendation that he be transferred. The case was outlined in the 'Annual Report 2005 of the Prison Chaplain', which is critical of housing people awaiting deportation in the prison system.

Traveller girls 'left behind'

Seventy three per cent of female teenage Travellers in North Dublin are not in any form of education, and only two per cent of those in education are in the post-Junior Certificate cycle. The main reason for this is a failure by the State to improve the needs of the Traveller population, according to a report called 'Left Behind'.

Archbishop Neill is right about the Constitution's preamble

The preamble to the Irish Constitution is deeply sectarian and should be changed. A Constitution should be capable of attracting the allegiance of all citizens of the country and one which doesn't, essentially, is signaling that some citizens matter less than the others. It does not mean that the ethos and values of the majority should be discarded or devalued, just that only those principles and values to which everyone does or can give allegiance should be expressed in the Constitution.


The night five close friends died

Charlene O'Connor was one of five young people killed in a car crash near Buncrana in the early hours of Saturday 8 October. Her mother, Rosaleen,talks about the night Charlene died and how the family has coped since.