Quotes of the week
"I find it very hard to think of Ireland as a nation any more. It's just a place where people come and go and live. I don't feel pride in Ireland anymore, it's like anywhere else. It is all trade. It's a very different place from the Ireland I grew up in."
Niall Toibin, actor.
"According to the Taliban, (going on Facebook) is the equivalent of committing adultery so they took her outside and stoned her to death. Appalling! That's what happens when religion gets its hands on the levers of power. As soon as it has any political influence, it does bad things, becomes cruel and wicked."
Phillip Pullman, author.
"Shakespeare is my religion. Shakespeare has more wisdom and insight about our lives, about how to live and how not to live, how to forgive and how to understand our fellow creatures, than any religious tract. One hundred times more than the Bible. I'm sorry to say that. But over and over again in the plays there is an understanding of the human condition that doesn't exist in religious books."
Sir Trevor Nunn, theatre director.
"No matter who you are in the public eye, whether a politician or a footballer or a TV host, you are going to get rude letters. If you don't want to get that kind of mail go back to the shop or the office or the warehouse where you came from and stay anonymous and private. In other words, stay out of the public eye."
Gay Byrne advising fellow celebrities.
"He does not wish to travel to Ireland to give evidence in person because of the expense and inconvenience involved."
Bill Shipsey SC, on behalf of his client, Sean Dunne.
"I have more to do than being here today. I'm supposed to be overseas."
Niall Mellon, charity boss, addressing the judge who ordered him to pay €250 to the poor box for a speeding offence.
"People always say: 'Why do you have thin models? That's not what real people look like.' But nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue. I get fed up with having to deal with the question of why models are thin. That kind of bores me."
Alexandra Schulman, Vogue editor.
"When I see pictures of really, really skinny people it makes me feel crap about myself. When I see pictures of bigger or more normal-looking people, it makes me feel better about myself."
Lily Allen, singer.
"After something like cancer, you have to make your life count for something. I've no expectations any more – death can come knocking on the door at any moment."
Michael Murphy, 65, RTE newsreader, on being told he is being retired on age grounds by RTE.
"They are on the ground day in, day out, feeling the pressure at the coalface. There is no doubt that the church is in a period of huge transition. Things will not be as they once were. There will be less priests in future and changes of practice. . . The church will no longer be the way it used to be. That sounds sad but I don't see it that way, I see it as God opening a new door to enter through and there is a sense of adventure about that."
Dr Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick.
"The number of thefts is definitely on the increase. The whole thing is gone beyond a joke. Something has to be done. It's a scandal. I feel sorry for the gardai because they know even if they are caught they will probably be treated leniently by the courts."
Jim Culloty, Gold Cup-winning trainer, whose home was burglarised when he was in Cheltenham.