Quotes of the week
"The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote – the African-American community, the Hispanic community, and young people. Free contraceptives were very big with college-aged women."
"We have debated these matters for 20 years. This is probably the only jurisdiction on earth where urgency is defined by a delay of 20 years."
Mary Lou McDonald, TD, on the abortion debate.
"I don't think it was a judge putting a price tag on my face, I do think the system allows people from a certain strata of society to look remorseful with money."
Jane Ruffino, after her former partner, who disfigured her face in an assault, walked free in exchange for paying her €5,000.
"This is not the United States. We have a commonsense, practical approach."
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, addressing a High Court jury on damages. The jury subsequently awarded €2.8m to a rape victim.
"Ireland and several other European countries risk facing a dilemma similar to that faced by Japan during its lost decade of the Nineties, when many of its banks failed to shift their credit supply to new viable enterprises. The cost of the guarantee afforded to the creditors of the main Irish banks is one of the dearest recorded in history."
Lars Frisell, chief economist with the Central Bank.
"I know well the limits of this age, and I know these difficulties are aggravated by the economic crisis. But I want to say to you with profound conviction – it is beautiful to be old."
"If Pope John threw open the windows, his successors would appear to have called in the triple glazers. . . We seem to be living in an age of ecclesiastical McCarthyism."
Fr Iggy O'Donovan, Irish priest.
"There has been a real shift in sexual attitudes. It used to be the men who complained they weren't getting enough nookie in the bedroom. But now it's the women who are calling their husbands boring after reading books like Fifty Shades."
Amanda McAlister, British family law solicitor, whose client sought a divorce because her husband declined to live up to the sexual exploits portrayed in the popular erotic novel.
"France is now a country of lazy people. They live in the past, on their reputations . . . I don't employ any Frenchmen in my kitchen – all they do is ask 'what time is my break?'"
Claude Bosi, London-based celebrity French chef.
"When we first met, I felt in my heart that this is the ideal husband of my dreams – straightforward and honest and thoughtful. Later he told me that he knew that I was the wife for him 40 minutes after we met. I feel he is the best qualified husband by any woman's standards."
"I wonder if the Government realises the anger out there. There is seething anger out there. There is such resentment and a need for revenge. I have been wondering recently why the Irish people have not taken to the street. I think after this Budget there may be a change in that. Especially if they raise the grey-haired loolas – they are a force to be reckoned with."
Gay Byrne, veteran broadcaster.