Colette Browne: Why the Healy-Rae brothers deserve a toast - not hysterical criticism
The level of smug condescension directed at the Healy-Raes reached epidemic proportions last week when the Kerry TDs had the temerity to...
The level of smug condescension directed at the Healy-Raes reached epidemic proportions last week when the Kerry TDs had the temerity to...
Keep calm and carry on doling out cash to first-time buyers, was the message from Housing Minister Simon Coveney yesterday when it was revealed that house prices surged in the first quarter of this...
How many times will the Taoiseach and the Justice Minister be forced to express confidence in the Garda Commissioner before that confidence evaporates?
Enda Kenny is receiving international acclaim for lecturing US President Donald Trump on the value of immigration, but his fine words ring hollow...
It's bad enough the State has picked up almost the entire €1.5bn tab for the redress scheme; is it too much to expect politicians to learn any lessons?
Can we dispense with the expressions of shock please? There may be revulsion, yes; disgust, certainly; but not shock.
Obesity expert Professor Donal O'Shea has taken to the airwaves recently to warn of an existential crisis facing the country - fat people with self-confidence.
The omnishambles that has engulfed Fine Gael for the past two weeks has saved the Independent Alliance from some much-needed scrutiny of its members' pathetic grandstanding.
In rushing headlong into setting up a tribunal of inquiry into the Maurice McCabe scandal using outdated legislation, the Government is acting in its own interest and not the public interest.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil may yet agree some formula of words to save the Government and prevent an election, but the utterly shambolic handling of the Maurice McCabe controversy suggests it's time for this administration to slink from office.
Unacceptable. That is the word most commonly used by Health Minister Simon Harris to describe the service that he oversees.
Serious people who work for serious media in America are in something of a crisis. Donald Trump repeatedly, blatantly and unapologetically lies,...
Who knows why Education Minister Richard Bruton has belatedly decided to do something about the baptism barrier, which excludes children from schools on the basis of their religion?
'New Year, new you" is the mantra of self-help gurus and there are a number of members of Cabinet who desperately need a reboot. Always eager to help, this column has taken the liberty of suggesting New Year's resolutions for some of our more underwhelming ministers.
Establishment politicians lost control of the political narrative this year and have decided to blame populism for their weakening grasp on power.
The European courts may ultimately decide that Apple doesn't owe Ireland €13bn plus interest, but what's not contested is that this country has knowingly facilitated tax avoidance on an industrial scale.
There should be just one item on the agenda of the Oireachtas Committee into water charges when it meets for the first time today - how to emerge from the Irish Water debacle with the least cost to the Exchequer.
Donna Foster's former partner stabbed her so viciously that her airway was exposed through her neck and her small intestine was visible through her abdomen.
The Ireland that Pope Francis visits in 2018 will be vastly different to the theocracy his predecessor John Paul II toured in 1979, but the Catholic Church's grip on education and healthcare remains as tightly clenched as before.
Enda Kenny's mixed messages about the country's economic fortunes are throwing petrol on the dumpster fire that is the Government's industrial relations strategy.
Ancestry obviously trumps ethics for some in Ireland as an unseemly rush to brown-nose the odious new American administration begins in earnest.
It was supposed to be a day in which history and justice aligned - where the US elected its first female president, not because she was a woman but because she was the most qualified for the job.
All the indications are that Donald Trump will lose today's US election, but the malign influence of Trumpism will endure far longer than its namesake's presidential ambitions.
With only days to go before more than 12,000 gardaí go on an unprecedented strike, a realisation of the chaos that now looms has only just dawned on the Government.
The knives are out for Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor for the crime of being a woman in politics.
Last week, as my bus stopped in traffic outside Leinster House, I watched a young garda on duty at the gates and wondered what he must think of the politicians pontificating inside. With just his high-visibility jacket and cap protecting him from the torrential rain, the garda was standing bolt upright, not betraying any discomfort, apparently impervious to the appalling weather.
The Republican Party has unleashed a monster with Donald Trump. Now, they must take responsibility for him. It's hard to know why Trump's grotesque comments about groping women disgusted the Republican leadership so much that many renounced their endorsement of him en masse at the weekend.
Think how much happier we could all be if we were half as confident as Brexiteers, whose preening self-regard continues to reach dizzying levels despite the fact that they have yet to define what Brexit means.
The success of Saturday's march for choice is the latest sign that the momentum for repealing the eighth amendment is becoming an unstoppable force. But what does repeal the eighth actually mean?
What better way for the Government to demonstrate its commitment to new politics than for Finance Minister Michael Noonan to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)?
John Halligan is being pilloried for doing what politicians have done for decades - using ministerial power to direct additional investment into their own constituencies.
The outraged response to the European Commission ruling against Apple is reminiscent of the reactionary hysteria that led to the Brexit vote in the UK. Listening to it would be disastrous.
Irish workers have shouldered a hugely increased tax burden since the financial collapse in order to keep the country afloat. The least we should expect is that companies operating in this country pay their fair share.
Lawyers will be the only ones to benefit from yet another toothless inquiry into allegations of corruption among Ireland's elite.
The insanity that masquerades as policy in the health service was perfectly exemplified in the plight of one 92-year-old woman trapped in an acute hospital bed for almost a year at a cost of €7,000 per week because funding of €400 per week for a home-care package was unavailable.
Some of you ingrates doubted the ability of new politics to deliver, but our born-again politicians have tirelessly laboured to secure its first major victory. After months of tense negotiations, the seating arrangement in the Dáil has finally been confirmed.
European stress tests that rated AIB and Bank of Ireland among the weakest financial institutions in the region have served at least one useful function - they've started a renewed debate about the huge levels of non-performing loans on the banks' balance sheets.
The revelation that Michael Healy-Rae submitted 115 parliamentary questions in one day will do nothing to hurt his political career. That, not him, is an indictment of our political system.
Liberal free-speech purists have gotten themselves in quite a tizzy since Twitter banned right-wing hero Milo Yiannopoulos for his role in orchestrating the harassment of 'Ghostbusters' actress Leslie Jones.
Young people today are derided by older generations as being entitled brats, but the truth is that it is the middle-aged and pensioners who are spoiled rotten in our society.
Fianna Fáil is a political scorpion that is eventually going to lash out and put this Government out of its misery.
Brexit has delivered Britain into the hands of Eurosceptic Tories, and those on the left who championed the referendum are complicit in this lurch to the right.
There is no plan. Let that sink in for a moment. The UK, in opting to leave the European Union, took its most significant political and economic decision in decades and there is no plan, only chaos.
Judging from the media coverage of Labour MP Jo Cox's murder, terrorism is now a word that is confined to describing violence committed by brown-skinned Muslims.
On Sunday, for the 15th time in his presidency, a stony-faced Barack Obama addressed his nation after a mass shooting. The only thing that was different this time was the body count.
When it comes to priorities for a new Education Minister, one would have thought a law that discriminates against children on religious grounds would be first on the agenda. Apparently not.
The excoriating statement released by the Policing Authority after its meeting with the Garda Commissioner is a hopeful sign that the new body will effect real change in the force. However, An Garda Síochána has weathered blistering criticism before without meaningful reforms being instituted.
It is now more than a week since Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan issued a clarifying statement on her attitude to whistleblower Sergeant McCabe that, in actual fact, clarified nothing.
Desperate attempts by a succession of Fine Gael ministers to downplay the current controversy embroiling the Garda Commissioner are pathetic and suggest that new politics is nothing but an empty slogan.
Under fire from the UN yesterday over the State's failure to adequately address racism, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said her department was reviewing hate crime legislation. Presumably, this review will be quite short because, alone in the Western world, we don't have any.
The battle between St Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG) and the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) boils down to one thing: should a religious order have ultimate control over the State’s maternity services?
JobBridge was introduced as a temporary measure in 2011 at the height of the economic crisis. But why is it still in existence now that Ireland has the fastest growing economy in the EU?
It appears that the geniuses in Labour who oversaw the loss of 30 seats in the General Election are determined to finish the party off. Instead of taking the hint from its mauling by the electorate and slinking quietly into opposition to try to rebuild, kites have now been flown about Labour returning to government with Fine Gael.
Welcome to the new era of responsible governance in Ireland, where parties baying for the abolition of Irish Water appear to have no idea how much it would cost but are determined to plough ahead regardless.
Michaella McCollum committed a serious offence - but managing to endure nearly three years in the Peruvian prison system without turning into a haggard crone seems to be her biggest crime, as far as some people are concerned.
The best way to commemorate the 1916 Rising is not through military parades or flag waving but by remembering that we, the Irish people, are the custodians of the Proclamation and the egalitarian ideals that inspired it.
Faced with an unprecedented homeless crisis, our TDs have vowed to take decisive action to alleviate the problem - by making statements in the Dáil today, before they all adjourn for another couple of weeks.
The prospect of hundreds of evictions from one estate in Tyrellstown is a manifestation of the country's housing crisis writ large - and a portent of things to come given the huge influence vulture funds now wield in the Irish property market.
If Fianna Fáil is willing to prop up a minority Fine Gael government from the opposition benches, what's stopping it entering a formal coalition and wielding some real influence over policy?
Descriptions of last week's General Election as an earthquake are overblown, but if it results in a realignment of Irish politics along ideological lines, the next one could be seismic.
With just three days of campaigning left before the country goes to the polls, support for Fine Gael and Labour is stagnating while support for Independents surges.
With just 10 days of campaigning left to go before people go to the polls, panic is beginning to set in among the Government parties.
Good news everyone. Patients languishing on trolleys are not a sign of a broken health service - they're actually an ingenious ploy to boost staff productivity.
Following the publication of the Banking Inquiry report, politicians have assured the electorate that new laws and tighter regulations mean the mistakes of the past will never be repeated. However, there is little evidence to support this optimistic appraisal.
At the weekend, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the fiscal space available for tax cuts and spending increases over the next five years was more than €12bn - which is strange, because his own department put the figure at €8.6bn a few short months ago.
The prosecution of women in Northern Ireland for taking abortion pills could be a portent of things to come in the Republic unless our draconian abortion laws are changed.
The mass sexual assaults committed in Cologne on New Year's Eve were extremely shocking, but let's not pretend violence against women is a new phenomenon in the West.
It's hard to imagine how mass sexual assaults against scores of women by marauding young men in Cologne could have been handled any worse by German authorities.
When you think about it, our politicians are modern messiahs. Just as Jesus fed the masses with only five loaves and two fishes, our TDs have figured out a way to slash taxes while also providing stellar public services.
While the Government preaches a mantra of recovery and prosperity in advance of the General Election, the numbers of homeless children in the country continues to spiral.
Gerry Adams may not like the Special Criminal Court, but as a public office holder and leader of one of the biggest opposition parties in the State, he must respect its judgments.
So, how are you feeling about that decision in October 2013 to retain the Seanad? Having any regrets about extending a lifeline to some of the motley crew that populate the Upper House yet?
Suggestions that Sinn Féin General Election candidate Louise O'Reilly was prevented from condemning the killing of Garda Jerry McCabe because she was "rounded on" during an interview are laughable.
Yesterday's ruling by the Northern Ireland High Court that its restrictive abortion law is a breach of women's human rights is another damning indictment of all-island political cowardice on the issue.
Dr James Reilly was routinely monstered by the media for his many failures as Minister for Health, so why is Leo Varadkar being given an easy ride?
Global headlines following Friday night's massacre in Paris proclaimed that the French people remained "defiant" in the wake of the atrocity, but the truth is that they are not defiant, they are afraid - and with good reason.
Female voices are largely absent from public life in Ireland, but young women are increasingly turning to social media to circumvent this censorship and get their message out.
Eamon Gilmore has depicted Joan Burton's treatment of him as ruthless and cruel in his new memoir, but don't be fooled into thinking he was some guileless naïf.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald's plan to set up a second Special Criminal Court (SCC) will serve more to distract the public from negative media coverage of crime than to tackle the crime problem.
As the funerals for the 10 people killed in last week's devastating Carrickmines fire begin today, it is an indictment of our society that their surviving family members have yet to be rehoused.
The speed at which a fire engulfed a temporary halting site in Carrickmines at the weekend, leading to the deaths of 10 people, means serious questions need to be asked about the standard of Traveller accommodation.
Actresses in Hollywood work in the most sexist industry on the planet, so why are so many of them so reluctant to describe themselves as feminists?
There is a certain irony in the fact that the Catholic Church has chosen the one country in the world that collectively rejected its reductive definition of the family to host its World Meeting of Families.
The only political story anyone cared about yesterday was an allegation that British Prime Minister David Cameron engaged in a sex act with a pig during his student days.
An existential new threat to British security was revealed over the weekend when the Labour Party was added to a list that includes terrorist groups like Isil and the Taliban.
The first thing you notice is not the dirt or the smell, but the flies. The floor inside the cramped, dark tent is crawling with them. After a while, flicking them off your skin seems a waste of effort.
Ireland was shamed last week into agreeing to welcome substantially more refugees by a picture of a dead Syrian toddler, but our appalling treatment of asylum seekers long predates the current crisis.
Finally, the identity of the sinister organisations responsible for the homeless crisis has been revealed. No, it's not some cabal of greedy developers, scheming bankers or incompetent TDs. It's the homeless charities.
It has been nearly a week since it was revealed that 20 people were to be charged in connection with the infamous Jobstown protest – yet no charges have been laid. How much longer are these people supposed to wait for the inevitable knock on the door?
Last week we learned it is possible for a rapist to be convicted and receive a lengthy sentence - but the price can be the character assassination of a traumatised victim in court.
At the weekend, it was claimed future governments would be unable to scrap water charges without breaching an EU water directive - but this is more spin designed to force people to cough up.
Instead of devising new laws to tackle cyberbullying, we should be enforcing the laws that we have and resourcing gardaí to do their jobs.
The numbers paying their Irish Water bills has exceeded Environment Minister Alan Kelly's wildest dreams. He's not merely satisfied, he is "beyond satisfied", ecstatic - that just 46pc of people are actually paying them.
Enda Kenny left all-night talks in Brussels yesterday morning saying the experience had been "bruising" but the only one who emerged with any injuries was Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Asked by a journalist why he had voted 'No' in Sunday's referendum, one Greek man's response summarised the majority sentiment: "They're going to f**k us either way."
In the end the Greeks were left with no choice. They had to use the nuclear option when it became clear that Troika technocrats are not interested in negotiating, but view them as nothing more than a Vichy government in place to rubber-stamp their policies.
All hail Taylor Swift, whose transformation from pipsqueak pop princess to campaigning global superstar with the power to make greedy corporations quake is now complete.
The 'New York Times' coverage of the Berkeley tragedy has provoked an outraged response, with Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin, among many others, labelling it "a disgrace".
The decision to shut down the only collective national independent body that advocates for rape and sexual abuse victims is an indictment of the State's callous and uncaring attitude to survivors.
Enda Kenny has gotten a lot of grief lately for failing to take a firm stance on IBRC but yesterday he proved he's not afraid to get to grips with at least one kind of bank - his local bottle bank. Yes, our glorious leader took time out of his hectic schedule to officially open a new bottle bank in a car park in Castlebar.
I f a TD stands up in the Dáil and makes a speech but the media is unable to report it, has the TD effectively been gagged? This, in essence, is what the High Court will be asked to decide today when three media outlets seek permission to report details of a Dáil speech by Independent TD Catherine Murphy, in which she made a number of allegations about businessman Denis O'Brien's banking arrangements with IBRC.
Fianna Fáil already has a lack of female politicians but its brutal treatment of former party Senator Averil Power following her resignation means that it is likely to have a continued lack of female supporters for the foreseeable future.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is right that the Catholic Church needs a "reality check" in the wake of the landslide marriage equality referendum result, but the State also needs a reality check when it comes to its reliance on the church for the provision of education.
Have you started buying canned goods and stocking up on shotgun cartridges yet, because if the 'No' side is to be believed, the end is nigh and Armageddon is nearly upon us.
The closer the referendum on marriage equality comes, the more uncomfortable I get with the notion of voting on other people's right to marry - not because I don't support the measure, or think the vote will fail, but because I don't believe the rights of minorities should be the subject of a popular vote.
You can almost see why, in a moment of madness, UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband thought it was a good idea to etch commitments to the electorate on an 8ft 6in stone monument and vow to erect the monstrosity in the garden at Downing Street.
Yesterday, politicians in the EU, who effectively signed the death warrants of the 1,500 refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean so far this year, were wringing their hands about those deaths. But they must have known their decision to dramatically scale back a search-and-rescue mission, cutting its funding by one-third, would necessarily result in huge loss of life.
Frankenscience plumbed new depths at the weekend when it was revealed a 65-year-old German mother of 13 was pregnant with quadruplets.
Spare a thought for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, whose efforts to resurrect the party's fortunes are being met with most resistance from within his own ranks.
Out walking one day in West Cork, Sophie Toscan du Plantier discovered a dead sheep on a path. Its carcass was "an empty envelope mixed with dirt and blood", she noted in her diary, adding: "You die in the wind, in the sea, on the land here; the rottenness is spread out in daylight, perfectly naturally."
Some of you half-wits thought the reason for Irish Water's unpopularity was the cack-handed manner in which it was set up and the various scandals that have plagued it since its inception but you are wrong.
Cold, calculating and meticulous, Graham Dwyer spent years planning the perfect murder - only to be undone by the one thing he couldn't control, the weather.
Tentative hopes among Government members that the worst of the water charges protests were behind them were dashed at the weekend when tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Dublin.