The Week that was
A look back at the events of the past week
The president of the IFA has said the news that former chief executive Pat Smith was on a salary of €445,000 came as a "total shock" to him. Speaking publicly for the first time since the controversy erupted, Eddie Downey said farmers were "absolutely right to be angry".
Ireland has around 100 elite gardaí and soldiers who are adequately armed and trained to confront lethal terrorist groups such as Isil. The State's elite counter terrorism units - comprising the Garda Emergency Response Unit and the Army Ranger Wing - have significantly increased their training to deal with the threat.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has accused Turkey of "stabbing Russia in the back" by shooting down a Russian jet today. Speaking during a meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, Mr Putin said the Russian pilots had been "fulfilling their duty in the context of the fight against terrorism".
Fine Gael politicians are to be given a free vote on any future changes to the country's abortion laws following a dramatic policy shift by Enda Kenny. Although the party will not promise a referendum on the Eighth Amendment in its election manifesto, it will pledge to set up a 'Citizens' Convention' to consider what might replace it.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was "bounced" into his shock decision to pave the way for a referendum on abortion by two of his most loyal ministers, the Irish Independent has learned. Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Transport and Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe both made pleas for Fine Gael to outline a clear policy on the issue of abortion.