'We're surrounded by sandbags - but sewage comes up through the floors'
When Athlone-born Millie Prangnell returned from England to her native town 25 years ago, it was the gorgeous view of the Shannon which drew her to the house on the Strand.
When Athlone-born Millie Prangnell returned from England to her native town 25 years ago, it was the gorgeous view of the Shannon which drew her to the house on the Strand.
Christmas decorations twinkled in the window of one house in the Deerpark housing estate, but there was little sign of any festive cheer.
There isn't much harmony in Leinster House these days, what with everyone practising their pot shots at each other in the pre-election phony war.
Michael Fitzmaurice - known locally as Fitz - is behind the wheel of his pea-green van, working his mobile phone like a demon as he hurtles down country lanes in a cloud of dust and profanities.
It was raining cats, dogs and every animal from aardvarks to zebras outside the RDS, while inside the building Micheál Martin was busily pouring equal amounts of cold water on even the scintilla of a suggestion that Fianna Fáil were flirting with the notion of doing the business with Sinn Féin after the coming general election.
All that was missing was the high-tempo piano swelling in the background as a grinning, tweed-clad Gerry Adams tied his distressed and helpless maiden, Micheál Martin, to the train tracks as the hoot of an oncoming election express grew ominously louder.
Politicians are usually a thoroughly shameless lot when it comes to taking centre-stage, but taking to the fashion catwalk is a different matter altogether.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Dublin yesterday to demand urgent action on the housing and homelessness crisis.
Tánaiste Joan Burton has claimed that the Labour Party is responsible for Taoiseach Enda Kenny's dramatic decision to pave the way for an abortion referendum.
The Taoiseach has denied that there is any rift between him and his party's deputy leader James Reilly over the issue of holding an abortion referendum.
If Enda Kenny was thanking anything as he arrived at the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland's Thanksgiving lunch, it was surely his lucky stars.
U2's Adam Clayton and The Edge swapped the 3Arena for the political arena when they visited the Taoiseach's office yesterday morning, following the second of their quartet of sell-out concerts in...
Calling Fine Gael: it hasn't gone away, you know. The whole abortion thing. What a sigh of relief was exhaled by the party after the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill passed in 2013. That was...
"Hello Dublin, we're a band called U2, formerly The Hype," the lead singer introduced himself, in one of the most totally unnecessary introductions in the history of Irish rock.
It was an emotion-filled night for both fans and band when U2 returned to their home town for the first of four concerts at the 3 Arena tonight.
The Taoiseach has confirmed that all ten members of the Irish Defence Forces currently in Mali are safe. "Ireland is participating as part of an official EU training programme in Mali, along with 21 other countries. All our personnel are safe, I've checked that," he said.
The bongs of the division bell seemed to be booming on the corridors longer than was either polite or usual. By this stage - almost 10.40am - the Dáil was in full (or perhaps half) swing, so the Seanad had to be the culprit.
A TD walked into the bar (this isn't the start of a joke, now) in Leinster House at lunchtime and looked around her. "It's very quiet, isn't it?" she remarked. The handful of patrons partaking of bowls of soup agreed that yes, it was fierce quiet indeed.
The F-word was unleashed in the Dáil chamber this afternoon by Fianna Fáil's Robert Troy.
It felt like ominous storm clouds were gathering, both literally and metaphorically. There had been a bit of a break from the gloom when the green carnival in Lansdowne Road on Monday night gave everyone a reason to feel chipper. The word 'France' evoked positive vibrations for the first time in days.
As a resolute chorus of 'La Marseillaise' drifted across Merrion Square, there were tears in the eyes of some of the crowd assembled outside the French embassy.
Recruitment website Indeed has announced 300 new jobs for Dublin which will bring its total workforce in the capital to almost 550.
'I hope it works," ventured Michael Noonan bravely. Well, of course, he knows it will take more than hope to make it work. It'll require patience to rebuild trust, compassion and understanding for someone facing an uncertain future - and to really make a go of things, it can't be simply one-way traffic of all take and no give.
The Taoiseach and the British prime minister bustled into the White Room in 10 Downing Street for what the media were informed would be 'warm words'.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has made his first concrete intervention in the debate over Britain's future in the European Union, warning that a 'Brexit' poses a "major strategic risk" for the Irish economy.
The Taoiseach said the government is “absolutely committed in the strongest possible way” to see that the controversy over the IBRC Inquiry is dealt with “clearly, transparently and in an absolutely accountable fashion.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that a ‘Brexit’ - Britain leaving the EU - “is an outcome that the Irish Government does not want to see materialise at all” and it would be “sympathetic and supportive” of proposals by prime minister David Cameron for reform.
The cheers for the two Labour politicians rattled the roof, and the faces of Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan and Waterford TD Ciara Conway were both wreathed in smiles.
'Have you a spare ticket to sell? I'll pay premium price, €50," said the hopeful fan standing outside the venue just before showtime.
Enda was perhaps feeling a little emotionally bruised by the time he arrived at the National Emotional Wellbeing Symposium in CityWest in Tallaght. For he had endured a fairly gruelling session of Leaders' Questions in the Dáil earlier in the day, with the big boys in opposition all ganging up on him.
Enda was anxious to clarify the matter. He wanted absolutely no uncertainty to linger in the minds of the citizenry. It's far too serious an issue to be offering false hope to a beleaguered nation, what with an election looming.
Ireland is justifiably proud of its large swathes of lush, verdant grassland. And right now, in the rising wind of a General Election, the longer bits of that grass are all a-rustle.
In July, when the Taoiseach organised an awayday in Lissadell for the final Cabinet meeting before the summer break, the security around the historic house was tighter than a camel's posterior in a sand storm.
Dorothy Keane had remained composed and articulate as she recounted how the quiet, content lives of herself and her husband had been shattered by the arrival of wind turbines into their peaceful rural idyll in Co Roscommon.
The Tánaiste was about to enter Moloughney's Restaurant on Vernon Avenue in Clontarf, when she bumped into George and Ringo. Or maybe it was Paul and Ringo. Abbey Robinson and Ciara O'Sioran were decked out as a pair of Sergeant Peppers for the Halloween craic, and had nipped out of school to get some lunch.
The eyes of the handful of reporters crammed into the tiny museum were out on sticks. What in the name of the almighty was that yoke gleaming in a display case, just behind the bearded countenance of Gerry Adams? It couldn't be … surely not … was that…?
In Athlone Garda station yesterday afternoon, Nóirín O'Sullivan and Frances Fitzgerald were busily - albeit separately - answering questions on IRA activities on both sides of the border. The words "Sinn" and "Féin" just kept cropping up, too.
There were a few raised eyebrows when the name of the new governor of the Central Bank was announced on Monday - and it wasn't that of senior civil servant Robert Watt.
A few days ago, the inhabitants of two cities in China were transfixed, and the denizens of social media all agog, over a mysterious object which materialised in the sky above Jiangxi and Foshan. It appeared to be a metropolis of towering buildings nestling in the middle of a cloud formation.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Taoiseach was selected last night at his party's Mayo convention to contest the next general election alongside Minister Michael Ring and TD Michelle Mulherin.
'Thank god you're not in black," quipped a black-clad Mary Lou McDonald to a pink-and-white-bedecked Joan Burton. Goodness, what was going on? There was serious potential for a good rumble at the breakfast event hosted by IBEC and Women for Election yesterday morning.
Garda Tony Golden's coffin emerged from the church into a world of blue. Ahead lay the broad sweep of Dundalk Bay, a watercolour wash of pale turquoise and yellow, placid under an azure sky which mingled with the sea along the thin cobalt line of the horizon.
It's a small, tranquil estate, a compact maze of winding roads lined with neat, red-bricked houses - the sort of roads you navigate carefully, certain of meeting groups of children messing about on bikes or kicking a football around the patchwork of grass squares.
Hundreds of friends and colleagues of murdered Garda Tony Golden arrived at his home in Blackrock, Co. Louth today to pay their respects at his wake before the state funeral tomorrow.
Brendan Howlin was giving it welly. He drew himself up to his, well, full height and launched a spear across the chamber.
A few early visitors to Leinster House this morning were openly wondering if they arrived on the right day.
It was like watching a fallen Viking chieftain setting sail for Valhalla in his long boat. As one, the crowd - and many of them French - rose to their feet and cheered off Paul O'Connell, talisman, rock, granite face of never-say-die Ireland.
Kildare South isn't the first - or even the 21st - constituency which springs to mind when talking about tension-filled election counts and door-to-door combat among candidates.
'I love you guys," chuckled Enda ironically as he hopped into his car and drove off, leaving a melee of mithered media in his dust.
Concerned about her chilly public persona, Bill Clinton persuaded Hillary to enlist movie maestro Steven Spielberg to coach her speeches and soften body language in an effort to boost her likeability.
It's easy for anyone who's ever been in a relationship to imagine the scene all-too clearly. Himself is chilling out, grand and relaxed, when he hears the most ominous of commands emanating from Herself.
FINE Gael is considering approaching one of the Taoiseach's Seanad nominees as concern grows within the party over the looming gender quota targets.
The trenches of Leinster House are packed with jittery soldiers. It's akin to the 'Phoney' part of World War II, when everyone was waiting for the rumble of German tanks.
It was almost as if the master playwright had crafted this closing scene in the final act of his long life's journey.
Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter won the political fight of his career last night to secure a place on the Fine Gael ticket for the next general election, alongside local councillor Josepha Madigan.
Michael O'Dowd's campaign manager was turning on the charm. "Will you give him the number one vote instead of his brother?" Thomas asked with a smile.
FORMERJustice Minister Alan Shatter narrowly won the political battle to be selected on the Fine Gael ticket for the next general election last night.
A posse of media and assorted Kerry Group staff scampered anxiously up the stairs to the third floor. Way too many people had crammed into the lift adjoining the one containing the Taoiseach, and it had stalled briefly for a couple of sweaty minutes between floors. By now Enda surely had disappeared into some part of the gleaming complex.
Everyone looked longingly at the painted carriage of the train parked at Platform 2 of Heuston Station. It was festooned with happy characters from the kiddie's movie 'Hotel Transylvania 2' and the tagline 'More Monsters, More Problems'.
Councillor Cormac Devlin was selected as the Fianna Fáil candidate for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown last night. In a close count he was elected by four votes, narrowly beating former minister Mary Hanafin by 68 votes to 64.
Fianna Fáil councillor Cormac Devlin has narrowly won the party's dramatic selection convention in Dun Laoghaire.
Cormac Devlin strolled into the bright and cheerful room in Beaufort day-care centre in Glasthule. "I hear you've lemon meringue for dessert," he greets the two women stacking dishes by the kitchen. "Any to spare for a hungry councillor?"
Fine Gael bosses may have to add as many as eight women candidates to constituency tickets as they are unlikely to meet the 30pc gender quota required for the next General Election - with only six selection conventions remaining.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has claimed that the Web Summit will not be missed as it departs Dublin - because the city is "chock-a-block with business at the moment".
It was still half-dark, the cocks were only mulling over having a crow, but the Agriculture Minister was impressively bright of eye and bushy of tail. "I've been down looking at the pigs," he chirped.
The Web Summit is to quit Dublin and relocate to Lisbon in 2016, according to the event’s chief executive, Paddy Cosgrave.
The very foundations of Leinster House trembled. Overhead, seagulls dropped their purloined burgers and ice-creams as they fell stunned from the sky.
Kerry were the reigning champions, but Dublin are the raining champions. It wasn't merely a gentle autumnal mizzle which fell timidly upon Croker for the duration of the match, it was sheet after sheet of driving stair-rods hammering down on the players, on the grass, on the Hill. It was a West of Ireland downpour, almost as if the Kerry lads had scooped it up from a stormy Atlantic coast and conveyed it to the capital on the team bus.
Joe Higgins sat warily on the blue velvet armchair in the hotel lobby. "It's a bit comfortable looking," he fretted.
When Pope Francis invited the EU's environment ministers to the Vatican this week for a meeting on climate change, the politicians were asked to bring a guest - a partner, a spouse or an advisor. But Alan Kelly is no fool and took along his Ma as his plus-one for the papal audience.
The Corbyn Effect - which is rattling the windows of the British establishment like a political El Nino right now - looks set to make its presence felt in Irish politics also.
AN RTÉ presenter told Tánaiste Joan Burton that she "overstepped the mark" when a heated 'Morning Ireland' row continued off air.
There was melon at the Labour Party think-in. But - for a change - not too much melancholy. Just inside the door of the Glenview Hotel in Glen of the Downs was an elaborate tableau to greet members of the parliamentary party as they arrived for their two-day collective cogitation.
Everybody loves a bride - and no one more than Enda Kenny on an 'Angela Ashes' sort of day in Co Limerick. One can only imagine the total chagrin/utter delight of the groom, Eoin Cuddihy, when he discovered that the Fine Gael think-in was taking place at the same time and in the same venue - the delightful Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare - as his wedding reception.
Sure there's nothing like running into an old acquaintance. A familiar face you haven't seen for a while. If time permits, you can sit together and catch up on each other's news: how are things with you these days?
It's probably our own fault. We giddily assumed that the public sessions of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry were going to be like a brilliant telly box-set.
As Joan Burton descended the steps of Government Buildings alongside transgender activist Dr Lydia Foy, to where a gaggle of media awaited, the press wrangler du jour declared: "The Tánaiste will speak briefly..."
'I won't give you my name," explained Vinny, moments after surrendering his Christian one. He didn't want to appear disloyal to his county, but he feared for Mayo. On the train to Dublin that morning, he had listened to the bright chatter of the green and red pilgrims as they travelled hopefully once again. Much of the talk centred around how best to deploy their half-man, half-skyscraper Aidan O'Shea, and around the Dracula-like revivification of Dublin forward Diarmuid Connolly in the dead of the night.
The Taoiseach has been urged to end delays on a clear plan of what the Government will do to help stricken migrants.
The Taoiseach has launched an attack on Sinn Féin, saying that statements that the IRA have disbanded or left the stage "are simply not credible".
The chatty mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb, gave Enda a guided tour of his office, which could only be described as sumptuous. The 17th century Hotel de Ville is jaw-droppingly ornate, a baroque confection of silk and oak and gilded columns and a shimmer of chandeliers and parades of portraits of well-fed Comtes of This and That looking as imposing as any male sporting a white, curly powdered wig and head-to-toe red velvet could hope to look.
The Taoiseach has said that Ireland would be able to take a greater number of refugees than the original agreed number of 600.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ridiculed the two main opposition parties over their move to submit motions of no confidence in himself and Attorney General Máire Whelan.
Ireland will take in "several thousand" more refugees over the coming years in new re-settlement programmes aimed at dealing with the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
So much for easing back into September - the political season of mist and mellow fretfulness - with a couple of quiet weeks to get all one's political ducks in a row, to notch up a few gigs overseas, hobnobbing with other EU leaders while promoting tourism and trade, and also leisurely penning an upbeat speech for the annual think-in before the Dáil term starts.
The Taoiseach has described the migrant crisis as a 'human catastrophe' and spoke of the heart-rending photographs of the body of 3-year old Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach in Bodrum,Turkey which appeared in media around the world.
Gone was the jaunty fedora and trademark round-shaped facial topiary which once was so visible in sundry swanky venues around town as the banking boom kept on getting boomier. Michael Fingleton looked his age - he is in his mid-seventies, after all - as he arrived into the banking inquiry.
It's a picturesque landscape around the village of Doon, which nestles in County Limerick, a couple of miles from the Tipperary border. The land is green and lush and speckled with cattle grazing in the autumn sun, and in spots the winding roads are lined with tangled hedgerows bowed with blushing blackberries.
The priest at the funeral of John O'Donoghue who collapsed and died in his home after disturbing burglars has appealed to politicians to re-open Garda stations in rural Ireland.
Mary Lou's eyes narrowed and an expression of disdain settled on her visage. "Did she? Hmm," she inquired with a distinctly unimpressed air.
There was about a quarter of an hour left on the clock. Two blue-bedecked lads were sitting comfortably in the Hogan Stand and embarking upon the September Discussion on the tortured permutations required to lay hands on a couple of tickets for the final.
Her eyes closed briefly, but otherwise there was no reaction from Aoife Maguire. But when the former Anglo official re-opened them, the bad dream hadn't gone away. She was still sitting under the bright lights of Court 19, still guilty of conspiring to hide accounts linked to her boss, Sean FitzPatrick, from the Revenue.
Fintan Drury was standing by his old compadre with all the resolution of a fiery Dessie O'Malley standing by the Republic.
There was no way that it wasn't going to come up, although John Gormley might have thought he was home and dry by the time it got to the final quizmaster of the afternoon's session of the Banking Inquiry.
For decades to come, in business schools and on communications courses around the globe, the Irish Government's chaotic battle to sell water charges to the electorate will be a compulsory cautionary tale. It will illustrate how an initial challenge blossomed into an omnishambles through a mixture of incompetence and arrogance and a litany of gaffes, U-turns and an unerring ability by both...
The Eurostat ruling that Irish Water borrowings must stay on the state balance sheet has been dubbed an "unmitigated disaster".
It is, even while taking into account the jolly high bar set by previous British politicians who found themselves embroiled in sexual skulduggery, a doozy. The image on page one of yesterday's UK edition of the The Sun (which once seen, can never be unseen) shows a 69-year-old pot-bellied peer, Lord John Sewel dragging on a ciggie while relaxing in a black, leather, studded jacket and a coral-coloured bra (so this season's shade) belonging to a prostitute.
The Taoiseach, to the surprise of absolutely nobody at all, was running late for the launch of his party's 'Standing Up for Rural Ireland' campaign in Slane. But the hiatus did give those waiting for his arrival into the village an opportunity to witness the noisy procession of traffic which rumbles endlessly down the Main Street.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said President Barack Obama is anxious to visit Ireland to play some golf.
Everyone had been silently praying for a wayward comet to come hurtling through the roof of committee room 1 and thus bring to a merciful end the interminable tedium, when all of a sudden, Marc MacSharry provided some delightful comic relief.
Serious shortcomings, including a lack of safeguards for elderly people's personal finances and medication care, have been uncovered in another state-funded nursing home.
The Government has committed to a freeze in property tax rates for hard-pressed home owners, as house prices continue to rise around the country.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny avoided any mention of the HSE as he responded to a damning report on vulnerable elderly people being left a month or more without a shower or bath in a State-run nursing home.
Maybe it was all the fresh air swirling about on the Atlantic coastline, or perhaps a touch of gate-fever had taken hold of the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, but the duo were a right pair of giddy goats after the last Cabinet meeting of the summer term had concluded.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has ruled out steep rises in property tax for hard-pressed home owners, as house prices continue to rise.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has asked the Prison Services for a report on a judge's ruling that she must reconsider her refusal to grant former politician Ivor Callely enhanced remission from the prison sentence he had been serving for fraudulently claiming Oireachtas expenses.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has declared hate crimes, including cyber-bullying, abuse and online grooming of children, as "one of the very big issues of our time".
Everyone was a bit deflated. The debate on Irish Water had been billed in advance as the Flying Skin and Hair session. With the presence of the Minister for H2O, Alan Kelly, alongside Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, and Michael McNicholas, chief of Ervia (the parent company of Irish Water), a scrap was absolutely guaranteed inside the hall of the Highland Hotel.
The chief of Irish Water’s parent company Ervia has launched a staunch defence of the beleaguered utility company.
Perhaps Frank Flannery was just hopping the ball for sport. Or maybe the longtime Fine Gael strategist realised that his lengthy peroration on political governance had taken the scenic route from one point to the next.
Labour leader Joan Burton has ruled out any early election pact with Fine Gael, describing the coalition as "a marriage of arrangement which has worked well for both parties".
Renua founder Lucinda Creighton has vowed that her party will make reckless lending by bankers a crime, if her party gets into government after the next election.
Former Tánaiste and Attorney General Michael McDowell has called for immediate Dáil reform before the next general election, including the election of the next Ceann Comhairle by a secret ballot of TDs.