<> on June 24, 2011 in New York City.

Sleepwalking into last weeks of the referendum campaign

Conor McMorrow of ‘The Week in Politics’ went to Athlone this week to gauge how one Irish town is engaging with the same-sex marriage referendum… The lampposts were bare in a sunny Athlone this week. The referendum on same sex marriage is approaching in six weeks. But there is no sign of campaign posters just yet. With a general election less than a year away, it will be interesting to see how much money political parties – all of which …

Good news for non-religious parents

By Emma O Kelly, Education Correspondent There’s good news today for non-religious parents of young children in Tuam, New Ross, Castlebar and Birr. From September, for the first time, it looks like they will be able to choose multi-denominational education for their offspring. As in very many areas across the country, such parents have currently no choice but to send their children to religious-run schools, overwhelming Catholic-run schools.

An assessment of Willie Walsh's Aer Lingus bid

For somebody who is so well versed in public relations and politics – Willie Walsh has been surprisingly inept in his handling of his bid for Aer Lingus. By Business Editor David Murphy Mr Walsh’s appeasement statement this week attempted to stem the rising tide of defiance to a takeover. In fairness, he made three significant concessions: the Heathrow slots can’t be sold, the slots will be used for flights to Ireland for five years, and the Aer Lingus name …

Endgame: Can the Syriza-Troika gap be bridged?

By Tony Connelly, RTÉ Europe Editor, Athens Within hours of Syriza’s stunning electoral victory the gulf between popular expectation in Greece and official generosity in Brussels and Berlin grew alarmingly. Addressing jubilant supporters in the centre of Athens on victory night, party leader Alexis Tsipras declared: “Greece is leaving behind catastrophic austerity, fear, authoritarianism.  It is leaving behind five years of humiliation and grief.” By contrast, the message from eurozone finance ministers in Brussels just over 12 hours later could …

Controversial Charlie Hebdo delivery delayed

By Joe Little, Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent RTÉ News has learned that retailers here will not be receiving an expected delivery of the survivors’ edition of Charlie Hebdo on Friday. 120 businesses which had placed almost 2,000 orders with Easons Menzies News Distribution were told earlier today that Menzies, the British partner in the firm, had received only 100 copies for distribution in Britain and Ireland.

'It's all left or right now'

A chance encounter on a Leinster House corridor last week should have alerted me; chatting to Michael Noonan about the water charge u-turn, the Finance Minister suggested that the steam was going out of the issue, but that the controversy had been very instructive -“it’s all left and right now”  he said,  or words to that effect. By Political Correspondent David Davin-Power

Pope calls for help to care for refugees

Opening a three-day visit to Turkey, Pope Francis has said the international community has a moral obligation to assist in caring for two million refugees who have fled there from neighbouring Syria and Iraq. By Joe Little, Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent

Water the newest currency in Irish politics

During the long hot summer, the death of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds reminded us of a bygone era. After his passing, we were reminded of Albert’s time as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when he did so much to ensure that the plain people of Ireland got home telephones.

Tax probe could upset the Apple cart for Ireland

By Europe Editor Tony Connelly The European Commission’s salvo against Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland is the most serious assault yet on the Government’s long-standing defence of the country’s tax system as it affects overseas companies. The investigation does not deal with the 12.5% corporate tax rate per se, which has always been eyed with suspicion by several large member states. Furthermore, the Government insists it operated within the law in all its dealings with the US computer giant. Nonetheless, …

Coalition needs to spin clear of "Fianna Fáil/PD Tribute Budget''

Its five weeks until the big day. But ‘Budget Season’ is firmly upon us. The release of positive exchequer returns has this week intensified discussion on the scope for a smaller-than-anticipated adjustment. The season of speculation and spin has already seen new junior ministers on the block – Simon Harris and Ged Nash – seek tax cuts and wage increases. This week a succession of Cabinet heavy hitters from the Taoiseach to ministers Michael Noonan, Joan Burton and Brendan Howlin …

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