The Tánaiste, a tractor and a frozen food summit

By Martina Fitzgerald, Political Correspondent What do a Massey Ferguson tractor, the French President, Francois Hollande, and a frozen food summit have in common? They all featured on the Tánaiste’s itinerary during his three-day visit to France.

War in Syria: Three years on

By Paul Cunningham, Europe Correspondent The United Nations regularly updates its ‘fact sheet’ on the war in Syria – a conflict which is now entering its fourth bloody year. The UN information bulletin is a grim statistical record, and the figures are only increasing. Consider these three shocking extracts: – 9.3 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance; – 6.5 million people inside Syria have fled their homes; – Another 2.5 million have left the country altogether.

In the Shadow of the Fleet

By Europe Editor, Tony Connelly Alexei Alexeivich puts on his Soviet naval cap and strikes a pose in front of his bedroom mirror. With a sheepish grin, which breaks into an infectious laugh, he pulls in his 59-year-old paunch.  The rest of the uniform, he concedes, no longer fits him, but the memories of 27 years serving the USSR by sea are as fresh as ever.

Francis 'The Informal' – One Year On

By Joe Little, Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent This day last year, the Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the first non-European Pontiff in 1,300 years. Since then the 77-year-old has frequently broken with precedent, most notably by choosing to live in a Vatican guest-house instead of the Apostolic Palace overlooking Saint Peter’s Square.

Service remembers Mayo inventor buried in London

By RTÉ’s Political Correspondent David Davin-Power By any standards, Louis Brennan had a remarkable life. Born just after the Great Famine that carried away five of his siblings, his parents emigrated to Australia with the ten-year-old and what remained of his family.

Kenny reaction to Flannery resignation

RTÉ’s Political Correspondent David Davin-Power reflects on Enda Kenny’s reaction to the resignation of Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery. Local politics has a way of intruding no matter where you are. That’s part of the reason broadcasters and newspapers like to have correspondents with Enda Kenny, even when he’s carrying out some uncontroversial engagement unlikely to generate any news in its own right. So it was when the Taoiseach was cutting the ribbon at an Irish Centre in Manchester.

What Russia wants, and what the West can do

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Simferopol Although the referendum on Crimea’s future is not until 16 March, Russia’s actions are already birthing a new creation. The speed of Moscow’s invasion-by-stealth has been breathtaking.

Crimea on a knife edge

By Tony Connelly, RTÉ Europe Editor As Russia intensifies its grip on Crimea, they are creating facts on the ground. But in this most surreal of struggles, facts are never what they seem. At the Perevalnoye naval base, there are two layers of militia preventing access in or an exit out, but many more layers of truth and myth over who is in charge, who are the heroes and who are the villains.