There should be no impulse by State to suffocate artistic freedom

ARTS Minister Heather Humphreys is reputationally dead-on-arrival. Her demise is less about dastardly deeds than the damning belief she was led by the nose. That impression was confirmed by her near incoherence when questioned by the media and her refusal to answer questions since. There is nothing so debilitating for a minister as a fool’s pardon.

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IRISH EXAMINER VIEW

Schoolgirl jihadists: Society rejected

Even if you are a parent of an extremely rebellious teenager it would be very difficult to understand why hundreds of young women and girls are leaving their homes in the West to join Islamic fighters in the Middle East.

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McNulty withdraws: Another fine mess indeed

There was an air of inevitability about John McNulty’s decision yesterday afternoon to withdraw his name from the list of candidates for the vacant Seanad seat.

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Private pension levy: We need a minister for pensions

Though the announcement of what water charges will cost individuals or families dominated the headlines yesterday, a tax that will collect far more money, and from just one section of society, fell due this week.

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Northern intransigence: Who benefits if Stormont is destroyed?

The announcement that talks involving the British and Irish governments will try to break the deadlock in the North’s peace process must be welcomed. That welcome must be qualified by deep frustration and scepticism however — frustration that even after years of considerable autonomy the Stormont parties are still unable, or more likely unwilling, to accept the responsibilities of power.

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