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President’s visit an emotional and political milestone

Posted on by Tommie Gorman


Michael D Higgins, the 9th President of Ireland, this week becomes the first holder of the office to pay a State visit to the UK.

The busy four-day programme of events is another significant milestone in what has often been a difficult relationship between neighbouring islands.

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The Tánaiste, a tractor and a frozen food summit

Posted on by Martina Fitzgerald

By Martina Fitzgerald, Political Correspondent

Eamon Gilmore in Paris

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.

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War in Syria: Three years on

Posted on by Paul Cunningham

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.

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In the Shadow of the Fleet

Posted on by Tony Connelly


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.

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Francis ‘The Informal’ – One Year On

Posted on by Joe Little


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.

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Service remembers Mayo inventor buried in London

Posted on by David Davin-Power


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.

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Kenny reaction to Flannery resignation

Posted on by David Davin-Power


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.

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What Russia wants, and what the West can do

Posted on by Tony Connelly

A Russian soldier patrols the anti-submarine ship 'Muromets' in the port of Sevastopol

A Russian soldier patrols the anti-submarine ship ‘Muromets’ in the port of Sevastopol

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.

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Crimea on a knife edge

Posted on by Tony Connelly

Armed men in military uniform stand guard the Ukrainian navy ship in the harbor of Sevastopol, Crimea (Pic: EPA)

Armed men in military uniform stand guard outside a Ukrainian navy ship in the harbour of Sevastopol, Crimea (Pic: EPA)

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. Continue reading

Latvia joins club of 330m Europeans using euro

Posted on by Tony Connelly


latvia-euro-GettyBy Europe Editor Tony Connelly

The euro has had so few ringing endorsements over the past four years that the accession of Latvia to the single currency on 1 January must feel like manna from heaven. Continue reading

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