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Francis ‘The Informal’ – One Year On

Posted on by Joe Little

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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

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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

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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

The bailout may be over, but don’t expect anything to change

Posted on by David Murphy

euroBy David Murphy, Business Editor

Ordinary Irish people won’t notice the slightest difference between life before and after the bailout.

Banking problems persist, unemployment is still high and the economy is sluggish.

Conditions are improving. But it is far too early to say that Ireland is out of trouble.  Continue reading

Conscientious objection a controversial issue in Italy’s abortion regime

Posted on by Ray Donoghue

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Brussels

It may come as a surprise, but a relatively liberal abortion regime has existed in Italy since 1978.

Law 194 was introduced following a determined campaign by women’s groups, but also due to the rise in illegal abortions.

In 1981 there was a move by Catholic groups, supported by the church, to overturn the law, but it was defeated by nearly 68% in a referendum.

A second referendum saw support for legal abortion rise to 88.4%. Continue reading

Bailing in or bailing out: Depositors and the painful road to a banking union

Posted on by Ray Donoghue

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Brussels

In Ireland we know only too well the cost of burdening the taxpayer with the fallout from a collapsing bank.

The sins of the financial sector placed a €64 billion weight on the shoulders of current and future generations. Continue reading

EU Budget 2.0: Crunch Time for Ireland’s Presidency

Posted on by Ray Donoghue

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Brussels

In November EU leaders failed to agree a new seven-year budget to run from 2014 to 2020. At the time Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Ireland would not have much authority going into our presidency if a deal wasn’t struck.

The presidency is now under way, with little indication that November’s failure has had any discernible effect. However, failure to strike a deal this week would not do Ireland’s presidency any favours.

“The consequences of no deal are serious and far reaching,” says one senior EU source.

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