The Irish Times is an Irish daily broadsheet newspaper launched on 29 March 1859. The editor is Paul O'Neill who succeeded Kevin O'Sullivan on 5 April 2017; the deputy editor is Deirdre Veldon. The Irish Times is published every day except Sundays. It employs 420 people.
Though formed as a Protestant nationalist paper, within two decades and under new owners it had become the voice of British unionism in Ireland. It is no longer marketed as a unionist paper; it presents itself politically as "liberal and progressive", as well as promoting neoliberalism on economic issues. The editorship of the newspaper from 1859 until 1986 was controlled by the Anglo-Irish Protestant minority, only gaining its first nominal Irish Catholic editor 127 years into its existence.
The paper's most prominent columnists include writer and arts commentator Fintan O'Toole and satirist Miriam Lord. The late Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald was once a columnist. Senior international figures, including Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, have written for its op-ed page. Its most prominent columns have included the political column Backbencher, by John Healy, Drapier (an anonymous piece produced weekly by a politician, giving the 'insider' view of politics), Rite and Reason (a weekly religious column, edited by Patsy McGarry, the 'religious affairs' editor) and the long-running An Irishman's Diary. An Irishman's Diary was written by Patrick Campbell in the forties (under the pseudonym 'Quidnunc'); by Seamus Kelly from 1949 to 1979 (also writing as 'Quidnunc'); and more recently by Kevin Myers. After Myers' move to the rival Irish Independent, An Irishman's Diary has usually been the work of Frank McNally. On the sports pages, Philip Reid is the paper's golf correspondent.
One of its most popular columns was the biting and humorous Cruiskeen Lawn satire column written, originally in Irish, later in English, by Myles na gCopaleen, the pen name of Brian O'Nolan (Brian Ó Nualláin) who also wrote books using the name Flann O'Brien. Cruiskeen Lawn is an anglicised spelling of the Irish words crúiscín lán, meaning 'full little jug'. Cruiskeen Lawn made its debut in October 1940, and appeared with varying regularity until O'Nolan's death in 1966.
|The Irish Times|
|Owner(s)||Irish Times Trust|
|Founded||29 March 1859|
|Headquarters||24–28 Tara Street, Dublin|
The first appearance of a newspaper using the name The Irish Times occurred in 1823, but this closed in 1825. The title was revived—initially as a thrice-weekly publication but soon becoming a daily—by a 22-year-old army officer, Lawrence E. Knox (later known as Major Lawrence Knox), with the first edition being published on 29 March 1859. It was founded as a moderate Protestant newspaper, reflecting the politics of Knox, who envisaged it as a "new conservative daily newspaper". Its headquarters were at 4 Lower Abbey Street in Dublin. Its main competitor in its early days was the Dublin Daily Express.
After Knox's death in 1873, the paper was sold to the widow of Sir John Arnott, MP, a former Lord Mayor of Cork and owner of Arnotts, one of Dublin's major Department stores. The sale, for £35,000, led to two major changes. Its headquarters was shifted to 31 Westmoreland Street, remaining in buildings on or near that site until 2005. Its politics also shifted dramatically, becoming predominantly Unionist in outlook, and it was closely associated with the Irish Unionist Alliance. The paper, along with the Irish Independent and various regional papers, called for the execution of the leaders of the failed 1916 Easter Rising.
Though the paper became a publicly listed company in 1900, the family continued to hold a majority shareholding until the 1960s (even after the family lost control, the great-grandson of the original purchaser was the paper's London editor). The last member of the Arnott family to sit on the paper's board was Sir Lauriston Arnott, who died in 1958.
The editor during the 1930s, R. M. Smyllie, had strong anti-fascist views: he angered the Irish Catholic hierarchy by opposing General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Later, The Irish Times, like other national newspapers, had problems with Irish Government censorship during World War II. The Times was largely pro-Allied and was opposed to the Éamon de Valera government's policy of neutrality.
In 1974, ownership was transferred to a non-charitable trust, The Irish Times Trust. The former owner, Major Thomas McDowell, was made "president for life" of the trust which runs the paper and was paid a large dividend. However several years later the articles of the Trust were adjusted, giving Major McDowell 10 preference shares and one more vote than the combined votes of all the other directors should any move be made to remove him. Major McDowell died in 2009. The Trust was set up in 1974 as "a company limited by guarantee" to purchase The Irish Times Limited and to ensure that The Irish Times would be published as an independent newspaper with specific editorial objectives. (See below).
The Trust is regulated by a legal document, the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and controlled by a body of people (the Governors) under company law. It is not a charity and does not have charitable status. It has no beneficial shareholders and it cannot pay dividends. Any profits made by The Irish Times cannot be distributed to the Trust but must be used to strengthen the newspaper, directly or indirectly.
The Trust is composed of a maximum of 11 Governors. The Trust appoints Governors who are required to be "representative broadly of the community throughout the whole of Ireland".
As of June 2012, Ruth Barrington is the chair of the trust, and the governors are Tom Arnold, David Begg, Noel Dorr, Margaret Elliott, Rosemary Kelly, Eoin O'Driscoll, Fergus O'Ferrall, Judith Woodworth, Barry Smyth, and Caitriona Murphy.
In 1969, the longest-serving editor of The Irish Times, Douglas Gageby, was allegedly called a "white nigger" by the company chairman (a former Irish British army officer), because of the newspaper's coverage of Northern Ireland at the outset of the Troubles, which was upsetting the British government.
The paper suffered considerable financial difficulty in 2002 when a drop in advertising revenue coincided with a decision by the company to invest its reserves in the building of a new printing plant. None of the journalists were laid off, but many took a voluntary redundancy package when the paper was greatly restructured. Some foreign bureaux were closed and it also stopped publishing 'colour' pages devoted to Irish regions, with regional coverage now merged with news. The paper's problems stemmed partly from internal strife which led to Major McDowells's daughter, Karen Erwin, not being made chief executive. The reorganisation had the desired effect; after posting losses of almost €3 million in 2002, the paper returned to profit in 2003.
John Waters, a columnist who spoke out about the perceived vast salaries of the editor, managing director and deputy editor, was sacked and re-hired a week later, in November 2003. Former editor Geraldine Kennedy was paid more than the editor of the UK's top non-tabloid newspaper The Daily Telegraph, which has a circulation of about nine times that of The Irish Times. Later, columnist Fintan O'Toole told the Sunday Independent: "We as a paper are not shy of preaching about corporate pay and fat cats but with this there is a sense of excess. Some of the sums mentioned are disturbing. This is not an attack on Ms Kennedy, it is an attack on the executive level of pay. There is double-standard of seeking more job cuts while paying these vast salaries.
In January 2005, the paper was due to run a front-page story on the Provisional IRA's denial of involvement in the Northern Bank robbery, one of Europe's largest ever, and a column by Kevin Myers, which said that the Provisional IRA were responsible. Myers asked for clarification of the decision from the editor, and later left the paper.
The following May, the paper launched a new international edition, which was available in London and southeast England at the same time as other daily newspapers (previously, copies of the Irish edition were flown from Dublin to major cities in Britain on passenger flights, arriving around lunchtime). It was printed at the Newsfax plant in Hackney, and uses the Financial Times distribution network.
In 2009, the Supreme Court ordered the paper to pay €600,000 in costs despite winning its case about the importance of protecting journalistic sources, and called its destruction of evidence "reprehensible conduct".
The newspaper has been criticized for its perceived support of the British Army. An article in The Phoenix magazine examined an article in The Irish Times published in August 2010 on Irish nationals serving in the British Army. According to The Phoenix, the article romanticized the war in Afghanistan and was little more than a recruitment advertisement for the British Army. The magazine accused the editor Geraldine Kennedy and the Irish Times board of violating the Defense Act which prohibits any kind of advertising for recruitment for a foreign army and article 15.6.1 of the Constitution of Ireland which states "The right to raise and maintain military or armed forces is vested exclusively in the Oireachtas".
On 9 September 2011, the paper published a pseudonymous article by Kate Fitzgerald. Unknown to the paper, she had taken her life on 22 August 2011. The revelation sparked a nationwide debate on suicide with her parents appearing on television to discuss suicide and depression. The article criticised the reaction to her illness by her employer, The Communications Clinic, although it was only after she was identified as the author that her employer became known. The article was later removed from the paper's website, causing controversy online. The editor later told her parents that sections of her article were factually incorrect, but could not say which ones.
The company has diversified from its original Irish Times title as a source of revenue. Irish Times Limited has taken a majority share for €5m in the Gazette Group Newspapers, a group publishing three local newspapers in West Dublin, and has acquired a property website, MyHome.ie, the second-largest property internet website in Ireland, for €50m, seen as insurance against the loss of revenue from traditional classified property advertising. In June 2009, journalists called on the board and trust to review "the flawed investment and diversification strategy of the company" and passed a motion saying that "ongoing investment in loss-making projects poses a serious threat to employment" at the newspaper. Four months later, the company announced a loss of €37 million and that 90 staff would be made redundant. The director, Maeve Donovan, who instigated the "investment and diversification" strategy, subsequently retired. She dismissed suggestions that she would receive a significant "golden handshake", saying that her package would be "nothing out of the ordinary at all". She was given a €1m "ex-gratia" payment by the newspaper "relating to a commutation of pension rights agreed with her".
In June 2010, Gazette group newspapers' managing director claimed the company's affairs were being conducted oppressively by its majority shareholder, the Irish Times.
In 1895, the paper moved from its original offices on Middle Abbey Street to D'Olier Street in the centre of Dublin. "D'Olier Street" became a metonym of The Irish Times which in turn was personified as "The Old Lady of D'Olier Street". In October 2006, the paper relocated to a new building on nearby Tara Street.
In 1994, The Irish Times established a website called Irish-times.ie; it was the first newspaper in Ireland and one of the first 30 newspapers in the world to do so. The company acquired the domain name Ireland.com in 1997, and from 1999 to 2008, used it to publish its online edition. It was freely available at first but charges and a registration fee were introduced in 2002 for access to most of the content. A number of blogs were added in April 2007 written by Jim Carroll, Shane Hegarty, and Conor Pope. On 30 June 2008, the company relaunched Ireland.com as a separate lifestyle portal and the online edition of the newspaper was now published at irishtimes.com. It was supplied free of charge, but a subscription was charged to view its archives.
On 15 October 2012 John O'Shea, Head of Online, The Irish Times, announced that the ireland.com domain name had been sold to Tourism Ireland, and that the ireland.com email service would end on 7 November 2012. The domain name was sold for €495,000. The ending of the email service affected about 15,000 subscribers.
The paper has the same standard layout every day. The front page contains one main picture and three main news stories, with the left-hand column, News Digest, providing a 'teaser' of some of the stories inside the Home News, World News, Sport and Business Today sections as well as other information such as winning lottery numbers and weather forecasts. Inside, it usually contains eight to twelve pages of Irish news, called "Home News", covering the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It devotes several pages to important stories such as the publication of government reports, government budgets, important courts cases, and so on.
World News contains news from its correspondents abroad and from news wires and services such as Reuters, the Guardian Service, and the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post service. The paper has correspondents in London, Paris, Brussels, and Washington.
The Irish Times publishes its residential property supplement every Thursday, one of the printed residential property listings for the Dublin area. This is also online. Motoring and employment supplements are published on Wednesday and Friday respectively, and are also online.
A business supplement is published every Friday, as is an entertainment supplement called The Ticket, with film, music, theatre reviews, interviews, articles, and media listings. It features cinema writer Donald Clarke and music writers Jim Carroll, Brian Boyd, Tony Clayton-Lea and others. Michael Dwyer, the distinguished film critic and recipient of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, wrote for the supplement until his death in 2010.
On Saturdays, a Weekend section is published, with news features, arts profiles, television and radio columns, and book reviews of mainly literary and biographical works, with occasional reviews in the technology sector. The Saturday edition also includes the Magazine with consumer and lifestyle features on food, wine, gardening, and there are travel and sports supplements.
Three Sudoku puzzles and two crosswords are published daily including a cryptic crossword, formerly compiled by "Crosaire", and a "Simplex" crossword. There is also a letters page. J.J. Walsh has contributed a chess puzzle to the paper since April 1955, originally weekly the puzzle became a daily fixture in September 1972.
The paper carries political cartoons by Martyn Turner and the American cartoon strip, Doonesbury. The business section has a satirical illustration by David Rooney every Friday. Tom Mathews contributes an arts-inspired cartoon (called "Artoon") to the arts section on Saturday.
A weekly Irish language page is carried on Wednesdays.
In December 2017, it was reported that The Irish Times had reached an agreement to purchase the newspaper, radio and website interests of Landmark Media Investments which include The Irish Examiner. Initially subject to regulatory approval,  this sale was completed in July 2018.
|Year (period)||Average circulation per issue|
|2005 (July to December)|
|2011 (January to June)|
|2012 (January to June)|
|2012 (July to December)|
|2014 (January to June)|
|2014 (July to December)|
|2015 (January to June)|
|2016 (January to June)|
|2016 (July to December)|
|2017 (January to June)|
|2017 (July to December)|
|2018 (January to June)|
|2018 (July to December)|
Regular columns include:
The 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 114th All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland.
Galway defeated Meath. Neither side has contested a final since this game.2003 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final
The 2003 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 116th final of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, a Gaelic football tournament. It was held on 28 September 2003 at Croke Park, Dublin and featured defending champions Armagh against Tyrone. The counties are both in the province of Ulster and share a boundary – this was the first All-Ireland Football Final between sides from the same province. Tyrone won their first title after the match finished 0–12 – 0–09 in their favour.2010 in Ireland
This is a summary of 2010 in Ireland.2011 Irish general election
The 2011 Irish general election took place on Friday 25 February to elect 166 Teachtaí Dála across 43 constituencies to Dáil Éireann, the lower house of Ireland's parliament, the Oireachtas. The Dáil was dissolved and the general election called by President Mary McAleese on 1 February, at the request of Taoiseach Brian Cowen. The electorate was given the task of choosing the members of the 31st Dáil, who met on 9 March 2011 to nominate a Taoiseach and ratify the ministers of the Government of the 31st Dáil.
Cowen had previously announced on 20 January that the election would be held on 11 March, and that after the 2011 budget had been passed he would seek a dissolution of the 30th Dáil by the President. However, the Green Party, the junior party in coalition government with Cowen's Fianna Fáil, withdrew from government on 23 January, stating that they would support only a truncated finance bill from the opposition benches in order to force an earlier election. On 24 January, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan Jnr reached an agreement with the opposition in Dáil Éireann to complete all stages of passing the finance bill, in both houses of the Oireachtas, by 29 January—following which the Dáil was to be dissolved immediately. Constitutionally, an election must be held within 30 days after a Dáil dissolution.Following the collapse of the coalition, the then minority governing party, Fianna Fáil, sought to minimise its losses following historically low poll ratings in the wake of the Irish financial crisis. Fine Gael sought to gain a dominant position in Irish politics after poor results in the 2000s, and to replace Fianna Fáil for the first time since 1927 as the largest party in Dáil Éireann. The Labour Party hoped to make gains from both sides, and was widely expected to become the second largest party and to enter into coalition government with Fine Gael; its highest ambition at the start of the campaign, buoyed by record poll ratings in preceding months, was to become the leading partner in government for the first time in the party's 99-year history. The Green Party, having been in coalition with Fianna Fáil during the Government of the 30th Dáil, faced stiff competition to retain its seats and was expected to lose at least four of its six seats. Sinn Féin was expected to make gains, encouraged by a by-election victory in November 2010 and by opinion polls which placed it ahead of Fianna Fáil. Some other left wing groups, including the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit and Workers and Unemployed Action, contested the general election under a joint banner, the United Left Alliance.Fianna Fáil was swept from power in the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in 1922. Fianna Fáil lost more than half of its first-preference vote from 2007 and garnered only 20 seats. It was the third-largest party in the 31st Dáil–the first time since the September 1927 election that it was not the largest party in the chamber. The Irish Times, Ireland's newspaper of record, described Fianna Fáil's meltdown as "defeat on a historic scale." Fine Gael won 76 seats to become the largest party in the Dáil for the first time in its 78-year history, while the Labour Party became the second largest party with 37 seats, and Sinn Féin also increased its number of seats. Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny became Taoiseach, in a coalition with Labour.2011 Irish presidential election
The 2011 Irish presidential election was the thirteenth presidential election to be held in Ireland, and was contested by a record seven candidates. It was held on Thursday, 27 October 2011. The election was held to elect a successor to Mary McAleese, with the winner to be inaugurated as the ninth President of Ireland on 11 November 2011. Two constitutional referendums and a by-election for a vacant Dáil seat in the Dublin West constituency took place on the same day.The seven candidates were Mary Davis, Seán Gallagher, Michael D. Higgins, Martin McGuinness, Gay Mitchell, David Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon. Higgins was nominated by Labour, McGuinness was nominated by Sinn Féin and Mitchell was nominated by Fine Gael, while Independent candidates Davis, Gallagher, Norris and Scallon were nominated by local authorities. The previously dominant Fianna Fáil party declined to nominate a candidate following their disastrous general election campaign earlier that year. Michael D. Higgins was ultimately elected as president.2011 in Ireland
Events during the year 2011 in Ireland.2016 Irish general election
The 2016 Irish general election took place on Friday 26 February to elect 157 Teachtaí Dála (TDs) across 40 constituencies to Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas, Ireland's parliament. The 31st Dáil was dissolved by President Michael D. Higgins on 3 February, at the request of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.Following the election, Kenny's Fine Gael with 50 of the 158 seats available remained the largest party in the Dáil despite having lost 26 seats. The main opposition party Fianna Fáil, which had suffered its worst-ever election result of 20 seats in 2011, increased its seats to 44. Sinn Féin was expected to make gains, encouraged by opinion polls placing it ahead of Fianna Fáil, and it became the third-most numerous party with 23 deputies. The Labour Party, which had been the junior party in coalition government with Fine Gael and which had returned its best-ever showing of 37 seats in 2011, fell to just seven deputies, its lowest-ever share of Dáil seats. Smaller parties and independent politicians made up the remaining 34 seats.The members of the 32nd Dáil met on 10 March to elect a new Ceann Comhairle, the first to be elected by secret ballot, and Seán Ó Fearghaíl of Fianna Fáil was elected to succeed Seán Barrett of Fine Gael. Kenny formally resigned as Taoiseach that same day, but remained in office as a caretaker until a new government was formed. Kenny sought an agreement with Fianna Fáil to form a government, and negotiations continued through most of April. An agreement was finally reached for a Fine Gael-led minority government on 29 April, 63 days after the election, and the Dáil formally re-elected Kenny as Taoiseach on 6 May. Kenny is the first Taoiseach from Fine Gael to win re-election.Following the introduction of gender quotas, a record 35 seats were filled by women, bringing the proportion of women in the Dáil to 22 percent, up from 15 percent after the previous general election.2018 Irish presidential election
The 2018 Irish presidential election took place on Friday, 26 October, between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. President Michael D. Higgins, who was elected in 2011, was seeking re-election. This was the first time since the 1966 election that an incumbent president faced a contest for a second term. Higgins was re-elected on the first count with nearly 56% of the vote, becoming the first president since de Valera to win a second term in a contested election (Patrick Hillery (1983) and Mary McAleese (2004) had been re-elected unopposed.) He was inaugurated for his second term on 11 November.
The election was held on the same date as a referendum on blasphemy.Brian Cowen
Brian Bernard Cowen (born 10 January 1960) is an Irish former Fianna Fáil politician who served as Taoiseach from 2008 to 2011, Leader of Fianna Fáil from 2008 to 2011, Minister for Foreign Affairs from January 2011 to March 2011 and 2000 to 2004, Minister for Defence from February 2011 to March 2011, Tánaiste from 2007 to 2008, Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil from 2002 to 2008, Minister for Finance from 2004 to 2008, Minister for Health and Children from 1997 to 2000, Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications from 1993 to 1994, Minister for Energy in January 1993 and Minister for Labour from 1992 to 1993. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Laois–Offaly constituency from 1984 to 2011.He became leader of Fianna Fáil upon the resignation of Bertie Ahern. On 7 May 2008, following the resignation of Ahern as Taoiseach, Cowen was nominated by Dáil Éireann to replace him and was appointed by the President later that day. His administration coincided with the Irish financial and banking crises. He has received substantial criticism for his failure to stem the tide of either crisis, ultimately culminating in his government's formal request for financial rescue from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, widely seen in Ireland as a national humiliation. Cowen's leadership saw public support for Fianna Fáil plunge to record lows, as well as the lowest public support on record for both a sitting Irish government and a sitting Taoiseach. With approval at 8 percent, by the time the 30th Dáil was dissolved, he was the least popular incumbent politician in the history of Irish opinion polling.In January 2011, following a failed and highly controversial attempt at a cabinet reshuffle and facing growing political pressure, Cowen resigned as leader of Fianna Fáil, but stayed on as Taoiseach until the election held later that year. A month later, he announced he would retire from politics at that election.The Sunday Times described Cowen's tenure as Taoiseach as "a dismal failure." In 2011, the Irish Independent called Cowen the "worst Taoiseach in the history of the State."Brian O'Nolan
Brian O'Nolan (Irish: Brian Ó Nualláin; 5 October 1911 – 1 April 1966) was an Irish novelist, playwright and satirist, considered a major figure in twentieth century Irish literature. Born in Strabane, County Tyrone, he is regarded as a key figure in postmodern literature. His English language novels, such as At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman, were written under the pen name Flann O'Brien. His many satirical columns in The Irish Times and an Irish language novel An Béal Bocht were written under the name Myles na gCopaleen.
O'Nolan's novels have attracted a wide following for their bizarre humour and modernist metafiction. As a novelist, O'Nolan was influenced by James Joyce. He was nonetheless sceptical of the cult of Joyce, which overshadows much of Irish writing, saying "I declare to God if I hear that name Joyce one more time I will surely froth at the gob."Fitzgibbon Cup
The Fitzgibbon Cup (Irish: Corn Mhic Giobúin) is the trophy for the premier hurling championship among higher education institutions (universities, colleges and institutes of technology) in Ireland.
The Fitzgibbon Cup competition is administered by Comhairle Ard Oideachais Cumann Lúthchleas Gael (CLG), the GAA's Higher Education Council. Comhairle Ard Oideachais also oversees the Ryan Cup (tier 2 hurling championship), the Fergal Maher Cup (tier 3 hurling championship) and the Padraig MacDiarmada (tier 4 hurling championship).
The GAA Higher Education Cups are sponsored by Electric Ireland.Irish Examiner
The Irish Examiner, formerly The Cork Examiner and then The Examiner, is an Irish national daily newspaper which primarily circulates in the Munster region surrounding its base in Cork, though it is available throughout the country.Irish emergency budget, 2009
The 2009 Irish emergency budget refers to the delivery of an emergency government budget by the Government of Ireland on 7 April 2009, its second in six months. It was also the second overall budget to be delivered by Fianna Fáil's Brian Lenihan as Minister for Finance. The emergency budget announcement involved significant tax rises and a decrease in public spending. Prior to its unveiling, it was predicted to be the most severe budget in decades, with The Independent suggesting in its aftermath that it was the most severe in the country's history.Jim Carroll (journalist)
Jim Carroll (born Tipperary in 1968) is an Irish music journalist, blogger and editor who is currently employed by The Irish Times. He runs a blog titled "On the Record" for the newspaper.
Carroll is a co-founder of the Choice Music Prize, an annual music award given to one Irish album from ten nominations. He also has a radio programme on Dublin's Phantom FM. In 1997 he founded the internet music magazine Muse.Michael D. Higgins
Michael Daniel Higgins (Irish: Mícheál Dónal Ó hUigínn; born 18 April 1941) is an Irish politician who has served as the President of Ireland since November 2011.
Higgins is a politician, poet, sociologist, and broadcaster. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway West constituency and was Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht from 1993 to 1997. He was the President of the Labour Party from 2003 until 2011, when he resigned following his election as President of Ireland.He has used his time in office to address issues concerning justice, social equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism, anti-racism and reconciliation. He made the first state visit by an Irish President to the United Kingdom in April 2014.
Higgins ran for a second term as President of Ireland in 2018 and was re-elected in a landslide victory. Higgins attained the largest personal mandate in the history of the Republic of Ireland, with 822,566 first preference votes. Higgins' second presidential inauguration took place on 11 November 2018.Post-2008 Irish economic downturn
The post-2008 Irish economic downturn in the Republic of Ireland, coincided with a series of banking scandals, followed the 1990s and 2000s Celtic Tiger period of rapid real economic growth fuelled by foreign direct investment, a subsequent property bubble which rendered the real economy uncompetitive, and an expansion in bank lending in the early 2000s. An initial slowdown in economic growth amid the international financial crisis of 2007–08 greatly intensified in late 2008 and the country fell into recession for the first time since the 1980s. Emigration, as did unemployment (particularly in the construction sector), escalated to levels not seen since that decade.
The Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ) general index, which reached a peak of 10,000 points briefly in April 2007, fell to 1,987 points—a 14-year low—on 24 February 2009 (the last time it was under 2,000 being mid-1995). In September 2008, the Irish government—a Fianna Fáil-Green coalition—officially acknowledged the country's descent into recession; a massive jump in unemployment occurred in the following months. Ireland was the first state in the eurozone to enter recession, as declared by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). By January 2009, the number of people living on unemployment benefits had risen to 326,000—the highest monthly level since records began in 1967—and the unemployment rate rose from 6.5% in July 2008 to 14.8% in July 2012. The slumping economy drew 100,000 demonstrators onto the streets of Dublin on 21 February 2009, amid further talk of protests and industrial action.With the banks "guaranteed", and the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) established on the evening of 21 November 2010, then Taoiseach Brian Cowen confirmed on live television that the EU/ECB/IMF troika would be involving itself in Ireland's financial affairs. Support for the Fianna Fáil party, dominant for much of the previous century, then crumbled; in an unprecedented event in the nation's history, it fell to third place in an opinion poll conducted by The Irish Times—placing behind Fine Gael and the Labour Party, the latter rising above Fianna Fáil for the first time. On 22 November, the Greens called for an election the following year. The 2011 general election replaced the ruling coalition with another one, between Fine Gael and Labour. This coalition continued with the same austerity policies of the previous coalition, as the country's larger parties all favour a similar agenda, but subsequently lost power in the 2016 General Election.
Official statistics showed a drop in most crimes coinciding with the economic downturn. Burglaries, however, rose by approximately 10% and recorded prostitution offences more than doubled from 2009 to 2010. In late 2014 the unemployment rate was 11.0% on the seasonally adjusted measure, still over double the lows of the mid-2000s but down from a peak of 15.1% in early 2012. By May 2016, this figure had fallen to 7.8%.Seán Ó Ríordáin
Seán Pádraig Ó Ríordáin (3 December 1916 – 21 February 1977) was an Irish language poet during the twentieth century. He brought European themes into Irish poetry.Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2008
The Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2008 (bill no. 14 of 2008) was a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Ireland that was put to a referendum in 2008 (the first Lisbon referendum). The purpose of the proposed amendment was to allow the state to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon of the European Union.
The amendment was rejected by voters on 12 June 2008 by a margin of 53.4% to 46.6%, with a turnout of 53.1%. The treaty had been intended to enter into force on 1 January 2009, but had to be delayed following the Irish rejection. However, the Lisbon treaty was approved by Irish voters when the Twenty-eighth Amendment of the constitution was approved in the second Lisbon referendum, held in October 2009.Vincent Browne
Vincent Browne (born 17 July 1944) is an Irish print and broadcast journalist. He is a columnist with The Irish Times and The Sunday Business Post and a non-practising barrister. From 1996 until 2007, he presented a nightly talk-show on RTÉ Radio, Tonight with Vincent Browne, which focused on politics, the proceedings of tribunals on political corruption and police misconduct. From 2007 to 2017 he presented Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3, which was broadcast from Monday to Thursday at 11:00pm.