Cardinal George Pell was acquitted of charges of historical child sex abuse by the high court in Brisbane, which quashed his previous six-year prison sentence on appeal and ordered his immediate release from jail. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/EPA Need to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt protects us all

Quashing of Cardinal Pell conviction underlines need for safeguards

Raising taxes sharply would be a bad idea, at least in the next year or two, as it would discourage individuals and firms trying to get back on their feet. Photograph: iStock We must not forget coronavirus bill will have to be paid someday

Those calling for increased State intervention on permanent basis need to bear this in mind

Gardai conduct COVID-19 checkpoints this afternoon on the Westbound carriageway of the M4 Motorway.Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin Government flying blind on lifting restrictions

New case figures do not give an accurate picture of the spread of coronavirus

A system of basic income – long advocated by Social Justice Ireland – would go a considerable distance towards ensuring that everyone has enough money to live life with dignity. Photograph: John Fleming Coronavirus: Time for a new social contract in Ireland

Basic income, social housing and childcare provision are investments not liabilities

The Labour Party and its new leader Alan Kelly are in a quandary in relation to the formation of a new government. File photograph: Eric Luke Government formation hinges on Labour under Alan Kelly

Social Democrats and Greens have deliberately ruled themselves out of coalition

The late Tim Robinson photographed near Roundstone in Connemara. Robinson ‘became a victim of Covid-19 at the very time when the Covid crisis emphatically underlined the importance of his work and mission’. Photograph: Brian Farrell Diarmaid Ferriter: Tim Robinson long understood what crisis has taught us

Writer’s connection to islands around us an example of artistic wisdom society has undervalued

The M1 motorway Border area between Dundalk and Newry. The New Decade, New Approach deal promised  £75m over three years from the Republic for a cross-Border dual carriageway. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien Newton Emerson: Stormont to Dublin - about that money you promised us

Stormont parties may soon want Dublin to put a bit more of its money where its mouth is

Police carry out a check on people without face masks in Sceaux, south of Paris, on Wednesday. Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images Coronavirus pandemic is putting civil liberties at risk

We can apply four key tests to judge if coronavirus measures are justified

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz takes off his face mask during a press conference on Monday in Vienna.  Photograph: Helmut Fohringer/APA/AFP via Getty Images Coronavirus: Could Austria show us the way out of lockdown?

Austria’s plans for lifting Covid-19 restrictions offer lessons as Ireland lags behind

A euro sign sculpture stands in front of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Photographer: Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg Christine Lagarde: The ECB is playing its part

We are lending Eurozone banks €3 trillion to provide loans to firms and individuals

“The suggestion that the Seanad is not capable of functioning unless the 11 nominations are made by an incoming taoiseach is somewhat fanciful.” Photograph: Alan Betson Michael McDowell: New Seanad can pass legislation

Upper House is capable of functioning without incoming taoiseach’s nominees

 Stalled construction of national children’s hospital: The outbreak of Covid-19 has highlighted many of the shortcomings in our health service. Photograph: Alan Betson Ditch Sláintecare if you want to hang on to the single-tier health service

Coronavirus provides opportunity to modernise Irish healthcare

More than four out of five of us believe the current Government is doing a good job. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw Kathy Sheridan: Ireland fiddles with government formation as world burns

Why rush into an unsatisfactory arrangement while Covid-19 threat remains?

 The LÉ Samuel Beckett moored   on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to help in the fight against Covid-19.  The State, mostly so sluggish during the lifetime of the outgoing Government, has reacted like the crew of a becalmed vessel, snoozing down below, to the order: all hands on deck! It has switched itself on with remarkable alacrity. Photograph Nick Bradshaw Fintan O'Toole: Crisis management is what the State does best

Immense task of reconstruction will demand much more than frantic improvisation

Street art in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire Coronavirus: Stop calling this a war. It’s unhelpful and dangerous

The most obvious danger of the war analogy is the threat posed to our human rights

French writer Albert Camus:  his novel La Peste/The Plague is  a work for our times in the questions that it raises, not just for priests but for all believers and unbelievers ‘Why did God let this happen?’ People of faith can be people of action

Rite and Reason: The problem of faith in the midst of a plague of biblical proportions

The Beacon Hospital, Sandyford, Co Dublin. Private hospitals have agreed to provide their facilities on a not-for-profit basis to help deal with the surge in coronavirus cases that is expected over the next two weeks and beyond. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh Consultants want private business exempt from national effort to save lives

‘Many’ and ‘some’ are words people use when they don’t have accurate figures and oftentimes translate as ‘not a lot’

Barry McGovern as Willie and Rosaleen Linehan as Winnie in a photocall for the Gate Theatre production of Happy Days. Photograph: Alan Betson Anne Harris: Life imitates art in my cocoon

I have been turned into a character from an absurd Beckett play

A medical tent erected at the entrance to the emergency department of the Mater hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Why everyone over 70 should cocoon during Covid-19 crisis

Advice to fully isolate based on judgment that benefits will outweigh downsides

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen: the commission  temporarily suspended the EU’s fiscal rules to allow countries to spend what they need to face these exceptional circumstances. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/AP Coronavirus: EU must mobilise all its resources to help member states

We need a purpose-built European fund to ensure no country河北快3走势图 is left behind

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spun an anecdotal tale without offering any evidence to back it up. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times Una Mullally: Leo Varadkar’s mask drops again

His callous off-the-cuff remark reminds us that he is not beyond scrutiny

The sun sets behind European Central Bank  in Frankfurt, Germany. Once the ECB backstops  coronabonds, private investors will hold them, knowing the ECB will buy them in unlimited quantities if the investor wants to sell. Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP via Getty David McWilliams: We must loosen up on financing pandemic spending now

If the EU, ECB and all governments meet this economic crisis head on, Europe has a chance

Clear skies over London as coronavirus has a positive impact on the environment and levels of pollution. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA Fintan O’Toole: Earth has a toxic virus – us

The coronavirus crisis reminds us we must find a way not to kill the host we inhabit

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Eric Luke Pat Leahy: Small parties seem intent on fleeing from government

Dáil arithmetic puts Greens and Social Democrats in pivotal positions

A transit police officer checks the temperature of a truck driver during a partial curfew ordered by the government in Villa Nueva, Guatemala. Photograph:  Johan Ordonez / AFP Covid-19 has rehabilitated global collaboration, not undermined it

The effort to suppress the virus will ultimately only be a strong as its weakest link

An empty M50 in Dublin this week. Photograph: Tom Honan Cliff Taylor: You can’t just turn an economy off and back on again

Economic freeze can only go on for so long without causing longer-term damage

For some people 河北快3走势图 is the most dangerous place of all.  Photograph: iStock Jennifer O'Connell: For some people, 河北快3走势图 is the most dangerous place of all

Pandemics are good for hard men. Spare a thought for their victims

Pope Francis giving the Urbi et Orbi blessing on March 27th at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Photograph: Vatican Media/AFP via Getty Pope Francis: An icon of hope and solidarity in a time of crisis

The Pope praying before an empty square will linger as an image of this pandemic

Mary Lou McDonald: 'If anything, this crisis has shown exactly why we need a government for change'. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw Mary Lou McDonald: This crisis shows that Sinn Féin was right

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are striving to lock us out of power while co-opting our policies

A cyclist wearing a protective face mask rides in Singapore. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA Why shutting down the country河北快3走势图 to save lives makes economic sense

How do we value a statistical life?

Graham Norton will host the BBC’s Eurovision: Come Together on May 16th Eurovision: Not even coronavirus can kill the camp

An alternative version of the song contest should be welcomed as crucial frivolity

Born in the shadow of the Rock of Cashel, Tom lived his childhood during another Emergency in the second World War. Photograph : Fergal Shanahan We stood in the car park of the nursing 河北快3走势图 while my father-in-law breathed his last

Pandemic robs us of the power to gather and grieve

Something else that has been highlighted by the emergency is the quality of our health service and the commitment and bravery of the people who work in it. Photograph: Alan Betson Stephen Collins: The cliche Ireland has 'a third world' health service was never remotely true

Continuing national solidarity will be needed for economic recovery in wake of Covid-19

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced that the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework will be re-focused on fighting the economic consequences of the corona crisis (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images) Klaus Regling: Eurobonds are not the solution to the cost of coronavirus

Existing European institutions have the fire power needed and common European bonds will take time we do not have

A view of the M50 in Dublin on March 29th, 河北快3走势图.Photo: Tom Honan for The Irish Times. No signs of lock-down fatigue in Ireland ... yet

Ensuring that people can stay the course involves a combination of very clear and consistent communication backed by serious economic resources

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill at a media briefing on Covid-19 at Stormont. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire Newton Emerson: Stormont must agree to disagree for powersharing to survive crisis

Different approaches to testing North and Republic will cause political tension

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Instead of falling as was budgeted, the Irish Government’s debt could easily increase by €20 billion or more this year, depending on how long shutdowns continue. Photograph: Alan Betson Patrick Honohan: Preparing for post-pandemic financial reckoning

Governments will likely take control of some large firms to avoid disruption

“Now more than ever, it is vital that we think before we drink.” File photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire Don’t let your short-term crutch become a long-term drink problem

Most habits become habits without us noticing – especially true with addiction

The powers that have been introduced in Ireland are extreme by any measure. Picture shows a deserted Grafton Street area following new  restrictions on retail . Bryan O Brien / The Irish Times There is no conflict between human rights and public health measures

The State’s obligation to vindicate the right to life and the right to health applies without discrimination

An information screen displays hand washing advice outside the Berlaymont building, which houses offices of the European Commission, in Brussels. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/Bloomberg Michael McDowell: Covid-19 crisis raises important points on the limits of the EU

State governments are better placed than Brussels to judge required remedial action

This economic management challenge is made more difficult because it involves both the need to maintain essential production and also the wherewithal for households to access what is produce. Photograph: Alan Betson Coronavirus: Ireland needs careful action to prevent a severe fall in living standards

It would not be surprising to see the deficit in double figures again following pandemic

‘In the shadow of grief, upended lives, separation and tragic death, we are taking back control, not by chasing imperial phantoms but by recognising that we are the weapons capable of facing down Covid-19.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Kathy Sheridan: I should be enjoying the Covid-19 lockdown but I cannot

On the whole, the language on this pandemic is suddenly quite cosy, but many dangers lurk

And we’re sick to death of the biggest covidiot of them all, the fool on Capitol Hill. (Al Drago/The New York Times) No April Fool jokes please, we are not in the mood

From Johnson to Trump we’ve already had our fill of fools for one year

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD with children from the Chinese community during the launch of the Chinese New Year Celebration’s in January. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins We must not let fear of Covid-19 turn us against our Asian community

As far back as December, ethnic Asians in Ireland have reported discrimination fuelled by the Coronavirus.

Funeral director Pat Blake places a white rose on the coffin of Anne Best, Co Fermanagh’s first coronavirus victim, at St Ninnidh’s Cemetery in Derrylin. Photograph: John McVitty Fintan O’Toole: We can’t help giving meaning to this absurd virus

Covid-19 is cruelly capricious but human beings need to attach significance to suffering