Fianna Fáil agrees to support Fine Gael minority government until autumn 2018. Photograph: The Irish Times

Scope for tax cuts and spending increases set to be well above €1bn, say sources

 Credit must go to Enda Kenny who will have confounded his many critics one more time if he manages to be elected Taoiseach for a second term. Since the election setback he has displayed resilience and patience in the face of political misfortune and it looks as if that is going to be rewarded. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Labour, the Greens and some Independents outside government could play a constructive role

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are expected to sign off on the agreement before it goes to the two parliamentary parties for final approval. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Parties agree people who have not paid Irish Water charges will be pursued

Lynn Ruane, president of Trinity College Students Union, with her daughters Jaelynne and Jordanne. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

TCD student leader Lynn Ruane and Alice-Mary Higgins, daughter of President, elected

The Vartry Reservoir in County Wicklow where a 153-year-old tunnel at Callow Hill is a “very vulnerable part” of the water supply system for the capital, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

The events of the past week or so do not augur well for the operation of a Fine Gael-led minority government

A report into the handling of claims made by garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe has found former minister for justice  Alan Shatter TD and retired Garda commissioner Martin Callinan took the matters raised seriously. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Commission also finds ‘no evidence’ of corruption on part of ex-garda chief Martin Callinan

Former leader of the Progressive Democrats Michael McDowell. Photograph: Collins

Senator David Norris heads poll in Trinity College constituency according to tallies

Sgt Maurice McCabe at the Dáil. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Commission of investigation examined claims that led to Alan Shatter’s resignation

The election of Fianna Fáil’s John Curran as chair of the Dáil  committee on housing and homelessness shows TDs are capable of adapting to circumstances and forming new alliances. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The compromises needed by all sides could fatally undermine new alliance

Fine Gael TD’s Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney, Paschal Donohoe, Frances Fitzgerald and Michael Noonan speaking to journalists after leaving talks on the formation of a government between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Pact on water utility should allow minority government to be put in place next week

Labour parliamentary party chairman Willie Penrose: said voters had given a mandate to particular parties to form a government. Photograph: Alan Betson

Penrose calls for decision by other parties

Tánaiste Joan Burton’s leadership of the Labour Party was not discussed at the meeting. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Party’s seven TDs to stick by original post-election decision to go into opposition

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton leaving Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil government talks remain deadlocked over future of Irish Water

Enda Kenny wants to afford Labour time to reconsider its decision to go into opposition, while Micheál Martin’s FF will abstain only when it becomes clear that the acting Taoiseach has the required support

Minority government pact unlikely to be concluded by Wednesday’s Dáil sitting

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton at Herb Street Cafe, Grand Canal, Dublin, ahead of the election. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Senior party figures to seek members’ consensus to realign with Fine Gael and Greens

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton at Herb Street Cafe, Grand Canal, Dublin, ahead of the election. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Senior party figures to seek members’ consensus to realign with Fine Gael and Greens

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with TDs Lisa Chambers, Dara Calleary, Charlie McConalogue, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Mary Butler at Leinster House. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Little sign party willing to take unpopular positions required to keep administration in place

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes: “Divorce proceedings between Britain and the EU will be protracted, complex and very messy.”

MEP says a new agreement with the EU would be required if Britain leaves

In the coming days Fine Gael will attempt to assemble the numbers to have Enda Kenny elected taoiseach at the fourth attempt next Wednesday, .Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Coveney says new administration could be in place by middle of next week

 Acting Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party must come to agreement with Fianna Fáil in order to avert a second election

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Negotiating teams meet for discussions in first decisive move in government formation

Acting Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Simon Coveney tells Shane Ross there are ‘positive reasons’ for no-show

Fine Gael Ministers say that the offer of a partnership government involved parity of esteem but, as this was rejected out of hand, a minority government led by the biggest party is the only option.

‘While he can refuse a dissolution, the President has no constitutional role in government formation’

Enda Kenny repeated his invitation to Fianna Fáil to join his party and Independents in a partnership government. Photographs: The Irish Times

Taoiseach repeats call for partnership administration

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the Dáil with Dara Calleary, Charlie McConalogue, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Mary Butler, after his party rejected Fine Gael’s proposal for government. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny accuses Micheál Martin of putting party before country after bitter breakdown

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin arrives at Government Buildings. The failure of the Dáil for a second time to elect a new taoiseach has at least brought some clarity. Photograph: Eric Luke

A new approach to politics will be needed for the new government to survive – a tall order

President Michael D Higgins lays a wreath during the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin today. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

President Higgins lays wreath to honour those who fought and died in the Rising

Lowering the Tricolour during the annual Easter Rising 1916 commeremoration at Arbour Hill in 2013. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Birth of our durable democratic State made possible by a number of factors

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave study a photograph of WT Cosgrave at the official opening of the GPO Witness History exhibit. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Former taoiseach attends opening of GPO’s immersive, interactive visitor attraction

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving at Government Buildings , Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Five rural Independents will join Independent Alliance, Green Party for talks on Wednesday

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving at Government Buildings on Tuesday. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Group of five Independents willing to intensify discussions with Fine Gael

Another election is the only outcome if everybody else adopts the same attitude as the Social Democrats and refuses to take responsibility for government formation. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Survival of minority government will require new way of doing politics

Green Party TDs Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin held discussions with Fine Gael on supporting a minority government. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Green leader Ryan sees no reason to exclude party from ‘whatever options are possible’ in minority government

Fine Gael is hopeful of retaining the support of the Labour Party for Enda Kenny in any vote for taoiseach. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Senior party figures say more than 60 Dáil votes for Enda Kenny can be secured

 Dick Burke was first elected to the Dail for Dublin South in 1969 and was immediately appointed as chief whip of Fine Gael by Mr Cosgrave. Photograph: Frank Miller

Former European Commissioner was elected as a Fine Gael TD for Dublin South in 1969

Michael and Danny Healy Rae on the bonnet of a jeep during the first meeting of the 32nd Dail at Leinster House.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin tactics demonstrate Dáil will only be able to function if Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil cooperate

Michael and Danny Healy-Rae on the bonnet of a jeep outside Leinster House as the 32nd Dáil met for the first time. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Without agreement between the two main parties, second election seems inevitable

Fine Gael’s Andrew Doyle came second, with Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan third

The 32nd Dáil is set for deadlock on the election of a new taoiseach on Thursday  when it meets for the first time. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Parties to agree on Dáil reform as Taoiseach vote looks set for deadlock

Fine Gael Ministers have agreed to approach Fianna Fáil on the formation of a grand coalition once tomorrow’s Dáil vote on electing a taoiseach is out of the way. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Party leadership believes ‘grand coalition’ is only way to provide a stable government

 Fianna Fáil’s envirnoment spokesman,   Barry Cowen. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Barry Cowen’s bullishness on Irish Water was compounded by Simon Coveney’s politically inept raising of the white flag’

Fine Gael TD for Wexford, Michael D’arcy.

Wexford: Fifth TD elected of five

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Fine Gael TDs on the plinth  at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil leader seeks support from Independents and small parties against FG

If a minority government is the outcome of the election it would inevitably be in a minority position in the Seanad as well as the Dáil. Photograph: Alan Betson

University panel nominations close with 30 candidates for NUI panel and 16 for Trinity

Willie Penrose: former Labour “super junior” Minister was persuaded to run by senior party figures

Longford-Westmeath: Fourth TD elected of four

Peter Burke:   his two sitting party colleagues, James Bannon and Gabrielle McFadden, lost out

Longford-Westmeath: Third TD elected of four

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says water charges administered by a single national utility would be a fundamental issue for Fine Gael during negotiations on forming a new government. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says utility has to stay, but sources say compromise may be possible

Michael McDowell of the Progressive Democrats, erecting a poster in Ranelagh, Dublin ahead of the 2002 general election.  Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Former PD minister for justice and Ictu general secretary enter race

Minister  Alex White: defeated Ministers no longer sit in the Dáil but they have access to their departmental offices

Ministers James Reilly and Alex White lost seats but attended meeting yesterday

 Enda Kenny said that despite the disappointing outcome of the election his party was determined to play its part in providing the people with a government committed to working on their behalf. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fine Gael leader says party would engage fully with other parties and independents

‘If the two parties were interchangeable, as so many commentators believe, one of them would have ceased to exist by now.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Civil War politics may be gone, but resistance to coalition within both parties runs deep

Enda Kenny will discuss his response to the result with ministerial colleagues, while FF leader Micheál Martin indicated the new Dáil should not represent more business as usual. Photographs: The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil calls for political reform to be agreed before the new Dáil convenes

Election 2016: Fine Gael suffered badly and Labour lost more than three-quarters of its seats in the election. Fianna Fáil staged a strong resurgence and Sinn Féin improved its seat numbers significantly

Tánaiste confirms the Labour Party will back Kenny for Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Mayo count centre in Castlebar. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Stephen Collins: Fianna Fáil and Micheál Martin’s vow to behave responsibly could enable a Fine Gael-led minority government

Micheál Martin has said he will act responsibly. That could involve him allowing a Fine Gael -led minority government to govern under certain conditions. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Obstacles could make Fine Gael/ Fianna Fail coalition impossible, writes Stephen Collins

Bríd Smith of the Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit party is elected in Dublin South Central count at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Unite trade unionist says Labour ‘deserves’ its punishment at the polls

Independent candidate Averil Power has been eliminated from the race for a Dáil seat in Dublin Bay North. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Lyons, Broughan, Ó Ríordáin and McGrath remain in hunt for fourth and fifth seats

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan  at the count centre in the RDS after his election. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Greens ‘first party to lose all seats in Dáil and come back’

Fine Gael’s emphasis on reducing taxes may have appealed to middle class voters but it failed to gain traction with the wider electorate. Photograph: Peter Crawley

Stephen Collins: Ahead of count, question remains as to how a government will be formed

Most of our partners in the European Union succumbed to strong men of the right or the dictatorship of the proletariat at some stage over the past century. Photograph: Roger Viollet/Getty Images.

Without good people stepping forward for election our democracy would wither and die

Exit poll shows Fine Gael support has slumped  to only 26.1 per cent. Taoiseach Enda Kenny prepares to cast his vote in a polling station at St Anthony’s School in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Significant recovery for Fianna Fáil and gains for Sinn Féin and smaller parties, Ipsos MRBI survey finds

Enda Kenny: Choice for the electorate was clear and the two Coalition parties were the only ones with a track record and credibility. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil accuses Coalition parties of running ‘fear and smear’ campaign

Irish Polling Indicator poll of polls points to a modestly positive trend for Fianna Fáil, led by Micheál Martin, over the last weeks, with the party now on 21 per cent, moving ahead of Sinn Féin to become the second largest party.

Long-term indicators show positive trend for Fianna Fáil as election approaches

Two political scientists identified 421 clear, testable pledges made by the two Coalition parties, with 235 from Fine Gael and 186 from Labour. Labour managed to fully or partially fulfil 62 per cent of pledges while Fine Gael implemented 60 per cent of its pledges. File photograph: Getty Images

Labour Party shown to have punched above its weight in terms of pledges fulfilled

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin during the debate on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time’.  Photograph:  Tony Maxwell/PA Wire

Joan Burton puts in better performance and scores strongly against Gerry Adams

Enda Kenny, Joan Burton, Micheál Martin and Gerry Adams will take part in the final leaders’ debate on Tuesday.

Brendan Howlin says a ‘grand coalition’ would be a breach of trust for electorate

Election posters for Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin hang side by side on lamposts in Molesworth Street, Dublin, adjacent to the Dáil. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll shows Kenny has more male support, Martin ahead among young

Members of the Labour Party  publicise their plan to repeal the 8th amendment. The party has made  repeal of the Eighth Amendment a key part of its election platform.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Labour backers most strongly favour change on abortion with 78% for repeal

Micheál Martin’s equal standing with the Taoiseach is a reflection of his success in the election campaign to date, and particularly his performance in the television debates. Photograph: AFP/The Irish Times

Irish Times Ipsos MRBI poll has outgoing taoiseach ahead among better-off voters and farmers

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy leaves the Special Criminal Court earlier this month. Photograph: Alan Betson

Even among Sinn Féin supporters, majority favours keeping the court

FF leader Micheál Martin has been unequivocal about not going into coalition with Sinn Féin. Photograph: The Irish Times

Figures indicate Fine Gael and Labour to fall far short of required 80 seats for government

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: Has the highest satisfaction rating of any party leader. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Gains for Independents and smaller parties but Labour and Sinn Féin down

Big Gun: Simon Coveney, Michael Noonan and Leo Varadkar have been wheeled out to try and generate the momentum that has been lacking in the party’s campaign to date. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

The assault on the FF manifesto figures showed increasing worry about the old enemy making a significant comeback

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Labour committed to orderly unwinding of Fempi

Gardaí, teachers, nurses and civil servants have said they will pursue restoration of their original pay and conditions. Photograph: PA

Labour movement responds to FF and FG over public service pay in manifestos

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the launch of Fine Gael’s general election manifesto in Dublin. A new think tank has criticised promises in the manifesto. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

New think tank claims ‘much political debate focuses on politics as a soap opera’

Defending his party’s position Fianna Fáil Public Expenditure and Reform spokesman Sean Fleming said Tuesday that Finance Michael Noonan had himself said it would not be wise to give a figure as it would give away the Government’s negotiating position. .Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Party responds to Fine Gael accusations of having black hole in figures

Dara Calleary, a member of Fianna Fáil’s frontbench, has again ruled out any prospect of his party going into coalition with Fine Gael whatever the outcome of the election. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Dara Calleary says party’s focus is on getting as many votes as possible up to end of polling day

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and PayPal’s vice-president of Operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Louise Phelan, on a visit to Paypal at Xerox Technology Park, Dundalk, Co Louth. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Latest poll shows further drop in support for Kenny’s party, just 10 days from election

Kildare North: Bernard Durkan topped the poll here in the 2011 general election.

Kildare North: Bernard Durkan and Emmet Stagg big vote collectors over the years

Smaller parties and Independents have gained four to 29 per cent. Photograph: The Irish Times

Sinn Féin biggest losers as party sheds three points in Red C survey for the Irish Sun

 Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton with deputy leader Alan Kelly, right, and Kevin Humphreys, Brendan Howlin and  Joe Costello during the Labour manifesto launch at St Laurence O’Toole Church at DIT in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

If polls are accurate, party will be lucky to survive as viable force after election

Richard Boyd Barrett, Gerry Adams, Micheál Martin, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton, Stephen Donnelly, and Lucinda Creighton at the RTÉ Claire Byrne Live Leaders’ Debate. Photograph: FusionShooters.

Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin effectively cancel each other out in RTÉ programme

It was noticeable in the television debate that Joan Burton  and Enda Kenny performed like a team with complementary messages. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

The absence of an overwhelming argument for change should give those campaigning for continuity the advantage in the final days

TV3’s Colette Fitzpatrick, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Joan Burton and Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Testy exchanges between Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach during TV3 debate

Outgoing Minister for Children James Reilly said Fine Gael wanted to give parents more quality time with their children and that was why the party planned to provide an additional eight weeks’ parental leave, to be taken by either parent in the first year of the child’s life. File photograph: Getty Images

Party pledges €2,000 annual childcare subsidy for young aged 9 months to 3 years if re-elected

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin candidate Chris MacManus meeting Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Collooney, Co Sligo. Photograph: James Connolly

Much for Fianna Fáil to consider before it might enter coalition as junior partner

Tánaiste Joan Burton calls on Sinn Féin to withdraw its manifesto pledge to  get rid of  jury-free court. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams says everybody entitled to a jury of their peers

Tánaiste Joan Burton and Abi Boxshall (2), from Lucan, at the  launch of Standing Up For Families, Labour’s plan for quality and affordable childcare. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Vital to provide low-cost quality childcare for all under-12s, says Tánaiste

Tanaiste Joan Burton with Abi Boxshall (2) from Lucan during the official launch of Standing Up For Families, Labour’s plan for quality and affordable childcare. at Labour Press Centre in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

SF leader says position on Special Criminal Court hyped out of proportion

Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris: said  there were about 60,000 parents in the welfare system who had difficulty making the transition to work because of the disincentives. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Simon Harris outlines plan to make work pay

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly signed the order for the Seanad election. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Polling to close for five vocational panels on April 25th and for two university panels on April 26th

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan  during a Fine Gael press conference in Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Minister hits back at criticism that party’s economic plan is not responsible

Poll position: election posters outside Government Buildings. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Micheal Martin kicked off smartly for Fianna Fáil with a number of crisp media interviews

Some 45 per cent of the new jobs created over the past five years came directly from exports,  Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Richard Bruton stresses need to increase export trade to support new jobs

A substantial majority of voters say the formation of a government is not their priority when deciding how to vote, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll reveals electorate’s prerogatives

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin canvassing with local candidate Mary Butler in Waterford. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll reveals only 30% of voters want Coalition re-elected

Tánasite Joan Burton has made a commitment to increase the minimum wage by some €2 an hour if Labour is returned to government after the election. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Joan Burton expects voters to back her party in good numbers to keep recovery going

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny  with Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, before addressing Fine Gael candidates and supporters in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Election 2016: Poll shows Fine Gael is losing ground while Labour remains static

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