Catherine Murphy: said she favoured the reconstitution of Siteserv PLC, which is now in liquidation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Murphy writes to Taoiseach with nine suggestions on how IBRC inquiry can proceed

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen  left the inquiry hearings without suffering further blows to his reputation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

It was set up too late in the Government’s term to complete the huge workload

Spending by parties and candidates in the   general election campaign will exceed €10 million, according to sources. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

‘War chests’ for spring vote will be greater than amount spent in 2011, parties confirm

Draft report of the banking inquiry described as “not fit for purpose”.

Committee has reacted with panic and concern over alleged errors

Dr James Reilly, who was Minister for Health for more than three years, has made 315 representations since 2011. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Highest number from Independent TD Seamus Healy who has made 1,323 since 2011

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

Mahon tribunal withdraws findings of non-cooperation against Des Richardson and Dermot Carew, who had helped organise collection f(...)

Senator Susan O’Keeffe, who along with Eoghan Murphy is leading a team to produce a new banking inquiry report. Photograph: James Flynn

December holiday week is the only available time to overhaul 750-page document

 Alan Shatter:  clashed with the Bar Council over the Legal Services Regulation Bill when he introduced it.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former minister says Bar had attacked many provisions of Legal Services Regulation Bill

An Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll on water charges.

Do polls merely take political temperatures, or have major impacts on voting outcomes?

Former taoiseach  Bertie Ahern.

Peter Robinson went through ‘long period of being very hostile to the Republic’

 Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: he said Irish dairy farming was the most efficient in Europe in terms of carbon efficiency and beef was placed number five.  Photograph: Gary O’Neill

Current official figures show that agriculture emissions make up 45 per cent of emissions

Retired Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Nial Fennelly. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Judge seeks more time, staff to complete ‘labour-intensive” investigation

The new taskforce will comprise the Garda and the PSNI among other bodies

A large number of agencies including police forces, revenue services and criminal assets bureaus will work alongside each other

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: said the deal would allow Northern Ireland to “achieve a society free of paramilitarism”

Kenny and Cameron give broad welcome to deal

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers and  Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan at Stormont House in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A Fresh Start will implement Stormont House Agreement and tackle paramilitarism

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers and  Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan  at Stormont House in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

British and Irish governments announce new agreement to overcome deadlock

A native of Kerry, Pat Carey (now 68) spent his earlier career as a school teacher, principal and community worker. Photograph: Alan Betson

Strenuous denial in Carey statement may indicate determination to fight

One of the most obscure events in Irish politics is wrapping up on Thursday, voting in the Seanad byelection. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Maíria Cahill set to come out on top when 200-odd votes are counted on Friday

Labour Party Seanad byelection candidate Maíria Cahill (second right) has come under increased pressure to clarify her links to a dissident republican group as voting draws to a close. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Labour candidate expected to be elected to Seanad in byelection on Friday

 Mr Justice Brian Cregan, who is examining 37 IBRC transactions involving write-offs of more than €10 million, has distributed a draft interim report to interested parties to seek their observations.  File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Mr Justice Cregan believes he has insufficient powers to deal with documents

Attorney General Máire Whelan. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Analysis: No previous commission had difficulty with information and privilege

The Department of Finance first raised concerns in August about the confidentiality and privileged nature of some of the documents to the Commission of Investigation into the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

Judge’s determination says he did not have powers to allow documents to be introduced as evidence

British prime minister David Cameron. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Enda Kenny to meet British PM and deliver key address to CBI, focusing on Brexit

Attorney General Máire Whelan was contacted by the Taoiseach on Friday following the letter he received from Mr Justice Brian Cregan. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Máire Whelan to present possible solutions for stalled Commission of Inquiry

The Commission of Inquiry into IBRC is investigating disposals by the bank - which was the former Anglo Irish Bank - involving write-downs of €10 million or more - including the sale of Siteserv. Image: The Irish Times

Chairman of commission says he is not in a position to proceed with investigation

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil in February 2013 as  legislation is moved to dissolve IBRC. Photograph; screegrab from Oireachtas TV/Frank Miller /The Irish Times.

Judge Brian Cregan tells Government it can’t investigate key transactions

Political parties will lose half their funding unless 30% of their general election candidates are female. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Brian Mohan was excluded from selection convention due to rules on female candidates

Nama chair  Frank Daly at Leinster House in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Dáil correspondence reveals agency’s spending during sale of North loan portfolio

Government concedes that Brexit would present an economic challenge for the Republic. Photograph: PA

British exit from union could depress bilateral trade with Ireland by €10bn, says ESRI

The focus of talks on issues in the rental market between Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (right) and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly (left) has switched to a range of measures rather than one overarching solution such as rent control. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Kelly and Noonan considering longer leases and notice periods for ending tenancies

Fr Peter McVerry:  “Nero fiddles while Rome burns - that’s the only image we have. It’s an absolute disgrace. We have a crisis, it’s beyond crisis, we have an emergency.” File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry critical of ministerial ‘bickering’ on rent crisis

Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív, who represents Galway West, said the issues raised affected the white or demersal fishing and not the pelagic fishing sector mackerel and herring, which is the prevalent industry on the Galway coast. Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons

Representatives say they are not surprised at practices disclosed by Guardian investigation

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, chairperson of the Referendum Commission. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Mr Justice Kevin Cross happy with four months allowed to work on summer votes

At the launch of Operation Thor at Garda HQ are Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey and Gurchand Singh, head of the Garda analysis service. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Anti-burglary strategy: Public will be waiting to see what has changed in new legislation

There are rising expectations that the impasse between Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (right) and Minister for Environment Alan Kelly over rent certainty can be resolved this week following a ‘productive’ meeting between the two on Monday.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times.

Department of Finance opposes move linking rent levels to the Consumer Price Index

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she hopes that a book written by her predecessor Eamon Gilmore which is highly critical of her becomes a Christmas bestseller. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Book details strained relations between former Labour leader and his successor

Gardaí at the scene of a robbery on Cork Street, Dublin in December 2014. Photograph: Collins

Operation Thor will see six gangs targeted and make it easier for offenders to be tagged

Not such a waste: “If people can become efficient at segregating their waste, it can become an economic resource,” says Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly. Photograph: David Sleator

‘We are going to have some households selling their waste to energy providers’

Minister of Environment Alan Kelly: “While we won’t meet the 2020 targets we are in a trajectory or a line that is going in the right direction.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister calls 20% drop on 2005 levels unrealistic but country is ‘catching up quickly’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: “It is 17 years since the Good Friday agreement. There is no place on the island of Ireland for paramilitary activity or organised criminal activity of a type that we now see.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Charlie Flanagan says any paramilitary structure linked with IRA must be ‘severed’

Language talks: The 20-year Language Strategy committee was discussed a recent report by linguist Conchúr Ó Giollagáin which said that Irish may no longer be the daily language of any Gaeltacht area by 2025. Illustration: Thinkstock

Gaeltacht Parents group says research paints dismal picture of native language’s future

Bertie  Ahern has said the most interesting line from the assessment into the status of paramilitaries was that the IRA army council retained a leadership function in Sinn Féin.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

DUP to return to Stormont after publication of report about status of paramilitaries

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said the British government report into the status of paramilitaries in Northern Ireland  made for difficult reading. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Charlie Flanagan gives first response to British government report on paramilitaries

Éamon O Cuiv: “S’é mo bharúil nach mairfidh an Ghaeltacht gan an Ghaeilge a bheith aitheanta mar theanga naisiunta.”

‘Níl a thuilleadh cainte ag teastáil. Tá an taighde déanta,’ a duirt sí

Dublin TD and Pearse Doherty share equal billing with Gerry Adams on election poster

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan  and Minister for Public Expenditure  Brendan Howlin  at a pre-budget photocall last week: in percentage terms, a person earning €70,000 will be 1.9 per cent better off, whereas a person earning €20,000 a year will be about 1.1 per cent better off. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

From Coalition’s subjective perspective of the Coalition, the budget was politically balanced

Former tánaiste Michael McDowell: like Collins in 1921 and de Valera in 1926, Sinn Féin has ’crossed the line and they said they are going to pursue democratic politics and seek a democratic mandate’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

McDowell interviewed for new book written by former Irish Times political correspondent

Enda Kenny: underestimated throughout his career. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

A poor communicator, a procrastinator - and set to be Fine Gael’s most successful boss

Fine Gael and Labour must hope the good news will not be forgotten in 2016

Both parties are Trotskyist and advocate permanent revolution and political agitation through working class mass action in capitalist societies such as Ireland.

The biggest obstacles to the merger of the two groups were personality clashes and mutual suspicion

Miriam O’Callaghan is the proposed chair for the second televised debate, which is planned for the RTÉ studios without an audience. Photograph: Eric Luke.

One debate would involve seven leaders in front of an audience, the other four leaders

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: a Dublin councillor has referred to the party’s gender  quota policy as ‘disgusting, degrading and deplorable’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Catherine Ardagh automatically selected in Dublin South Central over Daithí de Róiste

Peter Sutherland: the disgraceful situation in the refugee camp in Calais reflected European disarray on migration and refugees. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Refugee crisis threatens maintenance of European values, says UN representative

The UN  hopes to get commitments from more than 190 countries to keep global warming below 2 degrees. Photograph: Kadir van Lohuizen/New York Times

Government to cite recession and agriculture as reasons for cuts to emissions goals for 2030

Harmony:  Taoiseach  Enda Kenny  with Tanaiste Joan Burton and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton yesterday. Photograph

Taoiseach and Tánaiste launch 1916 programme as talk of November date heats up

The Taoiseach with Tánaiste Joan Burton in Dublin: Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath has said Enda Kenny is putting political interests ahead of the country’s. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil criticises Taoiseach for speculation surrounding general election date

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Bertie Ahern: ‘At some stage, you have to leave it in the lap of the gods and go to the park’

Mary Fitzpatrick (pictured with party leader Micheál Martin) was also selected last year to run for Fianna Fáil in the European Parliament election.

Heated exchanges at meeting and walk-out staged by small group of people

 Julian de Spáinn, general secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, Micheál Martin, of  Fianna Fáil, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, of Sinn Féin, and Seán Kyne, of Fine Gael, at the Mansion House, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Conradh na Gaeilge claims 1,100 new jobs in Gaeltacht could be created through scheme

Cllr Jerry O’Dea, the Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick, has confirmed he was involved in a traffic incident in December 2014. In a statement, emailed to The Irish Times, Mr O’Dea said: “Following the accident, I co-operated fully with An Garda Síochána and subsequently made no further contact with An Garda Síochána about the issue.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

O’Dea confirms he was involved in traffic incident for which he was not prosecuted

Pat Deering pictured with party leader Enda Kenny: “I do not see any benefit in going in November. We will have more of a benefit from the budget in February.” Photograph: Liam Sweeney.

Deputies give mixed views on the best timing for getting themselves re-elected

Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton. The party will make the flat rate suggestion in its pre-budget submission. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Party believe new system would provide incentive to work and encourage job growth

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  with Tánaiste Joan Burton at Heuston Station for the launch of the capital investment plan: with an election in the offing, there was a nakely political edge to the announcement. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Message was ‘recession is over’ but many projects were in earlier programmes

French president Francois Hollande looks on a globe during an exhibition promoting the Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21). Photograph: Michel Euler/AFP/Getty Images

COP21 summit aims for commitments to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius

Tánaiste Joan Burton with Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash speaking following the forum on the living wage at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Senior party sources don’t believe Kenny will go to the polls before Christmas

The 16.5km metro line connecting Dublin city centre with Dublin airport and Swords is the centre piece of the Government’s €27 billion capital plan which was published on Tuesday.

Capital plan projects include children’s hospital, maternity services, motorway upgrades

Multibillion euro expenditure by Coalition over next six years will be geared to drive recovery. Photograph: Reuters

Government to announce major plan for infrastructure over next six years

Fianna Fáil selection candidates for the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown constituency: Mary Hanafin (left) Cormac Devlin and Kate Feeney. Photograph: The Irish Times

Party expected to add former minister Mary Hanafin to ticket after high-profile campaign

Fianna Fáil selection candidates for the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Constituency -  Mary Hanafin (left) Cormac Devlin and Kate Feeney pictured prior to their selection convention in Killiney, Co Dublin, September 28th, 2015. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Internal FF polling shows ex-minister is party’s best chance of taking seat in constituency

 This year’s March for Choice  at Merrion Square, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Deputies say Tánaiste’s referendum promise reflects widespread view within the party

Former minister Mary Hanafin is thought to have the support of the majority of long-serving Fianna Fáil activists  in Dún Laoghaire. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former minister Mary Hanafin thought to have backing from majority of long-serving activists

Johnny Ronan:  his statement  to the poireachtas banking inquiry will stand unless he or his legal representatives  ask  for it to be changed. Photograph: Collins

Alan Shatter describes phrase as ‘offensive and despicable’

The search was triggered by a report that the underbidder, New York-based Fortress Capital Formations, had written to the Taoiseach in February 2014 complaining about “business practices” during Project Eagle

Email found after three days, but asks about bid, rather than complain about practices

A second councillor has resigned from Sinn Féin in the Cork East constituency as an internal row coninues in the party. Cllr June Murphy from Fermoy confirmed on Friday she was quitting the party.

As internal tensions continue in constituency, party asks June Murphy to vacate seat

Mick Wallace claimed €45m in “fixer fees” were paid during the sale of the northern Irish property loans to New York company Cerberus in early 2014. Photograph: The Irish Times

Graham’s Cerberus claims follow Wallace’s Dáil allegation

Rural crime is high on the party political agenda at the ploughing championships. Photograph: Getty Images

Government pledging tough action ahead of hard-fought campaign, writes Harry McGee

The latest legislative programme, released  by Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe, shows that 13 of the 34 priority Bills for this autumn already appeared on the list published in January this year. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Over a third of promised Bills in autumn programme on priority list since January

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with Mary Fitzpatrick, who won automatic selection last week to be the sole candidate in her Dublin constituency, and Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher. Photograph: The Irish Times

Gender quota rules applied in Galway East and Louth constituencies

In a volatile and fickle world even the largest party is not immune from car-crash elections – Fine Gael in 2002 and Fianna Fáil in 2007 bear testament to that. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

What’s the best survival strategy for a TD hoping to cling to their seat?

The decision paves the way for Fianna Fáil’s Mary Fitzpatrick to be selected in Dublin Central. Photograph: The Irish Times

Party members in Dublin South Central and Dublin Central told candidates must be women

Chief Justice Susan Denham and two other judges delivered a mild rebuke to the Government this week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Difficulties were caused by referendum being signed into the Constitution before Supreme Court could consider a challenge to the(...)

A radical Green Party proposal suggests the RTÉ site at Montrose (above) should be used for high-density housing, and that RTÉ itself should move to the city centre. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Eamon Ryan says broadcaster should quit 30-acre site and move to city centre location

Gino Kenny, Joe Higgins,  Clare Daly and  Richard Boyd Barrett during a United Left Alliance press conference  in Dublin in 2011. The alliance won five seats in the 2011 general election but fell apart before too long. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Analysis: Personality rather than policy saw United Left Alliance fall apart before long

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he will be happy to conduct a live television debate with Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Taoiseach agrees in principle to live leaders debate during general election campaign

Micheál Martin: Day-to-day delivery of water provision and sewage services should be returned to councils. Photograph: The Irish Times

Micheál Martin proposes new agency that would retain strategic control of services

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt (right) after speaking to the media at Stormont in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Northern Secretary to outline basis for negotiations to resolve political deadlock

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness speaks to reporters at Stormont Castle in Belfast on Monday. Photograph: Getty

Unionist parties indicate they will not participate in talks unless preconditions are met

A tourist writes a message on a section of the Peace Wall in the  Shankill area of west Belfast in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

First Minister says he does not want vacated Stormont posts going to Sinn Féin or SDLP

DUP party leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson at a press conference at Stormont  this week. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

‘The unconditional release of Bobby Storey will lend itself to the Sinn Féin narrative that the crisis itself has been contrived’ (...)

Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness  at  Sinn Féin’s party think-in yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Stage-managed Sinn Féin think-in serves as a metaphor for isolation

 SDLP party leader Alastair McDonnell leads his party past a painting of the late Ian Paisley, at Stormont yesterday. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Eastablishment of commission seen as possible way of resolving deadlock

A Syrian refugee carries his child as he crosses the border from Greece into Macedonia. Photograph: Reuters

Republic to voice concerns at EU over cost of 4,000 refugees on domestic expenditure

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan leaving the Dáil on his way to Belfast yesterday . Photograph: Alan Betson

Coalition employs twin-track approach in dealing with Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. He said he would reluctantly and “with regret” support a temporary suspension of the Assembly as the better of two bad options

Flanagan says weekend is final chance for parties to prevent collapse

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Government will agree to accommodate group from Syria, Eritrea and Iraq

Cork City Hall: politicians in urban and rural areas are divided on plans to merge Cork city and county councils. Photograph: Getty Images

FF leader says city’s status would be undermined and region would lose out

The sun rise behind a migrants’ make-shift camp near Roszke village on the Hungarian-Serbian border. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Lessons from the past should inform the Government’s approach to crisis

Two committee members disagreed with the conclusion and argued trenchantly for a two-council solution. Photograph: Getty Images

Key proposal of five-person group is super authority that would serve over 500,000

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton  said the issue of childcare was a huge issue and said the response to it to date was inadequate. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Creche network would be paid for through property tax via a social cohesion fund

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on the environment Barry Cowen says “the Government is significantly understating the extent of the crisis, using figures that are actually two years out of date.”  Photograph: Sara Freund

Number of families on list 45% higher than official figures, claims Barry Cowen

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