2017: Simon Harris TD, with Eilish Hardiman, group CEO of the children’s hospital, and John Pollock, project director NCH,  making an announcement regarding the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The latest completion projection is now late 2021 or early 2022, almost 40 years after the first proposal

‘The most intriguing thing about the  row was that it all played out in the medium preferred by teenagers and 20 somethings - phone messaging’

Inside Politics: Exchange of text messages intemperate enough to qualify as shaming

The car-parking facilities, which will accommodate more than 1,000 vehicles, will be funded on a private basis. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Simon Harris to bring memo to Cabinet for the €1bn project expected to open in 2022

Minister for Communication, Climate Change and Environment Denis Naughten. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Environmental groups say draft plan is wholly inadequate to meet challenges

Fine Gael leadership hopefuls Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar. “The history of party politics has shown us that healthy leadership tussles can be destructive forces.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Harry McGee: Varadkar and Coveney camps could end up in war of attrition

Rising concern: Ireland has been implementing none of the strategies to offset the problem and emissions are actually set to rise. Photograph: Getty Images/Vetta

It’s all talk and no action from Government unwilling to take risks with fragile recovery

The form of Irish spoken in Ulster  is essentially Donegal Irish, nuanced by the local, predominantly Belfast accent.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

When written, ‘northern Irish’ Irish varies little but when spoken it’s a different matter

EPA figures suggest the official Government policy of a decarbonised Ireland by 2050 will be hopelessly unachievable unless there are radical changes. Photograph: Getty

Ireland set to miss greenhouse gas targets as emissions rise in every sector

Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton chair of committee on communications, climate action and the environment. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Areas in Clare, Leitrim and Fermanagh have been identified as suitable for fracking

In the space of 10 years, the population of Sallins, Co Kildare, has increased an astonishing 10-fold from 500 to 5,000. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Three local politicians discuss issues in Sallins with transport problems of particular concern

Sorry, how many times do I need to water the grass before I get charged for water?

Who will pay, when will that be and will there be refunds?

There are too many post offices, according to the CEO of An Post. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Difficult discussions’ required to ensure post network’s survival, says David McRedmond

After 10 days of flailing each other around, the parties returned to the original deal

Paul Murphy: a very effective politician. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The committee on water’s report will bear no similarity to legislation

 Minister of State Michael Ring  said Denis Naughten had shirked responsibility. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister of State says he never had specific delegated statutory powers for post offices

Troubled waters: The Oireachtas committee’s  recommendations will more closely reflect the views of Right 2 Water members of the committee than Fine Gael. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Analysis: After week’s unedifying spat, FF and FG have run out of second chances

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has been at the centre of the row between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over water charges. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FG source claims dispute over report ‘was very bad politics from both parties’

Fine Gael Ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Behind-the-scenes intrigue in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil seems to have undermined a deal

A welcome sign on a pub in Galway

Just over a fifth of people living in Gaeltacht areas speak Irish on a daily basis

Bertie Ahern arriving at Leinster House for the Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit address. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former taoiseach welcomes ‘more conciliatory’ tone of recent times

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahearn speaking on Thursday morning.

The former taoiseach said Britons were “deluding themselves” on trade after withdrawal from the EU

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern: expected to outline to select committee on Brexit the implications for Ireland of the UK’s EU exit. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Brexit a challenge to State as EU frontier, ex-taoiseach to tell Oireachtas committee

In 2008 the Morris Tribunal made  findings of “insubordination and indiscipline” in the Garda

Inside Politics: The Morris Tribunal should have been a wake-up call over the Garda

Promoting Irish: An Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, has concluded that language schemes for public bodies need to be urgently replaced. Photograph: Barry Cregg

Irish language schemes for public bodies deemed to have failed to achieve goals

Minister for Public Expenditure Pascal Donohoe  announced a short public consultation process on additions to the National Infrastructure Plan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister invites submissions on additional €2.65 billion allocated for capital projects

Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives for the Oireachtas hearing on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gaps remain in Garda explanations of breath test data, but commissioner safe for now

Josephine Feehily (left), chairwoman of the Policing Authority, and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan,  at a meeting last year. This week’s statement from the authority about the breath test scandal was unflinching, and neither the Commissioner nor her force could take many crumbs of comfort from it. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Authority can recommend removal of person holding office of Garda Commissioner

 Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives for a Justice and Equality Committee meeting. Photograph: Collins

Analysis: she says breath test errors are at worst wrongdoing and at best incompetence

Publication of audit comes during a period when the Garda faces criticism over other serious shortcomings. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Switching of funds between accounts created transparency issues, report says

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy said a “gag” would significantly impinge on their freedom  to speak and their right to protest. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Concerns over TD and co-defendants making public comments prior to trial

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan pictured at Garda Headquarters. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Inside Politics: Opposition mounts pressure on commissioner as UK prepares for B-Day

It is expected Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will be called to appear before the Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee on Wednesday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Garda Commissioner expected to give a detailed explanation within the next 48 hours

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Fianna Fáil and the Greens both said they no longer had confidence in the commissioner in light of the latest revelations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Nóirín O’Sullivan likely to face questioning from Oireachtas justice committee

The National Civil Aviation Development Forum is made up  of the chief executives of all the major airlines, airports, State agencies, and aviation leasing companies

Minister criticised for not ‘having the courtesy’ to listen to other aviation speakers

The Labour Party will issue a detailed policy paper on Monday setting out dozens of contingency options for the State in the wake of Brexit.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Brendan Howlin criticises Government’s approach to the UK’s departure from the EU

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: she warned of more bad practices being uncovered as reform continues

Over weekend Fianna Fáil and Greens signal they can no longer support O’Sullivan

Green leader Eamon Ryan’s speech to the party’s annual conference addressed the issue of climate change. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Party’s strategy is to double its Dáil seats to four and treble its number of council seats

Glenna Lynch. Photograph: Eric Luke

Businesswoman told party she was not in a position to participate fully any longer

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has given his leader’s address at the party’s national convention. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Green Party leader says ‘St Patrick would not like direct provision’ at party conference

After an election drubbing in 2011, the Greens last year won two Dáil seats through party leader Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Green Party leader to address national convention in Waterford on Saturday evening

After   an election drubbing in 2011, the Greens last year won two Dáil seats through party leader Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Motions tabled on fish stocks, waste charges, hedge-cutting and protection of bee population

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl:  has significant discretion to make decisions about flags. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Seán Ó Fearghaíl following protocol in honouring Martin McGuinness

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness addressing nationalists after the march in Londonderry outside the Guild Hall.  File photograph: Brian Little/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Ireland has lost one of its political giants after his untimely death

The Government will formally approve the commission of investigation into the case of ‘Grace’ and another 46 individuals who lived in a foster home in the southeast.

Two-phase inquiry will examine alleged abuse of 47 residents at foster home

Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune: “I think if we are serious about Irish as an official language of the EU, we need a concerted effort to get more qualified translators trained up and sent to Brussels.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael MEP Clune says it is a shame 23 vacancies exist in Irish translation unit

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told reporters in New York in Friday that Brexit and Stormont ‘are priorities that take recedence over anything else’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘It would be daft for him to step down in the middle of Brexit talks,’ says FG source

Government accepts  that in two key areas, transport and agriculture, emissions will actually increase between now and 2020. Photograph: Oktay Ortakcioglu/E+/Getty

Green Party says delayed National Mitigation Plan has ‘been frozen in a lack of interest’

The Heritage Bill proposes to allow the cutting of hedgerows from August 1st each year, rather than from September 1st. Photograph by Frank Miller

Fianna Fáil amendment will still allow cutting during August but only on roadways

The PAC, with chair Sean Fleming, examining the Nama sale of Project Eagle, from left Alan Farrell, Catherine Connolly, David Cullenane and Peter Burke. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Committee finds Noonan’s meeting with US firm not ‘procedurally appropriate’

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has expressed confidence in Nama, despite the findings of a PAC report. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister also defends his meeting with Cerberus ahead of deadline for Project Eagle bids

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “You’re a wily old fox at talking down the clock,” a PAC member said when the Minister had returned to the same formula of words for the umpteenth time. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Failure to disclose meeting means he will not emerge unscathed from controversy

Ballot box.ie surveyed the diaspora vote during the 2011 presidential elections. Many of the results were very different to those obtained domestically. File photograph: Getty Images

Analysis: Extending the franchise to the Irish abroad is fraught with challenges

Sinn Féin’s Seán Lynch at the Omagh count centre. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

In the harsh reality of politics, which camp should the SDLP occupy?

Michelle O’Neill Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland with party president Gerry Adams at Belfast count centre yesterday. Photograph Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Huge victory for SF election machine, as UUP leader Mike Nesbitt announces resignation

UUP’s Mike Nesbitt announces his resignation as party leader at the Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Unionists lose overall majority in Stormont after high turnout in snap Assembly election

Colm Brophy is a  Fine Gael TD representing Dublin South West.

‘The Dáil spends a lot of time talking about things and not legislating as it should’

Inside Politics: Sinn Fein as the only significant mover, with a leap of four points to 21 per cent

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: The party reverting to water being paid for out of general taxation could be seen as politically opportunistic and seriously out of step with its own voters. Photograph: Eric Luke

Party’s U-turn on water charges will not wash with EU, or with low-income taxpayers

Minister for  Climate Change Denis Naughten announced a consultation on a new clean air policy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister says move will allow for more evidence-based clean air policies to be developed

Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy: he was formerly the MP for the constituency, having taken over from Seamus Mallon, but has returned to the Assembly

Sinn Féin faces prospect of losing one of three strong MLAs

Same faces, new dispensation: masks of  party leaders at a protest outside the Dáil. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Last year’s election result has made the 32nd Dáil very different from its predecessors

John Dallat: the former MLA has come out of retirement and is the SDLP’s candidate after a divisive selection convention

The DUP has traditionally had a strong hold over the coastal constituency of East Derry

Martin McGuinness: Sinn Féin has two strong candidates in Elisha McCallion  and Raymond McCartney, but neither can match the enigmatic qualities of their party colleague. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Sinn Féin may lose out without former leader while Eamonn McCann seeks re-election

Mountain-biking in Ticknock forest in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

State firm defers operation at Ticknock Forest over its impact on the popular amenity

Minister for Education Richard Bruton, who has twice before contested the leadership, has made it clear this was not the time to enter the field. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney accelerate campaigns in race to succeed Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny: “I will always put country first and never undermine the people.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Kenny pledge to ‘conclusively’ deal with issue on return from US a signal to contenders

Kenny had a dig at  Dublin North West  TD Noel Rock as the meeting began, with a mild criticism about the accuracy of his note-taking. Photograph: Eric Luke

Broad party welcome for promise to deal with question ‘conclusively’ after St Patrick’s Day

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Outstanding matter of his leadership will be dealt with after his return from the St Patrick’s Day visit to the US. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach to deal with contentious leadership issue after return from US visit

Fred McBride chief executive of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, is seen arriving at Leinster House. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

CEO repeats apology to Sgt McCabe, says he has no evidence Tusla staff acted with malice

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: the timing of his political fate is not a foregone conclusion. Photograph: Alan Betson

Nature of Fine Gael leader’s departure hinges on parliamentary party meeting

Enda Kenny: Has escaped from a couple of near political-death experiences in the past . Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Inside Politics: Enda Kenny’s tactic of remaining silent countered by Simon Coveney intervention

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are anxious to set in place a timeline for Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s departure. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Front-running contenders Coveney and Varadkar keen to see succession under way

Simon Coveney: “I have been through some very bitter leadership processes, and it has taken a long time for the party to recover.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister says he would oppose any motion of no confidence against Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: he has more cards to play with than one might think. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Different stances of Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney revolve around timeline for Kenny’s departure

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has faced pressure to outline his intentions regarding the Fine Gael leadership. Photograph: Alan Betson

Coveney says Taoiseach should remain in role until after St Patrick’s Day visit to US

Enda Kenny at the Microsoft hiring announcement on Friday: The Taoiseach is expected to consult with family and friends in Mayo this weekend about his future after a tough political week. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘He just has to say something – this is not going to go away,’ says one supporter

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the country would remain open to investment and trade. Photograph: Getty Images

Aid from EU may be necessary after UK departure as ‘most severe impact’ on this island

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Mr Kenny is under renewed pressure over his leadership of Fine Gael. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Parliamentary party chair asks members to stop making statements about the Taoiseach

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Eric Luke

Crucial to recognise Enda Kenny’s role as Taoiseach and leader, says Minister

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Fine Gael leader has encouraged members to focus on their jobs rather than his leadership. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sources close to Simon Coveney suggest 12-week time frame for Taoiseach departure

 The only realistic contenders for the Fine Gael leadership are Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, with the former seen as the frontrunner.  File photograph: Gareth chaney Collins

Enda Kenny’s failure to distinguish between parable and fact was his downfall

Enda Kenny’s leadership has entered the endgame phase. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Taoiseach’s mea culpa over Zappone ‘meeting’ approaches cringe territory

 Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison (left) and his partner Marissa Simms talk to Labour TD Alan Kelly at the Dáil on Wednesday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Garda Keith Harrison says he faced bullying and intimidation after prosecuting colleague

Independent Alliance TDs: Sean Canney, John Halligan, Shane Ross, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD and Finian McGrath  photographed on the plinth of the Dail. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Enda Kenny agrees to external audit of An Garda Síochána by policing expert

Micheál Martin has called on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to assess her position. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Controversy over false slurs against Maurice McCabe dominates for five days running

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD during a visit to Cork yesterday. The Cabinet will discuss the establishment of a tribunal this morning. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Kenny and Martin meet to forge deal on controversy that threatens Government

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: her failure to brief the Cabinet after her meeting with Sgt Maurice McCabe has provoked amazement among colleagues. Photograph: Eric Luke

Even her supporters in Cabinet will struggle to accept her handling of McCabe meeting

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Áras an Uachtaráin. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Taoiseach insists he first heard of McCabe file on RTÉ but Minister says she told him earlier

Regina Doherty: When it comes to counting upcoming votes in the Dáil, the  Chief Whip  proceeds on the assumption that Fianna Fáil will not support the Government or abstain. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

As long as their existence isn’t threatened, Government TDs shrug off Bill defeats

 Donald Trump signs an executive order for border security and immigration enforcement improvements on Wednesday. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Inside Politics: The Stardust tragedy’s legacy lingers decades later

The committee of 20 TDs and Senators is examining how water services can be financed and if a constitutional amendment is needed to keep water services in public ownership.

Translation device issues prompted Séamus Ó Tuathail to speak English under protest

Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, at The Irish Times Corporate Tax Summit in Dublin.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Inside politics: Calls for Stardust inquiry show thin green line of Government survival

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin came up with the idea for a formal caucus of women  TDs and Senators after her election to the Dáil last year. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sixteen of 63 sitting women TDs and Senators attend meeting about group

Tyrone MLA Michelle O’Neill is expected to take the reins from Martin McGuinness

Michelle O’Neill likely to be part of new leadership that will lead party into next phase

The debate on Irish unity needs to be “deShinnerised”, a major conference on the issue organised by Sinn Féin in Dublin has been told.

United Ireland conference hears others besides Sinn Féin need to develop positions on Irish unity

John Malone knows a little about his Irish heritage, but only a little. His ancestors came from Cork. “I just know that two brothers emigrated to the US at the time of the Famine. One of them sought his fortunes in the west and disappeared.” Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

John Malone, figure behind Lionsgate production company, is worth estimated $7.5bn

Comptroller and Auditor General Séamus McCarthy: He told the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee  that the guardian ad litem service, whose 65  case-workers were paid a total of €8.2 million by  the State in 2016, had developed in an ad hoc fashion.  Photograph: Frank Miller

Comptroller says legal service for vulnerable children has no formal oversight

 Minister for Transport Shane Ross. The Cabinet is to fast-track the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill due to Mr Ross’s position on the legislation. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The legislation’s passage has been accelerated due to the position of Shane Ross

Over time, UK and EU regulations may increasingly diverge.

Future prices on the UK market are likely to be significantly lower than they are today

People Before Profit MLA for Belfast West Gerry Carroll. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker

Non-unionist and non-republican representatives are increasingly prominent

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