Brendan Howlin: said he was never asked for more money for the ODCE during his period as minister for public expenditure in the last government

Charlie Flanagan says he is very concerned at manner in which case ended

Kate O’Connell, one of only two Fine Gael TDs who have already agreed to join committee. Photograph: Eric Luke

As rules over Senator numbers change, two TD places still to be filled by new leader

Leo Varadkar suggested  Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy might support him when she read his proposals on health. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘I think it would take a lot for any individual to withdraw a declaration’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed his sadness at the explosion in Manchester. Photograph: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

President Higgins has condemned ‘this cowardly attack on innocent citizens’

Fine Gael Leadership candidate Simon Coveney  at the launch of his policy document in the Dean Hotel in Dublin. The document draws on Fine Gael’s ‘just society’ tradition. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister trailing in Fine Gael leadership race, but says he will see contest through

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney at the launch of his policy documents  in the Dean Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Kenneth O’Halloran

‘Blue blood’ Minister for Housing may yet become unlikely hero of the rank and file

Fine Gael leadership candidate Simon Coveney at the launch of his policy document in Dublin. Photograph: Collins

Minister ‘fighting for soul of Fine Gael’ as Varadkar pulls ahead in leadership race

Leo Varadkar speaks to media before the Streets of Dublin race at the CHQ Building in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Minister for Social Protection says he has ‘no plans whatsoever for an early election’

 Denis Naughten: “I’d be quite happy to work with either. It’s irrelevant to me which is elected”

McGrath stresses that Independents are not involved in any way in leadership election

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Having a grasp of ‘cúpla focal’ is advantage for a taoiseach

Leo Varadkar has a commanding lead in the Fine Gael leadership race after securing backing form twice as many of the party’s TDs and Senators as Simon Coveney. Photograph: Collins

Coveney hoping for support from large number of undeclared party members

Simon Coveney “will struggle to shake off the ‘merchant prince’ tag, and there is a lingering sense that the somewhat reserved candidate does not have the ‘X-factor’ enjoyed by rival Leo Varadkar, who also has the perceived benefit of a Dublin base. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Housing may struggle to shake off ‘merchant prince’ tag

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny with his wife Fionnuala  after he delivered his presidential address at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in 2009. Photograph:  Julien Behal/PA Wire

Praise for outgoing Fine Gael leader from across political lines

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to make an announcement about his departure. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Inside Politics: Kenny’s last political lap is almost run and an announcement on his departure is due

Minister for Health Simon Harris said Mr Kenny was owed the space to make the right decision. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Health expects clarity after Wednesday’s parliamentary party meeting

A screenshot shows a Wannacry ransomware demand, provided by cyber security firm Symantec. The HSE shut down its email systems on Monday in a bid to prevent infection of its IT systems by the virus. Photograph: Reuters

Patient appointments disrupted as emails blocked due to fears over ransomware virus

The LÉ Aisling was sold to a Dutch ship-broking agency in March for €110,000 and is now being advertised for $750,000 (€676,000).

Former Naval Service vessel sold for €110,000 in March is back on sale for up to $750,000

The Duchess of Cornwall indulged her fascination with bees during a visit to Airfield Estate in south Dublin. File photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Camilla indulges her love of bees during a visit to Airfield Estate in Dundrum

Prince Charles has a hurl as Henry Shefflin and Brian Cody look on during his and the Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Kilkenny Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Royal stresses ‘special’ connection to Ireland as crowds come out to see couple’s visit

Minister for Transport Shane Ross:  asked Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan if Ireland voted in favour of Saudi Arabia’s election to the UN body on women’s rights recently. Photograph: Alan Betson

Controversial issues to be ‘red-flagged’ to Cabinet after Independent Alliance queries

The Citizens’ Assembly recommended that abortion should be permitted in the State in a wide range of circumstances, which would require a significant liberalisation of the current regime in the State. File photographs: The Irish Times

Upper House seeking to raise its number of representatives on panel from four to seven

 Independent Alliance member and Minister for Tourism Shane Ross said a ‘compromise was reached’ over how Ministers are notified over UN votes. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

‘It was agreed in future any UN vote of similar sensitivity and importance would be flagged’

Prof Louise Richardson, from Tramore, Co Waterford,  was in Dublin for  her address to the annual Oxford and Cambridge Society of Ireland dinner. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Waterford-born University of Oxford head says societies must have conversation about who pays for third-level

 Policing Authority chairwoman Josephine Feehily (left)  to ask Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan about concerns raised within the force about the veracity of Garda crime statistics. Photograph: Eric Luke

Policing Authority chair to raise civilian analyst’s letter about crime statistics review

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Simon Coveney. Mr Coveney rejected reports he would launch his leadership campaign on Monday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Coveney warns party of dangers of divisions with formal contest set to begin ‘before summer break’

Pope Francis is due to visit Ireland in the summer of 2018.

Amnesty sends letter to Minister for Health outlining ‘significant issue’ regarding ownership and ethos

“I raised the issue of human rights with the Saudi Arabian authorities.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach moves to clarify previous statement about raising issue of women’s rights

Saudi women walk past a jewelry shop at Tiba market in Riyadh, on October 3, 2016. Photograph: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Contradiction emerged between his statement in Canada Thursday and the Dáil in 2014

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is meeting Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal. Photograph: Getty Images

Inside Politics: Fine Gael leader tweets from Toronto about ‘first visit to Canada as Taoiseach’

Prospective members were also asked if they described themselves as “liberal” or “conservative” on the issue. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Of the members who answered, seven said they were pro-choice, two anti-abortion

 Vera Twomey: wants the Government to   legalise medical cannabis. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Vera Twomey from Cork wants to be allowed use drug to treat her daughter’s epilepsy

Former minister for communications Alex White wants to come back to politics as a Labour councillor: “There’s a great deal you can do on a local authority.”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former minister will seek to fill vacancy on Dún-Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

Senator Catherine Noone says the issue is difficult for people on a personal level. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Kate O’Connell TD and Senator Catherine Noone only ‘confirmed’ names so far

Ruth Coppinger suggested that the Dáil committee tasked with considering the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations on abortion was unlikely to reach consensus on how to proceed.

Pro-choice coalition’s Ruth Coppinger urges referendum on divisive issue in the autumn

Only 10 TDs will be required for the Dáil to begin its business under new planned measures

Second vote on rules to allow for 30 seconds of ‘silent reflection’

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe is expected to receive a key report on pay.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Pensions set to dominate upcoming public service pay talks

TDs and Senators will eventually have to take a position on the issue – for the first time, in some cases. Photographs: The Irish Times

Oireachtas group row looms after shockwaves over liberal abortion law suggestions

A graphic of the proposed National Maternity Hospital in Dublin.

Party publishes motion to guarantee hospital’s freedom from non-medical influence

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “What we want to do there is to put in place a legally waterproof situation where it’ll be perfectly clear for everybody that what’s at stake here are proper world-class facilities for expectant mothers and for pregnant women.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

One month to be granted to Simon Harris to confirm ownership structure of facility

Donald Trump receiving a bowl of shamrock from Enda Kenny at the White House in March. Photograph: EPA

Taoiseach welcomes fact that US has not put tariffs on imports into America

Enda Kenny has a series of engagements in the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto, beginning with a meeting with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau . Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP

Taoiseach’s trip to Canada means he is not expected to attend Fine Gael weekly meeting

Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital, said the controversy was a ‘storm in a tea cup’. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

‘New hospital will continue to offer contraception and termination when mother’s life is in danger’

Séamus McDonnell, a farmer from Clontigora, south Armagh, and John McNamee, chairman of a cross-Border regeneration group protest outside Government Buildings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Border group claims Dublin should have veto on any agreement British makes with EU

Ian jnr and Kyle Paisley at Stormont Hotel in Belfast. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Ian jnr followed his father into politics, Kyle followed him into the church

Enda Kenny said the rise of “populist fringe political movements” was the biggest challenge facing Europe today, in a speech at the Hague, the Netherlands. Photograph: Michael Kooren/Reuters

Taoiseach defends centre politics and claims people increasingly gripped by ‘trivia and trash’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, (right) and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte in The Hague. Photograph: Peter Dejong/AP

Taoiseach discusses Brexit with leaders of Denmark and the Netherlands in the Hague

The model of the new Natonal Maternity Hospital, at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Simon Harris claims Sisters of Charity will not profit from its ownership of new facility

Minister for Health Simon Harris: People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith criticised that he “would see fit to hand over control of our National Maternity Hospital to one of the religious orders that ran. . .  repulsive institutions and which essentially tortured women and their babies”.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

People Before Profit’s Bríd Smith ‘disgusted’ Sisters of Charity to be hospital’s sole owner

 Simon Harris: “Independence of  maternity hospital will be copperfastened by reserved powers and golden share held by Minister for Health.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister under fire over Sisters of Charity ownership of new €300m hospital

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar speaking  at Government Buildings on the Government’s new childcare subsidy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Increase in support will not be delivered in September but is expected in new year

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said he would consult with the Attorney General before proceeding.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin accuses Fianna Fáil of U-turn and shifting back to Fine Gael position on issue

Unions says recommendations will have to be accepted by all sides, including members of five separate unions at Bus Éireann.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Labour Court asked to consider why offer of €18m in savings has not ended €9m dispute

Acting Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is to brief Independents on the costings of Fine Gael proposals on housing and other matters. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil wants to reduce development levies as FG suggests reduction in VAT

President Michael D Higgins at the opening of the new visitor centre in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Michael D Higgins did not ‘want to become embroiled in matters of political controversy’

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams hoists Senator Kathryn Reilly at the party’s 2012  ardfheis in Killarney. Photograph: Alan Betson

Crestfallen politician hoped to secure second Dáil seat for party in Cavan-Monaghan

Labour Party leader Joan Burton: Her hour-long conversation with Micheál Martin was described by a Labour source as very cordial and wide-ranging, with “no commitments sought or given”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour leader to meet defeated candidates after ruling-out involvement in new government

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

Denis Naughten: called for a “political partnership agreement”, along the lines of the social partnership agreements  in the 1980s. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Effective leader of the rural Independents issues call for ‘coalition of constructive TDs’

“I don’t think any leader ever has 100 per cent backing in any organisation but after the meeting I think he [Enda Kenny] still has the support of the grassroots”

Strong criticism of the FG leadership’s performance voiced at post-election meeting

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Fine Gael have held talks to gauge support for potential minority government. Photograph: Laurent Dubrule/EPA

Party source says talks with possible partners constructive after being ‘rebuffed’ by FF

Labour’s Aodhan O’Riordain who lost his Dáil seat in the general elecction has been selected to run for the party on the Seanad’s industrial and commercial panel. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Two ministers of state had lost their Dáil seats in the general election

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “The careful management of the economy and the public finances must and will remain a priority.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

Looming Government tasks include preparation of spring statement and October budget

Seán Ó Fearghaíl arriving at the Dáil on the day he was elected   Ceann Comhairle. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ó Fearghaíl respected and liked across political divide for sincerity and even-handedness

A file image of European Commissioner for Agriculture  Phil Hogan who expects  the parties to form a government within  weeks. Photograph: AFP

Simon Coveney opposed to rotating taoiseach as part of a Fine Gael - Fianna Fáil coalition’

 Members of the Independent Alliance (from left) Micheal Fitzmaurice, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, Shane Ross, Finian McGrath, Sean Canney speak to reporters at  Leinster House after meeting Micheál Martin. Photo: Collins

Independent Alliance member defends description of Enda Kenny as possible ‘political corpse’

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White: “There is no coalition government without broken promises. There is no government without broken promises.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times

Outgoing Minister hopes Brendan Howlin will be next Labour leader

Independent Catherine Connolly was among the new women TDs elected to the 32nd Dáil.

More than 22% of TDs will be female, compared with 15% per cent in 2011

Jerry Buttimer, Fine Gael’s deputy campaign director for the marriage referendum who revealed he was gay in 2012, was ousted in Cork South -Central

Politicians behind popular agendas rewarded with electoral pain . . . rather than gain

Former Renua TD  Lucinda Creighton at the RDS count centre. She has been reflecting on the toll politics can take on family and finances after clearing out her Dáil office.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins.

‘In politics you take a risk and have to deal with the consequences,’ Renua leader says

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett

Dún Laoghaire: Returned as outgoing Ceann Comhairle

Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly with Mary Lou McDonald celebrating her election in the Dublin Fingal constituency. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Many of the women elected to the 32nd Dáil have a strong political track record

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton: insisted the party would continue in existence irrespective of whether or not it succeeded in winning any Dáil seat. Photograph: Eric Luke

As the Social Democrats ate into older parties’ vote, Renua’s candidates fell at the first electoral hurdle

Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly with Mary Lou McDonald celebrating her election in the Dublin Fingal constituency. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Many of the women elected to the 32nd Dáil have a strong political track record

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and fellow Co Louth candidate Imelda Munster celebrate in Dundalk. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

A sense remains the party did not perform as well as it could have, despite its seat gains

Maria Bailey

Dún Laoghaire: Third TD elected of three*

Mary Mitchell O’Connor

Dún Laoghaire: Second TD elected of three*

Richard Boyd Barrett. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Dún Laoghaire: First TD elected of three*

Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martiand Michael McGrath at the general election 2016 count at the City Hall in Cork. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

White hot anger directed against the party in 2011 appears to have evaporated

Mary Mitchell O’Connor of Fine Gael and her running mate Maria Bailey have almost 12,000 votes each. Photograph: Mary Minihan

Richard Boyd-Barrett will be returning to the Dáil after securing 15,718 votes on sixth count

There has been much grumbling about the #ge16 campaign having been dull. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: Anyone claiming to understand proportional representation by single transferable vote is telling porkies

 Richard Boyd Barrett and Paul Murphy of Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit sets target of seven seats in general election

‘I am not offering some kind of immediate workers’ utopia or some liberal nirvana. But I’m offering solid, sustained progress and reform,’  says Labour leader Tánaiste Joan Burton, pictured with  Minister for Communications Alex White. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Every Labour TD ‘fighting for their political lives’, says Brendan Howlin

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he has no regrets about not calling an election in November because an early poll would have ‘ruptured’ ties with the Labour Party. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Last-minute attempts by parties to persuade undecided voters

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams ,Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Joan Burton during the election debate on RTÉ Prime Time. Photograph: Tony Maxwell/PA Wire

We test credibility of some of the major claims made by politicians in heat of debate

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty insists that the party’s position on the Special Criminal Court would not change despite the latest Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI opinion poll finding a slight majority of party supporters favoured the retention of the court. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Pearse Doherty says party will remove people earning under €19,572 from the USC net

On Sunday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he did not regret his comments about “whingers” in Castlebar, adding: “Some of them wouldn’t know sunshine if they saw it.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Taoiseach says insulting locals in his hometown not intended as opponents leap on gaffe

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton during a visit to Shellybanks Educate Together National School in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Tánaiste disagrees with Taoiseach on ‘whingers’ as she sets out education policy

A defaced Enda Kenny election campaign poster outside Castlebar, Co Mayo. ‘You’ll be whinging Friday,’ it reads. Photograph: Paul Mealey

Taoiseach claims he was referencing ‘politicians who constantly talk down their own town’

Tánaiste Joan Burton: insisted lots of people had not made up their minds yet. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Joan Burton criticises opponents, puts space between Labour and Fine Gael on economy

Tánaiste Joan Burton would not be drawn on Labour’s showing in recent opinion polls. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste claims she persuaded Fine Gael to ‘switch policies’ on lowering top rate of tax

Mary Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fáil candidate in the Dublin Central constituency, canvassing in Cabra. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Seats are hard won and memories go back long way in Dublin Central constituency

 Labour leader Joan Burton during an election event in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Labour also announces plan to pardon those convicted of homosexual offences pre-1993

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton said: ‘We have to be rigorous in how we prioritise where resources are directed, and for us it’s about the most vulnerable the sickest in our society.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Party will not ‘dangle any so-called freebies’ to electorate ahead of general election

 Social Democrats candidate Catherine Murphy meets Anne Savage while canvassing at Oaklawn, Leixlip, Co Kildare. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Social Democrats founder has clear support as she seeks re-election in Kildare North

 Social Democrats founding member Catherine Murphy TD (centre) with candidates Anne-Marie McNally (left) Dublin Mid West, and Glenna Lynch, Dublin Bay South, at the launch of the party’s policy document “Reforming Politics-Tackling Corruption”. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

UCD politics professor David Farrell praises party’s reform proposals

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

Series of claims made during second general election debate, but do they hold water?

From left to right: Politics graduate Sophie Kane, Director of the National Women’s Council Orla O’Connor and former Fianna Fail Minister Mary O’Rourke.

Mary O’Rourke criticism of ‘territorial’ treatment of female candidates disputed

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen has insisted his party is “not compatible” with Fine Gael in Government.

Finance spokesman Michael McGrath says mortgages should be central to election campaign

Labour party leader Joan Burton with Kevin Humphreys and Eric Byrne , at the launch of the party’s poster. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Coalition options prove politics is maths with a little razzmatazz thrown in

Farmer Pat Molloy  with  Renua TD Billy Timmins on a canvass in the Ballyraymond Commons area of north Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Renua deputy leader performs soft sell on constituents loyal to former party

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