The security of the State can be maintained while allowing gardaí to go on strike, a Government backbencher has claimed. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Minister says move would raise most serious issues about maintaining law and order

Tánaiste Joan Burton has called for an independent inquiry by a “competent authority” into the controversial sale of construction services company Siteserv. Photograph: Collins

C&AG or Commission of Inquiry possible but no decision yet by Government – Burton

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was looking into the issue of a code of conduct relating to  court orders in the wake of a late night farm repossession carried out by uniformed men with balaclavas and dogs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

No code of conduct to stop receivers or security firms acting like thugs, says McGrath

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  told the Dáil on Wednesday Freedom of Information  documents would be released on Thursday which would set out  Minister for Finance Michael Noonan’s position on the sale of Siteserve.

Controversial €45m sale raised for second day as Opposition calls for an inquiry

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin raised the sale of Siteserv during leaders’ questions in the Dáil and asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny for an independent inquiry into the  sale.

Harris says IBRC not required to consult Noonan on matter before sale approved

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: gave graphic account of events at Castledermot.

Mattie McGrath claims gardaí observed “terrorist act” in farm repossession

Former Fianna Fáil minister  Mary O’Rourke. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Former minister says she and Conor Lenihan may have ‘matters of importance’ to offer

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with foreign affairs spokesman Brendan Smith. The party has launched its new policy document and wants to include a Seanad representative for the diaspora.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Party also wants contingency plan prepared in case UK decides to exit EU

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has accused Sinn Féin of “ a deeply sinister attempt to misuse the respect which the Irish people have for 1916” at the party’s annual Arbour Hill commemorations. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader says SF remains ‘unfit for participation’ in government at Arbour Hill

A number of “very strange people” are advertising themselves as psychotherapists and counsellors and can do “real harm”, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has warned. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Minister says profession must be regulated as the untrained can do patients ‘real harm’

People taking part in the march against homelessness and treatment of homeless people on Wednesday in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

More than 800 children in emergency hotel and hostel accommodation, Dáil told

Former minister Pat Rabbitte told the Dáil the legislation ‘will make it an offence for a person to send or cause to be sent by means of public electronic communications network’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Former minister says Bill will support abuse victims and help Garda enforcement

Karen Buckley’s parents, John and Marian Buckley, at a press conference held by Police Scotland on Wednesday.

Department of Foreign Affairs will make their consular services available to the family

NTA decided in 2013 that 10 per cent of the existing market should be tendered following a wide-ranging consultation.

Transport workers have voted to strike on May 1st over route privatisation proposals

The law will affect 40,000 people

Fianna Fáil claims move making up for lost ground in treatment of the elderly

Counsel expected to recommend ’no further action’ in a large proportion of cases

Kevin Humphreys: said more than 60 per cent of social welfare recipients already received their payments directly into their accounts. Photograph: Davd Sleator.

No further letters from Department of Social Protection in post office payments row

Tánaiste Joan Burton described the Dunnes Stores strike as “very regrettable” and said the way to settle it was through the State’s industrial relations machinery. Photograph: Collins

Tánaiste tells Dáil Circuit Court will have power to enforce Labour Court decisions

Dunnes Stores workers picketing outside a Henry Street outlet, Dublin. Photograph: Dan Griffin

Fianna Fáil says senior Government Minister should ‘lift the phone’ to company chief

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he will ask Patrick Honohan to “consider what influence the Central Bank can bring to bear to bring variable mortgage rates closer to the cost of funds”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Finance says ‘I will do my best’ to influence a reduction for homeowners

Independent TD Tom Fleming has called for the Government to increase funding for the national dementia strategy, given the ‘rapidly growing number’ afflicted by the disease. Photograph: Getty Images/VStock RF

Tom Fleming claims improved services needed for growing number with disease

Theoretical and “bizarre” interpretations of economic data cannot be used to apply EU budgetary rules, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

SF’s Pearse Doherty says Ireland ‘over with begging bowl’ on issue in what is election year

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has downplayed suggestions of a move to reduce the term of bankruptcy from three years to one, saying that more data is needed on the current  term. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Finance says more data needed on effectiveness of current insolvency period

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams: he said it was “time to have a fully independent root-and-branch inquiry into all care facilities for citizens with disabilities, particularly intellectual disabilities, in the State”. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Adams says care of most vulnerable not compatible with the profit motive

Michael McGrath: said the banks were “gouging” Irish mortgage holders who paid more than 4% in interest compared to a 2.3% average in the rest of the euro zone. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Mortgage holders on standard variable rate paying €992 more than new customers

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness was ordered out of the Dáil chamber in a row over an inquiry linked to a fatal hit-and-run incident. Photograph: David Sleator

Heated exchanges between the Ceann Comhairle and John McGuinness

Independent Katherine Zappone said the fundamental issue at stake was “about the protection of a minority’s right to marry by opening a civil institution, to be protected and be able to become a constitutional family”. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

Katherine Zappone: ’An oppressed minority will become equal to heterosexual couples’

Senator Jim Walsh opposes some 35 sections of the legislation.

Fianna Fáil’s Jim Walsh says it should be confined to married mothers and fathers

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald demanded a Yes or No answer. Photograph: Alan Betson

Mary Lou McDonald and Joan Burton trade barbs over water charges

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin:  part of the Haddington Road agreement “is the winding back of some of the pay reductions during the course of 2016 and 2017 and into 2018, if I recall”.   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government will implement Haddington Road pay deal in full for those on €65,000+

Olivia Mitchell: “We can be deluded and, if we make a decision about the president in a moment of temporary delusion, we will live with the consequences of it for seven years.” Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Olivia Mitchell says ’no irresistible groundswell of support’ to drop age from 35 to 21

Alan Kelly: If a household has not registered by this date, “it will not be able to receive this €100 grant”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Alan Kelly says revised water charges in Ireland ‘among lowest levels in Europe’

Local communities hould be informed before a decision is taken to close a post office, Taoiseach says. Photograph: Frank Miller

TD claims Tánaiste wants social welfare recipients to move from post office to bank

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed his support for Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly

Enda Kenny says need for ‘fairness’ and ‘compliance’ in paying charge

 Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton said the idea that you could have discussions about all aspects of the establishment of a major utility, yet have no notes of those meetings, was “just not credible”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Lack of documentation about set-up of Irish Water ‘appalling’ and ‘unacceptable’

Former government minister Pat Carey described the gay marriage referendum as unique in Ireland, because “it is an exercise in civic engagement which has not been tried before”. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Yes voters cannot be taken for granted, warns former minister Pat Carey

Professor Frank Murray, president of the Royal College of Physicians Ireland, believes tackling the pricing and availability of alcohol is the most effective way to deal with overconsumption. Picture by Fergal Phillips.

Prof Frank Murray also called for a reduction in the number of off-licences

Jan O’Sullivan: ‘It’s about time you and your own party took responsibility in all of this.’

Jan O’Sullivan accuses SF of putting onus on abused to come forward

Brendan Smith: ‘When we go on a journey along the Border, we may at times be on our own networks of 3 or Vodafone but suddenly a British network can be used, leaving us with exorbitant charges for transacting business and making or receiving call.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fianna Fáil TD says border areas victims of bad EU decision making

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: she said complexities had been well debated “as well as the issues that need further work and I am committed to proceeding in that vein”. Photograph: David Sleator

Dáil passes landmark Bill to reform and update family law but concerns remain

Minister for Education Jan O Sullivan said Sinn Féin was putting the onus on victims to come forward. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mary Lou McDonald: party routinely brings forward information to authorities

Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys said: “My job is to protect the national monument and that is where my function lies.”

SF criticises ’disgraceful derelict state of national monument’ at Moore Street

Maureen O’Sullivan: she  repeated her call in the Dáil that every primary school in the State should be a Gaelscoil or all-Irish school for its first two or three years to increase the number of Irish speakers.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny insists on Irish as Mick Wallace asks for reply in English

 Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Fianna Fáil chief whip, has called for an independent inquiry into IRA sexual  abuse following claims made by Paudie McGahon. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Party’s chief whip says need to stop Sinn Féin ‘cover up’ following Paudie McGahon claims

Gerry Adams: “Paudie feels badly let down. Nothing I may say may change that, but I have to say that it is a matter of very, very deep regret for me and he does need support and he does need justice.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill.

Martin criticises republican ‘con job’ in light of BBC investigation into claims

Enda Kenny told Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams that when the Stormont Agreement was reached in December, it was accepted and signed off on. Photograph: Eric Luke

Gerry Adams claims DUP intent on reneging on welfare commitments in Stormont deal

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has told the Dáil the treatment of  Co Louth man Paudie McGahon (above), who alleged sexual abuse by a senior IRA member was a “matter of very, very deep regret for me”. Photograph: BBC screengrab

SF leader speaks ahead of BBC TV Spotlight show on alleged victim Paudie McGahon

 Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams with  Martin McGuinness at their party’s ardfheis in Derry on Saturday. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin ardfheis hears party will prevent the privatisation of public bus routes if elected

Omaima (left) Fatima and Somaia Halawa sisters of Ibrahim Halawa who is being detained in Egypt. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Lynn Boylan claims Minister for Foreign Affairs not doing enough to secure release

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald speaking at the party’s ardfheis in Millennium Forum, Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Just one speaker opposes measures as party also votes for repeal of 8th amendment

Sinn Fein spokesman for the diaspora Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh

Jimmy Deenihan ’dropped the ball’ in Government’s new diaspora policy, Senator claims

Mary Lou McDonald speaking at the Sinn Fein ardfheis  in Millennium Forum, Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Deputy leader says Sinn Féin will abolish water charges ’at first opportunity’

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness speaking at the Sinn Fein ardfheis in Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Doherty pledges to abolish water charges, property tax and introduce wealth tax

Martin McGuinness,  Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald and Kathleen Funchion, candidate for the upcoming Carlow and Kilkenny by election at the opening of the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis 2015 in Millennium Forum, Derry.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

Sinn Féin ardfheis hears it is quicker to cycle from Derry to Belfast than to take the train

Queen Elizabeth and President Michael D Higgins arrive ina carriage at Windsor Castle. Sinn Féin voted against inviting the any members of the royal family to the 1916 centenary commemorations. Photograph: Alan Betson

Republicans need to do more to build trust with unionists - party chairman says

Pearse Doherty was described as a ‘finance rockstar’ by a Cavan delegate at the opening of the Sinn Féin Ardfheis 2015 in Millennium Forum, Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

SF motion falls that calls for current corporation tax rates to be fully implemented

Willie O’Dea:  people’s rights would “depend on the individual whim of their family doctor” when gender recognition should be “a matter of self-determination by the individual concerned”

Minister says she is ‘proud’ to bring in Bill that progresses rights of transgender people

Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames has claimed that the State is costing its citizens jobs by failing to teach them languages. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fidelma Healy-Eames makes claims during university entrance requirements discussion

Fianna Fáil public expenditure and reform spokesman Sean Fleming has said the Government should ensure “people do not receive water bills from an entity whose right to exist is not yet determined”. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

People should not receive bills from entity ‘whose right to exist not yet determined’

Sinn Féin TD  Jonathan O’Brien: Told the Dáil there had been a recent spike in muggings and robberies in Cork, which gardaí said was in part due to drugs. Photograph: Alan Betson

Cork now has 500 drug addicts when it had 20 a decade ago, Sinn Féin’s Jonathan O’Brien tells Dáil

Minister of State Kevin Humphreys: The 29 staff operated in two  buildings in Ballybay, which were in “poor condition”

TD claims loss of 30 jobs in Ballybay equivalent to 300 in a town of 15,000

Sinn Féin TD Michael Colreavy:  ‘JobBridge is a form of slavery. Unscrupulous employers are taking advantage of this scheme’

One third of Irish workers earn less than €20,000 with highest level of low pay in EU

On managers’ claims,  Taoiseach Enda Kenny said “obviously the HSE must answer to the Comptroller and Auditor General in respect of it”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Dáil told of retired employee rehired and paid €156,000 for a six-hour week

Independent Senator David Norris has criticised what he called a ‘surreptitious attempt’ to make ‘savage cuts’ to the salaries of ushers in Leinster House. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Senator alleges ‘surreptitious attempt’ to reduce pay of Oireachtas attendants

 Minister for Children James Reilly said the move should protect children from starting to smoke. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Seanad passes legislation on packaging after technical amendments from Dáil

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: he said it had been the Government’s policy to allow banks to “dictate the pace, shape and nature of arrangements”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Martin asserts it is time to ‘call a halt’ on policy of giving banks veto over those in difficulties

O’Sullivan appeals to Kenny to act on swimming coach accused of sex abuse

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton:  the job losses were “a reminder to us that every day is a battle”. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Company believes it has ‘strong future’ in Coolock, despite redundancies

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who said there was a very high level of co-operation between the Garda and the PSNI. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gerry Adams claims politicians who verbally attack Sinn Féin ‘very quiet’ about bomb

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan has called for the Government to seek the extradition of a “notorious” swimming coach accused of multiple cases of sex abuse. Photograph: Eric Luke

Maureen O’Sullivan appeals to Taoiseach to reopen case of coach living in USA

Bewley’s Cafe in Grafton Street. The famous coffee shop closed for a six-month refurbishment.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

€1.5m rent forces restaurant to downsize, and simplify – but there will be table service

Cllr Shay Brennan has the edge in the Fianna Fáil Dublin South selection convention which is in his father’s old constituency where Mr Brennan senior served as a TD from 1981 until his death in 2008. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Senator Mary White and Cllr Liam Dockery competition in race for volatile constituency

Lucinda Creighton has claimed that because Enda Kenny “wants the referendum to pass he will therefore muddy the waters and leave the surrogacy issue until a later date”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Lucinda Creighton says Taoiseach wants ‘to muddy the waters’ on contentious issue

Tánaiste Joan Burton told the Dáil that it was important that Ireland has banks “which function properly as banks and which lend credit”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Repossession cases before courts increased 10-fold since 2013, when law changed - SF

 Feargal Quinn: “Delighted at the attention being given in recent days to problems in the border area.”

Difficulties policing 34 Border crossings in Dundalk area to deal with fuel laundering and cigarette smuggling outlined

Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin: “there is no evidence of any country in which a competitive insurance system has kept costs under control”

Sinn Féin points to WHO warning that competition between insurers does not cut costs

Alan Shatter: “enormously confused” by the proposals Mr Varadkar announced

Former minister also criticises chopping of Family Bill measures to deal with ‘hate-filled parents’

Enda Kenny highlighted protests on Monday at the home of Fine Gael Meath West TD Ray Butler. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Ruth Coppinger claims Government trying to criminalise water protest movement

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald: she said the Bill would not change the situation of the vast majority of children or change the rights of most children in terms of parentag. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg.

Interests of children and stability of affected families central, says Frances Fitzgerald

Micheál Martin: “It raises all sorts of questions about the level of enforcement.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach: Co-operation between agencies on both sides of Border substantial, successful

Minister for Tourism for Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan (right) and Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe unveiling plans for global St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Charlie Flanagan praises role of Irish diplomats in St Patrick’s Day ‘greening’

Elle Woods from Loughrey during the 2014 Easter Rising anniversary commemorations.Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Charlie Flanagan warns not to allow centenary commemorations to become a divisive issue

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at the Fine Gael National Conference 2015 in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Enda Kenny says Minister informed him about eye procedure at ‘very beginning’

Minister Paschal Donohoe during the Securing the Recovery session at the Fine Gael National Conference 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe says increase will lead 50,000 new jobs

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald TD speaking on ‘Crackdown on Crime’ at the Fine Gael National Conference 2015 in the Mayo Convention Centre, Castlebar. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Garda victim support offices to be established in every Garda division

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton told the Fine Gael national conference that full employment was within Ireland’s grasp twice and “twice that was snatched from us by bad policies”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

Minister for Jobs says enterprise policies hadn’t reflected Ireland’s economic needs

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “while China has formally lifted its ban on Irish beef, the next step will require a Chinese veterinary inspection to approve individual processing plants for export.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Enda Kenny was speaking at the opening of the Fine Gael national conference in Castlebar

Niall Collins:  FF justice spokesman critical of Taoiseach’s ‘amazing statement’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister denies Derek Brockwell’s escape was due to lack of resources

Jan O’Sullivan: independent review of hardship fund to be commissioned. Photograph: Eric Luke

Cuts to fund a ‘false economy’ if student has to drop out of college, Averil Power argues

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said he wanted to send the message to businesses working with criminal gangs and to people buying black market cigarettes that “we need the taxes on cigarettes for the health services”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn says IRA that supported peace process has ‘gone away’

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney: “Significant" role for Defence Forces in 1916 centenary commemorations. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Minister for Defence says there will be a ‘march-past’ at the GPO, amid concerns that Government wanted to ‘tone down’ the milita(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said “those who inflict domestic violence on women bring shame to the nation”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Maureen O’Sullivan calls for funding for services to help violent men

Sinn Féin leader Gerry  Adams said the Taoiseach was paid more than the president of France, which had a population of 64 million. File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Taoiseach calls on Gerry Adams to explain how his party is the ‘best resourced’

 Ruth Coppinger TD, Socialist Party:  In the Dáil she said gardaí and the courts were being used to “defend corporate interests and the establishment”. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Ruth Coppinger quotes letter from garda saying they are ‘losing credibility with ordinary men and women’

Paul Murphy:  accused by Simon Coveney  of “trying to infer something I do not think is relevant or exists”.

Questions about Goodman company a ‘distraction’, says Minister for Agriculture

 Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: he would not be drawn  into a debate on “whether or not we should have fox-hunting in Ireland”. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Maureen O’Sullivan says fox-hunting ‘extremely cruel’ and repeats call for ban

Dara Calleary said some companies were abusing zero-hour contracts

Independent Senator Feargal Quinn said the actions of gardaí in a recent jewellery robbery were a “real reminder of the work An Garda Síochána” does. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin Senator expresses concern over the pay and conditions of new recruits

Alan Shatter  has called on Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan to formally request the release from Egyptian prison of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Irish citizen has been in Egyptian prison since August 2013 after arrest at protest

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