Jerry Buttimer: “When the Cabinet makes a decision, it is a collective decision and, therefore, all members of the Cabinet are bound by it.”

FG Seanad leader Jerry Buttimer refers to call for free vote on abortion motion

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: He asked Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar if  Fine Gael has “locked us into a system that discriminates against parents in the home through our tax system and the provisions we have made?”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Green Party leader questions whether policy is interests of children or ‘corporation’

Sugary food in children’s hospital:  “It is very depressing to think of a child having his or her milk teeth removed because of a sugary diet. Obviously, it naturally increases the incidence of obesity and diabetes in future years,” said Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone.

Senator Catherine Noone calls for Seanad debate on childhood obesity

Fianna Fáil spokeswoman Mary Butler said one in three people over 65 years would develop dementia. File photograph: Getty Images

Government accepts Fianna Fáil motion calling for improved home-care supports

A patient with cystic fibrosis. The HSE is negotiating a price for the drug Orkambi for use in treatment of cystic fibrosis patients, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said. File photograph: Science Photo Library

Taoiseach says meetings are under way with pharmaceutical firm over cost of Orkambi

Enda Kenny told the Dáil the Government will not be doing back to the ‘drawing board’ with the health budget. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Taoiseach says €14.6 billion ‘very, very substantial’ amount in response to SF leader

Micheál Martin: the Fianna Fáil leader says “any government that is incapable of appointing judges is a dysfunctional government”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Micheál Martin claims group causing paralysis and Fine Gael failing to stand up to them

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone TD Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister for Children addresses Seanad on departmental work

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has denied the Independent Alliance is preventing the appointment of judges to fill vacancies in the courts.  Photograph: PA/PA Wire.

Micheál Martin says group causing paralysis and Fine Gael is failing to stand up to them

Fine Gael Seanad leader Jerry Buttimer: “Some people did not want to give an increase to anybody”

Labour’s Kevin Humphreys claims ambiguity around timing of welfare payments

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen: “The cost of building a new home will remain fundamentally unaddressed.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Richard Bruton says €20,000 tax rebate will help more young people get into market

Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien. File Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

TD Darragh O’Brien dismisses budget measure as ‘help-to-sell scheme’

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: he  asked if the Government was going to provide a currency crisis package for Irish industry and said  of the most disappointing aspects of the budget was the lack of a substantial response to the Brexit challenge. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach criticised by FF leader for failing to come up with detailed budget policy

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: Garda strike action would have negative effects on Garda and public morale. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Frances Fitzgerald stresses that ‘real constraints’ limit options on public pay

Mr Kenny said the situation would be fluid until the British prime minister moved Article 50 triggering withdrawal from the EU.

Taoiseach criticised by Fianna Fail leader for lack of preparation and tokenism

“We need to keep faith with the prudent fiscal policy we have followed for the five previous budgets,’’ Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said.

Minister for Finance says need to keep faith with ’prudent fiscal policy’

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty on Budget 2017: “Our people deserve better, our economy deserves better, and damn sure our country deserves better.’’

Sinn Féin says budget is all about doing side deals and keeping Taoiseach in office

President Michael D Higgins:  “Politicians do U-turns all the time,” said one TD. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

TDs dismiss President’s previous pledge to serve just one term in office

‘We’ll give you a State board, maybe a prison visiting committee . . . if you come on side,’ said the minister

‘No findings of wrongdoing of any kind have been made against the Garda Commissioner and I believe, in those circumstances, she is entitled to our full confidence.’’ Frances Fitzgerald said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Frances Fitzgerald says due process important and no finding of wrongdoing made

Mick Wallace told the Dáil on Wednesday night he would oppose the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, which criminalises ‘paying to engage in sexual activity with a prostitute’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Independent TD says he opposes criminalising the ‘purchase of consensual sex’

Charlie Flanagan: he said it was positive there was no longer any uncertainty about the date by which article 50 would be invoked

Minister for Foreign Affairs tells Seanad all Government departments impacted by Brexit

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney: said capital contribution agreed by the Government for Irish Water this year was €184 million. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Simon Coveney says Irish Water will solve problem in 18 months with €100m investment

Independent Senator Alice Mary Higgins: “EU-Canada pact a game-changer with potential to affect our public services, environment and policy decisions in a way we have not seen before.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Independent Senator calls on Ireland not to sign European Union-Canada agreement

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  said the Government’s plan was well advanced and he would brief the Opposition party leaders later in the day to give them the chronology of all that was done in advance of the referendum and since. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald accuses Kenny of being ‘flat-footed’ on issues involved

UK prime minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a joint news conference at 10 Downing Street, London in July. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/Reuters/Pool

Taoiseach to brief Opposition leaders on preparations for UK’s departure from EU

Eamon Gilmore says he remains optimistic about the Columbian peace process. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

EU special envoy says surprise rejection of peace deal in referendum must be respected

 Eamon Martin said the Church would call on politicians not to leave their Catholic faith outside of the door when it came to issues of public policy. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Eamon Martin calls on politicians not to leave their Catholic faith outside door

Jim O’Callaghan: said the Government had been aware an industrial relations issue had been brewing in the Garda for some time

New gardaí are being forced to sleep in their cars, says Sinn Féin spokesman

Former tánaiste Michael McDowell: The Cabinet decision  not to appoint any new judges until a new law on judicial appointments is passed is constitutionally wrong, he said. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Michael McDowell: Cabinet’s decision on judicial appointments constitutionally wrong

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil on Thursday that everybody in the House would agree it would be most unfortunate if, rather than engaging further, gardaí contemplated strike action. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tánaiste faces Dáil questions on threatened four strike days by rank-and-file members

Minister of State for Education John Halligan told the Seanad: “It is my belief that all children who need to be transported to school should be transported.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister of State John Halligan says no child should be taken off a bus

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said he could not be “any clearer on the importance and the implications of the decision we will make next year” in relation to water charges. Photograph: Alan Betson

Debate takes bizarre turn with Kama Sutra, teddy bear, Houdini, Beckett references

Fine Gael TD and Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor proposed a 30 per cent tax rate for returning emigrants. Photograph: Eric Luke

Micheál Martin criticises ‘bananas idea’ of 30 per cent rate for returning emigrants

Dáil water charges debate: Gerry Adams said he regretted not coming up with the Kama Sutra line, before adding that “my teddy bears are virgins”, in reference to his frequent mention of bears on Twitter.

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin exchange insults during debate on motion to abolish the levy

Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Micheál Martin criticises ‘bananas idea’ of 30% tax rate for people returning to Ireland

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: says  core expenditure for each university student is down by 22 per cent since 2011. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny tells Dáil that Cabinet discussions are already under way on the issue

Minister for Health Simon Harris told the Dáil of remedial measures in light of the €12m overcharge which FF’s Dara Calleary said was a “damning indictment”. Photographs: The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil spokesman Dara Calleary says episode a ‘damning indictment’ of HSE

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny  has refused to be drawn on reported Government tensions over proposed preschool budgetary measures. File photograph: Getty Images

Labour TD highlights reported differences between Katherine Zappone and FG TDs

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘Obviously, we do not have an endless pot here.’

Micheál Martin tells Taoiseach that education is major budget issue for Fianna Fáil

Motor insurance premiums have risen dramatically and could rise by a further fifth, says Conor Faughnan of the Automobile Association. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Motorists more concerned about price of cover than road safety, committee hears

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty, who agreed with ratings agency Fitch that  the windfall would “reduce our debt”. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

GP leader Eamon Ryan compares Government to ‘madman looking for a fight’

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said the €13bn Apple tax bill could not be spent on ongoing expenditure if it was accepted by the Government.  Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Minister says EU rules mean the money could not be used for current expenditure

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone: Believes view that firms queued to come here to avoid taxes had little basis. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister tells Dáil backing for reasons different to those of colleagues in Government

The Dáil reconvened early to debate the Government’s decision to appeal the Apple tax ruling. Photograph: Oireachtas/Screenshot

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour vote in favour of challenging the EU ruling

Gabriel Fagan, chief economist who said the  bank was forecasting GDP growth of just under 5% this year. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Central Bank chief economist Gabriel Fagan says economic outlook ’broadly favourable’

 Offaly County Councillor and new Renua leader  John Leahy. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Offaly Council Councillor John Leahy to be paid € 65,000 from State funds for role

Michael and Danny Healy Rae   ahead of the first meeting of the 32nd Dáil at Leinster House earlier this year. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Return to FF of Independent councillor Michael Cahill heightens tensions

File photograph of Finbarr Flood, who has died  at the age of 77. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Family and friends pay tribute to the former Labour Court chairman at his funeral

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald greeting French president  François Hollande at Government Buildings today.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy says Ireland’s 26.3% growth rate made a mockery of State

Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan said he sympathised with the British people on the dilemma in which they found themselves

Senator Ned O’Sullivan says slow UK withdrawal from EU not on

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said the 26.3% figure had been published by the CSO which was an independent agency and it had already made comments about the figure and the processes it intended to examine.Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Robert Troy says Ireland’s 26.3 per cent growth rate made a mockery of the State

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin said failing to increase third-level funding would store up problems for the future. Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons

Micheal Martin calls for restoration of grants to post-graduate students

Sinn Féin spokesman Maurice Quinlivan said more than 70,000 people in the State depended on the minumum wage. Photgraph: Aidan Crawley

Maurice Quinlivan questions amount paid to chairman of Low Pay Commission

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: called for the restoration of grants to post-graduate students.   Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says Government to carefully consider Cassell report on issue

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil: “I think it is important to note that local authorities, in the past number of years, have not measured up to being able to build social housing to the extent it was needed.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Micheál Martin tells Taoiseach it is unfair to blame local authorities entirely for crisis

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has blamed local authorities for contributing to the State’s housing problem. File photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP Photo

Taoiseach says councils failed to address the need for social housing for a number of years

Senator Kevin Humphreys said: “We now have a Government with no politics or agenda.” Photograph:  Davd Sleator

Labour Senator claims public see it as ‘reckless and sometimes shady’

A post-Brexit rise in demand for Irish passports won’t casue delays for applicants, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Joe McHugh. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Minister of State Joe McHugh says overall numbers seeking for travel documents up 11% on last year

The Central Bank said  indicators, such as domestic demand and employment growth, gave a more accurate indication of the economy’s performance.

Agency to convene special group to look into how best to present economic data

“Obviously the figure of 26 per cent is unprecedented and significantly stronger than the previous estimate of 7.8 per cent, but it is important to note it is due to exceptional factors’’

Enda Kenny says Department of Finance will base policy on more normal growth rate

Dr Katherine Zappone: “I . . . appreciate that many families have already honoured their au pair’s entitlements as employees and recognised the protection offered to them under both Irish and European law’’

Katherine Zappone warns against contravening existing legislation

Damien English: said a proposal to extend the Seanad electorate could mean an estimated 5.3 million people entitled to vote

Minister of State expresses Government support in principle for measure

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan: “A citizens’ assembly will not be effective.”

Jim O’Callaghan says judge-led commission would do better job

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny  has admitted official figures for the Irish economy are false and the actual growth rate is close to 4 per cent. Photograph: PA

Enda Kenny says Department of Finance will base policy on ‘more normal growth rate’

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane has defended the idea of free third-level education in the Seanad. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Independent Marie-Louise O’Donnell says the idea is ‘absolutely outrageous’

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice  Frances Fitzgerald: “Currently, there are no plans to close or remove trauma services from hospitals.’’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Opposition challenges Frances Fitzgerald on report into health trauma policy

A growing number of Fine Gael TDs believe Enda Kenny should stand down as Fine Gael leader within weeks. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Fury in party over Reilly return but Varadkar says it would be wrong to push Taoiseach out

The Government is borrowing €13 million a day to fund spending and the State is not clear of all economic danger, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Paschal Donohoe warns of dangers posed by Brexit during debate on pay restoration

Plenty of empty seats on view in the Dáil... TDs were rebuked today by Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghaíl after the start of Dáil business was delayed  until the 20 members required for a quorum were found. Screengrab: Oireachtas TV

TDs rebuked by Ceann Comhairle who said it was an ‘unprecedented event’

Interim Console chief executive David Hall: not a single Minister had picked up the phone to ring him or speak to Console’s staff in the past two weeks, claimed Michael McGrath. Photograph: Collins

Michael McGrath criticises ‘lack of political leadership’ over suicide charity controversy

Gerard Craughwell: “I have anecdotal evidence of pimps who bring tens of thousands of euro to betting shops or bookies and request that it be divided equally across all races or gambling activities on that day.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Gerard Craughwell says criminals using large gambling institutions as banks

 Console’s interim chief executive David Hall had “put a bomb’’ under Department of Health and HSE officials to have a meeting about the future of the suicide charity, the Dáil heard. File photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

FF finance spokesman Michael McGrath laments ‘lack of political leadership on issue’

Paschal Donohoe: “The benefits of and the protections afforded by the agreement will therefore apply to those people who are inside the framework.’’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister pledges to keep faith with those inside Lansdowne Road accord

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor said she believed the House could agree on the principle behind the Competition (Amendment) Bill. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Mary Mitchell O’Connor agrees with Labour Bill but says it would need to be amended

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister challenges Opposition to say how it would fund State service

 Micheál Martin told the Dáil hospital waiting lists have increased by 45 per cent in two years. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader says figure is a sad indictment of lack of basic urgency

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “Those who sit at the Cabinet table, as I have reminded Ministers, have a duty in terms of defence of the Constitution and Cabinet collective responsibility.’’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Taoiseach responds to Independent Ministers’ backing for Mick Wallace’s abortion Bill

Taoisech Enda Kenny: “While I am not in a position, as the leader of my own party, to dictate to others who are not members of the party, in that sense I am not subject to an agreement we would have internally in our party.” File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach responds to Independent Ministers’ backing for fatal foetal abnormalities Bill

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon delivers a speech during a media conference at the Scotland House in Brussels. Photograph: Geoffroy Van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Great affinity between Ireland and Scotland, says Fine Gael Senator Paddy Burke

People receiving diagnoses should “listen to the medical experts and not some self appointed moral police who will look down on the rest of us from their lofty perches,” Kate O’Connell said.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Simon Harris tells Dáil during abortion debate he hopes there will be a referendum on Eighth amendment

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the regulatory system has worked in uncovering what was going on within the Console charity.  File  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Government under pressure in Dáil to update legislation quickly

Primary school teachers protesting outside Leinster House earlier this month over inequalities in teachers’ pay. Mr Martin said teachers’ unions had brought real issues to people’s attention. Photograph: SamBoal/

Fianna Fáil leader tells Dáil serious issues are emerging on public service pay

Senator Lynn Ruane: told the Dáil the relentless war on drugs had failed long ago, with the addict becoming collateral damage.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

‘We cannot continue to separate the addict from the dealer,’ says Senator

Relatives of Siddik Turgan, a custom officer at Ataturk Airport who was killed in the attacks on 28th June, mourn during a funeral in Istanbul. Photograph: Deniz Toprak/EPA

Tánaiste says attack which left 41 dead and 240 injured was ‘vicious and indiscriminate’

Minister for Education urged to accept Bill amending Equal Status Act

Charlie Flanagan: “The fact that 56 per cent of those who voted in Northern Ireland chose to remain in the EU does not mean that a majority of its electorate would similarly vote for a united Ireland.” Photograph:  The Irish Times

Minister for Foreign Affairs says there is no evidence of majority seeking a united Ireland

The Minister for Justice said the Attorney General has advised the proposed legislation is unconstitutional, contravening the provisions of the eighth amendment, which recognises the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tanaiste responds to allegations made against suicide charity

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan:  “The younger generation will be cut off and disadvantaged as a result of how the older generation has voted.’’ Photograph:   Gareth Chaney Collins

Green Party leader says Leave voters allowed themselves to be led by ‘clowns’

Labour leader Brendan Howlin: “We can afford, and absolutely need, an expansionary budget.’’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

He said it was too early to gauge the economic impact and amend budgetary plans

Micheál Martin:  Scotland implements all EU laws and would not need to be reviewed for its standards of governance and ability to implement such laws. Photograph: The Irish Times

FF leader says Ireland does not have UK’s ‘nostalgia for empire or fear of outsiders’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “Cross- party approach will be valuable in the time ahead”.

Government will prioritise peace process, common travel area and border

US vice president Joe Biden greets residents at Carligford, Co Louth.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Joe Biden traces his ancestry in tour of Cooley Peninsula

Mary Lou McDonald: said there was a crisis in the management of homelessness

SF deputy leader notes 2,000 children among those without a home last month

The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. “Encouragingly, Ireland has successfully exited the excessive deficit procedure in a timely and durable manner’’

Minister for Finance paints optimistic picture of economic growth

The Government is to consider the possibility of establishing a ‘fan zone’ in Dublin for soccer fans to watch Ireland take on France on big screens. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Tributes from all sides of the Dáil as Tánaiste describes victory as ‘a momentous win’

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath has called for speedier Government action on the rising cost of motor insurance. Stock photograph: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

FF finance spokesman Michael McGrath says there has been a 60% increase since 2014

 Minister for Housing Simon Coveney  arriving at a meeting with waste industry representatives in Tallaght, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister rejects SF Seanad motion to annul regulation governing refuse charges

 Senator David Norris with colleagues before the first sitting of 25th Seanad at LeInster House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Ivana Bacik ‘dismayed’ by Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers’s leave stance

 Senator David Norris: a reluctant supporter of Britain staying in the EU.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Flanagan says Ireland wants UK to remain in European Union as a ‘friend’

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