Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he was precluded as a member of the Government from discussing who was in the Cabinet room or who said what. Photograph: PA

Tánaiste says it is ‘outrageous’ to suggest any undue pressure was put on the President

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said Máire Whelan (above) was the best person to be appointed. He said the Government acted entirely within its constitutional powers. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Unfortunate her appointment as judge has been overshadowed by political row - Brendan Howlin

Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre - one of the OPW sites with entry fees for children

Proposal aimed at under 12s to foster greater awareness in culture, Minister of State says

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin

Varadkar claims Martin said he would not go public about Whelan

Minister of State for Health Finian McGrath:  said he will launch a public consultation to allow  older people, their families and healthcare workers to have a say in the process. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Process to find best home care scheme for Ireland is ongoing, says Finian McGrath

 Máire Whelan who was appointed to the Court of Appeal by President Michael D. Higgins. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘Máire Whelan is no Frank Clarke, is no Adrian Hardiman,’ says Fianna Fáil leader

 John McGuinness said the appointment of Maire Whelan to the Court of Appeal could bring down the Government . Photograph:

Appointment angers Independent Alliance; Murphy insists correct procedures followed

Máire Whelan row: Backbenchers said on Saturday that solidarity on the issue could break on Tuesday after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announces minister of State appointments. Photograph: The Irish Times

TDs bypassed for ministries in mood to vent anger at Varadkar over Whelan’s elevation

Katherine Zappone recalled how she and her wife, Anne Louise Gilligan, had often said to each other they hoped to be ‘ladies in our 80s’. Photograph: David Sleator

Minister for Children says of wife Anne Louise Gilligan: ‘I have to let you go now’

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: said he would take no lectures from Fianna Fáil on political appointments. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister says FF leader appointed partner of former taoiseach to State board

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed there will be a referendum on the Eight Amendment to the Constitution on abortion next year.

Micheál Martin claims role of ‘super junior’ minister being abused with four appointed

Independent TD Michael Lowry said of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “On the basis of ... two discussions I had with him, I am very happy to support him as Taoiseach and to continue to support this Government, particularly on budgetary matters.” File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Independent TD reacts sharply to Howlin demand that new Taoiseach end contact with him

Leo Varadkar with  President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin where he was appointed Taoiseach. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Micheál Martin says Fine Gael leader’s views on most economic topics ‘right-wing’

 Enda Kenny arrives at Government Buildings in  Dublin for his last day as Taoiseach. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Shane Ross says Enda Kenny has done ‘fantastically noble job for Ireland’

Enda Kenny  leaving Áras an Uachtaráin after delivering his letter of resignation as Taoiseach to President Michael D Higgins, seen with his wife Sabina. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘This has never been about me but always about the challenges the people of our country face’

John Bruton: he said as the initiator of Brexit the UK had the primary responsibility to make it work for both sides

Former taoiseach says it is naive to think Brexit will not leave scars

Niall Collins: “Their concern has been, and continues to be, the counties in and around the capital.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil jobs spokesman Niall Collins says a two-tier recovery is FG’s ‘calling card’’

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: insisted the Government was successful in attracting graduates  to nearly all aspects of the public service. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister insists pay differential not having impact on recruitment

A shrine in the corner of part of the site of the former mother-and-baby home where the remains of an unknown number of infants were found buried, in Tuam. Photograph: Reuters

Local historian Catherine Corless says she hopes children’s remains can be identified

Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald has criticised ‘blueshirt’’ heckling from the Fine Gael benches in heated Dáil exchanges. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin deputy leader clashes with Tánaiste over Dorset Street shooting

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “Equity investments in any sector are risky propositions and the State’s resources are better allocated to more appropriate areas.’’  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Minister insists State should not own banks when capital markets willing to do so

Above, Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton with Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister of State says there has been massive improvement in direct provision centres

Exchanges were mixed with levity and seriousness in Mr Kenny’s likely last verbal battle with the Opposition after six years. Photograph: Oireachtas TV screengrab

Taoiseach suggests it is also time for Adams to stand down as SF leader wishes him well

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

Minister insists pension value must be seen as part of public servants’ remuneration in pay talks

“Treated like human trash”: Geoffrey Shannon with Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll and Det Supt Declan Daly at the publication of his audit on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill “Treated like human trash”: Geoffrey Shannon with Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll and Det Supt Declan Daly at the publication of his audit on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Prof Geoffrey Shannon’s audit found some vulnerable children treated like ‘human trash’

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the establishment had ‘contrived and conspired’ to ensure Seán FitzPatrick walked free. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Richard Boyd Barrett claims former Anglo chairman’s acquittal ‘stinks to high heaven’

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald: “Garda stations are not suitable places for families to be redirected to in any circumstances.” Photo: Sam Boal/

Tánaiste says accommodation demand exceptional on night families went to gardaí

Senator Lynn Ruane. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Independent Senator says likely next taoiseach ‘very classist’ in his nature

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán Fitzpatrick leaving the Dublin Criminal Court on Wednesday. Photograph:Niall Carson/PA Wire

Enda Kenny says a minister performing like the ODCE would be sacked immediately

The Broadcast Authority of Ireland (BAI) may be allocated funding from television licence receipts to meet its operating expenses, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Minister tells Seanad money would go towards broadcasting regulator’s operating expenses

 Taoiseach  Enda Kenny: he told the Dáil on Tuesday that Minister of State for Health Helen McEntee was in regular   contact with the HSE regarding  Linn Dara children’s mental health facility.  Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

HSE says it will close 11 beds in children’s mental health facility in Dublin

The second Garda Inspectorate report on changing policing is to be published shortly by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fitzgerald tells Dáil ‘robust independent oversight’ essential to bringing change in force

Taoiseach Enda Kenny opening Scouting Ireland’s newly refurbished training and conference centre at Larch Hill, Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal

Kenny praises movement’s support for young people

 Jack Chambers, Fianna Fáil TD, raised VHI’s warning over consultants without specialist qualifications.   Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Fianna Fáil TD raises VHI warning about refusing to pay if specialists not qualified

Brendan Howlin  said allowing gardaí and the Defence Forces to affiliate to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) would be a welcome step. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says heads of Bill to deliver on commitment have been approved

Mr  Ó Laoghaire referred to the case of a 15-year-old boy who was living in an atmosphere of domestic violence and alcohol

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire outlines details of two teenage deaths

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Minister says legislation from Ruth Coppinger seeks ‘to move us to one type of school’

Joan Collins said she would call the Taoiseach’s housing policy a failure.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independent TD Joan Collins calls for public housing scheme involving 50,000 units

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said in the nearly five months since the  Executive collapsed, the Taoiseach and British prime minister had failed to hold a single consultation with the parties. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Enda Kenny says regular engagement at highest level between Dublin and London

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald at Templemore Garda College with Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

PAC mix-up over signature in accounts saw Nóirín O’Sullivan accused of dishonesty

Brexit chief negotiator pledges full EU support for Ireland

Those who attacked Jimmy Campion in Roscrea, Co Tipperary “are the worst type of cowardly blackguards that God ever had the misfortune to create and bring into this world”, Michael Healy-Rae said in the Dáil. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

TD raises weekend attack on Jimmy Campion (94) and his wife Maura (87) at home

Fianna Fáil Senator Diarmuid Wilson said over a period of 35 years, Sinn Féin’s colleagues in the IRA “have removed over 24 members of An Garda Síochána by murdering them’’. Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile intervened to say he had no colleagues in the IRA. File photograph: Getty Images

Diarmuid Wilson (FF) claims SF ‘colleagues’ in IRA removed gardaí by murdering them

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “I have faith and every confidence in the Garda Commissioner to do her job.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Taoiseach under Dáil pressure on financial irregularities in Templemore college

Up to 200,000 people participated in Darkness into Light events across the country last Saturday morning. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Joan Freeman strongly criticises cutback in mental health funding

Some of the six protesting TDs can be seen seated on the far left of the image as deputies stand at the beginning of Dáil business on the first day of the new requirement to stand for the Dáil prayer.

Ceann Comhairle ignores protest by TDs calling for separation of church and State

Testimony given by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to a Dáil committee has been undermined by written records of a two-hour meeting at which financial irregularities at Templemore Garda College were discussed. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Garda official says a meeting, which commissioner called brief, lasted for two hours

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’

Entrance to Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium. Photographer: INPHO/James Crombie

Minister says deal with Department of Education conducted transparently

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said it was up to Enda Kenny to decide when to leave his position. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister refuses to say whether Taoiseach would be given job if he stands down

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

‘We have a very, very bad history when it comes to women’s reproductive rights’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has refused to disclose how Ireland voted. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Saudi Arabia appointed to major international body that monitors women’s rights

Minister for Health Simon Harris said ‘every single service’ available in Holles Street would be available in the new hospital. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘Discredited order’ such as Sisters of Charity should have no input at facility, says Smith

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams: said briefing meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Brexit position paper was a “farce”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinn Féin leader criticises lack of consultation with Dáil as Bruton cites EU duties

TD and ministers pray in the Dáil chamber.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Ireland and UK only European parliaments to start business with prayer - Joan Collins

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: Council had published its arts and disability policy 2012 to 2016 to address issues of equity, access and participation.  Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys says council to publish 10-year strategy in coming months

Taoiseach tells Dáil Sisters of Charity will not have board majority

Brendan Howlin: “It is certainly not acceptable for any doubt to even exist for bishops now or into the future to say that they have any influence”

Proposed hospital has to be free of any specific religious ethos, says Micheál Martin

Fianna Fail Party Leader Micheál Martin speaks at the Fianna Fáil Annual Easter Rising 1916 Commemoration Arbour Hill Church. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil leader says many appalling IRA stories still to emerge

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald: “Work is being done on the IT system.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

Tánaiste Fitzgerald responds as Labour leader raises problems with IT system

Heather Humphreys said the increase in an annual permit for a houseboat mooring being proposed by Waterways Ireland, in the revised canal bylaws, was €4, bringing it from €126-€130. Photograph: iStock

Senator Lynn Ruane seeks amendment to Heritage Bill to allay canal users’ worries

 Paschal Donohoe says €500m could be available once the commitments the Government has made on increased levels of social welfare and funding tax reform are honoured

Minister warns ‘careful choices’ will have to be made

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “From Ireland’s perspective, it is crucial that the negotiations are conducted in a constructive and orderly way.” Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

Taoiseach says Ireland will encourage calm UK-EU approach to exit negotiations

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen said Labour’s Alan Kelly, above, was still spinning from the number of U-turns he made as a minister. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen estimates 92 per cent of households will not pay for water

Jan O’Sullivan.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Previous government right to be concerned about Garda tapes, says former minister

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald says no inquiry will produce the required outcome as long as Ms O’Sullivan remains in office. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Mary Lou McDonald introduces party motion to remove Nóirín O’Sullivan from office

Parliament Buildings in the Stormont Estate, Belfast, Northern Ireland. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Ned O’Sullivan says Northern Ireland must not see the return of direct British rule

Jim O’Callaghan: there were shameful errors by the Garda regarding breath tests “and I regret to say this [was]  dishonestly recorded on the Pulse system”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Jim O’Callaghan: A blemish on our justice system that 14,700 wrongful convictions not overturned

A deal between the Health Service Executive and the manufacturers of  cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi has been reached after lengthy negotiations. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Minister for Health annouces end to protracted talks with manufacturer Vertex

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has defended the role of Attorney General Máire Whelan in the events leading up to the resignation of former garda commissioner Martin Callinan. File photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Enda Kenny backs Máire Whelan’s actions in run-up to former Garda chief’s resignation

The leadership contest looks likely to be a two-person battle between Minister for Housing Simon Coveney (left) and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

‘Simon will back Simon. They’ll wait for the right time for it to have maximum impact’

Minister for Health Simon Harris (right) with his brother, Adam. Photograph: Adam Harris/Twitter

Simon Harris and his brother Adam discuss autism awareness in radio interview

The change in mandatory divorce wait time will require a constitutional referendum.

Separated couples are currently required to live apart for fours years out of preceding five

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

Fianna Fáil has been  attacked by  Leo Varadkar in heated Dáil exchanges on the water charges controversy. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister claims party ‘once proud to stand up for things’ is afraid of Solidarity PBP and SF

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar says the  confidence and supply deal allowed individual parties to take differing positions on the issue of water charges. Photograph: Collins

Minister seeks to ‘congratulate’ Paul Murphy TD for role in determining FF stance

 Minister of State for Agriculture Andrew Doyle: “We should accept ivy as part of the community of plants found on trees.’’ Photograph Nick Bradshaw

FF Senator raises ‘burdensome’ problem of wild ivy attaching itself to trees

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister tells Dáil Caranua has a difficult job to do

The trial of Ibrahim Halawa has been adjourned for the 21st time, and is now rescheduled for April 26th.

Minister says Egyptian president has committed to intervening when trial concludes

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny said  he “retained confidence” in the Garda Commissioner. File photograph:  Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Enda Kenny says Nóirín O’ Sullivan has ability to implement recommended changes

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has asked the Government to explain why permission was granted to the UK to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace.    Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Craughwell says no evidence of Oireachtas oversight of agreement

Clare Daly said the boy could fall asleep without warning and had smashed his teeth and broken his bones.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent TD calls for no-fault vaccine damage payment scheme

A candlelight vigil, organised by Uplift, to highlight government inaction regarding the continuing imprisonment without trial of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt was held outside Leinster House tonight. Pictured are brahim Halawa ’s three sisters, from left: Omaima, Somaia and Fatima Halawa.Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny wrote to Egyptian president appealing for Dubliner’s immediate release

The scene at Ringsend garage in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Frank Miller

Ross is happy both parties have gone back to the Workplace Relations Commission

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan at Garda HQ in Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Frances Fitzgerald seeks consensus in Dáil on how to carry out investigation into force

 President Michael D Higgins with poet Brendan Kennelly at a reception in the Shelbourne Hotel on St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, where he received the inaugural Kerry Association in Dublin Arts Award. Photograph: Julien Behal

Retired Trinity academic and poet receives inaugural Kerry association arts award

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gerry Adams says no hardening of the Border in any way

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire: said Britain does not want a return to direct rule over the North. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gerry Adams calls for election, says Northern Secretary’s contribution ‘less than helpful’

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny: strike can only be resolved by the Workplace Relations Commission. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Enda Kenny rejects calls for Shane Ross to intervene in Bus Éireann dispute

 Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: said she would consider a Patten-like commission of investigation or an independent review

SF asks how Minister can have confidence in Garda Commissioner who tells media first

Senator Michael McDowell told the Seanad there was an increasing number of judicial vacancies and it would appear that legislation on the issue had not materialised. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Senator also renews his criticism of lay majority in judicial appointments

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has  said the Government believed the level of public concern  was so profound it was time to conduct “a thorough, comprehensive and independent root-and-branch review” of the Garda. File photograph: Getty Images

Government continues to have confidence in Garda Commissioner, restates Taoiseach

Fianna Fáil believes amending the 2007 Water Services Act, which allows fines for wasting water, could be used to prevent wastage

EU commissioner says it is ‘questionable’ if fines would meet water directive

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Reaction: FF leader calls on commissioner to consider her position in absence of clarity

 Richard Boyd Barrett: old and disabled people would not use the service at night unless the stations were adequately staffed. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Richard Boyd Barrett says staff had prevented a suicide at Monkstown stop

David Norris said it was time Senators asserted their dignity. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘We got €311 in wage restitution. Oh jolly, gee, wonderful. . . it is less than €1 a day’

Minister of State for Justice David Stanton told the Seanad: said the Bail (Amendment) Bill expanded the factors a court could take into account in refusing bail. Photograph: Alan Betson

David Stanton says it will be targeted at cases where most likely to be effective

The late Martin McGuinness in November 2016 with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Brian O’Driscoll at the Aviva Stadium for the launch of of Ireland’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

McDonald calls for Government to redouble efforts to implement negotiated agreements

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was replying to a question in the Dáil by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

FF leader plans to attend crucial European Council meeting on April 29th as Taoiseach

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