Jerry Buttimer: he said Dr Whitaker’s life was “the epitome of what good public service should be’’

Senators praise ‘architect of modern Ireland’ and former Seanad member

Simon Coveney: “There is no country in the EU even close to Ireland in terms of the level of priority and preparedness that we already have in place for the negotiations that are on the way”

Minister says Government will prioritise looking after Irish interests

Simon Coveney says  the State needed to remain close in terms of its political and trade relationships with the UK. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister says Government will prioritise looking after Irish interests at home and abroad

Michael McDowell: the Senator said Shane Ross had yet again suggested that, somehow, the judiciary was against reform, he said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independent Senator accuses Minister of inaccuracies in ‘Irish Times’ article

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: he has urged Vertex Pharmaceuticals to return to intensive discussions to reduce the price for those who would benefit from the drug Orkambi

Taoiseach calls in Dáil for resumed talks on cost of cystic fibrosis drug

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said Bus Éireann faces serious challenges. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister says company’s ‘serious financial challenges’ should be tackled decisively

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: “I have never accused anyone of being a suspect in the murder of Brian Stack, because I don’t know who the suspects might be”

Sinn Féin leader insists he does not know who the suspects of the 1983 killing might be

Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan said he was concerned about reports suggesting the hunting of  Killarney red deer had become “a purchasable pleasure’’.  File photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Seanad report: ‘If any culling is to be done, it should only be of non-indigenous sika species’

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said he had already dealt with the issue of the Brian Stack murder in substance and he would make a statement in the House if time was made available to him. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny says Sinn Féin leader should make statement under privilege in the House

Simon Harris says he will “act quickly’’ on a report about legalising medicinal cannabis due at end of January. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Sinn Féin TD hits out at doctor for alleging legislation a ‘Trojan horse’

Catherine Byrne: “Over a decade ago, the situation was similar for gluten-free foods, especially for dietary staples like bread.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister backs making wider range of items available for those with metabolic disorders

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said it was “fanciful’’ to believe anybody who did not pay would be pursued for the money. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Education insists issue must first be considered by Oireachtas committee

David Stanton: “The Government wishes to see the [Loughs] agency working to its full potential, which is in the interests of everyone on this island’’

Minister of State says dispute is creating ‘practical difficulties’ for number of activities

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said it was “madness” to introduce a charge that had no consequences for excessive water use. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister for Housing warns the public could pay more for water based on expert report

Flooding along the banks of the Shannon River near Athlone Town in 2015. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil spokesman Michael McGrath insists relief scheme should lead to cover

Shane Ross Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport:  “I am currently considering the size of boards under my remit and the need, or otherwise, to fill each vacancy.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister seeks new process saying basing appointments on CV alone is unacceptable

Micheál Martin: “It seems to me a very serious situation that the leader of a political party can pass on the names of suspects to a Garda Commissioner and we are all supposed to go off into the night and do no more about it’’

Enda Kenny calls on Gerry Adams to clarify confusion over Stack suspects

A spokesman for Gerry Adams, who is in Cuba for the funeral of Fidel Castro, said  he ‘has made it clear that he had received these allegations from Austin Stack’. File photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Austin Stack denies he gave names of those connected to father’s murder to Sinn Fein leader

Taoiseach Enda Kenny travelled to Rome to meet Pope Francis this week: the pontiff plans to visit Ireland in 2018. Photograph:  Kathrin Ziegler/EPA

Shane Ross fears pontiff could become embroiled in controversial political matter

Cuban leader Fidel Castro posing for photographers in Havana, Cuba in 2006. Photograph: Alejandro Ernesto/EPA

Michael D Higgins faced criticism for his tribute to the Cuban leader over the weekend

Billboard in Havana depicting  Fidel Castro and reading ‘Fidel Among Us’,  two days after his death. Photograph: Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

Ted Cruz among Republican critics, referring to Cuban leader as ‘murderous tyrant’

A file image from 1989 shows a  white dove landing on Cuban president Fidel Castro’s shoulder as he delivers a speech to Cuban youth  in Havana.

Claims that he neglected human rights concerns ‘unsustainable and unwarranted’, says spokesman

Helen McEntee: The Minister of State for Health said the demand on mental health services has grown along with the population. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Helen McEntee tells Seanad of increased awareness of wellbeing in society

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: said a successor collective agreement to the Lansdowne Road agreement needed to be negotiated. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pascal Donohoe says demands for increases a matter of ‘affordability’

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald accused Fianna Fáil of not providing many answers to the problem. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Frances Fitzgerald says dysfunctional housing market one of most ‘scarring’ FF legacies

 Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has proposed a regional authority for Dublin. File photograph: Collins

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan also proposes a directly elected mayor for the city

Members of the Spanish civil guard search for Amy Fitzpatrick in the hills where she vanished near Malaga, Spain on January 1st, 2008. Photograph: Reurters/Jon Nazca

TD Mick Barry speaks of family anguish over failure to find Irish teenager

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dáil that  Ireland was fourth highest in the table of suicides among those aged between 15 and 19. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Micheál Martin highlights death of 16 people in the county in past two weeks

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  said, over the past two weeks, up to 16 people had died by suicide in Cork. Photograph: Eric Luke

Micheál Martin calls for more counselling services following increase in suicides

Enda Kenny: “Obviously we now have to have our own connections with a Republican party that controls both the congress and senate, in addition to connections with the American political system in general’’

Taoiseach says it is ‘politics’ to deal with new US administration

Minister for Transport Shane Ross. Micheál Martin said Mr Ross was using his position as a Minister to undermine and attack the judiciary in a politically populist way. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister’s remarks about judicial appointments unacceptable, says Fianna Fáil leader

Fianna Fáil spokesman for Dublin John Lahart said the BIll provided for a plebiscite of Dublin voters. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Damien English indicates support for move but says Fianna Fáil Bill lacks specifics

The association is also seeking nominations for its Laochra Chiarraí award

Former winners of Kerry Person of the Year include John B Keane and Dick Spring

Minister for Health Simon Harris  said the Regulation of Information (Services Outside the State for Termination of Pregnancies) Act 1995 made it an offence for bodies or counsellors to provide information on the termination of pregnancy that was not truthful or objective. File photograph: Getty Images

Claims of providing untruthful information on terminations can be given to Garda - Minister

Limerick city: Minister of State for Tourism Patrick O’Donovan said it was not a place where the land met the Atlantic in a wild manner. Photograph: Getty Images

Fine Gael’s Maria Byrne calls on Fáilte Ireland to include the area in successful route

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher has called for a Government initiative to increase bed capacity in hospitals

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher refers to consultant’s warning people will die

Michael Ring: The Minister of State for Rural Affairs said his department was finalising a number of pilot projects for post offices. Photograph: Alan Betson

Michael Ring says number of options considered for rural An Post network

“Anyone who uses the train regularly will have known for some time that people are just not using the rail network,’’ said Ned O’ Sullivan of Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister stresses need for value for money as senators express fears for rural services

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny  has said there are three senior vacancies in An Garda Síochána. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Taoiseach responds to FF claims that there are ‘significant’ vacancies across the force

Catherine Murphy TD said the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission had  approved the acquisition of the Celtic Media group by Independent News and Media . Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy criticises INM’s expansion

The Seanad is to be relocated temporarily to the nearby National Museum of Irleand - Archaeology  on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photograph: Google Street View

Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan says Oireachtas has addressed museum’s needs

 Postmaster Henry Keogh  at his post office in Rockchapel, Co Cork. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus Ltd

Government is expected to accept requests for a new banking service run by An Post

There were 27,440 active taxi licences in the State last year, a drop from a high of 47,529 in 2009. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taxi drivers very surprised to hear their numbers have dropped by 40% since 2009

 Geoff Barry and Ken Doyle of the  Royal British Legion were standard bearers during the Remembrance Sunday service at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, on Sunday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dr Houston McKelvey delivers Remembrance sermon in St Patrick’s Cathedral

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys with the French Minister of State for Veteran Affairs and Remembrance at the Ministry of Defence, Jean-Marc Todeschini, in Glasnevin on Sunday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Heather Humphreys says French gift to Ireland a ‘very significant gesture’

Clare Daly, who said people would be forgiven for thinking the review was put together as “a fig leaf’’ for Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to take cover. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Clare Daly rebuked for claiming Garda Commissioner misled Oireachtas

 Ged Nash said the Bill will apply to people such as actors doing voice-over work, session musicians and freelance journalists. Photograph: : Dave Meehan

Senator Ged Nash says he expects Bill will be law next year

The former Calais migrant camp. The Dáil motion noted the French government had dismantled it and moved 1,500 children to other areas in France. Photograph: Reuters

All-party motion expresses concern about 10,000 children missing in Europe

Clare Daly said people would be forgiven for thinking the review was put together as ‘a fig leaf’ for Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to take cover for her lack of action on the issue. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Clare Daly rebuked by Minister for saying Garda Commissioner misled Oireachtas

Fine Gael’s Michelle Mulherin: she paid tribute to Mrs Clinton, adding that the House had to be real because democracy had spoken

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik calls for foreign policy debate

Enda Kenny was responding in the Dáil on Wednesday to his description in the past of Mr Trump as ‘racist’

Enda Kenny pledges to work with US president-elect in ‘a very constructive way’

Minister for Public Expenditure  Paschal Donohoe: “I don’t believe politicians should set other politicians’ pay.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

SF’s David Cullinane says TDs getting rise of €100 a week but workers getting just €20

Independent TD Tommy Broughan

Independent TD calls for Government action on homelessness

An ASTI member takes part in a strike at Beneavin De La Salle College  in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Opposition criticises Government’s approach to secondary school teachers’ strike

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has called for an end to the teachers’ dispute which has closed secondary schools. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Taoiseach calls for end to dispute as Siptu chief calls for more money for public servants

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald  has accused the Government of failing to use vacant houses to deal with the homeless problem. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin deputy leader says vacant houses must be brought into use to tackle problem

Frances Fitzgerald: Calling for the strike to be called off, the Tánaiste said all the “mechanisms of industrial relations have been made available to An Garda Síochána”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

FF claims Government has allowed an industrial dispute to become a national crisis

 Regina Doherty was speaking during the resumed debate on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Government Chief Whip says no equality of power between parties involved

The Not On Our Watch vigil outside Leinster House last night to call for Ireland to take in 200 children from the Calais refugee camp. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Minister’s call comes as Daíl debates course of action to take on youth stranded in Calais

“Nobody in this country wants to see a situation where, for the first time ever, the Garda force and members of the AGSI will withdraw their services from doing their public duty”

Taoiseach warns there will be ‘no winners’ if strike by gardaí goes ahead

Carrick An Suir railway station: Iarnród Éireann is set to lose €11m this year. Photograph: John D Kelly

Shane Ross signals funding report imminent but FF accuses Minister of stalling on publication

Mr Kenny said for many years gardaí had looked for access to the State machinery in terms of settling disputes and the Government had accepted that principle

Talks involving GRA at Labour Court are adjourned until 8pm

Minister of State for Public Expenditure and Reform Seán Canney: said codes of conduct for public servants had yet to be prepared. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Set of ‘integrity principles’ for public officials to be drawn up, Minister of State says

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae outside Leinster House in Dublin. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Independent TD also claims nuclear testing is responsible for damage to ozone layer

Payments for supervision and substitution duties will be reintroduced for strking teachers if they agree to resume working additional unpaid hours which are in place across the public service, Minister for Education Richard Bruton said.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister to hold further talks with union, members of which are taking strike action

Staff at Loreto Secondary School, Bray, Co Wicklow stage industrial action. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Garda sergeants and inspectors to hold second day of action Friday

Chief executive of the National Transport Authority  Anne Graham and Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism Shane Ross:  Mr Ross said the Dún Laoghaire harbour  company faced a challenging financial and operating environment as it moved from commercial shipping activities towards a focus on marine leisure and marine-related tourism.   Photograph: Maxwells

Shane Ross says Dún Laoghaire harbour firm facing challenge of marine leisure

Clare Daly: a bench warrant was issued for her arrest at Naas District Court for an alleged motoring offence earlier in October. On Wednesday, she said, “I had to return to Naas District Court today to listen to the same judge lecturing me about disrespecting his court without giving me an opportunity to say anything about his irrational decision.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Independent TD claims judge is creating ‘huge problems’ in justice administration

 Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan: says  that, of the proposed 12-member commission, only five would be from the judiciary. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald says law and procedures need comprehensive research

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: “The British government’s approach is to negotiate Brexit in its entirety for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Gerry Adams says British immigration controls at Irish ports and airports not viable

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the Republic has no agreement with the British government about the use of Irish ports following Brexit. Photograph: EPA

Enda Kenny tells Dáil Government does not know yet what British are looking for

Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke: A number of operators had said to him when a price was fixed, at different levels, they had no right of appeal. Photograph: Tony O’Connell Photography

Senator Colm Burke suggests appeals mechanism be put in place following complaints

 Minister for Health Simon Harris says the Citizens’ Assembly should be allowed to conclude its deliberations and make its recommendations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister declines to give second hearing to AAA-PBP Bill on Eighth Amendment repeal

 Minister for Justice  Frances Fitzgerald says the challenge is for discussions to continue to achieve agreement. Photograph: Alan Betson

Work will continue with great intensity to map a way forward, Tánaiste tells Dáil

 Enda Kenny has  appealed to teachers and gardaí not to go ahead with strikes they are planning. File photographs: Getty Images

Hopes officials and Ministers ‘ will work out way forward’ within Lansdowne Road deal

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

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