Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: contributed €1,700 of Fine Gael’s declared donations of €65,324. Photograph: Julien Warnand/Reuters

Standards in Public Office Commission publishes report on party political donations

Court of Appeal appointment: Máire Whelan is made a judge by President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Government’s ‘entitlement’ defence conjures memories of FÁS’s first-class flights

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, one of two ministers of state who were sacked to accommodate the changes, said she found Mr Varadkar’s comments on merit to be “very offensive”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Women’s groups criticise Taoiseach over ‘new Cabinet, same old gender imbalance’

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his Ministers of State at Government Buildings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Profiles of the 13 Fine Gael Ministers of State named on Tuesday

 Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar has increased the number of Ministers of State  to 19, one short of Bertie Ahern’s record.  File image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach’s ‘generational change’ sees 19 junior ministers appointed - but only 3 women

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is appointing junior ministers on Tuesday

Dropped junior minister: ‘He said he had to reward his supporters’

Leo Varadkar: A “thrill” to visit Number 10 for the first time. Photograph: EPA/SIMON DAWSON

Inside Politics: Theresa May gives positive comments on relationship with Ireland

Hugh Kennedy became attorney general of the provisional government on January 31st, 1922.

A brief history of Ireland’s 29 attorneys general

Waterford TD John Deasy: he is  tipped for promotion to Minister of State. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Varadkar not likely to consider those elected in 2016 when appointing Ministers of State

Charlie Flanagan: made his views on staying in Foreign Affairs known but ultimately acceded to his move to Justice. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The agony and the ecstasy as Varadkar delights and disappoints while choosing Cabinet

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD at the Data Summit in the Convention Centre, Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

UK committed to a ‘close and special partnership’, British PM tells Taoiseach

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. There is a consensus in Leinster House that a Varadkar-led Government will be edgier, more combative. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach to ‘call out’ left-wing parties while Opposition ready to challenge signalled shift to right

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.  Photograph:  Stephen Collins

A who’s who of all the faces in new Taoiseach’s Cabinet

Attorney General  Maire Whelan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tenure of outgoing attorney general, serving two governments, has not been without controversy

Michael Chadwick, the former chair of the Grafton Group,  made the maximum donation of € 1,000 to each of 13 Social Democrats candidates in the 2016 general election. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Michael Chadwick, Dermot Desmond, Paul McGuinness among those who supported politicians

Labour movement: the Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger says Corbyn and Bernie Sanders succeeded because they toured towns and cities and addressed rallies. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

Éamon de Valera said Labour must wait. Politicians here believe their time has come

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and partner Matt Barrett (left) in the stands during the 2018 World Cup Qualifying Group D match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fine Gael leader set to become taoiseach as Independent Alliance confirms its support

Newly elected Fine Gael party leader Leo Varadkar  with party members. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

New Fine Gael leader will set out his stall on Wednesday when he becomes taoiseach

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar said there was “renewed enthusiasm” across the administration for implementing the Programme for Government. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Group’s Ministers set to retain portfolios when ‘energetic’ Fine Gael leader takes charge

Eoghan Murphy was among the members arguing for reform. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Group of TDs elected in 2011 seen as a thorn in side and nuisance by leadership

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar with Pascal Donohoe. Mr Donohoe will now bring the public pay proposals to Government for approval. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Varadkar welcomes agreement which he says improves pay in affordable way

Simon Coveney ends his speech at the Mansion House as Leo Varadkar applauds: Coveney’s campaign did not begin in earnest until February and his supporters say Varadkar had a headstart. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Despite huge TD support for Leo Varadkar, Coveney surpassed himself at the hustings

‘Concepts of left and right don’t work in modern politics and probably never really worked in Ireland because of our history’, says  Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Varadkar is relaxed, confident and combative, especially when it comes to Sinn Féin

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: if he wins the Fine Gael leadership race, he is expected to offer Simon Coveney the role of tánaiste.  Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Simon Coveney looks set to win vote of party members as campaign enters final days

A ruling that the ban on asylum seekers looking for work is unconstitutional will have implications for the asylum process and  for Brexit negotiations. File photograph: The Irish Times

Department of Justice warns of threat to the Common Travel Area with UK

Sisters of Charity say they will have ‘no involvement in this new company’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Can anything stop Leo Varadkar becoming king of the jungle?

Fine Gael Leadership Candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney on the Hustings last week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Polling station one of 26 around the country for members to choose Coveney or Varadkar

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys in Mullingar, at the launch of a plan for rural Ireland. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Minister says contenders keen to ensure leadership race does not divide party

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and deputy leader Catherine Martin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Party says imperative on Government to help workers made redundant

Simon Coveney:   said he could still win the race to succeed Enda Kenny

Sister of TD claimed Mitchell O’Connor is supporting Varadkar to save her ministry

Fine Gael leadership candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney debate with each other at the start of the Hustings, at the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Analysis: With nothing to lose, underdog status gave Coveney fire in the belly

Simon Coveney supporter leaves an event at the Hotel Kilmore in Cavan on Tuesday evening. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

‘All it takes is for six or seven to change their minds who had previously declared for Leo’

Happier times. Some small farmers in the party favour Varadkar because they believe Coveney represents big farmers more, while others feel Varadkar has been more willing to press their flesh during constituency visits

Grassroots see party’s new election system as mixed blessing

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar says Sinn Féin are the biggest threat to the State. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Leadership candidate says he will bring back ‘United Ireland Party’ as a tag line for FG

We love Manchester: terrorists will continue to find new means and new targets and to generate new levels of outrage. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Inside Politics: Ireland needs to be prepared for a terror attack of its own

Simon Coveney has dismissed the notion that the number of TDs and Senators who have pledged support for his Fine Gael leadership rival, Leo Varadkar, has left him with a “real mountain to climb”.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Contest for party leader could be far more close-fought than thought, says candidate

Simon Coveney said to be in ‘good spirits’

Coveney camp says leadership contest to succeed Enda Kenny is ‘not over’

 Michael Noonan and Christine Lagarde,  chief executive of the IMF in Dublin castle. Photograph: Alan Betson

Michael Noonan: very able operator, with a wily and wicked gift for communication

Enda Kenny joked that there would be ‘miaows’ over the UK’s pet passports. Photograph: Reuters

Taoiseach says Ireland needs to look after own interests when ‘niceties are dropped’

 Leo Varadkar and  Simon Coveney: both leadership candidates will now get to show their mettle.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Inside Politics: Fine Gael’s proxy war breaks out in the public

Varadkar supporter: Eoghan Murphy, Minister of State for  Finance. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Winning candidate will be expected to reward loyalists and appease rival camp

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with his constituency colleague and Fine Gael leadership contestant Simon Coveney in Cork on Monday. Photograph: Jim Coughlan.

With a renewed front bench, the Fianna Fáil leader still has eyes on taoiseach role

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving to launch the latest edition of Nealon’s Guide on Tuesday. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

Senator says Taoiseach cited Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper and knowing ‘the time was right to go’

The political reality for Enda Kenny is that once the departure date is named, the first line of his political obituary will be written. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach set to name departure date and set succession race in motion for FG blue bloods

Report on the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisor to the Oireachtas says it has faced a significant increase in its workload. Photograph: David Sleator

Report recommends extra five staff members and €500,000 annual budget increase

The initiative has been welcomed by AsIAm, the national advocacy organisation for autism. Photograph: iStock

Bill will require agencies to be accountable in their provision of autism services

The Social Democrats Bill, which will be published by co-leader Catherine Murphy (left) and Dublin councillor Gary Gannon, proposes to strengthen  penalties considerably on owners of vacant, undeveloped sites.  Photograph: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

New Bill to be published by the Social Democrats proposes the addition of stronger sanctions to new laws introduced by Governmen(...)

Thousands of gorse and bog fires occur each year, many  during the prohibited period between March and the end of August.

Ministers accused of ‘turning a blind eye’ to enforcement of rules on vegetation fires

 Some members of the Public Accounts Committee (from left)  Josepha Madigan Shane Cassells, Alan Farrell and Catherine Connolly who are examining Nama’s role in Project Eagle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Seán Fleming responds to letter from Nama chairman Frank Daly

Concerns about a cervical cancer vaccine having a negative impact on those who receive it have no scientific basis, a senior health official has said. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Decision not to take jab leaving a large number of girls at risk of cervical cancer

Dara Quigley was described by her family as a bright and intelligent person with an enduring commitment to creating a fairer society.

Dara Quigley took her own life days after footage of her detention by gardaí was published

This week Fine Gael will get 12 minutes of speaking time; Fianna Fáil will get 10 minutes; Sinn Féin will get 8 minutes; with other parties and groups being given slots of between two and three minutes. Photograph: iStock

Solidarity-PBP says regular attempts to take slots from small parties would be resisted

The Minister for Justice supports Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, but support has ebbed away from every other party

Inside Politics: Focus turns to extent of commissioner’s knowledge of irregular financial arrangements at Garda College

Michael Noonan: the commission will examine  whether actions and decisions taken by the Minister  were appropriate

Government announces terms of reference for commission looking at Nama sale

Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his visit to Canada on May 4th. Photograph: Reuters/Christinne Muschi

FG will be unable to hold a vote until autumn if Enda Kenny does not stand down in June

Vera Twomey and her supporters carry out a sit-down protest for rights to medicinal cannabis at the gates of Leinster House in Dublin on Thursday afternoon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sit-down protest by Vera Twomey and supporters prevents cars from leaving Dáil

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

Senators attend a press conference on a plan to extend the franchise to emigrants. Photograph: VotingRights.ie

Seanad members from all parties back proposals on extending the franchise

Maria Mann from Fairview, Dublin; Susan O’Brien from Kilcock, Co Kildare; Eliska Komarkova from Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; and Genna Cowan from Co Donegal  outside Leinster House, Dublin with supporters. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Whole families are affected from Belfast down to Kerry. There is no help’

The move of the  National Maternity Hospital has proved controversial. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: There is a distinct anti-clerical sentiment among the public

A senior Government source said it was inevitable the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital  would be changed

Harris given month to find solution to controversy over ownership of maternity hospital

How did the Ministers fare? Clockwise from top left: Simon Coveney, Shane Ross, Leo Varadkar, Pascal Donohoe. File photographs: The Irish Times/Collins

In the scoring Varadkar probably falls short of a 6 - and Coveney is worth more than a 5

A new survey commissioned by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has found a majority of self-employed people would be willing to pay more in order to receive more PRSI benefits. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Survey finds that 74 per cent of self-employed people would be interested in a system of voluntary extra contributions to access m(...)

Independent Alliance TDs Sean Canney, John Halligan,  Shane Ross, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran  and Finian McGrath on the plinth at Leinster House. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran was to take over from Seán Canney on Government’s anniversary

Leo Varadkar and Emmanuel Macron at an election rally in Paris.

French presidential candidate is front-runner to win next weekend’s election

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said a public ownership element is being included in the legal agreement that will be reached by the NMH and by St Vincent’s. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister to examine the possibility of a long-term lease for new maternity hospital

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said: ‘No Brexit deal amounts to a very, very bad deal, not only for the UK but for Ireland and the EU.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister criticises British leader’s claim that ‘no deal with the EU is better than a bad deal’

Who is best in class? Who must try harder? Harry McGee gives part one of his Cabinet review

Chief operations officer Kay Connolly (left) with Minister for Health  Simon Harris and Master of the National Maternity Hospital  Dr Rhona Mahony with the model of the proposed new facility.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Public ownership element being included in pact to be reached by NMH and St Vincent’s

2017: Simon Harris TD, with Eilish Hardiman, group CEO of the children’s hospital, and John Pollock, project director NCH,  making an announcement regarding the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The latest completion projection is now late 2021 or early 2022, almost 40 years after the first proposal

‘The most intriguing thing about the  row was that it all played out in the medium preferred by teenagers and 20 somethings - phone messaging’

Inside Politics: Exchange of text messages intemperate enough to qualify as shaming

The car-parking facilities, which will accommodate more than 1,000 vehicles, will be funded on a private basis. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Simon Harris to bring memo to Cabinet for the €1bn project expected to open in 2022

Minister for Communication, Climate Change and Environment Denis Naughten. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Environmental groups say draft plan is wholly inadequate to meet challenges

Fine Gael leadership hopefuls Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar. “The history of party politics has shown us that healthy leadership tussles can be destructive forces.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Harry McGee: Varadkar and Coveney camps could end up in war of attrition

Rising concern: Ireland has been implementing none of the strategies to offset the problem and emissions are actually set to rise. Photograph: Getty Images/Vetta

It’s all talk and no action from Government unwilling to take risks with fragile recovery

The form of Irish spoken in Ulster  is essentially Donegal Irish, nuanced by the local, predominantly Belfast accent.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

When written, ‘northern Irish’ Irish varies little but when spoken it’s a different matter

EPA figures suggest the official Government policy of a decarbonised Ireland by 2050 will be hopelessly unachievable unless there are radical changes. Photograph: Getty

Ireland set to miss greenhouse gas targets as emissions rise in every sector

Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton chair of committee on communications, climate action and the environment. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Areas in Clare, Leitrim and Fermanagh have been identified as suitable for fracking

In the space of 10 years, the population of Sallins, Co Kildare, has increased an astonishing 10-fold from 500 to 5,000. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Three local politicians discuss issues in Sallins with transport problems of particular concern

Sorry, how many times do I need to water the grass before I get charged for water?

Who will pay, when will that be and will there be refunds?

There are too many post offices, according to the CEO of An Post. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Difficult discussions’ required to ensure post network’s survival, says David McRedmond

After 10 days of flailing each other around, the parties returned to the original deal

Paul Murphy: a very effective politician. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The committee on water’s report will bear no similarity to legislation

 Minister of State Michael Ring  said Denis Naughten had shirked responsibility. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister of State says he never had specific delegated statutory powers for post offices

Troubled waters: The Oireachtas committee’s  recommendations will more closely reflect the views of Right 2 Water members of the committee than Fine Gael. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Analysis: After week’s unedifying spat, FF and FG have run out of second chances

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has been at the centre of the row between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over water charges. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FG source claims dispute over report ‘was very bad politics from both parties’

Fine Gael Ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Behind-the-scenes intrigue in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil seems to have undermined a deal

A welcome sign on a pub in Galway

Just over a fifth of people living in Gaeltacht areas speak Irish on a daily basis

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

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahearn speaking on Thursday morning.

The former taoiseach said Britons were “deluding themselves” on trade after withdrawal from the EU

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern: expected to outline to select committee on Brexit the implications for Ireland of the UK’s EU exit. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Brexit a challenge to State as EU frontier, ex-taoiseach to tell Oireachtas committee

In 2008 the Morris Tribunal made  findings of “insubordination and indiscipline” in the Garda

Inside Politics: The Morris Tribunal should have been a wake-up call over the Garda

Promoting Irish: An Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, has concluded that language schemes for public bodies need to be urgently replaced. Photograph: Barry Cregg

Irish language schemes for public bodies deemed to have failed to achieve goals

Minister for Public Expenditure Pascal Donohoe  announced a short public consultation process on additions to the National Infrastructure Plan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister invites submissions on additional €2.65 billion allocated for capital projects

Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives for the Oireachtas hearing on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gaps remain in Garda explanations of breath test data, but commissioner safe for now

Josephine Feehily (left), chairwoman of the Policing Authority, and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan,  at a meeting last year. This week’s statement from the authority about the breath test scandal was unflinching, and neither the Commissioner nor her force could take many crumbs of comfort from it. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Authority can recommend removal of person holding office of Garda Commissioner

 Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives for a Justice and Equality Committee meeting. Photograph: Collins

Analysis: she says breath test errors are at worst wrongdoing and at best incompetence

Publication of audit comes during a period when the Garda faces criticism over other serious shortcomings. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Switching of funds between accounts created transparency issues, report says

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy said a “gag” would significantly impinge on their freedom  to speak and their right to protest. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Concerns over TD and co-defendants making public comments prior to trial

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan pictured at Garda Headquarters. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Inside Politics: Opposition mounts pressure on commissioner as UK prepares for B-Day

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