Labour TD Pat Rabbitte accused the national broadcaster of being “lopsided”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Empirical analysis of programmes shows substance to the Labour Party’s argument

Senator Jim Walsh is understood to be opposed to 36 sections of the Children and Family Relationships Bill

Senator understood to oppose 36 sections of Children and Family Relationships Bill

“RTÉ has acted as a recruiting sergeant for those who have taken control of, and are manipulating, the water protests,” Pat Rabbitte  told the Dáil. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former Labour minister criticises national broadcaster’s coverage of water charges

Sinn Féin  deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the procedure adopted by the Committee on Procedure and Privilege in its findings was “deeply flawed, affording me neither access to the letters, and therefore the basis of the complaint... nor an explanation for the CPP decision”.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Decision on abuse of process when linking ex-politicians to Ansbacher ‘flawed’

Mary Lou McDonald last December made comments using Dáil privilege to link six named politicians to offshore Ansbacher accounts. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former PD leader Des O’Malley calls accusation untrue and very damaging

Taoiseach Enda Kenny talks of tax cuts on the back of successful negotiations with the commission. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach raises prospect of tax cuts in October after negotiations with Europe

Micheál Martin: “It is ironic that the only party with no direct connection to 1916 is the one most likely to try and abuse it for political purposes.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Micheál Martin: Events of that Easter belonged to no party but to the Irish people

Fine Gael TD for Sligo-North Leitrim John Perry: statement  issued after it was reported his wife began working for him as parliamentary assistant in January 2015.

Former FG minister says his wife will step down from role on his political staff next month

Philip King of Other Voices: ‘In the west of Ireland and in west Kerry, there is a new leaving and exodus going on.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Philip King’s raison d’etre after 13 years running his hit televised concert series is still the same: ‘We provide a safe house fo(...)

John Perry TD: Stepped down as minister of State for small business in July of last year in a Government reshuffle. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sligo-North Leitrim TD criticised for hiring wife as assistant on salary of up to €49,000

The Department of Finance said the total arrears within the subprime lending sector is €4.6 billion

Nearly 20,000 subprime mortgages were in arrears more than 90 days at end of last year

 Senator Fidelma Healy Eames was challenged to produce any evidence that any US state had banned Mother’s Day.  On Monday, the Senator told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show she had made “one” error in sending out the tweet. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Galway West Senator says she made error in tweet on same-sex marriage referendum

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has cut short his visit to the United States for St Patrick’s Day following the death of his mother. Photograph: PA

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys will deputise in formal events

  Eddie Hobbs with Lucinda Creighton  at  the launch of Renua. The controversy over whether he will run as a candidate is not an issue for the party. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Leader Lucinda Creighton says financial consultant doing ‘Trojan work’ to grow party

“I believe Maíria Cahill. I believe Mr McGahon. I believe there are questions to be answered and Sinn Féin are in a position to answer those and Gerry Adams in particular is,” the Taoiseach said.

Adams criticises Taoiseach’s remarks over SF leader’s handling of abuse allegations

Tánaiste   Joan Burton: “We should not be constrained from essential investment by a narrow or rigid interpretation of fiscal rules on the part of the European Commission.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Tánaiste follows Minister for Finance with demands for greater flexibility on fiscal rules

 Lucinda Creighton at the launch of the new party Renua at the Science Gallery on Pearse Street, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Leader Lucinda Creighton wants minutes of all Cabinet meetings to be published

A clearly nervous Terence Flanagan began with general comments but was unable to answer more specific questions asked by RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Mary Wilson. Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill

Dublin Bay North TD had ‘meltdown’ during excruciating interview

Lucinda Creighton had the best lines of the day when she said: “We intend to govern in the sunshine. We should trust Irish citizens with the truth.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ideologically, there’s little surprise it will be positioned on right of political spectrum, but not obdurately so

Labour Party leader Joan Burton and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny (centre) have seen support for th Coalition parties grow, while support for Gerry Adams’s Sinn Féin is flat.

Independent candidates and smaller partiessee support fall, while Sinn Féin plateaues

 Lucinda Creighton and Billy Timmins  at Leinster House to register the launch of  Renua Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

In less than a year, more than 100 professionals have built a political organisation

Lucinda Creighton at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin to launch new political party Renua. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Organisation in ‘advanced discussions’ with 140 potential candidates for next general election

Paudie McGahon (above) and the other complainant said they were aged 14 and 17 at the time of the alleged rapes and have named the same man. Photograph: BBC

SF chief’s defence of his and party’s handling of case meets with chorus of political censure

Arthur Morgan, a Dáil deputy for Louth until 2011, met Paudie  McGahon in late 2008 and 2009 when he had complained that the IRA man who had allegedly raped him was no longer in exile but was back living in the jurisdiction. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Arthur Morgan met McGahon who said alleged rapist was back living in jurisdiction

On RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland on Wednesday, Sinn Féin  leader Gerry Adams said he believed Paudie McGahon was raped but, when asked if he had been brought before an IRA kangaroo court, he said he did not know. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Violent struggle from which party has emerged makes Sinn Féin a special case

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton at a press conference to mark the Government’s fourth year in office. Photograph: Eric Luke

Successes were trumpeted, failures airbrushed out and the back patted

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he wanted to see a  situation where laws and Constitutional amendments were co-drafted rather than subsequently translated into Irish, albeit with consultation. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Concern that marriage between heterosexual couple may have been found unconstitutional

“The most important score card isn’t the one for the past four years - it will be the one for the next 12 months.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the Fine Gael and Labour Party coalition

Electioneering costs money and parties still manage to raise substantial amounts of private funding. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Sinn Féin disclosed €21,000 in donations in 2013; Fianna Fail declared zero

“On constitutional matters the term of the Conservative Cameron government has been distinguished by growing crisis,” Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said.

Murphy points to similar economic model of two states amid fears of ‘Brexit’

The transparency of Friends of Sinn Féin’s returns exceeds legal requirements, the party’s national treasurer Jonathan O’Brien has said.

Jonathan O’Brien responds to ‘Irish Times’ report that SF raised $12m over 20 years

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly with  Aoife (9) and Cathal Gray (7) from Ringsend, Dublin, after the plain-packaging Bill was passed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

James Reilly says tobacco industry will file ‘more in the hope than certainty’

Senator Mary White said she was extremely proud to be the first woman selected by Fianna Fáil for the general election. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

White defeats Shay Brennan and Liam Dockery as candidate in Dublin Rathdown

Fianna Fáil spokesman on Finance Michael McGrath said his party “voted against the Government amendment because it was self-serving and self-congratulatory.” Photograph: Alan Betson.

Finance spokesman Michael McGrath says Tánaiste misrepresented his party’s position

 John Martin, of the New Land League, speaking to members of the media at the entrance to Gorse Hill, the home of Brian O’Donnell, at  Vico Road, Killiney. Photograph: Eric Luke

Group sees itself as modern version of Michael Davitt’s Land League

Cameras are brandished by both sides as water charge protesters gather outside the Labour Party conference in Killarney. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Analysis: YouTube and Facebook key tools for protesters throughout State

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman says  participants in the illegal immigrant scheme could accrue credits in a number of categories. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Justice spokesman Niall Collins says illegal immigrants can earn right to have status regularised

The draft wording sets out a list of guarantees that IAG, headed by Willie Walsh (pictured), must fulfil before any offer can be considered by the Government. Photograph: Alan Betson

Motion comes amid a change of attitude within Government to the offer from IAG

Dublin MEP has praised Charlie McCreevy for having the foresight to set up fund

Fianna Fáil has selected Cllr Jack Chambers to contest the general election in Dublin West. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Rival David McGuinness alleges ‘class divide’ in party and says he may leave as a result

Jean-Claude Juncker: “For too long, energy has been exempt from the fundamental freedoms of our union.”

Aspects of Jean-Claude Juncker’s plan criticised by Green Party and by Greenpeace

Fianna Fáil councillor Jack Chambers has argued that the application by nine delegates to move back into Dublin West comes “at the eleventh hour” and goes against the party’s principles of one-member one-vote. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photograpy

Complaint lodged to party headquarters ahead of close battle between councillors Jack Chambers and David McGuinness

 Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: Conceded that the Government never directly asked for debt write-down. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Enda Kenny has eye on election, Michael Noonan has swipe at Yanis Varoufakis

Ireland needs to diversify its fuel sources and not depend on coal-fired power stations such as Moneypoint. Photograph: Neil Warner for ESB

Carbon dioxide emissions fell in the recession but are now rising again. Without dramatic policy changes, Ireland won’t achieve i(...)

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. He will emphasise a number of areas where he says things are being done well. “Medicine prices are falling for patients and taxpayers due to greater competition and tough negotiations. Our ambulance services are improving.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Health to say it will take us several years to rebuild health service

Séamus Ó Tuathail SC: said that as a result of the use of the plural, “fir” and “mná”, it could be that the amendment would explicitly permit marriage between men, and marriage between women, but not marriage between individuals of the opposite sex. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Call for co-drafting of laws in English and Irish to avoid differences of interpretation

Besides worries about climate change and security of supply, Ireland faces a capacity issue. Photograph: Eirgrid

Energy is not one of Ireland’s strengths: we import almost 90 per cent of our power, we’ve made little progress in renewables, and(...)

Damien O’Neill of Greenwood Park in Coolock was sent   to prison for 56 days. Photograph: Collins Courts

Core supporters of the campaign will bristle with anger at jailing of protesters

A rally in support of the jailed protesters will be held in Dublin today, Friday, and is expected to draw thousands of people. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Five found to have defied orders not to go within 20m of meter installations

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed the date of the same-sex marriage referendum is Friday May 22nd: he said he hoped it would be passed and an image sent out of a “tolerant and inclusive Ireland”

Taoiseach talks of Troika, same-sex marriage vote date and errors in ‘Prime Time’ interview

Finance Minister Michael Noonan: A&E consultant Dr James Gray noticed the condition of exopthalmus (bulging) of the eye when watching a report of Mr Noonan attending another meeting of EU ministers in Brussels. Mr Noonan later underwent surgery. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Conor Lenihan and Jim Daly also had medical issues picked up by doctors watching TV

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (left) talks to Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos next to Michael Noonan during a European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels February 17th, 2015. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Analysis: Deal for Greece could be electoral setback for Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil

“I already do bootcamp twice a week,” says Senator Averil Power, “but I don’t think this is quite the same thing.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Party has no women TDs and only two of its 14 Senators are female

Former president and UN secretary-general’s special envoy on climate change Mary Robinson (right) with Tánaiste Joan Burton. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

The ‘Robinson era’ is recalled as being both profound and epoch-changing

Meetings of European finance ministers are usually as exciting as a double physics class held on Lough Derg during a penance weekend. Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister. Photographer: Matt Dunham/Bloomberg

Finance ministers leave in state of disarray while anti-austerity cohort watches closely

The debate on developing states had moved from overseas development aid to international tax policies in the past ten years.

UN special rapporteur says loopholes and schemes damage Ireland’s reputation

Secretary of state for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers has said the British government “fully recognises” the sensitivities surrounding the decision not to have a British royal presence at the commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

NI Secretary of State responds after Minister says royal family ‘unlikely’ to attend 1916 ceremony

Heather Humphreys: says more than 3,200 turf-cutters have applied for compensation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister tells colleagues she will take new measures to comply with laws

Frances Fitzgerald: to bring the Children and Family Relationship Bill to next week’s Cabinet meeting

Bill represents a substantial reform of how family is defined

Lucinda Creighton and Eddie Hobbs: the new party’s watchwords are reform and change, but it needs to attract ideas and personalities. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

As Lucinda Creighton prepares to launch party, Hobbs will be crucial to kickstarting campaign

Taoisach Enda Kenny: had indicated that he would liked to see Queen Elizabeth visit Ireland as part of the events surrounding the 1916 commemoration. Photograph: Bloomberg

Presence could be distraction and security concern at 100th anniversary milestone

 A  note from the office of Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys requested the Irish language be relegated to nearer the bottom of the list of principal themes  of the commemorations.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Government documents show preparations were under considerable time pressure

Anne Ferris: Wicklow TD said that Labour should allow its TDs a free vote and that the issue of constitutionality could be teased out at committee stage. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The |rish Times

Wicklow TD Ann Ferris and Clare representative Michael McNamara may oppose whip

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern: Visiting Tehran

Former taoiseach was invited by Iranian labour minister Ali Rabiei

People take part in the weekend protest against water charges in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Number of households which have registered is an improvement - but not a breakthrough

The Labour Party has said that no disciplinary action will be taken against Wicklow TD Anne Ferris after she abstained in the Dáil vote last night on the establishment of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Wicklow deputy had flagged her issues with new Mother and Baby Homes commission

 The latest European Commission surveillance report has warned that the effectiveness of the new mortgage controls introduced by the Central Bank could be adversely affected if  Government proceeds with a mortgage insurance scheme. Photograph by Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

European Commission says Central Bank controls could be undermined by plans

David Flanagan on Howling Ridge, Carrauntoohil, Kerry.  Photograph: Peter McMahon

David Flanagan’s book on rock-climbing will become a classic, with its high-quality photographs and accurate route descriptions

Alan Kelly:  a more realistic time frame was that the commission would be  operational ahead of the next European and local elections, in 2019. Photograph: : Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister says it will not be ready in time for 2016 general election

President Michael D Higgins was verbally abused by anti-water protesters as he visited a school in Finglas last week. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Anti-water charge group gathered outside school President was visiting in Finglas

Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan accepts there is a lot of opposition to plans to require  homebuyers have one fifth of the  purchase price on deposit. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Final decision on controversial issue of 20 per cent deposit on houses to be addressed

Independent TD Michael Lowry has denied that a note he sent to Taoiseach Enda Kenny about reappointing his former PR adviser to the National Transport Authority was sexist and reflected cronyism. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

TD described former PR adviser as ‘bright, intelligent and not bad looking’

The Dail Chamber.  TDs  will always expect to receive or make phone calls of a highly or sensitive nature.

Analysis: Valid reasons why Oireachtas members shouldn’t have call records monitored

The Central Bank Act 1942 have statutorily prohibited the bank from disclosing a huge array of confidential documents

Banking inquiry Bill will allow only very limited scope in using information

Colm O Gorman, Mary Murphy, Tom Arnold  and Michael Mc Dowell at the Convention on the Constitution in February 2014. Photogaph: Cyril Byrne

People to vote on same-sex marriage and age of eligibility for presidential candidates

Who of today’s strong performers could become tomorrow’s political figureheads?

Mick Wallace: The system is broken. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe submits new dossier on penalty points

Irish Water says the  changes announced last November “have had no net impact Irish Water’s total income”.   Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney

Leaked EU Commission report expressed concerns over independence of the body

The European Commission is critical of the significant changes made to the water charging structure introduced by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.    Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Report expresses fears that cuts create ‘uncertainty’ over Irish Water’s finances

Analysis: Vote will be a defining moment in the history of the State, writes Harry McGee

 The wording of the Referendum on Marriage Equality has been published by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government prepares Implementation Bill to address legislative changes as campaigns begin

Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney “should have known better” than to say he is willing to consider a pact with Fianna Fáil after the next election.

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch criticises disloyalty to Government

The wording for the same-sex marriage referendum has been agreed at a special Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday morning

‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex’

Minster for Agriculture Simon Coveney: ‘No major impediment preventing Fine Gael  from entering a coalition with Fianna Fáil’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Cork South Central TD Jerry Buttimer says Fianna Fáil did ‘untold damage’ to State

Tánaiste Joan Burton said she was ‘full of admiration’ for the way Minister for Health Leo Varadkar disclosed his sexuality publicly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste praises Minister for Health’s ‘courage’ in disclosing his sexuality following radio interview

Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has indicated she may put her name toward to contest the next general election.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Said local Fianna Fáil members are encouraging her but she has yet to decide

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 was published on Monday afternoon by the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly. Photograph: Alan Betson

Promises a low carbon economy by 2050 without binding targets for emissions

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is adamant the party “does not want to go into government as a minority party”. Photograph: Eric Luke

2015 will see party getting ‘match-fit’ for election, leader says

‘In 1980 when Haughey told the people that “collectively, we are living beyond our means,” he just could not bring himself to follow up his tough rhetoric with equally durable actions.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

‘The natural instinct for a politician is to find the path of least resistance for every decision that is made. Anyone looking at (...)

Aidan Gillen (left) plays late former taoiseach Charles Haughey (right) in RTÉ1’s ongoing drama, Charlie. Photographs: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times/RTÉ

Final episode of RTÉ1 series Charlie on late former taoiseach screens on Sunday night

Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh claims the Government has sat on its hands since the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s review of the Irish pension system was published. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Move designed to deal with situation where half of private sector workers are not in pension scheme

Lucinda Creighton said: “Anyone who feels the media should be curtailed from unfettered freedom has no place in our political party.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Dr Ali Selim said he was interested in talking to Creighton about new party

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said he plans to tackle the issue of hospital beds after previous  measures failed to halt the current crisis. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Health ‘sick to death’ of overcrowding in emergency departments

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has said his priority for funding heavy rail is to protect the operational network and to maintain safety standards rather than to expand the network. “I have no immediate plans to further expand the rail network,” he said. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Limerick-Galway route will be maintained but not extended

Ambulances outside Beaumont Hospital in Dublin on January 6th, 2015, as the overcrowding crisis in Irish hospitals reaches new record proportions with more than 600 patients on trolleys. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Consultants warn patients will die without steps to relieve crowded hospital units

Harry Magee passes through hurling country on the 13.45 from Galway to Ennis.

Harry McGee takes the 13.45 to Ennis on the ‘Hogwart’s Express’ of the west

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett says he is ‘quite confident in predicting that some form of alliance or common platform will be established’. Photograph: Frank Miller

Richard Boyd Barrett says informal discussions going on between left-wing parties

Department of the Environment in a statement said the description of the meetings of the Irish Water Consultative Group as ‘secret’ was ‘utter nonsense’.

Irish Water and Department of the Environment say staff numbers at utility have fallen from 4,300 to 3,900

Joan Burton has launched 

a searing attack on the Government’s opponents.

Tánaiste condemns ‘economic kamikaze’ of SF and right wing’s ‘undue austerity’

Leo Varadkar believes Irish politics is likely to fragment. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Four separate political groupings may have a similar number of seats after the next election

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