Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness  and Minister for Education John O’Dowd. File photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

John O’Dowd accuses paramilitaries of being ‘conflict junkies’ following bomb incident

Inside Russborough House, Blessington, Co Wicklow. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ex-National Gallery board member says sale of Beit Collection is better than alternative

 European Council President Donald Tusk:  “I am really afraid of this ideological or political contagion, not financial contagion, of this Greek crisis”. Photograph:  EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

Tactical alliance between far right and far left a precursor to Europe’s darkest moments

Pearse Doherty: letter shows Government “blatently misinforming” Eurostat. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Cathaoirleach says attempt to have Eurostat decision debated not warranted

Independent senator Gerard Craughwell said the decision of Eurostat that Irish Water had to remain on the State’s books was a matter of national importance that needed a full public debate. Photograph: Eric Luke

Independent senator Gerard Craughwell called for recall to debate water controversy

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty has accused the Government of providing misinformation on the true nature of the Eurostat decision.

SF says Eurostat ‘drives horse and cart’ through claim the €100 grant is independent

Portrait of a bearded man, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), in three-quarter profile, bust-length, with a white collar and gold chainsoil on oak panel, unframed was earmarked for sale.

Humphreys: State doesn't have funds of between €10m and €15m to acquire them

Protesters at an Anti-Water Charges Rally in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Eurostat verdict means big hit for Coalition as election looms, writes Stephen Collins

An Taisce said most of the Beit paintings were only withdrawn from auction following the lodgement of its legal action

Crunch talks on artworks in wake of High Court finding on contentious export licences

Oireachtas banking inquiry chairman Ciarán Lynch said it is critical the inquiry survives recent controversies about its operation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Inquiry to consider legal advice in relation to ex-Anglo chief giving evidence by video link

The for Criminal Assets Bureau investigator says cigarettes have become the new cocaine trade – but without the risk. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Report notes that black-market imports from Asia cost exchequer €250m each year

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.    Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Review to examine whether planning body is positioned to meet future challenges

‘ The failure of Kenny and Burton to accept that they or their parties might have got anything wrong  . . . will do nothing to help the country avoid making a similar mess in the future.’ Above, a screen grab of Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Banking Inquiry

Stephen Collins: Taoiseach and Tánaiste gave the most politically partisan accounts of any of the witnesses to date about the ev(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny gives evidence at the Banking Inquiry

Enda Kenny and Joan Burton criticise previous government at banking inquiry

Eamon Ryan said the country needed Green policies like public banking, which removed profit from the lending equation, and instead provides a social dividend to local communities. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Eamon Ryan says country needs Green policies like public banking

The appointment of a raft of new judges by the Government has raised questions regarding the separation of powers, according to Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

System where those in power choose candidates ‘undermines separation of powers’

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald:  “We have reached a point where Italy and Greece, who are really on the front line, are under unsustainable pressure.” Photograph: Collins

Migrants, mainly from Syria and Eritrea, will arrive from Italian and Greek ‘hot spots’

Before the banking inquiry ...  Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern “accounted for his stewardship   with some aplomb.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Personal jibes at Bertie Ahern distract from the key problem that public spending raced out of control during his time, encourage(...)

Former Lord Mayor of Dublin Alexis Fitzgerald. File  Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Popular politican was key figure in party’s renewal in 70s and 80s

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern photographed in his office in 2001. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Despite controversy over personal finances he was one of most popular leaders in history of state

The Taoiseach told the parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday night that a lot of work remained to be done before the election. Photograph: Getty Images

Party intends to have selection conventions completed by beginning of October

US troops at Shannon airport. File Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Experts brief Oireachtas committee on use of of Shannon by US forces

Contrasting styles . . . Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Taoiseach Enda Kenny chat during a recent summit. Photograph: EPA/Julien Arnand.

After five tough years Irish economy is growing more strongly than any other in EU

The overall increase of 12 per cent in the cost of healthcare in the Netherlands occurred during a period when the number of insured people increased by only 1.5 per cent. The vast majority (78 per cent) of the increase in costs is accounted for by hospitals. Photograph: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP/Getty Images.

Healthcare cost in Netherlands rose 12% in three years, says departmental report

Irish-US links and the political impasse in Northern Ireland were among the subjects discussed in meetings between the speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Issue of undocumented Irish also covered as US speaker and Taoiseach meet in Dublin

 African migrants become upset  as Italian police attempt to remove them at the Franco-Italian border between Menton and Ventimiglia during June 2015. Photograph: Sebastien Nogier/EPA

Fine Gael TD John Deasy says ‘unwise’ to act without clearer picture of African migration

The final report was brought to Cabinet this morning by Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin but has yet to be approved by Government. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Report says asylum seekers should be allowed work after nine months in system

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny arrives at the EU Council headquarters at the start of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, June 26th. Photograph: Reuters/Eric Vidal

‘Fianna Fáil appears stranded in no man’s land’

Peter Sutherland: said the migration crisis was a problem “which can only be dealt with collectively, not in isolation to one another”.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Agreement reached on voluntary basis, suggesting that some countries may not take part in the process

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at  the Maximos Mansion in Athens for a crucial governmental council meeting  yesterday evening. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Euro finance ministers meet for fifth time in over week in latest bid for agreement

British prime minister David Cameron, speaks to Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: AP

If deal signed-off by finance ministers bailout could be extended, says Taoiseach

 Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and German chancellor Angela Merkel share a light moment during the EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Negotiations between Alexis Tsipras and country’s creditors break down again

TaoiseachEnda Kenny arrives for a European People’s Party (EPP) meeting  in Brussels. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Taoiseach predicts talks at Brussels summit will extend into weekend

Emily Logan, chief commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission: ‘Repeal of the act would have negative consequences for rights’. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Emily Logan claims proposed repeal of Human Rights Act will damage North accord

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development  Phil Hogan. “Our populations are ageing rapidly and we still need major reforms to ensure pensions and healthcare systems can cope with this societal shift.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Agriculture commissioner says European Commission will produce proposals on social policy, following years of economic adjus(...)

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: “It is essential that our road traffic laws are both respected and enforced. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Figures show many are getting away without points by not bringing licence to court

‘Kevin Cardiff made no bones about the fact that Ireland was pushed into the EU/IMF bailout in November 2010 but he also said he felt grateful that the institutions were prepared to fund Ireland for three years.’ Above, then taoiseach Brian Cowen and minister for finance, Brian Lenihan,   making a statement following the Cabinet meeting  regarding the EU/IMF  bailout in 2010. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / THE IRISH TIMES

‘When the storm struck Brian Lenihan and Brian Cowen did what was required to stop the country sliding over the edge of the abyss’(...)

The Government has today decided to withdraw 1c and 2c coins from circulation, with prices being rounded up or down as appropriate. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Central Bank welcomes decision and will assume responsibility for changeover

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly. Mr Kelly has welcomed the news that the  variable mortgage interest rate for homeowners with loans from local authorities is being cut by 0.2 per cent.   Photograph: Dave Meehan

Homeowners with loans from local authorities will see a decrease in interest rate

More than 1,200 cases of illegal fuel laundering and waste dumping have been dealt with by local authorities South of the Border over the past five years. File photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Senator Paul Coghlan seeks cross-border task force to combat environmental issue

‘Former Labour TD, Róisín Shortall (above), had been talking to left-wing Independent Catherine Murphy, Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly and same-sex marriage campaigner Senator Katherine Zappone.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

‘In the past few days a rival group of Independents TDs and senators have engaged in talks aimed at forming a more ideologically c(...)

The resignation of  Garda commissioner Martin  Callinan (above) in March 2014 caused a political storm. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Parties have 21 days to object to inquiry’s findings on resignation of Garda chief

In Brussels on Wednesday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny indicated the Commission of Inquiry into IBRC may extend beyond December. Photograph:  Etienne Laurent/EPA

Dáil backs inquiry terms of reference after row over whether they could cover latest claims

Catherine Murphy speaking about IBRC and Denis O’Brien during Dáil proceedings on Thursday, May 28th, 2015.

Denis O’Brien letters to Ceann Comhairle urged action over Murphy Dáil claims

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty (left) has  claimed that Denis O’Brien had a €315 million loan from IBRC extended in late 2013. This has been disputed by sources with knowledge of the IBRC liquidation.

Sinn Féin TD says businessman agreed extension after IBRC liquidation

Eamon Gilmore has decided to stand down at the next election. ‘He and his colleagues knuckled down played a central role in implementing the policies that underpinned the recovery, kept public services functioning and broadly protected welfare payments.’  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Given that it is six years since pay cuts for public servants were introduced something had to give’

Inside the Dáil chamber. File Photograph: Alan Betson/The  Irish Times

Article 15 of Constitution confers freedom of speech on TDs, Senators

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin demanded to know last night why, after repeated refusals to set up a commission of inquiry, he had changed his mind. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Chances of commission of inquiry reporting by Christmas are remote

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. The Government announced last night that the inquiry into IBRC has been upgraded to a Commission of Investigation.   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Coalition denies Opposition claims of u-turn after upgrading investigation

Catherine Murphy is surrounded by the media after leaving the Four Courts on Tuesday after the High Court clarified that  The Irish Times, RTÉ and other media can report comments by Murphy in the Dáil about businessman Denis O’Brien’s financial affairs. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Scrutiny of IBRC transactions entitled to examine rates charged to large borrowers

Newly elected Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Kilkenny, Deputy Bobby Aylward (wearing purple tie)  arriving at Leinster House  with Micheál Martin and members of the Fianna Fáil Party. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Challenge facing Fianna Fáil is to replicate byelection performance

It is an unprecedented development that the mainstream media have been prevented from publishing privileged remarks in the Dáil due to the threat of legal action. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Nobody in Leinster House can recall a court order prohibiting publication of privileged remarks

Michael McNamara TD: ’I believe the Labour Party has done a good job in government.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Clare deputy was only Coalition member to vote against Aer Lingus stake sale to IAG

According to a document provided to Commission members, Joan Blackbyrne  tripped over exposed wires in TD Thomas Pringle’s office. Photograph: Alan Betson

Joan Blackbyrne’s claim among a number of actions against Oireachtas

Former Government chief whip John Curran has been selected as the Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Mid-West in the next general election

Former chief whip holds off Trevor Gilligan and Catriona McClean for nomination

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: “These are gains worth fighting for and, working with our partners, the Government is determined that the potential represented by the agreement will be realised.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Minister briefs Cabinet colleagues on implications of impasse over welfare reform and budgetary matters

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, who staged a sit-in in the Dáil chamber last November and was found later by the Committee on Procedure and Privileges to have ‘abused parliamentary privilege’. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Dáil Committee on Procedure and Privileges to make decision on standing orders

Peter Robinson underwent a procedure for a heart condition on Monday. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Minister says debate must proceed despite Stormont deadlock over welfare reform

At the referendum  count in the RDS,  from left: Labour TDs Alex White,  John Lyons, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Kevin Humphreys. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Former tánaiste Eamon Gilmore first to put issue on agenda

 Dave Power, Mount merrion and Paul Byrne, Swords wait for the official results, in the court yard of Dublin Castle on Saturday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says legislation could be passed before summer

Labour will feel it deserves greatest return for pushing referendum onto political agenda

‘Thankfully the true neighbourly feelings that exist between the vast majority of people that live in these islands can be expressed without inhibition now that the slow learners of the political world have come to terms with the reality.’ Above, Prince Charles and   his wife Camilla  are welcomed  to Mullaghmore, Co Sligo. Photograph:  Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA

‘It is 20 years since Prince Charles attended a State banquet in Dublin Castle hosted by the then taoiseach John Bruton but it has(...)

Newly-married couple Anne Fox (nee Cole) and Vincent Fox cast their votes in Dublin in  the referendum on their wedding day. Photograph: Getty

Most people with jobs set to vote in same-sex marriage and presidential referendums between 7pm and 10pm

 Yes Equality leaders joined  fellow Yes campaigners  to call for “one final push” in advance of polling day on the same-sex marriage referendum.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Over 3.2 million people entitled to vote in referendums on same-sex marriage and reducing the age of presidential candidates

Sinn Féin has high hopes  its candidate, Cllr Kathleen Funchion, will poll better than the party did in last year’s local elections in the county. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Win for Fianna Fáil candidate would help silence Micheál Martin’s internal party critics

The Taoiseach said Ireland could make history by voting “yes to inclusion, yes to rights, yes to love and yes to equality, yes to equal marriage”. Photograph: Getty Images

Margin now closing between sides in final stages of campaign, according to Ministers

Peter Sutherland: “I could not continue as  chairman of Goldman Sachs and give the migration question the attention it deserves.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Former EU commissioner is leaving GSI to devote more time to migration issues

Just 5% of Independent voters mentioned anti-austerity or water charges as motivating their choice, while 2% said they were socialists

Top of wish list is that local candidate works in area and concentrates on regional issues

Migrants  inside the  hull of their wooden boat off the coast of Libya:  Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) and Moas (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) rescued 561 migrants on Thursday May 14th. Photograph: Jason Florio/Moas/Reuters

Total of 52% did not support taking migrants but views varied across class and geography

Enda Kenny: the ‘Irish Times’/Ipsos MRBI poll asked who people would vote for if an election were held tomorrow: the results were Fine Gael 28%; Labour 7%; Fianna Fáil 20%; Sinn Féin 21%; and Independents/Others 24%. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Fianna Fáil popularity up but Labour static and support for SF and Independents falls

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Rise in support for Fine Gael is encouraging for those in the party who want Kenny to call an early election. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll shows FG strong in key demographic groups

Prince Charles: Gerry Adams said the prince was the colonel-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment, which had been responsible for the killing of many Irish citizens, but added that the prince had also been bereaved by the actions of republicans. Photograph: Alastair Grant/PA Wire

The decision was made at meeting of party’s ard comhairle in Kilkenny on Saturday

 Niall Collins: with exceptions “the main Opposition party has not been represented on any RTÉ debate panel”. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Director general Noel Curran told perspectives offered to public being limited

Same-sex marriage referendum: When undecided voters are excluded, the poll indicates that 70 per cent of voters intend to vote Yes and 30 per cent say they will vote No.

Yes retains commanding lead with under one week to go before people cast vote

‘The Lib Dems ended up with just eight seats out of 650 in the House of Commons while their Conservative partners in government won an unexpected overall majority. So does the same fate await the Labour Party here?’ Above,  the  leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg  announces  his resignation after the  British general election. PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

‘A crucial tactical decision made by Labour was to claim credit for the totality of the Coalition’s record’

Angela Kerins, the former chief executive of Rehab, claims  the PAC conducted itself unlawfully, showing bias towards her and acting outside its remit. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former Rehab chief is suing PAC for alleged distress and injury

A new group of teachers has called for a No vote in the same-sex marriage referendum, claiming that  teachers would be obliged to teach a new model of marriage if the vote passes. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Organisation claims educators would be obliged to teach new model of matrimony

A spokesman said Enda Kenny emphasised it would not be in Ireland’s interests to see Britain leave the EU

Fine Gael MEP outlines challenges posed by Cameron negotiating with EU states

‘Fine Gael will aspire to a similar share of the national vote as the Conservatives but will get nothing like the seat bonus provided by the straight vote system.’ Above,  people in London take copies of a free newspaper showing the Conservative Party’s election victory. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Stephen Collins: ‘The lesson for Enda Kenny and Joan Burton is that poor poll results may mean nothing when people are faced with(...)

Five more years: A file image of  Enda Kenny (R)  with British prime minister David Cameron. Many politicians in Dublin were hoping for a Labour victory as that would have put paid to a UK referendum in the short term at least. Photograph:  Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

Many Irish politcians wanted Labour win but Cameron’s majority may have a silver-lining

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has claimed the Government, other political parties and the media have remained silent about a series of attacks on his party representatives in recent weeks. Photpograph: Eric Luke

Said that in the past week there have been seven death threats against representatives

‘Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan put reductions in income tax at the core of their plans in a clear attempt to appeal to the party’s middle-class base which has been eroded over the four years in government. By contrast the centre point of Brendan Howlin’s speech to the Dáil was the announcement that talks on reversing the cuts in the pay and pensions of public servants would begin later this year.’ Above, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin at  the press conference in Government Buildings after the publication of the spring economic statement. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘Persuading the electorate that its true interests are better served by Labour’s way rather than the Sinn Féin/Syriza way is the t(...)

Sean O’Rourke. Photograph: Frank Miller

Minister for Finance in angry exchanges with radio presenter over reports on RTÉ

Mr Noonan (left) said he had “absolute hard evidence” that €1.2bn would be available for tax cuts and spending increases in the October budget. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Up to €1.5bn set to be available for tax cuts and tangible improvement in public services

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath: While there was some justice in his dismissal of the exercise as nothing new, the Coalition’s objective was to keep  voters’ minds on the economic facts of life. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Statement a tactic designed to frame the debate on the economy

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin speaking at the 76th party ardfheis at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Micheál Martin’s keynote speech proposes cut in USC and attacks SF’s take on 1916

‘The ultimate test of Martin’s leadership will be whether Fianna Fáil can make serious strides on the road back and emerge as the second largest party after the next election.’ Above, Micheál Martin at the party’s  ard fheis last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

For Micheál Martin the Siteserv controversy comes at a good time, as he heads into Fianna Fáil ard fheis

Minister of State at the Department of Finance Simon Harris insisted the Government was “not initiating this on the basis of any evidence of wrongdoing”. Photograph:   Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Noonan review to examine all IBRC deals which lost State €10 million

The Government is to set up an investigation into the sale of the assets of the former Anglo Irish Bank, following days of controversy over the sale of Siteserv to a company owned by businessman Denis O’Brien

Move comes after controversy over sale of Siteserv to company owned by Denis O’Brien

Lobbyists will be obliged by law to register activity that takes place from September 1st next.

Sipo welcomes appointment as registration system due to launch next week

 Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works Simon Harris   viewing the restored memorial books at the War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, yesterday, with Sarah McCartan, paper conservator, Marsh’s Library.

Conservation work completed on memorial records, illustrated by Harry Clarke

‘The parallel with the position Nicola Sturgeon is hoping to find herself in next month is obvious. The current Conservative appeal to English voters to stop troublesome Scots dictating who should form the government in London has many echoes of 1910.’ Above, Labour Party leader Ed Miiband and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon during the BBC Challengers’ Election Debate 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

SNP’s role in forming new government echoes that of Irish Party in 1910 election

Proposals if implemented likely to result in control of the Seanad slipping out of the hands of the political parties.   Photograph: Alan Betson

Key element would allow citizens in North and abroad to vote in election

Working group chairman Maurice Manning: “Rather than set aside a specific number of seats for emigrants and the North, we though it better to allow all citizens to vote on the same basis.” Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill

Thirty of 60 seats should be elected by universal suffrage, working group urges

The working group on Seanad reform chaired by the former leader of the House and current Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Maurice Manning, has recommended that work begin immediately on legislation to give effect to the recommendations.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Radical reform of Upper House would include extending franchise to NI residents

NUI chancellor Maurice Manning, chairman of the expert group on Seanad reform. Photograph: Alan Betson

Expert group report expected to recommend new criteria for operation of panel system

Former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the launch of the 1916 Centenary Programme in Collins Barracks. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Plan acknowledges British army and police casualties worthy of remembrance

Governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honohan: he and Michael Noonan discussed why standard variable mortgage rates in Ireland have not been cut in line with interest rate reductions by the European Central Bank.    Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Department of Finance says Patrick Honohan gave update on work being done on variable bank rates

Michael Noonan: acknowledged  the Central Bank did not have the power to force banks to reduce their rates but said the Central Bank could seek to persuade them to do so.

Noonan to ask Honohan to seek action from lenders on variable rate mortgages

Jean-Claude Trichet, former European Central Bank,   is due to address a meeting of the IIEA in a personal capacity on April 30th. Photograph: Reuters

The nexus phase of inquiry hearings will include 64 public hearings and at least 50 witnesses

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