Ireland is not part of the Schengen arrangements on travel and visas, but  it and the UK have applied to take part  in  police and criminal judicial co-operation measures. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Terror alerts: SIS II was to be introduced previously but was delayed due to cutbacks

The then Labour leader (L) Eamon Gilmore, (C) Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin during a debate on RTÉ’s Frontline programme ahead of the 2011 general election. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Party wants Oireachtas committee to discuss format such broadcasts should take

Fine Gael deputy leader and Minister for Children James Reilly received a dressing down from Taoiseach Enda Kenny in front of his party’s ministerial team over comments Dr Reilly made on abortion. Photograph: Alan Betson

Enda Kenny rebukes James Reilly in front of Ministers over newspaper interview

Taoiseach Enda Kenny during the Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Cuts to universal social charge will be key element of party’s election manifesto

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Fine Gael has promised cuts to the USC as part of its election pitch. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party borrows strategy from David Cameron as it prepares its general election pitch

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney said:  “We want people who are currently working in the fishing industry but are undocumented - we want to change their status to make sure they are legally working here under a contract of employment. Then after that first three months, there will be a quota, a cap if you like, of 500 people.” File photograph: Chris Furlong/Getty Images

One-year permits renewable, with initial intention of ‘regularising’ those already here

Mr Justice Brian Cregan: heads the IBRC Commission of Investigation. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Interim report from the IBRC Commission of Investigation published

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he had been briefed this morning by  the national security committee. Photograph: Collins

Government willing to send soldiers to replace French forces in Mali or Lebanon

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald:  Amendments, likely to be some of the final changes to the Bill, were signed off by Ministers and will be published on Wednesday. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister for Justice accused of ‘complete emasculation’ of the promised reforms

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: said reforms “represent substantial progress”.   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Justice criticised for changes to Alan Shatter’s Legal Services Regulation Bill

Ministers Brendan Howlin and Michael Noonan. File photograph: Alan Betson

Minister claims Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil are not serious about entering government

 Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan: Ms O’Sullivan is a member of the national security committee, which met over the weekend. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Minister for Justice says threat of an attack in Ireland ‘is possible but unlikely’

Some of the 3,500 to 4,000 people who marched from the Spire in Dublin to the Dail in solidarity for tjose who died in the terrorist attacks in Paris. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach says no evidence of anything ‘untoward’ being planned in or for Ireland

Maíria Cahill has come under pressure in recent days to detail her involvement with the RNU in 2009 and 2010. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Cahill takes seat vacated by Jimmy Harte, said she had ‘dealt with the issues in my past’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: he said the Government’s record on job creation is a “positive one”, citing the announcement this week of 1,000 new jobs from Apple and 300 from recruitment website Indeed. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Government is creating 1,300 jobs a week, says Kenny as he launches Enterprise 2025

Pat Carey has stepped down as Fianna Fáil director of elections. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Carey ‘absolutely and unconditionally denies any impropriety’ in statement

The permits will apply for one year, renewable annually. Photograph: Getty Images

Fitzgerald tables new work visa scheme in wake of ‘Guardian’ report alleging abuse

Labour leader Joan Burton. “The task for her party is to take its share of the late swing if it is to avoid a PD-style meltdown.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Current polls show FG set to lead next government as junior partner languishes

Siptu president Jack O’Connor: Message seen as laying the ground for Labour’s general election campaign. Photograph: The Irish Times

Single-party Fine Gael rule must be avoided ‘at all costs’, cautions union president

 Mr Justice Brian Cregan, who is examining 37 IBRC transactions involving write-offs of more than €10 million, has distributed a draft interim report to interested parties to seek their observations.  File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Mr Justice Cregan believes he has insufficient powers to deal with documents

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Judge contacted Taoiseach’s department seeking time to distribute interim report

The Commission of Inquiry into IBRC is investigating disposals by the bank - which was the former Anglo Irish Bank - involving write-downs of €10 million or more - including the sale of Siteserv.

Attorney General Máire Whelan expected to brief Cabinet on legal options

Attorney General Maire Whelan’s role came under scrutiny following the publication of the Fennelly report. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Further scrutiny on Attorney General as some believe she should have anticipated issues

 A  statement to the Oireachtas banking inquiry  said the Central Bank misled the public about the frail state of Ireland’s financial system in the run-up to the crash.  Photograph:  Matt Kavanagh

Banking inquiry: Ex-director general says ‘things were going crazy’ as early as 2001

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tenants express concern over price increases in advance of two-year fixed rent legislation

The compromise  agreed between Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly (left) and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan offers something for both sides to claim a partial victory.

Analysis: Peace at last in ideological spat garnished with spice of personality clashes

Alan Kelly  initial plan to link rent increases to the Consumer Price Index has been abandoned.   Photograph: Dave Meehan

Coalition agrees housing plan after weeks of negotiations

Artist’s impression of the Narrow Water Bridge project, which will link Omeath in Co Louth with Warrenpoint in Co Down. Photograph: Louth Council/PA Wire

Parties request infrastructural funding for Northern Ireland as part of Stormont talks

Former junior minister John Perry has outlined why he should he included on the Fine Gael general election ticket. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Party sources still say ex-junior minister unlikely to be added to general election ticket

 John Perry:  failed to secure a place on the Fine Gael  ticket for Sligo-Leitrim after the executive council issued a directive to select one candidate from each county. Photograph: James Connolly/PicSell8

Sligo-Leitrim TD tables parliamentary party meeting motion calling for explanation from TDs who sit on party’s executive council(...)

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: his party  was one of the first out of the blocks this week to announce it was signing up to Right2Change

Right2Change parties may co-operate on transfers in upcoming general election

Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy have formally turned down Sinn Féin advances to take part in a left wing election transfer pact. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times.

Ruth Coppinger TD says Right2Change campaign has become ‘prop’ for Sinn Féin

Eamon Gilmore speaking at a press conference in Iveagh House, Dublin, this afternoon, during which he announced his resignation as Labour Party leader: Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Memoir from former Tánaiste says he was quelling anger at Joan Burton’s actions

The Social Democrats, the new party formed by TDs Roisín Shortall (right), Catherine Murphy (centre) and Stephen Donnelly, has declined to sign up to the broad left wing platform already adopted by Sinn Féin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times.

Sinn Féin involved in Right2Change transfer pact arising from anti-water charge movement

Minister of State at the Department of Justice Aodhán Ó Ríordáin last month said the homeless and housing crisis in Dublin meant refugees should be accommodated elsewhere in the country. Photograph: Reuters

New arrivals expected to be situated in long-term accommodation beyond capital

The Widow Scallan’s Pub in Pearse Street, Dublin, where Martin Doherty was killed. Photograph: The Irish Times

Martin Doherty shot dead on Pearse Street outside Widow Scallans pub

Mary Lou McDonald:  Denied move was an act of “desperation” by Sinnn Féin. Photograph: The Irish Times

McDonald says it will be ‘unforgivable’ if left-wing groups do not grasp opportunity

The body of Martin Doherty, who was shot dead in The Widow Scallan’s public house, being removed from his home at Wellmount Road, Finglas, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Family of man killed while standing guard at Widow Scallans make links to other devices

Alan Kelly said: put simply, people are paying more in rent than they possibly would be in mortgages in Dublin.

Minister dismisses ‘cowardly’ critical comments about him from unattributed sources

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald  speaks to reporters on the party’s vote transfer pact. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin enters vote transfer deal with parties, Independents linked to Right2Change

Sinn Féin will announce this week that it has signed up to a number of broad policy principles drafted by those behind the anti-water charges movement and ask its supporters to transfer to others who support the initiative. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party signs up to broad policy principles of those in anti-water charges movement

The current limit is set at €250 and Michael Noonan’s increase to €500 was expected to take effect from 2016 onwards. Photograph: Getty Images

Michael Noonan to ensure increase from €250 to €500 takes effect before Christmas

Taiseach Enda Kenny and the Fine Gael party received pleas from TD John Perry who lost at the selection convention for Sligo-Leitrim last weekend, to add him to the ticket. Photograph: Eric Luke

TD ‘pleaded’ with party and Taoiseach Enda Kenny to add him to the campaign ticket

  Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “If ATM machines actually ran out of money, there was quite clearly security considerations and there were discussions about what might be done.”  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Micheál Martin says Taoiseach owes a ‘full explanation and cannot hide behind confidentiality’

Tánaiste  Joan Burton and Minister of State at Department of Social Protection Kevin Humphreys speak to reporters at the  publication of the Social Welfare Bill on Friday at  Government Buildings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says her party’s approach to pensions will be set out in election manifesto

A report,  Rent Stability in the Private Rented Sector, is critical of rent controls in general but says the approach favoured by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly may be seen by landlords as limiting their potential returns. File photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Consultants’ report says rent controls would worsen problems in private rental sector

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has come under pressure from Fine Gael TDs on the issue of rural crime, with calls for CCTV cameras in some towns.   Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

John Perry insists he will run for party in general election despite convention defeat

 Minister for Children James Reilly:  introduced the change in an amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Jillian van Turnhout, to the Children First Bill.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Children confirms plan to withdraw defence of reasonable chastisement

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: informed the Cabinet of the changes to the small benefit tax measures on Tuesday. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Good news if your employer gives you a little something at Christmas time

The selection of Prof Philip Lane (46) was ratified by the Cabinet on a recommendation from Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Collins Photos

Trinity College economist nominated to succeed Patrick Honohan as governor

Billy Walsh has been offered a contract to head up the women’s boxing programme in the USA. Photograph: Francis Myers/Inpho

Taoiseach says he understands parting is ‘not anything to do with remuneration’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Taoiseach selected as a general election candidate for the constituency at convention

Former Fine Gael TD John Perry with Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Mr Perry  lost out at the selection convention for Sligo-North Leitrim in a close contest over weekend. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

FG candidate says he understands why Perry would find it difficult to accept the result

Negotiations between Alan Kelly’s department and the Department of Finance on a housing package are to resume this week. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour deputy leader has been pushing for rents to be linked to consumer price index

The  Council of Europe ruled earlier this year that the lack of a clear ban on smacking in Ireland violates young people’s rights.

Minister for Children seeks approval to remove defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin for the Fine Gael dinner on Saturday  night, October 17th, 2015. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Taoiseach repeats pledge that the Universal Social Charge would be abolished entirely

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan  signs a book of condolences at Dundalk Garda station for the late Garda Tony Golden.  Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Book of condolences for Garda Tony Golden defaced at Drogheda Garda station

In January, the total number of homeless persons in the State was 3,845 - 865 children, 539 parents and 2,441 adults with no dependents, according to  data just published by the Department of the Environment. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Recovering economy would be the ‘engine’ to help solve homelessness crisis - Kenny

 Fine Gael  leader Enda Kenny  with former minister of state John Perry. File Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Former junior minister claims he was ‘hung out to dry’ on hospital issue

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

State will take in 4,000 refugees over two years as part of EU response to crisis

Minister for Public Expenditure  and reform Brendan Howlin and Minister for Finance  Michael Noonan at a press conference on the 2016 Budget. Photograph: Alan Betson

In front of Leinster House, gardaí mounted barricades for protesters who never came

Tánaiste Joan Burton at a press conference on the 2016 Budget at Government Buildings. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny wants to abolish charge while Burton wants cuts for low-income earners

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin at Government Buildings ahead of their Budget presentation. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

A 50 cents rise in cost of 20 cigarettes - effective from midnight - is only tax increase

The €1.5 billion package of tax cuts and spending increases contains a number of sweeteners. Photograph: Getty Images

Reductions in USC, a rise in the old-age pension, more teachers and gardaí to be hired

Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance speaking to media after the publication of End of September 2015 Exchequer Returns at the Department of Finance. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Finance expected to announce USC concessions in the region of €600m

Enda Kenny: Labour told the Taoiseach had no reason to change his previously stated views on a spring 2016 election “at the moment”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Coalition sources acknowledge bond between party leaders must be repaired

Tánaiste  Joan Burton and Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Labour may have to pay a price for facing Fine Gael down on timing of general election

Tánaiste Joan Burton with Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Mr Kenny declined again to shut down speculation about a November poll. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government indicates a Christmas welfare bonus of 60 per cent is on the cards this year

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Frances Fitzgerald says date is Taoiseach’s prerogative as Coalition tensions go public

Joan Burton raised the timing of the election with the Taoiseach in a meeting the two had before yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Tánaiste’s hopes for a spring election contain an element of wishful thinking

Taoiseach Enda Kenny who discussed the timing of the general election with  Tánaiste Joan Burton on Thursday. Photograph: Collins

Kenny and Burton discuss election timing, Tánaiste insistent it be held in Spring

The show was to take place from April 24th-29th, the anniversary dates of the Rising. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party proposal for light show considered overtly political in run-up to anniversary

The only new tax increase to be announced by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan will be an increase in the price of tobacco.

Coalition sources rule out increase in tax on diesel and petrol in Tuesday’s budget

Michéal Martin: Has described the incident as “very serious”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Party leader Micheál Martin tells Jerry O’Dea to make further statement on controversy

A proposal to use the customer databases of cable and satellite providers Sky and UPC to track down television licence fee evaders has been rejected.

Coalition set to refuse proposal which would have given An Post access to TV firm records

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked four times this morning if he will call the election before Christmas and declined on each occasion to say whether it will take place this year or next.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach says decision to call poll will be made in ‘best interests of the country’

Ibrahim Halawa has been detained since August 2013. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa charged with taking part in banned 2013 Cairo protest

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan taking selfie. Applications can be made through smartphone app. Photograph: MerrionStreet

FAQ: Who can apply, how to apply, where can the card be used?

RTÉ headquarters. It is understood the pay rises will affect 230 people. File photograph: The Irish Times

Salary boost will be performance related unlike previous incremental pay system

 Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Coalition promise leads to renewed speculation about the date of the general election

Taoiseach Enda Kenny must decide to hold the general election within two possible windows - before or after Christmas, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (pictured) has said. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Minister for Finance says date of poll a choice for Kenny who is a ‘very good political judge’

 Exchequer figures released on  Friday will show that tax payments in September beat the official target by more than €300 million. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Partial restoration of Christmas bonus and €600m extra for health on cards

Former tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said he was honoured to accept the position. Photograph: Frank Miller

Tánaiste Joan Burton welcomes ‘prestigious position for Ireland’

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and DUP leader and former first minister Peter Robinson took part in a conference call with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to discuss the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland portfolio. Photograph: Michael Cooper/PA Wire.

SF politician told Stormont inquiry into Nama sale he had been ‘kept in the dark’

Ministers move to quash growing talk of poll taking place in November

David Donoghue, Ireland’s ambassador to the UN: ‘At the moment, our stock is very high.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Irish diplomats’ work strengthens campaign for UN Security Council seat

Ireland has further steps to take to ensure women are treated equally in society but gender equality worldwide must be a priority of our foreign policy, President Michael D Higgins has said. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times.

Michael D Higgins says women’s rights under threat from ‘extremist groups’

President Michael D Higgins, sitting next to Brazilian footballer Kaká, said the elimination of hunger “in our lifetimes” is a “powerful idea”.

President tells UN gathering extreme undernutrition is caused by ‘endemic poverty’

Lorraine Clifford Lee, who unsuccessfully contested the Dublin City Council ward of Pembroke-South Dock in last year’s local elections, is to run alongside Senator Darragh O’Brien in Dublin Fingal.

Party currently without a TD in any of the capital’s constituencies

President Michael D Higgins has called on voters to reject “cynicism and nihilism” and engage in the democratic process as the general election approaches. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Asked about Labour’s prospects, Higgins says ‘there are others you should ask that question’

President Michael D Higgins was speaking on Saturday at a session at the UN General Assembly in New York. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

President hails promise to tackle inequality but says ‘paradigm change’ needed to fulfil it

President Michael D Higgins has said Ireland needs a better way of dealing with incoming refugees and migrants and changes should be made to the existing system soon. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

The quicker direct provision changes the better, Michael D Higgins says

Taoiseach Enda Kenny delivers his address at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit  in New York. Photograph: Matt Campbell/EPA

Oxfam Ireland calls on Government to work towards goals with measures in budget

At Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, Taoiseach Enda  Kenny said Ireland is particularly attuned to the current migrant crisis in Europe, given our history of emigration. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Irish ‘particularly attuned’ to EU migrant crisis, Taoiseach says in Connecticut speech

Minister of State Michael Ring: “This is going to be the best year for tourism if it continues. It won’t be the best year since the recession – this will be the best year ever.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Michael Ring says measures needed to revitalise coastal and rural towns

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe was presented with a list of six options by the NTA last year.  Photograph: The Irish Times

Rail connection to airport is expected to be centrepiece of capital plan

The current inheritance tax threshold of €225,000 applies to all assets. Photograph: The Irish Times

Budget 2016: Government considers raised threshold that would apply solely to homes

Leinster House ushers have been urged to withdraw from work for tours scheduled for Culture Night. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Impact tells members to withdraw from work over failure to implement agreements

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: Has never been “mesmerised” by polls and insists Sinn Féin wants to be in Government. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin leader calls on disillusioned voters to ‘take charge’ and claims ‘IRA has gone’

Minister for Children Dr James Reilly. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Children wants extension as part of wider childcare reform package

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