Of the 64 per cent who voted to allow abortion with “no restrictions as to reason”, 48 per cent chose to allow it up to 12 weeks, and 44 per cent chose to allow it up to 22 weeks. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Oireachtas members unlikely to be as liberal in their views as Citizens’ Assembly

National Maternity Hospital controversy: Parents for Choice protest against the decision to give the new hospital to the Sisters of Charity. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Kieran Mulvey says elements of St Vincent’s agreement will be clarified but deal ‘will stand’

The Citizens’ Assembly recommended by almost two to one that abortion without restriction as to reasons be made available in the State. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

TDs unlikely to liberalise laws to extent proposed by Citizens’ Assembly, say sources

 Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin: “The challenge now for Labour is not to fight the last election again. But to listen to the people, and to prepare for the election of tomorrow”

Howlin speech to party conference offers broad sweep of positions but little new policy

Evin Ryan: “We need to promote a strong brand that says ‘Yes, we are Labour; Yes, we stand for these policies’”

Delegates at the Wexford gathering are opinionated on how the party should proceed

Reporters gathered outside  a school in Dublin’s north inner city during a visit by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minster for Justice Frances Fitzgerald last June. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Former TD Joe Costello describes Taoiseach’s taskforce as a distraction tactic

Labour TD Alan Kelly  said it was ‘totally wrong’ and ‘a disgrace’ that a company owned by the Sisters of Charity would own the new maternity hospital site. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Alan Kelly says Health Minister needs to ‘get control’ of the project

The public, after giving Labour a thrashing at the last election, have not yet been listening to the party.

Conference to take stock of election potential and voting public’s deaf ear on policy agenda

Labour leader Brendan Howlin: “Our objective is to build the party, to be the pivotal former of policy, because we live on shaping our society and having real good ideas to implement.” File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party ‘obviously had very bruising general election’ and has been rebuilding ever since

Census figures  reveal  total housing stock grew by just 8,800 (0.4 per cent) in the five years from 2011..

Simon Coveney is considering extending incentives to increase housing supply

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. ‘The public’s estimation of Mr Kenny vastly improved when he bared his ruthless side in despatching the 2010 heave.’ Photograph: Seán Gallup/Getty Images

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar will take a hit if they fail to take action on Enda Kenny

Paschal Donohoe: “Employees in the public service need to know where they stand with their wages, now and in the future.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

FG and FF compromise on water charges not ‘pretty’ but shows political centre can hold

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister says general election in UK does not change leadership process in Fine Gael

Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin are unlikely to be the party leaders heading up the coalition – but anything is possible. Picture: Oisin McHugh/FusionShooters

Analysis: The parties will likely end up as bedfellows – after Gerry Adams steps down

Leo Varadkar is thinking about merging departments if his tilt at the Fine Gael party leadership is successful. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister considers combining portfolios of finance and public expenditure if FG leadership bid successful

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will use the summit to highlight specific Irish concerns, such as the Border and the Common Travel Area. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Enda Kenny to hold mini summit with leaders in bid to bring trade focus to EU talks

Enda Kenny: Will  the April 29th summit of the European Council be his last hurrah? Photograph: Getty Images

Inside Politics: Fine Gael meeting is told party reforms will come in under new leader

Enda Kenny: had  asked at the weekly Fine Gael steering group about how the contest to succeed him would be run

Deputy says mention of leadership by top party official signals start of the ‘end game’

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: set to have consultations “regarding the nature and type of services and supports in the area of health and well-being that they consider would be helpful to them at this stage”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Well-being help may be better than access to a redress scheme, says Minister Zappone

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home in  Galway. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Cabinet decided against extending 2002 scheme due to cost and legal implications

A shrine at a former mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway. The Government has said it ‘not possible’ to reopen the 2002 redress scheme. File photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Due to cost Government says it cannot reopen programme for institutional abuse survivors

The commission examining the future of An Garda Síochána will be expected to issue its final report within a year to 18 months, Government sources say. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Commission asked to recommend on ways to deliver a modern police force for the State

The traditional prayer which is read by the Ceann Comhairle, or whoever is in the chair at the time

Atheist Ireland wants end to Oireachtas practice of praying to ‘Christ Our Lord’

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has secured a commitment from his seven TDs that they will all stand again. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Politicians are ramping up preparations in anticipation of a short electoral cycle

The end of the Good Friday alcohol sales ban is likely to come into effect for Good Friday 2018. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Government is moving to lift the 90-year-old restriction on the supply of alcohol

Fianna Fáil’s private members’ motion regarding Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will be taken in the Dáil next week. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Party seeks Policing Authority to assess if O’Sullivan capable of restoring belief in force

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FF calls for Authority to assess O’Sullivan’s position

  Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan received reports   that recording  was taking place on non-999 calls. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

System upgrade led to recording of calls on main telephone lines in 20 divisional headquarters

Mr Justice Nial Fennelly: also investigated the implications of the recording of calls at Bandon Garda station related to the investigation of the death of the French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier, in 1996.

Commission investigated taping of phone calls at Garda stations over many years

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar says the  confidence and supply deal allowed individual parties to take differing positions on the issue of water charges. Photograph: Collins

Minister seeks to ‘congratulate’ Paul Murphy TD for role in determining FF stance

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: flirted with adopting the language in a Labour motion for proposals on Garda reform. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Analysis: Martin must clarify stance on Garda Commissioner to regain credibility

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald is understood to see human resources and how promotions are made within the Garda as a particular concern. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Review of Garda will seek to change senior appointment methodology, says Tánaiste

Fianna Fáil is to seek a specific measure to examine the management of gardaí, and whether gardaí should be allowed to facilitate promotions from within.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Meeting of party’s front bench hears strong criticism of Garda Commissioner

The weeks after the European Council summit on Saturday April 29th are seen as the most likely time for Enda Kenny to stand down. Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Brian Cowen’s coronation was an example in how not to become taoiseach

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: “little evidence of real reform or cultural change”, said Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Party asks Policing Authority to take tough line with senior Garda management

Alan Dardis and Pat Doyle during secondary picketing relating to the Bus Éireann strike at Conyngham Rd Dublin Bus depot on Friday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Companies insist they will take legal action to prevent major traffic disruption in future

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan leaves Leinster House on Thursday with Assistant Commissioner Donal Ó Cualáin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Party aims to avoid supporting Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in Nóirín O’Sullivan

Garda Commissioner, Noirín O’Sullivan, leaving Leinster House yesterday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan tells Oireachtas she is taking responsibility

Nóirín O’Sullivan: ‘If there are people who have found to have erred, or deliberate wrongdoing, yes there will be sanctions.’

Garda Commissioner appeared before committee over falsification of breath test data

Nóirín O’Sullivan told the committee: ‘This falsification is not confined to traffic data’

Gardaí may have ‘deliberately’ input wrong breath test figures, justice committee told

 Policing Authority chairwoman Josephine Feehily  and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan in June, 2016:  A  commissioner can be removed by a decision of the Cabinet, or the Policing Authority can recommend to the Government that a commissioner be sacked. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Cohort of Ministers and deputies hoped O’Sullivan would be removed by watchdog

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter resigned in 2014 over a report by Sean Guerin SC. This year the Court of Appeal  found the report made “seriously damaging” conclusions that breached Mr Shatter’s constitutional rights. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

They include the Cooke report, the Fennelly Commission and the O’Higgins Commission

One Minister said support for Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan was “wafer thin”, and that there was an unspoken feeling at the Cabinet meeting that she should stand down.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Forensic accountants may be brought in to review all Garda data related to all crimes

Fianna Fáil will revisit its position towards Noirin O’Sullivan’s tenure  after she appears at an  Oireachtas committee  this week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Jim O’Callaghan wants to know ‘dominant reasons’ why ‘false’ breath test recorded

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan Assistant Commissioner Michael Flynn pictured at Garda Headquarters. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Fitzgerald to provide statement to Dáil this evening on breath tests and FCN issues

“Getting rid of a Garda Commissioner is a serious step, and not one the Government or Fianna Fáil would take lightly.”    Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Fianna Fáil withdrawal of support for Garda Commissioner could set off domino effect

Nóirín O’Sullivan: Fine Gael Ministers on Monday night expressed support for  the commissioner. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan says he still does not have confidence in commissioner

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan at a press conference in Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Nóirín O’Sullivan says she is determined to see through reform of An Garda Síochána

A source close to Simon  Coveney (left) said an emphasis on  Leo Varadkar’s Dublin base “will unravel on closer inspection”

Varadkar moves away from Fine Gael policy on Universal Social Charge

Minister of Social Protection Leo Varadkar is expected to propose a move away from Fine Gael’s policy of abolishing the USC. File photograph: Olivier  Hoslet/EPA

Fine Gael Minister to propose changing party’s tax policy in leadership pitch

Significant departmental resistance exits to a proposal along the lines of the 2002 scheme. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Government sources indicate that precise form of the arrangement not yet finalised

An altar at the babies burial ground in Tuam, Co Galway,  seen from  behind construction hoarding. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Report recommends extending compensation scheme for residential child abuse

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting he would not leave a leadership vacuum. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Succession contest expected to begin after May bank holiday weekend

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to be questioned on when he plans to step aside as Fine Gael leader at a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says he will deal with leadership issue after European Council summit

It had never been anticipated Kenny  would ‘conclusively’ deal with his future at the first meeting upon his return from his  trip to the US. Photograph/Niall Carson/PA

Inside Politics: Argument for being present at Brexit talks is valid but case for staying on much longer is weak

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will attend the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday evening but is not expected to outline his plans at the meeting. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach confirms in Dáil he will attend first EU summit on Brexit at end of April

The mass trial of Ibrahim Halawa  and 493 others is due to resume in Cairo on Wednesday.

The mass trial of Dubliner and 493 others is due to resume in Cairo on Wednesday

Michael Noonan said Mr Kenny’s speech on immigration in front of US president Donald Trump ‘shows how diplomatic he can be’. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/EPA

The Taoiseach is unlikely to give a firm indication of his plans for several weeks

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has said  Enda Kenny should attend the first European summit following the March 29th triggering of article 50. Photograph: The Irish Times

Coveney says Kenny should attend first Brexit EU summit after article 50 triggered

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says he believes a united Ireland is possible in his lifetime.

Party intends publishing 12-point proposal within months to strengthen links with NI

John McNamee, dressed as a customs worker, joined  members of Border Communities Against Brexit to protest against Brexit by setting up an old customs post at Carrickcarnon in February 2017. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

White Paper from FF leader will be valuable contribution to debate intensified by Brexit

Stepaside Garda station is understood to be one of six to be reopened as part of a pilot scheme. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Local TD Shane Ross had sought move as part of government deal

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin said a 13.9% pay gap between men and women equates to a woman having to work for free for a month. Photograph: Collins

Labour wants to force firms to make clear differences between male and female pay

 Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald’s canvass only started earlier this week after she gave her firmest indication that she will run for  leadership. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Rules say contenders must be nominated by eight members of parliamentary party

Minister Katherine Zappone will vote against an Opposition abortion Bill but has strongly rejected claims  that it could help abusive partners rather than pregnant women. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times.

Minister for Children to vote against proposal, criticised by FG colleagues, regardless

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone: was advised by Ministers about a Bill imposing a €1 fine on an abusive man who beats a woman and causes her to lose a baby. Fine Gael women pointed out it was a bad Bill, not a conscience issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister told legislation could assist abusive partners more than pregnant women

The Bill from the AAA-PBP aims to amend a section of the 2013 Act.

Agreement proves elusive on contentious Bill as concerns raised over Government position

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone is expected to give an update on the Tuam scandal to her Cabinet colleagues. hotograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Commission examining mother and baby homes could be greatly expanded

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway, before excavations began. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Move comes after discovery of the remains of a ‘significant’ number of babies in Tuam

Minister for Health Simon Harris has formally withdrawn from the Fine Gael leadership contest. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Analysis: Harris likely to back Coveney after bruising period for Minister for Health

 Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said it would be healthy for Fine Gael to have “good debate” in the upcoming leadership contest. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste seriously considering entering contest to succeed Kenny while Harris withdraws

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar: The Fine Gael party’s executive council will be responsible for how the contest to succeed Enda Kenny is run. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Supporters of Leo Varadkar want ‘level playing field’ in battle with Simon Coveney

Historian Catherine Corless at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Co Galway: remains were contained in at least 17 of 20 underground chambers. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Women call for former mother and baby homes in Cork and Dublin to be investigated

Alan  Shatter with Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Shatter said he used to have “ great respect for him”.  Photograph: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach’s spokesman says former minister for justice praised Kenny as ‘extraordinary’

The State is expected to offer 25 per cent of AIB’s shares to institutional investors. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Bank has pre-tax profit of €1.7bn and is ready for stock market listing, says chief executive

A file image from 2014 showing then minister for justice Alan Shatter with Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Spokesman for Taoiseach says he rejects ‘completely’ the statements made by Shatter

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described Brexit as a “huge political challenge” and said discussions with British prime minister Theresa May’s Britain must be orderly.

Taoiseach’s intentions on US trip revealed in Brussels during meetings over UK departure

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the European Parliament  in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

FF TD accuses Simon Coveney of ‘standing up and trying to push Fianna Fáil around’

Alan Kelly: had wanted to run for the Labour Party leadership but could not get a seconder within the parliamentary party

Candidates at present must be proposed and seconded by TD before full members’ vote

Niamh Smyth, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on arts and heritage:  “I feel like I’m on a constant treadmill.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The FF TD for Cavan-Monaghan had a very busy year in the Dáil, including having a baby

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, about to compete for the leadership of his party, is the person trying to solve the political dilemma. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Analysis: With FF hardening its position, backing down may be Minister’s best move

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. He will be in Brussels on Thursday for a number of Brexit meetings. Photograph: AP Photo

Taoiseach planning to attend meeting of the European Council in April on Brexit

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Mr Coveney said the contest for leadership of Fine Gael should be about “vision and ambition for the country”. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

‘My private life and my family life are not going to be an issue,’ says Leo Varadkar

Francis Kenneally, Central Stores, Kanturk. “I don’t think it really has picked up at all, to be honest.” Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Bellwether constituency shows little change in fortunes or outlook since last election

Tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton: he has surprised many by the speed at which the first sitting has been organised. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mr Justice Charleton to examine allegation of smear campaign against whistleblower

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said he would honour the confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil if he became Fine Gael leader. Photograph: Eric Luke

Party figures are considering expediting the process of electing Enda Kenny’s successor

Dublin Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has said EU Commission demands for a €60bn  Brexit payment risked causing an ‘acrimonious and incomplete settlement’  between the UK and the EU. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Brian Hayes says the demands for UK to pay a ‘divorce settlement’ risk destroying talks

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said he hoped   personal lives will not be issue in the party’s leadership race. Photograph:  Collins

‘I’m not going to make my personal life an issue and I hope others won’t do either’

Labour MP Hilary Benn attended a Brexit meeting in Dublin on Thursday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Tory MP says the UK will not honour existing fiscal commitments during Dublin meeting

Longford-Westmeath TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran. Photograph: Alan Betson

Proposals from Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD

Enda Kenny has restructured aspects of the party and made it a much slimmer organisation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Party needs to find voice outside Government agenda

The  leading contenders to replace Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader and taoiseach, Simon Coveney and Leo  Varadkar. Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Both teams for main rivals for Fine Gael leadership believe their man holds advantage

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Outstanding matter of his leadership will be dealt with after his return from the St Patrick’s Day visit to the US. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach to deal with contentious leadership issue after return from US visit

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Simon Coveney  and Leo Varadkar in 2010. Mr Kenny will say the leadership issue will be dealt with after he visits Washington DC for St Patrick’s Day. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taoiseach expected to indicate he will step down after meeting US president in March

Sources said Enda Kenny wanted to remain party leader during the election of his successor. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach ‘philosophical’ and intended to step aside in coming months, say sources

The Taoiseach has said he will speak to the Fine Gael parliamentary party at its weekly meeting on Wednesday.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Once Enda Kenny outlines his intentions, the process to elect a new FG leader will begin

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: he described a WhatsApp message on the Fine Gael leadership as “jovial Sunday afternoon banter”

Frances Fitzgerald, Richard Bruton and Simon Harris could enter FG leadership race

‘I am certainly not going to support anybody who suggests that we should be forcing the issue,’ Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said.   Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Flanagan says message he sent to WhatsApp group on Harris was ‘jovial Sunday banter’

A screengrab from the Fine Gael Whatsapp group showing Charlie Flanagan’s comment that Simon Harris wants out of the Department of Health.

Charlie Flanagan posts message on Sunday saying Harris wants to ‘get out of health’

Enda Kenny at the  All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit: sources close to him believe he will stand down. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Varadkar and Coveney have private meeting as fighting breaks out in the Fine Gael ranks

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