President Michael D Higgins has signed the water charges into law and ignored pleas from a range of Opposition TDs and Senators to refer the legislation to the Supreme Court. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Higgins rejects Opposition pleas for Supreme Court referral and referendum

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says that as the universal social charge brings in €4 billion a year, it is not possible to abolish it. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Tánaiste says people will see effect of budget cuts in their pay packets from next week

President Michael D Higgins signed the Water Services Bill into law after giving it careful consideration, a statement said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Áras an Uachtaráin says requests were received to refer legislation to the people

The coalition government led by Garret FitzGerald raised taxes in order to limit the need for spending cuts. Photograph: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Northern stalemate and a Labour wipeout: the landscape of 30 years ago is very familiar

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny with the party’s then director of elections Frank Flannery, in 2008. Photograph: Eric Luke

Party’s strategy for next general election to give TDs greater involvement in process

Minister for finance Alan Dukes in Leinster House on budget day 1983. In 1984 he warned his cabinet colleagues that the financing of public expenditure for the remainder of that year could not be assured. Photograph: Jack McManus

Minister for finance drafted 1984 memo to persuade cabinet to cut spending

‘Joan Burton is in a very different position. Her TDs gave vent to their insecurities last July and regardless of how the polls move between now and the election her job is secure.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Inside Politics: Enda Kenny’s challenge is how to reverse the tide, if it’s not too late

‘An important reform which has already changed the way the Dáil does its business has received little or no attention. Pre-legislative scrutiny now allows the members of Oireachtas committees to make an input into legislation before it is framed.’ above, Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The Coalition has been criticised for breaking its reform promises, but it has implemented reforms, such as the requirement for ge(...)

“If I have the opportunity on the next occasion to appoint a cabinet, it will be a 50:50 on merit, of men and women,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny told  political correspondents at Leinster House. Photograph:  Eric Luke

Taoiseach’s post-election commitment an attempt to woo women voters to Fine Gael

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