Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said the EU taskforce would negotiate in a way that was consistent but fair and which showed some understanding of British difficulties.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Foreign Affairs says he personally believes no-deal outcome unlikely

Members of the Irish RWC 2023 bid team: IRFU chief executive, Philip Browne (centre); IRFU president Philip Orr (right) and bid chairman Dick Spring.

Heated exchanges in Seanad as Senator Terry Leyden criticises group lobbying for Ireland as Rugby World Cup venue

The Taoiseach recently tweeted a photograph of himself being “photobombed by a llama”. Photograph: Twitter

Varadkar dismisses Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin’s criticism as ‘nonsensical’

Senator Lynn Ruane said volunteers she had encountered had taken into account the personalities of the homeless people they met. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

Seanad hears it is unacceptable to dismiss work of ‘empathy and compassion’

The Bill’s passage brings to an end bitter divisions generated by the charges, which saw thousands of people take to the streets in protest marches. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Bill now goes to President Higgins for signing

The Government is exploring a number of initiatives to deal with social isolation in rural areas, Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Transport Shane Ross introduces Bill to ban all drivers caught over limit

Leo Varadkar said Frances Fitzgerald had no prior knowledge of the approach former commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan’s legal team pursued.

No record exists of telephone call to Department of Justice secretary general

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the introduction of the rent pressure zones meant 60 per cent of renters had rent certainty and control. Phoograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

‘Life goals once considered modest made impossible,’ Mary Lou McDonald says

Mr Kelleher said he had been told by one senior hospital manager the only programme in place for winter was “the flu vaccine and prayers’’. Photograph: iStock

Fianna Fáil’s Bill Kelleher says it provides evidence of the crisis in services

Minister of State for Justice David Stanton said sometimes it was better to start from scratch, redraft the cannabis legislation and resubmit it, if it was not possible to amend it.

Health committee warns enacting Bill will lead to legislative contradictions

Past winners of the award include former tánaiste Dick Spring. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Kerry Association in Dublin seeking nominations for awards which began in 1979

The Bill paves the way for refugees to bring grandparents, cousins, nephews, nieces and siblings to Ireland by expanding the reunification programme. Photograph: iStock

Proposal allows refugees bring extended family to Ireland

“There is no point in coming in here saying we all support hospices when you screwed them,’’ said Micheál Martin to Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach claims FF leader used word ‘unbecoming’ of his office

Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy has confirmed all water charges will not be refunded before Christmas, as originally planned. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Minister blames ‘Sinn Féin and Left parties’ for delay in getting money back to households

The RTÉ Investigates documentary went undercover to show people living in sub-standard rental accommodation, with bunk beds packed into rooms.

Eoin Ó Broin says recent RTÉ investigation highlighted State’s failure to protect tenants

 Minister for Arts Heather Humphries was meeting the Arts Council to discuss allegations of sexual harassment at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.   File photograph:  Matt Kavanagh.

Joan Burton says claims of what happened women at Gate Theatre ‘hardly actually believable’

 Irish Rail staff picketing  at Connolly Station in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Varadkar urged to ‘step in’ and ensure reasonable demands of workers are met

Willie Penrose said wronged tracker mortgage customers deserved to be able to take a collective action. File photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Willie Penrose says victims should be allowed collective legal action over issue

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said there were at least 30,000 cases involving tracker mortgage issues. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin criticised for unparliamentary language

John McGuinness says the tracker mortgage situation needs outside focus. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

John McGuinness says Central Bank is not fit for purpose and calls on ECB to intervene

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said while he did not accept there was a deep crisis in the Defence Forces, there were substantive issues.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach agrees ‘substantive’ issues to be dealt with but denies crisis

Mr Mullen was not present at the time of the Seanad debate on Tuesday. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik calls in Seanad for ‘respectful’ abortion debate

 Simon Coveney  told the Dáil that  different banks are behaving differently in terms of the pace of their co-operation with the Central Bank. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Paschal Donohoe said borrowers had been treated disgracefully by banks

Richard Bruton recalled that he had warned the then Fianna Fáil government in 2004 that its Central Bank Bill was defective.  Photograph : Matt Kavanagh

Strong criticism in Dáil and Seanad: ‘Scandal happened on a continuous basis’

Minister for Education Richard Bruton says The Central Bank will be given any powers it requires to deal the banks over the tracker mortgage scandal.

Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary says banks ‘slithered and slided’ from responsibilities

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said  reversing the 2012 pension changes would unnecessarily benefit people who have access to other resources. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Willie O’Dea accuses Sinn Féin of being ‘snipers behind the ditch’ in heated exchanges

 Vice Admiral Mark Mellett: nominated by the Government for election to the highest military body in the EU. Photograph: Alan Betson

Independent TD Clare Daly questions timing and neutrality implications

Senator Gerard Craughwell said there were only two qualified chain saw operators covering the entire northern section of the country in a line from Dublin to Galway. Photograph:  Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Gerard Craughwell says there is a lack of engineering units and chain saw operators

Independent Clare TD Michael Harty: claimed many successful Clare hurlers were from parts of the county that might end up in Limerick under proposed boundary changes in the McKinnon report

McKinnon report calls for the Cork city boundary to be extended into the county area

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused the Taoiseach of making “asinine’’ remarks on Brexit. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach refers to reports FF wants electronic border

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said local authorities would receive additional resources to assist in the clean-up.   Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader criticise people who disobeyed safety warnings

.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was in Drumlargan, near Kilcock inspecting damage to power lines caused by storm Ophelia. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Luas tram services resume earlier than expected after repairs at Red Cow

Advertising hoarding is ripped off during Storm Ophelia near Kent Station in Cork city. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

TDs tell of power cuts and falling trees as storm sweeps through their constituencies

 Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath: “The people who are affected want to see a roadmap back to being treated equally based on their contributions.” Photograph: Eric Luke

FF says women losing out on payments due to ‘bonkers and unbelievable’ anomaly

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane who asked about  plans to lift the “baptism barrier’’ over admissions to Catholic primary schools.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister takes legal advice on ending religious discrimination in admission policies

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said paying the money back would cost an estimated €230 million. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Dáil told women mainly affected by 2012 cost-saving changes to State pensions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that in the case of many occupational schemes amounts paid in were not enough to match promises made. “It is regrettable, but I do not see any way of resolving it.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Independent TD Clare Daly criticises ‘unfettered power’ of trustees

Leo Varadkar: ‘Is Fianna Fáil arguing now we should start training up Border guards?’Photograph: Eric Luke

Micheál Martin says it was ‘bad faith’ not to share report Revenue Commissioners’ report

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the announcement of Budget 2018 in Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Budget 2018 provision will increase tax on commercial property transactions

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy: said low-paid workers would pay for new communications unit. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Paul Murphy says new initiative under Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was to cost nothing

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Doherty says budget normalises mass homelessness of young people and children

The funeral of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave at Church of the Annunciation, Rathfarnham. Military Pallbearers carry the coffin into the church. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Three surviving ministers who served under former taoiseach present

Military Pallbearers carry the coffin into the church at funeral of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave at Church of the Annunciation, Rathfarnham. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Politician turned down a State funeral and requested ‘no speeches, no nonsense’, mourners told

Flags fly at half mast at Leinster House in Dublin after the death of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire.

FF leader says ex-FG taoiseach played big role in Ireland developing high global standing

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has warned local authorities not to impose development charges for telecommunications work.  Photograph:

Denis Naughten says he will ‘name’ authorities who impose development levies

Marchers  call for the end to the  direct Provision system in Dublin last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister tells Seanad says no ‘credible alternative’ to replace current system

Leo Varadkar: ‘I am sure we will find additional funding for disability services next year.’ File photograph Brian Lawless/PA

Micheál Martin says situation for disabled people continues to worsen year after year

There is strong evidence of the beneficial impact of the HPV vaccine for women’s health in countries that have had high uptake rates, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said. Photograph:  Getty Images.

Senator Tim Lombard expresses concern about recent negative publicity

Leo Varadkar rejected a claim by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in the Dáil that he had brought “a party person’’ with him on the trip. Photograph:   Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

FF leader Micheál Martin says government press secretaries should not do party work

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says such bodies “have a lot of autonomy to decide how that money is allocated”. Photograph: iStock

Fianna Fáil leader says disability, elderly care and other organisations also at risk

 Senator Michael McDowell said the Government should get on with governing the country under the present Constitution.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independent Senator dismisses plans to extend votes to 16-year-olds as ‘rubbish’

Minister for Health Simon Harris has appealed to young people to remain in Ireland and work in the health service. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

SF’s Louise O’Reilly says Ireland losing consultants due to poor working environment

Fianna Fáil education spokesman Thomas Byrne: The issue was not about pay but pay scales, he said. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FF’s Thomas Byrne says two-tier pay system is causing ‘massive flight’ of teachers

A file image of thousands of people attending a Right 2 Water protest in Dublin last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Politics of ‘thuggery’ did not defeat water charges, FF's Barry Cowen claims

An expert group is to be set up to examine Traveller accommodation policy, Minister of State for Housing Damien English has said. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Senator says targets not met at any point since being made mandatory 18 years ago

Mary Lou McDonald: the Taoiseach said the only time Ms McDonald was not scripted was when she was interrupting Government speakers

Leo Varadkar pays sarcastic compliment to Sinn Féin TD’s ‘flawless delivery’

TD Ruth  Coppinger told the Dáil on Wednesday that when Leo Varadkar was minister for health, 12 people were leaving the country daily for abortions. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ruth Coppinger criticises Taoiseach for not having a ‘more developed view’ on issue

Paschal Donohoe said legislation covering data sharing and governance was currently being considered by the Oireachtas. Photograph:   Conor McCabe Photography

Róisín Shortall says there is lack of trust in system to maintain people’s data safely

The first sitting of Seanad Éireann in its temporary location in the Ceramics Room of the National Museum of Ireland. Photograph: Maxwells

Minister of State John Paul Phelan pledges ring-fenced funding for local authorities

Prof Ruairí Brugha, who led the survey, said the chronic haemorrhage of doctors from Ireland would continue as long as they were undervalued.  File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

RCSI’s Ruairí Brugha says doctors will leave as long as they are being undervalued

The  Ceramic Room in the National Museum of Ireland, which will temporarily house the Seanad. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Senators were forced to relocate to the National Museum due to repair works

The seven shops which changed their signage to comply with the Charities Act 2009 were Munster Furniture Shop, Waterford; Sana, Galway; Christina’s Creations, Laois; Good Cause Way, Dublin; the former charity shop, Co Cavan; Share 2 Second Hand, Mayo; and the former Bandon Ataxia, Cork. Photograph: Google Maps

Four other shops not registered as charities shut down after prosecution and letters from the regulator

Bishop John Kirby: ‘more respectful’ system needed. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Current system ‘very unsatisfactory’, says Bishop of Clonfert Dr John Kirby

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald accused Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of a “sham fight over how best to introduce unaffordable and reckless tax cuts’’ instead of focusing on health and housing. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste defends tax breaks and says books will be balanced

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right) with European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt on his arrival at Government Buildings, Dublin, where Mr. Verhofstadt will address a special meeting of three Oireachtas Committee in the Dail chamber. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 21, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt tells Dáil ‘Irish Border and all things related are a priority’

Minister for Housing  Eoghan Murphy  said the Private Member’s Bill, moved by Solidarity and People Before Profit, required further consideration. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach says homelessness is a ‘stain’ on Irish society

Jimmy Magee at  Mansion House in Dublin after being awarded the Lord Mayor’s Award in 2010. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The sports commentator died aged 82 after a short illness

Willie Penrose: ‘I don’t bother with Twitter, Facebook or any of that nonsense.’ File photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Rank-and-file must measure up to dual role of legislator and constituency representative

Molly Brown (six months), from Donabate, is pictured in the Sam Maguire alongside members of the Dublin team at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Jim Gavin and his charges visit Crumlin centre following their All-Ireland win

 Regina Doherty said the Garda Commissioner  had an incredible track record in her service to public life. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Regina Doherty strongly defends Noírín O’Sullivan at Kennedy school

Former Fianna Fáil minister of state Conor Lenihan has confirmed he is talking to the party about running in the Dublin constituency in the next European elections. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times.

Former minister of state would run in Dublin constituency, where party is without a seat

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Central Mary Lou McDonald is likely to fight the next election as the party’s  leader if, as expected, Gerry Adams stands down in advance. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The reforms in four bellwether regions could have a significant political impact

A  heatwave in May  contributed to fires in Galway, Sligo, Roscommon, Cork and Donegal. Photograph: Getty Images

It is illegal to burn vegetation until the end of August

A recent report by the Waterford Institute of Technology on behalf of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association found two-thirds of farmers had been the victims of crime. Photograph: Alan Betson/  The Irish Times

Jim O’Callaghan says each farming victim losing average of €4,300

The People’s debate with Vincent Browne. Photograph: Brian McEvoy

Michael O’Regan recalls the career of a tough journalist who hated to be liked

IFA president Joe Healy said the Irish agri-food sector was the most exposed sector to Brexit.  Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

The more than 40% of Irish agri-food exports that go to UK are at risk, Joe Healy warns

Clare Daly  said a statutory order should be introduced precluding any further winding up or restructuring of regulated defined-benefit schemes until appropriate legislation was introduced.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Independent TD criticises winding up of defined-benefit schemes

Pearse Doherty said previously thousands of consumers had been prevented from having their complaint heard. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin Bill will ‘open the doors of justice to many individuals’, says Pearse Doherty

Senator Fintan Warfield said many teachers had expressed their fears about the narrow confines of the syllabus.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Fintan Warfield says many pupils are not taught about safe sex, consent and relevant health information

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said:  “I accept that purpose-built emergency accommodation for families is better than a hotel or bed-and-breakfast accommodation. However, it is not a home and cannot be presented as a solution to the homeless crisis.” File photograph: Getty Images

Reports warn hubs run risk of replacing one problem with another, says Eoin Ó Broin

Paschal Donohoe: he said seven of every 10 jobs lost during the recession have now been recovered. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Paschal Donohoe says number at work now at its highest level since end of 2008

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: the Government is committed to spending €5.35 billion, about €1 billion annually, to deliver 47,000 social homes by the end of 2021.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Leo Varadkar defends State provision of family hubs in Dáil exchanges

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said the rural economy was facing many threats and challenges, not least from Brexit. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

FF leader criticises ‘shockingly slow and ineffective’ broadband plan

A helicopter takes off during a Defence Forces open day  in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gerard Craughwell says ‘nobody seems to give a damn’ about conditions for soldiers

“I believe they are doing very important work there on an ongoing basis,’’ Minister of State for Defence  Paul Kehoe said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Dáil concern as machine gun fire from the Syrian civil war landed in the Irish base

Regina Doherty: Leo Varadkar told the Dáil he had a “brief conversation” with the Minister for Social Protection  and understood she had complained to the Garda about harassment. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Catherine Kelly stopped by gardaí over social media comments about Minister

Naval Service rescue mission: LE Eithne crew prepare to bring migrants aboard in the Mediterranean in 2015. Photograph: David Jones/Defence Forces/PA

Pay and conditions of Defence Forces raised in Dáil

IFA president Joe Healy drives a combine harvester to the Department of Agriculture offices on Kildare St in Dublin. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Tillage farmers are angry at the level of compensation being offered by department

Richard Bruton: “There will be an oversight of price monitoring to ensure that there is no gouging of consumers.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith says bin collection companies being given free rein

Regina Doherty made a complaint about Catherine Kelly over online and social media comments.

Catherine Kelly stopped by gardaí over social media comments about Regina Doherty

‘Is it now Government policy to attack, in this very sinister way, anybody who criticises anyone in the Government on social media?’ Ruth Coppinger said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger claims academic subjected to ‘sinister’ experience at airport

A psychiatrist has told the Seanad of a severe  lack of beds in the child and adolescent mental health service in Ireland. Photograph: iStock/File

Psychiatrist says suicide rate has fallen 19% overall, but increased in males aged 15-24

New approaches must be explored to improve the pay and conditions of those working in the childcare sector, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Minister says Government cannot be ‘oblivious’ to needs of providers of vital service

US president Donald Trump while making a phone call to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in June. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/ EPA

Taoiseach says it is new information to him the US president attended a Sinn Féin fundraiser

Darragh O’Brien withdrew a reference to “intimidation’’

Paul Murphy accuses Darragh O’Brien of making ‘ignorant’ comments on Jobstown trial

“I have total respect for the judgement of military personnel whether they’re in the Naval Service, the Air Corps or in the Army,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said. Photograph: Niall CArson/PA

Minister questioned judgement of Air Corps pilot who refused to fly him due to fog forecast

Some people employed in the security industry are not receiving the set hourly rate for the job, Labour Senator Gerald Nash has claimed. File photograph

Labour Senator Gerald Nash says people are being ripped off and robbed of legitimate wages

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: said the Government acknowledged there was a concern about a massive hike in charges under the new waste charges system.  Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Price regulation measures will be introduced if deemed necessary, says Taoiseach

Wexford TD and barrister James Browne said while judges must be experts on the law, they also needed a good temperament and an ability to weigh up individual cases.

Wexford TD James Browne stresses judicial ability to address personal weaknesses

 Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe  says ‘people need to see that progress is being achieved and incomes are improving’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister also warns about significant economic risks ahead

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