Fine Gael party members Frances Fitzgerald, Leo Varadkar, Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe in Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny expected to remain as taoiseach until 2017 if minority government is formed

Independent TD Mick Wallace speaks in the Dáil on his visit to refugees in Calais and Dunkirk.

Independent TD says the Republic is complicit in the militarisation of the planet

Enda Kenny said he was ‘obviously very cognisant’ of trying to bring the matter to a successful conclusion as speedily as possible. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Acting Taoiseach says discussions between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are continuing

Fine Gael’s Michael Noonan. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Minister for Finance warns figure might vary depending on number of economic factors

 Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has questioned whether a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil agreement to suspend water charges would be legal. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister attacks proposed Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil deal on Irish Water during Dáil debate

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny said discussions were underway between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to reach agreement on the formation of a government, while also consulting Independent members

House scheduled to debate Irish Water later today but no vote

Paschal Donohoe and Simon Coveney of Fine Gael arrive for talks with Fianna Fáil on forming a government. Photograph: Dave Meehan/ The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy says issues such as mental health not getting enough attention

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  in Dublin. File photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Party leader claims a new government is needed to solve the issue of Irish Water

Newly elected Fine Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell: ‘My objective is to represent the people of Limerick and to regain my Dáil seat at the next election.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Sinn Féin’s Fintan Warfield (24), an ex-Wolfe Tone and councillor, first senator elected

Independent TD Mick Wallace said mental health was the health issue raised most during the election campaign in his constituency. Photograph: Eric Luke

Call for improved facilities for mental illness patients in Dáil debate

Acting  Taoiseach Enda Kenny: judgment would ‘potentially’ have an impact in a limited number of cases. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Dáil hears legislation could be introduced within days, if required

Micheál Martin at the Easter Rising commemoration at Arbour Hill. The challenges faced today are “nothing compared to the challenges faced and overcome by the heroes of 1916”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Micheál Martin says he wants his party to embrace change emerging in Irish politics

President Michael D Higgins: may have to “consider exercising his absolute discretion to steer a way forward for the 32nd Dáil”. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

‘Abysmal lack of leadership’ may require intervention by President, says Green Party

Calling for a grant scheme for homeowners in rural towns and villages, there were, John Brassil added, an “enormous number” of empty houses across all local authorities, with one in three houses vacant. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

John Brassil says steps needed to make ‘enormous number’ of empty houses habitable

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin  said for progress to be made in talks Fine Gael had to ‘move away from the highly-controlling attitude which defined the last five years’.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Enda Kenny invites Micheál Martin to talks after Dáil fails to elect a taoiseach for third time

Defeated Labour TD Anne Ferris: “Losing your seat is a blow to your self-confidence. I have now joined the ranks of the unemployed and I am hoping something will turn up.’’ Photograph: Fergal Phillips

Anne Ferris talks of blow to self-confidence as she joins the unemployed

 Independent TD Mattie McGrath:  “There has to be a written agreement on how a minority government will function.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Independent TD calls for FG-FF deal on minority government by Thursday

Mattie McGrath: “What would be the point, for instance, in putting a government in power which could fall in a short time?’’

Some not ruling out voting against Kenny and Martin if government talks fail

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: suggested a minute’s silence could be observed instead of the Dáil prayer and that a bell should be rung for a short break to cool things down when debates became too intense and heated. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Eamon Ryan suggests a minute’s silence could be observed instead of prayer

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he had invited Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to “have a conversation”. Photographs: The Irish Times

FG leader makes formal offer for government including FF and Independents

Micheál Martin also loses vote, 95 to 43, with Ruth Coppinger losing, 108 to 10

Independent TDs (left to right) Noel Grealish, Mattie McGrath, Denis Naughten, Michael Harty and Michael Collins have confirmed they will be abstaining from today’s Dáil vote for taoiseach. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin due to finally talk this evening

The report says Denis O’Brien enjoys a dominant position within the print and commercial radio sector. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Report calls for retrospective reform of competition law to restrict influence of individuals

  Acting Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said he believed there was an imbalance between ownership rights and the public good. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Acting Taoiseach suggests setting up infrastructure fund at Dáil debate on homelessness

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed his ‘sincere and deepest’ sympathy with the relatives of those who lost their lives in Donegal. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

House united in grief and condemnation of terrorist attacks

Sinn Féin party whip, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD with Louise O’Reilly TD present Sinn Féin’s submission on political reform to the All-Party Oireachtas Committee at Leinster House. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

Sinn Féin to seek reform of the Upper House which will be elected next month

Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin says millions of euro, provided through the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, has already been returned to the European Commission.   Photograph: Alan Betson

Eoin O Broin calls for reform of funding scheme for people who lose their jobs

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. In 2011 Senators resisted his attempts to get long-standing Senators to stand down

Seanad can hold up legislation for 90 days

Éamon de Valera: the then president attended the ceremonies in 1966 outside the GPO in Dublin. Photograph: Jimmy McCormack

The fervour in 1966 would be largely unrecognisable to young people today

Micheál Martin by a poster of Enda Kenny: the formation of governments is essentially a numbers game and the numbers point to an FG-FF coalition. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

The Fianna Fáil grassroots will never support a minority Fine Gael government

‘What would Micheál Martin do at opposition leaders’ questions?’

Rotating taoisigh? Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny may have to share the spoils of  Election 2016 in a very fundamental way. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Some FF TDs rule out FG alliance but others concede possibility if alternative is another election

Kerry: Third TD elected of five

Fine Gael leader outgoing Taoiseach  Enda Kenny. Photograph: Eric Luke

Focus now on position of Enda Kenny, Joan Burton and Gerry Adams

A Fianna Fáil source said party leader Micheál Martin’s successful campaign had enhanced his popularity with the grassroots and he would be able to persuade a delegate conference to give the go-ahead for any coalition

Both parties say some form of alliance seems certain if another election is to be avoided

Donegal: Fourth TD elected of five

Cavan-Monaghan: Third TD elected of four

Cavan-Monaghan: Second TD elected of four

Danny Healy-Rae and his brother Michael (on the floor ) are in fine form as Danny claimed the second seat in Kerry.

Informal alliance may be on the cards, though formation of cohesive group unlikely

John Paul Phelan

Carlow-Kilkenny: Second TD elected of five

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts in her office. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cavan-Monaghan: First TD elected of four

John McGuinness

Carlow-Kilkenny: First TD elected of five

Michael O’Regan looks at what might happen over the next few weeks.

Imagining how moves to form a government could unfold over the next few weeks

Will Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) and Fianna Fáil Micheal Martin end up forming a government? Senior Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil sources were  privately conceding on Saturday  that a coalition between  the two parties was  the likely outcome of the general election.

Rotating taoiseach arrangement not being ruled out by FF sources if coalition agreed

Counting for Election 2016 gets under way at 9am Saturday morning. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

What to watch out for in all 40 constituencies as the counts get under way

 Winning two seats in a five-seater will be a challenge, despite Danny’s poll topping 4,388 votes in the 2014 local election in the Killarney area. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

If brothers win it may be down to the kind of doggedness their father showed

Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and  Róisín Shortall in the vanguard of the Social Democrats push for power. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Róisín Shortall: ‘Anything possible’ after vote as many parties could form administration

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton:  says Renua is intent on “banging a drum” on its key priorities for the rest of the campaign. Photograph: Oisín McHugh/FusionShooters.

Renua leader predicts voters will have made up their minds by Tuesday

Mary Lou McDonald: “We would not enter into a situation where we were in government for the sake of it.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Deputy leader rules out propping up ‘conservative parties’ in coalition arrangement

Senator Jim Walsh (FF): “In circumstances where a [deceased] baby like that has not been taken from the [late] mother during an autopsy, families might still wish to have that unborn baby recognised in its own right as an individual.’’

Family very anxious unborn baby would be recognised as an individual, says Jim Walsh

‘Danno’ Halloran (first left), with sound engineer Mick Nolan, Barbara Fitzgerald, Colm Brennan, Linda Sherlock and John Ellis at the opening of the RTÉ radio studio in Dáil Éireann in 1986. Photograph: © RTÉ Stills Library

Halloran was a news and duty editor at RTÉ and a founding editor of Oireachtas TV

John Halligan (left) and Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance group, at Leinster House. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party profile: Independent Alliance likely to demand ministerial role

  Minister for Health Leo Varadkar:  “We are moving away from an ambulance service that is just about transporting people to hospital, to one which ensures that they are given emergency treatment by paramedics, both in their homes and at the roadside.”   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister under pressure on ambulance service in final health question time

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: “She was not in a position to speak or to defend herself, and the whistleblower is clear that the most appalling acts were perpetrated in this case.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Micheál Martin says abuse case is harrowing as a child was left vulnerable for so long

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to name election day on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach intends to visit President on Wednesday to seek dissolution of current Dáil

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said a commission of investigation could run parallel with a Garda investigation.

Taoiseach tells Dáil case of person known as Grace is a ‘serious legacy issue’

Sinead Ahern at the Labour Party conference in Mullingar: said it would be difficult to say what the mood of the party would be after the election. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

View from the floor: Some say party should stay only if strong enough to influence policy

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘I am sure as a Government we are going to agree on a date.’ says Minister

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin: “People will want to know that what is on offer can be provided for.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Brendan Howlin denies Coalition making excessive election promises

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: Jean-Claude Trichet “did not threaten me”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister reacts to Social Democrats charge of misleading Dáil on Trichet bondholder stance

Sinn Féin vice-president Mary Lou McDonald: “Once again, the Labour Party is throwing around election promises like confetti at a wake,’’ she said. “Does the Tánaiste really believe that people have short memories?’’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Long weekend for TDs as they await Enda Kenny’s visit to the Park

Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly TD: he said the Government had been elected on a clear mandate to burn the bondholders. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Social Democrats deputy Stephen Donnelly calls for Minister for Finance’s resignation

Former minister for finance Brian Lenihan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2009 and died in June 2011. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

‘It would not surprise’ Micheal McGrath if pressure contributed to minister’s illness

Senator Gerard Craughwell:  says the officer was placed 11th in the order of merit, with the top nine applicants promoted. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Senator Gerard Craughwell says officer had been forced to retire two years early

Limerick TD Dan Neville:  Described by Minister of State for Health Kathleen Lynch as “one of the pioneers” in raising mental health issue in the Dáil. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Dan Neville suggests national forum of groups working in suicide prevention

Senator Catherine Noone: ‘It is simply about getting children to make healthier choices.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Catherine Noone says one-in-four children are either overweight or obese

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said €13.6 billion was being allocated for health services this year.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

FF leader says Government approved plan which has left acute hospitals short by €100m

 A patient on a trolley in a corridor in the  Accident and Emergency Department of St James’s Hospital. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Government has approved plan which left acute hospitals short by €100m, says Martin

Part of the crowd at the launch of Independent TD Michael Lowry’s election campaign in the Anner Hotel in Thurles

Local consensus is that Independent TD will again top poll in Tipperary heartland

John Bruton was part of a guard of honour at the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former taoiseach says politicians, not soldiers, should lecture on the Proclamation

Defences Forces personnel march past the GPO in a previous  1916 commemoration. Former taoiseach John Bruton has criticised plans  to have Army personnel visiting schools as part of the 1916 centenary. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Ex-taoiseach says non-political force ‘should be kept separate’ from any political advocacy

Eoin Mac Neill “was equally and utterly tough when it came to 1922 and the Civil War…he was absolutely clear that violence could be used’’, his grandson,  former minister for justice and former tánaiste Michael McDowell has said. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Nationalist leader was ‘quite prepared’ to use violence, says grandson Michael McDowell

Minister for State Michael Ring: said the increased activity in the past four years meant tourism had been a major contributor to job creation. Photograph: Sportsfile

Minister of State says growth of industry has also created jobs

Fianna Fáil Senator Paschal Mooney (right): said rural people could see the impact of Government policies. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

FG Senator Eamonn Coghlan defends Coalition record

Tánaiste Joan Burton said 100 extra scoliosis operations were carried out this year – “a 51 per cent increase on the previous year”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

SF deputy leader says 250 children with scoliosis awaiting treatment

Ms Burton asked: “Have you finished your tsunami of hate and invective there? Are you sure you finished it?” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Tánaiste accuses Mary Lou McDonald of engaging in a ‘tsunami of hate and invective’

Independent TD Shane Ross sought the appointment of a “crony’’ to a State board in the lifetime of the current Dáil, Labour TD Arthur Spring has claimed. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Arthur Spring makes claim as Burton criticised during confidence motion debate

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “We had to rebuild all of that structure, Deputy Martin, you have no credibility, zero, zilch, nothing.’’  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Government does not know what it is like for homeless people to have to live in hotels - FF chief

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Tánaiste under fire following appointment of David Begg as chair of Pensions Authority

Minister of State with Special Rsponsibility for the OPW Simon Harris. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister responds to Fianna Fáil’s calls for new body to manage impact of floooding

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton. Mr Kenny has again ruled out increasing rent supplement to deal with the homelessness crisis. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Opposition criticises Government’s housing policy after airing of ‘My Homeless Family’

FAI chief executive John Delaney reportedly visited local soccer clubs and a barber shop with Alan Kelly in his Tipperary constituency and urged people to vote for him. File photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Burton and Donohoe reject claim that FAI chief executive’s canvassing is ‘inappropriate’

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin insisted “a balanced presentation’’ of the report revealed Ireland’s economic rebound was remarkably strong. File photograph: Gareth chaney Collins

Minister insists commission’s report should be read in full and is ‘by and large’ supportive

Emma Coffey at the Fianna Fáil ardfheis at Citywest, Dublin. She believes a UK exit from the EU would be a massive blow to Ireland’s relationship with Britain. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith tells ardfheis party would set up agency to deal with issue

Emma Coffey at the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis at Citywest, Dublin. “I cannot definitively rule out a coalition with Fine Gael.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party upbeat ahead of election with most against partnership with leading group

It is not inevitable that the current Government will be returned to power in the general election, Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív has said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

As Fianna Fáil ardfheis begins, Gerry Adams refuses to rule out coalition with Martin’s party

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: said Sinn Féin’s policy was almost childlike, promising to spend an extra €5 billion in health and billions on education and housing.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Government rounds on Sinn Féin as it defends its record to date

“It is of real importance to young students who have given five years of study that their papers would be examined dispassionately, accurately and professionally.’’ Photograph: Eric Luke

O’Sullivan says training period should be extended from two days to at least a week

Brian Walsh: Thanked for his service to the House.  Photograph: The Irish Times

Tribute extended to Galway West TD obliged to withdraw candidacy from general election

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: “Rarely did we get the attention of our national broadcaster and national media generally, yet we     had severe flooding that impacted across all of Monaghan  and in Cavan.”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Kenny says he will not oppose Opposition proposals for single authority for river basin

“No one watching Mark Coughlan’s report on Prime Time last Thursday night could have had a scintilla of confidence in the so-called EPA,’’ Labour Senator John  Whelan has said. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

John Whelan highlights controversy over emissions from Enva waste plant in Portlaoise

 Flood defence work on the banks of the  River Shannon in Athlone, Co Westmeath. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach responds to criticism over lack of preparation for flooding along the Shannon

 Fourteen hours in witness box: Joanne Hayes at the Kerry babies tribunal in June 1985. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

State Papers 1985: Media coverage of case sparked anger in some quarters

President Michael D Higgins signed a number of pieces of legislation on Christmas Day. Photograph: Alan Betson

Legislation signed includes Bills on tax appeals and bankruptcy system

 Mary Lou McDonald:  “There are 68,000 people waiting for inpatient treatment . . . well done!’’  Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Joan Burton and Mary Lou McDonald clash on state of the health services

Independent TD Mick Wallace: “Last year alone, we gave permits for US civilian charter planes to carry 190 tons of bullets; they flew over Ireland to go to Afghanistan.’’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Mick Wallace again insists US planes carrying weapons and munitions

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was critical of Sinn Féin policies. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams accuses Taoiseach of ‘spoofing’ about health service

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin:  bottom line was there was no extra provision for high-tech drug scheme. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Micheál Martin says cystic fibrosis patients will need help to pay for new drug, Orkambi

Labour Party TD Michael McNamara. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Labour’s Michael McNamara complains about guillotining of legislation in Dáil

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted there will be no change in the rules governing the allocation of medical cards.

Sinn Féin leader claims health services will continue to be underfunded

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