A spokesman for  Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said she received a letter from Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill seeking a further extension in which to complete his whistleblower review. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former High Court judge given six weeks to inquire into new allegations made by gardaí

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe: spokeswoman says  the net effect of the new estimates would not alter the public finance target. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Government says supplementary estimates will not affect overall budgetary parameters

Syria’s Grand Mufti, Dr Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, denied Russian forces or the Assad regime had carried out atrocities in eastern Aleppo.

Grand Mufti addresses Oireachtas foreign affairs committee

A secondary function of water meters was as an effective tool in identifying leaks.

Meter installation and normal usage loom large as issues over Irish water provision

An anti-water charges protest in Dublin last year. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Group aware of issue’s divisive nature as it puts emphasis on general taxation

The report of the expert commission on the funding of water services is to be published on Wednesday.

Most households will not pay for utility under report recommendations

With 40% of the population living in the greater Dublin area, the spare water capacity of the capital is currently at around 8%, below the median for other European cities which ranges from 10% to 15%

Expert commission to publish reoirt tomorrow; Paper casts doubt on constitutional protection for utility

Taoiseach Enda Kenny travelled to Rome to meet Pope Francis this week: the pontiff plans to visit Ireland in 2018. Photograph:  Kathrin Ziegler/EPA

Shane Ross fears pontiff could become embroiled in controversial political matter

 Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross  has finally published some Ministerial priorities for his department, more than six months after his appointment to the position.  File photograph: Naoise Culhane

Independent Alliance leader finally outlines his priorities for Department of Transport

Cuban leader Fidel Castro posing for photographers in Havana, Cuba in 2006. Photograph: Alejandro Ernesto/EPA

Michael D Higgins faced criticism for his tribute to the Cuban leader over the weekend

John F Kennedy v Richard Nixon: the two US presidential candidates debate in 1960 (entry 1). Photograph: Bettmann/Getty

From Kennedy v Nixon and Haughey v FitzGerald to ‘F*** you, Deputy Stagg’, television has seen many memorable political exchanges

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Photograph: Eric Luke

Mary Mitchell-O’Connor predicts ‘tailored’ post-Brexit relationship between EU and UK

The Government has deferred a Bill to curb alcohol abuse until after Christmas. File photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Government defers Bill to curb alcohol abuse until after Christmas due to FG divisions

Alcohol segregation: the change is intended to ensure alcohol is not regarded by customers, especially children, as similar to other commodities. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Store owners would be required to segregate alcohol and non-alcohol products

Labour party leader Brendan Howlin: “It’s seeing everything through the righteousness of your own country and the awfulness of the foreigner.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Brendan Howlin says austerity policies have left ‘dangerous’ void at heart of Europe

Labour leader Brendan Howlin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Interview: Party’s leader says he is ‘absolutely determined’ to lead its recovery

Catherine Murphy (left) and Róisín Shortall address the party event in Dublin. Photograph: Maura Hickey.

Party seeks end to religious discrimination, repeal of the 8th amendment

Catherine Murphy TD and Roisín Shorthall TD  at the Social Democrats inaugural National Conference in Dublin on Saturday.Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Analysis from Harry McGee on the Social Democrats party and its future

Social Democrats leaders Catherine Murphy (left) and Róisín Shortall at the party’s annual convention. Photograph: Maura Hickey.

Party members gather for inaugural national conference

Activists against climate change at the World Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. Photograph: Mohamed Messara/EPA

Analysis: Ireland will not meet its 2020 target as economic growth spells more emissions

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at  the World Climate Change Conference  in Marrakech. Photograph: REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon calls on US president-elect to support Paris accord

Moroccan and international demonstrators protest on the sidelines of the COP22 meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. Photograph: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

UN predicts 2016 will be hottest year on record as representatives meet on Paris accord

Until very recently, the very notion of Ireland leaving the EU was so outlandish and marginal that it did not feature in any public discourse in a meaningful way. Photograph: iStock

In a year of confounded expectations, another unthinkable idea is gaining traction

Paul Kehoe: The drug he was prescribed was more appropriate for a “very short visit”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Paul Kehoe took alternative despite backing Lariam for troops in sub-Saharan Africa

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams made no criticism of US president-elect Donald Trump in the Dáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin leader careful not to make any personal comments about US president-elect

Fracking, to obtain shale oil and gas, uses high-pressure water to fracture rocks which contain deposits of the ore

Legislation brought by TD for Sligo-Leitrim which has potential for controversial extraction

Professor John McHale, the chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, will step down from the role at the end of the year. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Professor has been chairman of Irish Fiscal Advisory Council since its 2011 establishment

The public is to be consulted on the future of the State’s railways on foot of a review on  Iarnród Éireann, which warns of line closures if  significant additional State investment is not provided.  Photograph: Iarnród Éireann

Galway TD says regional development means not just retention of line but its expansion

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten is bringing a memorandum to Cabinet aimed at ramping up the State’s capabilities to prevent potential cyber attacks on digital networks and databases. File photograph: Getty Images

Move is first serious response to growing threats from hackers and cyber-criminals

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys: “The process is started, which is important. We are going to try and keep it outside party politics and look for cross-party agreement”  Photoraph: Davd Sleator

Organisers upbeat despite low attendance at round-table meeting, with no FG attendees

The Dáil last week debated the drastically deteriorating situation in Aleppo. Photograph: Reuters/Abdalrhman Ismail

There’s no consensus in the Dáil over who is to blame for Aleppo and the refugee crisis

Increasing cross-Border co-operation led to the creation of six North-South implementation bodies, including Waterways Ireland. Photograph: James Connolly

Threat to EU funding casts shadow over tourism revival flowing from peace process

Nama board members William Soffe, Brian McEnery and Oliver Ellingham arrive  at the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Project Eagle discussed at special Public Affairs Committee meeting with directors

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘This obligation is as much an opportunity as it is an obligation’ – Denis Naughten

In his opening statement, William Soffe told the committee the board stood over the sale, the sales process, the price achieved and also rejected any suggestion that the agency’s Northern Ireland advisory member Frank Cushnahan had any specific knowledge or bore any influence.

Board members defend sale of Northern Ireland portfolio during PAC appearance

Ireland will be the second last EU country to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change which was brokered in the French capital last December. File photograph: Adam Berry/Bloomberg

Move will end weeks of uncertainty over Government’s intentions on ratification

President Michael D Higgins: critical of the European Central Bank’s “extraordinary structure”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘Unaccountable forces’ make it difficult to relieve people from poverty, says Higgins

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone: says she plans to oppose the motion brought forward by AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger. Ms Zappone is in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment but told supporters the best approach was to allow the Citizens’ Assembly do its work and make recommendations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Group of five may oppose AAA-PBP motion calling for repeal of Eighth Amendment

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: a spokesman says two gardaí reportedly named by her at a meeting with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and others had already been widely identified in the public domain before the meeting took place. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Claim Frances Fitzgerald committed breach over Garda whistleblowers in 2015 denied

A huge majority of Dubliners are in favour of the capital city having a directly-elected Mayor, according to the results of an opinion poll for the Labour Party.  The poll, commissioned by Labour Dublin spokesman Kevin Humphreys, has shown that three out of four voters living in Dublin believe it should have its own elected mayor.

Poll on the issue commissioned by Labour Dublin spokesman Kevin Humphreys

Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe emerged from Budget 2017 with considerable credit. Photograph: The Irish Times

Party’s point men show restraint when handling myriad demands and media scrutiny

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney  defended the €600,000 limit.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Cowen cites ‘blatant unfairness’ of €600,000 threshold in Coveney’s plan

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Mary Mitchell O’Connor. When details of the idea were leaked to the media, it was shot down by the Taoiseach as inequitable. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Pre-budget suggestion of plan for workers coming back to Ireland resembled Minister’s

Budget 2017: There is  a new measure to incentivise users of large vehicles to switch from diesel to natural gas.  File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Modest steps to help meet low-carbon economy target and begin fulfilling Paris Accord

Brian  Hayes said the North’s relationship with Britain under an ‘associate member’ status could be  analogous to the current relationship between the EU and Gibraltar, or to Norway’s relationship with the Union.

MEP also suggests Irish State could pay North’s annual funding contribution

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan before the announcement of  Budget 2015. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The configuration of Government makes for an undramatic budget

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said there was “not anything surprising” in the views of Northern Secretary James Brokenshire that both Irish and British governments work to strengthen Ireland’s external borders after Brexit. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Fianna Fáil reacts to Tánaiste’s ‘nothing surprising’ in bolstering external borders

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said the comments made by Donald Trump about grabbing women in a 2005 video raise questions about his fitness to be president of the United States.  Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Frances Fitzgerald says ‘locker room banter’ should not become an excuse for sexual assault

 Britain is considering using entry points to the Irish Republic as its front line in combating post-Brexit illegal immigration, according to Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire. Photograph: PA

James Brokenshire says countries would work to tackle illegal immigration post-Brexit

From L-R: Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Taoiseach Enda Kenny,  Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.  ‘The scope of the inquiry needs to be widened to include all whistleblowers who have brought matters of ill-treatment to the attention of the Minister,’ solicitor Trevor has said.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Solicitor for whistleblower Garda Keith Harrison says inquiry is flawed and must be widened

Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan. Brendan Howlin has said it was a ‘worry’ that  Mr Callinan’s SIM card had never been accessed by the Fennelly Commission. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Labour leader concerned Fennelly never got access to Garda commissioner’s card

Dr Kurt Hubner’s study shows North would benefit enormously, with more modest gains for the Republic, if there was a united Ireland. Photograph: Paul Faith.

Research shows reunification could deliver boon to enlarged state worth over €35bn

Fianna Fáil’s  Dublin spokesman John Lahart (front right)  at Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil proposal would see citizens of city and county vote in mayoral elections in 2019

Fianna Fáil spokesman on finance Michael McGrath and its spokesman on public expenditure and reform, Dara Calleary TD. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Divisions remain over start date of proposed €5 a week increase in old-age pension

Fr Eoghan Haughey, pictured at the funeral in 2006 of his brother former taoiseach Charles J Haughey. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fr Haughey was a member of the Oblate order and died in community’s Inchicore residence

Fianna Fáil spokesman on finance, Michael McGrath and the party’s spokesman on  public expenditure and reform, Dara Calleary. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Michael McGrath TD says pensioners have waited for years already for increase

Labour leader Brendan Howlin with party colleagues Jan O’Sullivan, Sean Sherlock and Jed Nash at their alternative budget launch. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tax cuts low on party’s fiscal agenda in favour of investment intervention in key areas

A Librarian working at the Dun Laoghaire LexIcon library. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

New arrangement drops Irish language requirement even in libraries in Gaeltacht areas

 Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

FF spokesman on transport, tourism Robert Troy criticises what he terms ‘inordinate delay’

The Government has committed to increasing the old-age pension by €5 in  Budget 2017.

Government also commits to extending medical card cover to 10,000 children

Auditor concludes millions of euro might have been lost over Project Eagle portfolio in North

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir of Sinn Féin: appeared before an Oireachtas committee to discuss the implications of Brexit. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir says there is doubt over shortfall of potential €1.1bn post-Brexit

Chief Justice Susan Denham, who has criticised the 20-year delay in setting up a judicial council. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Announcement follows Chief Justice Denham’s criticism about 20-year delay for body

Take four: Minister for Education Richard Bruton, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Minister for Transport Shane Ross and Taoiseah Enda Kenny. Photographs: The Irish Times

Thorny problems and contentious issues loom, not least the future of this Taoiseach

Enda Kenny at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly. “This is a period of uncertainty,” he said, adding that the Budget will be Brexit-proofed. Photograph: Eric Luke

Taoiseach says implications from triggering of article 50 by Theresa May will be profound

The allegation that Gerry Adams sanctioned the assassination of Denis Donaldson should be investigated, said Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photographs: The Irish Times

SF chief rejects role in killing and abhors credence accorded to ‘anonymous’ accuser

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD with Molly Twomey (5) from Mucklagh, Co Offaly at the 2016 National Ploughing Championships, Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Fianna Fáil leader criticises response of Gerry Adams to BBC ‘Spotlight’ programme

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  at the party think-in at the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Analysis: The Fianna Fáil leader is looking strong but still keeping his powder dry

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has warned  against over-the-top criticism of Europe following the European Commission’s ruling that Ireland’s tax deal with Apple was illegal State aid. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Leo Varadkar warns against over-the-top criticism of EU which ‘has been good for State’

Martin McGuinness has not said when he will stand down from his position as the effective Sinn Féin leader in the North and Deputy First Minister.  Photograph: Getty

Deputy First Minister’s comments follow Gerry Adams’s plan for change of leader

‘People like Frank Cushnahan and Ian Coulter and Sammy Wilson and others, it’s up to them to contribute to that. If they are not prepared the people of Ireland can make up their own minds,’ Martin McGuinness said. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

‘There is a responsibility on everybody North and South to contribute’ to Nama inquiry

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams in conversation with Caitríona Ruane.  His departure will be on his own terms. Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Party drafting 10-year plan and Gerry Adams accepts inevitability of exit within that period

Frank Daly has  done a series of interviews defending Nama. Photograph: Collins

Inside Politics: Nama challenges finding by watchdog of ‘probable loss of value to State of up to £190 million’

Paschal Donohoe:  the Minister intimated that the clash between two of the State’s most powerful public bodies was partly behind the reason to initiate an investigation. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

National Asset Management Agency rejects report’s critical conclusions on portfolio sale

 Michael Noonan: he participated from hospital by telephone in the Cabinet discussion on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on Nama

Minister is expected to be discharged from hospital before the weekend

A report into Nama’s sale of Project Eagle has found the agency lost £190 million (€220 million) on the deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Enda Kenny agrees to inquiry into sale of North loans as watchdog publishes report

In the Republic, only two forms of inquiries have the power to oblige witnesses to attend. The first are tribunals of inquiry, the second are commissions of investigation. File photograph: Getty Images

Harry McGee: Effective inquiry would require new legislation on both sides of Border

When Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe announce the 2017 budget in October, the total available will be just over €1 billion, split two-one in favour of spending over tax. That means tax cuts of only about €340 million (if no new taxes are raised). Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The Government will have €1bn to play with, but they won’t be losing the run of themselves

Minister for Health Simon Harris does not intend to meet consultants in Waterford to discuss a report on cardiac services at the city’s hospital.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister’s response to cardiac services review may lead to showdown with Halligan

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten: not in favour of increasing the licence fee at this time. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Naughten agrees with report and vows to ‘improve’ operation of TV licence system

Ciaran Conlon was a special adviser to Richard Bruton in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Employment between February 2011 and earlier this year. He had previously been Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny’s director of communications when the party was in opposition. File photograph: Collins Photos

Ciaran Conlon restricted from relevant links with Department of Jobs until May 2017

If the group’s  recommendations  had been adopted, it would have closed off many loopholes and impinged on aggressive tax minimisation arrangements, such as the one used by Apple. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Apple companies at heart of EU ruling had tax avoidance structure identified by group

Independents 4 Change TD  Mick Wallace has spoken out about the latest ‘Spotlight’ allegations concerning Nama. Niall Carson/PA Wire

BBC programme includes secret recording of former Nama adviser receiving £40,000

The Dáil is debating parliamentary approval for the Government’s decision to appeal the European Commission decision in the Apple tax case

Inside Politics: Deputies are recalled almost three weeks early to debate appealing the EC decision

Apple tax: A briefing paper released by the Department of Finance said the Revenue is obliged to collect the €13bn which will be deposited in an escrow account. Photograph: Getty Images

Department of Finance releases briefing paper to 158 TDs ahead of Dáil debate

Appeal inevitable as main Opposition party offers support to Government.

US president Barack Obama says it is in everyone’s interest ‘to put a stop to all of this’

Micheál Martin’s argument that the EU Commissioner’s decision was a Trojan horse to get at our corporation tax rate was “pure sophistry”.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael drop their rivalry when FDI policy looks threatened

Before coming to her decision to support the appeal on Friday, Katherine Zappone held two separate meetings with Attorney General Máire Whelan lasting three hours in total. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Phil Hogan rejects claim EU Commission’s decision was politically motivated

Senator Kevin Humphreys has criticised the decision by the National Transport Authority to prioritise the Luas Cross City project.  “There are more people using Dublin Bikes than the Luas lines.”  Photograph: David Sleator

Suspension of work on 29km Dublin walking and cycling route shows ‘skewed priorities’

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: “National authorities cannot give tax benefits to some companies and not to others. This is the level playing field that the commission is always working to defend.” Photograph: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Government boosted by strong support from Micheál Martin for its response to ruling

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. The proposed tax on sugary drinks is motivated by concerns over rising levels of obesity in Ireland, especially among children. Photograph: Getty/iStock

Minister likely to delay levy until 2018 but soft drinks industry opposed to ‘regressive’ move

 Michael McGrath: the Fianna Fáil finance spokesman says he wrote to the Minister and the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, urging them to close the loophole. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Use of funds’ charitable status to be tackled in Finance Bill, department vows

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross has said the Coalition Government comprising Fine Gael and members of the Independent Alliance could last for another three or four years.

Minister for Transport says Government could last another three or four years

The Government’s appeal against the European Commission’s ruling on Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland will rely on three major arguments. Illustration: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

‘How could FDI come to EU if they thought deal could be overturned a generation later?’

Independent Alliance Ministers Shane Ross and Finian Mc Grath speaking to reporters ahead of the Cabinet meeting about the Apple tax ruling. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Noonan to appoint ‘independent expert’ to review Irish tax arrangements

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (right)  with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.  File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Noonan and Kenny suggest move is part of wider attack on 12.5% corporate tax rate

Independent Alliance Ministers Shane Ross and Finian McGrath speak to the press on arrival at Government Buildings for a Cabinet meeting on Friday. The group said it had always stressed that it had wanted a fair system of taxation for multinational companies. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Group said it always stressed it wanted a fair system of taxation for multinationals

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe at Government Buildings where they announced that the Cabinet agreed to appeal the €13bn Apple tax ruling. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister says European Commission trying to end Ireland’s 12.5% corporation tax rate

Talks continued last night with Independent Minister Zappone calling for commitment to tax justice. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Dáil to be recalled to debate appeal against European Commission’s decision

Peter Sutherland: ‘I am absolutely mystified about what is coming out of London.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Former EU commissioner rejects David Davis’s assertion on Border as ‘ridiculous’

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