Linda Cullen and Feargha Ni Bhroan with their twin five-year-old children, Tess and Rosa, after voting in Monkstown polling station, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Same-sex marriage supporters boosted by massive younger voter engagement

Polling stations are set to close after the referendums and byelection in Ireland on May 22nd, 2015. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Polls shut at 10pm as returning officers in Dublin expect 70% showing in some areas

Independent Senator  Fidelma Healy Eames  at a press conference organised by the No side in the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Campaigners are in favour of constitutional protection that stops short of marriage

The part of the same-sex marriage referendum ballot paper where voters will mark either Yes or No. The full wording of the amendment is also published on the ballot paper.

Know where to go, what the ballot looks like, and don’t risk a fine or spoiling your vote

Sinn Féin says people with a disability are more than twice as likely to be unemployed, and greater efforts must be made to allow those who want to work to do so

Sinn Féin to launch policy documents in coming weeks

Which way? Yes and No posters on Merrion Street, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

On eve of broadcast-moratorium campaigners believe people have made up their minds

Minister for Communications  and Labour Party director of elections  Alex White   puts up a poster urging a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. Mr White has said there will be ‘no constraint’ on teaching if the referendum passes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Campaigners also reject constitutional recognition in case of No in referendum

Minister for Communications Alex White said: “There is a long way to go until the general election. I’m not going to make the obvious point - but maybe I will: the only poll is the one that takes place next February or March.” File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Poll shows party stagnant at 7% support - while Fine Gael up four points to 28%

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins said the party would be emailing all members asking them to vote, as well as encouraging others in their social circle to do so. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Almost 66,000 voters have been added to the electoral register ahead of referendum

A spokeswoman for the Fennelly Commission has said it hopes to distribute its interim report on the resignation of Martin Callinan (above) as Garda commissioner by the end of the month. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fennelly Commission report on former Garda chief stepping down due by month's end

A source confirmed that “strengthened measures” for industrial relations were being discussed. Photograph: Getty Images

Proposal geared to reduce days lost through disputes if future changes are implemented

Waterford Fine Gael TD John Deasy was told the Department of Finance did not contact the stock exchange or the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement about  increased share activity.

PAC questions officials on sale of company to Denis O’Brien’s Millington

The Department of Finance had no records relating to Siteserv until after its sale by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to businessman Denis O’Brien.

Officials asked if they had inquired about increased share activity before sale

Senator  Ronan Mullen said the organisations received almost €15 million from Atlantic Philanthropies in recent years. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Ronan Mullen accuses philanthropist of ‘bankrolling social change’ over same-sex marriage vote

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Revised package announced by Ministers

 Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin with Carlow-Kilkenny byelection candidate Bobby Aylward at the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis in  Dublin last month. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins

Fine Gael confident that former stalwart Phil Hogan’s seat can be held by David Fitzgerald

Renua Ireland president Eddie Hobbs said it was difficult for new parties to get up and running, indeed it was “near, but not quite, impossible”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Email tells potential backers Carlow-Kilkenny byelection ‘crucial’ to embryonic party

Accord’s president Bishop Denis Nulty said in a statement he was “very disappointed that Tusla has made this funding decision.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Claims Tusla decision linked to Accord’s opposition to same-sex marriage is rejected

Labour’s  Willie Penrose has championed  the plan which has been backed by the parliamentary party.

Reduction in term from three years to one is not part of Coalition mortgage package

Government sources say  a high proportion of cases where  people in mortgage arrears end up in court happen because borrowers are afraid to respond to their banks. File photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

UK charity will encourage homeowners to avoid court by engaging with lenders

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: his department will outline the “fiscal space” the Government has for a deal on public service pay. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government has earmarked between €250m and €300m for pay restoration

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan set up the investigation to be carried out by the IBRC special liquidators. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Creighton asks Noonan to investigate deals resulting in loss of €1m or more

Sources said if the first €27,000 of income was exempted from the public-service pension levy, it would generate a boost in earnings for staff of about €800 per year. Photograph: Getty Images.

Staff would benefit by €800 if first €27,000 in pay was exempt from pension levy

Giving evidence at the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry on Thursday afternoon, John Begg, a former senior economist at AIB, took issue with evidence previously given by Prof John Fitzgerald, who retired from the ESRI last year. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

John Beggs disputes Prof John Fitzgerald’s take on events and was ‘amazed’ on hearing it

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton: an emergency meeting saw the TD added to the Dublin Bay North ticket after he lost the constituency selection convention. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

National executive told failure to get elected could encourage others to try and displace TDs

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: while he said he would not carry out his negotiations in public, sources disclosed that the allocation for public pay rises would fall between €250 million and €300 million in 2016. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government to spend €250m to €300m restoring pay to 300,000 public workers

The Central Bank in Dublin. The VHI has been granted provisional Central Bank authorisation. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

EU wants private health insurer to obey same minimum solvency levels as rivals

“Kelly has robbed the hard left of the possibility of more publicity by removing the threat of jail, while also blunting their charge of oppressive State machinery being out to get the anti-water charges movement.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Analysis: Alan Kelly has achieved a double victory under his new water compliance reforms

One Fine Gael source said reducing the USC, as well as possible moves on reducing taxes for the self-employed, would prove more electorally popular than reductions to the top rate of tax

Reducing universal social charge likely to prove more popular with voters – FG source

Lucinda Creighton’s Renua Ireland has hired the well-known political journalist and author John Drennan as one of its key advisers.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

John Drennan to take up communications and strategy role with Lucinda Creighton’s party

Margaret Gill  at the launch of the Fianna Fáil marriage referendum campaign in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil launches Yes campaign saying No side is making ‘outrageous assertions’

Richard Bruton: One of the few Fine Gael TDs to hold his seat in the capital when the party experience its meltdown at the 2002 general election. Photograph: The Irish Times

Top Fine Gael figure relegated in favour of Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí and Stephanie Regan

The Fianna Fáil leader was responding to comments made by former police ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Nuala O’Loan, who said it was inappropriate for the GRA to advocate a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader launches party’s same-sex marriage campaign

Dublin calling: The  Poolbeg chimneys have been granted a reprieve. Here they are photographed in 2013.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Maintenance work on stacks including steel caps to keep out water to begin this week

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (left) and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin  at a press confernce  after the publication of the spring economic statement. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Central Statistics Office says semi-State should be reclassified

Mr Noonan (left) said he had “absolute hard evidence” that €1.2bn would be available for tax cuts and spending increases in the October budget. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Up to €1.5bn set to be available for tax cuts and tangible improvement in public services

The spring statement was designed to  bring political debate back to where Fine Gael and Labour feel they are strongest: the economy. Photograph: Screengrab Oireachtas TV

Analysis: Timing means Opposition is convinced the election will be held this year

Coalition re-election campaign starts with tax plan and investment in jobs, children and health

Retired High Court judge Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill has been appointed by Michael Noonan to the investigation of IBRC transactions. Photograph: Frank Miller

Move follows concerns over conflicts of interest in inquiry triggered by Siteserv row

Michael Noonan said to address potential conflicts of interest “I am directing the appointment of retired High Court Judge Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill (pictured) to monitor any actual or perceived conflicts of interests”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Michael Noonan publishes terms of reference for the IBRC review

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan Fine Gael  said he would seek to address the possibility of conflicts of interest by firms including Siteserv which are  involved in around 30 transactions  (including the sale of Siteserv) which are  to be reviewed. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says Siteserv share register should be published ‘forthwith’

 Tánaiste Joan Burton believes a Yes vote is a ‘profoundly good development in our society’. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says referendum has nothing to do with surrogacy

Patrick Callaghan, Clontuskert, Galway East, and Michael O’Donoghue, Kilmurry, Cork North West, at the Fianna Fáil ardfheis  in the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil’s future hopes rest on return to populism and outright opposition

News of the Central Bank examination of Siteserv’s sale by the former Anglo Irish Bank comes as Government prepares to publish terms of reference today for an inquiry into the transaction by IBRC’s special liquidators. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

No regulatory action taken afterwards and now there are calls for scrutiny of share sales

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan is bringing proposals to Cabinet this week which would see the threshold drop in a move first proposed by a third-level taskforce, to encourage more students to do higher level and reduce the worry of losing out on CAO points for failing at higher level

Proposal designed to encourage more to sit higher level as ordinary level bar stays at 40%

Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance: the spring economic statement, to be unveiled in the Dáil, will set a five-year plan for  public finances and assumes the economy will expand by 4 per cent this year. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Economic plan for last budget before election set to depart from ‘austerity’ precedents

More information may be needed about the details of people who bought shares in Siteserv in the weeks before it was sold in March 2012, Tánaiste Joan Burton has said. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Tánaiste wants more details after reports of surge in company share activity before sale

Tánaiste Joan Burton and  Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Support for the Fine Gael-Labour Coaltion has dropped, according to an opinion poll published on Sunday.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Red C survey shows 78% support passing of same sex marriage referendum

Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin has described the protestors who confronted former Taoiseach Brian Cowen as he got into his car as “fascists”. Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Video of ex Taoiseach being harassed in Dublin could prompt garda drivers to be reintroduced

Minister of State at the Department of Finance Simon Harris insisted the Government was “not initiating this on the basis of any evidence of wrongdoing”. Photograph:   Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Noonan review to examine all IBRC deals which lost State €10 million

The Government on Thursday night moved to quell the Siteserv controversy by asking IBRC’s special liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, to examine the 30 or so sales by IBRC valued above €10m. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Documents reveal friction extended well beyond contentious disposal of Siteserv

The biggest spender on the Yes side will be the Yes Equality group, the umbrella organisation largely leading the campaign in favour of same-sex marriage. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Fine Gael and Labour to launch campaigns shortly costing €100,000 and €80,000

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “The deal was the deal and I was assured the components of the deal were necessary to get the best results for the taxpayer.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Documents show tensions over deal that resulted in €100m loss to the taxpayer

 Aodhán  Ó’Ríordáin, a Dublin Bay North deputy, is already a junior Minister at the Department of Justice and at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government reinstating post following concerns over issue

IFA general secretary Pat Smith, book editor Matt Dempsey, Ray MacSharry and IFA president Eddie Downey at the book launch. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

TD invited to repeat claims made under Dáil privilege outside the Oireachtas

Brendan Howlin: “What I have always said is that we won’t be able to undo the Fempi legislation in one year or, in fact, in two years either. It will be a gradual increase to restore pay”

Joan Burton says while shape of any pay deal has yet to be discussed, deals stretching over years were normal

FF party leader Micheál Martin: New rules introduced by Fianna Fáil in 2013 compel its leader to convene a special ardfheis should he or she wish to enter a coalition. Photograph: Alan Betson

Motions to be debated at party Ardfheis on potential post-election alliance, say sources

The Government is expected to announce its final mortgage arrears package at the end of the month, following the spring economic statement

Government planning further measures to tackle worrying mortgage arrears crisis

 MInister Paschal Donohoe launched the new safety strategy and said the main factors in sea accidents include inadequate safety equipment and failure to wear life-jackets. Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Plan includes 33 actions under headings such as information and communication, and search and rescue operations

Shares in Aer Lingus rose 5.5 per cent to €2.42 at lunchtime in Dublin

Claims that IAG and Government close to deal on Heathrow guarantees

Discarded plan? A computer-generated image of what a Metro North train arriving at Swords could look like

Minister to choose between six options and make recommendation before Dáil recess

Catholic Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran: was one of the original signatories. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Cross-denominational body taking advice from bishops

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has said any public sector pay deal must include reforms to work practices. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ministers in senior party say reversal of wage cuts must lead to increased productivity

Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone has been selected to contest the Dublin West constituency for Fine Gael with Minister for Health Leo Varadkar in the general election. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Senator, once based in Dublin South East, to run alongside Minister in general election

Former president Mary McAleese said the question of marriage equality is a human rights issue.

Former president has described same sex marriage as a ‘human rights issue’

‘Expect more political fixes, of differing scales, as the election draws near. A recent example was the extra funding provided by Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan for resource teaching hours for children with Down syndrome.’ Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Coalition will be hammering home their message that ‘There Is No Alternative’

Filming: volunteers take part in BeLonGTo’s advertisement in the Naul. Photograph: Alan Betson

With just six weeks until Ireland votes on whether to allow same-sex marriage, the hard battle will soon be under way

Yes Equality comprises the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Marriage Equality and says it has local branches in most constituencies. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Umbrella group’s same-sex marriage campaign launched by broadcaster Charlie Bird

Pearse Doherty has said the first action of Sinn Féin in government would be to scrap domestic water charges and abolish Irish Water.

Party says it will now abolish the semi-state body as well as water charges

Teresa Heeney, chief executive of Early Childhood Ireland, said one year’s paid parental leave should be only one element of reform package

Childcare group warns on timeline as Ibec raises concerns about costs to business sector

Taoiseach, Enda Kenny: Has repeatedly said the Government intends serving out its full term of office. The last possible date in the life of the 31st Dáil is March 8th, 2016. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Coalition intent on serving term but latest date for election not until April 9th, 2016

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly: has indicated he would like to restore the capitation grant to its previous level. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill.

Coalition has agreed in principle to introduction of second year of free pre-school

Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton: property tax a ‘significant issue’. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Ministers anxious to avoid big rises after review of tax is completed this summer

Choosing to split the year – which could be divided however  parents wish – may also entitle parents to bonus weeks of leave to encourage each parent to spend as much time with their child during its first year

Minister for Children working on reform package with bonuses for staying with baby

President Micheal D Higgins accompanied by Captain Eoghan O’Sullivan inspecting the guard of honour drawn from the 7th Infantry Battalion Cathal Brugha Barracks during the 99th Anniversary of the Easter Rising at the GPO. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Politicians and Defence Forces attend ceremony on O’Connell Street, Dublin

Refugees at an asylum centre near Portlaoise:  At present asylum seekers can go through four stages before a decision on their application is finalised. Photograph: The Irish Times

Asylum seekers living in direct provision for more than five years to be deemed a priority

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin: if a leadership election is triggered, voting will be broken down into three electoral colleges, with TDs still holding the biggest sway. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

New proposal is one of several measures aimed at reforming procedures in the party

Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil: “I have never agreed with washing the party’s dirty linen in public and I want it to stop now.” Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader says some deputies better at undermining party than Coalition and SF

The Moore Street buildings, the scene of the last acts of the Easter Rising,  were declared a national monument in 2007 but have been derelict for years. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Commemorative centre to be built on site where rebels agreed to surrender in 1916

Virgin Atlantic Airways  is pushing to appear before the Oireachtas Transport Committee to discuss the possible sale of the State’s 25 per cent shareholding in Aer Lingus.

IAG rival calls for legally binding agreements as part of Aer Lingus takeover

An inquiry by Mr Justice Nial Fennelly into the Garda taping controversy is preparing to distribute its draft report on the resignation of former commissioner Martin Callinan following the conclusion of Ian Bailey’s High Court action.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

FF says Taoiseach and his staff have ‘engaged in bluff and bluster’ over events around departure

Fianna Fáil councillor and solicitor Patrick McKee, who is currently Leas-Cathoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, is expected to contest the upcoming by-election in Carlow Kilkenny for Lucinda Creighton’s new political party Renua. Image: Youtube

Patrick McKee set to run for Renua Ireland in race to fill Hogan’s Carlow-Kilkenny seat

An alliance of Independent TDs attending an event in the Bridge Hotel, Tullamore on Saturday

Meeting in Tullamore told new grouping could back a government on confidence votes

Michael Healy-Rea: report said he hid ‘behind the veneer of a friendly/simple country yokel’ but was ‘unbeatable electorally’. It claimed he had a ‘vicious temper . . . he is not like his more collegial father in that regard.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Joan Burton defends Eamon Gilmore over FG claims he could lose Dáil seat

A Fine Gael strategy document says “Gilmore is weak and may lose his seat, which would serve FG”. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

FG document says Arthur Spring ‘goosed’ while Healy-Rae has veneer of ‘yokel’

Former minister for communications Pat Rabbitte launched a broadside against RTÉ in the Dáil earlier this week when he accused the national broadcaster of acting as “recruitment sergeant” for the far left and Sinn Féin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

TD frustrated at ‘inadequate coverage’ of improvements needed to water system

The Fine Gael Kerry branch sized up Independent Michael Healy-Rae (above) as someone who hides behind “the veneer of a friendly/simple country yokel” but who is “unbeatable electorally”. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times Dara Mac Donaill

Fine Gael outlines strengths and weaknesses of its TDs and rivals

Senator Hildegarde Naughton (above) has a “strong public image” but “poor knowledge of the political landscape”. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Party faces backlash in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s constituency

The Department of Education compiled a new report on the flights at the request of the Dail Public Accounts Committee. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Report shows Rody Molloy claimed his wife was representing the company

“RTÉ has acted as a recruiting sergeant for those who have taken control of, and are manipulating, the water protests,” Pat Rabbitte  told the Dáil. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former Labour minister criticises national broadcaster’s coverage of water charges

The works are likely to see the Seanad moving for much of 2017, while also closing off the majority of the original Leinster House.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Office of Public Works says improvements must be carried out on buliding’s oldest parts

A screen-grab of the home page of oblivious.ie – a politics website operated by a group of transition year students from St Attracta’s CS, Tubbercurry in Sligo

Majority of those surveyed also said they would close the door on a politician

Attachment orders on wages and welfare payments are seen as likely to be included in new measures to be published by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly. Photograph: Alan Betson

Proposals being considered by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly

Maureen Haughey, wife of Charles Haughey, is to attend a Fianna Fáil event later this week to launch the party’s 1916 centenary commemorations. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Widow of Charles Haughey, daughter of Séan Lemass to attend 1916 commemorations

Gerry Adams: events in Washington and New York lined up. Photograph: Getty Images

All those attending events abroad will go economy class, party spokesman insists

Paudie McGahon: “I knew that chap long before it ever happened and then all of a sudden he started to lose control of his life, but he has got control back.” Photograph: BBC

Man who alleges rape by IRA man expects another victim of same attacker to go public

Enda Kenny: a new unit is to be established within the Department of the Taoiseach to prepare for the possible exit of Britain from the European Union as well as dealing with other aspects of Irish-UK relations. Photograph: Colin Keegan

David Cameron promises referendum if Tories return to power after general election

Irish Times Washington Correspondent appearing before the Banking Inquiry in Dublin on Tuesday evening. Screengrab: Oireachtas TV

Journalist discusses ‘cosy’ relationship between political parties and property sector

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton at a press conference to mark the Fine Gael/Labour Party Coalition’s fourth year in office on March 10th, 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny says reduction in bankruptcy term from three years to one to be considered

Michéal Martin: Any suggestion ‘the truth of the Taoiseach’s involvement in the departure of Martin Callinan will now potentially not be known until after the general election is simply outrageous and unacceptable’.

Mr Justice Nial Fennelly’s findings to be delayed until after the High Court case involving Ian Bailey concludes

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