Key Sinn Féin figures  launch the party’s election manifesto at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, February 9th, 2016. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Abolition of water charges and property tax sit beside promises to cut wages of politicians

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald, and Cllr Rose Conway Walsh, at launch of Sinn Féin’s election manifesto in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Party manifesto commits to retaining USC but abolishing water charges, property tax

Pat Kenny will moderate the debate with fellow broadcaster Colette Fitzpatrick. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Four-way contest between Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Labour

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance Michael McGrath during a briefing on the economic choice facing voters. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour pledges to cut USC on incomes up to €72,000 and extend PRSI relief

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams  outside the Mater Hospital in Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Analysis: Election campaign that was to be about economy may now focus on security

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis will address a meeting this weekend by video link, and will travel to Ireland before polling day. Photograph: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP/Getty Images

Right2Change says former Greek finance minister expected before polling day

Michael McGrath, Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman, said the party would direct any available funding towards maintaining public services instead of implementing tax cuts if the economy does not grow at a rate that will provide sufficient money for the next government. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party proposes abolition of USC for those earning less than €80,000 within five years

Sinn Féin health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Cllr Máire Devine, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams TD and Cllr Darren O’Rourke at the launch of a billboard campaign outside the Mater Hospital, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Focus on SF view on Special Criminal Court as campaign enters week two

Niall Collins, Fianna Fáil  justice spokesman,  outlined some justice and security elements of the party’s manifesto near the location of  Friday’s fatal shooting at the Regency Hotel. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Niall Collins holds press conference near site of killing to ‘stand in solidarity’ with community

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams at the launch of the Sinn Féin election campaign at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Party’s manifesto of spending plans will assume fiscal space of €8.6bn

Civilians leave the the scene of the shooting at the Regency Hotel. Photograph: Colin Keegan

Two injured in attack in Regency Hotel at weigh-in ahead of boxing match

Tom Fleming: he said he was “lagging behind a bit in the north end of the constituency”

Fleming withdraws saying new five-seater constituency places him at disadvantage

A garda stands at the  cordon sealing off the Regency Airport Hotel in Dublin on the evening of February 5th, 2016 following a fatal shooting. Photograph: Caroline Quinn/AFP/Getty Images

‘That children were put in harm’s way shows the callous disregard for human life’

‘I will not have any  dealings with Michael Lowry or any other independent,’ when it comes to the formation of a new government the Taoiseach said on Friday.

It would be ‘glib’ to commit to referendum on Eighth without knowing what would replace it

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at the launch of Fine Gael’s  economic plan. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Tobacco tax increase among proposed measures to offset cost of abolishing charge

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin meets former Minister Martin Cullen while canvassing in Waterford on Thursday: he urged “a strong note of caution” in the Irish general election campaign. Photograph: Frank Miller

Speculation distracting from policy discussions, says Fianna Fáil leader in Waterford

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Ciaran Murtagh, managing director of Shay Murtagh Concrete Products, in Raharney, Co Westmeath, on the first day of canvassing in the general election. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pressure is on as party launches long-term economic plan seen as key to re-election

 Peter Mathews: said he was given an ‘unexpected’ diagnosis of oesophageal cancer in recent days. File Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Dublin Rathdown deputy pledges to stand in election despite illness

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and  Taoiseach  Enda Kenny: €12 billion available over the lifetime of the next government, according to Noonan.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party announces ‘rainy day’ fund for capital investment in case economy slows down

Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Cllr Catherine Ardagh at a press conference following the announcement of Election 2016. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Party leaders, Ministers and TDs address media as election campaigns begin in earnest

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny leaving Áras an Uachtaráin after President Michael D Higgins  signed the dissolution of the 31st Dáil in advance of a general election. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Disorganised dissolution of Dáil leaves much room for improvement

Election 2016: Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Labour leader Joan Burton, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Renua leader Lucinda Creighton and Ruth Coppinger of the Anti-Austerity Alliance.

Coalition hopes to be returned as FF says it could be biggest party after February 26th poll

The AAA and PBP have formed a joint platform for the general election and held a press conference outside Leinster House on Wednesday to mark the start of the campaign. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times/Files

Ruth Coppinger says voters can choose left-wing alternative for next government

Richard Boyd Barrett at the launch of his election campaign in Dun Laoghaire.

Party profile: Out of the ashes of the United Left Alliance has emerged the AAA-PBP

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton is congratulated after she addressed the Labour Party conference at the Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, Co Westmeath on January 30th. Photograph: PA

Party profile: Labour can no longer rely on an anti-establishment vote

While the Taoiseach has yet to confirm it, polling day is widely expected to be Friday, February 26th. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Inside politics: Kenny ‘dying for road’, announces election on Wednesday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin where they signed the dissolution of the 31st Dail. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Order for polling day on Friday, February 26th is signed by Alan Kelly

Minister For Health Leo Varadkar told colleagues that Fine Gael, if returned to power after the general election, would introduce strict new waiting time targets. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Kenny to seek to have Dáil dissolved and set general election date

Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch: “We  concluded . . .  that the only way forward is to commission a statutory commission of investigation.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Lynch says work being carried out by SC will inform terms of reference for future inquiry

The whistleblower says when he became aware of Grace in 2007, she had not had a HSE visit in six years. Photograph: Getty Images

Social worker brought concerns to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar in September 2014

A senior Labour source said the decision on an election date was the prerogative of the Taoiseach. Photograph: The Irish Times

Key staff in FG and FF move to campaign headquarters in anticipation of poll date

Michelle Mulherin  TD:    she is seen as facing an uphill struggle in Co Mayo, which is dropping from a five-seater to a four-seater for this election. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Strategy will boost parliamentary party in constituencies where support is strong

Ministers Alex White and Brendan Howlin speaking at their press conference ahead of Labours Annual Conference, held in the Mullingar Park Hotel.  Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Minister for Public Expenditure says Labour will prioritise public spending over tax cuts if returned to office

Michael Noonan: “There is an assumption that it is the Government’s intention, if re-elected, to abolish USC completely for all levels of income. That is not the position”

The paucity of opposition is letting Fine Gael get away with catch-all policies

Patrick Neary: the then financial regulator accepted the bank guarantee was a ‘throw of the dice’. Photograph: David Sleator

Draft plan claimed bank could overcome ‘issues’ caused by crisis, inquiry told

Fianna Fáil enterprise spokesman Dara Calleary told the Ibec business debate political parties are not debating the serious effects a Brexit could have on Ireland.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Damien English, Ged Nash and Lucinda Creighton appear at business leaders debate

Oireachtas banking inquiry findings do not bear out Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s claim of three years ago that an “axis of collusion” existed between Fianna Fáil and the banks. Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

Electorate does not need banking inquiry report to decide if has quite finished with FF

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter:  said all Ministers must stay on-message. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Alan Shatter’s veiled criticisms of Minister for Health’s record made at FG party meeting

The Government has arranged for a Dáil debate on the final report of the banking inquiry to take place on Thursday, clearing the way for the general election to be called next week if  Taoiseach Enda Kenny chooses to do so. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Thursday’s discussion of report is last impediment to Taoiseach setting vote date

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and UK prime minister David Cameron: Government sources expect Mr Cameron to provide Mr Kenny with an update on his negotiations to date. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Taoiseach in Downing Street to discuss Britain’s negotiations on staying in the EU

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan told the Fine Gael ardfheis the party’s policy of abolishing the Universal Social Charge (USC) will cost less than 30 per cent of all resources available to the next government, the so-called “fiscal space”.   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Party says it will commit to using resources for services and infrastructure if re-elected

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  at the Fine Gael ardfheis: “Fine Gael has a clear, costed, long-term economic plan to keep the recovery going.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fine Gael is pitching itself as a dull but safe choice to keep the economy on track

It is important that Irish people in the UK who are entitled to vote exercise their right to vote in the referendum, says British ambassador to Ireland Dominick Chilcott. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Immigration chief issue shaping British attitudes towards EU, says Dominick Chilcott

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar at the Fine Gael Ardfheis at Citywest Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Whenever I need guidance about what to do in health . . .I read what Micheál Martin did . . . and then I do the exact opposite’ (...)

Eabha Cronin, from Washington Street in Dublin 8, is a first-year dentistry student at Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

The 2016 election will let them vote for the first time. So how do today’s 18-year-olds feel about politics, sexuality, boom and b(...)

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny  told   Fine Gael Ardfheis in City West Dublin  the election would be a choice “between a clear plan to keep the recovery going; or putting the people’s hard-won progress at risk”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fitzgerald will announce tougher sentences for repeat offenders at Fine Gael Ardfheis

The Social Democrats launch their manifesto on O’Connell Street. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Party’s manifesto criticises Fianna Fáil while mirroring its economic policies

TDs Stephen Donnelly, Róisín Shortall  and Catherine Murphy with other  Social Democrats as they  launch their manifesto on O’Connell Street. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party wishes to reduce ‘cost of living for all families’ and create Irish version of NHS

The Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin speaking at the party’s Ard Fheis, at Citywest, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Pre-election mood was in full swing, as delegates were eager to get back canvassing

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to promise that the unemployment rate in all regions will be within 1 per cent of the national average within four years

Taoiseach to commit to employment equality between regions

Fine Gael TD John Perry  canvassing in Sligo. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

On the canvass with the Sligo-North Leitrim TD who survived legal battle with his party

Fine Gael and Labour are both considering linking the maximum amount a householder will pay in water charges to the rate of inflation if re-elected to office.

Fine Gael and Labour are considering linking maximum fee for water to rate of inflation

The late PJ Mara and former Fianna Fáil  leader Bertie Ahern, who said Mara was “able to handle almost any situation”. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Key Haughey adviser was also director of elections for Ahern’s three victories

 David Begg: defending her decision to appoint Mr Begg as Pensions Authority chairman, Joan Burton said he “has an outstanding record in this area”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister under attack for appointing David Begg as chairman of Pensions Authority

Could it happen in here? In Britain, Tory MP John Bercow (right) has been regularly re-elected as House of Commons speaker thanks to opposition support. Photograph: PA Wire

Speculation among TDs over who might go for the position is already rampant

Louth deputy Peter Fitzpatrick: former manager of the Louth senior football team said Fergus O’Dowd, his fellow Fine Gael TD and ex-junior minister, is virtually guaranteed his seat. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Peter Fitzpatrick urges party members to back him over running mate Fergus O’Dowd

Joan Burton in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. The general election is just weeks away and Government TDs could be expected to be fretting over whether the tardiness of the Coalition response will cost them votes. But not many are. Photo:

Politicians in election mode say floods unlikely to hole campaigns beneath water line

The Government last year asked Mr Justice Brian Cregan to investigate 38 IBRC transactions involving write-offs of more than €10 million each. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Mr Justice Brian Cregan sought new legislation to allow inquiry to complete its work

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar with Tony O’Brien, director general of the HSE, at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Ministers disagree on nurses’ strike and consultants’ pay during Cabinet meeting

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin: “We are a bit to the left; historically we always have been in terms of social services, in terms of education, in terms of the health services.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party leader critical of ‘right-wing’ Fine Gael plans for US levels of personal taxation

Micheál Martin: “I’m not Taoiseach of the country. He [Enda Kenny] is the executive in charge.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil critical of Taoiseach’s appearances at storm-damaged towns and villages

Dublin MEP Brian Hayes, who will be co-ordinating the party’s general election campaign, said Cabinet or junior ministers who go against government policy during the lifetime of the next Dáil should resign their positions.

Ministers should toe party line despite Kenny promise of free vote if re-elected, says MEP

Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Tom Curran was involved in recent action that led to addition of John Perry to ticket

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at the Department of Finance. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister said chest infection did not respond to antibiotics and developed into pneumonia

A motorist stranded on the roof of his car in flood water near Ennereilly, Co Wicklow on Monday. Photograph: Garry O’Neill

Alan Kelly seeks additional €10m to help local authorities in clean-up operation

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: “New, transparent health tax, within the existing levels of taxation, would allow people to see  a certain proportion of their taxes are being used for a specific reason.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Personal taxation should not be increased ‘necessarily right now’ to create such a levy

Tánaiste Joan Burton: says the Labour  Party will commit itself to split all available future resources between spending increases and tax cuts on a three-to-one basis in favour of spending. Photograph:  Sam Boal

Tánaiste confirms party plans to abolish USC for everyone earning less than €70,000

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton, centre, with its hopeful candidates at the manifesto launch on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Lucinda Creighton’s party, playing the watchdog role, is first with election manifesto

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton (centre) made her comments  at the launch of her party’s election 2016 manifesto.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Lucinda Creighton accepts not all policies will be implemented if party takes office

Minister of State Simon Harris: out of 300 areas in a national plan to tackle flooding, 66 are along the Shannon. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Situation in parts of south Galway ‘as bad now’ as during floods of November 2009

 President Michael D Higgins has signed the International Protection Bill 2015 into law. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

President decides not to refer Bill to Supreme Court after convening the Council of State

Two Government Ministers have defended Taoiseach Enda Kenny amid Opposition claims he has not taken enough interest in areas seriously affected by recent flooding. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Enda Kenny not ‘doing the Bertie Ahern’ puddle photocall, says Simon Harris

President Michael D Higgins: Convened the  meeting in Áras an Uachtaráin which extended to over three hours. Photograph: PA

President’s Council of State meeting at Áras an Uachtaráin includes Kenny and Burton

The dole payment proposal is due to be included in the party’s general election manifesto. Photograph: Getty Images

Manifesto proposal will only apply to those who have paid sufficient PRSI contributions

President Michael D Higgins, with members of the Council of State, front from left; Sen Patrick Burke, Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett,TD; Tanaiste Joan Burton; Taoiseach Enda Kenny, President Higgins; The Hon Mrs Justice, Susan Denham; The Hon Mr Justice, Peter Kelly; Attorney General Maire Whelan and Prof. McAlleese. (Back row from left) former taoisigh John Bruton, presidential appointees Sally Mulready and Michael Farrell; The Hon Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness; The Hon Justice Ronan Keane; The Hon Justice John Murray; presidential appointee Prof Deirdre Heenan, former taoisigh Bertie Ahern, presidential appointees Ruairi McKiernan and Prof Gerard Quinn and former taoisigh Brian Cowen, ahead of their meeting to consider legislation reforming the asylum application system, at Aras an Uachtarain. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish TimesPhotograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Council of State met for a number of hours on Tuesday to provide advice to President

Brendan Howlin has said that Labour will not re-enter government ‘at any cost’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Howlin says party must have ‘critical mass’ of TDs if it is to return to government

 Micheál Martin: better effort should have been made to connect ‘taxes to ability to pay’. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Martin says party keen to see all proceeds of the property tax stay with local councils

British prime minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny: three of Kenny’s associates visited the Tories in London in July for a briefing. Photograph: Getty Images

Previously secret meeting in London helped to shape FG message control

FG leader Enda Kenny’s  party has taken three lessons from the UK general election: discipline in the message; setting and dominating the agenda; and importance of social media. Photograph: The Irish Times

Campaign tracks successful Conservative drive in pursuit of single-party government

Fine Gael TD John Perry is to  be added  to the party’s general election ticket in Sligo-Leitrim. File photograph: Collins Courts

Perry says a wrong was done and refuses to express confidence in party general secretary

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin was strongly critical of the figures put forward by Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Withholding of pay increments for staff put forward as savings option by executive

Independent TD Mick Wallace  was one of three TDs who attended the hearing  in the  Special Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins

Mick Wallace, Clare Daly and Maureen O’Sullivan were in court for Donal O’Coisdealbha’s bail application

Mr Justice Peter Kelly is  expected to be nominated as the new president of the High Court.

Cabinet expected to nominate Court of Appeal judge at final meeting before Christmas

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly is to publish the report this week. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Internal review commissioned in 2010 to investigate complaints made by An Taisce

Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Ann Phelan: Labour needs ‘real numbers’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Group of Labour TDs says party needs 'critical mass' after election to re-enter government

  John Perry TD, Fine Gael: He is seeking orders against the trustees of Fine Gael over the October 16th Sligo-North Leitrim convention. The party is opposing the application. Photograph: James Connolly/PicSell8

Sources say Fine Gael will resist effort to put leader on stand over selection convention

Cllr Hugh McElvaney alleged to have sought stg£10,000 for help with planning issues

Independent TD Clare Daly arrives at Limerick Prison on Wednesday night. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22.

Pair held over refusal to pay court fines for breach of security at Shannon Airport

John O’Donnell released a statement accusing RTÉ of breaching “my constitutional and EU law rights to privacy”. Photograph: The Irish Times

John O’Donnell accuses broadcaster of ‘entrapping’ him during ‘sting operation’

This poster, to be put on display at Irish airports in the coming days, shows an emigrant arriving back to Ireland for Christmas.

Government to place ads in Irish airports targeting Christmas visitors

Donegal County Council is to examine allegations made against one of its councillors in an RTÉ programme on political lobbying ‘as an issue of urgency and priority’

Donegal inquiry to be carried out as an ‘issue of urgency and priority’ after councillor featured

Sipo can initiate its own investigations into office holders, such as Ministers, if it receives complaints

Tracing the complex path of ethics complaints concerning State’s county councillors

FF Cllr Joe Queenan – as secretly filmed by the RTE Investigations unit. Photograph: RTÉ

Cllr Joe Queenan filmed offering to act as go-between in return for financial backing

Members of the inquiry believe the timeframe to publish the final report is still too tight. Photograph: The Irish Times

Chairman says report will provide clear and explicit list of findings and recommendations

Clare deputy Michael McNamara said Government TDs, including those sitting on the banking inquiry, had voted in the Dáil not to allow the burning of senior bondholders. “We might not have liked it, but we did it,” he said. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Michael McNamara says voters right not to give Oireachtas committees more powers

Taoiseach Enda Kenny during an anouncment of a jobs launch  at the Conrad Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Enda Kenny sympathises with ‘terrible loss’ but defends progress on defence systems

Sligo-based councillor Joe Queenan featured on an RTÉ Investigates programme last night which examined political lobbying.

Joe Queenan filmed offering to act as an intermediary in return for an investment

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, at a meeting before the report came out. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Management cuts needed to free up 1,000 frontline gardaí, says Garda Inspectorate

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: he wrote to the Opposition that questions raised by Mr Justice Brian Cregan could be sent to the High Court “to obtain clarity in the public interest”, although this seemed “unlikely to lead to a satisfactory resolution of all of the issues”.   Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Kenny says legal changes necessary for restricted inquiry would still be complicated and filled with risk

Labour leader Joan Burton:  “I don’t mean that we will suddenly begin tearing shreds off each other . . . each party fights its corner.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste to say election will not be Government versus Opposition, but Fine Gael versus Labour

More articles