Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor: She said  it was  not an option for the IDA or her department to enter a new contract with ConnectIreland without a new tendering process as the maximum number of extensions had already been granted. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Contractor creates jobs at less than half the price of State agency, claims FF spokesman

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith raised the issue of Ibrahim Halawa whose trial in Egypt was suspended on Wednesday for the 20th time. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Bríd Smith asks for legal mechanism to allow intervention in Egypt’s legal system

Operations are underway to secure the Leinster House campus and other locations around the State following Wednesday’s terror attack near the House of Commons in London, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Tánaiste says ‘safety and security’ of locations around the State a ‘prime concern’

The site of the mass grave for children who died in  Tuam. What happened “is just so horrific, so terrible and such a shame on Ireland”, said Sinn Féin’s Martin Kenny. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘It is easy to understand how people were able to do these things’, says Martin Kenny

Enda Kenny: the Taoiseach said that he had spoken directly to Mr Trump about the situation for undocumented Irish.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Mick Barry: If St Patrick arrived in Ireland he would probably end up in direct provision

Niall Collins: The Fianna Fáil  TD said one Christian Brothers document was “effectively a contract for sale under which boys were sold out of the industrial school into the labour market”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Richard Bruton unaware of any power to seize industrial school ’private’ documents

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said a redress scheme established for victims of abuse in schools was designed to limit accessibility. Photograph:  Collins.

Micheál Martin says State’s attitude is based on limiting people’s access to redress scheme

A shrine, with an image of the Virgin Mary on part of the site of the former mother-and-baby home run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam, Co Galway, where the remains of an unknown number of babies and toddlers were found buried. Photograph: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Katherine Zappone: Nothing should be said or done to undermine commission’s work

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil the sale of the State’s stake in AIB would not benefit the general Government balance as it would not be counted as revenue. File photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters

Stake sale money would be better spent on infrastructure deficits, says Howlin

The late Martin McGuinness in November 2016 with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Brian O’Driscoll at the Aviva Stadium for the launch of of Ireland’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

McDonald calls for Government to redouble efforts to implement negotiated agreements

 A polar bear hides beneath melting sea ice. Arctic sea ice was well below average for most of the year in 2016. Photograph: Paul Souders/Worldfoto

Arctic experiences ‘polar heatwaves’ as carbon dioxide emissions hit highest levels yet

Sites should be ‘subject to injunction preventing structural change’ until final report

On the first day of the Garda campaign against illegal use of disability parking permits 11 were reported to have been seized. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Minister expresses support for Garda crackdown on fraudulent use of parking permits

The order issued by the Department of Agriculture in December, to owners of captive birds as well as poultry farmers, meant the loss of free-range and organic status for chicken, egg and turkey producers. Photograph: Chor Sokunthea/Reuters

Minister says move needed to minimise bird flu risk despite rule being lifted in North

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rea: “Let our postmasters and postmistresses get a little business.” Photograph: David Sleator

Independent TD criticises non-acceptance of postal orders to pay fee on State-issued form

 Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath speaks outside  Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Finian McGrath confirms the inquiry will cover any ‘suppression of material’ by HSE

A demonstrator at a anti-water charges protest last year. Paul Murphy TD said: ‘We have enough evidence to decide to get rid of water charges once and for all.’ Photograph: Caroline Quinn/AFP/Getty Images

Sinn Féin claims Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael ‘kicking can down the road’ with Dáil vote

Alan Kelly wrote to Owen Keegan last April and told him ‘I did not believe the economies the city management said existed’.

Former minister for local government believes merger plan will ‘jeopardise lives’

 Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath: “We are failing the children of Ireland with special needs . . . We should be ashamed of ourselves. This is our Tuam scandal of 2017.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Michael McGrath urges Government to act on pledge to recruit extra 65 psychologists

Protesters call for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment outside the Dáil. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Minister says referendum needed but it is not for him to dictate what assembly discusses

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: cannot give a commitment legislation for use of medicinal cannabis will be completed within the 12 weeks pledged by Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Paediatric neurologist’s authority needed if medicinal Bill passed, says Enda Kenny

Sinn Féin  Education Spokesperson, Carol Nolan, claimed the Government was ‘causing untold distress to survivors of school child sexual abuse’. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

Government accused of doing everything in its power to prevent justice for survivors

 Fine Gael’s Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has rejected a new Bill on abortion. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The Dáil debates a Bill to reduce the penalty for having a termination to a €1 fine

A plaque in Tuam, Co Galway, commemorates up to 800 children buried at the site of the former home for unmarried mothers run by nuns. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Bon Secours hospital ‘empire built on bones of dead Tuam babies’, claims Bríd Smith

Flowers are laid on graves in Bohermore cemetery in Galway of women who worked in the city’s Magdalene laundry, in the Flowers for Magdalenes commemoration    on Sunday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Sites should not be redeveloped without search for children’s graves, says survivor

Joanne Byrne, from Finglas, with her daughter Róise (18 months) at the sixth annual ‘Flowers for Magdalenes’ remembrance event at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister says Garda involvement is likely after the discovery of remains at Tuam home

The sons of former TD Peter Mathews, John, David and James carry his coffin from the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Taoiseach leads large Fine Gael presence at ceremony for politician who died from cancer

Shane Ross: his reluctance to make appointments to State boards and his refusal to intervene in the Bus Éireann dispute has prompted harsh political and media criticism

Independent TDs and smaller parties have record 33 seats but history is not on their side

Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has introduced her group’s Protection of Life During Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill in the Dáil. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

AAA-PBP proposes legislation to end prison sentences for women who have terminations

 Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: her legislation requires solicitors to give their clients specific advice  about available mediation services before they opt for court proceedings.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fitzgerald’s legislation aims to cut legal costs and speed up process of dispute resolution

Members of the Traveller community  watch the Dáil debate the recognition of Traveller ethnicity, in Buswells Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says ‘it is a proud day for Ireland’ as community gains new status

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen .Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Water charges row could bring down Government - FF; FG warns over failure to levy for excessive use

Tesco workers picket outside Tesco in Artane. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Revenue at the supermarket stores in dispute had dropped by up to 80 per cent

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: has taken the fire out of the Fine Gael leadership controversy. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

‘New politics’ good for every party and grouping except the one with most TDs

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan told Mick Wallace TD: “I think you have a problem with Cerberus and you should declare an interest rather than act here as a neutral observer commenting for the public good.” File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister comments in Dáil after Independents4Change TD criticises US fund giant

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “This is not a technological issue. It is a political issue.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Enda Kenny: ‘No return to a Border that brings sectarian violence with it’

Sinn Fein spokeswoman on Education and Skills Carol Nolan.  Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

Sinn Féin TD for Offaly says there are a lot of issues that aren’t being dealt with

 Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: The Taoiseach said he had spoken twice to him  about Ibrahim  Halawa. File photograph: Daniel Irungu/EPA

Taoiseach says he is sure Egyptian president will say conclusion to case needed for pardon

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald: the best way out of poverty is having a job. Photograph: Eric Luke

Bríd Smith says women in sector are on low pay and low hours

An artist’s impression of what the national children’s hospital will look like. Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said Finland, a comparable jurisdiction, was building a hospital for half the cost.

Fitzgerald comes under pressure in Dáil over ‘mind-boggling figures’ estimated at €1bn

The amendment to the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill provided for the consultation process on the impact of lifting the cap on the price of postage to be completed within 42 days. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin amendment reducing time allowed for review of decision to 42 days passes

The scene at Mountjoy Square in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Bríd Smith calls for legislation to stop ’new type of landlord’ overcrowding properties

Enda Kenny: “I’ll be very careful.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton raises issue of phone oversight on US visit

Minister for Transport Shane Ross. Micheál Martin said there was nothing in industrial relations law to prevent Mr Ross from talking to the parties. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Bus Éireann ‘taking sledgehammer’ to workers’ job terms, Micheál Martin claims

 An Independent Senator said there were significant issues of public concern in the greyhound industry which received State funding of €16m a year. File photograph: Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images

Rónán Mullen says man who used live animals for baiting employed at Irish kennel

 Tesco workers and supporters at a picket in Artane. Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan said up to 250 long-serving workers had been told they could either lose their jobs or take cuts in pay and accept changes to their shifts. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

House calls for management to allow long-serving employees keep existing conditions

Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys: agreed to support Bill seeking a fixed date for Famine commemoration. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins

Fine Gael TD calls for ‘fixed date’ for a national Famine day on second Sunday in May

Micheál  Martin sharply criticised his constituency colleague, Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, about not concentrating on  job. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil leader reminds Enda Kenny any new Taoiseach must be approved by Dáil

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil that ‘there is no change’ in the leadership of the Government. File photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Micheál Martin tells Enda Kenny he must inform Dáil of any planned Cabinet switches

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin sharply criticised Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, one of the Fine Gael leadership contenders, about his concentration on his job. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

FF leader highlights ‘a child goes homeless every five hours’ in January

Rio de Janeiro: More than 9,000 students who have left Brazil are currently studying in Ireland.

Many students coming for language courses with Chinese citizens second largest group

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has faced pressure to outline his intentions regarding the Fine Gael leadership. Photograph: Alan Betson

Coveney says Taoiseach should remain in role until after St Patrick’s Day visit to US

A strike at the Tesco Store in Phibsboro, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Former trade union leader Arthur Scargill appears at two Dublin stores amid strikes

Five recent commissions of investigation, three of which were  into Garda related matters, have cost the exchequer €15.026 million to date. Photograph: The Irish Times

Five recent commissions of investigation have cost €15.026 million to date

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has called on the Taoiseach to outline his intentions regarding the Fine Gael leadership. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister says current situation is ‘distracting and destabilising’ for party and country

Jack Chambers, who asked during justice question time the number of drug-driving tests that had been carried out. Photograph: Alan Betson

Call for Road Safety Authority to ‘ratchet up campaign’ so public aware tests to start

Richard Bruton: said “it is very unfair if the company has given 20 people compassionate access to a life-transforming drug and is seeking to withdraw it from these patients as part of a negotiation to get a better price deal or wider access”

Richard Bruton says decision on Repreeza will go to HSE management committee

The Government lost four Dáil votes on Thursday. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Coalition defeated on motions on North’s Brexit status and electricity interconnector

Mary Lou McDonald: The Sinn Féin TD asked ‘what was the price for the votes of the Independent Alliance’.

Mary Lou McDonald demands details of any deal now rather than have it emerge later

Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a debate on the Government in the Dáil.

Sharp exchanges in Dáil as TDs debate Coalition’s handling of McCabe controversy

A tribunal of inquiry will look at allegations that senior Garda management were involved in a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice Mc Cabe. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Taoiseach signals his support for the inclusion of other Garda whistleblowers

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said the Taoiseach should not present the traditional bowl of shamrock to the US president. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Green Party leader says St Patrick’s Day visit to White House ‘cannot be business as usual’

Jim O’Callaghan and Frances Fitzgerald insist that their individual accounts of a meeting between them last week were correct. Photograph: The Irish Times

Frances Fitzgerald and Jim O’Callaghan both insist their conflicting remarks are correct

Labour’s Jan O Sullivan on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan says the reduction the number of such cases is ‘inadequate’

Report by  Kieran Mulvey was commissioned in July last year following a spate of gangland shootings in the area

Taoiseach: 'School development and re-opening of Garda station to go ahead'

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Áras an Uachtaráin last May. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Taoiseach ‘misled public’ over his knowledge of Tusla file on McCabe, says Paul Murphy

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny  said there were “many people who’ve been here before me for many years who have made mistakes”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet to hold further meeting on handling of false claims against Sgt Maurice McCabe

Pearse Doherty: said the legislation shifted the burden of disclosure from the consumer to the insurer to “ask the relevant questions” when deciding whether to insure a consumer

Bill puts onus on firms to make contracts understandable to average consumer

Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor: Outlined additional posts. Photograph: The Irish Times

Mary Mitchell O’Connor says €2.75m allocation made for extra staff ahead of UK exit

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald: agreed to Opposition amendments after two-hour debate. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

No reason for Garda Commissioner to step aside during inquiry, says Fitzgerald

The latest vote loss brings to eight the number of defeats the Government has suffered since coming to power. File photograph: Alan Betson

Legislation would prevent solvent firms from winding up schemes without consent

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, has no objection to including all contacts between gardai and Tusla the terms of reference of a commission of inquiry. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sgt McCabe received documents confirming he was subject of an unfounded complaint

Fine Gael Wexford TD Michael D’Arcy said he did not believe Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan “because of her actions”. Photographs: The Irish Times

D’Arcy tells Dáil up to 10 journalists briefed with negative stories about Maurice McCabe

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Tánaiste says reputations deserve protecting from untested allegations that are wholly denied

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan with Supt David Taylor and Supt Pat McCabe at Templemore. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taoiseach: ‘You cannot have a country if everyone against whom allegations are made has to step aside’

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan:  said “the security forces here would be very concerned about agents from another country operating in this jurisdiction”.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Paul Murphy calls for publication of Garda report into undercover UK activity in State

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin said it was troubling that the Garda Commissioner remained on active duty. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ceann Comhairle accuses Howlin of basing allegations of smear campaign on hearsay

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice  Frances Fitzgerald: her Bail (Amendment) Bill will introduce electronic tagging 10 years after it was first included in legislation and provide for stricter bail terms and use of curfews.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Bill to give gardaí power of re-arrest without warrant if person deemed likely to offend

 Shane Ross has said the review ordered by the Taoiseach into the operation of US pre-clearance at Dublin and Shannon airports will be completed by the weekend. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Minister says review of US pre-clearance in Irish airports to be completed by weekend

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill also strengthens laws to combat child pornography.

Legislation also stops accused from cross-examining victims of sexual offences

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Howlin says O’Sullivan contacted journalists to make allegations about whistleblower

Anti-pylon protesters in Co Meath. Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten  said an  underground option would costs about  €992 million, three times the overground price. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Denis Naughten to meet anti-pylon groups from Cavan, Meath and Monaghan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it would be difficult to assess what kind of Border would result as a consequence of Brexit.

Kenny statement due and forum to follow as ‘inevitability’ of hard Border permeates debate

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance Michael McGrath: “I’m not sure if the balance is quite right . . . It would be good to have independent assessment.”  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath calls for independent assessment of agency salaries

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy:  “The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform needs to try to get departments to co-operate with each other on storage at a regional level.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Catherine Murphy calls on Government to hire archivists to cut long-term storage costs

Anne-Marie Lally and her husband, Ivor O’Donovan, with their daughter Pranathi, who is waiting for heart surgery at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mother of seven-year-old patient first heard of transport difficulties through media

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald: “A decision to deport a person is never taken lightly.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Of 1,195 deportation orders placed in 2016, only 428 were put into action

Stephen Donnelly recruitment sends message that Fianna Fáil is an ‘evolving party’

Customers leave a Tesco branch in London. Joan Collins said Tesco made an estimated annual profit of €200m-€250m in the State. Photograph:  Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Firm intends to bypass union and impose 15% pay cut in ‘Project Black’, says Joan Collins

Frances Fitzgerald: said to begin a review of the legislation at too early a point might result in an inconclusive report

Calls for wider review of existing laws and supports for women to exit prostitution

Independents4Change TD Clare Daly questioned Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed’s Horse Racing Ireland board appointments. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Creed accuses Daly of ‘scurrilous’ remarks after she questions ‘insider’ appointees

Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton:  suggested that in at least one case letters from a vulture fund directly to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan were not declared. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Funds avoid lobbying register by contacting junior officials, Labour spokeswoman says

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said three whistleblowers warned the then minister for defence, Simon Coveney (above), in November 2015 about conditions at Baldonnel. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Soldiers did not receive proper protections for dangerous chemicals, Fianna Fáil claims

Luggala, Co Wicklow: it was offered officially for sale by the trustees of Barbican International Corporation, a Guernsey-based Guinness family trust

Michael Ring says Government cannot afford €28m asking price for Wicklow estate

Criminalising the purchaser of sexual services rather than the seller is one of the main provisions of the Bill which also strengthens laws to combat child pornography and prevent the sexual grooming of children. Photograph: Paul Barker/PA

Dáil votes against Opposition amendment to law which aims to lower demand for prostitution

AAA-PBP TD Bríd Smith has claimed the State is ‘hurtling towards a dictatorship’ in terms of media ownership. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Bríd Smith critical of Denis O’Brien’s stake in sector and warns of media ‘dictatorship’

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: Sinn Féin arts spokesman Peadar Tóibín accused her of building a paper wall between herself and the National Museum of Ireland. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins

Heather Humphreys says new board and staff will address challenges museum faces

Shane Ross: It is right that we examine whether free travel funding levels, effectively frozen at 2010 levels, are adequate today.

Large sections of public transport should not be left to private operators, says Robert Troy

Enda Kenny and Theresa May in Dublin on Sunday. The Taoiseach said he and the British prime minister discussed the North but admitted he was unsure how  a soft Border can be achieved. Photograph: Reuters/Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography/Pool

Britain yet to say what kind of customs union membership it wants, Taoiseach tells Dáil

The ’match is on’ as soon as the British government triggers article 50 Phil Hogan has said. Photograph: Eric Luke

EU Agricultural Commissioner asks if Britain will lower its food standards in US deals with ‘hormone beef’

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