Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump  talks to supporters and the media during a speech on veteran affairs in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, New York,  May 31st,  2016. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA

Taoiseach tells Dáil that Americans have alternative candidate to vote for

Former head of the Government Information Service Bart Cronin (left) with with P. J. Mara in Feburary 1992. Photograph: Peter Thursfield /The Irish Times

Close ally of FF minister George Colley in his early public service years

 Regina Doherty: asked if she thought an audit would turn up other cases in other policing districts, she said: “Absolutely.’’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Regina Doherty says Garda audit called for by Policing Authority would reveal new cases

The Department of Health is expected to announce that, in the future, ministers will decide which new life-saving drugs are made available. File photograph: Getty Images

Department of Health to announce transfer of powers from the HSE to the Government

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Party members were unaware that three choices would be made by Micheál Martin

US air force F16s  arrive at Shannon Airport. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says Defence Forces provides aid when requested at the airport

Richard Bruton, Minister for Education: “The Croke Park hours are a valuable resource within the school system.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Education minister warns of danger of being outside public service agreements

Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan has confirmed “asset profilers’’ are targeting criminals operating in Dublin’s north inner city following the latest gangland murder. Photograph by Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fitzgerald says ‘ferocity, intensity and savagery’’ of Dublin gangs unprecedented

Frances Fitzgerald says  new Oireachtas business committee would be established in the coming weeks and would consider the issue. Photograph: Sam Boal/

Any discussion on holiday dates at the moment is ‘speculation’ says Tánaiste

Enda Kenny: “I am happy to state, on the record, that the former minister, in resigning, did not in fact accept responsibility for criticism made in the Guerin report . . .”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald expresses confidence in Garda Commissioner

Paschal Donohoe: said there were “other things the exchequer will not be able to do” if water charges were abolished. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Michael Fitzmaurice calls for referendum to ensure water supply not privatised

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said there was a need for the State “to really get into the face of these criminals, assert who is in charge of our country and ensure that crime does not pay”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Gerry Adams blames previous FG and FF governments for closing Garda stations

Former justice minister Alan Shatter. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach opening debate on O’Higgins Commission of Investigation

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald are to receive a briefing from Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan on Wednesday on the security situation in Dublin’s north inner city after another gangland killing. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Howlin says criminals thriving on deprivation after latest Hutch-Kinahan murder

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: condemned the murder of Gareth Hutch and the wounding of another man. Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Taoiseach tells Dáil killers have no respect for life or limb

Minister for Local Government Simon Coveney said there should be time allowed for a proper discussion on the water charges issue. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Suspension of charges will allow ‘proper discussion of issue’, Minister tells Dáil

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to visit the area in Dublin’s north inner city where the latest gangland killing occurred. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Taoiseach condemns ‘vicious, murderous’ dispute following shooting of Gareth Hutch

Senator Kevin Humphreys: “There were examples of [JobBridge] abuses which were highlighted by the media, but the success stories were not publicised.’’ File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Senator Kevin Humphreys says success stories linked to scheme ‘were not publicised’

Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly: “Many people cannot understand why we start every day with a prayer.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

AAA-PBP deputy Paul Murphy says old party system now dead so Dáil rules need to change

Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil on Thursday she would inform the House fully of her ongoing contact with the commissioner, in line the legal principles which both of them had to observe. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste says she fully supports Noirín O’Sullivan in ‘difficult job she is doing’

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: said it was going down a dangerous path to suggest legal instructions be put in the public domain. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Micheál Martin says hearings transcripts are in public domain and must be addressed

Fianna Fáil Finance spokesman Michael McGrath said it was bizarre  there had been  no reference to the  constitutionality  of the Central Bank (Variable Rate Mortgages) Bill 2016 when it was first debated last July. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Amendment on pre-legislative stage not pressed by Minister for Finance to avoid vote

On USC Michael Noonan said the Fianna Fáil position was not too far away from Fine Gael’s

Minister for Finance defends policy to abolish USC despite Pearse Doherty’s ‘reckless’ retort

Frances Fitzgerald is coming under further scrutiny in the Dáil this morning about the matter. Photograph: Screen grab: Oireachtas TV

Fitzgerald expects commissioner to clarify matters surrounding approach to whistleblower’s claims

 An Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and  Equality Frances Fitzgerald: “I believe our focus now should be on taking all the steps necessary in ensuring this does not happen again and that we have a policing service that serves all of the citizens of this country to the highest standard.”  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Justice insists she has ‘every confidence’ in Nóirín O’Sullivan

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald (left) has insisted she has every confidence in Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan (right) to implement policing reforms recommended by the O’Higgins commission into alleged Garda malpractice. TD Clare Daly said it was time for Ms O’Sullivan ‘to go’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times.

Clare Daly warns Frances Fitzgerald to act or Nóirín O’Sullivan will ‘take you with her’

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has alleged in heated Dáil exchanges that a Fianna Fáil Bill on mortgage interest rates has caused a reduction in bank share values. Photograph: EPA.

Minority Government under pressure as Opposition backs mortgage interest Bill

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said it would be “going down a very dangerous route’’ if they insisted, not that they could, that all legal privilege between clients and lawyers should be in the public domain. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Remarks follow claim O’Sullivan’s counsel said McCabe acted in malice in O’Higgins inquiry

Eyeing the Labour Party leadership: Brendan Howlin (left) and Alan Kelly  attend the party’s annual James Connolly commemoration at Arbour Hill Cemetery, Dublin. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Party sources say fellow TDs are reluctant to second leadership contender’s nomination

Finian McGrath, himself a smoker of many years, has repeated his personal view there should be designated areas for smokers in pubs and restaurants.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister of State for Health says there should be designated smoking areas in pubs and restaurants

Margaret Connolly grand daughter of James Connolly speaking with President Micheal D Higgins at the Capuchin Friary during the James Connolly centenary. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Michael D Higgins marks centenary of ‘determined’ and ‘kind’ James Connolly’s death

Brendan Howlin and Alan Kelly at the James Connolly centenary commemoration at Arbour Hill on Sunday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Brendan Howlin says he will do whatever task allocated to him

 Frank Daly, chairman of Nama: “Nama has a commercial remit and its objective must be to get the best financial return for the State.’’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Chairman Frank Daly denies agency under direction of Minister for Finance

 National Asset Management Agency chairman Frank Daly  arrives for the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness  meeting at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chairman Frank Daly says agency’s remit mostly commercial

Independent TD Finian McGrath said he was getting advice from the Attorney General and would be consulting with his Independent Alliance colleagues. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister of State silent on issue as pressure mounts from Government colleagues

 Maeve Regan, managing solicitor of Mercy Law Resource Centre: She told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness that a constitutional amendment would be an enduring, fundamental protection of the principle of a home for every adult and child in the State.  Photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

Right to housing would offer ‘floor of protection’ to all, says resource centre solicitor

Master of the High Court Edmond Honohan has warned that a resumption of local authority housebuilding should not result in a repeat of building “Ballymun again”.

Resumption of local authority housebuilding should not result in building ‘Ballymun again’

Sgt Maurice McCabe: his  assertion that woman was told she had no case was ‘inaccurate’, report says

Minibus driver was entitled to have matter dealt with competently, commission says

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Opposition TDs call for Dail debate on commission report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House scheduled to debate Irish Water later today but no vote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call for improved facilities for mental illness patients in Dáil debate

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

Dáil hears legislation could be introduced within days, if required

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FG leader makes formal offer for government including FF and Independents

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

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

Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin due to finally talk this evening

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

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

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

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

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

House united in grief and condemnation of terrorist attacks

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

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

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

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

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

Seanad can hold up legislation for 90 days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kerry: Third TD elected of five

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

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

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

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

Donegal: Fourth TD elected of five

Cavan-Monaghan: Third TD elected of four

Cavan-Monaghan: Second TD elected of four

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

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

John Paul Phelan

Carlow-Kilkenny: Second TD elected of five

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

Cavan-Monaghan: First TD elected of four

John McGuinness

Carlow-Kilkenny: First TD elected of five

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Party profile: Independent Alliance likely to demand ministerial role

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

Minister under pressure on ambulance service in final health question time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Howlin denies Coalition making excessive election promises

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

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

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

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

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