Joe O’Toole, a former president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, will head up the new expert commission, which will be tasked with examining the future of domestic water charges in the State. Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Expert panel is being tasked with examining the future of domestic water charges

 Sherry Perreault, head of the  Register of Lobbying: said she was pleased with the number of people who had registered and filed returns with the organisation so far, as well as how it was  operating. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Head says it is still a relatively new organisation and it will take time to get used to it

In Berlin, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi set out their positions on how the European Union should proceed.

Politics Digest: Some worried EU officials will not recognise body blow the union has taken

Allowances are paid to people who cannot afford the full cost of renting a home and are, in effect, top-ups to cover the full cost. Photographs: Getty Images/PA

Additional assistance to tackle housing emergency expected to vary by location

Labour’s Brendan Howlin has said the relationship between Ireland and Britain has been “afforded a body blow” by the Brexit vote result. Illustration: Paul Scott/The Irish Times

Brexit debate: Gerry Adams call for poll on united Ireland rejected by most speakers

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  will enter the first phase of what will be a protracted process to extricate Britain from the EU at the European Council meeting next week. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Government likely to get broad political backing for its strategy on UK exit talks

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “There will be no immediate change to the free flow of people, goods and services between our islands.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Leaders hold phone conversation as Britain dismisses need for poll on North’s future

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings making a statement after the UK voted to leave the EU. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Plan outline priorities for how State will work ‘within EU context’ to manage fallout

Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks during a press conference in Dublin on Friday after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Dáil is recalled for Monday to discuss Britain’s decision to leave the European Union

Following the result of the UK referendum Ireland must be ’absolutely clear about our position,’ Mr Martin said in a statement.

Micheál Martin says Ireland must be ‘fully involved’ in Britain’s negotiations with EU

Martin McGuinness: British government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of the people

Arlene Foster welcomes result, says Martin McGuinness being opportunistic over poll

An emergency Cabinet meeting is expected to be held on Friday as the Government begins to prepare for the impact of Brexit on Ireland, the prospect of which was repeatedly described as an almost nightmare scenario by Ministers and officials in Dublin. Photograph: PA

Irish contingency plans swing into action to contain fallout of Britain leaving EU

 Independent TD Mick Wallace:  has repeatedly raised concerns about the loans, called Project Eagle. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Mick Wallace puts down motion over sale of Nama’s Northern loans

Secretary of the Felons Club Gerry Scullion:  “My first instinct was not to vote at all, but I’ll probably be voting stay.” Photograph: Arthur Allison

Reluctant Remain votes likely but damage to union by departure ‘could be a positive’

Farmers at  Markethill cattle mart in Armagh shared their views on Brexit. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker

‘For the agriculture community, single farm payment isn’t enough to cover everything’

Posters on Brexit in Newry. The likelihood that Britain may actually leave the European Union, with associated concerns of the reintroduction of a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, seemed, until recent weeks, remote.

Any likelihood that Britain might leave EU seemed remote until recent weeks

The current Garda command and control centre at Harcourt Square, Dublin. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Gardaí face being evicted from Harcourt Square facility due to legal dispute

British voters living in Ireland have been targeted by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and other Fine Gael TDs urging them to remain within the European Union.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times.

Letter also asks people to urge friends and family in Britain to vote to stay in EU

 Minister for Housing Simon Coveney: claimed the building fund would allow developers “bring forward their plans for timetabling” developments and bring about “real movement” in the construction industry. Photograph:  Colin Keegan

Building fund will not be available until 2017 and scheme will apply over three years

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe will bring a memo to Cabinet outlining a proposal for a new fund to be administered by local authorities. Photograph: PA

Scheme means the cost of infrastructure provision would be partially borne by State

The 100% relief applies to a maximum of €200,000 per individual commercial project and is spread over seven years. Photograph: The Irish Times

Noonan plan to promote regeneration of historic city centres comes under review

In Manchester, New Hampshire, Donald Trump noted that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen’s parents were born in Afghanistan. Photograph: Jim Cole/AP

Leo Varadkar says comments by US Republican presidential candidate ‘pretty crass’

In a letter to President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker the Taoiseach said investment in infrastructure in Ireland was at its “lowest level for many years, and also represents the lowest level of any member state at present”. Photographs: The Irish Times

EU warned that infrastructure investment in the Republic at ‘lowest level’ for many years

Brendan Howlin:  Raised his concerns with the troika in private. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party leader unhappy about way State dealt with by institutions during economic crisis

Term limits for abortion should be considered in the event of the eighth amendment to the Constitution being repealed, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said

Varadkar defends Government position that a citizen’s assembly be held before a referendum

Minister of State for disabilities Finian McGrath has announced an additional €31 million in funding for the sector as part of a deal struck with Fine Gael this week.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Government keen to provide improved services and supports, Finian McGrath says

Kate O’Connell recently criticised Enda Kenny’s decision to create another three junior ministries, increasing the number from 15 to 18, as “jobs for the boys”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Kate O’Connell’s criticism of Kenny will embolden others to follow suit

Brexit was cited in the memo to Cabinet as one of the main international concerns. Photograph: Getty Images

Government alerted to danger in update of strategic challenges confronting Ireland

Popular: Michael D Higgins at the Bloom garden festival this week with his wife, Sabina, and the garden designer Alan Rudden. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Labour says it backs its nominee to stay in office after 2018. Now Fine Gael has voiced support. Could the President be returned u(...)

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney told the Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee: “We cannot have a situation where some communities block social housing in their area because they don’t want it.” File photograph: Getty Images

Mixture of public, private housing unpopular in places but necessary - Coveney

Dara Murphy, Fine Gael Minister of State for European Affairs. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

‘Eyebrows raised’ in parliamentary meeting as Cork North-Central TD Murphy makes comments

Kieran Conway, the former head of IRA intelligence: claimed the bombers were “relatively blameless” and that  their identities were well-known. Photograph: Barry Moore

‘The families want to see people convicted,’ says solicitor Kieran Conway

A briefing for Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe argued that reforms to disability allowances should be considered as existing rules increase welfare dependency and increase poverty, not reduce it

Finian McGrath says he wants to see as many people with disabilities as possible in secure jobs with a good salary

Michael Lowry: His son, Cllr  Micheál Lowry released a statement on Wednesday which said he has had 'absolutely no discussions or conversations with Fine Gael either nationally or locally'. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Reports suggest Cllr Micheál Lowry could be Fine Gael candidate in future elections

President Michael D Higgins would enjoy “enormous support” for a second term, says Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Eric Luke

Varadkar praises President who would be 84 if he stayed in office for another seven years

Bertie Ahern at Queen’s University Belfast. “A Brexit would be an obstacle to the cross-Border economic co-operation that is profoundly benefiting both states on this island.” Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Former taoiseach dismisses Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers’s comments

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

Minister to tell Cabinet ‘saturation policing’ necessary to tackle organised crime gangs

John McGuinness: “I believe my action has been vindicated.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Nóirín O’Sullivan says she had no knowledge of meeting between predecessor and John McGuinness

The last government’s decision to increase third level registration fees to €3,000 caused controversy, but the third-level sector has consistently said it is facing serious financial difficulties.   File photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

PER document says proposals are not enough and seeks higher fee increase

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: the document lays out challenges facing him in public service pay, saying “significant” pressures will arise as the economy improves. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Five-year capital investment plan may need review if economy continues to grow

Fine Gael has floated the idea of a 12-week break this summer, citing restoration work at Leinster House. But that’s not quite the(...)

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has written to other party leaders seeking support for a Dáil motion that aims to increase workers’ rights. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Labour leader writes letter to party bosses on increasing protections for employees

Leinster House refurbishment. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Remedial work to be carried out on Georgian building, which forms core of the complex

Micheál Martin has declared that he felt the proposed Dáil summer break was too long.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Fine Gael is told the Dáil will rise on July 7th and is unlikely to return until late September

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said the proposed period for the Dáil to rise is “too early and it is too long”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Dáil to rise on July 7th and return later than usual due to Leinster House repair work

 Garda headquarters at Harcourt Square which was sold by Nama in 2013.  The OPW lease for the building expires this year. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

OPW in Harcourt Square dispute as planning permission not yet lodged for new site

Micheál  Martin was addressing a Fianna Fáil event, which took place the Round Room of Dublin’s Mansion House last night, to mark the centenary of the Rising. Photograph: The Irish Times

Party chief pays tribute to pivotal role of generation of people who fought in Rising

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says proposed period is too long

There has been no bold movement aimed at tackling the problems taking hold in Dublin’s north inner city and elsewhere. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Gangland violence comes to the fore after latest fatal shooting in Kinahan-Hutch feud

The Hibernia Reit property investment company has confirmed it is in a legal dispute with the Office of Public Works over Harcourt Square. Photograph: The Irish Times

Property investment company is in a dispute with Office of Public Works

Enda Kenny: Areas already identified by the Taoiseach include the preparation of a plan for housing in the first 100 days. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach sets Cabinet task of potential achievements in first 100 days and year one

One Fine Gael source said there may be a difference on what John Halligan believes he got for his Waterford constituency and what the party sees as its commitment to him. Photograph: The Irish Times

Questions linger on Independents staying the course, with most doubts on John Halligan

Gardaí at the scene of a fatal shooting on North Cumberland Street in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Collins

Fianna Fáil calls for increased Garda resources to tackle gangland crime

Independent Minister of State John Halligan will vote with the Government in a Dáil debate calling for the abolition of water charges this week. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister of State had initially indicated support for Sinn Féin’s abolition proposal

Independent junior minister John Halligan says he may vote in favour of a motion before the Dáil this week calling for the abolition of water charges and Irish Water. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Earlier Independent junior minister said he would back Sinn Féin bill

Alan Kelly “rose too far, too fast through sheer force of will,” said one Labour figure, adding: “He’s too ambitious to give up”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Labour TD’s scrapes with officials have become the thing of legend in political circles

 Independent TD John Halligan during  talks for government at Government Buildings, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

John Halligan secured millions in extra subsidies for extension at Waterford Airport

Irish Water could not give the exact percentage of customers who had paid their bills so far this year but sources said the drop almost brought the revenue level back to where it had been when water charging began

Sixty-four per cent of homes paid charge in first year of billing, semi-State body says

Irish Water could not provide the exact percentage of customers who had paid their bills so far this year. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Cash from January-February bills down by almost €10m on the previous billing cycle

Schools will be ‘obliged to close’ because of reduced funding, according to documents prepared for the new Minister for Education Richard Bruton. File photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Minister for Education’s briefing papers claim schools may not be able to meet costs

John McGuinness: his repeated criticisms of Micheál Martin stung due to the perceived weakness of his leadership. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Martin’s demotion of Carlow-Kilkenny TD has come as no real surprise

Outspoken Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness has been left off the party frontbench. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Carlow-Kilkenny Deputy unlikely to be reappointed chair of Public Accounts Committee

 The fallout from the O’Higgins report continues this morning with the emergence of further details of exchanges between the commission of investigation and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan’s legal team. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Fallout from O’Higgins report continues; Alan Kelly under pressure in Labour leadership race

A group of Labour members have called on TDs to allow any deputy who wants to compete to succeed Joan Burton as party leader to enter into a contest. Tipperary TD Alan Kelly is keen to compete for the role but has not yet had his candidacy seconded by another TD. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Alan Kelly struggling to secure nomination from among parliamentary party ranks

Siptu president Jack O’Connor has said whoever works on the planned public sector pay commission must be ‘objective people’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Garda sergeants’ group to march on Dáil, is ‘seriously considering industrial action’

Staff who are difficult to retain in the public service are likely to be considered  in a new public sector pay agreement. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

New agreement may include salary incentives for in-demand workers

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Social Protection said payments should be cut by one-fifth in 2011 letter

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

To date, approximately 820,000 of 1.05 million meters have been installed and it is claimed that metering has saved up to 32 million litres of water per day. Photograph: The Irish Times

Divisive metering programme costs State in excess of €500m to date

Finian McGrath: decision to settle bills was largely a political one. Photograph: Eric Luke

New super junior Minister says he will pay bills, after consulting Attorney General

Minister of State Finian McGrath says he is ‘still deeply sceptical about the motives’ of the water charge ‘and the ability of the service to deliver’. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister says ongoing non-payment would ‘distract’ from his work

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s party is on 27 per cent, with Micheál Martin’s party following two percentage points behind on 25 per cent in the poll by Red C for bookmaker Paddy Power. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

FG (27%) most popular party with FF (25%) closely behind, RedC-Paddy Power study shows

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Opposition parties and advocacy groups express concern

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: there are mixed views about what he should do with outspoken Carlow-Kilkenny TD John McGuinness. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Party to address lack of female TDs in last Dáil with three or four on front bench

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter wrote to Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Thursday asking that he correct the Dáil record over the Guerin report into Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe’s allegations. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ex-minister writes to Taoiseach urging correction of Dáil record over Guerin report

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking with Alan Shatter at Airfield, Dundrum in February. File photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Former minister for justice says Guerin report led Taoiseach to ‘encourage’ him to resign

Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan with former minister for justice Alan Shatter at Templemore Garda College in 2014. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

In political maelstrom of late 2013 it is not surprising Callinan and Shatter’s heads rolled

Sgt Maurice McCabe former minister for justice Alan Shatter and fomer Garda commissioner Martin Callinan

Remarks come in wake of O’Higgins report into Garda malpractice made by whistleblower

The Cabinet at its first full meeting on Wednesday.

Initial focus on housing, health, broadband, budget reform and childcare, says Kenny

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald TD at Government Buidlings following the publication of the O’Higgins Commission Report. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Alan Shatter says Taoiseach has a duty to correct Dáil record

The Higgins report noted that the force’s shortcomings are partly due to lack of “tutor gardaí” to supervise new recruits. Photograph: The Irish Times

Accounts should be ‘furnished in all courts’, notes Justice Kevin O’ Higgins document

Alan Shatter: has called for the O’Higgins report to be published immediately. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

O’Higgins report is latest into controversies in justice and policing areas

Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins noted that while a new performance management system is about to be introduced into An Garda Síochána, it should be “implemented immediately”.

‘Systemic approach to management performance should be part of An Garda Síochána’

Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sgt Maurice McCabe a ‘dedicated and committed’ member of the force

Taoiseach Enda Kenny:  Once again at ease with himself and back in power. Photograph: AFP

Taoiseach is where he wants to be but countdown to his exit has already begun

Independent TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran pictured outside government buildings on Thursday night. Mr Moran is set to support Fine Gael. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Michael Noonan drafted in to deal with John Halligan – sources

Brendan Howlin:  Possible that existing Public Priveate Partnerships would be reclassified on balance sheet – which would have a major budgetary impact. Photograph: The Irish Times

Brendan Howlin writtes to European Commission concerned about Eurostat action

Independent Alliance members (from left)  Seán Canney, John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Shane Ross, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and Michael Fitzmaurice who are in talks with Fine Gael over the formation of a minority government.

The 150-page plan outlines planned measures in housing, health and job creation

All the indications are that the Dáil will sit tomorrow to re-elect Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, a first for a Fine Gael leader. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/Getty Images

Inside politics: FG edge closer to a slim victory while Burton looks set to exit stage left

Announcement causes ‘uproar’ among Independent TDs still in talks

Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin have received unanimous backing from their parliamentary parties for the deal to allow Fianna Fáil facilitate a Fine Gael-led minority government. Maxpix/Julien Behal

Kenny and Martin receive unanimous backing of parliamentary parties for deal

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

‘A Confidence and Supply Arrangement for a Fine Gael-Led Government’

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Document deals with mechanics of how minority government arrangement will work

Fianna Fáil agrees to support Fine Gael minority government until autumn 2018. Photograph: The Irish Times

Scope for tax cuts and spending increases set to be well above €1bn, say sources

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny: courting Independents  to form minority government.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Assurance based on Fianna Fáil commitment to support three budgets

   James Reilly: approached by some in Fine Gael about the possibility of filling a Seanad seat. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sources say Minister open to idea of taking one of 11 seats in gift of next taoiseach

 Katherine Zappone TD has already voted to support Enda Kenny as Taoiseach. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Enda Kenny needs support of at least six additional TDs to be elected Taoiseach

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny: attended a meeting with Independent Alliance TDs on Friday night. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Independent Alliance being courted by Fine Gael in attempts to build government

The Fianna Fail negotiating team of Barry Cowan, Jim O’Callaghan, Michael McGrath, Charlie McConalogue outside Trinity College Dublin Friday evening after talks with Fine Gael on forming a government concluded. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Fine Gael insists party election promises will be reflected in agreement

Fine Gael said ‘both party leaders are now being briefed, extensive drafting has to be done’. File photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Parties issue statements paving way for minority administration 63 days after election

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