We love Manchester: terrorists will continue to find new means and new targets and to generate new levels of outrage. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Inside Politics: Ireland needs to be prepared for a terror attack of its own

Simon Coveney has dismissed the notion that the number of TDs and Senators who have pledged support for his Fine Gael leadership rival, Leo Varadkar, has left him with a “real mountain to climb”.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Contest for party leader could be far more close-fought than thought, says candidate

Simon Coveney said to be in ‘good spirits’

Coveney camp says leadership contest to succeed Enda Kenny is ‘not over’

 Michael Noonan and Christine Lagarde,  chief executive of the IMF in Dublin castle. Photograph: Alan Betson

Michael Noonan: very able operator, with a wily and wicked gift for communication

Enda Kenny joked that there would be ‘miaows’ over the UK’s pet passports. Photograph: Reuters

Taoiseach says Ireland needs to look after own interests when ‘niceties are dropped’

 Leo Varadkar and  Simon Coveney: both leadership candidates will now get to show their mettle.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Inside Politics: Fine Gael’s proxy war breaks out in the public

Varadkar supporter: Eoghan Murphy, Minister of State for  Finance. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Winning candidate will be expected to reward loyalists and appease rival camp

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with his constituency colleague and Fine Gael leadership contestant Simon Coveney in Cork on Monday. Photograph: Jim Coughlan.

With a renewed front bench, the Fianna Fáil leader still has eyes on taoiseach role

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving to launch the latest edition of Nealon’s Guide on Tuesday. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

Senator says Taoiseach cited Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper and knowing ‘the time was right to go’

The political reality for Enda Kenny is that once the departure date is named, the first line of his political obituary will be written. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach set to name departure date and set succession race in motion for FG blue bloods

Report on the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisor to the Oireachtas says it has faced a significant increase in its workload. Photograph: David Sleator

Report recommends extra five staff members and €500,000 annual budget increase

The initiative has been welcomed by AsIAm, the national advocacy organisation for autism. Photograph: iStock

Bill will require agencies to be accountable in their provision of autism services

The Social Democrats Bill, which will be published by co-leader Catherine Murphy (left) and Dublin councillor Gary Gannon, proposes to strengthen  penalties considerably on owners of vacant, undeveloped sites.  Photograph: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

New Bill to be published by the Social Democrats proposes the addition of stronger sanctions to new laws introduced by Governmen(...)

Thousands of gorse and bog fires occur each year, many  during the prohibited period between March and the end of August.

Ministers accused of ‘turning a blind eye’ to enforcement of rules on vegetation fires

 Some members of the Public Accounts Committee (from left)  Josepha Madigan Shane Cassells, Alan Farrell and Catherine Connolly who are examining Nama’s role in Project Eagle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Seán Fleming responds to letter from Nama chairman Frank Daly

Concerns about a cervical cancer vaccine having a negative impact on those who receive it have no scientific basis, a senior health official has said. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Decision not to take jab leaving a large number of girls at risk of cervical cancer

Dara Quigley was described by her family as a bright and intelligent person with an enduring commitment to creating a fairer society.

Dara Quigley took her own life days after footage of her detention by gardaí was published

This week Fine Gael will get 12 minutes of speaking time; Fianna Fáil will get 10 minutes; Sinn Féin will get 8 minutes; with other parties and groups being given slots of between two and three minutes. Photograph: iStock

Solidarity-PBP says regular attempts to take slots from small parties would be resisted

The Minister for Justice supports Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, but support has ebbed away from every other party

Inside Politics: Focus turns to extent of commissioner’s knowledge of irregular financial arrangements at Garda College

Michael Noonan: the commission will examine  whether actions and decisions taken by the Minister  were appropriate

Government announces terms of reference for commission looking at Nama sale

Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his visit to Canada on May 4th. Photograph: Reuters/Christinne Muschi

FG will be unable to hold a vote until autumn if Enda Kenny does not stand down in June

Vera Twomey and her supporters carry out a sit-down protest for rights to medicinal cannabis at the gates of Leinster House in Dublin on Thursday afternoon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sit-down protest by Vera Twomey and supporters prevents cars from leaving Dáil

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has refused to disclose how Ireland voted. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Saudi Arabia appointed to major international body that monitors women’s rights

Senators attend a press conference on a plan to extend the franchise to emigrants. Photograph: VotingRights.ie

Seanad members from all parties back proposals on extending the franchise

Maria Mann from Fairview, Dublin; Susan O’Brien from Kilcock, Co Kildare; Eliska Komarkova from Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; and Genna Cowan from Co Donegal  outside Leinster House, Dublin with supporters. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Whole families are affected from Belfast down to Kerry. There is no help’

The move of the  National Maternity Hospital has proved controversial. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: There is a distinct anti-clerical sentiment among the public

A senior Government source said it was inevitable the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital  would be changed

Harris given month to find solution to controversy over ownership of maternity hospital

How did the Ministers fare? Clockwise from top left: Simon Coveney, Shane Ross, Leo Varadkar, Pascal Donohoe. File photographs: The Irish Times/Collins

In the scoring Varadkar probably falls short of a 6 - and Coveney is worth more than a 5

A new survey commissioned by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has found a majority of self-employed people would be willing to pay more in order to receive more PRSI benefits. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Survey finds that 74 per cent of self-employed people would be interested in a system of voluntary extra contributions to access m(...)

Independent Alliance TDs Sean Canney, John Halligan,  Shane Ross, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran  and Finian McGrath on the plinth at Leinster House. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran was to take over from Seán Canney on Government’s anniversary

Leo Varadkar and Emmanuel Macron at an election rally in Paris.

French presidential candidate is front-runner to win next weekend’s election

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said a public ownership element is being included in the legal agreement that will be reached by the NMH and by St Vincent’s. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister to examine the possibility of a long-term lease for new maternity hospital

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said: ‘No Brexit deal amounts to a very, very bad deal, not only for the UK but for Ireland and the EU.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister criticises British leader’s claim that ‘no deal with the EU is better than a bad deal’

Who is best in class? Who must try harder? Harry McGee gives part one of his Cabinet review

Chief operations officer Kay Connolly (left) with Minister for Health  Simon Harris and Master of the National Maternity Hospital  Dr Rhona Mahony with the model of the proposed new facility.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Public ownership element being included in pact to be reached by NMH and St Vincent’s

2017: Simon Harris TD, with Eilish Hardiman, group CEO of the children’s hospital, and John Pollock, project director NCH,  making an announcement regarding the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The latest completion projection is now late 2021 or early 2022, almost 40 years after the first proposal

‘The most intriguing thing about the  row was that it all played out in the medium preferred by teenagers and 20 somethings - phone messaging’

Inside Politics: Exchange of text messages intemperate enough to qualify as shaming

The car-parking facilities, which will accommodate more than 1,000 vehicles, will be funded on a private basis. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Simon Harris to bring memo to Cabinet for the €1bn project expected to open in 2022

Minister for Communication, Climate Change and Environment Denis Naughten. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Environmental groups say draft plan is wholly inadequate to meet challenges

Fine Gael leadership hopefuls Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar. “The history of party politics has shown us that healthy leadership tussles can be destructive forces.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Harry McGee: Varadkar and Coveney camps could end up in war of attrition

Rising concern: Ireland has been implementing none of the strategies to offset the problem and emissions are actually set to rise. Photograph: Getty Images/Vetta

It’s all talk and no action from Government unwilling to take risks with fragile recovery

The form of Irish spoken in Ulster  is essentially Donegal Irish, nuanced by the local, predominantly Belfast accent.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

When written, ‘northern Irish’ Irish varies little but when spoken it’s a different matter

EPA figures suggest the official Government policy of a decarbonised Ireland by 2050 will be hopelessly unachievable unless there are radical changes. Photograph: Getty

Ireland set to miss greenhouse gas targets as emissions rise in every sector

Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton chair of committee on communications, climate action and the environment. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Areas in Clare, Leitrim and Fermanagh have been identified as suitable for fracking

In the space of 10 years, the population of Sallins, Co Kildare, has increased an astonishing 10-fold from 500 to 5,000. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Three local politicians discuss issues in Sallins with transport problems of particular concern

Sorry, how many times do I need to water the grass before I get charged for water?

Who will pay, when will that be and will there be refunds?

There are too many post offices, according to the CEO of An Post. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Difficult discussions’ required to ensure post network’s survival, says David McRedmond

After 10 days of flailing each other around, the parties returned to the original deal

Paul Murphy: a very effective politician. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The committee on water’s report will bear no similarity to legislation

 Minister of State Michael Ring  said Denis Naughten had shirked responsibility. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister of State says he never had specific delegated statutory powers for post offices

Troubled waters: The Oireachtas committee’s  recommendations will more closely reflect the views of Right 2 Water members of the committee than Fine Gael. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Analysis: After week’s unedifying spat, FF and FG have run out of second chances

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has been at the centre of the row between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over water charges. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FG source claims dispute over report ‘was very bad politics from both parties’

Fine Gael Ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Behind-the-scenes intrigue in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil seems to have undermined a deal

A welcome sign on a pub in Galway

Just over a fifth of people living in Gaeltacht areas speak Irish on a daily basis

Bertie Ahern arriving at Leinster House for the Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit address. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former taoiseach welcomes ‘more conciliatory’ tone of recent times

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahearn speaking on Thursday morning.

The former taoiseach said Britons were “deluding themselves” on trade after withdrawal from the EU

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern: expected to outline to select committee on Brexit the implications for Ireland of the UK’s EU exit. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Brexit a challenge to State as EU frontier, ex-taoiseach to tell Oireachtas committee

In 2008 the Morris Tribunal made  findings of “insubordination and indiscipline” in the Garda

Inside Politics: The Morris Tribunal should have been a wake-up call over the Garda

Promoting Irish: An Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, has concluded that language schemes for public bodies need to be urgently replaced. Photograph: Barry Cregg

Irish language schemes for public bodies deemed to have failed to achieve goals

Minister for Public Expenditure Pascal Donohoe  announced a short public consultation process on additions to the National Infrastructure Plan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister invites submissions on additional €2.65 billion allocated for capital projects

Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives for the Oireachtas hearing on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gaps remain in Garda explanations of breath test data, but commissioner safe for now

Josephine Feehily (left), chairwoman of the Policing Authority, and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan,  at a meeting last year. This week’s statement from the authority about the breath test scandal was unflinching, and neither the Commissioner nor her force could take many crumbs of comfort from it. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Authority can recommend removal of person holding office of Garda Commissioner

 Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives for a Justice and Equality Committee meeting. Photograph: Collins

Analysis: she says breath test errors are at worst wrongdoing and at best incompetence

Publication of audit comes during a period when the Garda faces criticism over other serious shortcomings. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Switching of funds between accounts created transparency issues, report says

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy said a “gag” would significantly impinge on their freedom  to speak and their right to protest. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Concerns over TD and co-defendants making public comments prior to trial

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan pictured at Garda Headquarters. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Inside Politics: Opposition mounts pressure on commissioner as UK prepares for B-Day

It is expected Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will be called to appear before the Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee on Wednesday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Garda Commissioner expected to give a detailed explanation within the next 48 hours

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Fianna Fáil and the Greens both said they no longer had confidence in the commissioner in light of the latest revelations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Nóirín O’Sullivan likely to face questioning from Oireachtas justice committee

The National Civil Aviation Development Forum is made up  of the chief executives of all the major airlines, airports, State agencies, and aviation leasing companies

Minister criticised for not ‘having the courtesy’ to listen to other aviation speakers

The Labour Party will issue a detailed policy paper on Monday setting out dozens of contingency options for the State in the wake of Brexit.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Brendan Howlin criticises Government’s approach to the UK’s departure from the EU

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: she warned of more bad practices being uncovered as reform continues

Over weekend Fianna Fáil and Greens signal they can no longer support O’Sullivan

Green leader Eamon Ryan’s speech to the party’s annual conference addressed the issue of climate change. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Party’s strategy is to double its Dáil seats to four and treble its number of council seats

Glenna Lynch. Photograph: Eric Luke

Businesswoman told party she was not in a position to participate fully any longer

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has given his leader’s address at the party’s national convention. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Green Party leader says ‘St Patrick would not like direct provision’ at party conference

After an election drubbing in 2011, the Greens last year won two Dáil seats through party leader Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Green Party leader to address national convention in Waterford on Saturday evening

After   an election drubbing in 2011, the Greens last year won two Dáil seats through party leader Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Motions tabled on fish stocks, waste charges, hedge-cutting and protection of bee population

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl:  has significant discretion to make decisions about flags. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Seán Ó Fearghaíl following protocol in honouring Martin McGuinness

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness addressing nationalists after the march in Londonderry outside the Guild Hall.  File photograph: Brian Little/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Ireland has lost one of its political giants after his untimely death

The Government will formally approve the commission of investigation into the case of ‘Grace’ and another 46 individuals who lived in a foster home in the southeast.

Two-phase inquiry will examine alleged abuse of 47 residents at foster home

Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune: “I think if we are serious about Irish as an official language of the EU, we need a concerted effort to get more qualified translators trained up and sent to Brussels.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael MEP Clune says it is a shame 23 vacancies exist in Irish translation unit

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told reporters in New York in Friday that Brexit and Stormont ‘are priorities that take recedence over anything else’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘It would be daft for him to step down in the middle of Brexit talks,’ says FG source

Government accepts  that in two key areas, transport and agriculture, emissions will actually increase between now and 2020. Photograph: Oktay Ortakcioglu/E+/Getty

Green Party says delayed National Mitigation Plan has ‘been frozen in a lack of interest’

The Heritage Bill proposes to allow the cutting of hedgerows from August 1st each year, rather than from September 1st. Photograph by Frank Miller

Fianna Fáil amendment will still allow cutting during August but only on roadways

The PAC, with chair Sean Fleming, examining the Nama sale of Project Eagle, from left Alan Farrell, Catherine Connolly, David Cullenane and Peter Burke. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Committee finds Noonan’s meeting with US firm not ‘procedurally appropriate’

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has expressed confidence in Nama, despite the findings of a PAC report. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister also defends his meeting with Cerberus ahead of deadline for Project Eagle bids

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “You’re a wily old fox at talking down the clock,” a PAC member said when the Minister had returned to the same formula of words for the umpteenth time. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Failure to disclose meeting means he will not emerge unscathed from controversy

Ballot box.ie surveyed the diaspora vote during the 2011 presidential elections. Many of the results were very different to those obtained domestically. File photograph: Getty Images

Analysis: Extending the franchise to the Irish abroad is fraught with challenges

Sinn Féin’s Seán Lynch at the Omagh count centre. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

In the harsh reality of politics, which camp should the SDLP occupy?

Michelle O’Neill Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland with party president Gerry Adams at Belfast count centre yesterday. Photograph Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Huge victory for SF election machine, as UUP leader Mike Nesbitt announces resignation

UUP’s Mike Nesbitt announces his resignation as party leader at the Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Unionists lose overall majority in Stormont after high turnout in snap Assembly election

Colm Brophy is a  Fine Gael TD representing Dublin South West.

‘The Dáil spends a lot of time talking about things and not legislating as it should’

Inside Politics: Sinn Fein as the only significant mover, with a leap of four points to 21 per cent

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: The party reverting to water being paid for out of general taxation could be seen as politically opportunistic and seriously out of step with its own voters. Photograph: Eric Luke

Party’s U-turn on water charges will not wash with EU, or with low-income taxpayers

Minister for  Climate Change Denis Naughten announced a consultation on a new clean air policy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister says move will allow for more evidence-based clean air policies to be developed

Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy: he was formerly the MP for the constituency, having taken over from Seamus Mallon, but has returned to the Assembly

Sinn Féin faces prospect of losing one of three strong MLAs

Same faces, new dispensation: masks of  party leaders at a protest outside the Dáil. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Last year’s election result has made the 32nd Dáil very different from its predecessors

John Dallat: the former MLA has come out of retirement and is the SDLP’s candidate after a divisive selection convention

The DUP has traditionally had a strong hold over the coastal constituency of East Derry

Martin McGuinness: Sinn Féin has two strong candidates in Elisha McCallion  and Raymond McCartney, but neither can match the enigmatic qualities of their party colleague. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Sinn Féin may lose out without former leader while Eamonn McCann seeks re-election

Mountain-biking in Ticknock forest in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

State firm defers operation at Ticknock Forest over its impact on the popular amenity

Minister for Education Richard Bruton, who has twice before contested the leadership, has made it clear this was not the time to enter the field. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney accelerate campaigns in race to succeed Enda Kenny

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