An altar at the babies burial ground in Tuam, Co Galway,  seen from  behind construction hoarding. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Government alarmed at cost of proposal in commission of investigation report

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting he would not leave a leadership vacuum. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Succession contest expected to begin after May bank holiday weekend

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to be questioned on when he plans to step aside as Fine Gael leader at a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says he will deal with leadership issue after European Council summit

It had never been anticipated Kenny  would ‘conclusively’ deal with his future at the first meeting upon his return from his  trip to the US. Photograph/Niall Carson/PA

Inside Politics: Argument for being present at Brexit talks is valid but case for staying on much longer is weak

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will attend the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday evening but is not expected to outline his plans at the meeting. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach confirms in Dáil he will attend first EU summit on Brexit at end of April

The mass trial of Ibrahim Halawa  and 493 others is due to resume in Cairo on Wednesday.

The mass trial of Dubliner and 493 others is due to resume in Cairo on Wednesday

Michael Noonan said Mr Kenny’s speech on immigration in front of US president Donald Trump ‘shows how diplomatic he can be’. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/EPA

The Taoiseach is unlikely to give a firm indication of his plans for several weeks

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has said  Enda Kenny should attend the first European summit following the March 29th triggering of article 50. Photograph: The Irish Times

Coveney says Kenny should attend first Brexit EU summit after article 50 triggered

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says he believes a united Ireland is possible in his lifetime.

Party intends publishing 12-point proposal within months to strengthen links with NI

John McNamee, dressed as a customs worker, joined  members of Border Communities Against Brexit to protest against Brexit by setting up an old customs post at Carrickcarnon in February 2017. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

White Paper from FF leader will be valuable contribution to debate intensified by Brexit

Stepaside Garda station is understood to be one of six to be reopened as part of a pilot scheme. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Local TD Shane Ross had sought move as part of government deal

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin said a 13.9% pay gap between men and women equates to a woman having to work for free for a month. Photograph: Collins

Labour wants to force firms to make clear differences between male and female pay

 Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald’s canvass only started earlier this week after she gave her firmest indication that she will run for  leadership. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Rules say contenders must be nominated by eight members of parliamentary party

Minister Katherine Zappone will vote against an Opposition abortion Bill but has strongly rejected claims  that it could help abusive partners rather than pregnant women. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times.

Minister for Children to vote against proposal, criticised by FG colleagues, regardless

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone: was advised by Ministers about a Bill imposing a €1 fine on an abusive man who beats a woman and causes her to lose a baby. Fine Gael women pointed out it was a bad Bill, not a conscience issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister told legislation could assist abusive partners more than pregnant women

The Bill from the AAA-PBP aims to amend a section of the 2013 Act.

Agreement proves elusive on contentious Bill as concerns raised over Government position

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone is expected to give an update on the Tuam scandal to her Cabinet colleagues. hotograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Commission examining mother and baby homes could be greatly expanded

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway, before excavations began. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Move comes after discovery of the remains of a ‘significant’ number of babies in Tuam

Minister for Health Simon Harris has formally withdrawn from the Fine Gael leadership contest. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Analysis: Harris likely to back Coveney after bruising period for Minister for Health

 Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said it would be healthy for Fine Gael to have “good debate” in the upcoming leadership contest. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste seriously considering entering contest to succeed Kenny while Harris withdraws

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar: The Fine Gael party’s executive council will be responsible for how the contest to succeed Enda Kenny is run. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Supporters of Leo Varadkar want ‘level playing field’ in battle with Simon Coveney

Historian Catherine Corless at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Co Galway: remains were contained in at least 17 of 20 underground chambers. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Women call for former mother and baby homes in Cork and Dublin to be investigated

Alan  Shatter with Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Shatter said he used to have “ great respect for him”.  Photograph: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach’s spokesman says former minister for justice praised Kenny as ‘extraordinary’

The State is expected to offer 25 per cent of AIB’s shares to institutional investors. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Bank has pre-tax profit of €1.7bn and is ready for stock market listing, says chief executive

A file image from 2014 showing then minister for justice Alan Shatter with Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Spokesman for Taoiseach says he rejects ‘completely’ the statements made by Shatter

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described Brexit as a “huge political challenge” and said discussions with British prime minister Theresa May’s Britain must be orderly.

Taoiseach’s intentions on US trip revealed in Brussels during meetings over UK departure

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the European Parliament  in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

FF TD accuses Simon Coveney of ‘standing up and trying to push Fianna Fáil around’

Alan Kelly: had wanted to run for the Labour Party leadership but could not get a seconder within the parliamentary party

Candidates at present must be proposed and seconded by TD before full members’ vote

Niamh Smyth, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on arts and heritage:  “I feel like I’m on a constant treadmill.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The FF TD for Cavan-Monaghan had a very busy year in the Dáil, including having a baby

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, about to compete for the leadership of his party, is the person trying to solve the political dilemma. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Analysis: With FF hardening its position, backing down may be Minister’s best move

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. He will be in Brussels on Thursday for a number of Brexit meetings. Photograph: AP Photo

Taoiseach planning to attend meeting of the European Council in April on Brexit

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Mr Coveney said the contest for leadership of Fine Gael should be about “vision and ambition for the country”. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

‘My private life and my family life are not going to be an issue,’ says Leo Varadkar

Francis Kenneally, Central Stores, Kanturk. “I don’t think it really has picked up at all, to be honest.” Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Bellwether constituency shows little change in fortunes or outlook since last election

Tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton: he has surprised many by the speed at which the first sitting has been organised. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mr Justice Charleton to examine allegation of smear campaign against whistleblower

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said he would honour the confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil if he became Fine Gael leader. Photograph: Eric Luke

Party figures are considering expediting the process of electing Enda Kenny’s successor

Dublin Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has said EU Commission demands for a €60bn  Brexit payment risked causing an ‘acrimonious and incomplete settlement’  between the UK and the EU. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Brian Hayes says the demands for UK to pay a ‘divorce settlement’ risk destroying talks

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said he hoped   personal lives will not be issue in the party’s leadership race. Photograph:  Collins

‘I’m not going to make my personal life an issue and I hope others won’t do either’

Labour MP Hilary Benn attended a Brexit meeting in Dublin on Thursday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Tory MP says the UK will not honour existing fiscal commitments during Dublin meeting

Longford-Westmeath TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran. Photograph: Alan Betson

Proposals from Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD

Enda Kenny has restructured aspects of the party and made it a much slimmer organisation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Party needs to find voice outside Government agenda

The  leading contenders to replace Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader and taoiseach, Simon Coveney and Leo  Varadkar. Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Both teams for main rivals for Fine Gael leadership believe their man holds advantage

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Outstanding matter of his leadership will be dealt with after his return from the St Patrick’s Day visit to the US. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach to deal with contentious leadership issue after return from US visit

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Simon Coveney  and Leo Varadkar in 2010. Mr Kenny will say the leadership issue will be dealt with after he visits Washington DC for St Patrick’s Day. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taoiseach expected to indicate he will step down after meeting US president in March

Sources said Enda Kenny wanted to remain party leader during the election of his successor. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach ‘philosophical’ and intended to step aside in coming months, say sources

The Taoiseach has said he will speak to the Fine Gael parliamentary party at its weekly meeting on Wednesday.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Once Enda Kenny outlines his intentions, the process to elect a new FG leader will begin

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: he described a WhatsApp message on the Fine Gael leadership as “jovial Sunday afternoon banter”

Frances Fitzgerald, Richard Bruton and Simon Harris could enter FG leadership race

‘I am certainly not going to support anybody who suggests that we should be forcing the issue,’ Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said.   Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Flanagan says message he sent to WhatsApp group on Harris was ‘jovial Sunday banter’

A screengrab from the Fine Gael Whatsapp group showing Charlie Flanagan’s comment that Simon Harris wants out of the Department of Health.

Charlie Flanagan posts message on Sunday saying Harris wants to ‘get out of health’

Enda Kenny at the  All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit: sources close to him believe he will stand down. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Varadkar and Coveney have private meeting as fighting breaks out in the Fine Gael ranks

Enda Kenny at the Microsoft hiring announcement on Friday: The Taoiseach is expected to consult with family and friends in Mayo this weekend about his future after a tough political week. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘He just has to say something – this is not going to go away,’ says one supporter

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Mr Kenny is under renewed pressure over his leadership of Fine Gael. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Parliamentary party chair asks members to stop making statements about the Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a meeting on Thursday night. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Leo Varadkar says Taoiseach will know the right time to resign as Fine Gael leader

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny meets Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe while  canvassing for Fine Gael candidate Gabrielle McFadden in the Longford-Westmeath byelection in 2014. Photograph: Séamus Kiernan/Westmeath Topic

Taoiseach’s capacity to ‘manage chaos’ wanes as Varadkar and Coveney talk of election

Enda Kenny  at The Mansion House, Dublin, on Wednesday: Leo  Varadkar told a Fine Gaal party meeting  they needed  to discuss election preparations soon. Sources said this effectively offers a timeline for Mr Kenny to indicate when he will stand down. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ministers and backbenchers call for change over handling of Garda whistleblower affair

Enda Kenny was facing widespread criticism from his TDs on Wednesday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ministers and backbenchers call for change over handling of Garda whistleblower affair

Independent Alliance TDs: Sean Canney, John Halligan, Shane Ross, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD and Finian McGrath  photographed on the plinth of the Dail. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Enda Kenny agrees to external audit of An Garda Síochána by policing expert

The Taoiseach gave a ‘mea culpa’ for his false accounts of contacts with Katherine Zappone. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The clock is ticking on Enda Kenny’s leadership

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are considered the frontrunners to replace the Taoiseach. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Some Fine Gael TDs hoping Taoiseach will stand aside but Ministers resist pressure

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Leo Varadkar and  Simon Coveney are attempting to calm Fine Gael backbenchers who want to rapidly remove Mr Kenny as party leader. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Taoiseach faces opposition within Fine Gael over his handling of McCabe controversy

Oxfam and Goal will continue to deliver aid programmes pending the outcome of their merger discussions.

Boards approve initiative to create ‘global development agency’ rooted in Ireland

Enda Kenny: Backbencher Noel Rock, a supporter of Leo Varadkar, called on the Taoiseach to set a timeframe for his departure. Ministers may give him until St Patrick’s Day, but not much longer. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Mood has shifted in Fine Gael, and Ministers’ patience with Taoiseach may soon run out

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: It is widely hoped in the Fine Gael party that Mr Kenny will step down of his own accord. Photograph:  Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Close allies of Enda Kenny expect the issue to be brought to a head next month

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD during a visit to Cork yesterday. The Cabinet will discuss the establishment of a tribunal this morning. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Kenny and Martin meet to forge deal on controversy that threatens Government

Dublin North-West TD Noel Rock has said he would like to see Leo Varadkar take over as party leader. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Dublin TD Noel Rock says Enda Kenny must set out a timeframe for his departure

Fianna Fáil intends to bring its motion forward by a number of weeks, and table it before Taoiseach Enda Kenny travels to the US for St Patrick’s Day in order to make the Dáil’s position clear. Photograph: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Israel reported to be asking Trump to put pressure on Kenny to block move

Minister for Transport Shane Ross  argued against Enda Kenny taking part in the annual St Patrick’s Day event at the White House at a Cabinet meeting. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister objects to Enda Kenny travelling to US to meet Donald Trump on national day

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney: the changes outlined by him do not herald a huge overhaul of how the scheme operates with individual families. Photograph: Alan Betson

Analysis: Private finance will speed up transfer of troubled loans into rental scheme

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney was responsible for  expanding the State’s mortgage-to-rent scheme. File photograph: Alan Betson

Merrion Capital targets loans for ‘mortgage-to-rent’ scheme

Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has repeatedly raised objections to the prospect of a redrawing of the county boundary between Kilkenny and Waterford. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister held ‘clear the air’ meeting with John Paul Phelan after boundary change dispute

Move by Minister for Housing marks expansion of ‘mortgage-to-rent’ scheme

 Simon Coveney seems to believe success for Fine Gael lies in a further move to the soft centre of politics. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Minister says party is not seen as caring for and protecting people

Migrants on board the Naval Service patrol ship LÉ Niamh.  Photograph: Irish Defence Forces

Minister says those who took part in Mediterranean missions to receive €15 daily rate

Micheál Martin: “He put it in the context of if we are to get to 55 to 60 seats some people are going to bring in running mates where they didn’t before”

Party leader tells senior TDs to bring in running mates

Minister for Planning Simon Coveney at the launch of Ireland 2040 at Maynooth University. Photograph: Alan Betson

Analysis: Coveney’s strategy will have to navigate the demands of the parish pump

Simon Coveney: he warned three-quarters of the projected population increase of more than one million would be focused on Dublin and the east coast unless action was taken

Minister says most difficult thing about development plan ‘will be the politics around it’

Mr Coveney says the population of the country will increase by around one million by 2040, and a further 500,000 homes will be needed

Taoiseach and Coveney to outline spatial plan which will map Ireland’s growth to 2040

Angela Kerins: sought damages for the PAC’s conduct during its engagements with her in the course of its Rehab investigation. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Despite court ruling, some officials abhor how Angela Kerins was treated by committee

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan outline the approach of the mid-term review of the capital plan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Investment to 2021 will allocate extra funds to roads, ports and airports to facilitate trade

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has objected to Taoiseach Enda Kenny travelling to Washington to meet US President Donald Trump for St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Independent Alliance TD only Cabinet member to oppose St Patrick’s Day visit

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: Now is not the time to question the US pre-clearance arrangements. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: US pre-clearance at Irish airports likely to be unchanged amid travel-ban controversy

A woman poses for a photograph beside a piece of street art, by artist ADW, lampooning US president Donald Trump in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton

US pre-clearance at Irish airports to be reviewed, and Kenny's US visit to go ahead

Paschal Donohoe is to tell Ministers that there is an additional €2.6bn available for capital investment up to 2021. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Cabinet is considering accelerating the project as part of review of capital programme

Simon Coveney says rent controls ‘generally do more harm than good over the short-, medium- and long-term’ in a letter released under FoI. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Finance said Simon Coveney’s proposal would exacerbate housing crisis

Taoiseach Enda Kenny answers questions during  a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin after meeting British prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

One person refused clearance at Dublin Airport in wake of Trump travel ban

Leo Varadkar: Some TDs have made their views known to him and supporters of the Minster for Social Protection know that every vote counts in a leadership contest. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Analysis: Rebel backbenchers believe it is up to aspirant leaders to call time on Enda Kenny

Fine Gael Ministers Paschal Donohoe, Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Frances Fitzgerald. Three out of four distanced themselves from the Taoiseach’s remarks. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Comments undermine Taoiseach, who earlier refused to rule out future partnership

TD Pat Deering said it was “way off the mark” for the Taoiseach to decline to rule out a future coalition with Sinn Féin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

First-time TDs say Enda Kenny’s position irrelevant as next government ‘won’t be his call’

Simon Coveney: “As I’ve said before, I don’t think the two parties are compatible partners that could work together in government, there are too many fundamental differences.” File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

‘I don’t think the two parties are compatible partners that could work together in government’

The Government moved to clamp down on how overseas buyers of Irish property  used ultra tax-efficient structures to minimise their tax bills. File photograph: Getty Images

Most vulture fund efforts to influence tax clampdown do not need to be declared

Mary Lou McDonald: said she wanted Sinn Féin to be in government, but said this would only happen if the party could deliver on its policies

Mary Lou McDonald raised prospect of SF in government as a junior coalition partner

Mary Lou McDonald outside Leinster House: “We can only go into government when we are confident that we are in a position to deliver.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Party would not enter government for ‘cheap thrill of headlines’, says deputy leader

Eoghan Murphy, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, is launching the International Financial Services Action Plan for 2017. “We won’t be predatory but we must be competitive.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ireland must lobby harder to attract financial services companies, says Eoghan Murphy

Initiative would allow for the refurbishment of vacant commercial properties, such as shops and premises  above ground floor retail units, without having to apply for planning permission. Photograph: David Sleator

Measures aim to rejuvenate rural areas, including towns, villages and regional cities

Micheál Martin: Some unhappy senior Fianna Fáil TDs  have urged the party leadership  to go for an early election. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Micheál Martin told his deputies deal would stay in place for another two budgets

TDs seeing their proposals pass earlier stages in the Dáil at first believe they are making progress, only for their Bills to languish thereafter

Next budget shaping up to be more contentious than the one introduced last October

Michael Noonan: Documents  show the extent of lobbying from US vulture and property funds, and industry groups, as the Government moved to implement this clampdown in the Finance Bill.  Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show lobbying by US funds

Kennedy Wilson’s top Irish executive Peter Collins met department officials in August to air concerns. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pre-budget correspondence shows how companies sought to keep the status quo

Peter Collins, Kennedy Wilson’s top Irish executive. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Oaktree Capital, CarVal and Kennedy Wilson among those canvassing Noonan

The report outlines options for dealing with secondary ticket selling.

Airline-style approach would allow ticket prices rise in line with demand

Davos has become an annual jaunt for Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Sergio Barrenchea/EPA

Taoiseach and Minister for Finance step among liberal economic elite in Davos

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