The report “also found that hospitals were unable to account for millions of euro that pharmaceutical companies stated they had paid them”.

Healthcare companies gave €30 million to hospitals, medical staff in 2016, says Minister

The refunding of approximately €173 million paid by some 999,000 householders is due before the end of the year.

Government says Bill must pass by Halloween to allow 990,000 homes get repayment by year end

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty: said reversal of changes that resulted in 36,000 people receiving reduced payments would happen in ‘matter of weeks’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Rough day as pensions anomaly, Cork boundary and animal welfare votes defeated

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said  reversing the 2012 pension changes would unnecessarily benefit people who have access to other resources. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Willie O’Dea accuses Sinn Féin of being ‘snipers behind the ditch’ in heated exchanges

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is  set to “admonish” bank chiefs  over the delay in dealing with  thousands of  people affected by the tracker mortgage controversy. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Government has ‘lost patience’, will impose sanctions if action unsatisfactory – Taoiseach

 Fianna Fáil TD Fiona O’Loughlin and party spokesman on social protection Willie O’Dea TD during a press briefing by the party on  pensions. Photograph: Collins

Leo Varadkar confirms that Fianna Fáil did raise pensions issue before Budget

Fallen trees block a road in Cork on Tuesday. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Monday’s storm differs to flooding, says Varadkar: ‘Nobody is in a hurricane zone’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “as a Government we have lost patience” with the banks over the tracker mortgages issue, and described the controversy as “scandalous”. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Action including sanctions to be taken if banks do not move to solve issue – Taoiseach

Michael Healy-Rae TD speaking in Dublin in 2012. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

‘He told me where to go’: Kerry TD sharply criticises former minister Phil Hogan

Independent Clare TD Michael Harty: claimed many successful Clare hurlers were from parts of the county that might end up in Limerick under proposed boundary changes in the McKinnon report

McKinnon report calls for the Cork city boundary to be extended into the county area

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets ESB Network workers in Kilcock, Co Kildare,  on Tuesday as they clear fallen power lines after Storm Ophelia. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Varadkar tells Dáil he has fewer political advisers, who cost less than his predecessors’

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald: “There’s more brass on the necks of the Fianna Fáil leadership than we would expect in a marching band.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

McDonald welcomes motion to reverse cut ‘no matter how late, cynical, self-serving’

Denise McMorrow at the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis, in the RDS, Dublin: “We need to be very radical in our approach to address the housing crisis.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Party members on Martin’s leadership, arrangement with SF and presidential election

Constituencies, all outside Dublin, raised €180,000 in the church gate national collection last year

Party’s success in 2016 general election increased State funding to €5.3 million

Social Protection spokesman Willie O’Dea will bring the motion to the House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Willie O’Dea to bring private member’s motion on pension anomaly to Dáil next week

Michael McGrath asked how all the banks could have made the same mistake. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Michael McGrath says financial institutions must be made accountable for ‘scandal’

The Coalition parties “see the arts as an occasionally useful platform but have no fundamental regard or feeling for them at all,” Fianna Fáil spokeswoman on arts Niamh Smyth claimed.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Coalition has ‘fundamental attitude of disrespect’ for the arts, Fianna Fáil claims

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy claimed the Government played with the mental health figures in last year’s budget and was doing so again this year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government ‘playing with the figures’, Solidarity TD Paul Murphy claims

The provision makes it an offence for the owner of a vehicle to allow it to be driven by a learner who is driving unaccompanied.

Ross rejects claim he is ‘not doing his job’ on measure passed 10 months ago

Mr Varadkar said the new housing finance agency would provide €750m for development finance to builders so  they could build affordable housing across the State. Photograph: Getty Images

Taoiseach insists Nama offshoot will generate return for taxpayer

John Concannon is the director of the Strategic Communications Unit. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach defends €5 million cost of controversial ‘spin’ unit saying it will be ‘cost neutral’

 Simon Harris  said measure was part of a multi-faceted approach to turning Ireland into a tobacco-free country by 2025. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Move passes without vote but some TDs raise concerns over Border cigarette smuggling

Joan Burton: she said depending on commercial property stamp duty revenues to pay for tax cuts and permanent spending increases was simply repeating the mistakes of the past

Labour jobs spokesman Alan Kelly describes budget as worth ‘a cup of coffee’

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said Sinn Féin was ‘the classic hurler on the ditch’ in his post-budget speech.

Fianna Fáil spokesman says workers paying almost 50% more income tax than in 2007

Anti-water charge protesters in 2012: the Water Services Bill seeks to draw a line under the Irish Water debacle. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill

Legislation scheduled to finish initial debate this week but 12 TDs, mainly SF, yet to speak

Flags fly at half mast at Leinster House in Dublin after the death of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire.

FF leader says ex-FG taoiseach played big role in Ireland developing high global standing

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

John McGuinness says new Bill would not stop utility being ‘gold-plated quango’

Ibrahim Halawa: the Taoiseach said he assumed the Irish Embassy in Cairo still had access to him. Photograph: PA Wire

Opposition TDs ask whether he is being held illegally and about Irish relations with Egypt

Thousands of students will be ‘deprived of a vote’ if vote in June, says Bríd Smith

The Taoiseach told  TD Joan Collins in  there was no chance of the water system being privatised because it requires a subvention of €1 billion just to exist. Photograph:  Collins Dublin

Any chance of water being privatised is ‘impossible and absurd’, Leo Varadkar tells Dáil

 Ibrahim Halawa: arrested during  Muslim Brotherhood protests which took place in Cairo in August 2013. Photograph: Family Handout/PA Wire

Taoiseach says family want to keep arrangements for Irishman’s return private

Leo Varadkar: “This is money that has to be held in an EU escrow account”

Commission’s Apple move ‘wholly unnecessary and unwarranted’

A protest outside the Department of Agriculture over greyhound exploitation. A Dáil debate has heard the dogs have a lifespan of 14 years but in Ireland the average was three to four years. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Minister defends implementation of legislation saying ‘Government does not tolerate cruelty’

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy. Photograph: Collins Courts

Seetec Ltd harassed employer to sign forms that it got job for unemployed man

People gather near the old university of Barcelona, two days after the banned Catalan independence referendum. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Sinn Féin leader calls on Taoiseach to ‘pick up the phone’ to urge Rajoy to start talks

Defence Forces: Irish soldiers train for a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. In the past five years 2,840 personnel have left the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, leaving its combined strength below 9,000

PD-Forra says short-term contracts driving sailors, airmen and soldiers to quit

Mandalay Bay massacre: Stars and Stripes fly at half-mast in Washington, DC. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty

Leo Varadkar sends message of condolence to Donald Trump

The Dáil rejected a Government amendment by 77 votes to 48 and supported the motion by Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Charlie McConalogue to support the families, businesses and communities affected by the extensive flooding in Donegal in August.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Latest vote brings to more than 20 the number of defeats since Coalition formed

Phil Hogan: accused of “hubris and arrogance”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fergus O’Dowd says his warning may have been a factor in him losing junior minister job

Independent TD Michael Harty said men had been issued with letters by State agency telling them to vacate their direct provision centres within four weeks. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Problem arises regarding men on deportation orders but who cannot be deported

Niamh Uí Bhriain,  spokeswoman for the Life Institute

Group calls for full Garda investigation into alleged threats by pro-choice activists

Letters between WB Yeats and his lifelong friend and first lover Olivia Shakespeare were among the items auctioned in London. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Acquisition of ‘significant items’ a ‘wonderful day’ for State, Humphreys says

A file image of thousands of people attending a Right 2 Water protest in Dublin last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Politics of ‘thuggery’ did not defeat water charges, FF's Barry Cowen claims

Pope Francis on his visit to Colombia earlier this month. Varadkar expressed his wish that the pope would visit the North on his Irish visit. Photograph: Luis Eduardo Noriega/EPA

Taoiseach tells bishops church-school divestment should be parents’ choice

Leo Varadkar said he would like ‘to visit India in the future but no arrangements have been made as yet’. Photograph: Facunda Arrizabalaga/EPA

Honorary consulate in economic capital Mumbai could be full consulate – Varadkar

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has compared Ms McDonald to Marine Le Pen. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sinn Féin deputy leader accuses Taoiseach of abandoning families in sharp Dáil exchanges

Ibrahim Halawa who has been acquitted of all charges in Egypt after four years in jail. Photograph:  Family Handout/PA Wire

Minister says Government staff worked about 20,000 hours on case

A protest in Peshawar in Pakistan against Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi over violence against the Rohingya. Photograph: Bilawal Arbab/EPA

FF calls on Government to propose sanctions against Myanmar over Rohingya treatment

Helen McEntee: said the reasons given on the deportation orders “do not tell us anything”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister of State Helen McEntee said the Israelis only gave a ‘generic explanation’

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: increasing the Garda commissioner’s salary  to €300,000 would “exacerbate the debate about high pay levels in the public service”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Government warned that judiciary and senior civil servants will also demand higher pay

Ibec’s Fergal O’Brien said that from roads to broadband ‘poorly developed infrastructure pushes up operating costs directly for businesses by make trade more difficult or expensive’.  .Photograph: Eric Luke

Ibec calls for rapid expansion in capital spending over ‘rainy day fund’

Ibrahim Halawa celebrates moments after his acquittal by an anti-terrorism court at the Wadi Natrun prison outside Cairo. Photograph: Declan Walsh/The New York Times

Decision after four years of appeals, adjournments, diplomacy, demonstrations, Dáil rows

Minister for Health Simon Harris: said he wanted to “change the culture”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

650 people on waiting list for transplants; 30,000 deaths annually but only 100 donors

Minister for Health Simon Harris: “I am concerned to read Prof Harbison’s comments today in relation to his view that there is an inertia in elements of the HSE in terms of delivering reform.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Harris: ‘When Prof Joe Harbison speaks about stroke care it’s very important we listen’

Actors Joe McKinney, Tom Neville,  Michael Bates and Gerry Shanahan in a scene from Full Circle.

Tom Neville to appear alongside his actor girlfriend, Fair City’s Jenny Dixon

There is  a cohort in Ireland ‘helping criminal gangs to make millions upon millions through the exploitation of vulnerable women’, says Ruhama. Photograph: Anoek de Groot/AFP/Getty Images)

Gardaí need to be properly resources to enforce Sexual Offences Act, Ruhama says

Ibrahim Halawa  will have to wait another three weeks for the verdict in a trial over Muslim Brotherhood protests in Cairo in 2013, his lawyers have said. Photograph: Family Handout/PA

Phonecall held after decision to delay the trial verdict for a further three weeks

Ibrahim Halawa: physical and mental health has deteriorated in detention

Senior figures believe 21-year-old Irish man could be back in Ireland within weeks

Architects image of the proposed 104 metre pedestrian and cycleway bridge across the Shannon between the Radisson Blu Hotel and the Luan Gallery in Athlone.

Department of Heritage a no-show at hearing on proposed 104 metre bridge for bikes and walkers

Financial support in Ireland for the clergy has always been voluntary, the Catholic Communications Office said.

Authority has received no complaints amid row over claims of €20 charge for Mass

The Government is targeting a Garda force of 21,000 by 2021. Photograph: The Irish Times

GRA backs ’bring garda home’ move, says recruitment should be racially diverse

‘He went through primary school in isolation, quite depressed, having temper tantrums, confusion, anxiety. No parent talks to us because of him. He has no friends.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Parents say authorities have placed their son with Asperger’s in a homeless shelter

Road Safety Authority says distracted driving could be a factor in up to 30 per cent of all collisions. Photograph: iStock

Fixed-notice fines issued for driving while using a mobile consistent for past 2½ years

Joe McHugh: ‘I’d be fluent at this stage. I do all my business through Irish and do live interviews in Irish.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Joe McHugh is to teach Irish to adults in summer school after becoming fluent

Dublin’s Grafton Street.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzismons

Call for security review of Dublin, Galway pedestrian zones after Barcelona attack

Simon Coveney has said the threat of an attack in Ireland similar to the atrocity in Barcelona remains possible but unlikely. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Spanish ambassador urges Irish people to continue to visit Barcelona

The private sector is not going to deliver what is needed to solve the homelessness crisis, says Simon Community. Photograph: Alan Betson

Simon Community urges State to address issue of unreasonable deposits being requested

Human rights watchdog concerned that legislation to provide for right to a lawyer has been passed but still not implemented six years later

UN Committee against Torture also calls for urgent action over prison staff shortages

The State will this year spend €1.3bn on social housing, with overall expenditure of €5.3bn on 47,000 additional homes by 2021. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister Eoghan Murphy says impact of measures ‘will take some time’

The UN Committee against Torture was concerned the State’s commission of investigation into mother and baby homes “did not allow it to investigate all institutions in the country at which abuses including forced and illegal adoptions may have occurred”. File photograph: Getty Images

Fundamental review of prison health care sought along with increased staffing in jails

Fr Peter McVerry: suggests the Government is still in denial about the extent of the homelessness crisis. Photograph: Alan Betson

Figures show 765 children aged four or under were homeless on census night in 2016

Minister for Culture Heather Humphreys expects to  introduce the National Archives (Amendment) Bill  in the Dáil in October.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Papers from Government departments to be made public after 20 years instead of 30

Families and children accounted for nearly half the total homeless population last year. Photograph: Getty Images

No local authority schemes for affordable homes on 700 public sites, says Jan O’Sullivan

Females account for 42 per cent of the total - 2,888 - and 48 per cent of homeless are male, 4,018. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The new figures reveal 27 per cent of those experiencing homelessness are children

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said 3,888 drivers failed to respond to letters notifying them about the action to be taken to overturn the wrongly imposed sanction. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Of 9,380 letters sent to motorists affected by Garda error, 3,888 drivers failed to respond

Cliona Marley from Donegal who underwent a heart transplant,   with her mother Joan in April at the launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2017.

Numbers on transplant waiting list increases to 587 people hoping for organ donors

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe says the Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Defence Forces at 9,500 personnel, but there are currently 9,044 members.

FF spokeswoman says Government needs to ‘get its head out of the sand and address issue’

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy has persistently questioned the difficulty in getting information in a timely fashion from the HSE about its services and funding. Photograph:  Collins Courts

IT financial system will replace nine different HSE systems in use and will cost €30m

This weekend’s road deaths bring the total number of people killed on the Republic’s roads this year to 98.

Two drivers killed in separate single-vehicle crashes and motorcyclist in collision with car

Thomas Pringle: he has been a TD since 2011 when he was first elected to the three-seat Donegal South West constituency

Donegal TD who turns 50 this month is in a stable condition

Hiqa inspectors were concerned staff and residents at the Liosmore centre in Limerick “continued to be subjected to risk and harm from behaviours that challenge” following an inspection in February this year.

Staff and residents at Liosmore centre in Limerick ‘subjected to risk and harm’

Oberstown Children Detention Centre. Photograph: Eric Luke

Inspectors criticise lack of proper oversight but praise education, improved atmosphere

Since the project came into operation in January 2015 , a total of 217 people with dementia have benefited. Photograph: iStock

Intensive home care packages cost average of €953 a week

Prof Ethel Brooks, Sabina Higgins and Lynn Jackson, co-ordinator of the national Roma Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration, at Tuesday’s ceremony. Photograph: Alan Betson

Romany activist says she was told at Dublin Airport that Roma people ‘steal and beg’

Sabina Higgins during Roma Holocaust Memorial Day at The Mansion House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Event in Dublin marks second World War genocide of 500,000 Roma

Government departments have spent just under €1.725m on taxis, car and limousine hire in the past two years. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Department of Foreign Affairs accounts for almost half of the total car travel bill

Minister for Health Simon Harris:  said “delays arose and, in February 2017, the hospital was advised that the candidate was no longer in a position to take up the post”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Eugene Murphy criticises Leo Varadkar over staffing delays at Galway University Hospital

Andrew Doyle said: “We’re not going to be an organic island and I don’t think we should even try to.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Island could be a ‘reservoir of seed varieties’ in event of international food scare

Garda  Emergency Response Unit: part of the increased costs in Garda overtime, according to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins

Anti-crime operations, armed support, 1916 events and visits to State given as factors

Denis Naughten TD said: “I have advised RTÉ of my position in the course of overall discussions on funding for the broadcaster.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Naughten says he has told RTÉ there will be no increase, despite calls by Dee Forbes

The highest number of assaults was in Mountjoy, which also had the highest rate of self-harm incidents, approximately 20. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

UN torture committee remains concerned about prison overcrowding and violence

Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said  mediation as an alternative to the court proceedings will be a voluntary process. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Women’s Aid worry victims of domestic abuse may be pressurised into mediation

Climate-change watchdog also urges removal of subsidies for peat-generated electricity

One of the most controversial elements of the politics of water, water funding and water charges has been about metering to locate  leaking

Even if main water pipes are not rupturing they are certainly leaking

The Thornton Hall site in North Dublin, which was purchased in 2005. Photograph: Alan Betson

Thornton Hall site bought for €29.9m to replace Mountjoy was a ‘Celtic Tiger mistake’

Minister Charlie Flanagan  said the Bill was ‘not gathering dust on any shelf anywhere’. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Flanagan tells Seanad Public Health Bill will proceed in the next session of the Oireachtas

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan was accused of being to the right of Genghis Khan.

Heated exchanges as Government defeated on Bill to extend family reunification rights

Senator Lynn Ruane: she said her amendment was “just a line” obliging lawyers to remind the person that mediation was voluntary, and it may not be an option for them if there was a risk to their safety

Legislation to offer mediation as alternative to court proceedings must go back to Dáil

Christmas Day swimmers at the Forty Foot. Photograph: Frank Miller

Green Party accuses Minister of ‘complete doublespeak’ on low-carbon economy

Fianna Fáil Senator Aidan Davitt said Garda morale is at an all-time low, particularly among rank-and-file officers.

FF Senator says morale at ‘all time low’ as officers face ‘onslaught of allegations’ from public

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