Senator Rónán Mullen presents an Easter chicken to Senator Michelle Mulherin outside Leinster House. Photograph: John Mc Elroy.

The anti-abortion campaigner gets into the Easter spirit with a charity sale of eggs

Richard Boyd Barrett: “Today, again, there are about 25 households, individuals, families and children in the visitors’ gallery”

Boyd Barrett manages to out-shout Mary Lou as he ratchets it up on homelessness

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny: told Mary Lou McDonald a few home truths regarding the water charges. Photograph: Alan Betson /

Taoiseach goes retro in the Dáil with Garda resignations as water charges seem to recede

Aldi hot tubs, which has sold out online within hours on Thursday in UK

A Cork South Central charity dinner might be a chance to pour oil on troubled waters

“Fianna Fáil – a party which once championed the introduction of charges – is suddenly lolloping alongside Sinn Féin with its tongue hanging out”

Miriam Lord: FF poodle accused of being SF and PBP-AAA lapdog over water charges

Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, AAA/PBP and a number of Independents voted for an immediate crackdown on water abuse. Water is the victim here. Photograph: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

Miriam Lord: Water charges slosh around in a tale of excess and abuse that won’t wash

Eoin Ó Broin declared that Fine Gael was trying to introduce water charges by the back door. And probably water meters by the front gate. Photograph: Eric Luke

TDs engage in wilful and excessive one-upmanship on water committee

Star turn: Michelle Mulherin performs  at a fundraiser for Ballina Rugby Club. Photograph: Facebook

Moving her lips and swinging her hips, Michelle Mulherin makes all the right moves

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: ‘There he was, bright as a Phibsborough button, in the hot seat on the big ticket day of the Dáil week, ready to take command. But in a very respectful and courteous way, obviously.’ File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Michael Healy-Rae lives to fight another day and not to bolt down his chicken dinner

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan,  Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Justice  Frances Fitzgerald: another  root and branch review of the Garda. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Taoiseach’s insistence on his confidence in Nóirín O’Sullivan greeted with Dáil derision

The Dáil and Seanad rugby team saw off a strong Commons and Lords side. Alan Farrell (FG), Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF) Michael Darcy (FG) Sen Neale Richmond (FG), Jim O’Callaghan (FF) and Sen Mark Daly (FF).

Mediation for FG, getting TDs to put a sock in it, and how to beat MPs at their own game

An Irish flag is placed upon the coffin as  sons Emmet (centre left) and Fiachra (centre right), wife Bernadette (Bernie, far right) look on ahead of the funeral of  Martin McGuinness outside his home in the Derry. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

A family, party, movement and city are united in mourning on a day of significance

David Norris: “Now we have to fob in, but the Ministers who started this, they don’t have to fob in. It is demeaning to be treated like cattle.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Senator rails against dress code while Taoiseach conclusively does not outline plans

Enda was dreaming of getting up there with the greats, like Meryl Streep or Sneezing Baby Panda. But not “Downfall”. Don’t mention “Downfall”. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg

With Washington speech going viral, Kenny was in no mood to talk about direct provision

Taoiseach Enda Kenny holding seven-month-old Savannah Marie during the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

He may be Trump’s new friend but Kenny’s real love is a parade

 President Donald  Trump accepts a bowl of shamrock from  Taoiseach Enda Kenny  during a reception in the East Room of the White House, March 16th, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photograph: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President is quick to call time on photo call, but not before an awkward question

Taoiseach Enda Kenny delivers a speech to business leaders at a lunch at the American Institute for Peace in Washington on Wednesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach sports grin from ear to shining ear as he prepares to meet President Trump

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said: ‘If OutVets are not in the parade I definitely won’t be taking part.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

This year’s St Patrick’s Day controversy is brought to us by the ‘Southie’ shindig

Taoiseach Enda Kenny called for reflection and counselled that this time, when the State investigates what happened and why, the job must be done properly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach stung as Galway TD takes him to task on ‘carefully crafted words’ about Tuam

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s speech was hewn from previous ones. And, for that, sounded just a little contrived. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Authentic note of anger struck by Bríd Smith after Taoiseach’s speech on Tuam babies

 Angela Merkel and Enda Kenny: “Angela’s Washington visit will be big news. It’s gonna be tremendously huge.” Photograph: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Politicians get down and dirty for Ireland while Denis Naughten’s corset causes a stir

Custody battle: Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

‘The New Politics’ is the unappealing offspring of the old, but more ineffectual

 Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen with party colleagues Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee and Willie O’Dea. Bazza wasn’t going to be pushed around anymore by Coveney or Enda Kenny or any other Blueshirt. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Cultural differences come to fore as Fianna Fáil minority asserts itself on water issue

Intrepid Enda is like a coiled spring, waiting for the British prime minister to pull the trigger and activate him.

In the thick of things on Brexit, air-miles Enda tells Dáil all the latest from EU circuit

‘The ’Irish Independent’ spent much of the week fretting over how the electorate might cope with Leo Varadkar’s private life.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It’s also open season on private life of a man who bravely came out as a Fine Gael member

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “We don’t fight in Fine Gael. We are a united party.” File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Last supper awaits Taoiseach if he fails to deliver on departure promises

 Michael Healy-Rae: said nothing short of calling in the Army would solve “rodydundrun” problem in Killarney National Park.  File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The ‘Endit’ talks are being triggered but Kenny keen to take scenic route from power

Today, a huge Fine Gael wedding is taking place in Dublin 4. Former senator and Fine Gael blueblood Eugene Regan, appointed by the Government in 2015 to the European Court of Justice, is marrying his Danish partner, Janne Storgaard. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Cabinet figures are to gather for exquisitely timed nuptials of former senator Eugene Regan

Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison  (left) with his partner Marissa Simms talking to deputy Alan Kelly  at the Dáil on Wednesday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Politicians run risky gauntlet to get on the right side of those maverick troublemakers

TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly. ‘They have been knocking their heads off a brick wall for nearly a decade warning that the McCabe story is far too serious to go away.’

There were astonishing Dáil scenes as the Taoiseach came under fire over McCabe case

Martin Callinan and Nóirín O’Sullivan arriving in Leinster House in January 2014 to attend a sitting of the PAC. File photograph: David Sleator

Gardaí were quick to dish the dirt on McCabe, but not to set the record straight

Brendan Howlin:  The Labour leader wondered if it might not be a good idea for Nóirín O’Sullivan  to step aside or “be placed on administrative leave” for the duration of Mr Justice Peter Charleton’s investigation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dáil sketch: Brendan Howlin dive-bombs into the Garda Commissioner controversy

 Then she  ups the fear factor. Joan looks across at the Taoiseach: “You will be alone with 27 other heads of state . . . ” File photograph: Cyril Byrne

The José Mourinho protocol is invoked as Enda becomes the man who unites Ireland

Minister for Transport and Sport Shane Ross: all ears  when it comes to strong regional accents. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shane Ross versus Trump, a mum in the Dáil, Enda’s tall tales, the curlew and earwigging

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with Stephen Donnelly. ‘I’ve always made it clear that I’m open to new talent,’ he said of the new addition to his frontbench. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Burbling Micheál Martin explodes with happiness as he unveils his new trophy TD

The Taoiseach’s black eye was much more noticeable in daylight despite the application of a shovelful of foundation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Suddenly, Richard Boyd-Barrett began performing exaggerated sweeping movements

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: did Theresa May inadvertedly give him a belt in the eye with her handbag? Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

It’s all fighting talk as Taoiseach sports a shiner ahead of his tête-à-tête with Trump

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British prime minister Theresa May at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Neither Enda Kenny nor Theresa May rubbed each other up the wrong way

Micheál Martin suggests dinner date with Simon Coveney to raise money for Marymount Hospice.

Micheál Martin and Simon Coveney to dine out on fundraising gig at Leinster House

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, with Eamon Creamer, owner of the 1916 Ford Model T,  following the launch of the Action Plan for Regional Development in Ballymahon, Co Longford. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Amid gags about Big Tom and small farmers and fishermen, a bucolic plan is rolled out

Journey ahead: Enda Kenny seems very comfortable when asked about Brexit.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Amid confusion over Brexit, Taoiseach gives the impression he is on the inside track

 John Halligan with his wife Elaine Powell on their wedding day on Friday. Photograph:  Frankie McEvoy

Kelly’s Irish Times pub on Capitol Hill is the scene for Martin O’Malley’s eulogy

Brendan Howlin: The Labour leader was feeling a little shortchanged on the liaison front. As were his colleagues in Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Alas, Enda Kenny’s Parliamentary Liaison Unit is not quite Tinder for TDs

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: There remains another transportation peak to be conquered. It’s called Bus Éireann

Minister’s Cabinet briefing may have run to tale of derring-do on the number 44 bus

‘Brendan Ogle will announce he is retiring from trade union activism to pursue a full-time career in light entertainment.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Enda finds his va-va-voom, O’Brien sues nobody and Boyd-Barrett is incandescent

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the 1916 Arbour Hill commemoration ceremony on April 24th, 2016. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

All the ‘New Politics’ comes down to is installing ‘abstain’ buttons in the Dáil

Gerry Adams, who this year said: “My teddy bears are virgins.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Who was the best newcomer? The practical joker? Who paddled their own canoe?

A large share of the electorate is probably thinking that landlords – no matter what their circumstances – have never had things better and shouldn’t be given any sort of raise for a few years. Photograph: Getty Images

FF feel heat and blink first on rent Bill

 Simon Coveney:  on the 4%  rent cap he  was not budging. He would abandon the entire scheme if necessary. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Party leaders resolutely stand by their respective men Simon Coveney and Barry Cowen

Members of the Tyrrelstown Tenants Action Group protest against the housing crisis in Dublin city centre in May 2016. File photograph: Getty Images

Opposition furious about not seeing plans before being asked to buy new rental plan

“The reimagining of Gerry Adams continues. It is infinitely preferable to what went before. But maybe, just maybe, the Sinn Féin president and his advisers have been a bit too clever for their own good”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Rollercoaster week for Sinn Féin leader began in Cuba, ended with being called names

Alan Farrell, TD for Dublin Fingal, tossed in the equivalent of a grenade with the deliberate intention of provoking a reaction from Sinn Féin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fine Gael backbencher unperturbed by angry reaction from Sinn Féin TDs

Taoiseach Enda Kenny singing with Catherine Martin of the Green Party at the switching on of Christmas tree lights in Leinster House. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The best thing about the annual switching on of the Oireachtas Christmas tree lights is the awkwardness

  Eoin Ó Broin:    The Blackrock College Annual 2016, obviously compiled well in advance of publication, tells Eoin’s fellow Rockmen: “He’s not a TD yet, but he has been Sinn Féin’s rising star for a long time.”Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Denis Naughten writes a Santa letter while Eamon Ryan is a recycling Green machine

Museum man: former taoiseach Bertie Ahern may be poised for a return to politics. Photograph: Eric Luke

Tidal wave of anxiety hits Fianna Fáil as possibility of former leader’s return emerges

Nicola Sturgeon with her fans: the politicians swarmed around their guest trying to position their phones while simultaneously elbowing colleagues out of the way. Photograph: Maxwells

Scottish first minister said the occasion will live long in the memory, and they believed it

How do you solve a problem like the Minister? “Everyone is convinced that Shane wants to get himself fired.” Photograph: Alan Betson

‘Obstinate, disruptive’ Winston Churchtown managing to rub everyone up wrong way

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square in Rome in April 2014. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Rónán Mullen tells Seanad ‘we’ve to drain the swamp’; ‘You’d be first to go,’ quips Norris

Barack Obama  receives  shamrock from Enda Kenny: Enda will  travel to the US  to celebrate “Patty’s Day” with The Donald. Photograph: Chris Kleponis/Reuters

Howlin thinks Shane Ross may be horsing around while Martin calls him cavalier

Ever vigilant: Deputies   watched agog  as security men   guarded   the exits to the Members’ Bar while Minister of State at the Department of Defence  Paul Kehoe  went in for a sandwich. Photograph: Alan Betson

Perfect chinese penmanship and stress relief share the corridors of power with portly rats

Cyber attack: the Russians will not be allowed to infect Enda’s network. Spam, viruses, malicious agents – the Taoiseach is aware of the dangers.

Taoiseach and Ministers struggle to get heads around international threat of cyber crime

‘Mattie McGrath’s Dáil contribution may well have left the Chinese delegation puzzled.’ Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

China’s ‘fact-finding’ visit to the Dáil is derailed by a soliloquy by the man from Tipp

Donald Trump and US vice-president-elect Mike Pence, whose grandfather was Irish. Photograph: Damon Winter/The New York Times

The silver lining to the Donald’s win – it silences Ireland’s smug Clinton fan club

Terry Leyden led the shameless tributes in the Seanad while Enda Kenny fired off a letter to the president elect but the Healy-Rae machine will “never get across the border”. Photographs: The Irish Times

Trump will build that wall and ensure Healy-Raes never get across the border

Gerry Adams asked Micheál Martin had he been reassured by Enda Kenny’s response. Photographs: The Irish Times

FF chief questions Taoiseach about Aviva location amid public-service pay quandary

’To underline his point about London jobs crossing the pond, AIB chairman Richard Pym said people in financial circles have christened Dublin ‘Canary Dwarf’.’ Photograph: iStock

AIB chair draws on cartoon terms to give journalists a lesson on the UK’s future

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Festival of reasonableness prevails as unionists eschew worthy cross-Border think-in

‘Senator Michael McDowell brought   innocence and intrigue in the Seanad.’ Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

Micheál Martin managed to upset everyone and Enda Kenny was removed from office

‘The Committee Stage of a Bill in the Seanad does not normally attract a big amount of interest, but there were high hopes of fireworks at the debate on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.’

There were high hopes of fireworks during the Seanad debate on the alcohol Bill

FF chief Micheál Martin let the cat out of the bag last week while Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty had her sights set on any monkey business. But Mattie McGrath proclaimed himself disgusted

Dáil Business Committee has no business thinking that it can guide Dáil business

David McCullagh launched the biography about Douglas Hyde, written by Brian Murphy.

Bawdy touch from Myles na gCopaleen adds life to Fianna Fáil-flavoured book launch

Leo Varadkar takes Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil as Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Francis Fitzgerald are out of the country. Screengrab: Oireachtas TV

Leo’s Leaders’ Questions: FF’s Billy Kelleher says ‘that was a reasonably good first audition’

Kevin “Boxer” Moran: groundbreaking address elicited an emotional response from the skeleton crew of TDs rostered on the late shift. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Independent Alliance TD’s maiden speech will come as relief to his constituents

While Michael Healy-Rae was fit to be tied, Simon Coveney eyed the middle way but Gerry Adams favoured the back-seat drive. Photographs: The Irish Times

Nothing like a procedural row, but maybe it’s less not more time they need in Dáil Éireann

Senator David Norris on Budget 2017: “I think it is a complete and utter waste of time. It has been leaked for weeks.”

Senator David Norris declares himself “bored senseless” by Budget 2017 until talk turns to pay

  Enda Kenny: the Taoiseach  welcomed   EU chief negotiator on Brexit Michel Barnier to Government Buildings on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

House updated on Government’s assessment of future consistency of the Border

 Minister  for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at a photocall to present Budget 2017 at Government Buildings. Photograph: Eric Luke

It took over three hours, after the speechifying began, for a properly critical response

Tom Neville succeeded his father Dan in Leinster House this year. We hear he has been listed as a finalist in the “One Minute Monologue” at the film festival  in Limerick.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Leinster House’s best-dressed male TD is also in contention for the best actor award

Clare Daly and Mick Wallace have been telling the Dáil about the “plight” of two Garda whistleblowers and how the force has treated them as pariahs. Photograph: The Irish Times

Tenacity of Clare Daly and Mick Wallace resurfaces in long-running Garda saga

One of the travelling troika – Michael Healy-Rae, IndependentTD. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Choices for our European Affairs Committee mean that we’ve nothing to worry about

‘Yes Minister’ stars Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington and Derek Fowlds.

A retiring secretary general recalls a ‘Yes Minister’-style intervention

‘Taoiseach Enda Kenny was most anxious to reflect ‘the new political landscape’ by breaking old political news.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

When the Taoiseach whips out his little jotter, you know he means business

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams told the Dáil chamber “my teddy bears are virgins”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Bizarre day as Dáil hears about Kama Sutra, bananas and . . . virgin teddy bears

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “The T-shirts might be black with the writing in white but this is about people and they’ve all got different views.”

Kenny gets one thing right when confronted about repealing Eighth Amendment

People Before Profit/Anti-Austerity Alliance Oireachtas group: ‘How about a picture in front of the four-star Hilton?’ Photograph: Sam Boal/

Greens saved on emissions, PBP/AAA saved face, while FF saved the best till last

Simon Coveney, who is Rebuilding Ireland with his action plan, which is “rolling, changing and improving”

There were five ‘pillars’ to the homeless plan. Four walls and a roof suffice for most people

On the nose: Taoiseach Enda Kenny with ploughing champion Brian Mahon, Michelle Mahon and their baby daughter Chloe, from  Blueball, Co Offaly, at the National Ploughing Championships at Screggan, Co Offaly. Photograph: Eric Luke

This year the ploughing championships are seeing a larger than usual plague of politicians

Taoiseach Enda kenny TD at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Meeting in Keadeen Hotel Newbridge, Co Kildare. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Whiff of Kenny’s M-word lingered through Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Meeting

Sinn Féin tried to liven things up by holding a lunchtime protest on Kildare Street. It was sparsely attended, rather like the proceedings inside. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

No sense of urgency or excitement as Leinster House inched towards novelty vote

The funeral of Alan Hawe (41), his wife Clodagh (39) and their sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) at St Mary’s Church, Castlerahan, Co Cavan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

An unbelievable, devastating event in Cavan has gripped the nation by the heart

Joel Thomas (5) from Baldoyle was delighted to have his boxing gloves signed by returning Olympic Irish boxer Paddy Barnes. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Family and friends turn out for a loving but low-key welcome

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan speaking to media on Olympic Games tickets controversy yesterday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Dáil Sketch: Minister for Sport happy to share responsibility after tough trip to Rio

Minister for Sport  Shane Ross is on a mercy dash to Brazil because it is his duty “to try and raise the morale of what is a very depleted Irish team”. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Government begins second century as Winston Churchtown rides to rescue in Rio

Taoiseach Enda Kenny gets the Gerry Adams longevity award for hangin’ in for a second term, though he looks like he’s feeling the pressure here. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Who was best Minister? Best politician? Biggest disappointment? Cutest hoor?

Athletico Kildare Street. Back row: Eamon Ryan, Brendan Griffin, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Alan Farrell, Jim O’Callaghan and Michael Binchy BL. Front row: Alan Crann BL, Tom Neville, Frankie Feighan, Neale Richmond and Will Reidy BL.

TDs and Senators played off the soccer pitch by legal eagles on the hottest day of the year

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with French President François Hollande at a press conference in Government Buildings  yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

François Hollande sympathises with Irish press corps as TDs and Senators begin recess

Willie Penrose: quoted a stellar list of homegrown performers who are in favour of his Bill.  Photograph: Frank Miller

Labour TD talks of ‘impromptu concert’ to launch Bill on Irish music quotas

 Simon Coveney during the launch of the Government’s new Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness:  he clearly wants it to work and will do all he can to pull together and implement the various strands of his plan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister has worked so hard on strategy to revitalise ‘The Country of Eternal Plans’

Former minister for health Dr James Reilly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Senators maintain collective amnesia over ‘stand-up row’ in the Leinster House pub

“We left our shillelaghs at the door beside the umbrellas, still marvelling at the supernatural genius of Michael Noonan’s little mandarins who managed to switch on a rainbow over Merrion Street for us.” File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Supernatural genius of Noonan’s mandarins who switched on rainbow over Merrion Street’

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