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

Fianna Fáil calls for increased Garda resources to tackle gangland crime

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

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

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

Earlier Independent junior minister said he would back Sinn Féin bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan Kelly struggling to secure nomination from among parliamentary party ranks

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

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

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

New agreement may include salary incentives for in-demand workers

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Alan Betson

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

Eyeing the Labour Party leadership: Brendan Howlin (left) and Alan Kelly  attend the party’s annual James Connolly commemoration at Arbour Hill Cemetery, Dublin. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Party sources say fellow TDs are reluctant to second leadership contender’s nomination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Opposition parties and advocacy groups express concern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cabinet at its first full meeting on Wednesday.

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

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

Alan Shatter says Taoiseach has a duty to correct Dáil record

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Noonan drafted in to deal with John Halligan – sources

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

Brendan Howlin writtes to European Commission concerned about Eurostat action

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

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

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

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

Announcement causes ‘uproar’ among Independent TDs still in talks

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

Kenny and Martin receive unanimous backing of parliamentary parties for deal

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

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

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

Document deals with mechanics of how minority government arrangement will work

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

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

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

Assurance based on Fianna Fáil commitment to support three budgets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fine Gael insists party election promises will be reflected in agreement

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

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

‘Nobody can stand over the present charging system in Irish Water, it is utterly regressive,’ said Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil TD says water charges ‘only level of disagreement’ between two parties

A commission to examine pay for the public sector is proposed in the agreement to allow Fianna Fáil to facilitate a Fine Gael-led minority government. PPublic pay review part of Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil dealhotograph: Getty Images

Fianna Fáil source describes commission as a ‘benchmarking-type process’

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are expected to sign off on the agreement before it goes to the two parliamentary parties for final approval. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Parties agree people who have not paid Irish Water charges will be pursued

Micheál Martin faces a challenging, medium term task to position Fianna Fáil  back among the middle ground voters.  It is they, after all, who will decide which party leads the next government, a position it covets.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Analysis: Party’s drift into political terrain occupied by Sinn Féin and hard left did yield a prize

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said there were many mechanisms to secure money from those who have not paid water charges,  including attachment orders. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says FF position is that those who have not paid charges should be pursued

Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald, Pascal Donohoe and Simon Coveney leaving Trinity College Dublin: The emerging water deal will see a commission of experts established to examine issues such as alternative charging systems. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ministers tell FG backbenchers deal with FF only prospect of saving Irish Water

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. The party has indicated it is willing to consider the principle of charging for water at some stage in the future if water charges are suspended for a number of years.  File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Enda Kenny tells Ministers they have held their final Cabinet meeting

  Pat Deering: “It’ll be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as power at all costs and the re-election of Enda at all costs.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Move could be perceived as seeking to hold on to ‘power at all costs’, says backbencher

Fine Gael TDs Paschal Donohoe, Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Frances Fitzgerald arriving for talks on government formation at Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil at odds over length of any water charge suspension period

 Fianna Fail TD’s (L to R) Jim O’ Callaghan, Barry Cowen, Michael McGrath, Charlie McConalogue leave talks between Fianna Fail and  Fine Gael at Trinity College, Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil struggling to reach agreement on key issues

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  and Fine Gael Enda Kenny. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Water charges issue is said to be preventing deal on Fine Gael minority government

 “I don’t believe any problem is insurmountable”: Jim O’Callaghan with Barry Cowen, Michael McGrath  and  Charlie McConalogue at Trinity College. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael negotiators fail to agree on housing, health, childcare and water

The Fine Gael negotiating team arriving in Trinity College – Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald and Pascal Donoghue. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Negotiators fail to reach agreement on number of key issues

Differences are understood to centre on health, rural Ireland, childcare and education and rent allowance

Fianna Fáil leader puts parliamentary party on standby ahead of weekend agreement

Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald and Michael Noonan on their way into talks with Fianna Fáil on forming the next government, at Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson.

FG and FF agree resources will be split on 2:1 ratio between investment and tax cuts

Fianna Fáil TDs Barry Cowen, Charlie McConalogue, Michael McGrath and Jim O’Callaghan  arriving for talks at Trinity College Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

FF TDs unhappy with compromises in outline of deal on future of Irish Water

Inside Politics: Smiling negotiators emerge from talks as water breaks at Trinity Dam

Fine Gael TD’s Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney, Paschal Donohoe, Frances Fitzgerald and Michael Noonan speaking to journalists after leaving talks on the formation of a government between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Pact on water utility should allow minority government to be put in place next week

Leo Varadkar talks to the media in Trinity College after leaving talks yesterday: the outlines of a compromise were agreed. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Analysis: a compromise has been reached but minority government will not be easy

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: Department of Justice preparing emergency law following High Court ruling. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister to enact legislation after law governing sentencing ruled unconstitutional

Members of Fianna Fáil arriving at Trinity College Dublin for talks with Fine Gael. From left  are Charlie McConalogue, Barry Cowen, Micheal McGrath and Jim O’Callaghan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Issues down to ‘five or six net points’ says Michael Noonan as negotiations resume

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton leaving Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil government talks remain deadlocked over future of Irish Water

Frances Fitzgerald and Micheal Noonan at Trinity College surrounded by student from Glanmire in Cork. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Two parties meet away from the ‘goldfish bowl’ of Leinster House

While Labour is cool on coalition, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have discussed the future of Irish Water and the charges

Burton and Howlin sceptical on prospect of coalition, with grassroots ‘very, very, cool’

 Acting Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party must come to agreement with Fianna Fáil in order to avert a second election

Labour leader Joan Burton. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil reluctant to back Fine Gael-led minority government with Labour as full member

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving at Government Buildings on Thursday. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: A likely scenario is one budget will be passed and then the election countdown will begin again, writes Fiach Kelly

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin:  Continuing last night to canvass support among Independents for his candidacy for Taoiseach. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil cancel meeting with Fine Gael to exchange policy papers at last minute

 Independents said Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s move was putting a gun to their heads. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: High-stakes move tests resolve of Independents who claim to support Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin contacted  Independent TDs and urged them to vote for either a Fine Gael or a Fianna Fáil-led Government. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Move comes after scheduled talks between FG and FF are cancelled

Independents at Government Buildings following talks. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Inside politics: The Independents have been telling Fine Gael that Enda Kenny is the main stumbling block to doing a deal

“As the efforts to form a minority government reach a conclusion, the thoughts of Independents are naturally turning to finalising the best deals they can get.” File photograph: Getty Images

TDs pledge national interest in talks while seizing their chance for local gain

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Gregory Ellis and Keith Pascoe of the Vanbrugh String Quartet at the opening of the newly refurbished Kevin Barry Recital Room at the National Concert Hall last night. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Acting Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader meet respective negotiatiors before talks

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) has said it is his “earnest” hope that a government can be formed in the national interest. File photograph: Tony Maxwell/PA Wire

Enda Kenny talks up ‘earnest hope’ on forming government in the national interest

 Denis Naughten: said progress must be made  before non-party deputies show their hands for either Enda Kenny or Micheál Martin. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Independent TD says progress must be made before he declares position

Acting Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Simon Coveney tells Shane Ross there are ‘positive reasons’ for no-show

Senior party figures  said Michéal Martin would not agree to a partnership arrangement with Fine Gael and Independents –  described as “coalition by the back door”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Sources say party willing to discuss supporting minority-led government

Enda Kenny repeated his invitation to Fianna Fáil to join his party and Independents in a partnership government. Photographs: The Irish Times

Taoiseach repeats call for partnership administration

 President Michael D. Higgins: understood to be keeping abreast of the political situation. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Michael D Higgins can decline to dissolve Dáil

Acting Taoiseach Mr Kenny and a number of his senior Ministers have accused Fianna Fáil and Micheál Martin of putting party before country following the emphatic rejection of a partnership government by the main Opposition party.

Micheál Martin says he will meet acting Taoiseach to discuss minority government

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the Dáil with Dara Calleary, Charlie McConalogue, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Mary Butler, after his party rejected Fine Gael’s proposal for government. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny accuses Micheál Martin of putting party before country after bitter breakdown

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: “Committed to further building . . . relationship with China.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Worries that Irish vote at UN Human Rights Council will affect beef trade with China

Some senior Fine Gael figures have joked in recent days that they never envisaged being pulled so far to the left

Analysis: Big parties have moved position during talks with Independents

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney old the Cabinet his department had been contacted by the Chinese government expressing concern about a recent vote at the UNHCR. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Human rights motion threatens Beijing’s lifting of meat ban and trade of €100m

Acting  Tánaiste Joan Burton at the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin for the 1916 commemorations last month. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Burton to reach out to form parliamentary bloc with smaller parties

 Former workers at Clerys  protest outside the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Kildare street, Dublin. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Major new protections for workers are among proposals in new labour study

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Party must support a Fine Gael-led government or trigger an election

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Independent TDs are unlikely to vote for either Enda Kenny or Micheál Martin

Outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny and outgoing Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Opposition TDs may be asked to support government policies under proposal

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan says it could still help with “formation of a viable government”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party leader Eamon Ryan says Dáil numbers mean FG and FF must work together

The Government had indicated that the national children’s hospital, planned for the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin, could cost about €650m

Higher build costs due to inflation in construction sector cited in confidential briefings

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: due to meet the Green Party, Independent Alliance and a group of rural TDs. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Green Party expected to drop out of talks on formation of next government

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