Independent TD Mick Wallace’s misgivings were seized upon by the two main Opposition leaders. Photograph: Eric Luke

Taoiseach recites Government’s latest reworking of Ode to a Grecian About Turn

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen at Leinster House for his appearance before the Oireachtas banking inquiry. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former taoiseach dismisses ‘mythology’ about party’s tent at Galway Races

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen speaks to the media as he arrives for his appearance before the Oireachtas banking inquiry at Leinster House on Thursday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

‘Front-line folk are useful, when an urgent need arises to throw bodies under the bus’

Charlie McCreevy “must have been taking lessons from Pee Flynn. On and on he went about the wonderful works he had wrought.” File photograph:   Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Where corridors are wider for inflated egos, ex-finance minister in a class of his own

“We want Jack!” roared the enormous crowd. They had sweated in the June heat for hours and it wasn’t to see preening ministers and councillors.

On the world stage, our players did us proud, the supporters did us proud, we did ourselves proud

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and president Gerry Adams.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Sinn Féin leader amused by Government reaction during exchanges on water Bill

 Former British government minister Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe, seen with Senator Ronan Mullen,  was given a rousing reception by more than 500 guests in the Round Room of the Mansion House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Former Tory minister is special guest at Ceiliúradh Cois Life

Minister for   Arts Heather Humphreys: Recited what we understand was a rather earthy and bawdy poem about men. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Humphreys lets hair down with female staff and party colleagues at mid-summer bash

EU commissioner Phil Hogan: “I cannot get satisfaction from the Greek authorities or even get replies to letters sent since last Christmas.” Photograph: Patrick Bolger

EU commissioner pays first official visit to Oireachtas since his elevation to EU post

Gerry Adams: Gerry Adams hissed like a burnt pot. He was steaming about that Nama kettle. Photograph: The Irish Times

Hissing Adams steams into bubbling Nama saga but swerves party strains in Rebel County

Family and friends carry the remains of Eoghan Culligan , who died tragically in a balcony collapse in Berkeley, California in through students from St Marys College guard of honour before the funeral Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Rathfarnham. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Calamity of young lives cut down in their prime has touched this grieving nation

 Ciarán Cannon and fellow TDs Paul Connaughton,  Colm Keaveney and Micheal Kitt found themselves lost for words on Vincent Browne’s People’s Debate when asked wether they would support a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Fearless Four were left sweating on Vincent Browne when put on the spot

 Former department of finance secretary-general Kevin Cardiff arriving at the Oireachtas banking inquiry in Leinster House yesterday. Photograh: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Former senior civil servant tells Joe Higgins he’s now more a socialist than he used to be

Tánaiste Joan Burton:  “I know what the J-1 experience is meant to be, a rite of passage, an opportunity to gain valuable life and cultural experience  . . . for a lot of young people, it is a summer of love and a summer of fun.”   Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘Do we not see the faces of our own sons and daughters as they start the great adventure of life for young people?’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: reiterated the independence of Nama and the presence of a good oversight mechanism.  Photograph: Etienne Laurent/ EPA

Dáil sketch: Enda is not afraid of the vultures coming to attack him in the dead of night

Marie Louise O’Donnell: as her six guests looked on, McGrath allegedly accused O’Donnell (who has a long-running weekly radio slot on RTÉ’s ‘Today with Seán O’Rourke’ programme) of “double-jobbing” and taking the bread from the mouths of working journalists

Senator eats McGrath alive over his ‘outrageous’ behaviour in Oireachtas restaurant

’Bruton the Younger proved himself an adequate substitute for his party leader.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Richard Bruton proves an adequate substitute for his party leader

Independent TD Catherine Murphy pictured outside Leinster House before the start of the debate on IBRC. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Department found documents when Murphy’s questions started hitting headlines

Deputy Catherine Murphy leaving the Four Courts on Tuesday in connection with the Denis O’Brien  case.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Right to speak freely in the Dáil remains undimmed. As do rights of the free press

Sally (left), Jill (right) and Hilary O’Herlihy, daughters and wife of Bill O’Herlihy at the funeral Mass of the RTÉ presenter at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in  Foxrock, south Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Those three amigos – Giles, Dunphy and Brady help shoulder Bill’s coffin from the church

Catherine Murphy: The TD’s audacity in reading material into the Dáil record has a precedent dating back to 1942, when senators got themselves in a lather about an allegedly dirty book. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘While Catherine could read her story in, it seems nobody could read it out for fear of Mr Crow. We always thought the national pa(...)

Senator David Norris at Dublin Castle for the result of the same-sex marriage referendum: Eamonn Coghlan says he was “the pathfinder on this human rights issue”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

David Norris is the man of the moment in Upper House as Senators join chorus of praise

Senator Averil Power gets a hug after announcing her resignation from the Fianna Fáil party  outside Leinster House. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

There were tears on the plinth at Leinster House after the FF lads had their laugh in Kilkenny

The crowd in the courtyard of Dublin Castle  react as the result of the same-sex marriage referendum is announced. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Miriam Lord reports from Dublin Castle where crowds gathered to hear referendum result

 Ursula Halligan:  ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this. I  can’t believe I’m telling everyone I’m 54.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The marriage referendum created some new heroines as clowns played on

Apparently – at least as the No side would have it – gay people will fall prey to rampant broodiness the instant they get a wedding ring on their finger. Photograph: Getty Images

Reluctant gay icon Enda Kenny deploys the ‘what did you do in the war, daddy?’ tactic

Prince Charles on the Burren with Brendan Dunford, manager of Burren Life, and Bridgid Barry of Burrenbeo: the royal was said to have been particularly looking forward to this part of his trip. Photohraph: Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The nature-loving royal visitor was in a very special place, and he knew it

‘Ursula Halligan is a very private person. She may have been prepared to live with her secret, but she was damned if she was going to allow others to suffer a similar fate.’  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

She was prepared to live with her secret – then the marriage referendum came along

FF’s Limerick  poll-topper Willie O’Dea waded in. “We are dealing with tomorrow before today.” Photograph: The Irish Times

After much roaring, Seán Barrett abandoned the chair and decided to suspend the House

 Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald: “I assure you, Brendan, that I’ll never win the Lotto.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

There’s nothing quite like them for boiling the blood

Poster of the Week: a hand-made black-and-white creation up on a pole on the main street in Naas, in the heart of Kildare horsey country.

Poster of the Week was in Naas: ‘Shergar Wasn’t Bred By 2 Stallions. Vote No’

‘I have a whole dossier here about posters being taken down from Donegal to Tipperary,’ said Mattie McGrath. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Mattie McGrath has been muttering darkly for some time over the campaign for the marriage equality referendum

President Michael D Higgins, with his wife, Sabina, and Joe Duffy, surrounded by pupils of St Patrick’s National School, Ringsend. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Service honours the 40 previously forgotten children killed in the Rising

John McGuinness, Fianna Fáil’s senior man in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency, has jetted off to the Canaries for a week in the sun as the party’s byelection campaign is getting into gear. Photograph: David Sleator

John McGuinness flies to Canaries for holiday as Carlow-Kilkenny campaign begins

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Couldn’t explain the absence of deputies. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

The Opposition clearly don’t realise that this week is dedicated to Selfserv, not Siteserv

Members of Karen Buckley’s graduation class at her funeral  in Analeentha, Mourneabbey, Co. Cork. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Miriam Lord: A community came together with great dignity to mourn in great sadness

“Let Bobby in there, lads!” Micheál Martin puts one arm around byelection candidate Bobby Aylward as he salutes the party faithful at the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Golden oldies and optimistic youth pack hall but middle cohort not much in evidence

Former tánaiste and minister for education  Mary Coughlan and former taoiseach Brian Cowen. Photograph: Eric Luke

Micheál Martin absent as Mary Coughlan celebrates 50th with former colleagues

Frank Daly, despite the best efforts of Joe Higgins to have him agree that the banks were “reckless” in the run-up the collapse, said they “displayed an attitude to lending which wasn’t rigorous”.

Account of bank guarantee night makes episode seem even more incredible

At this stage the flatulent rat was snoozing in the Taoiseach’s breast pocket.

‘The Taoiseach sniffed the air. Nothing. He would have to go off and get a bit more detail.’

 Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald:  seemed to be sending out a very defiant message to those who would seek to censure her for abusing parliamentary privilege Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Weekly bouts between McDonald and Burton will go down in history of the 31st Dáil

“Focused on what?” snorted Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen at the Taoiseach. “You’re like a rabbit in the headlights.” Photograph: Eric Luke

A dull day in the Dáil – but it’s tough to get into the swing of things after so much time off

Jonathan Irwin, Laura Harmon, Charlie Bird, Biddy White Lennon and Anne Rigney outside the National Library in Dublin. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

‘I’m Voting Yes – Ask Me Why’ initiative runs risk of speaking to the converted

 President Micheal D Higgins lays a wreath outside the GPO. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

However next year’s centenary is likely to be the bunfight to end all bunfights

Siptu chief Jack O’Connor: Alleged that a lack of union recognition exists in TV3. Photograph: The Irish Times

Siptu leader makes heavy weather of exit from Vincent Browne television programme

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has had enough of “juvenile” behaviour. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Micheál Martin has finally decided to put manners on some senior party figures

Enda Kenny: Fished out a substantial sheaf of paper from his folder and gave the Dáil a history of the many unsuccessful attempts by various taoisigh and ministers to institute an awards system. Photograph: Bloomberg

Absence of all-party agreement a deterrent to setting up national awards scheme – Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘I do not intend to call a general election until it is appropriate to do so.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

TDs and Senators load car boots as Taoiseach drops usual mention of election ‘next year’

Paul Murphy: “Minister Kelly is swaggering around the place like Nelson from The Simpsons, threatening to rob people’s lunch money.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach reminds Sinn Féin leader of his early support for contentious water charges

Gerry Adams TD: “In fairness, he was going to pay and he changed his mind,” said Fine Gael TD Ray Butler.

Taoiseach says he supports his Minister’s proposals for water charges, calling them a ‘modest contribution’

Lucinda Creighton: the luminous Woman in White at the launch of the new party Renua. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

At launch of new party, leader Lucinda Creighton vows to ‘govern in sunshine’

More than  30,000 republicans were involved in the conflict in Northern Ireland, any of whom could have been abusers, Pádraig MacLochlainn told Newstalk

Adams hurt at notion his party alone is taking the rap for turning blind eye to abuse

What should have been a good week for Adams post-ardfheis got off to a bumpy start

Ruth Coppinger: she asked would the Tánaiste deal “with the growing problem of the feminisation of poverty”

Tánaiste takes barbs in her stride as Ruth Coppinger goes on the attack

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett:  “Those who continue to shout here are not doing themselves any good.” So there. Photograph: Frank Miller

Deputies shouting and roaring, punctuated by the Ceann Comhairle’s ineffectual yelps – poor Gerry Adams can hardly hear himself gl(...)

Eamonn Coughlan: The Seanad’s own former Olympic athlete sent his best wishes to soon-to-be octogenarian Ronnie Delany. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

As the Coalition moves into the final phase of its term, positive announcements are beginning to roll

 Joan Burton:  The content of her speech was good. The emphasis was on Labour’s role in the recovery, with its implied staying hand on  Fine Gael. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste had clearly been voice-trained to within an inch of her bubbly personality

Artist Conor Casby’s portraits of Joan Burton, Enda Kenny and Denis O’Brien. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Portrait painter makes exhibition of eminent heads

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: the sight of him smirking and whispering to Frances Fitzgerald while the Opposition were asking serious questions deeply irritated them. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Micheál Martin criticises Varadkar over his response to delayed discharges crisis

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: decision to axe Expressway routes ‘huge setback for citizens in rural Ireland’. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach snows SF leader under blizzard of detail on Expressway route changes

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny: “Hands up, with his fists quickly opening and snapping shut, he looked like he was being bothered by fruit flies.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Kenny gives polished performance as bouquets and brickbats fly at Fine Gael conference

The Taoiseach had a few figures of his own and he gave them straight to the Sinn Féin leader in the sort of form he likes best – an All-Ireland context.   Photograph: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Adams raises issue of salary increases for ministerial advisers with Taoiseach

Gerry Adams  welcomed “the emergence of the United Popular Front Against Sinn Féin, led by Micheál Martin, Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barrett”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Richard Boyd Barrett says Sinn Féin has helped bring about unity by austerity

A good smattering of TDs joined Gabrielle (Gab) McFadden to shooting the breeze in Irish in the Dáil this week.

Willie Walsh maintains holding pattern over Shannon

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter:  is “greatly concerned” the draft Bill hasn’t yet been published by his successor, Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former minister has much to say about current affairs in Department of Justice

Clare Daly outside Leinster House following the defeat of the Fatal Foetal Abnormality Bill. Photograph: Fergal Phillips

Kenny invokes wisdom of Attorney General to shoot-down Clare Daly’s Bill

Right to left: Martin McVicar and Robert Moffett of Combilift, Tom Kelly of Enterprise Ireland,  Richard Bruton, Heather Humphreys, Senator Joe O’Reilly, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Seán Conlan and . . . Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin! Photograph: Photobomb

Humphreys gave schoolchildren day off while Varadkar gave tips on keeping pounds off

Nose for trouble: Gerry Adams. Photograph: Eric Luke

There’s an outbreak of twitching noses in the Dáil, and a few noses out of joint. Will there be a commission of inquiry into the s(...)

Enda Kenny: he and his Ministers “will feel shame each time they have to look upon Alan Shatter’s wistful, martyred face”. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Alan is causing ructions - thanks to him, the Ceann Comhairle nearly lost his job this week

Simon Coveney: Kenny didn’t spare the Minister for Agriculture’s blushes when he was late for the farmers. Three words, Enda: pot, kettle, black. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Simon Coveney arrived late for the Irish Farmers’ Association meeting, but Enda did milk it a bit

Mr Kenny sailed through Leaders’ Questions without shipping much damage. Photograph: Eric Luke

The nation stopped in its tracks and turned up the radio

Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barrett: challenged the quality of art and philosophy. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

It seems Kenny and Gilmore and their ministers stuck a paragraph into their programme for government to stop themselves spilling t(...)

Brian Cody addressed the troops at Joan Burton’s think-tank in Portlaoise. Photograph: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Labour get lesson in teamwork from Brian Cody

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins:  said his party would be engaging in “a very robust campaign around the country” and was “fully behind”  the Yes vote. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

‘It’s strange when almost every politician is in favour of something’

‘While Gerry Adams and Mary Lou like playing hard to get, they aren’t categorically ruling out future advances.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

As election draws near, the atmosphere is going to get more tense

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar with Miriam O’Callaghan in the RTÉ Radio Centre. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

For those aware of where Varadkar interview was heading it made for difficult listening

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and  Tánaiste Joan Burton  at a press conference on the outcome of their  Cabinet meeting  on jobs this week.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Creighton lines up breakfast briefing for female political journalists, a sort of ‘Ladies Who Launch’ event

Jonathan O’Brien said his brother had been “forced to go back into a hostel where drug-taking happens in front of him”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sinn Féin TD garners little sympathy after revealing his brother is a recovering addict

Back from the hols: Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton. Photograph: Alan Betson

Jobs and jibes make for a serendipitous new year in Leinster House

Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin: has worked hard around the country building up the organisation while having to contend with a large awkward squad (particularly among Senators) within his small parliamentary party. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour is a tough old beast. It’ll be up to Joan to put the fight back into the party

Lucinda Creighton is looking to reboot Irish politics, while Shane Ross wants to uproot Irish politics. It’s enough to give anyone a pain in the hashtag. Photograph: Julien Behal.

A fascinating slow bicycle race is in full swing among our Independents

Sinn Féiner of the Year: Party leader Gerry Adams for holding onto his position for 31 years. Photograph: Alan Betson

See how Joan Burton, Enda Kenny, Gerry Adams, Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald performed this year

Part of the water charges protest in Dublin earlier this month. ‘The Government seemed somewhat taken aback by the size of the marches and the depth of anger and disillusionment.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ongoing controversy over water charges has left the Coalition listing badly

   President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi definitely doesn’t want to make a date with the now-running banking inquiry. Photograph: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Mario Draghi was asked to appear, but he’s not inclined to - and there’s nothing Enda can do

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams felt obliged to remind Taoiseach Enda Kenny that he is “a player” and not merely a “junior partner” in the Northern Ireland negotiations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Kenny and Martin finally make up over issue of the mystery of the disappearing files

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: ball handling skills let him down during a nailbiting showdown in a local golf club. Photograph: Alan Betson

President and Minister have combined age of 144 – but it hasn’t slowed their gallop

On tap: John Carter from Drogheda, Co Louth, who was among the tens of thousands at the water protest in Dublin.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald receive cheers during water charge protest

“I love my country!” boomed Michael Ring. “To Inda Kinny and to Joan Burton, I want to say: CARRY ON!” At which stage he was carried out. Or at least, he should have been. Photograph: Frank Miller.

Early in the debate the Opposition had clearly written it off as a waste of time

 TD Jerry Buttimer: “His attendance was a symbolic gesture and sent a powerful message of support for what we are doing.” Photograph: Andres Poveda

Bishop of Elphin wonders what Enda Kenny was thinking attending a gay bar

Tánaiste Joan Burton (right) and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin. Photograph: Eric Luke

It’s getting TV-show hectic in Leinster House

Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald: brought up the dreaded Ansbacher accounts. Photograph: Collins

Give Mary Lou McDonald a mirror and she’d upstage herself

Gráinne Byrne and John Kelly pictured at a candlelight vigil outside the Dáil in response to the death on Molesworth street of Jonathan Corrie who was homeless. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Jonathan Corrie was not the first homeless person to die in Dublin, he won’t be the last

Lucinda Creighton: said she  was not from a political background and had no time for TDs who viewed politics almost as a family business Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Reform Alliance leader proposes a first: a party that will throw itself out of power

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: primary school pupils have “a far better view than Sinn Féin appear to have” on water charges. Photograph: Photocall

Noisy protests, water charges, and children from Monaghan who know better than their elders

Vincent Browne: “Oh, dear God, I couldn’t get out, I COULDN’T GET OUT!  What happened to Joan Burton is nothing compared to that stuff in there.”    Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Government in complete flap over deepening crisis, Opposition sensing blood and hard left believing Revolution finally about (...)

Mary Lou McDonald: went and ruined everything by announcing she wasn’t going to beat her way into the Dáil chamber, resume her sit-in and force the ushers to carry her out. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Leinster House in the 1970s sounds like great fun

Tánaiste Joan Burton: Trapped for over two hours in her car at the weekend by a baying mob and yesterday, trapped in the Chamber for over 40 minutes and fearing her ears were about to bleed. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

‘They were all ears - remorseful and ready to hear what representatives of the people had to say’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives at Government Buildings yesterday morning. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach faces anxious wait to see if water charge measures can restore calm

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