Party leader Micheál Martin speaking during the Fianna Fáil ardfheis in the RDS over the weekend. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Dublin delegate claims some TDs open to sharing power after next election

Brian Lenihan’s brother, former TD and minister of state Conor Lenihan: “The matter is in the hands of my lawyer.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Conor Lenihan ‘surprised’ at decision not to hear evidence from late minister’s relatives

Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on justice and equality Niall Collins TD says the referendum is about the fundamental issue of equality. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Dublin delegate accuses party of going for ‘pink vote’ to win next election

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins said he supported a Yes vote in the same sex marriage referendum as ‘we are a progressive republican party with a long, proud and progressive track record in promoting equality’.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Delegate says party being dictated to on issue by ‘global corporations in the IT industry’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin shakes hand with a delegate at the party’s ardfheis at the RDS. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/ The Irish Times.

Delegate tells ardfheis talk of party going into government is ‘arrogance beyond belief’

Labour Senator John Whelan. Mr Whelan has called for wind farm decibel levels  to be considered in the drafting of new energy regulations.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Labour’s John Whelan claims noise can have a negative effect on those living nearby

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett  has claimed that the Dún Laoghaire housing list is growing by 100 cases per month. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Richard Boyd Barrett says promised houses not enough to meet demand in area

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald says the new authority brings a broad range of  perspectives to bear on decision-making. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Frances Fitzgerald insists body is not exclusive and has broad range of perspectives

FF’s Daragh O’Brien told the Seanad Fianna Fáil had argued against the inclusion of the veto in the personal insolvency legislation and, unfortunately, the issue had come home to roost.

Senators call on Minister for Finance to address Seanad on the issue

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: spoke of the horror of the deaths of an estimated 900 people, many because traffickers had locked them in the hold of the ship that sank. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Kenny responds to Gerry Adams’ concern for people persecuted in search of better life

Gerard Craughwell: “Taking the average payment made to councillors; to say we are treating local elected representatives in a shabby way is an understatement.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Claim that €16,950 paid to local representatives does not compensate for work they do

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: he said he would continue to ask the British government to give them access to an independent legal person and original documents it had relating to the bombings. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

State has sought UK documents on Dublin and Monaghan bombings without success

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  expects “a much more focused response” to the Mediterranean migrant crisis arising from the emergency meeting of EU leaders on the issue  on Thursday. File photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Mediterranean migrants persecuted and fleeing for better life, says Gerry Adams

Ireland’s 136 identified bathing waters now have to meet standards almost twice as strict as those which previously applied. Three-quarters of Irish bathing waters qualified for the new classification of “excellent’’ quality. File photograph:  Thinkstock/Getty Images

Seven locations fail the test and are classified as ‘poor’ quality

Brian Cowen: ‘Of course, mistakes were made.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Former taoiseach denies overruling Brian Lenihan on bank guarantee

Labour TD Arthur Spring criticised the attitude of State agencies to the employment conditions of some workers.

TDs renew criticism of Dunnes Stores and ‘phenomena of zero-hour contracts’

Senator Marie Moloney  pointed out the woman’s financial circumstances were the same before and after having the card. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister of State says woman’s income too high to qualify

Minister Leo Varadkar said additional money was being provided for community beds, under the fair deal scheme, to free hospitals of the current level of delayed discharges.

Minister for Health says hospitals hired more staff but saw fewer patients earlier this year

Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames refers to the case of student seeking 600 points

Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin said demand for visas “indicates the level of demand from young people to go to countries where wages are higher and opportunities plentiful and where there is decency and fairness”.

Michael Colreavy says young people want to emigrate to better job opportunities

Independent Senator Katherine Zappone. Ms Zappone will raise changes to the One-Parent Family Payment in the Seanad.    File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Senator Katherine Zappone accuses State of compelling single parents to work full-time

Mary Hanafin and Micheal Martin  at unveiling of the Fianna Fail party’s programme of events to mark the centenary of the 1916 rising. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Intense battle looming with local councillors for nomination in Dun Laoghaire

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Sinn Féin: said the proposals for Irish citizens living abroad fell far short of what people wanted and deserved. Photograph: Alan Betson

Plans to extend rights to emigrants and those living in the North would need ‘longer run-in’

Mattie McGrath: said he was not making a blanket criticism of judges, but  “I am saying there are serious question marks over some business in the financial courts”.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Justice says her responsibility is in the policy area

Senator John Whelan: said he was appalled to report to the House that families had been threatened by elements within the Department of Health and the HSE that meagre supports would be withdrawn if they countenanced legal action. Photograph: Eric Luke.

John Whelan calls on Minister for Health to intervene and meet parents

Tánaiste Joan Burton meets striking workers  on the picket line at Dunnes Stores in Henry Street, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Tánaiste’s shopping bag of verbal grenades rattles Opposition

Dunnes Stores workers, also  members of the Mandate trade union, pictured outside the Labour Court in October of last year. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

More than 5,000 employees with Mandate union to place pickets at about 100 outlets

Minister of State for Communications Joe McHugh said: “Nobody was more disappointed than I was when I saw the letter”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Department policy could mean closure of all of the post offices, warns Michael Moynihan

FF leader says dispute is ‘like 19th century’

 Paschal Donohoe: connectivity and employment  important issues for  Aer Lingus. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Independent Senator Sean D Barrett questions whether sale in ‘interest of wider society’

 Mick Wallace: “What hope is there for reform as long as the old hierarchy remains in place?  Surely, Taoiseach, you must realise this is a part of the problem and not the solution.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Independent TD also alleges nothing done about ‘serious Garda malpractice’ in Athlone

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: “There is no law which says you cannot say whether you attended the commission or not”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Kenny says he has complied fully with Fennelly investigation into resignation

 Independent TD Mick Wallace: told Dáil that in 2012 a garda told Enda Kenny   about  malpractice in relation to a  superintendent and ‘you gave approval to the promotion of this superintendent’ who is now the subject of  investigations. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

What hope for police reform, TD asks in Dáil and Taoiseach replies that he is addressing it

Taoiseach Enda Kenny takes leaders questions on the Fennelly Commission.

Micheál Martin presses Taoiseach on Garda chief’s resignation

County council chairman John Brassil is based in the north of the constituency, while Norma Moriarty is based in the south. Photograph: David Sleator

Council chairman John Brassil selected to run at weekend convention

Senator David Norris: disgraceful to claim that the Government was anti-child. There was an “offensive and bullying’’ tone involved in the criticism. Photograph: David Norris

Frances Fitzgerald: Rejects criticism saying children’s welfare turns on good parenting

Former Fianna Fáil minister of state John O’Leary  has claimed a meeting he had with Charlie Haughey led him to believe the former taoiseach was aware of the tapping of journalists’ telephones

John O’Leary says in his memoirs he formed the view after meeting with Haughey

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Seán Sherlock has said that the use of Shannon Airport by the US is compatible with the State’s policy of neutrality, in response to a bill proposed by Independent TD Mick Wallace. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Seán Sherlock claims use of Shannon Airport is compatible with policy of neutrality

Independent TD Tommy Broughan has called for the establishment of a permanent commission  to research levels of pay and wealth in the State as part of his High Pay and Wealth Commission Bill. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Broughan moves High Pay and Wealth Commission Bill to monitor income levels

Colm Keaveney:  said a report had revealed that 3,000 “vulnerable children” were on a  mental health services waiting list, with 400 waiting for longer than one year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Joan Burton tells Colm Keaveney that child mental health services a Government priority

 Mary Lou McDonald said it seemed Labour was about to become Irish Water’s debt collector. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sinn Féin deputy leader challenges Tánaiste on collection of unpaid charges

Maureen O’Sullivan: said certain people were not allowed to register on the Live Register as unemployed, which meant they did not have access to various job-activation programmes, education and training

Tánaiste says Low Pay Commission to report before end of July

Thomas Pringle: said the east region could not continue to sustain the migration rate into it, which was happening because of the absence of jobs in the rest of the country

Independent TD Thomas Pringle calls for greater concentration on regions

Mary Lou McDonald said it seemed Labour was to become Irish Water’s debt collector, “sticking your hand into the pockets of families who are struggling to provide for their children or to pay their mortgage or rent’’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Sinn Féin deputy leader asks Joan Burton if she supports moves to collect unpaid charges

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin:  “To add insult to injury, the independence and autonomy of Leader and rural development companies has been fatally undermined by the Government.”  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Enda Kenny says OECD had recommended a more integrated approach to dealing with those kind of funds

Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke has called for efforts to reduce  the numbers admitted to hospital, particularly from nursing homes. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fine Gael’s Colm Burke calls for health service to provide community intervention

Paul Murphy TD said Minister Alan Kelly was “swaggering around the place like Nelson from the Simpsons, threatening to rob people’s lunch money’’.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gerry Adams and Paul Murphy renew criticism of charges

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the Cabinet will consider proposals from Minister Alan Kelly in relation to legislation for people who refuse to pay water charges. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Paul Murphy accuses Coalition of engaging in ‘an arrogant and bullying approach’

John O’Leary (left),  a Fianna Fáil TD for Kerry South from 1966 to 1997 and a minister of state from 1977 to 1979, with Charles Haughey. Mr O’Leary says in his memoirs that Haughey could be vindictive and many of his supporters were thugs. Photograph: On The Doorsteps, Memoirs of a long-serving TD.

Ex-Fianna Fáil TD and junior minister John O’Leary recalls former taoiseach in memoir

FF leader describes controversy as ‘defining moment’ for Hiqa

Senator Ronan Mullen: legislation facilitates fundamental attack on child’s rights. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister for Justice insists legislation in children’s best interests

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he cannot indicate when the Portlaoise hospital report will be published. Photograph: EPA

FF leader claims controversy ‘a very defining moment’ for Hiqa’s independence

John O’Donoghue: his decision not to seek a Fianna Fáil nomination for the next general election clears the way for the  party to run two candidates. Photograph: David Sleator

John O’Donoghue ‘was not wanted on the ticket by the party nationally’, says FF source

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she hopes the report of the Fennelly commission on events leading to the departure of Martin Callinan as Garda commissioner will be made available as soon as possible. She said she understands the Taoiseach is of the same view. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Fianna Fáil leader accuses Enda Kenny of hiding over inquiry into Martin Callinan departure

Enda Kenny described Liam O’Neill as ‘a very astute political analyst’. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach says he was respected by politicians and political writers

Independent Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames has suggested that passing the marriage equality referendum could lead to the end of Mothers’ Day.

Independent Senator Fidelma Healy Eames makes suggestion on Twitter on Sunday

Campaign co-ordinator Helen Lowry, of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) said  regularising undocumented migrants in Ireland would strengthen the Government’s case for the Irish in the US. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Migrants living in Ireland seek status similar to what Taoiseach is seeking for Irish in US

Micheál Martin: suggested the Government give serious consideration to establishing a commission of inquiry into the allegations aired on ‘Spotlight’.

Mary Lou McDonald under pressure in bitter and heated exchanges

Kerry TD Tom Fleming said Save Rural Ireland had met TDs and Senators to express their views on rural Ireland’s continuing demise. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Independent Tom Fleming warns about the continuing decline of rural Ireland

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar introduced emergency legislation.

Fianna Fail Sen ator Diarmuid Wilson calls for major debate on illegal drugs

Richard Boyd Barrett said there was an irony in the No side’s argument that they wanted to protect children. Photograph: Alan Betson

Clare Daly asks Dáil: ‘How could anyone favour inequality?’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin: said banks were not trying to get people ‘to engage’. Photograph: Eric Luke.

FF leader disagrees with Noonan’s observation banks trying to get people ‘to engage’

A former Dublin ‘headshop’ in 2010. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar responds to court decision lifting ban on ‘headshop’ and other drugs

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: the Bill allowed gay men and women, for the first time, to be equal citizens in their own country. “No exceptions, no caveats, no conditions,” he added. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Frances Fitzgerald asks why marriage should be for some and not for others

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan: she said the task force consisted of a number of highly respected members from inside, and external to, NUI Galway. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister says university has set up a task force to advise it on policies and procedures

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he would like to see the banks doing more for people in mortgage difficulty. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Taoiseach tells Dáil further measures due next month to help families in difficulty

At the launch in Dublin of the Yes Equality campaign urging a Yes  vote in the marriage equality referendum were (from left), Joe Hayes,  Anne McGlynn,   Ian McGlynn, Joe Hayes  and John McGlynn. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Vote gives Irish people ‘chance to secure true equality for lesbian and gay people’

Independent TD Finian McGrath: ‘Very violent people had to be locked up in prison’

Oireachtas justice committee chairman David Stanton TD tells of horror of Cork prison

Members of the Defence Forces on Bray seafront before a rehearsal for the annual Air Spectacular show. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Deenihan denies Ireland takes ‘isolationist’ approach to international affairs

Labour leader predicts party will be ready for a tough election battle

Labour delegates overwhelmingly passed an emergency moton opposing the sale of Aer Lingus to IAG under the terms currently offered. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

TDs back emergency motion at party conference

Minister for Employment Ged Nash announced the setting up of a new low pay commission earlier this week. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

New low pay committee to be set up to discuss potential living wage campaign

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Tanaiste Joan Burton at the Labour Party conference at Killarney on Saturday morning . Photograph: Cyril Byrne/ The Irish Times

Minister for the Environment says some landlords feel they can get away with scandalous increases in rent

John Kellegher from Cork North Central seen among a crowd at the Labour Party conference in Killarney on Friday, where Labour Women called for the appeal of the eighth amendment. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Senator Ivana Bacik says 150,000 women travelled for abortion since 1983 amendment

Labour TD Arthur Spring has told the party’s conference that Labour brought Fine Gael with it on many issues. File  photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Kerry TD says party introduced topics like same-sex marriage to its Coalition partner

Minister for the Environment and deputy leader Alan Kelly says Labour will run as an independent party at the next general election, with its own policies. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Minister does not rule out election voting pact but says Labour will run independently

Lorraine Higgins said estates faced issues ranging from building companies in receivership to financial institutions holding bonds that could not be accessed because of the preferential creditors’ rules.

Senator Lorraine Higgins says situation replicated around the country

Dr James Reilly: “If a bully tries to intimidate you with actions, you should stand firm and be true to what you believe to be right.”

Minister says Ireland close to becoming first EU country to introduce plain packaging

Independent TD Tom Fleming: ‘The inner parts of towns are becoming denuded of people because of the growth of large multiples on the outskirts.’ Photograph: David Sleator

Many rural towns and villages left behind, says Kerry South TD

Micheál Martin: “More people at risk of dying in our hospitals before the Government decides to get to grips with it”

Fianna Fáil health policy ‘mythical’, says Taoiseach

Gerry Adams told the Dáil on Wednesday the total trolley patients figure of 479 included 40 in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in his Louth constituency. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Enda Kenny concedes issue ‘a matter of challenge’ for Government in Dáil exchanges

Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: Introduced the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, providing free health services for former residents

Only minority of women single parents, says Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: he said it was a sensitive case which had to be investigated properly and he would like to hear back from a Tusla investigation before making a judgment on it. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

FF leader asked Enda Kenny for inquiry into handling of incident reported 10 years ago

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said there had been criticism of the Health Service Executive and the school’s board of management. Photograph: Eric Luke

Enda Kenny says he will report to Dáil when Tusla investigation completed

Tom Fleming (Independent):    The technical group’s representative in the Dáil said  many staff in the sector were on low wages and had temporary contracts. Photograph:  Don MacMonagle

Independent TD Tom Fleming raises low pay and high cost for parents

 Aengus O’Snodaigh: ‘It does not take six  months to learn how to stack shelves.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

SF TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh claims scheme is causing low pay and under-employment

Derek Brockwell, who was recaptured by police outside a pub in Belfast city centre. Irish Prison Service/PA

FF TD asks why previous requests for armed escort for Derek Brockwell were declined

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins said a previous request for armed escorts for Derek Brockwell, who escaped custody after stabbing two prison officers on Tuesday,  had been declined.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Minister for Communications Alex White says incident an operational matter

There had been an “epidemic of burglaries’’ in Stepaside, south Dublin, since the closure of the local garda station, Independent TD Shane Ross told the Dail.

Independent TD Shane Ross calls for reopening of garda station

 Enda Kenny: “These reforms aim to provide the necessary supports to lone parents to help them access a range of education, training and employment programmes, develop a skill-set and, ultimately, secure employment and financial independence.’’  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin claims they are an insult and Thatcherite

Paschal Mooney criticises Ibec and US Chamber of Commerce over tobacco firm threat

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: ‘strong case’ for training fire crews to do ambulance service work. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister for Health responds to Senator John Kelly on shortage of paramedics

Paschal Donohoe: said there were problems with blanket speed limits and those best able to define a residential area were the local authorities and councillors. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Paschal Donohoe says Dáil committee will consider ‘Jake’s law’ in new legislation

File image of Taoieach Enda Kenny in the Dáil

Taoiseach says banks will be called in shortly by Cabinet sub-committee

Tánaiste Joan Burton accused Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger of calling the gardaí “dogs’’ which she strongly denied. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Socialist TD Ruth Coppinger denies she referred to gardaí in Tallaght arrests as ‘dogs’

Ruth Coppinger: said she was alluding to calling  off “the dogs of war” on people in Jobstown and was not referring to gardaí. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Socialist Party TD says she was merely using ’figure of speech’

Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger speaking in the Dáil on Thursday. Photograph: The Irish Times

Socialist TD says neither Ahern or Haughey ‘for all their sins . . went and called out the dogs’

Sen Ronan Mullen: said some babies diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormalities went on to live for months and even years. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Heated exchanges in Seanad debate on proposed fatal foetal abnormality Bill

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the hospital trolley problem was not something which could be fixed overnight and the Government did not have endless resources. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

FF and SF leaders challenge Enda Kenny on the state of the health services

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