Richard Boyd Barrett TD and Ruth Coppinger TD,  with activist Michella Russell (left), at a press conference announcing details of an anti-water charges protest outside the Dáil on Wednesday, July 1st, at 6pm. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Still not known exactly how many people have paid their first bills to semi-state

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar,   writing in Wednesday’s Irish Times,  says serious questions about the level of funding for healthcare must be answered if the country aspires to an adequate health system. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Health says serious questions about health funding must be answered

Irish Water managing director John Tierney. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Householders who register with company by today’s deadline will qualify for allowance

 People wait in line to withdraw cash from an ATM after Greece closed its banks. Photograph:  Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Taoiseach urges Syriza-led government to return to negotiations

Universal health insurance  would abolish Ireland’s existing two-tier system with a single tier system by effectively making everyone a private patient Photograph: Andrew Wong/Reuters

Report casts doubt on viability of Government health plan as costs far higher than thought

 Seán Haughey: surprisingly defeated by Deirdre Heney at the Fianna Fáil convention for the Dublin Bay North constituency.   Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

TD Peter Fitzpatrick decides to run for Fine Gael after previously ruling himself out

Eoghan Ó Neachtain assisting German chancellor Angela Merkel in  Dublin in 2008. Photograph: Eric Luke

Spokesman worked for Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and Enda Kenny

Tánaiste’s comments make sharpening of Coalition rhetoric in Greek crisis

Peter Fitzpatrick had suggested he could run for a different part amid rumours of Fine Gael putting an extra candidate forward in Louth. File photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Louth TD reconsidered announcement after meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Fine Gael TD John Deasy: has pushed for Enterprise Ireland to assess the underutilised harbours. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Enterprise Ireland must promote business, says Fine Gael TD John Deasy

There is some concern in the Coaltion that the improvements in direct provision system, as well as a recovering economy, could make Ireland a destination country for immigrants. Photograph: Getty Images

Fitzgerald: Numbers arriving via UK has potential to exert pressure on services

Sinn Féin sources said a blog called ‘An Rebel Óg’, which criticised Cork East TD Sandra McLellan and the party generally, was included in the review.

Party not saying why Cllr Kieran McCarthy expelled and Cllr Melissa Mullane suspended

Scene at  D’Olier  Street during 1916

Dublin location favoured as thousands expected at centrepiece Easter Saturday function

Sinn Féin’s ard comhairle on Sunday agreed to expel Cork county councillor Kieran McCarthy (above) and suspend Melissa Mullane, also a Cork county councillor. Photograph: Sinn Féin

Party not saying why Cllr Kieran McCarthy expelled and Cllr Melissa Mullane suspended

Mary Mitchell O’Connor won the Fine Gael selection convention in Dún Laoghaire: The party has now held 18 conventions and picked 11 female candidates. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Party strategists say FF will have to add higher number of women to election tickets

One of the aims of the capital spending plan will be to try and make more land suitable for private housing development to help with the housing crisis, especially around Dublin.

Capital investment plan to fund development projects with at least one substantial scheme

Independent TD Mick Wallace said Nama “cherry picked” its best properties to be sold to American “vulture funds”.  Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Wexford deputy claims ‘cartel’ exists in Dublin rental market

Motorists caught driving while disqualified from the road can be arrested on the spot under new powers available to An Garda Síochána from next week.

New measures to take effect from Monday means drivers could face court on same day

The proposals from Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin are in response to the findings of the Mahon tribunal. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

New public service standards commissioner would replace Sipo and have greater powers

St Luke’s in Drumcondra, Dublin,  the constituency office of former taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Fianna Fáil has finalised a deal to sell  St Luke’s for almost €180,000 above the asking price. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil finalises deal on Bertie Ahern’s former constituency base in Drumcondra

Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin. A Fianna Fáil spokesman said all of its fundraising for 2014 came under the €1,500 limit, above which donations must be publicly declared.

Fine Gael raised most money in 2014 with all funds coming from TDs and MEPs

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Fine Gael and Labour are said to be preparing  individual general election packages, to protect each party from being outflanked on key issues. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Senior figures in both Coalition parties insist vote will not be held before February 2016

The resignation of  Garda commissioner Martin  Callinan (above) in March 2014 caused a political storm. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Parties have 21 days to object to inquiry’s findings on resignation of Garda chief

The Fennelly Commission is investigating the taping of phone calls at Garda stations and is due to produce an interim report on Martin Callinan’s resignation.   File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Report is being sent to interested parties on Thursday

Committee TDs and senators will decide today on whether to call in FAI chief executive John Delaney. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

FAI chief tells them he disclosed everything necessary about Fifa payment, TDs say

The final terms of reference for the IBRC inquiry allows for the investigation of “whether the Minister for Finance (Michael Noonan) or his department was kept informed” of transactions. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Judge sought to head up inquiry as judge Iarfliath O’Neill ruled out

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said on Monday the investigation would be worthless without examining the role of the department and the Minister. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach says commission of investigation into IBRC transactions would be independent

The guidelines will apply across print, broadcast and online and will set out thresholds that specify how many shares or holdings are needed to be able to influence the “direction or policy . . . with regard to news, current affairs or cultural content”. Photograph: Getty Images

Rules say it is ‘undesirable’ for one person to possess excessive influence

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Mr Kenny has said that his focus when calling a general election will be on whether the Coalition has completed their programme for government. File  photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Taoiseach claims main factor is whether Government has completed its objectives

Independent TD Catherine Murphy  outside the Department of Finance after meeting  Minister for Finance Michael Noonan  about the IBRC inquiry. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Cabinet to sign off on terms of reference

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the North-South Ministerial Council press conference at Dublin Castle on Friday with Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tánaiste and Labour leader likes to talk things out. That’s the way she is, says colleague

The Government has shelved plans to reduce the higher rate of income tax in favour of cuts to the unpopular Universal Social Charge in the pre-election budget. Photograph: Getty Images

Taoiseach and Tánaiste indicate policy change to frame final budget before election

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. The Government announced last night that the inquiry into IBRC has been upgraded to a Commission of Investigation.   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Coalition denies Opposition claims of u-turn after upgrading investigation

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at his press conference in Government Buildings this evening. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Inquiry will examine any transactions involving loss to taxpayer of €10 million or more

Catherine Murphy is surrounded by the media after leaving the Four Courts on Tuesday after the High Court clarified that  The Irish Times, RTÉ and other media can report comments by Murphy in the Dáil about businessman Denis O’Brien’s financial affairs. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Scrutiny of IBRC transactions entitled to examine rates charged to large borrowers

Former Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore is set to retire from politics at the next general election. Photograph: Frank Miller

Statement announces he will not contest Dún Laoghaire selection convention

Denis  O’Brien secured an injunction preventing RTÉ from broadcasting a report on the substance of the subject at the centre of Catherine Murphy’s comments. That order was also directed at any person or media outlet on notice of it, including The Irish Times.

Joe Costello glad The Irish Times and RTÉ seeking court permission to report Dáil statement

Catherine Murphy: her comments in the Dáil were published on the Oireachtas website. Photograph: Alan Betson

Independent TD did not abuse privilege when commenting about Dennis O’Brien

Denis  O’Brien secured an injunction preventing RTÉ from broadcasting a report on the substance of the subject at the centre of Independent TD Catherine Murphy’s comments. That order was also directed at any person or media outlet on notice of it, including The Irish Times. Photograph: The Irish Times

‘Irish Times’ and RTÉ seek to publish privileged Dáil comments by Independent TD Catherine Murphy

Businessman Denis O’Brien. File photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Injunction preventing RTÉ broadcast also directed at other media outlets

Minister for Children James Reilly has established a group to examine the issue of childcare, and it is due to issue its final report by the end of June. File photograph: Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images

Coalition mulls childcare cost measures with lower income groups paying less

Public service staff are expected to receive a boost in earnings of about €1,000 next year under a pay restoration deal being finalised.

Similar pay boost for State employees on the table for 2017

Sale of the 25% stake will yield about €400 million for the State, but any investment will be in the form of public-private partnerships. Photograph: The Irish Times

Sale of Republic’s 25% stake in national carrier to be brought before Dáil Éireann

Despite late assurances by Aer Lingus that it did not envisage compulsory redundancies or outsourcing, the company’s two main unions will opose the deal. Photograph: The Irish Times

National carrier unions, Impact and Siptu, to oppose IAG offer despite assurances on jobs

Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh has told the Minister for Transport he does not foresee compulsory redundancies or outsourcing of jobs in the event of IAG buying the Government’s 25 per cent stake in the company.  File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Aer Lingus ‘does not foresee’ redundancies or outsourcing in IAG deal

The Cabinet has agreed to sell the State’s 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus.   Fine Gael and Labour believe they have won significant concessions from IAG in relation to the proposal.

Aer Lingus ‘does not foresee’ redundancies or outsourcing in IAG deal

Tánaiste Joan Burton and Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the courtyard at Dublin Castle for the results of the referendum on marriage equality. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny hails outcome as ‘pioneering leadership’ from Ireland

Yes voters celebrate at the central count centre at Dublin Castle on Saturday. The young could easily identify with the cause. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Same-sex marriage campaign is cool; workaday politics not so much

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Taoiseach Enda Kenny celebrate the confirmation of the Yes result in the Same-sex Marriage Referendum at Dublin Castle on May 23rd, 2015. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Signal sent on gay rights will be ‘heard loudly across the living world’, says Taoiseach

Eamon Gilmore at the count centre in the RDS. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Former tánaiste championed same-sex marriage issue when he was Labour leader

Belle Horgan (7 months) from Dublin at the RDS. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Young were given something they could believe in – campaign for and vote for

Linda Cullen and Feargha Ni Bhroan with their twin five-year-old children, Tess and Rosa, after voting in Monkstown polling station, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Same-sex marriage supporters boosted by massive younger voter engagement

Polling stations are set to close after the referendums and byelection in Ireland on May 22nd, 2015. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Polls shut at 10pm as returning officers in Dublin expect 70% showing in some areas

Independent Senator  Fidelma Healy Eames  at a press conference organised by the No side in the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Campaigners are in favour of constitutional protection that stops short of marriage

The part of the same-sex marriage referendum ballot paper where voters will mark either Yes or No. The full wording of the amendment is also published on the ballot paper.

Know where to go, what the ballot looks like, and don’t risk a fine or spoiling your vote

Sinn Féin says people with a disability are more than twice as likely to be unemployed, and greater efforts must be made to allow those who want to work to do so

Sinn Féin to launch policy documents in coming weeks

Which way? Yes and No posters on Merrion Street, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

On eve of broadcast-moratorium campaigners believe people have made up their minds

Minister for Communications  and Labour Party director of elections  Alex White   puts up a poster urging a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. Mr White has said there will be ‘no constraint’ on teaching if the referendum passes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Campaigners also reject constitutional recognition in case of No in referendum

Minister for Communications Alex White said: “There is a long way to go until the general election. I’m not going to make the obvious point - but maybe I will: the only poll is the one that takes place next February or March.” File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Poll shows party stagnant at 7% support - while Fine Gael up four points to 28%

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins said the party would be emailing all members asking them to vote, as well as encouraging others in their social circle to do so. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Almost 66,000 voters have been added to the electoral register ahead of referendum

A spokeswoman for the Fennelly Commission has said it hopes to distribute its interim report on the resignation of Martin Callinan (above) as Garda commissioner by the end of the month. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fennelly Commission report on former Garda chief stepping down due by month's end

A source confirmed that “strengthened measures” for industrial relations were being discussed. Photograph: Getty Images

Proposal geared to reduce days lost through disputes if future changes are implemented

Waterford Fine Gael TD John Deasy was told the Department of Finance did not contact the stock exchange or the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement about  increased share activity.

PAC questions officials on sale of company to Denis O’Brien’s Millington

The Department of Finance had no records relating to Siteserv until after its sale by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to businessman Denis O’Brien.

Officials asked if they had inquired about increased share activity before sale

Senator  Ronan Mullen said the organisations received almost €15 million from Atlantic Philanthropies in recent years. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Ronan Mullen accuses philanthropist of ‘bankrolling social change’ over same-sex marriage vote

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Revised package announced by Ministers

 Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin with Carlow-Kilkenny byelection candidate Bobby Aylward at the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis in  Dublin last month. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins

Fine Gael confident that former stalwart Phil Hogan’s seat can be held by David Fitzgerald

Renua Ireland president Eddie Hobbs said it was difficult for new parties to get up and running, indeed it was “near, but not quite, impossible”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Email tells potential backers Carlow-Kilkenny byelection ‘crucial’ to embryonic party

Accord’s president Bishop Denis Nulty said in a statement he was “very disappointed that Tusla has made this funding decision.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Claims Tusla decision linked to Accord’s opposition to same-sex marriage is rejected

Labour’s  Willie Penrose has championed  the plan which has been backed by the parliamentary party.

Reduction in term from three years to one is not part of Coalition mortgage package

Government sources say  a high proportion of cases where  people in mortgage arrears end up in court happen because borrowers are afraid to respond to their banks. File photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

UK charity will encourage homeowners to avoid court by engaging with lenders

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: his department will outline the “fiscal space” the Government has for a deal on public service pay. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government has earmarked between €250m and €300m for pay restoration

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan set up the investigation to be carried out by the IBRC special liquidators. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Creighton asks Noonan to investigate deals resulting in loss of €1m or more

Sources said if the first €27,000 of income was exempted from the public-service pension levy, it would generate a boost in earnings for staff of about €800 per year. Photograph: Getty Images.

Staff would benefit by €800 if first €27,000 in pay was exempt from pension levy

Giving evidence at the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry on Thursday afternoon, John Begg, a former senior economist at AIB, took issue with evidence previously given by Prof John Fitzgerald, who retired from the ESRI last year. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

John Beggs disputes Prof John Fitzgerald’s take on events and was ‘amazed’ on hearing it

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton: an emergency meeting saw the TD added to the Dublin Bay North ticket after he lost the constituency selection convention. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

National executive told failure to get elected could encourage others to try and displace TDs

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: while he said he would not carry out his negotiations in public, sources disclosed that the allocation for public pay rises would fall between €250 million and €300 million in 2016. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government to spend €250m to €300m restoring pay to 300,000 public workers

The Central Bank in Dublin. The VHI has been granted provisional Central Bank authorisation. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

EU wants private health insurer to obey same minimum solvency levels as rivals

“Kelly has robbed the hard left of the possibility of more publicity by removing the threat of jail, while also blunting their charge of oppressive State machinery being out to get the anti-water charges movement.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Analysis: Alan Kelly has achieved a double victory under his new water compliance reforms

One Fine Gael source said reducing the USC, as well as possible moves on reducing taxes for the self-employed, would prove more electorally popular than reductions to the top rate of tax

Reducing universal social charge likely to prove more popular with voters – FG source

Lucinda Creighton’s Renua Ireland has hired the well-known political journalist and author John Drennan as one of its key advisers.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

John Drennan to take up communications and strategy role with Lucinda Creighton’s party

Margaret Gill  at the launch of the Fianna Fáil marriage referendum campaign in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil launches Yes campaign saying No side is making ‘outrageous assertions’

Richard Bruton: One of the few Fine Gael TDs to hold his seat in the capital when the party experience its meltdown at the 2002 general election. Photograph: The Irish Times

Top Fine Gael figure relegated in favour of Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí and Stephanie Regan

The Fianna Fáil leader was responding to comments made by former police ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Nuala O’Loan, who said it was inappropriate for the GRA to advocate a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader launches party’s same-sex marriage campaign

Dublin calling: The  Poolbeg chimneys have been granted a reprieve. Here they are photographed in 2013.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Maintenance work on stacks including steel caps to keep out water to begin this week

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (left) and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin  at a press confernce  after the publication of the spring economic statement. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Central Statistics Office says semi-State should be reclassified

Mr Noonan (left) said he had “absolute hard evidence” that €1.2bn would be available for tax cuts and spending increases in the October budget. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Up to €1.5bn set to be available for tax cuts and tangible improvement in public services

The spring statement was designed to  bring political debate back to where Fine Gael and Labour feel they are strongest: the economy. Photograph: Screengrab Oireachtas TV

Analysis: Timing means Opposition is convinced the election will be held this year

Coalition re-election campaign starts with tax plan and investment in jobs, children and health

Retired High Court judge Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill has been appointed by Michael Noonan to the investigation of IBRC transactions. Photograph: Frank Miller

Move follows concerns over conflicts of interest in inquiry triggered by Siteserv row

Michael Noonan said to address potential conflicts of interest “I am directing the appointment of retired High Court Judge Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill (pictured) to monitor any actual or perceived conflicts of interests”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Michael Noonan publishes terms of reference for the IBRC review

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan Fine Gael  said he would seek to address the possibility of conflicts of interest by firms including Siteserv which are  involved in around 30 transactions  (including the sale of Siteserv) which are  to be reviewed. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says Siteserv share register should be published ‘forthwith’

 Tánaiste Joan Burton believes a Yes vote is a ‘profoundly good development in our society’. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says referendum has nothing to do with surrogacy

Patrick Callaghan, Clontuskert, Galway East, and Michael O’Donoghue, Kilmurry, Cork North West, at the Fianna Fáil ardfheis  in the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil’s future hopes rest on return to populism and outright opposition

News of the Central Bank examination of Siteserv’s sale by the former Anglo Irish Bank comes as Government prepares to publish terms of reference today for an inquiry into the transaction by IBRC’s special liquidators. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

No regulatory action taken afterwards and now there are calls for scrutiny of share sales

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan is bringing proposals to Cabinet this week which would see the threshold drop in a move first proposed by a third-level taskforce, to encourage more students to do higher level and reduce the worry of losing out on CAO points for failing at higher level

Proposal designed to encourage more to sit higher level as ordinary level bar stays at 40%

Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance: the spring economic statement, to be unveiled in the Dáil, will set a five-year plan for  public finances and assumes the economy will expand by 4 per cent this year. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Economic plan for last budget before election set to depart from ‘austerity’ precedents

More information may be needed about the details of people who bought shares in Siteserv in the weeks before it was sold in March 2012, Tánaiste Joan Burton has said. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Tánaiste wants more details after reports of surge in company share activity before sale

Tánaiste Joan Burton and  Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Support for the Fine Gael-Labour Coaltion has dropped, according to an opinion poll published on Sunday.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Red C survey shows 78% support passing of same sex marriage referendum

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