British prime minister David Cameron greets Taoiseach Enda Kenny outside 10 Downing street on Thursday for a bilateral meeting. Photograph: EPA

Cameron and Kenny express determination to implement NI Stormont House Agreement

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny is greeted by British Prime Minister David Cameron  on the steps of 10 Downing Street  ahead of their meeting. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

Leaders discuss economic situation and ‘legacy issues’ relating to Northern Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) with British prime minister David Cameron during  a press conference at 10 Downing Street in London. Mr Kenny expressed surprise and disappointment at the tone of the article written by the New York Times on the Berkeley tragedy that portrayed Irish students on J1 visas in the United States in a negative light. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire.

McAleese says article showed ‘sociopathic dissociation’ from suffering of Irish families

Michael Noonan: “My great regret that Greece, which was on the cusp of recovery at the start of 2015, has now gone back into recession”

Minister says parliamentary approval for any deal would be needed in some EU countries before summer recess

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has accepted an invitation to attend a commemorative banquet to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Presence at London event will highlight role played by Irish at battle 200 years ago

Every address in the State will be allocated a unique seven-digit code.

Some 2.2m homes and businesses to get seven-digit codes under Eircode system

The late Brian Lenihan, who died in 2011, is featured in the first of the RTÉ Legacy series. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Programme also highlights pressure of the late politician’s lack of financial expertise

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath wrote earlier this week to banking inquiry chairman Ciarán Lynch contending that Denis O’Brien should appear as a witness.

Michael McGrath says businessman could provide an important contribution

Róisín Shortall said they had received queries from prospective members of the party, which will style itself as centre-left. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Róisín Shortall, Stephen Donnelly, Catherine Murphy and Katherine Zappone involved

An Irish Times Ipsos/MRBI political poll in May 2015 put  support for Independents at 24 per cent.

Analysis: It is conceivable 25% of TD’s in the next Dáil will belong to no major party

Independent TDs Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and Róisín Shortall: in talks in talks on forming a new party.

Alliance of prominent Independents would challenge potential Shane Ross grouping

New media mergers guidelines have described  a holding or voting strength of over 20 per cent as  constituting a significant interest in a media company.

Alex White says ‘media plurality is essential to the health of our democracy’

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

Noonan’s adjustments are to likely to appease some Opposition concerns

The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly, at the publishing of   a new national strategy to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Irish Water data shows that up to 200,000 homes face health risks from lead pipes

Tánaiste Joan Burton said she could conceive of no circumstances where Ireland would leave the European Union. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says idea of passports at Border between North and South is ‘abhorrent’

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: said to have considered some of the Opposition suggestions to be reasonable. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister unwilling to give ground on some demands, including earlier deadline

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty proposed the Bill as a response to the current levels of variable interest rates being levied by banks on home owners. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bill would give Central Bank new powers to set out maximum rate of interest

Businessman Denis O’Brien. The Dáil is to debate the terms of the commission of investigation into the sale of Siteserv to a company controlled by Mr O’Brien over two days. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Government agrees to discussion amid increasing pressure to wider terms of inquiry

Former chairman of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) Alan Dukes said the head of asset management at the bank played no part in the decision-making process around the sale of Siteserv.

‘Mislaid’ minutes show IBRC executive managing O’Brien’s loans attended meeting

Commissions of investigations came into being in 2004 when an Act of the same name passed through the Dáil. Photograph: Getty Images

Adversarial approach eschewed in effort to avoid drawn-out process, writes Harry McGee

FF and Sinn Féin urge Government to examine corporate governance issues

 Fianna Fail leader, Micheal Martin said it raised “very serious questions and it represented the Minister misleading the Dáil in a very serious way.”

Noonan denies cover-up after minutes of IBRC board meeting discovered in Department

Senator Gerard Craughwell, who became an Independent member of the Seanad in its byelection last year, has twice applied to a  group of five Independent Senators but has twice been rebuffed.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Gerard Craughwell twice applied to group of five Independents and was twice rebuffed

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

Fianna Fáil TD Bobby Aylward arrives triumphantly at the Dáil after his win in the Carlow-Kilkenny byelection, and Senator Averil Power announces her resignation from Fianna Fáil at Government Buildings. Photographs: Colin Keegan/Collins; Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Hard for Fianna Fáil to escape image its new politics is identical to its old approach

Fianna Fáil has selected a former president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, Jackie Cahill (above) to contest the the new five-seat Tipperary constituency in the general election. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Ex-ICMSA president among general election candidates chosen in several constituencies

Micheal Martin,  leader of Fianna Fáil, and Senator Averil Power in 2011, during a press conference on political reform. Photograph: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Martin’s attempts at modernisation clash with the party’s conservative base

Senator Averil Power after announcing her resignation from the Fianna Fáil party. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Averil Power epitomised the renewed Fianna Fáil, but her resignation won’t scupper Micheál Martin’s leadership

Former tánaiste Eamon Gilmore  made this issue a crusade, and the Labour Party may regain some of its supporters as a result of being the most visible party during the campaign. Photograph: Alan Betson

However, it will be hard to get younger voters to be enthusiastic about the election

In setting out a timeframe that may make the first legal gay marriage in the Irish State possible by September, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said: “I am very conscious that many couples will want to get married as soon as possible. I am working to make that happen.”  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fitzgerald ‘very conscious that many couples will want to get married as soon as possible’

Bobby Aylward (Fianna Fáil), who won the Carlow-Kilkenny byelection, canvassing at Piltown, Co Kilkenny, during the campaign. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Sinn Féin in the frame for general election seat after securing 16% of byelection votes

There have been  mutterings about a challenge to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin should the party not win the Carlow Kilkenny byelection. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

FF has not won a byelection since late Brian Lenihan jnr won seat vacated by his father

One online campaign during the Same-sex Marriage Referendum in Ireland build-up was the #hometovote phenomenon, which had huge purchase with emigrants. In its own way, this imaginative innovation was the perfect illustration of the way in which the Yes campaign had captured public imagination and popular support. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube now key influencers of younger supporters

Fianna Fáil’s newest TD Bobby Aylward celebrates after winning the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Fine Gael’s David Fitzgerald finishes in second place with Kathleen Funchion third

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams:   Micheál Martin said:  “It’s time for Gerry Adams to own up and come clean on the scale of cover-ups and kangaroo courts.”    Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Micheál Martin says report directly contradicts Sinn Féin claims that case had no basis

Evidence suggests that, for the first time in an Irish poll, social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been as influential in the referendum campaign as traditional media.   Photograph:  Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Yes Equality Facebook posts had combined reach of 1.6m during last week of campaign

Alan Shatter: “The High Court decision was delivered today and I wish to read the judgment and reflect upon it.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former minister’s challenge to parts of Guerin report dismissed on all counts

Tánaiste Joan Burton:  “I just do not see the space for an election.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste says preference is for Government to serve full term

Labour Minister Alex White, Senator Ivana Bacik and Cllr Duncan Smith promote their #MakeItHappen campaign for a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Joan Burton urges Yes supporters to seek out undecided friends and family

 Tánaiste Joan Burton: “The really crucial element will be turnout. If all the people who are indicating they are voting Yes actually turn out, I am extremely confident that it will be carried.” Photograph: Conor Healy

Tánaiste dismisses silent No majority, but says Yes side must not be complacent

Canvassing for a No vote in the Same-sex Marriage Referendum were  Moira Morrissey (left) and Eileen Barry  in Ballycahill, Tipperary.  Photograph: Enda O’Dowd/The Irish Times

It is clear No side does not have resources, volunteers or visibility of Yes campaign

Séamus Carey and Regina Bushell from Westmeath, canvassing for Yes Equality,   speaking to  Jennifer O’Meara  from Athlone. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Stressing their own experiences gets positive response for Yes side

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 of State with responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh, said he did a very, very weak Leaving Certificate in Irish: his writing skills were okay, but his spoken Irish was very poor. Photograph: The Irish Times

Joe McHugh making strides but struggles with grammar and those tricky turns of phrase

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin: The Department of the Taoiseach and the HSE are reporting a 100 per cent rise in Freedom of Information requests. Photograph: Eric Luke

Interview: Howlin claims more reform set in place in past four years than in previous 40

Analysis: It is often forgotten how blunt an instrument opinion polls are

The byelection on May 22nd will be the first electoral test of the new party, which is led by Lucinda Creighton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Only Renua and FG do not back rent control and oppose free healthcare paid via taxation

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at a press conference announcing the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

EU agency’s decision may have implications for how Irish Water passes market test

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (left) and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin who said they will be in ‘listening mode’ at the forum. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Two-day ‘social forum’ in July will take suggestions on how €1.5bn should be spent

The membership of the Expert Advisory Council undermines its independence, a report from  Client Earth has found.

Absence of 2050 target creates ‘critical uncertainty’ for investors, Client Earth report finds

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. Fine Gael’s executive council has added Mr Bruton to the party’s general election ticket for Dublin Bay North, after his failure to win a nomination at the selection convention. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party council takes decision after Minister’s failure to win nomination at convention

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton became collateral damage in a row between the local organisation and party headquarters on Thursday over a gender quota directive. Photograph: The Irish Times

Analysis: Fine Gael faces more local rebellions over strict gender quota rules

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has launched the new site, Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Groups required to register under Regulation of Lobbying Act from September 1st

Court of justice rules that ban may be justified in certain circumstances

Michael Noonan is usually more Morecambe to Brendan Howlin’s Wise. But the days when Fine Gael’s finance spokesman used to electrify the Dáil with witty banter are long gone. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

After weeks of hype, Noonan and Howlin deliver a dismal anti-climax

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s party has no female TD and no TD in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

No guarantees in volatile political landscape that once powerful machine can rebound

Ibrahim Halawa  was one of 493 people arrested for their alleged role in violence during protests  on August 16th and 17th, 2013, in the Ramisis area of central Cairo in Egypt.

Charlie Flanagan in contact with Egyptian counterpart to argue case for Irish teenager

The Labour Party leader says that home ownership being available to young people is a “valuable” part of Irish society.  Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

However, Joan Burton said there had been no discussion at Government level of €5,000 grants for first-time buyers

 Charles Haughey: “wanted to get in on the action”. Photograph: Colman Doyle

American funding was small beer compared to activities in Ireland

The proposals from the Department of Finance included a recommendation that appeals should only be made to the High Court, and that appeals to the Circuit Court would no longer be allowed. Photograph: Frank Miller /	The Irish Times

Lifting of the in-camera rule could have ‘a chilling effect’ on taxpayers

Grassroots canvassing: Bobby Aylward, the Fianna Fáil candidate, looking for support in Piltown, Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Patrick Browne

The Carlow-Kilkenny byelection, which takes place on the same day as the same-sex marriage referendum, is shaping up as a traditio(...)

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said he disagrees with the proposition of the No campaign in the same-sex marriage referendum that every child has a right to a mother and father. Photograph: Inpho

Corollary would be that children could be taken from single parents, says Minister

 Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaelteacht Heather Humphreys with  Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin at the launch of the 1916 Centenary Programme in the National Museum, Collins Barracks, earlier this week. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘Reminders’, costing €22m, include centre in GPO and Teach an Phiarsaigh in Ros Muc

Surprisingly good encounters: Enda Kenny in Newcastle Woods with Martin Dalby CEO of Center Parcs which plans a new centre in Co Longford. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Taoiseach has happy knack of meeting people who back up his arguments

Fr Niall Molloy who died at Clara Co Offaly in July 1985

Report indicates ‘extremely unusual, if not unique, features’ about high-profile crime

 Keeping up the pressure: a water meter in Dublin. The Government’s proposed payment compliance measures include deducting water bills from wages. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Grants to be paid in September by Department of Social Protection

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan: the Minister brought the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill to Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Aim of Bill is to address ‘soft barriers’ which may sometimes be used to exclude children from particular backgrounds

One-fifth of schools in the State are oversubscribed, with Gaelcholáistí, in particular, having an oversubscription rate of about 30 per cent. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Legislation will require all schools to make public all criteria for admissions policies

Senator Thomas Byrne, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, Sean Haughey and Maureen Haughey, daughter of Sean Lemass at the unveiling of the Fianna Fail party’s programme of events to mark the centenary of the 1916 rising. Photograph: Alan Betson /The Irish Times

FF still hasn’t got the public support it needs to convalesce completely

 Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan will bring the Bill to the weekly Cabinet meeting. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Education Bill will also ban seeking of deposits or payments to secure places

Proposals by Minister for Communications Alex White to designate the Six Nations rugby championship free-to-air on TV will be resisted by Fine Gael Ministers, according to party sources.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times.

Alex White to outline proposals to Cabinet on redesignating three sporting events

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy:  “I am satisfied that, absent any specific statutory provision relieving Bank of Scotland [the new owner] from the mandatory obligation of becoming registered as owner of a charge in respect of which it wishes to exercise any of the powers conferred . . . it must become registered as the owner of the relevant charge on the relevant folio, if it wishes to exercise the statutory powers conferred.”

Issues may arise from BOSI still being registered owner of charges over properties

Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader, was critical of Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the position he has taken on Greece. Photograph:  Dylan Vaughan.

Greens’ plans for regional banks is being examined by Department of Finance

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan addresses the Green Party conference in Kilkenny. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Encouraged by local election campaign, party looks forward to general election

The future of British politics?: Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has his eye on David Cameron’s job. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron says he won’t seek a third term as UK prime minister. But are political long goodbyes a good idea?

Labour TD Pat Rabbitte accused the national broadcaster of being “lopsided”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Empirical analysis of programmes shows substance to the Labour Party’s argument

Senator Jim Walsh is understood to be opposed to 36 sections of the Children and Family Relationships Bill

Senator understood to oppose 36 sections of Children and Family Relationships Bill

“RTÉ has acted as a recruiting sergeant for those who have taken control of, and are manipulating, the water protests,” Pat Rabbitte  told the Dáil. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former Labour minister criticises national broadcaster’s coverage of water charges

Sinn Féin  deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the procedure adopted by the Committee on Procedure and Privilege in its findings was “deeply flawed, affording me neither access to the letters, and therefore the basis of the complaint... nor an explanation for the CPP decision”.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Decision on abuse of process when linking ex-politicians to Ansbacher ‘flawed’

Mary Lou McDonald last December made comments using Dáil privilege to link six named politicians to offshore Ansbacher accounts. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former PD leader Des O’Malley calls accusation untrue and very damaging

Taoiseach Enda Kenny talks of tax cuts on the back of successful negotiations with the commission. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach says current EU fiscal rules do not reflect strength of economy

Micheál Martin: “It is ironic that the only party with no direct connection to 1916 is the one most likely to try and abuse it for political purposes.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Micheál Martin: Events of that Easter belonged to no party but to the Irish people

Fine Gael TD for Sligo-North Leitrim John Perry: statement  issued after it was reported his wife began working for him as parliamentary assistant in January 2015.

Former FG minister says his wife will step down from role on his political staff next month

Philip King of Other Voices: ‘In the west of Ireland and in west Kerry, there is a new leaving and exodus going on.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Philip King’s raison d’etre after 13 years running his hit televised concert series is still the same: ‘We provide a safe house fo(...)

John Perry TD: Stepped down as minister of State for small business in July of last year in a Government reshuffle. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sligo-North Leitrim TD criticised for hiring wife as assistant on salary of up to €49,000

The Department of Finance said the total arrears within the subprime lending sector is €4.6 billion

Nearly 20,000 subprime mortgages were in arrears more than 90 days at end of last year

 Senator Fidelma Healy Eames was challenged to produce any evidence that any US state had banned Mother’s Day.  On Monday, the Senator told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show she had made “one” error in sending out the tweet. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Galway West Senator says she made error in tweet on same-sex marriage referendum

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has cut short his visit to the United States for St Patrick’s Day following the death of his mother. Photograph: PA

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys will deputise in formal events

  Eddie Hobbs with Lucinda Creighton  at  the launch of Renua. The controversy over whether he will run as a candidate is not an issue for the party. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Leader Lucinda Creighton says financial consultant doing ‘Trojan work’ to grow party

“I believe Maíria Cahill. I believe Mr McGahon. I believe there are questions to be answered and Sinn Féin are in a position to answer those and Gerry Adams in particular is,” the Taoiseach said.

Adams criticises Taoiseach’s remarks over SF leader’s handling of abuse allegations

Tánaiste   Joan Burton: “We should not be constrained from essential investment by a narrow or rigid interpretation of fiscal rules on the part of the European Commission.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Tánaiste follows Minister for Finance with demands for greater flexibility on fiscal rules

 Lucinda Creighton at the launch of the new party Renua at the Science Gallery on Pearse Street, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Leader Lucinda Creighton wants minutes of all Cabinet meetings to be published

A clearly nervous Terence Flanagan began with general comments but was unable to answer more specific questions asked by RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Mary Wilson. Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill

Dublin Bay North TD had ‘meltdown’ during excruciating interview

Lucinda Creighton had the best lines of the day when she said: “We intend to govern in the sunshine. We should trust Irish citizens with the truth.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ideologically, there’s little surprise it will be positioned on right of political spectrum, but not obdurately so

Labour Party leader Joan Burton and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny (centre) have seen support for th Coalition parties grow, while support for Gerry Adams’s Sinn Féin is flat.

Independent candidates and smaller partiessee support fall, while Sinn Féin plateaues

 Lucinda Creighton and Billy Timmins  at Leinster House to register the launch of  Renua Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

In less than a year, more than 100 professionals have built a political organisation

Lucinda Creighton at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin to launch new political party Renua. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Organisation in ‘advanced discussions’ with 140 potential candidates for next general election

Paudie McGahon (above) and the other complainant said they were aged 14 and 17 at the time of the alleged rapes and have named the same man. Photograph: BBC

SF chief’s defence of his and party’s handling of case meets with chorus of political censure

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