Rosa (For Reproductive Rights Against Oppression, Sexism & Austerity) campaigners dressed as handmaids pass anti-abortion activists at Leinster House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Miriam Lord: It wasn’t long before Leo was banging the drum for people in the middle

Some game: the All-Ireland senior football championship final at Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

All-Ireland final proved an incredible sporting occasion – one it’ll take a while to get over

The fiscal space is this big: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, former CNN presenter Gina London and former deputy first minister Mark Durkan at the Kennedy Summer School. Photograph: Mary Browne

The former taoiseach dispensed with wisdom at the Kennedy Summer School

Gerry Adams, (perpetual) president of Sinn Féin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sense of relief at the news was such that everyone almost kept a straight face

Galway fans celebrate beating Waterford in the All-Ireland senior hurling final. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Miriam Lord: The two sets of fans well-versed in disappointment got along famously

This week, from Lismore to Portlaw and Tallow to Tramore, big John Mullane’s (ever so slightly adapted) words are everywhere: “I Loves Me County.” Photograph: Patrick Browne

Miriam Lord: Déise gripped by All-Ireland fever as supporters hope to end 58-year wait

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross: well-meaning efforts at sparkling banter. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Boredom prompts Winston Churchtown to compose doggerel about Fianna Fáil counterpart

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen with wife Mary after he was  conferred with an honorary doctorate of law. Photograph: Alan Betson

Dublin Castle gathering of Fianna Fáil from different era hears defiant Brian Cowen

Cheesy photo op Award: A shot taken from the Twitter feed of Leo Varadkar of himself and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau jogging in Phoenix Park, Dublin in July. File photograph: @campaignforleo/PA Wire

Dáil movers, shakers, losers and inbetweeners: A selection from the corridors of power

Leo Varadkar and his party faithful: Ministers have been instructed to attend Leaders’ Questions. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Galvanising presence: Taoiseach rallies the troops for Leaders’ Questions

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy was told by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that he should apologise to Joan Burton and Karen O’Connell over the Jobstown incident. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Solidarity TD calls for inquiry into Garda evidence as Taoiseach denounces ‘thuggery’

Micheál Martin, a veteran of many manufactured hissy-fits in the phoney wars before the Dáil goes on long breaks, was growing weary of the arguing.  Photograph: Collins

Miriam Lord: Despite the hissy fits, TDs unite in the name of the summer recess

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker speaks in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France. Photograph: EBS via AP

Meanwhile, Leo proves to be the perfect host as Fine Gael looks forward to summer nights

The Green Party at the launch of its deposit refund proposal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

As Green Party leader produces rubbish from a bag, Gallagher is beside himself

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar models his maple-leaf- and Mountie-emblazoned socks alongside Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, at Farmleigh on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Leo Varadkar and Justin Trudeau could be mistaken for a 1990s boy band reunion

Is Stephen Donnelly in danger of becoming Fianna Fáil’s version of George Lee? File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Frankie goes to Hollywood while Oireachtas’ golfers made to feel special in Killarney

Mary Lou McDonald:  Did someone mention the bins?  Photograph: Alan Betson

‘Taoiseach, I want to raise with you the latest debacle over bin charges...’ Gulp.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross. The judicial appointments reform legislation is widely seen as his pet project. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shane Ross not present for Leaders’ Questions as Varadkar and Martin manoeuvre

Máire Whelan has her appointment to the  Court of Appeal rubberstamped by President Michael D Higgins, as crafty Leo looks on. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Once Máire Whelan’s appointment was rubberstamped, Micheál was shooting blanks

On the warpath: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin strode into the Dáil  with the air of a man spoiling for a fight over the appointment of former attorney general Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Dáil Sketch: The FF-ers rattled their swords, but their leader was forced to retreat – for now

‘When it comes to holding her own under intense questioning, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan is very impressive.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

It’s hard work listening to O’Sullivan as she relays her grand plan to re-energise the force

It took Leo Varadkar two days to make a comment on the controversy. Guess what? What they did was legal. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Máire Whelan controversy is like Enda stashing a dead fish behind the radiator

'At this stage, Enda Kenny’s hands were getting more animated with his asides. We didn’t know whether he was giving Leo tips about government or explaining the size of a fish he caught.' Photograph: Maxwell Photography

The new Taoiseach looked a bit overawed, but at least this time he didn’t fall over and get his lovely white John Travolta trouser(...)

President Michael D Higgins with his wife, Sabina, as Taoiseach Enda Kenny leaves Áras an Uachtaráin after delivering his letter of resignation to the President. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Miriam Lord: Would he well up? He didn’t, on this day every prime minister dreads

Leo Varadkar’s parents, Miriam and Ashok, at home in Blanchardstown. Photograph: Alan Betson

Miriam Lord pays a house call to Miriam and Ashok, the parents of our next taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan were honoured at the event.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach gets emotional at Farmleigh dinner suggested by Varadkar and Donohoe

 Thomas Byrne with  Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  and Dara Calleary  during a Fianna Fail press briefing on the plinth. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Latest round of negotiations shouldn’t be too taxing for newly installed FG chief

Leo Varadkar: the new leader of Fine Gael and Ireland’s next Taoiseach. Photograph: Alan Betson

Miriam Lord: His mum cried. His dad beamed. Ireland changed

Screen grab of Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his final appearance at Leaders’ Questions: Regrets? He’s had a few. But then again, too few to mention.

Taoiseach bows out of leadership with advice for replacement in hot seat

Taoiseach Enda Kenny might think he was thrown under the bus, but he wasn’t. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

New FG leader will probably charge on to political pitch like a sub on All-Ireland day

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney debate with each other at the start of hustings. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The final hustings in Cork was a battle of Simonomics versus Leo-liberalism

For the second Fine Gael leadership debate at IT Carlow last night, Simon Coveney’s team was allocated the “Spinning Room”, while Leo Varadkar’s team was given the “Activity  Room” For the second Fine Gael leadership debate at IT Carlow last night, Simon Coveney’s team was allocated the “Spinning Room”, while Leo Varadkar’s team was given the “Activity  Room”

Simon needs six turncoats to beat Varadkar – which could never happen in politics

 Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. There is a lot of interest in his  intentions due to his special status as The Quiet Man. Word is that he isn’t going to name a name until the weekend hustings are over – if at all

Miriam Lord: Do Rebel County politicians miss the big picture if one of their own is involved?

’Taoiseach Enda Kenny has done his time.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Coveney’s Legion of the Rearguard take to the hills, giving Leo time to check his phone

Enda only told his closest advisors he was resigning minutes before he left for the meeting.

Taoiseach only told closest advisors he was resigning minutes before he left for meeting

Lifting the cup(cake): Fine Gael leadership candidate Leo Varadkar  and  Paschal Donohoe  serve up coffee and cupcakes on Leo Street in Dublin, as Donohoe announces his support for Varadkar.  Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Varadkar speaks of someone important to him who is ‘unconditionally on side’

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe on Leo Street in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Defiant Simon Coveney vows to fight despite rival’s near-unassailable lead

Taoiseach Enda Kenny launching the Finite Lives report by Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell at Government Buildings. He then announced he was  stepping down. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Emotions run high as Taoiseach finally announces he will be ‘gone by midnight’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny:  imminent retirement was on his mind. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Prospect of Kenny-Adams partnership provokes hilarity as Taoiseach ponders retirement

Kate Madden of  Loreto College on St Stephen’s Green, explains her project Will Eating a Mars Bar Increase the Average Speed of a Galloping Pony?  to President Michael D Higgins back in 2013. Photograph: Eric Luke

Royals delight in horse diets, Taoiseach goes for cycle and RTÉ pol corr shows how to exit

The Duchess of Cornwall meeting the stallion Invincible Spirit as she visits the Irish National Stud in Kildare. Photograph:  Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

Camilla at National Stud declares: ‘I’m coming back here every year until I drop!’

Prince Charles, President Michael D Higgins, his wife Sabina and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in the gardens at Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Charles and Camilla do not mention the B-word during their trip to the Áras

Ruth Coppinger and Bríd Smith didn’t stand during Dáil prayers on Tuesday. They were joined by their colleagues from People Before Profit and Solidarity, along with Joan Collins of Independents4Change.

Gold-braid and button brigade conspicuously absent from a scene of potential aggro

 Will Ruth Coppinger TD be ejected for refusing to stand for prayer? Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Bríd Smith and Ruth Coppinger will refuse to stand for Dáil prayer – will they be ejected?

‘The Independent Alliance: A great bunch of lads.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Finian McGrath leads the backslapping as Independents celebrate a year in their dream jobs

Fine Gael contender: Leo Varadkar, soon to be on the hustings, was putting himself about. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

With the Taoiseach up in the air, Leo Varadkar was taxiing into position

Micheál Martin described Minister for Health Simon Harris as “a rabbit in the headlines....headlights”.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sparing blushes with a cut to the quorum, and TDs get themselves some quiet time

David Davin-Power at the 2009 Fianna Fáil ard fheis

‘Zombie doughnut’ episode at 2009 Fianna Fáil ard fheis remembered

Senator Rónán Mullen presents an Easter chicken to Senator Michelle Mulherin outside Leinster House. Photograph: John Mc Elroy.

The anti-abortion campaigner gets into the Easter spirit with a charity sale of eggs

Richard Boyd Barrett: “Today, again, there are about 25 households, individuals, families and children in the visitors’ gallery”

Boyd Barrett manages to out-shout Mary Lou as he ratchets it up on homelessness

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny: told Mary Lou McDonald a few home truths regarding the water charges. Photograph: Alan Betson /

Taoiseach goes retro in the Dáil with Garda resignations as water charges seem to recede

Aldi hot tubs, which has sold out online within hours on Thursday in UK

A Cork South Central charity dinner might be a chance to pour oil on troubled waters

“Fianna Fáil – a party which once championed the introduction of charges – is suddenly lolloping alongside Sinn Féin with its tongue hanging out”

Miriam Lord: FF poodle accused of being SF and PBP-AAA lapdog over water charges

Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, AAA/PBP and a number of Independents voted for an immediate crackdown on water abuse. Water is the victim here. Photograph: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

Miriam Lord: Water charges slosh around in a tale of excess and abuse that won’t wash

Eoin Ó Broin declared that Fine Gael was trying to introduce water charges by the back door. And probably water meters by the front gate. Photograph: Eric Luke

TDs engage in wilful and excessive one-upmanship on water committee

Star turn: Michelle Mulherin performs  at a fundraiser for Ballina Rugby Club. Photograph: Facebook

Moving her lips and swinging her hips, Michelle Mulherin makes all the right moves

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: ‘There he was, bright as a Phibsborough button, in the hot seat on the big ticket day of the Dáil week, ready to take command. But in a very respectful and courteous way, obviously.’ File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Michael Healy-Rae lives to fight another day and not to bolt down his chicken dinner

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan,  Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Justice  Frances Fitzgerald: another  root and branch review of the Garda. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Taoiseach’s insistence on his confidence in Nóirín O’Sullivan greeted with Dáil derision

The Dáil and Seanad rugby team saw off a strong Commons and Lords side. Alan Farrell (FG), Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF) Michael Darcy (FG) Sen Neale Richmond (FG), Jim O’Callaghan (FF) and Sen Mark Daly (FF).

Mediation for FG, getting TDs to put a sock in it, and how to beat MPs at their own game

An Irish flag is placed upon the coffin as  sons Emmet (centre left) and Fiachra (centre right), wife Bernadette (Bernie, far right) look on ahead of the funeral of  Martin McGuinness outside his home in the Derry. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

A family, party, movement and city are united in mourning on a day of significance

David Norris: “Now we have to fob in, but the Ministers who started this, they don’t have to fob in. It is demeaning to be treated like cattle.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Senator rails against dress code while Taoiseach conclusively does not outline plans

Enda was dreaming of getting up there with the greats, like Meryl Streep or Sneezing Baby Panda. But not “Downfall”. Don’t mention “Downfall”. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg

With Washington speech going viral, Kenny was in no mood to talk about direct provision

Taoiseach Enda Kenny holding seven-month-old Savannah Marie during the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

He may be Trump’s new friend but Kenny’s real love is a parade

 President Donald  Trump accepts a bowl of shamrock from  Taoiseach Enda Kenny  during a reception in the East Room of the White House, March 16th, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photograph: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President is quick to call time on photo call, but not before an awkward question

Taoiseach Enda Kenny delivers a speech to business leaders at a lunch at the American Institute for Peace in Washington on Wednesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach sports grin from ear to shining ear as he prepares to meet President Trump

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said: ‘If OutVets are not in the parade I definitely won’t be taking part.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

This year’s St Patrick’s Day controversy is brought to us by the ‘Southie’ shindig

Taoiseach Enda Kenny called for reflection and counselled that this time, when the State investigates what happened and why, the job must be done properly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach stung as Galway TD takes him to task on ‘carefully crafted words’ about Tuam

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s speech was hewn from previous ones. And, for that, sounded just a little contrived. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Authentic note of anger struck by Bríd Smith after Taoiseach’s speech on Tuam babies

 Angela Merkel and Enda Kenny: “Angela’s Washington visit will be big news. It’s gonna be tremendously huge.” Photograph: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Politicians get down and dirty for Ireland while Denis Naughten’s corset causes a stir

Custody battle: Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

‘The New Politics’ is the unappealing offspring of the old, but more ineffectual

 Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen with party colleagues Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee and Willie O’Dea. Bazza wasn’t going to be pushed around anymore by Coveney or Enda Kenny or any other Blueshirt. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Cultural differences come to fore as Fianna Fáil minority asserts itself on water issue

Intrepid Enda is like a coiled spring, waiting for the British prime minister to pull the trigger and activate him.

In the thick of things on Brexit, air-miles Enda tells Dáil all the latest from EU circuit

‘The ’Irish Independent’ spent much of the week fretting over how the electorate might cope with Leo Varadkar’s private life.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It’s also open season on private life of a man who bravely came out as a Fine Gael member

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “We don’t fight in Fine Gael. We are a united party.” File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Last supper awaits Taoiseach if he fails to deliver on departure promises

 Michael Healy-Rae: said nothing short of calling in the Army would solve “rodydundrun” problem in Killarney National Park.  File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The ‘Endit’ talks are being triggered but Kenny keen to take scenic route from power

Today, a huge Fine Gael wedding is taking place in Dublin 4. Former senator and Fine Gael blueblood Eugene Regan, appointed by the Government in 2015 to the European Court of Justice, is marrying his Danish partner, Janne Storgaard. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Cabinet figures are to gather for exquisitely timed nuptials of former senator Eugene Regan

Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison  (left) with his partner Marissa Simms talking to deputy Alan Kelly  at the Dáil on Wednesday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Politicians run risky gauntlet to get on the right side of those maverick troublemakers

TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly. ‘They have been knocking their heads off a brick wall for nearly a decade warning that the McCabe story is far too serious to go away.’

There were astonishing Dáil scenes as the Taoiseach came under fire over McCabe case

Martin Callinan and Nóirín O’Sullivan arriving in Leinster House in January 2014 to attend a sitting of the PAC. File photograph: David Sleator

Gardaí were quick to dish the dirt on McCabe, but not to set the record straight

Brendan Howlin:  The Labour leader wondered if it might not be a good idea for Nóirín O’Sullivan  to step aside or “be placed on administrative leave” for the duration of Mr Justice Peter Charleton’s investigation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dáil sketch: Brendan Howlin dive-bombs into the Garda Commissioner controversy

 Then she  ups the fear factor. Joan looks across at the Taoiseach: “You will be alone with 27 other heads of state . . . ” File photograph: Cyril Byrne

The José Mourinho protocol is invoked as Enda becomes the man who unites Ireland

Minister for Transport and Sport Shane Ross: all ears  when it comes to strong regional accents. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shane Ross versus Trump, a mum in the Dáil, Enda’s tall tales, the curlew and earwigging

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with Stephen Donnelly. ‘I’ve always made it clear that I’m open to new talent,’ he said of the new addition to his frontbench. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Burbling Micheál Martin explodes with happiness as he unveils his new trophy TD

The Taoiseach’s black eye was much more noticeable in daylight despite the application of a shovelful of foundation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Suddenly, Richard Boyd-Barrett began performing exaggerated sweeping movements

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: did Theresa May inadvertedly give him a belt in the eye with her handbag? Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

It’s all fighting talk as Taoiseach sports a shiner ahead of his tête-à-tête with Trump

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British prime minister Theresa May at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Neither Enda Kenny nor Theresa May rubbed each other up the wrong way

Micheál Martin suggests dinner date with Simon Coveney to raise money for Marymount Hospice.

Micheál Martin and Simon Coveney to dine out on fundraising gig at Leinster House

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, with Eamon Creamer, owner of the 1916 Ford Model T,  following the launch of the Action Plan for Regional Development in Ballymahon, Co Longford. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Amid gags about Big Tom and small farmers and fishermen, a bucolic plan is rolled out

Journey ahead: Enda Kenny seems very comfortable when asked about Brexit.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Amid confusion over Brexit, Taoiseach gives the impression he is on the inside track

 John Halligan with his wife Elaine Powell on their wedding day on Friday. Photograph:  Frankie McEvoy

Kelly’s Irish Times pub on Capitol Hill is the scene for Martin O’Malley’s eulogy

Brendan Howlin: The Labour leader was feeling a little shortchanged on the liaison front. As were his colleagues in Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Alas, Enda Kenny’s Parliamentary Liaison Unit is not quite Tinder for TDs

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: There remains another transportation peak to be conquered. It’s called Bus Éireann

Minister’s Cabinet briefing may have run to tale of derring-do on the number 44 bus

‘Brendan Ogle will announce he is retiring from trade union activism to pursue a full-time career in light entertainment.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Enda finds his va-va-voom, O’Brien sues nobody and Boyd-Barrett is incandescent

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the 1916 Arbour Hill commemoration ceremony on April 24th, 2016. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

All the ‘New Politics’ comes down to is installing ‘abstain’ buttons in the Dáil

Gerry Adams, who this year said: “My teddy bears are virgins.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Who was the best newcomer? The practical joker? Who paddled their own canoe?

A large share of the electorate is probably thinking that landlords – no matter what their circumstances – have never had things better and shouldn’t be given any sort of raise for a few years. Photograph: Getty Images

FF feel heat and blink first on rent Bill

 Simon Coveney:  on the 4%  rent cap he  was not budging. He would abandon the entire scheme if necessary. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Party leaders resolutely stand by their respective men Simon Coveney and Barry Cowen

Members of the Tyrrelstown Tenants Action Group protest against the housing crisis in Dublin city centre in May 2016. File photograph: Getty Images

Opposition furious about not seeing plans before being asked to buy new rental plan

“The reimagining of Gerry Adams continues. It is infinitely preferable to what went before. But maybe, just maybe, the Sinn Féin president and his advisers have been a bit too clever for their own good”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Rollercoaster week for Sinn Féin leader began in Cuba, ended with being called names

Alan Farrell, TD for Dublin Fingal, tossed in the equivalent of a grenade with the deliberate intention of provoking a reaction from Sinn Féin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fine Gael backbencher unperturbed by angry reaction from Sinn Féin TDs

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