Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe recently said “everyone from Richard Branson to Donald Trump” had expressed a view on the possible sale of Aer Lingus. Photograph: Artur Widak/PA Wire

Richard Branson’s VAA to appear at Dáil transport committee on Thursday

Ibrahim Halawa’s family has criticised the Government’s approach to the Egyptian authorities, with his sisters calling on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to intervene in attempts to have him released from jail

Minister rejects allegation that jailed man’s Egyptian heritage influencing Government

Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell-O’Connor has appealed to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to produce a “fair and sustainable” property tax model.

Mary Mitchell-O'Connor appeals to reduce property tax ahead of ‘freeze’ lift

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald is expected to announce the recruitment of 250 new gardaí. Photograph:Alan Betson

Minister confirms enrolment of new recruits ahead of AGSI address

 Fianna Fáil spokesman on finance Michael McGrath has said people with variable rate mortgages  are being ‘discriminated against’ by banks. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Michael McGrath claims those with variable rate mortgages are being mistreated

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

Paul O’Connell scores a try against Scotland at Murrayfield during Ireland’s final game of this season’s Six Nations. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Minister also wants to add All-Ireland ladies’ football and camogie finals to list

The Seanad sat late on Monday night while the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015 passed report and final stages, meaning it has almost become law. Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald and Senators debated aspects of the proposed legislation for more than eight hours, concluding their discussions after 10.30pm

Taoiseach will present a copy of the Bill to the President to sign and declare it as law

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s position will not be under threat if the party fails to win the upcoming byelection in Carlow-Kilkenny, finance spokesman Michael McGrath has insisted.

Michael McGrath says position will not be affected if party fails to win in Carlow-Kilkenny

Public service trade union leaders believe that talks with the Government on pay restoration will now begin in early May.

Minister for Public Expenditure says Government will be inviting trade unions to talks over public service pay restoration

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has described the volume of leaks uncovered by Irish Water as ‘crazy’. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Irish Water claims 7 per cent of all water lost comes from leaking pipes in homes

Taoiseach Enda Kenny takes leaders questions on the Fennelly Commission.

Micheál Martin presses Taoiseach on Garda chief’s resignation

Party commemorations will feature an historical drama show at the GPO.

Live reading of Proclamation outside city centre theatre will provide ‘history in action’

Proposal aimed at helping gardaí identify drivers

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said the Government will hold another round of discussions with IAG on Tuesday on the possible sale of the State’s Aer Lingus shareholding.

Virgin Atlantic raises concerns about proposed sale with the European Commission

Galway West TD Noel Grealish said he will not be joining any party or loose alliance of Independent TDs in the run-up to the general election.

‘I can better serve the people of Galway as a true independent’ says TD

One of the book’s authors, Paul Gillespie, said one consequence of a British exit would be to change the relationship between Ireland and Britain. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Authors of new book say British exit from EU is not an appealing scenario

Enda Kenny  presents a bowl of shamrocks to Barack Obama on St. Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

TD says advocating for immigrants should happen domestically as well as in the US

Peter Casey hopes to win Fine Gael Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh’s seat.

Entrepreneur feels there is ‘room for a strong Independent’ in new 5-seat constituency

 People Before Profit Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett. Mr Boyd Barrett, along with Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes, was referred to gardaí  after missing a deadline to disclose donations to the Standards of Public Office. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

TDs miss Standards in Public Office commission deadline to disclose donations

 Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin this morning confirmed the Government would introduce some manner of a mechanism to ensure people who comply with water charges are not disadvantaged. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Government has categorised citizens as either the compliant or the refuseniks

Paul Murphy has said “we’re going to fight on this issue and protest in massive numbers when the Government refuse to listen”. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Ruth Coppinger says charges cannot be taken from wages or welfare without ‘major legislation’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he wants to see the Portlaoise hospital report published but added two organisations using public money should not be in “court situations”.

Taoiseach says agencies using public money should not be in ‘court situations’

Vice-president Joseph Biden (right) welcomes Taoiseach  Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala  to the Naval Observatory on St Patrick’s Day in Washington, DC. Photograph: Getty

US vice-president quipped: ‘Anyone wearing orange is not welcome in here’

Source says Enda Kenny told Gerry Adams something along the lines of, “You need to get your people, or your friends, moving.”  Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach speaks to Sinn Féin leader at speaker’s St Patrick’s Day lunch

Speaker of the House John Boehner, US president Barack Obama and  Taoiseach Enda Kenny after they attended the St Patrick’s Day lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photograph:  Alex Wong/Getty Images

Kenny in Washington: Contentious US immigration reform ‘somewhat intractable’

US president Barack Obama: Stormont House Agreement offered “great hope for resolution of some long-standing challenges there”. Photograph:  EPA/Dennis Brack/Pool

US president Barack Obama: ‘Still more work to do’ on bringing political stability NI

Taoiseach Enda Kenny being welcomed at the Oval Office by US president Barack Obama during his St Patrick’s Day visit to the White House in Washington. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Sweetness, light and Republican fellowship for Enda Kenny and Barack Obama

Enda Kenny and Barack Obama meet  ahead of a  St Patrick’s Day lunch. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Taoiseach praises US president Barack Obama for his ‘decisiveness’ on the issue

Vice president Joe Biden welcomes Enda Kenny  and his wife Fionnuala Kenny to the Naval Observatory on Tuesday in Washington, DC. Vice President Biden hosted a breakfast for the Irish Prime Minister in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty

Vice-president says ‘genius’ required to ‘lock down’ Stormont Agreement

Green is the colour: Taoiseach Enda Kenny meets and greets. Photograph: Matt Lankes/Enterprise Ireland

Coalition prepared to negotiate but not in a position to be ‘aggressive’ on immigration

Taoiseach stresses importance of enjoying national day in a responsible fashion

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny has during his St Patrick’s Day trip to the US said  he disagreed with Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who has been  widely criticised  for his video message to Irish ex-pats in Australia in which he mentions drinking Guinness. Photograph:  Erik S Lesser/EPA

Taoiseach rejects ‘view of a stage Irish perception’ linking to alcohol on St Patrick’s Day

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he will raise the issue of the undocumented Irish when he meets US president Barack Obama at the White House on St Patrick’s Day but will not adopt an “aggressive stance” with the American administration. Photograph:Gary Cameron/Reuters files.

Taoiseach to raise issue of undocumented Irish in St Patrick’s Day meeting with Obama

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who is in Washington to mark St Patrick’s Day,  has said the next budget will not be a “giveaway”. Photograph: Larry W. Smith/EPA.

Kenny responds to report Burton seeking easing of fiscal rules ahead of October decisions

Hampers being presented to President Barack Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden will contain Irish beef, which is being promoted by Irish chefs including Catherine Fulvio (above) on NBC’s Today Show. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Bord Bia hamper to contain staple brands produced in Ireland

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, has talked for many years about establishing a transatlantic airline offering cheap fares, and the disclosure that the board has approved outline plans suggests the company is now serious about proceeding.

Airline confirms it is talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft

Ecstasy problem: Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said he had been told that dozens of cases could be affected by this week’s court ruling. Photograph: AFP/Getty

How it happened and what the Government has done about it

Paudie McGahon: “I knew that chap long before it ever happened and then all of a sudden he started to lose control of his life, but he has got control back.” Photograph: BBC

Man who alleges rape by IRA man expects another victim of same attacker to go public

Lucinda Creighton pictures at a public meeting held in the Tara Towers Hotel, Dublin, in February. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Declared candidates to be announced at event in The Science Gallery, Dublin

Mary Lou McDonald has said the person who “raped and brutalised” Paudie McGahon needed to face the full rigours of the law. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

TD says Adams trying to ‘create the atmosphere’ where people will come forward

Arthur Morgan, a Dáil deputy for Louth until 2011, met Paudie  McGahon in late 2008 and 2009 when he had complained that the IRA man who had allegedly raped him was no longer in exile but was back living in the jurisdiction. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Arthur Morgan met McGahon who said alleged rapist was back living in jurisdiction

 Sinn Féin’s Arthur Morgan pictured in 2010. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

Sinn Féin members say rape victim was advised to go to Garda

New York-based publisher Niall O’Dowd says TDs and Senators must put pressure on the US Government to improve the situation of Irish illegals. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

‘American government responds to pressure, they don’t respond to being nice’

Former Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan has released a letter he says he sent in 2009 to Louth man Paudie McGahon, who told BBC Spotlight he was raped by an IRA man. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

In the letter dated April 27th 2009, Mr Morgan said he hoped Mr McGahon would contact gardaí about his allegations

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams says he believes Paudie McGahon (above) was raped but does not know if he was brought before a kangaroo court, as Mr McGahon has alleged. Photograph: BBC

Sinn Féin leader says he ‘does not know’ if Mr McGahon was brought before a kangaroo court

A head shop near  Harolds Cross, Dublin, in  2010, the year certain drugs were made illegal by then health minister Mary Harney. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Legislation rushed through Dáil as drugs like ecstasy become temporarily legal

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar  has confirmed that possession of certain drugs is no longer illegal following a decision by the Court of Appeal. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Health confirms possession ‘not an offence’ following court decision

New York-based publisher Niall O’Dowd is to speak on US immigration reform and the undocumented Irish in  a video conference for TDs and Senators.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

New York-based publisher will speak on undocumented Irish in US via video

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has alleged Sinn Féin and the IRA had colluded in protecting abusers.

Fianna Fáil leader says he has met with one of the individuals featured in the programme

Alan Kelly, Minister fo the Environment: the public was positively disposed to passing the referendum but nothing could be taken for granted.  Archive photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Alan Kelly says Irish people are ‘fair-minded’ and are responding well to proposal

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly who said on Tuesday the Government needs to examine the legislation will need to be looked at again. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Alan Kelly says issue of repossessions is critical and legislation needs to be changed

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

  Pat Carey of Fianna Fáil: he will be among those attending the launch of a campaign for a Yes vote in the same sex-marriage referendum. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES

Mattie McGrath claims some in FG and FF oppose same-sex marriage referendum

Euclid Tsakalotos of Syriza speaking at the Sinn Féin Ardfheis  in  Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Syriza minister Euclid Tsakalotos spoke, Che Guevara appeared on a bodhrán, Bruce Springsteen didn’t show, but the 'us and them' m(...)

Ictu president and general secretary of the Mandate union John Douglas

Ictu president praises party for its ‘progressive approach’

 Gerry Adams, Cllr. Noeleen Reilly, and Pearse Doherty  at the Sinn Féin ardfheis in Millennium Forum, Derry on Saturday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Gay marriage advocate asks Sinn Féin delegates for permission ‘to marry woman I love’

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. A member of his Syriza party, Euclid Tsakalotos, has told the Sinn Féin ardfheis in Derry that both parties are ‘part of a great realignment in European politics’. Photograph: EPA

Syriza and Sinn Féin ‘part of a great realignment in European politics’ Euclid Tsakalotos says

Pearse Doherty  said the Government had “picked up the Fianna Fáil playbook and took it to a whole new level”, leaving people feeling betrayed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pearse Doherty says FG and Labour ‘drunk on power’

Mary Lou McDonald at the opening of the Sinn Féin Ardfheis in Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Finance had said Ministers discussed changing the legislation over time

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness delivering an address at the opening of the Sinn Féin Ardfheis 2015 in Millennium Forum, Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness addresses party ardfheis

Cllr Máire Devine, Mary Lou McDonald and Aengus Ó Snodaigh at the opening of the Sinn Fein Ardfheis 2015  in Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Motion calls SF to commit to forming ‘broad alliances’ with like-minded parties and Independents

Martin McGuinness; Kathleen Funchion, candidate for the upcoming Carlow and Kilkenny By Election; Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald at the opening of the Sinn Féin Ardfheis in Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

McGuinness had ‘heartbreaking meeting’ with Sarah Ewart, whose baby had a severe brain abnormality

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said US labour unions had been brought to Ireland for talks with senior party  figures

Leader responds at ardfheis to reports donors voiced concerns over economic policies

Tánaiste Joan Burton: ‘I believe Maíria Cahill. I stand with her not just as a politician, but as a woman’

‘Distressing’ that women politicians fail to support victims

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly said: “Let’s not pretend that we can solve all the problems at one fell swoop.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Financial constraints mean equal parental entitlements not possible, says Minister

Enda Kenny has said a situation where facilities were “abused” was unacceptable after a draft HSE audit highlighted “excessive” travel claims

Enda Kenny has criticised the HSE whose audit revealed ‘excessive’ travel claims

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, at the launch of Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy, at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Taoiseach says National Economic Dialogue will consider pay and tax priorities

Launching her party’s clár for the Sinn Féin Ardfheis in Derry on Friday and Saturday, Ms McDonald referred to her party’s recent abstention in the vote on Independent Socialist Clare Daly’s defeated Bill to permit abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

McDonald sees no future coalition with Labour Party ‘in its current frame of mind’

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has been urged to put “flesh on the bones” of his proposed open forum to consider pay and tax levels. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin call on Government to clarify details on pay and tax plans

Fianna Fáil transport spokesman Timmy Dooley  who has called on the Government not to sell its stake in Aer Lingus.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Joan Burton confirms Willie Walsh to talk to parties this week

Fianna Fáil environment spokesman Barry Cowen: says Brendan Howlin is weeping “crocodile tears”.  “I’m glad he’s acknowledged the errors of their ways. I’d like to see ways and means by which he might address those errors.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Fianna Fáil Barry Cowen says Government has gone too far with ‘wholesale cull’ of councillors, but Minister for Agriculture Simon (...)

Tánaiste Joan Burton has criticised banks for pulling out of deals with customers in mortgage difficulty. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says reducing bankruptcy periods may send message to institutions ‘playing games’ with customers in difficulty

Tipperary TD Michael Lowry: “If I’m re-elected I’d be happy to look at it. In principle I’ve no difficulty supporting a government that produces economic policies that are good for the country.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Michael Lowry indicates openness to supporting new Fine Gael-Labour administration

Councillor John Leahy, Lucinda Creighton TD and financial adviser  Eddie Hobbs at the Tara Towers Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Lucinda Creighton and Karl Deeter present code of conduct prohibiting ‘cronyism’

President Michael D Higgins: the Citizens to Separate Church and State group says the referendum on reducing the age of presidential candidates should be stopped until the requirement for presidents to swear a religious oath on entering office is removed. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Presidents should not have to swear religious oath, says group on separating church and State

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Fine Gael National Conference in Castlebar last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Potential ‘Endapendents’ being courted discreetly by Noonan and Kenny

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: ‘At the moment there are more pressing demands on the health service.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Health indicates support ‘in principle’ for publicly funded IVF

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton said on Wednesday her party will contest the next general election as an independent party.

Tánaiste says achievements Coalition had worked on collectively will be highlighted

Tánaiste Joan Burton has  defended the JobBridge internship scheme. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Tánaiste said it was never expected that all placements would result in permanent jobs

Labour Party leader said on Wednesday that people were free to protest but called on them to respect her party’s right to hold its conference on in Killarney this weekend. Photograph: Collins

Tánaiste says people free to protest wherever they wish, as long as it is within the law

Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, TD formally opening the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the National Maternity Hospital,  Holles Street, with nine-week-old Oscar, and mother Deborah Larkin from Arklow, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister says new law will introduce legal mechanism to allow for measure

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe’s stated today that the commitments in IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus do not go far enough, but that the Government was open to considering revised proposals. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister says Government ‘remains open’ to considering revised proposal

TD Paul Murphy at a Anti Austerity Alliance press conference  to launch him as a byelection candidate in Dublin South West in September. File Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Exchequer will pay €104,400 to twelve candidates who qualified for reimbursement

Independent TD Mattie McGrath is holding meetings with advocacy groups opposed to both the Bill and the referendum. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Tipperary deputy becomes first TD to publicly indicate he’s unlikely to call for a Yes

Former Fine Gael minister of state for Europe, Lucinda Creighton, held a “Reboot Ireland” event on January 2nd with financial adviser and commentator Eddie Hobbs. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Reboot Ireland’ misses eight week deadline set by TD in January

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has warned smokers of the number of serious diseases linked to smoking and insisted the Government will introduce plain cigarette packaging. File photograph:Jonathan Brady/PA

Health Minister warns of numerous diseases linked to smoking

Ray Butler, Fine Gael TD for Meath West

Politician says a woman ‘jumped up’ and ‘hopped herself off’ his car

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “I suppose ... maybe one of the advantages of urban areas is that you can have school choice.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Irish Times report found majority of immigrant children attend 23% of schools

 Leo Varadkar  speaking on ‘Building a Health Service We Can Be Proud Of’ at the Fine Gael National Conference 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

First increase in number of people with health insurance since the crash

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar was responding to The Irish Times story that salary was one reason former HSE director Tony O’Connell resigned unexpectedly after nine months in his €147, 549 job. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

A ‘much-reduced’ salary was a factor in HSE head quitting

Senator Paul Coghlan: “crime overlords” involved in fuel laundering in the Border region seemed able to act with scant regard for the law.

Fuel laundering and sale of illegal cigarettes worth hundreds of millions of euro a year

Prof Crown told the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly meeting there was never a year during the Troubles when more people died from violence than died from smoking-related diseases. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Assembly members told legislation for plain packaging was under ‘sustained immoral assault’

Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin said Mr Kenny was “wrong” and “overly simplistic” in his portrayal of Fianna Fáil as the party that wrecked the economy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader accuses Taoiseach over negotiation of €50 billion write down

“This phase of our hearings will have an increased reliance on compellability and evidence,” chairman Ciaran Lynch said. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

To date, expert witnesses have appeared willingly

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Labour’s Ivana Bacik writes to Oireachtas health committee

Minister of State for equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin. File Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Landlords refusing accommodation are not breaking current law

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow pictured outside The Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin in 2009. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

‘If a human loves a human whatever their sex it’s got to be respected’

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald speaking to media on the Children and Family Relationships Bill this week. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Legislation covers issues such as guardianship, custody and rights of unmarried fathers

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told an Oireachtas committee that  third-party costs arising from the Moriarty tribunal have amounted to €4.77 million to date. Photograph: Theirry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images.

Taoiseach tells Oireachtas committee that further €2m set aside for Fennelly Inquiry

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