Taoiseach Enda Kenny opening Scouting Ireland’s newly refurbished training and conference centre at Larch Hill, Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal

Kenny praises movement’s support for young people

 Jack Chambers, Fianna Fáil TD, raised VHI’s warning over consultants without specialist qualifications.   Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Fianna Fáil TD raises VHI warning about refusing to pay if specialists not qualified

Brendan Howlin  said allowing gardaí and the Defence Forces to affiliate to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) would be a welcome step. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says heads of Bill to deliver on commitment have been approved

Mr  Ó Laoghaire referred to the case of a 15-year-old boy who was living in an atmosphere of domestic violence and alcohol

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire outlines details of two teenage deaths

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Minister says legislation from Ruth Coppinger seeks ‘to move us to one type of school’

Joan Collins said she would call the Taoiseach’s housing policy a failure.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independent TD Joan Collins calls for public housing scheme involving 50,000 units

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said in the nearly five months since the  Executive collapsed, the Taoiseach and British prime minister had failed to hold a single consultation with the parties. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Enda Kenny says regular engagement at highest level between Dublin and London

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald at Templemore Garda College with Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

PAC mix-up over signature in accounts saw Nóirín O’Sullivan accused of dishonesty

Brexit chief negotiator pledges full EU support for Ireland

Those who attacked Jimmy Campion in Roscrea, Co Tipperary “are the worst type of cowardly blackguards that God ever had the misfortune to create and bring into this world”, Michael Healy-Rae said in the Dáil. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

TD raises weekend attack on Jimmy Campion (94) and his wife Maura (87) at home

Fianna Fáil Senator Diarmuid Wilson said over a period of 35 years, Sinn Féin’s colleagues in the IRA “have removed over 24 members of An Garda Síochána by murdering them’’. Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile intervened to say he had no colleagues in the IRA. File photograph: Getty Images

Diarmuid Wilson (FF) claims SF ‘colleagues’ in IRA removed gardaí by murdering them

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “I have faith and every confidence in the Garda Commissioner to do her job.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Taoiseach under Dáil pressure on financial irregularities in Templemore college

Up to 200,000 people participated in Darkness into Light events across the country last Saturday morning. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Joan Freeman strongly criticises cutback in mental health funding

Some of the six protesting TDs can be seen seated on the far left of the image as deputies stand at the beginning of Dáil business on the first day of the new requirement to stand for the Dáil prayer.

Ceann Comhairle ignores protest by TDs calling for separation of church and State

Testimony given by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to a Dáil committee has been undermined by written records of a two-hour meeting at which financial irregularities at Templemore Garda College were discussed. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Garda official says a meeting, which commissioner called brief, lasted for two hours

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Simon Coveney. Mr Coveney rejected reports he would launch his leadership campaign on Monday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Coveney warns party of dangers of divisions with formal contest set to begin ‘before summer break’

Entrance to Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium. Photographer: INPHO/James Crombie

Minister says deal with Department of Education conducted transparently

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said it was up to Enda Kenny to decide when to leave his position. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister refuses to say whether Taoiseach would be given job if he stands down

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

‘We have a very, very bad history when it comes to women’s reproductive rights’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has refused to disclose how Ireland voted. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Saudi Arabia appointed to major international body that monitors women’s rights

Minister for Health Simon Harris said ‘every single service’ available in Holles Street would be available in the new hospital. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘Discredited order’ such as Sisters of Charity should have no input at facility, says Smith

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams: said briefing meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Brexit position paper was a “farce”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinn Féin leader criticises lack of consultation with Dáil as Bruton cites EU duties

TD and ministers pray in the Dáil chamber.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Ireland and UK only European parliaments to start business with prayer - Joan Collins

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: Council had published its arts and disability policy 2012 to 2016 to address issues of equity, access and participation.  Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys says council to publish 10-year strategy in coming months

Taoiseach tells Dáil Sisters of Charity will not have board majority

Brendan Howlin: “It is certainly not acceptable for any doubt to even exist for bishops now or into the future to say that they have any influence”

Proposed hospital has to be free of any specific religious ethos, says Micheál Martin

Fianna Fail Party Leader Micheál Martin speaks at the Fianna Fáil Annual Easter Rising 1916 Commemoration Arbour Hill Church. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil leader says many appalling IRA stories still to emerge

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald: “Work is being done on the IT system.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

Tánaiste Fitzgerald responds as Labour leader raises problems with IT system

Heather Humphreys said the increase in an annual permit for a houseboat mooring being proposed by Waterways Ireland, in the revised canal bylaws, was €4, bringing it from €126-€130. Photograph: iStock

Senator Lynn Ruane seeks amendment to Heritage Bill to allay canal users’ worries

 Paschal Donohoe says €500m could be available once the commitments the Government has made on increased levels of social welfare and funding tax reform are honoured

Minister warns ‘careful choices’ will have to be made

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “From Ireland’s perspective, it is crucial that the negotiations are conducted in a constructive and orderly way.” Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

Taoiseach says Ireland will encourage calm UK-EU approach to exit negotiations

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen said Labour’s Alan Kelly, above, was still spinning from the number of U-turns he made as a minister. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen estimates 92 per cent of households will not pay for water

Jan O’Sullivan.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Previous government right to be concerned about Garda tapes, says former minister

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald says no inquiry will produce the required outcome as long as Ms O’Sullivan remains in office. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Mary Lou McDonald introduces party motion to remove Nóirín O’Sullivan from office

Parliament Buildings in the Stormont Estate, Belfast, Northern Ireland. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Ned O’Sullivan says Northern Ireland must not see the return of direct British rule

Jim O’Callaghan: there were shameful errors by the Garda regarding breath tests “and I regret to say this [was]  dishonestly recorded on the Pulse system”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Jim O’Callaghan: A blemish on our justice system that 14,700 wrongful convictions not overturned

A deal between the Health Service Executive and the manufacturers of  cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi has been reached after lengthy negotiations. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Minister for Health annouces end to protracted talks with manufacturer Vertex

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has defended the role of Attorney General Máire Whelan in the events leading up to the resignation of former garda commissioner Martin Callinan. File photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Enda Kenny backs Máire Whelan’s actions in run-up to former Garda chief’s resignation

The leadership contest looks likely to be a two-person battle between Minister for Housing Simon Coveney (left) and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

‘Simon will back Simon. They’ll wait for the right time for it to have maximum impact’

Minister for Health Simon Harris (right) with his brother, Adam. Photograph: Adam Harris/Twitter

Simon Harris and his brother Adam discuss autism awareness in radio interview

The change in mandatory divorce wait time will require a constitutional referendum.

Separated couples are currently required to live apart for fours years out of preceding five

Bertie Ahern arriving at Leinster House for the Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit address. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former taoiseach welcomes ‘more conciliatory’ tone of recent times

Fianna Fáil has been  attacked by  Leo Varadkar in heated Dáil exchanges on the water charges controversy. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister claims party ‘once proud to stand up for things’ is afraid of Solidarity PBP and SF

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar says the  confidence and supply deal allowed individual parties to take differing positions on the issue of water charges. Photograph: Collins

Minister seeks to ‘congratulate’ Paul Murphy TD for role in determining FF stance

 Minister of State for Agriculture Andrew Doyle: “We should accept ivy as part of the community of plants found on trees.’’ Photograph Nick Bradshaw

FF Senator raises ‘burdensome’ problem of wild ivy attaching itself to trees

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister tells Dáil Caranua has a difficult job to do

The trial of Ibrahim Halawa has been adjourned for the 21st time, and is now rescheduled for April 26th.

Minister says Egyptian president has committed to intervening when trial concludes

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny said  he “retained confidence” in the Garda Commissioner. File photograph:  Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Enda Kenny says Nóirín O’ Sullivan has ability to implement recommended changes

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has asked the Government to explain why permission was granted to the UK to scramble fighter jets in Irish airspace.    Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Craughwell says no evidence of Oireachtas oversight of agreement

Clare Daly said the boy could fall asleep without warning and had smashed his teeth and broken his bones.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent TD calls for no-fault vaccine damage payment scheme

A candlelight vigil, organised by Uplift, to highlight government inaction regarding the continuing imprisonment without trial of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt was held outside Leinster House tonight. Pictured are brahim Halawa ’s three sisters, from left: Omaima, Somaia and Fatima Halawa.Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny wrote to Egyptian president appealing for Dubliner’s immediate release

The scene at Ringsend garage in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Frank Miller

Ross is happy both parties have gone back to the Workplace Relations Commission

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan at Garda HQ in Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Frances Fitzgerald seeks consensus in Dáil on how to carry out investigation into force

 President Michael D Higgins with poet Brendan Kennelly at a reception in the Shelbourne Hotel on St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, where he received the inaugural Kerry Association in Dublin Arts Award. Photograph: Julien Behal

Retired Trinity academic and poet receives inaugural Kerry association arts award

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gerry Adams says no hardening of the Border in any way

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire: said Britain does not want a return to direct rule over the North. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gerry Adams calls for election, says Northern Secretary’s contribution ‘less than helpful’

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny: strike can only be resolved by the Workplace Relations Commission. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Enda Kenny rejects calls for Shane Ross to intervene in Bus Éireann dispute

 Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: said she would consider a Patten-like commission of investigation or an independent review

SF asks how Minister can have confidence in Garda Commissioner who tells media first

Senator Michael McDowell told the Seanad there was an increasing number of judicial vacancies and it would appear that legislation on the issue had not materialised. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Senator also renews his criticism of lay majority in judicial appointments

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has  said the Government believed the level of public concern  was so profound it was time to conduct “a thorough, comprehensive and independent root-and-branch review” of the Garda. File photograph: Getty Images

Government continues to have confidence in Garda Commissioner, restates Taoiseach

Fianna Fáil believes amending the 2007 Water Services Act, which allows fines for wasting water, could be used to prevent wastage

EU commissioner says it is ‘questionable’ if fines would meet water directive

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Reaction: FF leader calls on commissioner to consider her position in absence of clarity

 Richard Boyd Barrett: old and disabled people would not use the service at night unless the stations were adequately staffed. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Richard Boyd Barrett says staff had prevented a suicide at Monkstown stop

David Norris said it was time Senators asserted their dignity. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘We got €311 in wage restitution. Oh jolly, gee, wonderful. . . it is less than €1 a day’

Minister of State for Justice David Stanton told the Seanad: said the Bail (Amendment) Bill expanded the factors a court could take into account in refusing bail. Photograph: Alan Betson

David Stanton says it will be targeted at cases where most likely to be effective

The late Martin McGuinness in November 2016 with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Brian O’Driscoll at the Aviva Stadium for the launch of of Ireland’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

McDonald calls for Government to redouble efforts to implement negotiated agreements

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was replying to a question in the Dáil by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

FF leader plans to attend crucial European Council meeting on April 29th as Taoiseach

Former bishop of Galway Eamonn Casey at a papal youth Mass in Galway when Pope John Paul II visited in 1979. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

High-profile member of Catholic hierarchy caught in scandal over fathering of son

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: ‘I am absolutely determined that anybody over the legal limit shall face a disqualification.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister plans to proceed Bill providing for automatic disqualification for drink-driving

Minister for Health Simon Harris has called on the Vatican and Irish church leaders to put pressure on religious orders to pay half the cost of compensating those abused in Catholic institutions.

Minister for Health criticises ‘pathetic and paltry’ amount paid to date

Richard Bruton: “Unfortunately, as a result of agreements put in place by previous governments, we have no legal mechanisms open to use to compel the congregations to meet these targets”

Richard Bruton calls on congregations to respect view of successive governments

Katherine Zappone: Tuam was “part of a tapestry of oppression, abuse and systematic human rights violations”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister announces ‘scoping exercise’ on expanding Tuam commission’s remit

Minister of State for Disability Finian McGrath: ‘I want to get this moving. However, I also wish to ensure and put down a marker in order that the other people will not be excluded.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Government bows to Opposition demands for broader investigation into care home abuse

Aggressive seagulls are attacking residents of the north Dublin town of Balbriggan, Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has claimed. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil Senator says residents in Balbriggan are being targeted by the birds

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he saw no reason why an interim report on the Tuam baby scandal should not be published. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Heated exchanges in Dáil as Independent TD criticises Kenny’s handling of controversy

Minister of State Finian McGrath had been strongly criticised by the opposition and two whistleblowers about the limited scope of the ‘Grace’ inquiry. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Limited scope of initial terms strongly criticised by opposition and whistleblowers

 Fine Gael’s Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has rejected a new Bill on abortion. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The Dáil debates a Bill to reduce the penalty for having a termination to a €1 fine

Independent TD Mick Wallace said he had received information which showed a young woman, known as “Ann”, was making day visits to the home until 2015.

Dáil hears claims about ongoing services, as Finian McGrath is urged to expand inquiry

Historian Catherine Corless at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Co Galway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gerard Craughwell recalls growing up in Galway under bishop’s ‘tyranny’

  Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath who confirmed on Tuesday  a commission of investigation has been set up into the care of ’Grace’ in a foster home in the southeast.  Photograph: Collins

Senior counsel Marjorie Farrelly will lead commission and report within one year

Senator Ned O’Sullivan said he had experience of the negative aspects of social media when he had, “famously, or perhaps infamously”, made a comment about the seagull situation in Dublin. Photograph: Getty Images

Fianna Fáil’s Ned O’Sullivan rails against ‘nameless, faceless people’ on social network

Richard Bruton: he said the Policing Authority had been very clear it would monitor the tribunal in terms of the commissioner’s capacity to continue to do her job. Photograph: Eric Luke

Clare Daly says Nóirín O’Sullivan’s position is untenable and she should stand down

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: he has an impressive ministerial record and  is a good Dáil performer, as are his colleagues. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Public mood may have softened but credibility issues remain for Howlin’s party

Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger has suggested that the Taoiseach’s likely successors have little interest in repealing the Eighth Amendment. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Ruth Coppinger accuses Coveney and Varadkar of being ‘old heads on young shoulders’

Members of the Traveller community  watch the Dáil debate the recognition of Traveller ethnicity, in Buswells Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says ‘it is a proud day for Ireland’ as community gains new status

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has again insisted he will not become involved directly in the dispute at Bus Éireann. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Taoiseach backs Minister for Transport, who denies not doing enough to solve crisis at company

Graffiti on Charlemont Place at the side of the Grand Canal in Dublin. Price talks on the groundbreaking but highly expensive cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi are entering a “critical phase,” Minister for Health Simon Harris has said. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

HSE and manufacturer of costly medicine in ‘critical phase’ of discussions on deal

Minister of State for  Gaeltacht Affairs Seán Kyne said there was little visible progress in developing the institutions to be established under the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Fianna Fáil Senator says 1,000 Troubles victims and families want independent inquiry

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government was committed to the establishment of a commission of investigation into the treatment of an intellectually disabled woman in a southeast foster home. File photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Enda Kenny apologises and calls woman’s treatment in foster home a disgrace

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said credit unions could currently provide mortgages to members within certain maturity limits. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Minister says members’ savings must be secure

At the launch of the publication of the HSE reports in Kilkenny are Tess O Donovan, assistant National Director HR ,Dr Cathal Morgan Head of Operations HSE Disability Services. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Two reports published on alleged abuse say four other cases must be examined

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice: “I have found some Ministers are just figureheads.”

Political jobs not as important as issues and principles, says Independent TD

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

All change in Sinn Féin as Gerry Adams likely to cede leadership to Mary Lou McDonald

Chief Whip Regina Doherty:  nothing could be further from the truth than claims this was a “do-nothing’’ Dáil. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Regina Doherty defends new politics and Fine Gael-led minority Government

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has said funding would be provided from next year to achieve the 2021 target of 25 per cent of homes being inspected. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Rate was below 2% in seven local authorities in 2014, with 55% of homes below standard

Ted Moynihan: “People like Ted are the frequently unsung heroes of the voluntary sector which makes such a significant contribution to many areas of Irish life,’’ said  Leesha Duffy of the Kerry Association in Dublin. Photograph: YouTube

Ted Moynihan named Kerry Person of the Year for ‘remarkable’ contribution

“In 2008, the then taoiseach Bertie Ahern went on a prolonged lap of honour while the country was on fire.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Aodhán Ó Riordáin compares situation around Enda Kenny’s exit to Bertie Ahern’s

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen accused the Government of attempting to bamboozle people with details. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘Shameful’ statistic shows Government policy not working, says FF TD Barry Cowen

Abolition of mandatory retirement age:  The Bill will now go to a Dáil committee. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister says serious policy and expenditure issues need to be considered

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