Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the launch of the new all-island free travel pass in February 2007. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Yearly charge of €50 could recoup €37m and help save scheme that was ‘not sustainable’

The report said free travel could be “a passport to leisure, time with family, for some a way to get to work and others to help them attend their hospital appointments”

Government report warned scheme needed increased funding or significant reforms to ensure its viability

 Flights, trains and ferries:  The paper outlines work that has already been done to defend against attacks, identifies gaps in existing defences and proposes further action. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

European Commission study warns such assaults could destabalise a country

Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell: Doubts Taoiseach is suitable to lead Ireland in Brexit talks. Photograph: Alan Betson

Party activists in Dublin Bay South constituency unimpressed by ‘meandering rhetoric’

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Jim McGrath follows Alan Cantwell in resigning from post in Department of Jobs

Kate O’Connell said the “future leader” of Fine Gael must be involved in the formal talks on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Photograph: Alan Betson

FG should not ‘blindly accept’ Taoiseach as best person for Brexit talks, says O’Connell

  Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses  Fine Gael supporters in CHQ Building in  Dublin. The party in total collected €429,190 from membership fees, but €104,320 was from Ministers, TDs and senators. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sipo release accounts showing party took in most money in 2015, followed by Fianna Fáil

Finian McGrath: “I think politics has changed. I don’t think the bigger parties are going to get the big bloc votes they used to get before. There will always be a role for Independents.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dublin Independent and Super-junior Minister says he will be standing in next election

President Michael D Higgins: not yet said if he will run again. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

‘Lazy politics’ to return Higgins without a contest, says Independent Alliance Minister

Minister of State Finian McGrath: “In fairness to him, he is the glue at the moment and nobody knows what would happen if there was a leadership contest.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister of State says Kenny best placed to lead Government following Brexit

Sean Canney: “We have enough law in this area, and I am not sure we need any more law. We need to enforce the law that is there.”

Sean Canney: Older people in constituency who drive to pub and do not drink to excess

Simon Harris: the question is whether he  wants to stay in Health for invevitable  battles, or escape as others have in the past. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Simon Harris faces major fight to succeed in department where many have failed

Government chief whip Regina Doherty has said there “was a deal done” during the Government formation talks to have an accelerated contest. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Vote could be restricted to parliamentary party members to reduce timeframe

Minister for Health Simon Harris finds himself exactly where others have before: apologising for a system that does not work. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Service is well funded by European standards, but problem is not just political

The latest measures are an expansion of the previously announced €40 million “winter plan” but no extra funding has been allocated from the Government. Any extra funding will have to be found from existing HSE resources.

Staff needed to cover extra work, while some patients taken to private hospitals

 Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has been discharged from hospital. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Communications was struck by vehicle while cycling earlier this week

Regina  Doherty (right) said Helen McEntee would ‘walk past me in the corridor and wouldn’t even blink her eyes’.

Minister to raise concerns in Fine Gael after Chief Whip said pair did not get on

 Regina Doherty: “To be fair to Fianna Fáil, they are incredibly good when they are good and they are bowsies when they are bowsies. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

‘I have a way of getting what I want without falling out with people’

Regina Doherty:  believes Fianna Fáil is already questioning trust in the confidence and supply deal – which has led some Ministers to accelerate plans to get as much work done as possible in case the Government collapses. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘No reason’ for Fianna Fáil to back minority administration if party’s popularity grows

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone (above) and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald will seek Government approval for a “special project office” to respond to  needs of children separated from  loved ones by war and terror. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Move to bring 200 unaccompanied children to Republic expected to be approved by Cabinet

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten was held overnight for tests at Portiuncula Hospital in Co Galway, which has been on “full capacity protocol” for several days. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister transferred to Galway University Hospital for test but due for release on Wednesday

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney: Plan centres on “affordable rental” model.

Coveney says those in such accommodation will pay 70% of market rate in same area

Frances Fitzgerald: ‘The Bill will introduce, for the first time, statutory rights for victims of crime.’ File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

New measures will give victims more rights in accessing information and obtaining help

Leo Varadkar and Frances Fitzgerald are Simon Coveney’s opponents to succeed to the office of taoiseach. Photographs: The Irish Times

Full process as laid down in party rules should apply, says Minister for Housing

A referendum on Irish unity is allowed for in the Belfast Agreement.

Germany cited as case for how to deal with North if united Ireland chosen in future poll

Katherine Zappone: The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has said that the current system of guardians is too ad hoc, as well as unregulated. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Proposals will set out professional standards but won’t likely lead to big cost big reduction

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney: Wide-ranging plan. Photographs: The Irish Times

Development of Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway needed as population expands

Simon Coveney:  “Dublin runs the risk of overheating at a time when there are significant economic opportunities arising as a result of Brexit”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister’s briefing paper says population and economic activity will continue to east side

Barry Andrews: he held a seat in the Dún Laoghaire constituency for Fianna Fáil between 2002 and 2011, when he lost out in the party’s post-bailout electoral meltdown

Former Goal chief previously held Dún Laoghaire seat for party

Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty: Proposed route would pass through areas of her constituency. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Chief Whip refuses to rule out resigning from role over opposition to overground cables

Ministers were alarmed at how close the State came to an unprecedented strike by more than 12,000 gardaí last month. File photograph: Getty Images

Constraints on Garda industrial action and trade union status possibility to be debated

 The plans allow for an income tax rebate worth up to 5 per cent of the price of a home to a value of €400,000, allowing for a maximum rebate of €20,000. Photograph: Frank Miller

Lack of cost-benefit analysis of scheme ‘sets a dangerous precedent’, officials warned Minister

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan overrode the concerns of his officials to introduce an income tax refund scheme for first-time house buyers.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Michael Noonan was warned the plan would drive up house prices, documents show

 Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney: has given his TDs the fight with Fianna Fáil they were pining for. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tensions with Fianna Fáil tackled as Minister for Housing attempts to call their bluff

Simon Coveney’s “rent predictability” plan sets out proposals for so-called “rent pressure zones” and imposing limitations on the level of rent increases allowable on residential properties in these zones. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Simon Coveney offered to outline areas outside Dublin and Cork to be assessed for caps

Enda Kenny has threatened to withdraw the Government’s strategy for tackling the rental crisis. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says Government will withdraw plan unless Fianna Fáil accepts rent cap

Certain local electoral areas will be designated “rent pressure zones” if the annual rate of rent inflation has been more than 7 per cent in 12 of the previous 18 months  Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Stop-gap measure set to prevail for three years until house supply meets demand

 Simon Coveney:   concerned about leaks before announcement of  housing plan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Acceptance but little enthusiasm in Fine Gael for Minister’s intervention plan

The “rent predictability” plan sets out proposals for so-called “rent pressure zones” and imposing limitations on the level of rent increases allowable on residential properties in these zones. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister’s proposals would see rent rises in Dublin and Cork capped at 4% a year

Minister for Housing  Simon Coveney (left) and Minister of State for Housing Damien English at the publication of the Government’s rental strategy. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister says counter-intuitive proposals are designed to provide ‘rent predictability’

The limit on rent increases at 4 per cent a year will remain, which is being seen as a significant victory for Fine Gael. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Landlords say State responsible for rental crisis and interference making it worse

Simon Coveney: belief that his work on the housing and water fronts will stand to him in any leadership contest.  Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Legislation before Christmas will cap annual rent increases in Cork and Dublin at 4 per cent

Rising rents have been blamed for contributing to the homelessness crisis and Minister for Housing Simon Coveney is proposing measures targeting the private rental sector. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien /THE IRISH TIMES

Coveney to announce moves on private rent sector in bid to tackle homelessness

 Independent Alliance members Seán Canney, Kevin “Boxer” Moran , Finian McGrath, John Halligan and Shane Ross. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Alliance TDs are standing behind Shane Ross as each has his own individual battle to win

AGSI sources said the union would likely be prepared to accept some sort of “ground rules” in exchange for access to the Workplace Relations Commission, while GRA sources noted that other European police forces had waived their right to strike in exchange for higher pay. File photograph: Getty Images

Sources say any such moves would be done in partnership with Garda associations

Austin Stack (left), son of Brian Stack, a prison officer murdered in 1983, confronts Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams during a press conference in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Sinn Féin knows legacy issues will continue to dog party

 Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell claimed two Sinn Féin TDs had knowledge about the murder of prison officer Brian Stack.   Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw.

Fine Gael TD claimed Sinn Féin deputies Martin Ferris, Dessie Ellis have knowledge of killing

Mr Varadkar says greater spending on infrastructure is needed to ensure EU states keep pace with global competitors

Minister argues for relaxing EU fiscal rules to allow more spending on infrastructure

 Micheál Martin: Other EU member states must show solidarity with Ireland as it deals with the British exit from the EU, he told the Institute of International and European Affairs. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Northern Ireland’s vote to stay in EU cannot be ‘lightly dismissed’, says FF leader

 AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham: She  said the result backs its contention that allowing gardaí use of State industrial relations agencies works.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Proposal set to cost exchequer €50m agreed to by 95% of AGSI membership

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald will bring the Bail Amendment Bill to cabinet today.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Bill will also make it easier to attach electronic monitoring devices to those released on bail

Members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) including Kieran O’Neill (centre) at the Workplace Relations Commission during talks in November. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Members did not believe better offer than €50m package would come, say GRA sources

Minster for Housing Simon Coveney is expected to launch his strategy on the rental sector within the next fortnight. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Noonan and Donohoe among those opposed to interventions in the rental market

Construction Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon, a  former Progressive Democrats junior minister, argued for smaller apartments, similar to the standards that apply in the UK. Photograph: Eric Luke

Government reacts angrily to construction federation’s lobbying for more concessions

Barry Cowen, Fianna Fáil’s spokesman with responsibility for water charges, said it had not been “scientifically proven” charges were the best way of discouraging excessive use.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Oireachtas committee to examine expert commission’s report

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, back in 2008, surrounded by Cabinet colleagues, announcing his resignation. Photograph: Frank Miller

Fianna Fáil Dublin Central proposal to let Bertie Ahern rejoin unlikely to be withdrawn

 Micheál Martin: “Bertie resigned four or five years ago after the Mahon tribunal. He’s retired, effectively, from politics. I don’t see him coming back into the party, I don’t think that’s a prospect.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Any application by former taoiseach to rejoin FF deemed threat to ‘fresh party’ identity

Micheal Martin sought to expel Bertie Ahern in 2012 over the findings of the Mahon tribunal, although the former taoiseach resigned first.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘The views that I articulated four years ago still stand’ Fianna Fail leader says

Bertie Ahern: said he would consider rejoining the party but insisted he would not run for election again

Former taoiseach believes he could help party to win back his old Dublin Central seat

Sinn Féin whip Aengus Ó Snodaigh who brought a proposal to Dáil business committee to allow time for statements on Castro.  Photograph: Sara Freund

Parties fail to agree on setting House time aside for statements on late Cuban leader

Bertie Ahern: perhaps he misses the political limelight and public adoration. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

Micheál Martin must decide if FF can handle baggage of pariah coming back in from cold

Parteen Weir on Lough Derg. Photograph: Alan Betson

Group says enshrining Irish Water in public ownership should be considered

Irish Ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall: “We hope the UK will remain part of the single market.” Photograph: Malcolm McNally

Irish Ambassador to Britain says Brexit has created uncertainty over trading relations

Enda Kenny with British prime minister Theresa May. The Taoiseach said “we have enough on our plates at the moment” without holding a Border poll. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/Reuters

Transition deal ‘inevitable’ as process more difficult than allowed for in Lisbon Treaty

First minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a press conference at the British-Irish Council summit near Cardiff. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Independent Minister Shane Ross had insisted on no new judicial appointments

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Kevin Duffy ‘will do an outstanding job as the chairman of the public pay commission’. Photograph: Inpho

Public service unions say any suggestion Duffy should step down would create a ‘serious problem’

A meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on Brexit heard a presentation from Minister of State for Finance Eoghan Murphy on how Ireland could capitalise on financial firms who leave the city of London

EU exit on agenda for Taoiseach’s meeting with Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Fitzgerald to make 11 appointments after commissioner warned of vacant ‘critical’ roles

Tax affairs: Those with offshore assets have until May 1st to make a voluntary disclosure before the Revenue uses the “full rigour” of the new system. Photograph: Getty

Software will cross-reference Irish taxpayers’ records with details in over 100 jurisdictions

If Fianna Fáil  makes gains across  capital, Micheál Martin could be on his way back to Government Buildings. Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons

HQ closely monitoring local organisations and likely candidates ahead of next election

Minister for Health Simon Harris: one Minister says he “can be a bit windy. He likes to be popular.” Photograph: Eric Luke

As a winter of discontent looms, Enda Kenny is desperately trying to keep Ministers onside

Eoghan Murphy: “It seems clear to me that we need better and more pro-active information from insurance companies.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Eoghan Murphy aims to tackle high costs as well as confronting Irish ‘claims culture’

Minister of State for Finance Eoghan Murphy is expected to announce the establishment of the Personal Injury Commission in the coming weeks. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Personal Injury Commission to focus in particular on payouts for soft-tissue injuries

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Spanish counterpart Luis de Guindos during a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels this month. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Commission bid to ease austerity likely to put more pressure on Ministers over public pay

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster and Northern Ireland Minister for the Economy Simon Hamilton (left) at Government Buildings in Dublin for discussions on Brexit. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Meeting was friendlier than previous encounters between the two Irish leaders

UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson: Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan told the Brexit committee Mr Johnson had given no indications how Britain would approach its EU negotiations.  Photograph:  Nick Ansell/PA

Mary Mitchell O’Connor likens UK stance to husband who wants divorce and all the assets

Spain may take a tough line on Gibraltar after Brexit. Photograph:  Thinkstock images

Leaked Government memo sets out other EU states likely to favour continued ties with UK

Labour leader Brendan Howlin: “For too long these agencies have been allowed to lie to women in the most grotesque fashion.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Harris ‘appalled’ at ‘false and offensive information’ given to women about abortion

Minister for the Arts Heather Humphreys: former director of the National Museum Pat Wallace has said this is the second attempt by her to “grab” at the museum. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

Ceann Comhairle and Oireachtas delegation try to ease concerns of museum staff

A new system of payments to middle income families to subsidise the cost of high rents is being considered by the Government. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Government is discussing new payments in order to ease pressure on social housing

US president-elect  Donald Trump in  Shannon Airport in 2014: “Trump’s policies pose the greatest challenge yet to the Irish economic model of attracting US multinationals.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Enda Kenny and Ministers believe it is in Ireland’s interest to keep president-elect on side

Reaching out: Barack Obama meets with Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

New corporate tax regime set to attract multinationals back to US

Enda Kenny had a 10-minute phone call with president-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday. Photograph: Composite/New York Times/Eric Luke

Taoiseach says president elect was ‘complimentary’ about Irish policy despite adviser’s tax warning

Donald Trump at Shannon airport during his visit Ireland in 2014. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

What does this mean for the undocumented Irish? How will it affect corporate tax rates?

Donald Trump   was expected to visit his golf club in Doonbeg, Co Clare, earlier this year but it was cancelled. At the time, Mr Kenny said he had no plans to meet Mr Trump. Photograph: PA

Enda Kenny accused US president elect of using ‘racist and dangerous’ language

Enda Kenny  previously criticised Mr Trump for using “racist and dangerous” comments. File photograph: Eric Luke

Taoiseach pressed in Dáil on criticisms of Trump’s ‘racist and dangerous’ comments

Enda Kenny: urged successors to the Fine Gael leadership to be patient. Photograph: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Speaking at Fine Gael event, Taoiseach jokes about interest in top job within the party

Child migrants from the “Jungle” camp board buses to refugee centres around France on October 24th, 2016. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Under draft motion, State offers to take in children dislocated from Calais ‘Jungle’

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has issued a strong warning that any additional pay rises for public servants will be at the expense of State services. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Government faces knock-on claims from groups in the public service after Garda deal

Bernard Harbour of Impact:  “It is in the best interests of all public servants  that their pay and working conditions are negotiated collectively.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

In light of gardaí offer, commission on public pay must report before any new negotiations

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Friday the Goverment does not have an endless pot of money and remained committed to implementing the Lansdowne Road public sector pay deal. Photograph: PA

Kenny says Government does not have ‘endless pot of money’ and is committed to pay deal

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has indicated that public sector workers could have their pay levels restored quicker than had been initially envisaged. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Successor to Lansdowne Road agreement should be approached with caution, say TDs

Members of the Garda Representative Association including president Kieran O’Neill right arriving at the Workplace Relations Commission. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

GRA declines to call off strike but agrees to put any recommendations to ballot

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe: effectively acknowledged that the demand for pay restoration could come months earlier than planned. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government hopes Labour Court talks will provide pretext for postponement of strike

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and the Minister for Public Expenditure and  Reform Paschal Donohoe at yesterday’s joint press conference. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister says deal may come quicker than envisaged under Lansdowne Road pact

 The Central Bank says it is “engaged with Rush Credit Union in relation to ongoing supervisory issues”. Photograph: Matt Kavanag

Gardaí investigated suspected disappearance of €700,000 from institution earlier this year

 Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe at a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Minister says members of force could be held liable for any damages during work stoppage

Young people from Sheriff Street in north inner city Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

New taskforce wants firms in the neighbouring IFSC to help local young people

Minister  Leo Varadkar: said he didn’t consider that he was doing a good job unless he was personally attacked by Mr Martin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar hits back in escalating row with Fianna Fáil leader

The Government is offering to pay members of An Garda Síochána for certain hours that are currently unpaid under measures designed to avert an unprecedented strike next week. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Move aims to avert next week’s planned unprecedented strike by gardaí

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