Minister for Health Simon Harris and his bride, Caoimhe Wade, after their wedding at St Patrick’s Church, Kilquade, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Simon Harris weds cardiac nurse Caoimhe Wade, as Fine Gael colleagues look on

Denis Naughten: he described the plan as  an “initial step to set Ireland on a pathway to achieve deep decarbonisation”

Plan says agriculture should attain status of ‘carbon neutrality’ by 2050

Independent Senators sponsored a Bill last year that would allow reforms of the 60-seat chamber to happen.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Government promised to establish committee to implement reform in September 2016

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Heath Simon Harris at the launch in Dublin Castle of the State’s new national strategy on drug and alcohol use. Photograph: Collins

Taoiseach makes comments as he launches new strategy on drug and alcohol use

Protesters at a march in Dublin against water charges. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Legislation to be rushed through Oireachtas to avoid breach of EU directive

Leo Varadkar said all householders who paid water bills would be refunded by Christmas

Some 190,000 households who paid no water bills availed of €100 grant

Bin charges: almost all Ireland’s waste is collected by private companies. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

With an array of schemes and fees, waste disposal has potential as next political headache

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made the cover of the European edition of Time this week. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Taoiseach’s attack on Solidarity TD comes after he made strategic blunder last week

Galway-Roscommon deputy Michael Fitzmaurice has proposed the derelict Galway Airport site be turned into a regional stadium for Connacht. Image: Google Streetview.

Michael Fitzmaurice TD proposes idle site be used for concerts, matches and conferences

The Abhaile service was launched in October and, according to the briefing, appears to have reduced the volume of arrears cases coming before the courts.

Proposal for Circuit Court to hold sittings on certain days to deal with mortgage arrears

Kieran Conway, above, believes Michael Hayes had given the apology in the hope that it would help the relatives of those killed. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Hayes takes ‘collective responsibility’ for actions in England, including Birmingham bombing

The Waste Reduction Bill proposes measures to tackle non-biodegradable coffee containers. Photograph: Getty

Legislation would ban non-biodegradable coffee cups and offer refunds for bottles

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: Unveiling the summer economic statement. Photograph: EPA

Inside Politics: Summer economic statement comes amid flurry of political activity

A spokesman for Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran said he had decided to withdraw the Bill, prepare a memo for Government outlining its principles and have the Bill reintroduced as a Government Bill later this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran unable to progress Private Members’ Bill since becoming Minister

Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, the Minister for Communications and Climate Action was obliged to submit a national mitigation plan to Government for approval no later than June 10th this year. File photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Last plan setting out emissions reductions expired in 2012

Regina Doherty made a complaint about Catherine Kelly over online and social media comments.

Catherine Kelly stopped by gardaí over social media comments about Regina Doherty

An Garda Síochána’s head of human resources, John Barrett, swept his office for listening devices at a time serious divisions were emerging in the Garda.  Photograph: Frank Miller

John Barrett’s concern for eavesdropping indicates mistrust between Garda colleagues

Labout party leader Brendan Howlint has argued GDP  does not take into account important other factors such as the environment, social and welfare factors, and the economic and social well-being of the population. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Labour says GDP does not take into account environment, social and welfare factors

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has halved the number of Cabinet sub-committees from 10 to five. File photograph: Julien Warnand/AFP/Getty Images

Climate change and Irish language committees among those dropped by the Taoiseach

Census form: the recession and cutbacks curtailed inclusion of additional question areas. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Additional budget likely to facilitate formulation and testing of new areas of inquiry

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau plays a game of hurling with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Canadian prime minister says two countries should stay ‘positive and progressive’

The new bin charges proposals allow for the abolishing of a flat-rate fee imposed on householders by some waste companies. Instead, homeowners would have the option of paying by lift or paying by weight. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: SF argues for remunicipalisation while Cabinet calls incorporeal meeting

Minister for Communications and Environment Denis Naughten: his pay-by-weight waste  arrangements   could be the “next big political battleground after water charges”, warned  a Government source. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Officials draft countermotion to Fianna Fáil proposal for independent regulator

Senator Neale Richmond: his  committee’s report recommends new “open skies” agreements with the UK and an energy interconnector between Ireland and France. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Neale Richmond-led team urges all-island trade model like Germany’s pre-1990 accord

Former Irish ambassador to Canada Ray Bassett: suggested Ireland could remain with the UK in a customs and free trade area, while negotiating terms with the remaining 26 EU members.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Ray Bassett’s expertise not within EU and he must be called out, says Prof Brigid Laffan

One in five of SMEs  surveyed said they had requested credit between October 2016 and March 2017 and, of those, almost nine in 10 said their request had been granted. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Survey shows positive attitudes towards borrowing and willingness of banks to lend

Solidarity supporters, including TD Ruth Coppinger, posted video and messages during the course of the trial.  Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Minister for Justice says ‘issues raised around the trial which are source of concern’

Ireland, France and South Africa are bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Shane Ross to bring emergency legislation granting him ability to back tournament company

Minister firmly rejected any suggestion that Ireland should dismantle production or reduce the national herd. Photograph: iStock

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed dismisses criticism of sector’s emissions record

In the British election home-owners voted two to one for Conservatives; renters for Labour by the same proportion. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland is seeing unease at the status quo and a growing divide between the generations

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: contributed €1,700 of Fine Gael’s declared donations of €65,324. Photograph: Julien Warnand/Reuters

Standards in Public Office Commission publishes report on party political donations

Court of Appeal appointment: Máire Whelan is made a judge by President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Government’s ‘entitlement’ defence conjures memories of FÁS’s first-class flights

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, one of two ministers of state who were sacked to accommodate the changes, said she found Mr Varadkar’s comments on merit to be “very offensive”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Women’s groups criticise Taoiseach over ‘new Cabinet, same old gender imbalance’

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his Ministers of State at Government Buildings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Profiles of the 13 Fine Gael Ministers of State named on Tuesday

 Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar has increased the number of Ministers of State  to 19, one short of Bertie Ahern’s record.  File image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach’s ‘generational change’ sees 19 junior ministers appointed - but only 3 women

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is appointing junior ministers on Tuesday

Dropped junior minister: ‘He said he had to reward his supporters’

Leo Varadkar: A “thrill” to visit Number 10 for the first time. Photograph: EPA/SIMON DAWSON

Inside Politics: Theresa May gives positive comments on relationship with Ireland

Hugh Kennedy became attorney general of the provisional government on January 31st, 1922.

A brief history of Ireland’s 29 attorneys general

Waterford TD John Deasy: he is  tipped for promotion to Minister of State. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Varadkar not likely to consider those elected in 2016 when appointing Ministers of State

Charlie Flanagan: made his views on staying in Foreign Affairs known but ultimately acceded to his move to Justice. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The agony and the ecstasy as Varadkar delights and disappoints while choosing Cabinet

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD at the Data Summit in the Convention Centre, Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

UK committed to a ‘close and special partnership’, British PM tells Taoiseach

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. There is a consensus in Leinster House that a Varadkar-led Government will be edgier, more combative. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach to ‘call out’ left-wing parties while Opposition ready to challenge signalled shift to right

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.  Photograph:  Stephen Collins

A who’s who of all the faces in new Taoiseach’s Cabinet

Attorney General  Maire Whelan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tenure of outgoing attorney general, serving two governments, has not been without controversy

Michael Chadwick, the former chair of the Grafton Group,  made the maximum donation of € 1,000 to each of 13 Social Democrats candidates in the 2016 general election. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Michael Chadwick, Dermot Desmond, Paul McGuinness among those who supported politicians

Labour movement: the Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger says Corbyn and Bernie Sanders succeeded because they toured towns and cities and addressed rallies. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

Éamon de Valera said Labour must wait. Politicians here believe their time has come

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and partner Matt Barrett (left) in the stands during the 2018 World Cup Qualifying Group D match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fine Gael leader set to become taoiseach as Independent Alliance confirms its support

Newly elected Fine Gael party leader Leo Varadkar  with party members. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

New Fine Gael leader will set out his stall on Wednesday when he becomes taoiseach

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar said there was “renewed enthusiasm” across the administration for implementing the Programme for Government. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Group’s Ministers set to retain portfolios when ‘energetic’ Fine Gael leader takes charge

Eoghan Murphy was among the members arguing for reform. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Group of TDs elected in 2011 seen as a thorn in side and nuisance by leadership

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar with Pascal Donohoe. Mr Donohoe will now bring the public pay proposals to Government for approval. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Varadkar welcomes agreement which he says improves pay in affordable way

Simon Coveney ends his speech at the Mansion House as Leo Varadkar applauds: Coveney’s campaign did not begin in earnest until February and his supporters say Varadkar had a headstart. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Despite huge TD support for Leo Varadkar, Coveney surpassed himself at the hustings

‘Concepts of left and right don’t work in modern politics and probably never really worked in Ireland because of our history’, says  Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Varadkar is relaxed, confident and combative, especially when it comes to Sinn Féin

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: if he wins the Fine Gael leadership race, he is expected to offer Simon Coveney the role of tánaiste.  Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Simon Coveney looks set to win vote of party members as campaign enters final days

A ruling that the ban on asylum seekers looking for work is unconstitutional will have implications for the asylum process and  for Brexit negotiations. File photograph: The Irish Times

Department of Justice warns of threat to the Common Travel Area with UK

Sisters of Charity say they will have ‘no involvement in this new company’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Can anything stop Leo Varadkar becoming king of the jungle?

Fine Gael Leadership Candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney on the Hustings last week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Polling station one of 26 around the country for members to choose Coveney or Varadkar

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys in Mullingar, at the launch of a plan for rural Ireland. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Minister says contenders keen to ensure leadership race does not divide party

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and deputy leader Catherine Martin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Party says imperative on Government to help workers made redundant

Simon Coveney:   said he could still win the race to succeed Enda Kenny

Sister of TD claimed Mitchell O’Connor is supporting Varadkar to save her ministry

Fine Gael leadership candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney debate with each other at the start of the Hustings, at the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Analysis: With nothing to lose, underdog status gave Coveney fire in the belly

Simon Coveney supporter leaves an event at the Hotel Kilmore in Cavan on Tuesday evening. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

‘All it takes is for six or seven to change their minds who had previously declared for Leo’

Happier times. Some small farmers in the party favour Varadkar because they believe Coveney represents big farmers more, while others feel Varadkar has been more willing to press their flesh during constituency visits

Grassroots see party’s new election system as mixed blessing

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar says Sinn Féin are the biggest threat to the State. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Leadership candidate says he will bring back ‘United Ireland Party’ as a tag line for FG

We love Manchester: terrorists will continue to find new means and new targets and to generate new levels of outrage. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Inside Politics: Ireland needs to be prepared for a terror attack of its own

Simon Coveney has dismissed the notion that the number of TDs and Senators who have pledged support for his Fine Gael leadership rival, Leo Varadkar, has left him with a “real mountain to climb”.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Contest for party leader could be far more close-fought than thought, says candidate

Simon Coveney said to be in ‘good spirits’

Coveney camp says leadership contest to succeed Enda Kenny is ‘not over’

 Michael Noonan and Christine Lagarde,  chief executive of the IMF in Dublin castle. Photograph: Alan Betson

Michael Noonan: very able operator, with a wily and wicked gift for communication

Enda Kenny joked that there would be ‘miaows’ over the UK’s pet passports. Photograph: Reuters

Taoiseach says Ireland needs to look after own interests when ‘niceties are dropped’

 Leo Varadkar and  Simon Coveney: both leadership candidates will now get to show their mettle.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Inside Politics: Fine Gael’s proxy war breaks out in the public

Varadkar supporter: Eoghan Murphy, Minister of State for  Finance. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Winning candidate will be expected to reward loyalists and appease rival camp

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with his constituency colleague and Fine Gael leadership contestant Simon Coveney in Cork on Monday. Photograph: Jim Coughlan.

With a renewed front bench, the Fianna Fáil leader still has eyes on taoiseach role

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving to launch the latest edition of Nealon’s Guide on Tuesday. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

Senator says Taoiseach cited Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper and knowing ‘the time was right to go’

The political reality for Enda Kenny is that once the departure date is named, the first line of his political obituary will be written. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach set to name departure date and set succession race in motion for FG blue bloods

Report on the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisor to the Oireachtas says it has faced a significant increase in its workload. Photograph: David Sleator

Report recommends extra five staff members and €500,000 annual budget increase

The initiative has been welcomed by AsIAm, the national advocacy organisation for autism. Photograph: iStock

Bill will require agencies to be accountable in their provision of autism services

The Social Democrats Bill, which will be published by co-leader Catherine Murphy (left) and Dublin councillor Gary Gannon, proposes to strengthen  penalties considerably on owners of vacant, undeveloped sites.  Photograph: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

New Bill to be published by the Social Democrats proposes the addition of stronger sanctions to new laws introduced by Government (...)

Thousands of gorse and bog fires occur each year, many  during the prohibited period between March and the end of August.

Ministers accused of ‘turning a blind eye’ to enforcement of rules on vegetation fires

 Some members of the Public Accounts Committee (from left)  Josepha Madigan Shane Cassells, Alan Farrell and Catherine Connolly who are examining Nama’s role in Project Eagle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Seán Fleming responds to letter from Nama chairman Frank Daly

Concerns about a cervical cancer vaccine having a negative impact on those who receive it have no scientific basis, a senior health official has said. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Decision not to take jab leaving a large number of girls at risk of cervical cancer

Dara Quigley was described by her family as a bright and intelligent person with an enduring commitment to creating a fairer society.

Dara Quigley took her own life days after footage of her detention by gardaí was published

This week Fine Gael will get 12 minutes of speaking time; Fianna Fáil will get 10 minutes; Sinn Féin will get 8 minutes; with other parties and groups being given slots of between two and three minutes. Photograph: iStock

Solidarity-PBP says regular attempts to take slots from small parties would be resisted

The Minister for Justice supports Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, but support has ebbed away from every other party

Inside Politics: Focus turns to extent of commissioner’s knowledge of irregular financial arrangements at Garda College

Michael Noonan: the commission will examine  whether actions and decisions taken by the Minister  were appropriate

Government announces terms of reference for commission looking at Nama sale

Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his visit to Canada on May 4th. Photograph: Reuters/Christinne Muschi

FG will be unable to hold a vote until autumn if Enda Kenny does not stand down in June

Vera Twomey and her supporters carry out a sit-down protest for rights to medicinal cannabis at the gates of Leinster House in Dublin on Thursday afternoon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sit-down protest by Vera Twomey and supporters prevents cars from leaving Dáil

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

Senators attend a press conference on a plan to extend the franchise to emigrants. Photograph: VotingRights.ie

Seanad members from all parties back proposals on extending the franchise

Maria Mann from Fairview, Dublin; Susan O’Brien from Kilcock, Co Kildare; Eliska Komarkova from Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; and Genna Cowan from Co Donegal  outside Leinster House, Dublin with supporters. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Whole families are affected from Belfast down to Kerry. There is no help’

The move of the  National Maternity Hospital has proved controversial. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: There is a distinct anti-clerical sentiment among the public

A senior Government source said it was inevitable the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital  would be changed

Harris given month to find solution to controversy over ownership of maternity hospital

How did the Ministers fare? Clockwise from top left: Simon Coveney, Shane Ross, Leo Varadkar, Pascal Donohoe. File photographs: The Irish Times/Collins

In the scoring Varadkar probably falls short of a 6 - and Coveney is worth more than a 5

A new survey commissioned by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has found a majority of self-employed people would be willing to pay more in order to receive more PRSI benefits. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Survey finds that 74 per cent of self-employed people would be interested in a system of voluntary extra contributions to access m(...)

Independent Alliance TDs Sean Canney, John Halligan,  Shane Ross, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran  and Finian McGrath on the plinth at Leinster House. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran was to take over from Seán Canney on Government’s anniversary

Leo Varadkar and Emmanuel Macron at an election rally in Paris.

French presidential candidate is front-runner to win next weekend’s election

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said a public ownership element is being included in the legal agreement that will be reached by the NMH and by St Vincent’s. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister to examine the possibility of a long-term lease for new maternity hospital

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said: ‘No Brexit deal amounts to a very, very bad deal, not only for the UK but for Ireland and the EU.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister criticises British leader’s claim that ‘no deal with the EU is better than a bad deal’

Who is best in class? Who must try harder? Harry McGee gives part one of his Cabinet review

Chief operations officer Kay Connolly (left) with Minister for Health  Simon Harris and Master of the National Maternity Hospital  Dr Rhona Mahony with the model of the proposed new facility.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Public ownership element being included in pact to be reached by NMH and St Vincent’s

2017: Simon Harris TD, with Eilish Hardiman, group CEO of the children’s hospital, and John Pollock, project director NCH,  making an announcement regarding the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The latest completion projection is now late 2021 or early 2022, almost 40 years after the first proposal

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