Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has rejected as ‘quite simply untrue’ claims by Solidarity TD Mick Barry that the Government had an agenda in the Jobstown trial. Photograph: Collins Photos

Tánaiste says it is ‘quite simply untrue’ to say the Government had agenda in this case

John McGuinness: Called on Minister for Justice  to insist the courts speak directly to the families of wards of courts. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

John McGuinness claims c ourts failed to account for up to €500,000 losses in wards-of-court funds

Fergus O’Dowd: he said“we trust lay people who are selected as jurors” and have full confidence in their decision-making in cases

Róisín Shortall calls for more control and monitoring of District Court judges

An  anti-fracking campaign group in jubilant mood after the fracking Bill was passed  banning all fracking in Ireland. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Private Members' Bill passed in Seanad after passage earlier through Dáil

Mary Lou McDonald, who said the announcement  of the ending of flat-rate bin charges would result in families struggling to make ends meet being hit with new price hikes. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach defends end of flat-rate bin charges to ‘put environment first’

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Taoiseach defends achievements as Minister - 20 Bills in six years ‘reasonably good record’

Minister for Transport Shane Ross. Photograph: Alan Betson/File

Shane Ross denies having ‘vendetta’ against judiciary

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said third-level institutions such as UCD, NUI Galway and Trinity College and others should be allowed to train barristers. FIle photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Boyd Barrett claims situation ensures ‘well-vetted elite’ decides who joins legal system

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan highlighted the ‘integrity and professionalism of the Irish judiciary, and their contribution to Ireland’s modern democracy’

Almost 10 hours set aside over three days for Second Stage of Judicial Appointments Bill

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described as devoid of common sensea decision to separate an elderly couple who sought nursing home care together. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Leo Varadkar sorry for what Wexford couple ‘endured at the expense of bureaucracy’

Dogs Trust has warned  that controversy around cases such as the halting in the UK of the export of greyhounds from Ireland to China were seriously damaging to Ireland’s animal welfare reputation. Photograph: iStock

Government warned of ‘untracked, untraceable’ exports to deplorable animal welfare regimes

Developers are to be given new incentives  to encourage them to  continue building houses

New incentives offered to secure co-operation and avoid insolvency

Garda Representative Association: Dermot O’Brien, the organisation’s president, and Frances Fitzgerald, the minister for justice, in Co Carlow in 2015. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Oireachtas to focus on Garda association once Templemore irregularities reported on

The social welfare fraud campaign  was conceived by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when minister for social protection. Photograph: The Irish Times

Almost 5,000 complaints received since Varadkar ‘cheats’ campaign, says Doherty

Niall Ó Donnghaile has expressed concern about the status of ethnic minorities and non-EU citizens resident in the North.

SF appeals to Government to change law for long-term non-Irish residents

Ivana Bacik said the referendum on the repeal of the eighth amendment on abortion needed to be held by the end of February or early March next year. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘No women should be denied services in Ireland,’ Seanad told

Fianna Fáil TD Fiona O’Loughlin highlighted her concerns about Child and Family Agency Tusla which she said was “not putting the child first”.

Foster mother had been ‘fighting for counselling and supports’ for boy, Dáil hears

Labour leader Brendan Howlin: claimed the Government  “is giving away the people’s investment at less than what it is worth. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste confirms sale will go ahead with share value established today

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy: TDs rejected his  amendment to the Green Party motion by 84 votes to 46 and also refused a Fianna Fáil amendment by 93 votes to 37. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Green party motion passed to fix ‘appalling construction standards’ of boom building

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he was precluded as a member of the Government from discussing who was in the Cabinet room or who said what. Photograph: PA

Tánaiste says it is ‘outrageous’ to suggest any undue pressure was put on the President

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said Máire Whelan (above) was the best person to be appointed. He said the Government acted entirely within its constitutional powers. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Unfortunate her appointment as judge has been overshadowed by political row - Brendan Howlin

Minister for Health Simon Harris   announced the review as TDs raised the case of Thomas Power, above with his wife Bernadette on their wedding day last September. He died   as he was being transferred from University Hospital Waterford to Cork on Sunday.

Reivew of primary cardiology services following death of Thomas Power (39)

Varadkar says he does not believe in summary justice and kangaroo courts

Taoiseach reiterates confidence in Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has been urged to show independence in the role. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Appeal made as Dáil votes to renew anti-terrorist and organised crime laws

Michael Ring  told the Dáil that some post offices “have a very bright future, and some of them have very serious difficulties”. Photograph: Getty Images

Ó Cuív claims some holding on for package as there is no living to be made in post offices

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty was paid  €15,829 for her role as Government whip but  “no such position exists under law”, Brendan Howlin told the Dáil. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Mary Mitchell O’Connor will not get ‘top up’ as Taoiseach will not prioritise necessary law

‘Dublin room rates are highly competitive compared to other European city destinations,’ the Irish Hotels Federation said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Writers’ centre director says tourist industry should look beyond Joyce, Beckett and Yeats

More than 1,000 nurses sought proof-of-qualification certificates in 2016 to allow them seek employment abroad.  Photograph:   Frank Miller

Simon Harris: Number of nursing jobs in Ireland at highest level since 2011

‘We respect you but that doesn’t mean we’re going to spare you.’ Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dublin Fingal TD claims Taoiseach moving ‘chairs on Titanic’, ensures iceberg collision

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed there will be a referendum on the Eight Amendment to the Constitution on abortion next year.

Micheál Martin claims role of ‘super junior’ minister being abused with four appointed

Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil on Wednesday

‘I do not know him well though he and I once attended the same pilates class’

Leo Varadkar with  President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin where he was appointed Taoiseach. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Micheál Martin says Fine Gael leader’s views on most economic topics ‘right-wing’

 Enda Kenny arrives at Government Buildings in  Dublin for his last day as Taoiseach. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Shane Ross says Enda Kenny has done ‘fantastically noble job for Ireland’

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

‘This has never been about me but always about the challenges the people of our country face’

There were 2,709 self-harm presentations in 2013 to the seven hospitals in the Dublin northeast region. Photograph: iStock

11,500 people attended hospital for self-harm in the four-year period to 2015 in Dublin northeast region

Medical experts say three people die every day as a result of alcohol use. Photograph: The Irish Times

FG leader introduced legislation as minister for health but proposal stalled in Seanad

Government has been defeated after Fianna Fáil abstained in a Dáil vote on the Fair Deal scheme and its impact on farmers and small businesses. Photograph: Alan Betson

Rural TDs win vote for removal of discrimination against farmers and small firms

“Vehicles like quad bikes, dirt bikes and scramblers are being used in many of our towns and estates by people as young as four or five years of age to . . . cause many problems for the local community.” Photograph: Getty Images

Sinn Féin introduces Bill to enable gardaí seize vehicles illegally used in ‘public space’

  Roisin Shortall TD: raised  concerns about the issue of two public hospitals,  St Vincent’s and  St Michael’s, within a private corporate entity. Photograph: Collins

St Vincent’s as private body ‘has no right to dictate Government policy’ warns Shortall

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar at the launch of the Welfare Cheats campaign in April. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Department had said there was one case but Minister says there were 11 cases

The offender availing of the third payment option will also avoid more penalty points than those issued under the original notice.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste expects payment rates to increase from 73 per cent

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran: said the issue had been raised with him by a constituent who had been raped at the age of 19 and whose attacker  went on to sexually assault three more women. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran’s bill will punish sex offenders who ‘ignore all rehabilitation efforts’

A fracking facility in Preston:  Ireland  will join four other EU member states – Scotland, France, Germany and Bulgaria – and regions of a number of countries in banning  fracking on land on land. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

No offshore ban as Richard Boyd Barrett accuses Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of ‘political machinations’

Exchanges were mixed with levity and seriousness in Mr Kenny’s likely last verbal battle with the Opposition after six years. Photograph: Oireachtas TV screengrab

Taoiseach suggests it is also time for Adams to stand down as SF leader wishes him well

Micheál Martin: “Since the peace process we lost a lot of corporate intelligence”

Kenny questioned about National Security Committee in wake of Manchester attack

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: “Are you going to continue to keep the commissioner in her place?” the Solidarity TD Mick Barry asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Enda Kenny rejects Solidarity call to ask Nóirín O’Sullivan about phone himself

Ibrahim Halawa: the Dubliner has been in prison in Egypt since August 2013

Cairo trial’s 24th adjournment a ‘shocking undermining’ of Dubliner’s human rights

Minister for Health Simon Harris said “nothing is off the table” in relation to the  future of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Most senior Garda position in watchdog vacant for eight months, documents show

Dachshund pups  at an illegal puppy farm in North Tipperary which was raided  by the ISPCA and gardaí. Photograph: Fergal Shanahan

‘Industrial-scale dog-breeding’ is damaging Ireland’s reputation, says Clare Daly TD

It will be 2025 at the earliest before overseas citizens will be eligible to vote. Photograph: Alan Betson

Government approves start of work on improving voter registration process

Independent TD Catherine Connolly, who described Caranua as a classic example “of an institution becoming more important than the people it is meant to serve”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Caranua operating as though ‘more important than people it is meant to serve’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Minister for Health Simon Harris at the site of the National Children’s Hospital, at St James’s Campus, Rialto, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

People Before Profit’s Gino Kenny compares leader’s ‘massive pension’ to nurses’ salaries

Richard Bruton: said  the sale of land was a matter for the Christian Brothers

Bruton says it would be ‘disappointing’ if education of children is compromised

Members of the Garda Emergency Response Unit take part in a training exercise. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Enda Kenny announces meeting on terrorism following Manchester bombing

Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace made claims about Cerberus as the Dáil debated the terms of reference for the commission of investigation into Nama. Photograph: Eric Luke

TD makes claims as former High Court judge is confirmed as chair of Project Eagle inquiry

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘You have brought your children to a concert venue. You leave them outside as they go in to an adventure. To think some of them never came back.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Dáil pays tribute to victims and condemns suicide bombing at Ariana Grande concert

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: entitled a pension of about €126,000 a year, plus a lump sum on retirement of €378,000, the Dáil was told. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Retiring politicians and public servants also benefit from favourable tax rules

The Taoiseach  will receive an Oireachtas pension based on his years as a TD as well as a pension based on his time as an office holder. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Enda Kenny’s retirement lump sum has been estimated at about € 378,000

Tributes have been paid in the Dáil to Michael Noonan who announced he will stand down as Minister for Finance and retire from politics at the next general election. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Tributes paid to Fine Gael Minister who is to retire from politics at next general election

The Dáil has voted to suspend the sale of shares in AIB after an apparent gaffe by the Government. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Government fails to oppose Labour motion amid claims FG TDs distracted by Kenny exit

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has announced his intention to step down. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Kenny describes Noonan’s contribution to restoration of economy as ‘extraordinary’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  at the RDS for a British Irish Chamber of Commerce conference on Thursday morning. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Paschal Donohoe staunchly defends Kenny legacy against scathing SF, Solidarity attacks

 Sinn Féin defence spokesman Aengus Ó Snodaigh said a highly decorated detective reportedly took a case against An Garda for bullying, “alleging that he was forced to put illegal phone taps and traces on innocent people” and that no authority was given to track their phones.  File Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

System for judges to examine Garda phone tapping records is mere ‘rubber-stamping’

Mr Varadkar has launched a TV, radio, poster and online campaign with the message, Welfare Cheats Cheat us All. Photographs: The Irish Times

Martin claims Minister said tackling cheats would save €506m when real swindle €41m

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’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Frances Fitzgerald. File photograph: Houses of the Oireachtas/PA Wire

Allegations an activist was wire-tapped are ‘shocking’, Richard Boyd Barrett says

Keen Enda Kenny observers suggest the Taoiseach is still reluctant to “release the hand of power”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cabinet members not declaring their choice: ‘they’ve learnt a shut mouth catches no flies’

Brothers, Etienne (left) and Sabastien Licciardi, from Inchicore at the reopening of Goldenbridge cemetery on St Vincent’s Street, Inchicore, Dublin 8, and annual Daniel O’Connell commemoration. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Rededication ceremony also celebrated 170th anniversary of Daniel O’Connell who campaigned for and opened the Inchicore graveyard (...)

 LÉ ‘Eithne’ on a rescue operation in the Mediterranean in June 2015. Photograph: Irish Defence Forces

Paul Kehoe insists ‘no delay’ in deployment of vessel to Mediterranean to rescue refugees

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said Tusla has a limited role where there is no evidence of a current risk of sexual abuse to children. She  said experienced social workers were dealing with high-priority cases. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Over 350 retrospective disclosures of child sex abuse reported in January-March 2017

Dara Quigley died on April 12th.

Investigation and GSOC inquiry underway following death of journalist and blogger

 Minister for Children Katherine Zappone:  State will be obliged to provide aftercare plan for 600 teenagers after September 1st. Photograph: Eric Luke

Funding secured to recruit 18 aftercare managers, says Minister for Children

Brexit chief negotiator pledges full EU support for Ireland

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: completed review will be presented to the Oireachtas no later than September 2018. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bill introduced in Seanad to allow 16, 17-year-olds to self-declare gender identity

Scorched land near Cloosh Valley, Co Galway, as members of the Defence Forces make their way across bogland after extinguishing gorse fires. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Forestry destroyed in area ‘five times size of Phoenix Park’ in Cloosh Valley, says TD

BioAtlantis, a Tralee-based indigenous company, was granted a licence to harvest 753 hectares  of kelp (above). File photograph: Getty Images

Michael Collins TD outraged at licence to allow harvesting of seaweed in Bantry Bay

Sinn Féin president Gerry  Adams said blasphemy should have no place in the Constitution. He said the programme for government committed to holding a number of referendums, including one on the offence of blasphemy. File photograph: Getty Images

Taoiseach says other referendums ‘backed up’ and last blasphemy prosecution was in 1855

The Robin Hill apartment complex in south Dublin

TD says Nama refused to sell 15 apartments to council but sold block to Cerberus

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

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said 500 reports of suspected social welfare fraud had been received in the week after the campaign launch on April 18th. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Mick Wallace says Leo Varadkar would make more money if he targeted big business

People who receive the once-off annual domiciliary care grant as full-time carers of people with special needs would be eligible for the scheme, an estimated 80,000 people. Photograph: Getty Images

Under new Bill 80,000 people could benefit from scheme which could cost €70m a year

Seán Sherlock: said microplastics were an entirely unnecessary source of pollution and likely to have environmental impacts. Photograph: Alan Betson

Legislation bans beads that get injested by fish and enter human food chain

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said during the debate: “I’m not standing, no matter what I’m told to do, because my religion is my business and is not up for public scrutiny.”

Prayer retained along with 30 seconds of silent reflection by 97 votes to 18

Minister of State Catherine Byrne said that according to the latest HSE data, 135,000 patients did not attend new appointments last year. Photograph: Alan Betson

TD exasperated that SMS reminder mechanism not in place across State system

John Fitzpatrick at the Citizens’ Assembly. Richard Bruton said the Taoiseach’s approach to the abortion issue was a Citizens’ Assembly followed by an Oireachtas committee and then a move to legislation. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Middle Ireland’ may be more progressive than administration thinks, says Bríd Smith

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  Photograph: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Family waiting for explanation for son’s death by driver who should have been in jail

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

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  claimed Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar had launched a national campaign on welfare fraud which overstated savings by more than 1,000 per cent. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin claims social protection fraud overstated by 1,000%, housing by 100%

Leaks were given to a German newspaper about the dinner meeting last week between British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

As Irish Government publishes position paper, rationale against two-track talks questioned

The Government has often struggled to make up the numbers for debates that start before noon even though there are 158 TDs. Photograph: Alan Betson

Halving of quorum for debates before noon agreed by all sides without debate

Under proposals agreed by the business committee, the traditional Dáil prayer will continue to be said both in Irish and English, while a period of 30 seconds for silent reflection will also be introduced. File photograph: Alan Betson

Solidarity TD criticises decision to discuss proposals to continue with tradition at 10pm

Two friends, Nathan Fullerton (17) and Nathan Farrell (18), died when the car they were in crashed through a wall and then into a tree. Photograph: North West Newpix

Two teenagers died when the car they were in crashed through a wall and into a tree

The Willow Wheelers peloton prepare for the 160km charity cycle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Drought and famine-afflicted Pokot region of country to benefit from cycling club’s efforts

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald:  said significant progress had been made in resolving long-stay asylum cases. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish Refugee Council highlights lack of support for people who were granted asylum

Social Democrat TD Róisín Shortall at the launch of the Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2017 at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Social Democrats introduce legislation in Dáil seeking to end ‘baptism barrier’

 Independents4Change TD Clare Daly has warned  that houses in north Co Dublin  are likely to fall into the sea because of a delay in carrying out coastal protection work. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independents4Change TD Clare Daly calls for immediate action to protect homes

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin said there was a “huge gulf between the Government’s words and the Government’s action when it comes to climate change.” Photograph: Getty Images The Environmental Protection Agency says Ireland is falling hopelessly behind in meeting emissions targets set by the European Commission for 2020. Photograph: Getty Images

Catherine Martin says State faces penalties of up to €5 billion without policy reversal

The Sinn Féin motion calling for Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to be sacked was defeated by 98 votes to 46. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin move fails as Dáil votes against effort to give Policing Authority more power

The Dáil has adjourned by agreement until Tuesday May 2nd - 19 days’ time.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Ceann Comhairle tells politicians to get some rest after ‘frenetic’ political activity

Fine Gael, its Independent Government partners and Fianna Fáil backed the report on the future funding of water as the Dáil accepted it by 96 votes to 48. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Minister to consider how to issue refunds after House votes to accept Oireachtas report

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