The coalition government led by Garret FitzGerald raised taxes in order to limit the need for spending cuts. Photograph: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Northern stalemate and a Labour wipeout: the landscape of 30 years ago is very familiar

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny with the party’s then director of elections Frank Flannery, in 2008. Photograph: Eric Luke

Party’s strategy for next general election to give TDs greater involvement in process

Minister for finance Alan Dukes in Leinster House on budget day 1983. In 1984 he warned his cabinet colleagues that the financing of public expenditure for the remainder of that year could not be assured. Photograph: Jack McManus

Minister for finance drafted 1984 memo to persuade cabinet to cut spending

‘Joan Burton is in a very different position. Her TDs gave vent to their insecurities last July and regardless of how the polls move between now and the election her job is secure.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Inside Politics: Enda Kenny’s challenge is how to reverse the tide, if it’s not too late

‘An important reform which has already changed the way the Dáil does its business has received little or no attention. Pre-legislative scrutiny now allows the members of Oireachtas committees to make an input into legislation before it is framed.’ above, Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The Coalition has been criticised for breaking its reform promises, but it has implemented reforms, such as the requirement for ge(...)

“If I have the opportunity on the next occasion to appoint a cabinet, it will be a 50:50 on merit, of men and women,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny told  political correspondents at Leinster House. Photograph:  Eric Luke

Taoiseach’s post-election commitment an attempt to woo women voters to Fine Gael

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “Leo is very able and very bright but he doesn’t know the meaning of loyalty,” said one of his colleagues. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Leo Varadkar’s skill as a politician may be tempting him to be too ambitious

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: his views  on loosening abortion  legislation were not shared by all his colleagues. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Frances Fitzgerald says changes to the law a task for the next government

Enda Kenny said Leo Varadkar was speaking in a personal capacity when he told the Dáil on Tuesday that the current constitutional provision on abortion was too restrictive. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times

Enda Kenny said Minister spoke in personal capacity, not time to look at constitutional change

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