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

Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice: insisted that a resolution to the dispute could only be found within the terms of the overall Lansdowne Road agreement. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

There is caution on whether new proposals will be enough to prevent threatened strike

Mr Noonan and Minister for Housing Simon Coveney proposed 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. Photographs: The Irish Times

Philip Lane says bank was only partially consulted on first-time house buyer plan

Former taoisigh Charles Haughey and Bertie Ahern: The Fianna Fáil leaders brought public sector unions onside through pay raises and social partnership. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

The party finds itself at one with Fine Gael about towing the Lansdowne Road line

Minister Simon Coveney: said the €600,000 figure was included to ensure that first-time buyers in Dublin, where house prices are higher, can avail of the scheme. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Party wants cap to be reduced from €600,000 ‘mansion grant’ to €400,000

A Revenue spokeswoman said the delay was in advance of “a greater clampdown on offshore assets next year”. File photograph: iStock

People with offshore income and assets warned to settle outstanding liabilities

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has sought Cabinet approval to make further changes to the threshold up to which an income-tax rebate worth up to €20,000 can be claimed under the help-to-buy scheme, due to political pressure from Fianna Fáil. File photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Central Bank says income-tax rebate could encourage people to take on too much debt

People caught with small amounts of drugs shuld be directed towards healthcare rather than immediately convicted of a criminal offence, according to a new policy being put forward by Fianna Fáil.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times.

Policy paper also says single injection centre should be introduced on a pilot basis

The Government is to table significant amendments to one of its signature budget proposals, the income tax rebate for first-time buyers.

Central Bank is understood to have raised concerns about the Budget 2017 proposal

The controversial JobBridge employment scheme is to be closed off for new applicants from Friday, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Varadkar says controversial work experience scheme was a ‘real success’

 Brian Cowen and the late Brian Linehan. ‘Hell at the Gates: The Inside Story of Ireland’s Financial Downfall’ features contributions from Cowen, while the Linehan view is given by the former minister’s brother Conor and his aunt Mary O’Rourke. Photograph: Eric Luke

Book details fall of FF, features contributions from Brian Cowen and Brian Linehan’s family

Katherine Zappone announced the plan as part of this week’s budget. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Those likely to benefit include childminders who offer care services in their own home

Ministers will not take pay rises of €12,000 due to them next spring under public sector pay deals, the Department of Public Expenditure has said. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Sinn Féin calls on Government to ‘put a stop’ to pay increase of over €5,000 for TDs

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Wednesday the €1.3 billion package of measures in Budget 2017 “isn’t, really” in breach of EU rules. Graphic: The Irish Times

First-time buyer’s allowance ‘madness, wasteful and inequitable’, says Donnelly

Fianna Fáil will allow the budget to pass by abstaining in Dáil votes, but it is objecting to two key measures: first-time buyers scheme and subsidised childcare plan. Photographs: The Irish Times

Party chief Micheál Martin says FF took tough line in negotiations with Fine Gael

 Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath (left) and Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Dara Calleary.  File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Michael McGrath and Dara Calleary spent weeks ensuring package acceptable to FF

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at Government Buildings for the budget photocall. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Stuffing money into pockets of elderly not radical change promised, writes Fiach Kelly

Three USC rates cut, price of cigarettes up but alcohol and fuel unchanged, all social welfare payments to rise by €5 per week,(...)

Childcare policy: Fine Gael had argued for greater access to the scheme for the so-called squeezed middle of people earning up to €70,000. Photograph: iStockphoto

State subsidy of up to €900 for all children between six months and three

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar. Mr Varadkar is among the candidates to replace Taoiseach Enda Kenny when he steps down as Fine Gael leader. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Backbenchers claim Fianna Fáil using budget in latest attempt to undermine Minister

Mr Martin denied that his party was consistently targeting Mr Varadkar in an effort to damage him in advance of the Dublin West TD possible assuming the leadership of Fine Gael.  File photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The Fianna Fáil leader says he is concerned about the emergence of €200m extra budget money

Ensuring the budget has a Fianna Fáil stamp: Party spokesmen on public expenditure and finance Dara Calleary and Michael McGrath. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil will seek to distance itself from Government by returning to core values

Fianna Fáil spokesman on finance Michael McGrath and its spokesman on public expenditure and reform, Dara Calleary TD. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Divisions remain over start date of proposed €5 a week increase in old-age pension

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe and  Minister for Finance Michael Noonan are set to spend more money on higher than expected cuts to the Universal Social Charge. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

‘Fiscal space’ expands as Cabinet meets to discuss next Tuesday’s budget package

Ghost estate: A new so-called “repair and leasing scheme” will be tried out on a pilot basis over the next six months in Carlow and Waterford and will be rolled out nationally thereafter. The scheme is designed to bring vacant and unused houses back into use.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

‘Rebuilding Ireland’ repair scheme aims to provide extra 47,000 housing units by 2021

Mr Varadkar confirmed there would be an increase in the state pension announced in next week’s budget. He said: “It is fair the budget passes the fairness test.”Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister seeking additional benefits for families with children and those on illness benefit

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan speaking at the  Kennedy Summer School in New Ross, Co. Wexford, in September. Photograph: Patrick Browne.

Those who championed changes in justice must give reforms time to prove their worth

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has agreed the USC measure with Fianna Fáil and the Independent members of Government. Photo:

Budget 2017: First-time buyers may get higher income tax refund than previously flagged

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: his advisors are said to have sought advice from lobby group Age Action Ireland on what to look for in budget talks while sources say Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has already rejected a number of payment restorations. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg.

Shane Ross leads efforts on concessions to demonstrate influence in Government

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said the abolition of the 9  per cent VAT rate on hotel beds would raise €175 million and a new 7 per cent income tax rate on earnings over €100,000 would raise €464 million. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Party’s tax-raising measures include abolition of 9 per cent VAT rate on hotel beds

Sinn Féin’s €111  million childcare plan would, on average, reduce fees by €96 per week per child, said Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Party plans to raise extra €1 billion in tax despite scrapping property and water charges

Government sources say forced marriages are a “very hidden” practice and a lack of evidence does not mean they are not happening. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Justice seeks backing to include new measures in draft Domestic Violence Bill

Finance Minister Michael Noonan, whose nex tax rules for so-called vulture funds have been described as inadequate. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Oireachtas budgetary committee says further measures needed to plug legal loophole

The Natural History Museum: sources said the payment is necessary to ensure the Seanad is located near Leinster House, which will allow senators and staff to stay in their existing offices. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Upper House has been forced to find a new home while Leinster House undergoes repairs

First-time homebuyers are to be given a refund on income tax  under proposals expected to be included in next month’s Budget. File photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Minister for Finance’s proposed rebate to range between €5,000 and €15,000

The Government has committed to increasing the old-age pension by €5 in  Budget 2017.

Government also commits to extending medical card cover to 10,000 children

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has denied that she has been kept in the dark about alternatives to her plans for a subsidised childcare package. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister for Children denies being kept in the dark over alternatives to her proposals

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone had put forward a plan for a subsidised childcare scheme initially aimed at lower income families. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party members unhappy Minister for Children’s scheme neglects ‘squeezed middle’

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: “The British people cannot yet understand the consequences of what they have done.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Labour Party leader points to how little attention British voters paid to the effect of Brexit on Northern Ireland and the Good Fr(...)

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: The Government has about €1 billion to spend in the Budget, split on a 2:1 basis between spending increases and tax cuts. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

USC reductions and inheritance tax changes planned

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses a gathering of Fine Gael supporters in CHQ Building, Custom House Quay, Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Party’s election campaign was ‘dour’ and failed to respond to ‘real unease’, study finds

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar samples oysters at the Galway Market over the weekend  with Galway City Councillor Padraig Conneely (left) and Hildegarde Naughton TD. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Three-way fight will have no official moves until Enda Kenny willingly steps aside

TDs Bríd Smith  and  Ruth Coppinger at the  Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit think-in at the Hilton Hotel in Kilmainham, Dublin. “AAA-PBP will continue to challenge the neo-liberal agenda and rule of the 1 per cent,” the group said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Richard Boyd Barrett says it’s time for a new left-wing force can ‘transform Irish society’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: this week said he does not “envisage” charges “coming back”, only for certain party figures to claim they could return at some stage in the future. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil leader’s shifting position on water charges requires deeper scrutiny

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