Nama board members William Soffe, Brian McEnery and Oliver Ellingham arrive  at the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Project Eagle discussed at special Public Affairs Committee meeting with directors

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘This obligation is as much an opportunity as it is an obligation’ – Denis Naughten

In his opening statement, William Soffe told the committee the board stood over the sale, the sales process, the price achieved and also rejected any suggestion that the agency’s Northern Ireland advisory member Frank Cushnahan had any specific knowledge or bore any influence.

Board members defend sale of Northern Ireland portfolio during PAC appearance

Ireland will be the second last EU country to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change which was brokered in the French capital last December. File photograph: Adam Berry/Bloomberg

Move will end weeks of uncertainty over Government’s intentions on ratification

President Michael D Higgins: critical of the European Central Bank’s “extraordinary structure”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘Unaccountable forces’ make it difficult to relieve people from poverty, says Higgins

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone: says she plans to oppose the motion brought forward by AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger. Ms Zappone is in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment but told supporters the best approach was to allow the Citizens’ Assembly do its work and make recommendations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Group of five may oppose AAA-PBP motion calling for repeal of Eighth Amendment

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: a spokesman says two gardaí reportedly named by her at a meeting with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and others had already been widely identified in the public domain before the meeting took place. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Claim Frances Fitzgerald committed breach over Garda whistleblowers in 2015 denied

A huge majority of Dubliners are in favour of the capital city having a directly-elected Mayor, according to the results of an opinion poll for the Labour Party.  The poll, commissioned by Labour Dublin spokesman Kevin Humphreys, has shown that three out of four voters living in Dublin believe it should have its own elected mayor.

Poll on the issue commissioned by Labour Dublin spokesman Kevin Humphreys

Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe emerged from Budget 2017 with considerable credit. Photograph: The Irish Times

Party’s point men show restraint when handling myriad demands and media scrutiny

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney  defended the €600,000 limit.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Cowen cites ‘blatant unfairness’ of €600,000 threshold in Coveney’s plan

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Mary Mitchell O’Connor. When details of the idea were leaked to the media, it was shot down by the Taoiseach as inequitable. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Pre-budget suggestion of plan for workers coming back to Ireland resembled Minister’s

Budget 2017: There is  a new measure to incentivise users of large vehicles to switch from diesel to natural gas.  File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Modest steps to help meet low-carbon economy target and begin fulfilling Paris Accord

Brian  Hayes said the North’s relationship with Britain under an ‘associate member’ status could be  analogous to the current relationship between the EU and Gibraltar, or to Norway’s relationship with the Union.

MEP also suggests Irish State could pay North’s annual funding contribution

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan before the announcement of  Budget 2015. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The configuration of Government makes for an undramatic budget

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said there was “not anything surprising” in the views of Northern Secretary James Brokenshire that both Irish and British governments work to strengthen Ireland’s external borders after Brexit. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Fianna Fáil reacts to Tánaiste’s ‘nothing surprising’ in bolstering external borders

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said the comments made by Donald Trump about grabbing women in a 2005 video raise questions about his fitness to be president of the United States.  Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Frances Fitzgerald says ‘locker room banter’ should not become an excuse for sexual assault

 Britain is considering using entry points to the Irish Republic as its front line in combating post-Brexit illegal immigration, according to Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire. Photograph: PA

James Brokenshire says countries would work to tackle illegal immigration post-Brexit

From L-R: Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Taoiseach Enda Kenny,  Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.  ‘The scope of the inquiry needs to be widened to include all whistleblowers who have brought matters of ill-treatment to the attention of the Minister,’ solicitor Trevor has said.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Solicitor for whistleblower Garda Keith Harrison says inquiry is flawed and must be widened

Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan. Brendan Howlin has said it was a ‘worry’ that  Mr Callinan’s SIM card had never been accessed by the Fennelly Commission. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Labour leader concerned Fennelly never got access to Garda commissioner’s card

Dr Kurt Hubner’s study shows North would benefit enormously, with more modest gains for the Republic, if there was a united Ireland. Photograph: Paul Faith.

Research shows reunification could deliver boon to enlarged state worth over €35bn

Fianna Fáil’s  Dublin spokesman John Lahart (front right)  at Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil proposal would see citizens of city and county vote in mayoral elections in 2019

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

Fr Eoghan Haughey, pictured at the funeral in 2006 of his brother former taoiseach Charles J Haughey. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fr Haughey was a member of the Oblate order and died in community’s Inchicore residence

Fianna Fáil spokesman on finance, Michael McGrath and the party’s spokesman on  public expenditure and reform, Dara Calleary. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Michael McGrath TD says pensioners have waited for years already for increase

Labour leader Brendan Howlin with party colleagues Jan O’Sullivan, Sean Sherlock and Jed Nash at their alternative budget launch. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tax cuts low on party’s fiscal agenda in favour of investment intervention in key areas

A Librarian working at the Dun Laoghaire LexIcon library. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

New arrangement drops Irish language requirement even in libraries in Gaeltacht areas

 Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

FF spokesman on transport, tourism Robert Troy criticises what he terms ‘inordinate delay’

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

Auditor concludes millions of euro might have been lost over Project Eagle portfolio in North

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir of Sinn Féin: appeared before an Oireachtas committee to discuss the implications of Brexit. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir says there is doubt over shortfall of potential €1.1bn post-Brexit

Chief Justice Susan Denham, who has criticised the 20-year delay in setting up a judicial council. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Announcement follows Chief Justice Denham’s criticism about 20-year delay for body

Take four: Minister for Education Richard Bruton, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Minister for Transport Shane Ross and Taoiseah Enda Kenny. Photographs: The Irish Times

Thorny problems and contentious issues loom, not least the future of this Taoiseach

Enda Kenny at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly. “This is a period of uncertainty,” he said, adding that the Budget will be Brexit-proofed. Photograph: Eric Luke

Taoiseach says implications from triggering of article 50 by Theresa May will be profound

The allegation that Gerry Adams sanctioned the assassination of Denis Donaldson should be investigated, said Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photographs: The Irish Times

SF chief rejects role in killing and abhors credence accorded to ‘anonymous’ accuser

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD with Molly Twomey (5) from Mucklagh, Co Offaly at the 2016 National Ploughing Championships, Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Fianna Fáil leader criticises response of Gerry Adams to BBC ‘Spotlight’ programme

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  at the party think-in at the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Analysis: The Fianna Fáil leader is looking strong but still keeping his powder dry

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has warned  against over-the-top criticism of Europe following the European Commission’s ruling that Ireland’s tax deal with Apple was illegal State aid. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Leo Varadkar warns against over-the-top criticism of EU which ‘has been good for State’

Martin McGuinness has not said when he will stand down from his position as the effective Sinn Féin leader in the North and Deputy First Minister.  Photograph: Getty

Deputy First Minister’s comments follow Gerry Adams’s plan for change of leader

‘People like Frank Cushnahan and Ian Coulter and Sammy Wilson and others, it’s up to them to contribute to that. If they are not prepared the people of Ireland can make up their own minds,’ Martin McGuinness said. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

‘There is a responsibility on everybody North and South to contribute’ to Nama inquiry

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams in conversation with Caitríona Ruane.  His departure will be on his own terms. Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Party drafting 10-year plan and Gerry Adams accepts inevitability of exit within that period

Frank Daly has  done a series of interviews defending Nama. Photograph: Collins

Inside Politics: Nama challenges finding by watchdog of ‘probable loss of value to State of up to £190 million’

Paschal Donohoe:  the Minister intimated that the clash between two of the State’s most powerful public bodies was partly behind the reason to initiate an investigation. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

National Asset Management Agency rejects report’s critical conclusions on portfolio sale

 Michael Noonan: he participated from hospital by telephone in the Cabinet discussion on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on Nama

Minister is expected to be discharged from hospital before the weekend

A report into Nama’s sale of Project Eagle has found the agency lost £190 million (€220 million) on the deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Enda Kenny agrees to inquiry into sale of North loans as watchdog publishes report

In the Republic, only two forms of inquiries have the power to oblige witnesses to attend. The first are tribunals of inquiry, the second are commissions of investigation. File photograph: Getty Images

Harry McGee: Effective inquiry would require new legislation on both sides of Border

When Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe announce the 2017 budget in October, the total available will be just over €1 billion, split two-one in favour of spending over tax. That means tax cuts of only about €340 million (if no new taxes are raised). Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The Government will have €1bn to play with, but they won’t be losing the run of themselves

Minister for Health Simon Harris does not intend to meet consultants in Waterford to discuss a report on cardiac services at the city’s hospital.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister’s response to cardiac services review may lead to showdown with Halligan

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten: not in favour of increasing the licence fee at this time. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Naughten agrees with report and vows to ‘improve’ operation of TV licence system

Ciaran Conlon was a special adviser to Richard Bruton in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Employment between February 2011 and earlier this year. He had previously been Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny’s director of communications when the party was in opposition. File photograph: Collins Photos

Ciaran Conlon restricted from relevant links with Department of Jobs until May 2017

If the group’s  recommendations  had been adopted, it would have closed off many loopholes and impinged on aggressive tax minimisation arrangements, such as the one used by Apple. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Apple companies at heart of EU ruling had tax avoidance structure identified by group

Independents 4 Change TD  Mick Wallace has spoken out about the latest ‘Spotlight’ allegations concerning Nama. Niall Carson/PA Wire

BBC programme includes secret recording of former Nama adviser receiving £40,000

The Dáil is debating parliamentary approval for the Government’s decision to appeal the European Commission decision in the Apple tax case

Inside Politics: Deputies are recalled almost three weeks early to debate appealing the EC decision

Apple tax: A briefing paper released by the Department of Finance said the Revenue is obliged to collect the €13bn which will be deposited in an escrow account. Photograph: Getty Images

Department of Finance releases briefing paper to 158 TDs ahead of Dáil debate

Appeal inevitable as main Opposition party offers support to Government.

US president Barack Obama says it is in everyone’s interest ‘to put a stop to all of this’

Micheál Martin’s argument that the EU Commissioner’s decision was a Trojan horse to get at our corporation tax rate was “pure sophistry”.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael drop their rivalry when FDI policy looks threatened

Before coming to her decision to support the appeal on Friday, Katherine Zappone held two separate meetings with Attorney General Máire Whelan lasting three hours in total. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Phil Hogan rejects claim EU Commission’s decision was politically motivated

Senator Kevin Humphreys has criticised the decision by the National Transport Authority to prioritise the Luas Cross City project.  “There are more people using Dublin Bikes than the Luas lines.”  Photograph: David Sleator

Suspension of work on 29km Dublin walking and cycling route shows ‘skewed priorities’

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: “National authorities cannot give tax benefits to some companies and not to others. This is the level playing field that the commission is always working to defend.” Photograph: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Government boosted by strong support from Micheál Martin for its response to ruling

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. The proposed tax on sugary drinks is motivated by concerns over rising levels of obesity in Ireland, especially among children. Photograph: Getty/iStock

Minister likely to delay levy until 2018 but soft drinks industry opposed to ‘regressive’ move

 Michael McGrath: the Fianna Fáil finance spokesman says he wrote to the Minister and the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, urging them to close the loophole. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Use of funds’ charitable status to be tackled in Finance Bill, department vows

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross has said the Coalition Government comprising Fine Gael and members of the Independent Alliance could last for another three or four years.

Minister for Transport says Government could last another three or four years

The Government’s appeal against the European Commission’s ruling on Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland will rely on three major arguments. Illustration: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

‘How could FDI come to EU if they thought deal could be overturned a generation later?’

Independent Alliance Ministers Shane Ross and Finian Mc Grath speaking to reporters ahead of the Cabinet meeting about the Apple tax ruling. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Noonan to appoint ‘independent expert’ to review Irish tax arrangements

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (right)  with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.  File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Noonan and Kenny suggest move is part of wider attack on 12.5% corporate tax rate

Independent Alliance Ministers Shane Ross and Finian McGrath speak to the press on arrival at Government Buildings for a Cabinet meeting on Friday. The group said it had always stressed that it had wanted a fair system of taxation for multinational companies. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Group said it always stressed it wanted a fair system of taxation for multinationals

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe at Government Buildings where they announced that the Cabinet agreed to appeal the €13bn Apple tax ruling. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister says European Commission trying to end Ireland’s 12.5% corporation tax rate

Talks continued last night with Independent Minister Zappone calling for commitment to tax justice. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Dáil to be recalled to debate appeal against European Commission’s decision

Peter Sutherland: ‘I am absolutely mystified about what is coming out of London.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Former EU commissioner rejects David Davis’s assertion on Border as ‘ridiculous’

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said she needed time to read and understand what was a complicated judgment. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Katherine Zappone joins Independent Alliance in delaying appeal decision

Members of the Independent Alliance Shane Ross and Finian McGrath refused a request from Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny to agree an appeal against the Apple tax ruling. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Split over tax decision threatens future of the Government, say Ministers

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone: welcomed the agreement of her Cabinet colleagues to postpone a decision on  appealing against the European Commission judgment.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin and Independents say Dáil should reconvene early to discuss €13bn ‘windfall’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘We will have discussions with colleagues. It is important that colleagues would have the opportunity to have any anxieties or any questions raised that they want answered’.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Shane Ross and Finian McGrath seek ‘strong motion on tax’ in return for supporting appeal

The 20-page document has set out how Government members should respond to the commission decision on the Apple state aid case.  Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Document circulated before ruling says European Commission is hurting Ireland’s reputation

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has backed calls for an appeal to the European Commission’s ruling on Apple’s tax affairs. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

SF calls for public inquiry into ‘tax avoidance scheme’ while FF backs decision to appeal

Independent Alliance leader Shane Ross. Former member of the alliance Michael Fitzmaurice said the decision threw up an interesting quandary for Mr Ross, who has been outspoken in the past about tax avoidance measures by multinationals in Ireland. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Members of Independent Alliance uneasy about challenge given previous stance on tax rates

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: Opposition TDs dispute his and the Department of Finance’s view that the  billions in back taxes could not be spent on public services. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Independents undecided over whether to support Noonan’s plan to appeal tax ruling

Who was mayor of London until May this year? Photograph:  EPA/Jeremy Lempin

‘Dublin isn’t competing with Limerick or Waterford. Its rivals include London, Paris, Edinburgh, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona. It’s c(...)

Simon Harris, Leo Varadkar, Katherine Zappone and Simon Coveney.

Part two of our rundown of how Ministers performed over Government’s first 100 days

Senator Kevin Humphreys: “We need somebody who stands up for Dublin and articulates the real needs for the city.”

Dublin-based Kevin Humphreys says Cabinet’s programme largely focused on rural Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has found his footing in this administration; Richard Bruton has gone about his work quietly while Michael Noonan has numbers to crunch ahead of the budget. But Shane Ross has failed to shine. Photograph: The Irish Times

While colleagues are showing improvement, Shane Ross reveals little enthusiasm for the job

Minister Denis Naughten: “There are no chances of me joining Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael or the Green Party for that matter.” Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Independent Minister who fell out with Taoiseach in 2011 praises his leadership

Finian McGrath: “I want to ensure that every adult with intellectual disability and physical disability will have rights to services in the state and the right to equality of treatment.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath says further delays unjustifiable

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is to launch a survey of 20,000 self-employed people to find out if they are willing to pay higher social insurance in return for more State benefits. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Review aims to determine if group is willing to pay higher PRSI in return for entitlements

The Independent Alliance’s John Halligan  and Shane Ross  at Leinster House.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Isolated Alliance members set to recruit ‘boots on the ground’ in Government Buildings

Independent Minister for Transport Shane Ross.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Ministers have been running the State through deals and diluted solutions

Independent Minister of State calls for prostitution to be regulated

 Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan at Iveagh House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Charlie Flanagan says member states acknowledge State’s ‘unique’ circumstances

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has announced plans for a new National Cyber Security Centre. Photograph: Alan Betson

New National Cyber Security Centre will aim to prevent attacks on digital databases

The proposed ‘smart’ agricultural policy allows an increase in agricultural production while at the same time fulfilling our Green House Gas emissions targets. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Analysis: Motive behind climate study admirable but may prove to be wishful thinking

James Reilly: criticised at the Fine Gael meeting. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Reappointed deputy leader James Reilly takes brunt of criticism at party meeting

Make no mistake about it. Enda Kenny’s career as Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader is drawing to a close. But how quickly? This year or next? File photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach responded poorly to difficult week but likely to still be in place for budget

 Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams  at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Sinn Féin leader says Government needs to review strategy for dealing with Britain

Theresa May, pictured with her husband Phil, is on course to succeed David Cameron as British prime minister. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Inside Politics: Insects fossilise in rocks quicker than a FG leadership decision

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the last thing the country or Fine Gael needed was ‘instability, navel-gazing and uncertainty’. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister for Health says it is ‘premature’ for backbench TDs to call for Enda Kenny to step down

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Monday he had no ‘intention of being diverted from that work that I have undertaken and for which I have received a mandate to fulfil’.

Fine Gael leader tries to calm speculation on his future by saying he has a mandate to fulfil

Limelight: Kenny’s demeanour this week seemed resigned, exhausted, unsure. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

There will be no heave against Enda Kenny – if he goes when he says he will

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Close supporters of Mr  Kenny are considering tabling a motion of confidence in his leadership to the party’s TDs and Senators this week. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Move is designed to ‘draw a line’ under Fine Gael leadership row

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. “If the election is less than a year away,” said a Fine Gael TD, “He’s a lame duck and has to go.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Vacuum in weakening Fine Gael as early election in prospect after con of ‘new politics’

Joe O’Toole has repeated his support for water charges and the polluter pays principle

Inside Politics: Chairman faces calls for resignation after repeating support for water charges

 Senator Catherine Noone as she addresses the morning session of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly with on left Aengus O Snodaigh TD and on right Margaret Murphy O Mahony TD. Photograph:  Maxwell’s

British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly debates implications of Brexit

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