Staff and students with Gardaí outside Leinster College language school in Harcourt St, Dublin, which closed its doors in 2014. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Jan O’Sullivan says Government ‘clean up’ of system aims to protect national reputation

Michael Conaghan: “The council is where you get local things done: parks, swimming pools and so on. The Dáil compared to that is very disappointing.”

TD for Dublin South Central says he found Dáil ‘disappointing’

Tánaiste Joan Burton said the Government was keeping ‘a very close watch’ on events in Greece. File Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Joan Burton says Government keeping a ‘a very close watch’ on Greece events

The former secretary general of the Department of Finance Kevin Cardiff has resumed his evidence to the Oireachtas banking inquiry on Wednesday.

Patrick Honohan said Ireland was in talks with the EU/IMF as Government denied it

The Department of Finance’s chief economist John McCarthy has told the banking inquiry he could have counted the number of economists working in the Department’s economic division when the crisis hit on one hand. Image: Oireachtas screen grab.

Economist John McCarthy says Department of Finance seen as ‘boy who cried wolf’ before crisis

Minister Simon Coveney said previously the cow in Louth was most likely to have contracted the disease, if it proves to be the case, from contaminated feed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister says ‘complete picture’ expected in case of Robunt cow found dead on dairy farm

‘Head of a Dominican Monk’ by Rubens from the Russborough House collection

Ministers pleased by emergence of ‘white knights’ willing to buy Russborough paintings

“I’ve options both inside and outside politics, and I’m keeping my options open,” Louth Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick has  said. File photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Fine Gael deputy won’t say if approached by another party or asked to run as Independent

The Irish people will not be asked to vote in an other referendum before the next general election, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has confirmed

Labour Party’s next general election manifesto will include a proposal to repeal the 8th

 Minister of State for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said on Tuesday “I just heard this morning that so-called white knights had emerged to acquire them on behalf of the State and that would be a very welcome and good development”. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Board set to postpone London auction after emergence of Irish donors

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said European leaders attending a summit in Brussels yesterday agreed   Greece should remain within the euro zone. Photograph: The Irish Times

Greece has been granted a two-day reprieve in its campaign for new rescue loans

Le cabinet de Physique de Bonnier de La Mosson, by Jacques de Lajoue (1734) formerly part of the Russborough House Alfred Beit Foundation has been acquired by Leonard Blavatnik, who is believed to have paid over £500,000 for it.

Britain’s richest man Leonard Blavatnik buys Beit painting in private Christie’s deal

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys has said her department did not have the funds, estimated to be in the region of €12 million, necessary to buy the paintings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Difference of opinion exists over what Ministers were told by the foundation in 2013

The  restored West Wing at Russborough House, in Blessington, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

‘I’m flabbergasted at suggestion it was put to us in 2013 they had to sell part of collection’

 Russborough House, in Blessington, Co Wicklow. The trustees who run Russborough  are due to attend an extraordinary board meeting in Dublin, amid continued criticism of their   decision to sell nine paintings from the house. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Heather Humphreys says she cannot stop auction of paintings from Beit collection

Children play  in front of the restored west wing of Russborough House at its opening in 2012. The Alfred Beit Foundation has issued a statement saying the Beits themselves sold artworks to assist in the upkeep of the stately home in Blessington, Co Wicklow.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Foundation says it notified of financial situation before plans to sell Russborough art

Minister for Children James Reilly: “I am aware that there are concerns being expressed by a number of groups with regard to the position of young persons and children.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister wants Bill to go further in recognising rights of those aged 18 and under

Venus and Jupiter, by Peter Paul Rubens. The painting is one of the pieces from the Beit collection that is to be sold in order to raise funds for Russborough house. The trust that runs the house has refused a request by Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys to cancel or delay the sale of valuable paintings.

Heather Humphreys asked trust to reconsider auction of paintings from collection

Former tánaiste and ex-minister for justice Michael McDowell’s son Hugh has been hired as a parliamentary assistant to Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton.

Hugh McDowell will work with Lucinda Creighton as a parliamentary assistant

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has described one and two cent coins as “a weight in our pockets that we don’t need”.

Brendan Howlin backs proposal to withdraw small coins after successful pilot scheme in Wexford

A protest outside Clerys in support of the department store’s workers. The store closed on Friday with the loss of 460 jobs. Photograph: Ciaran D’Arcy

Protest in support of workers held outside Dublin store as KPMG meets union officials

A spokeswoman  for Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys said the Minister “was not consulted in advance and she had no role in the decision-making process” on the sale of the Beit paintings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

An Taisce calls for political intervention while Minister says she was not consulted

Detail from Sir Peter Paul Rubens’s Venus and Jupiter, oil on oak panel, which is to be sold by the Alfred Beit Foundation to raise funds for the upkeep of the house. The old master artwork has been estimated to sell at £1.2 million to £1.8 million.

Russborough House trust has sent works including Rubens to Christie’s to raise funds

Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris  said he would judge the new party  on its  substance when it is established, if it is established. Photograph: The Irish Times

Jillian Van Turnhout not interested in joining Murphy, Shortall and Donnelly group

Catherine Murphy speaking about IBRC and Denis O’Brien during Dáil proceedings on Thursday, May 28th, 2015.

Denis O’Brien letters to Ceann Comhairle urged action over Murphy Dáil claims

Pearse Doherty (left) claims Mr O’Brien had a €315 million loan from IBRC extended in late 2013.

Department confirms Doherty allegation over €315m loan extension will be examined

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly: “It’s not a big issue as far as I’m concerned”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister for the Environment rejects criticism, saying ‘there’s a bit of politics going on’

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, a barrister and academic, said her family circumstances had changed when asked by The Irish Times why she had ruled herself out of her party’s upcoming selection convention.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Labour Senator says ‘I’m going to stay in my own area, Dublin Bay South’

Tánaiste Joan Burton has made clear she does not want junior bondholders in the former Anglo Irish Bank to be paid. Photograph: Collins

Michael Noonan says there may not be enough money for Anglo junior bondholders

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said on Monday the investigation would be worthless without examining the role of the department and the Minister. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach says commission of investigation into IBRC transactions would be independent

The Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly will tell his Cabinet colleagues 75,000 homes have had lead detected in their pipes by Irish Water. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Alan Kelly to establish a grant system to deal with lead contamination

Independent TD for Kildare North Catherine Murphy outside the Department of Finance after meeting Minister for Finance Michael Noonan about the IBRC inquiry. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says head of commission ‘will not be dictated to’ by Government

Taoiseach reacting to group’s concerns over spring economic statement

Commentary on Sgt Michael Galvin case ‘inaccurate and inflammatory’ - Gsoc

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said: “I’ve always been a very staunch defender about the right of elected representatives in the Dáil to be able to speak their minds, say their piece, with responsibility.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach says Government is bringing investigation ‘to a different level’

Simon Harris says there was no evidence to suggest Michael Noonan knew about the sale of Siteserv in advance of the sale being announced in March 2012. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Taoiseach says there is ‘no evidence of wrongdoing’ ahead of the widened inquiry

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said the Commission of Investigation had to be carried out properly. Photograph: Collins

Minister defends timescale for IBRC inquiry, says work must be carried out properly

Denis O’Brien: said many people had contacted him with messages of support.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Judge sets out reasons for granting injunction against RTÉ

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin with Tánaiste Joan Burton in Dublin on Wednesday. /Collins

Labour Minister insists Lansdowne Road agreement fair

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD has accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of having “failed citizens”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil leader said Enda Kenny ‘has failed citizens’ on O’Brien row

The High Court clarification on media reporting of Dáil comments by Independent TD Catherine Murphy about businessman Denis O’Brien’s financial affairs has been welcomed by Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin.

Businessman writes to Ceann Comhairle to complain about Catherine Murphy speech

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said people struggling to have their true gender recognised endure “torture” and the Government was seeking to “relieve that pain”.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Brendan Howlin says people trapped in wrong identity endure torture

Pat Rabbitte  said he had served 30 years in public life and turned 66 years of age last week.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Rabbitte said he would have to make up his mind soon about General Election

Independent TD Catherine Murphy says there may be more to come on IBRC

Minister for Communications Alex White: Guidelines will not have impact on existing media ownership, said a Government source. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Communications to bring finalised guidelines to Cabinet

Tánaiste Joan Burton. Ms Burton has said that the constitutional protection for TDs and Senators in the Dáil is a cornerstone of democracy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste says that parliamentary privilege is a cornerstone of any democracy

The Irish Times and RTÉ are to ask the High Court on Tuesday for confirmation that they can report on a Dáil speech by Catherine Murphy relating to Denis O’Brien’s banking arrangements.

Taoiseach criticised for ‘silence’ on row over right to publish statement on Denis O’Brien

 Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness: “It’s highly questionable as to whether or not the meeting will achieve anything but we will be there.” Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

‘I’m not going to be known as the Sinn Féin Minister who did the bidding of Tories’

People have until Friday, June 19th to outline their plight and give their opinion on reducing the bankruptcy period from three years to one. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Minister for Justice expected to read submissions from people with mortgage difficulties

Mr O’Brien’s spokesman claimed on RTÉ Radio that the documents in TD Catherine Murphy’s possession contained “erroneous” figures and had been altered. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Circumstance where Irish media cannot report on Dáil not tenable, says Donohoe

The Irish Times is to apply to the High Court for confirmation that it can report a statement made in the Dáil by Independent TD Catherine Murphy regarding Denis O’Brien’s banking arrangements with IBRC.

‘We believe it is critically important to our democracy that we publish a matter of public interest raised in our national parliam(...)

Denis O’Brien  has written to Independent TD Catherine Murphy to state  he is    disappointed that information ‘which you know to have been stolen’ was used to make seriously accusatory statements in the Dáil. Photograph: Getty

Donohoe says it is unacceptable Irish media cannot report on Murphy statement

 Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness  said his conscience would not allow him to preside over an ‘austerity agenda’ in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Getty

Villiers and Flanagan plan to hold talks with North’s five main parties next week

Former regulator apologises for insufficient measures and inability to deal with crisis

Patrick Neary, who was chief executive of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, told the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry on Thursday afternoon that when he became aware of the promotional materials they were discontinued. Photograph: Getty Images.

Ex-financial regulator says golf balls were discontinued as soon as he became aware of them

The former financial regulator, Patrick Neary, has said “sorry” for not taking sufficient measures to prevent the banking collapse in Ireland in late 2008. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Former regulator Patrick Neary says he relied on banks for risk analysis

Council of Europe: Lack of clear corporal punishment ban violates rights of youth

Renua founder  Lucinda Creighton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Renua leader critical of Kenny’s comments to left-wing deputies

Senator Averil Power gets a hug after her resignation from the Fianna Fail aprty on the plinth outside Leinster House. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister praises senator for her ‘straight talking’ approach to politics in wake of resignation

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said Irish parents have “moved away” from smacking children but stressed the State wants to be in full compliance with Europe’s leading human rights body.

Frances Fitzgerald says State wants to be in compliance with European human rights body

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohue said guarantees on Aer Lingus’s slots at Heathrow and jobs at the airline will remain in place even if International Consolidated Airlines Group is sold or taken over.

Paschal Donohue says guarantees on Heathrow slots will hold even if IAG sold or taken over

 Senator Averil Power on the plinth outside Leinster House  yesterday after announcing her resignation from  Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil had to be careful about how it handled Averil Power’s departure

The Labour Party website highlighting the search for a new party general secretary.

Move follows David Leach’s decision to take up communications position with charity Goal

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said migrant search and rescue operations should be further strengthened in order to save lives. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES.

UN chief says search and rescue operations should be strengthened to help save lives

Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley, leader Micheal Martin and Senator Averil Power. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Averil Power has championed issues in areas of children’s rights, adoption and gender equality

A file photograph of former  Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power with party leader Micheál Martin. As she announced her departure from Fianna Fáil, Ms Power said it was “simply not fit for government”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Senator claims Fianna Fáil a party without leadership and not fit for government

Aidan Gavin (left) of  DTZ Sherry FitzGerald,   former governor of Maryland  Martin O’Malley  and  Mark FitzGerald  of Sherry FitzGerald Group.

Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley praises Yes win in same-sex marriage referendum

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny appeared far more enthused by the same sex marriage referendum than the vote in the age of presidential eligibility. Photograph: Reuters

Analysis: Voters take their cue from unenthusiastic, distracted politicians

Voters have rejected the opportunity to reduce the minimum age for candidates from 35 to 21 years of age.

Kenny says this referendum ‘sidelined’ because attention was on same-sex marriage

Tally counter Rhonda Donaghy  at the RDS count centre. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

‘Something very, very big happened ...There was a big mobilisation of the electorate’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Simon Coveney met with members of Fine Gael LGBT this morning as they canvassed for a Yes vote in the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum. Photograph: DAVE MEEHAN

‘Hopefully now this will have a happy ending’ says Simon Coveney

Gerry Adams’s  handshake with Prince Charles  came after Sinn Féin held a series of meetings with a number of victims’ groups in the North as well as sceptical elements within the party on both sides of the Border. Photograph: Brian Lawless/AFP/Getty Images

Party leader’s meeting with Prince Charles is another historic milestone for Sinn Féin

Former president of Ireland Mary McAleese speaking at a Belong To Yes event on “Why my family will be voting Yes” in the Same-sex Marriage Referendum at the Wood Quay conference centre, Dublin, on May 19th, 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Justin endured ‘torture’ over church teaching on homosexuality, says ex-president

Calling on families across Ireland to vote Yes in the same-sex marriage referendum on Friday, Mrs McAleese, seen here with husband Martin, said same-sex marriage posed no threat to heterosexual marriage. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Former President speaks of ‘hopes and fears’ for son, Justin, who is gay at LGBT event in Dublin

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will meet Prince Charles in Galway on Tuesday. Photograph: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images.

Private meeting scheduled to take place in Galway on Tuesday

A campaign poster in Dublin encouraging voters to vote No to same-sex marriage  ahead of the  referendum on the issue. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

David Quinn of Iona Institute says many ‘new Irish’ to vote No in marriage referendum

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has  insisted it is “absolutely incorrect” to say the same-sex marriage referendum will lead to “widespread surrogacy”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Justice says same-sex marriage referendum about right to marry

File photograph of Mountjoy Prison. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald    has said the allocation of stab vests to prison officers is being kept under review. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister for Justice comments after stabbing to death of inmate in Cork Prison

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald at the GRA Annual Delegate Conference last month at the Mount Wolseley Hotel, Tullow, Co Carlow.

Body to draw up Garda code of ethics, play key role in appointing senior management

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, Ms Burton said children would continue to grow up in Ireland in a variety of family types. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Simon Coveney criticises dishonest campaign run by some on the No side

David Leach pictured in 2002. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Tánaiste Joan Burton salutes ‘hardworking and valued servant to the party’

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘Are the Irish people going to deny their own kith and kin the right to have a marriage contracted in civil law if that’s what they wish to do?’  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Kenny defends wording on the referendum ballot papers

Ibrahim Halawa: being tried as part of a mass court action against almost 500 people.

Department says release of Dublin student unlikely while trial is ongoing

 Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson and Jen Wilson:  “ “Now that the step’s been taken the sky hasn’t fallen in in Scotland,” Ms Davidson said. “It’s just as it’s always been. Scotland hasn’t changed.”  Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Couple says debate in Ireland similar to discussion in Scotland before Scottish parliament legislated for same-sex marriage las(...)

Simon Coveney watches as Taoiseach Enda Kenny pins a ‘Yes’ badge onto Health Minister, Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins.

Minister welcomes Referendum Commission’s move to clarify adoption rights

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘Are the Irish people going to deny their own kith and kin the right to have a marriage contracted in civil law if that’s what they wish to do?’  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Kenny criticises treatment of parents of Portlaoise babies

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said he would commit Sinn Féin in government in the Republic to abolishing the property tax and water charges; reforming the Universal Social Charge to ease the burden on lower earners, and increasing employers’ PRSI to address the deficit in the Social Insurance Fund. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Low and middle-income earners ‘severely penalised’ by Coalition, says Sinn Féin chief

Taoiseach Enda Kenny pins a Yes badge onto  Minister for Health Leo Varadkar watched by Jerry Buttimer TD, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney  and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald  during the  launch of  Fine Gael’s campaign for a Yes vote in the forthcoming Marriage Equality Referendum in Dublin last month. Photograph: Collins

‘It will not change definitions’ . . . it merely makes marriage available to those excluded

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government was ‘well aware’ of the concerns   flagged by the European Commission.

Moscovici warns Ireland must proceed with fiscal consolidation to tackle high public debt

“The most westerly constituency is not only red, white and blue, it’s represented,” said the UUP’s Tom Elliott. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

‘In our hearts this seat will always be Bobby Sands,’ says Gildernew

Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty speaks following  his re-election in West Tyrone. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

MP describes area as ‘Republican constituency’ after winning vote for fourth time

Landlords may have misunderstood a new measure stating that a tenant’s deposit can be retained until water charges for a rental property have been paid, Minister for Children James Reilly has said.

Minister James Reilly insists measures will have ‘minimal impact on landlords’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  photographed at the BeLonG To Office in Dublin where he had a meeting with young LGBT people about the impact of the Marriage Equality Referendum. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Young woman cries as she tells Taoiseach ‘other girls my age have the right to marry’

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “There should never be a conflict between what is good for staff and what is good for patients”. File photograph: Collins

Minister says it would be hard to back pay deal which came at expense of services

‘Obviously, none of this has done Sinn Féin any harm electorally, given that the party is going from strength to strength. Party leader Gerry Adams, TD for Louth, and the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have made clear they are not for turning on the issue of abstentionism.’  Above,  McGuinness (left), and Adams with  Michelle Gildernew   during the launch of the party’s general election manifesto in Dungannon, CoTyrone. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘Michelle Gildernew’s recent description of herself as a never-say-never type of person prompted a flurry of speculation the party(...)

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has said the Low Pay Commission being discussed at Cabinet on Wednesday will ensure workers take home a “decent” wage.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times.

Brendan Howlin speaks ahead of Cabinet discussion on minimum wage

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said on Wednesday the Government was planning to introduce legislation with a “general provision for debt whereby people wouldn’t go to jail. I think we’re all concerned about people going to jail for two hours for not paying their TV  licence”.

‘We’re all concerned about people going to jail for two hours for not paying their TV licence’

File photograph of David Quinn  of the Iona Institute (centre) speaking with David Fieldsend and Conor Lenihan outside Buswells Hotel. Photograph: David Sleator

Group says Yes vote would result in ‘profound changes’ to legal view of family

Councils across the State have reported busy days ahead of today’s deadline to register to vote in the forthcoming referendums. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Union of students says it was involved in registering more than 27,633 voters

Independent Senator Katherine Zappone has said she is ‘worried’ about the outcome of the forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Independent Senator claims No campaign in same-sex marriage vote is ‘challenging’

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