Joe McHugh: ‘I’d be fluent at this stage. I do all my business through Irish and do live interviews in Irish.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Joe McHugh is to teach Irish to adults in summer school after becoming fluent

Dublin’s Grafton Street.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzismons

Call for security review of Dublin, Galway pedestrian zones after Barcelona attack

Simon Coveney has said the threat of an attack in Ireland similar to the atrocity in Barcelona remains possible but unlikely. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Spanish ambassador urges Irish people to continue to visit Barcelona

The private sector is not going to deliver what is needed to solve the homelessness crisis, says Simon Community. Photograph: Alan Betson

Simon Community urges State to address issue of unreasonable deposits being requested

Human rights watchdog concerned that legislation to provide for right to a lawyer has been passed but still not implemented six years later

UN Committee against Torture also calls for urgent action over prison staff shortages

The State will this year spend €1.3bn on social housing, with overall expenditure of €5.3bn on 47,000 additional homes by 2021. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister Eoghan Murphy says impact of measures ‘will take some time’

The UN Committee against Torture was concerned the State’s commission of investigation into mother and baby homes “did not allow it to investigate all institutions in the country at which abuses including forced and illegal adoptions may have occurred”. File photograph: Getty Images

Fundamental review of prison health care sought along with increased staffing in jails

Fr Peter McVerry: suggests the Government is still in denial about the extent of the homelessness crisis. Photograph: Alan Betson

Figures show 765 children aged four or under were homeless on census night in 2016

Minister for Culture Heather Humphreys expects to  introduce the National Archives (Amendment) Bill  in the Dáil in October.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Papers from Government departments to be made public after 20 years instead of 30

Families and children accounted for nearly half the total homeless population last year. Photograph: Getty Images

No local authority schemes for affordable homes on 700 public sites, says Jan O’Sullivan

Females account for 42 per cent of the total - 2,888 - and 48 per cent of homeless are male, 4,018. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The new figures reveal 27 per cent of those experiencing homelessness are children

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said 3,888 drivers failed to respond to letters notifying them about the action to be taken to overturn the wrongly imposed sanction. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Of 9,380 letters sent to motorists affected by Garda error, 3,888 drivers failed to respond

Cliona Marley from Donegal who underwent a heart transplant,   with her mother Joan in April at the launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2017.

Numbers on transplant waiting list increases to 587 people hoping for organ donors

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe says the Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Defence Forces at 9,500 personnel, but there are currently 9,044 members.

FF spokeswoman says Government needs to ‘get its head out of the sand and address issue’

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy has persistently questioned the difficulty in getting information in a timely fashion from the HSE about its services and funding. Photograph:  Collins Courts

IT financial system will replace nine different HSE systems in use and will cost €30m

This weekend’s road deaths bring the total number of people killed on the Republic’s roads this year to 98.

Two drivers killed in separate single-vehicle crashes and motorcyclist in collision with car

Thomas Pringle: he has been a TD since 2011 when he was first elected to the three-seat Donegal South West constituency

Donegal TD who turns 50 this month is in a stable condition

Hiqa inspectors were concerned staff and residents at the Liosmore centre in Limerick “continued to be subjected to risk and harm from behaviours that challenge” following an inspection in February this year.

Staff and residents at Liosmore centre in Limerick ‘subjected to risk and harm’

Oberstown Children Detention Centre. Photograph: Eric Luke

Inspectors criticise lack of proper oversight but praise education, improved atmosphere

Since the project came into operation in January 2015 , a total of 217 people with dementia have benefited. Photograph: iStock

Intensive home care packages cost average of €953 a week

Prof Ethel Brooks, Sabina Higgins and Lynn Jackson, co-ordinator of the national Roma Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration, at Tuesday’s ceremony. Photograph: Alan Betson

Romany activist says she was told at Dublin Airport that Roma people ‘steal and beg’

Sabina Higgins during Roma Holocaust Memorial Day at The Mansion House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Event in Dublin marks second World War genocide of 500,000 Roma

Government departments have spent just under €1.725m on taxis, car and limousine hire in the past two years. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Department of Foreign Affairs accounts for almost half of the total car travel bill

Minister for Health Simon Harris:  said “delays arose and, in February 2017, the hospital was advised that the candidate was no longer in a position to take up the post”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Eugene Murphy criticises Leo Varadkar over staffing delays at Galway University Hospital

Andrew Doyle said: “We’re not going to be an organic island and I don’t think we should even try to.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Island could be a ‘reservoir of seed varieties’ in event of international food scare

Garda  Emergency Response Unit: part of the increased costs in Garda overtime, according to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins

Anti-crime operations, armed support, 1916 events and visits to State given as factors

Denis Naughten TD said: “I have advised RTÉ of my position in the course of overall discussions on funding for the broadcaster.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Naughten says he has told RTÉ there will be no increase, despite calls by Dee Forbes

The highest number of assaults was in Mountjoy, which also had the highest rate of self-harm incidents, approximately 20. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

UN torture committee remains concerned about prison overcrowding and violence

Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said  mediation as an alternative to the court proceedings will be a voluntary process. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Women’s Aid worry victims of domestic abuse may be pressurised into mediation

Climate-change watchdog also urges removal of subsidies for peat-generated electricity

One of the most controversial elements of the politics of water, water funding and water charges has been about metering to locate  leaking

Even if main water pipes are not rupturing they are certainly leaking

The Thornton Hall site in North Dublin, which was purchased in 2005. Photograph: Alan Betson

Thornton Hall site bought for €29.9m to replace Mountjoy was a ‘Celtic Tiger mistake’

Minister Charlie Flanagan  said the Bill was ‘not gathering dust on any shelf anywhere’. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Flanagan tells Seanad Public Health Bill will proceed in the next session of the Oireachtas

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan was accused of being to the right of Genghis Khan.

Heated exchanges as Government defeated on Bill to extend family reunification rights

Senator Lynn Ruane: she said her amendment was “just a line” obliging lawyers to remind the person that mediation was voluntary, and it may not be an option for them if there was a risk to their safety

Legislation to offer mediation as alternative to court proceedings must go back to Dáil

Christmas Day swimmers at the Forty Foot. Photograph: Frank Miller

Green Party accuses Minister of ‘complete doublespeak’ on low-carbon economy

Fianna Fáil Senator Aidan Davitt said Garda morale is at an all-time low, particularly among rank-and-file officers.

FF Senator says morale at ‘all time low’ as officers face ‘onslaught of allegations’ from public

Gabrielle McFadden: “I was targeted by a number of people on social media”

McFadden to give all Senators an ‘I am a Friend’ pin for campaign to stop bullying

New legislation means drinkers should be able to go to the pub next Good Friday. Photograph: iStock

Legislation’s author says it represents progressive step in Church/State separation

Senator Pádraig Ó Ceidigh: dismissed the 20-year Irish language  as a failure. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Strategy is a ‘failure’ and should be abandoned for new plan focusing on job creation

Ray Butler was  diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last August and said it was a huge wake-up call for him.

Ray Butler calls for Government to introduce free blood test to save State money long-term

Senator Lynn Ruane said the two men were probably at home “without any support after what is a tragic experience”.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Lynn Ruane raises issue of education about dangers of canal swimming

Fianna Fail TD John Lahart said the global economy relies on measuring instruments and weights such as petrol pumps and taximeters “and we need to know they can be trusted”.

TDs discuss oldest science and oldest metrology method - Pharaoh’s ‘royal cubit’

Charlie Flanagan expressed his disappointment at the North’s parties’ failure to establish an Executive.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Flanagan says Bill will play ‘important role in having a normalised society in the North’

Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers pictured outside the Dail in March 2016. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Lisa Chambers recalls impact of death of 21-year-old Ben Garrett on his friends

The late Malak Thawley with her husband, Alan. File photograph: Facebook

Dáil told family of woman who died believes Holles Street review ‘shambolic attempt to hide facts’

 Grenfell tower in west London on June 15th,  a day after it was gutted by fire. Photograph: AFP Photo

Bill to let developments of 20 houses or more continue if planning is expiring

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe: he said the operation aimed to not only “disrupt the activities of smugglers and traffickers, but also to prevent further loss of life at sea”

Opposition warns against moving from humanitarian operation in Mediterranean

Broadcaster Stephen Fry was at the centre of row over the State’s blasphemy laws. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

Róisín Shortall seeks referendum on issue following inquiry into Stephen Fry comments

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams that Minister for Culture Heather Humphreys had assured him that funding for the case, “if there even is a bill . . .  will not come from the 2016 commemoration fund”. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Adams’ call for State to drop appeal to High Court ruling on national monument rejected

Ceann Comhairle says Dáil ‘perjury’ transcripts will be examined

A beach strewn with waste. One million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world. Photograph: Getty

Green Party Bill proposes ban on plastic cups, plates and cutlery

Fianna Fáil TD Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Harris fails to attend 'for fourth time' to answer on Letterkenny cardiology services

Leo Varadkar reiterated in the Dáil that he did not condone the actions of the protesters in Jobstown. Photograph:  Aidan Crawley/EPA

Leo Varadkar also defended comments he made about Garda evidence in trial

Senator Colm Burke said Ireland was one of the top three countries in the OECD for spending on health, yet had only 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Health service audits other agencies ‘but who controls the controllers and audits HSE?’

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy: The former minister of state said  she believed the drinks industry was attempting to unpick the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill “bit by bit”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy frustrated with third delay of Bill to deal with drink problem

National Day of Commemoration: President Michael D Higgins lays a wreath  at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Prayers, music and military ceremony at event led by President and Taoiseach

New legislation will allow developers complete unfinished housing developments in cases which might otherwise require new planning permission.

Minister to fast-track provision in legislation to be introduced, debated, passed next week

Fianna Fáil Brexit spokesman Stephen Donnelly has called for an independent investigation into the loophole in Section 110 of the Taxes Consolidated Act. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

FF’s Stephen Donnelly calls for independent investigation into alleged tax avoidance

Shane Ross: the Minister   had expected the Bill to be passed before the summer, but has not commented on the delay. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Legislation passes second stage by 83 to 53 votes but no further progress until autumn

Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty says some who voted for Fine Gael will be ‘let down’ by move

Shane Ross  says Bill, his second, the ‘most energising’ he has introduced. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Sport defends legislation, saying €200m will only be on line if no tickets sold

Leo Varadkar and Kate O’Connell announcing Fine Gael plans to abolish the USC ahead of last year’s general election. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pearse Doherty accuses Fine Gael of U-turn on ‘populist’ election pledge to scrap USC

Householders are buying and throwing away food worth twice the annual cost of bin charges in some counties,   Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten said.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Minister Denis Naughten defends regime and claims people putting dead animals into recycling bins

Taoiseach also pointed out that 20 per cent of the education budget goes on special education

Taoiseach pledges annual decision on SNA jobs will be made ‘well in advance’ in future

The Cork Senator was congratulated on his engagement to his partner Conchobar Ó Laoghaire

Senator Jerry Buttimer ‘happy that we, as a country, can allow all of us to get married’

Former tánaiste Joan Burton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Call for vote before end of June to avoid debate becoming ‘embroiled’ in Pope’s visit

Supporters of  the  Power family protest outside the Dáil on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Thomas Power’s sister tells TDs ’doors had been closed to him’ for emergency treatment

Minister for Sport Paschal Donohoe , Brian O’Driscoll, bid ambassador, Taoiseach Enda Kenny , and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring, at a photocall for Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 bid in 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke

Eamon Ryan appeals for delay on Bill that commits public money so IRFU can answer questions

Paul Murphy TD: said there were “very serious ramification for others who might seek to exercise their right to protest”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Varadkar rejects call by Paul Murphy for inquiry into Garda ‘conspiracy’ investigation

Bord na gCon has spent almost €50,000 on public relations advice in the first five months of this year, more than twice what it spent in the previous two years combined.  Photograph: Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images

Bord na gCon, which attended PAC last month, spent €47,000 on PR advice this year

 Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald sharply criticised the ODCE, saying it ‘fell far short of the standard impartial, unbiased and thorough investigation we expect and demand’. Photograph: Stephen Collins

Frances Fitzgerald to send ODCE report on FitzPatrick trial to AG for advice

Sinn Féin social protection spokesman John Brady claimed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar ignored delays in maternity benefit payments for three months. Photograph: Julien Warnand/Reuters

Frances Fitzgerald says Taoiseach ‘clearly took’ action as payments now up to date

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

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