Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The recovery has not reversed the latent volatility in the Irish political landscape

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: believes public and political debate is riven by misconceptions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Focus on communication may carry message Taoiseach is set to step up action in autumn

‘Asked about a newspaper story that reported tensions between the British and Irish governments, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar let rip.’ Photograph: Collins

Analysis: Taoiseach’s extraordinary outburst signifies a distinct change of mood

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: said there was a political border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, but not an economic one. Photograph: Collins

‘We’re not going to help design some sort of border we don’t believe should exist’

 Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen who was conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the National University of Ireland, meeting former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern after the conferring ceremony. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former taoiseach expresses regret for loss of jobs by so many during recession

US president Bill Clinton and Gerry Adams in 2000 in the Oval Office of the White House. Photograph: William Vasta/AFP/Getty Images

Transcripts of the ex-US president’s calls to NI leaders reveal his huge influence on events

David Trimble, Bill Clinton, Seamus Mallon and Tony Blair at Stormont in 2000. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Transcripts shows active role of former US president during early days of peace process

HSE chief executive Tony O’Brien pointed to the reform of cancer care in the 2000s. “A lot of unpopular and hard decisions were made at that time.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tony O’Brien says hard decisions require political courage ‘that is not often apparent’

Micheál Martin: “The history of the Irish revolution belongs to no party.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

FF leader also attacks Government’s ‘ideological’ hang-up on social housing

Paschal Donohoe: many of the economic choices facing the State will fall to him. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

MacGill Summer School had intense, informed debates on these two big themes

Garda overtime pay, which was cut heavily during the worst of the economic crisis, is now rising significantly again on the back of efforts to tackle gangland crime. File photograph: Getty Images

Agreed policy of civilianisation not acted on, leaving officers in ‘back-office duties’

The Government is alarmed by  the rising cost of special needs education. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

New study says a spike in the number of autism cases is a factor in increased spending

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: “Provision for further new expenditure measures in 2018 would require that departments identify funding for such measures by reprioritisation within the overall current expenditure ceiling.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Departments urged to look to own finances amid demographic and fiscal rule pressures

The National University of Ireland is to confer an honorary doctorate on the former taoiseach Brian Cowen at a ceremony in Dublin Castle next week. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Ex-taoiseach keeping low profile since exiting politics after collape of FF-Green coalition

“Sometimes we give the impression the tooth fairy is going to fund infrastructure,” Robert Watt, secretary-general at the Department of Public Expenditure. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Robert Watt: Many homes will be built in Dublin over next 20 years and should be within M50

Simon Harris (R): ‘You cannot be worse off for having abided by the law of this land than those who didn’t abide by the law’. Photograph: Collins

€170m will not come from ‘whip around’, Leo Varadkar says

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald: at the start of this year they both signalled that the party needed to review its position on coalition. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Opinion: Leo Varadkar has potential but he has failed to show it so far

Retiring in August: Chief Justice Susan Denham. Photograph: Aidan Crawley  Chief Justice Susan Denham is retiring in August. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government figures say the judge’s successor may not be appointed until October

Brian Crowley MEP has been unable to attend the European Parliament since his re-election in 2014 due to ill-health. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Being present for votes in European Parliament an ‘essential element’ of MEP’s job

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy clashed with the Taoiseach in the Dáil. Photograph: Collins

Inside Politics: Taoiseach and Paul Murphy clash over Jobstown comments

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has little wiggle room in the forthcoming budget. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister knows fiscal space of €300 million offers few opportunities for electoral gains

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: said he did not expect tax receipts to surpass expectations this year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government will prioritise areas of greatest need given ‘limited resources’, Minister says

Leo Varadkar will. make his first major economic statement as Taoiseach. Photograph: Collins

Inside Politics: Taoiseach’s first economic statement will indicate budgetary choices

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the National Economic Dialogue, in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Coalition will announce that there is limited room for tax cuts despite economic growth

Chief Justice Susan Denham: she retires next month after six years in the role, and 25 years as a judge of the Supreme Court. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cabinet sources say Government agreed to an ad hoc process after Minister intervened

Minister for Sport Shane Ross stressed the benefits the tournament would bring to Ireland if the bid was successful. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Bill passes without vote despite concerns over TV rights and State’s underwriting of bid

The current chief justice Susan Denham, will retire in August after six years in the role, and 25 years as a judge of the Supreme Court. File  Photograph: Frank Miller

New system approved at Cabinet meeting will be seen as a sop to Shane Ross

Ready for the world: A banner supporting Ireland’s 2023 Rugby World Cup bid is unveiled at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho/Billy Stickland

The legislation commits significant public resources to Rugby World Cup bid with little scrutiny

Paul Murphy at a press conference calling for a public inquiry into the Jobstown investigation. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Solidarity has seen a spike in interest after Jobstown but competition on the left is fierce

Fianna Fail party leader Micheál Martin: said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar may have prejudiced other trials and the verdicts in the cases were a vindication of the courts process. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Martin describes Leo Varadkar’s ‘Prime Time’ comments as ‘ill-judged’ and ‘not fair’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  said the Taoiseach’s comments in relation to gardai were unfair. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

GRA admits there is a problem with Garda credibility but not with front line officers

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will next week deliver the Government’s summer economic statement, likely to contain an update on the fiscal space for next year.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fiscal space for spending and tax cuts understood to grow after talks with Europe

Scottish foreign and cultural affairs minister Fiona Hyslop attending a British Irish Chamber of Commerce discussion on cross-channel cooperation this week.

Scottish foreign minister frustrated at nation’s lack of input into Brexit process

Catherine Noone is chair of the Oireachtas committee debating changes to Ireland’s abortion laws. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Noone rejects Solidarity-PBP charges as ‘absurd’ as relations deteriorate in group

As part of its support for the IRFU’s bid to host the 2023 World Cup, the Government has committed to underwriting the costs of staging the tournament. File photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Legislation will empower Government to underwrite €320m costs of tournament

The Bill will replace the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board and create a new lay-dominated commission that will propose names to the Government for appointment to the judiciary

Vote set to take place on controversial judicial appointments Bill on Thursday

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (centre) and his wife Sophie Grégoire are greeted at Dublin Castle by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Taoiseach and Canadian PMdefend Ceta trade agreement between Canada and EU

Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Agreement paves the way for pay-by-weight regime to be extended to all householders

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: said the Government acknowledged there was a concern about a massive hike in charges under the new waste charges system.  Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Price regulation measures will be introduced if deemed necessary, says Taoiseach

The Labour Party has warned that the new system would open the door for ‘price gouging’ by waste companies. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Plans to end flat charges and introduce pay-by-weight system to be challenged in Dáil

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau with his son Hadrien and wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in Ottawa boarding a plane for Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP

Canadian prime minister to attend official dinner and stay in Farmleigh House

Solidarity TDs Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger, Cllr Michael Murphy and TD Mick Barry at a press conference in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Radical left’s moment has passed despite attention-seeking populism

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and five others had faced charges of the false imprisonment of former tánaiste Joan Burton (above) and her then assistant, Karen O’Connell, during a water charges protest on November 15th, 20142014. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Solidarity TDs had alleged Garda ‘stitch-up’ had led to the prosecutions being brought

  Citizens’ Assembly: TDs must decide if they should  frame a referendum which would permit the general availability of abortion along the lines of the assembly’s recommendations, or   offer the public a more restrictive regime. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Many anti-abortion campaigners believe a vote for complete liberalisation would not pass

Brian Crowley: His MEP substitute Kieran Hartley has called on  Micheál Martin to take action on his absenteeism. Photograph:  Mark Kelleher

Brian Crowley has not attended parliament since re-election in 2014 due to ill health

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is welcomed by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to the National Economic Dialogue at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach’s hints about budget giveaways laced with caution

Brian Crowley MEP at the 75th Fianna Fáil ardfheis in early 2014. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Kieran Hartley writes to FF chief over lack of representation in European Parliament

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has thundered against “cronyism” everywhere in Irish life, but sees it as an especially pervasive influence in the appointment of judges. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Minister for Transport has expended much of his political capital on a niche issue

The Government is pressing ahead with the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill despite the opposition of the most senior judges in the State. File photograph: iStock

Government pressing ahead with Bill despite opposition of the most senior judges

“I am not saying I am open to amendments but I will be listening to the concerns of TDs,” Mr Flanagan said. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Justice known to have some reservations about proposed new system

“There is ongoing public concern about the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime.” Photograph: Getty Images

New law to grant immunity to whistleblowers could form part of package

Political gamble: Máire Whelan is formally appointed to the Court of Appeal by President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Pat Leahy: Leo Varadkar has to break the mould to emulate Blair and Macron

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  with Theresa May and Mark Rutte from the Netherlands at the European Council meeting in Brussels.Photograph:   Peter Cavanagh

New Taoiseach details meetings he had in Brussels with various European leaders

Theresa May and Leo Varadkar  at a European Council meeting in Brussels. Photograph: John Thysj/Getty

Taoiseach says talks will not be conducted as Theresa May seems to think

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, during a photo opportunity with the Ministers of State. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Taoiseach says seven out of 12 female TDs who support govt are ministers

French economy minister Bruno Le Maire with president of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi in Luxembourg earlier this month. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

Mario Draghi tells EU leaders slow price growth is reason to keep rates unchanged

The three sides to the Brexit process – the British, the Irish and the EU – have all spoken of “flexible and imaginative solutions” to the problems the UK’s exit from the bloc poses for both sides of the Border.

Political task will focus on future Border arrangements

A rift has opened between Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin over the appointment of Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal. Photographs: The Irish Times

Taoiseach attempts to rebuild trust as FF chief moves party closer to election footing

EU summit: Theresa May, the British PM, arrives for the talks. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

British PM comes close to European stance as Taoiseach flags ‘open door’ for UK return

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar arrives for a European People’s Party  leaders meeting ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels. Photograph: EPA/Julien Warnand

‘Will the new guy be on time?’ asked a Swedish journalist. ‘The old guy was always late.’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (L) shakes hands with European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

‘We don’t want them to leave the EU,’ Varadkar says on first summit trip

Maire Whelan who was appointed to the Court of Appeal by President Michael D Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach says there is ‘no reason’ why confidence and supply deal should fall

No to Brexit: a remain sign in Northern Ireland. A hard Brexit is expected to result in higher prices in the Republic, as UK multinationals pass on the cost of a weaker pound to consumers.  Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

Taoiseach to urge talks progress as ESRI says main impact would be on labour market

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Will he rescind Máire Whelan’s appointment  and reopen the process? Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Leo Varadkar response to controversy over Court of Appeal role will signal political path

Máire Whelan served as attorney general for six years and was a close ally of former taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach insists proper procedures followed and candidate highly qualified for role

Leo Varadkar must deal with controversy over the appointment of  Máire Whelan to a senior judicial position.

Minister calls for review despite Taoiseach saying ‘correct procedures followed’

Former attorney general Máire Whelan’s evidence supported Enda Kenny’s account of Martin Callinan’s departure from the position of Garda commissioner. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Former attorney general gave different accounts about extent of Garda taping

Outgoing Attorney General Máire Whelan, who was a close ally of former taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cabinet to discuss Enda Kenny’s decision on Court of Appeal role next week

Declaring that he was ‘elected to lead but I promise to serve’, Leo Varadkar recommitted himself to the Coalition arrangement. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

The Taoiseach promotes a new generation of Fine Gael as he reshuffles his Cabinet

Outgoing Attorney General Máire Whelan has been nominated to the Court of Appeal. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Opposition criticises nomination of outgoing Attorney General to Court of Appeal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.  Photograph:  Stephen Collins

A who’s who of all the faces in new Taoiseach’s Cabinet

 Leo Varadkar meets secretary general to the President Art O’Leary at Áras an Uachtaráin on Wednesday. Photograph Nick Bradshaw.

Cabinet personnel largely unchanged but a younger Fine Gael generation steps forward

A pledge to make Ireland a “republic of opportunity” and a limited Cabinet reshuffle will be on Leo Varadkar’s agenda upon becoming taoiseach.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Fine Gael TDs await incoming changes to ministries under new taoiseach

DUP leader Arlene Foster

Preparations in place for Friday meeting in Dublin with Stormont and Brexit on agenda

Enda Kenny leaving Government Buildings following his resignation as Taoiseach. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Overall, it’s hard to argue that Kenny hasn’t produced results for his people

Arlene Foster and Theresa May: talks between the DUP and British PM are expected to see the party support the Conservatives to form a government. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire

Stick to Belfast Agreement as London, Stormont talks continue - Flanagan

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar: intends to increase capital investment in preference to leaving money sit in a fund. A big expansion in  roads, schools, public transport, broadband and housing is emerging as a key theme. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

New Fine Gael chief plans significant expansion in capital spending

Ireland’s next taoiseach: Leo Varadkar’s life will change for ever when he accepts the seal of office on Wednesday. Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty

Leo Varadkar is about to take on a highly complex role that requires more than power

Leo Varadkar with current Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Merging the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure could be the wrong move

Jeremy Corbyn  gestures as he leaves his home in London on Friday. A Labour approach to Brexit would probably pay more attention to Northern Ireland issues. Photograph: Bloomberg

Start date for Brexit negotiations with European Commission now in doubt

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar has declined to comment on a request from Simon Coveney not to penalise opponents when he picks his cabinet. Photograph: Alan Betson

New Fine Gael leader declines to comment on rival’s request not to penalise opponents

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar embrace after Mr Varadkar won the Fine Gael party race: Mr Varadkar is on course to become Ireland’s 13th taoiseach.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Victorious Leo Varadkar says ‘torch of leadership passes to a new generation’

Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe: next generation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Varadkar faces a daunting task, working in a conditional, shallow, demanding time

Leo Varadkar impressed many with his command of policy areas beyond his ministerial brief during the hustings debate.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Brexit, Northern Ireland, pay talks and An Garda Síochána are key issues to tackle

Fine Gael party member Frankie Mulqueen casts his vote in the leadership election on Monday night in the Red Cow hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Parliamentary party voting begins this morning with a result expected before 6pm

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney  at the start of the first of four nights on the Hustings in the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin last week. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

We sit down with Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney

Leo Varadkar launching his campaign bid to be Fine Gael party leader. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Leadership candidate on his ‘right-wing’ image, abortion and Coveney’s values

Simon Coveney: “The membership are more interested in what the party stands for and less interested in their own careers.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Coveney talks about Varadkar’s head start, careerist politicians and his inclusive outlook

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: “One of the great flaws in the appointment of judges in the past has been that politicians have been far too involved in it.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Cabinet approves long-awaited Bill to reform judicial appointments

Final report of the all-party Committee on the Future of Healthcare says health budgets will have to be significantly raised with a guaranteed €380-€465 million increase every year to fund increased services. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Committee calls for removal of private practice from public hospitals

Fine Gael leadership candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney greet each other at the start of the first of four nights on the hustings. Photograph: Alan Betson

Leo Varadkar has commanding lead over Simon Coveney as voting begins

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has been the subject of a series of controversies. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘Irish Times’/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll finds nearly 60% want Nóirín O’Sullivan to step down

Fine Gael Leadership Candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney at the start of the first of four campaign hustings, at the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pat Leahy: Fine Gael leadership front-runner sceptical of support deal

Voters are also overwhelmingly against legalising socio-economic reasons as grounds for abortion. Photographs: The Irish Times

Most reject Citizens’ Assembly view that abortion on request should be available in the early stages of pregnancy

Justice Mary Laffoy, chair at The Citizens’ Assembly. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Analysis: Deciding how much access there is to abortion is a fraught business for politicians

Fine Gael now leads Fianna Fáil for the first time since the general election last year according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll

Enda Kenny’s 43% personal satisfaction rating is highest since 2011

Voters favour Simon Coveney on trust and believe he is more “in touch with ordinary people”. But they favour Mr Varadkar to “deliver real change”.

Opinion poll also reveals that FG ahead of FF for first time since the general election

 Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar: poll changes the picture, but it isn’t an explosion under the frontrunner.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Public’s political mood settled but that does not mean they are content

Fine Gael leadership candidates Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney greet each other in a Dublin hotel at the start of the first of four nights on the hustings. Photograph: Alan Betson

Varadkar says in trying to stand for everyone, the party risked standing for nothing

Among Fine Gael voters 48% would choose Simon Coveney for party leader with 44% opting for Mr Varadkar and 8% undecided.

Minister for Housing holds lead among wider electorate and party members in Fine Gael leadership race

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