Postmaster Pádraic Ó Conghaile from Connemara protesting against post office closures outside GPO earlier this month. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Three models for survival of network set out in report to be considered by Cabinet

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell. A Dáil committee has found that Mr Farrell did not abuse Dáil privilege.

Fine Gael TD cleared over naming of Sinn Féin TDs in relation to Brian Stack’s murder

If the  dress code is introduced it may see TDs such as the above penalised for ‘dressing inappropriately’ by wearing clothing such as jeans and hats. Photograph: The Irish Times

Committee to discuss whether TDs who dress inappropriately should be penalised

A flooded car and house  in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, in December 2015.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Seán Canney ‘hopeful of agreement’ in Cabinet on voluntary relocation proposal

Enda Kenny enjoys St Patrick’s Day in New York. Photograph: PA

Varadkar and Coveney confident Taoiseach will not delay exit

Shane Ross: he said the evidence demonstrated a need for stricter legislation, and confirmed he would pursue separate measures to name and shame drink drivers

Ross move opposed by Fianna Fáil and some in Fine Gael and Independent Alliance

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with US president Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan in Washington DC on Thursday. Kenny was criticised for failing to raise concerns over some of the policies pursued by Trump. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Opposition parties pledge to hold protests opposing the visit of US president

Patrick O’Donovan (r) with Shane Ross. The Minister of State has cited ‘a degree of frustration’ with the Minister for Transport. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fine Gael’s Patrick O’Donovan yet to be given official powers after nearly a year in office

European Commission has said that Irish banks’ stock of non-performing loans “remains high and shows signs of stickiness”. Photograph: Thierry Roge

European Commission says resolution of loans needs to ‘regain momentum’

Director general of the HSE Tony O’Brien. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Mary Lou McDonald accuses Tony O’Brien of misleading committee over ‘Grace’ case

A file photo of the  site where the remains of children were found at the former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: EPA/AIDAN CRAWLEY

Inside Politics: Ministers were aware of Grace case in 2014 as investigation is drawn up three years later

 Finian McGrath: has amended the terms to clarify the chair of the commission has the authority to examine the treatment of others who received respite care from the same foster family. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Finian McGrath to revise terms of reference after claims abuse inquiry scope too narrow

Fine Gael members of  committee believe  wording of  final report implies wrongdoing on  part of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Public Accounts Committee split on conclusions of final report on Nama sale of NI loans

Fine Gael believes it is “far more efficient to install meters when new service pipes are being laid rather then retrospectively”. Photograph: Fennells

Oireachtas group fails to agree on legal requirement to have meters in new homes

Minister of State Finian McGrath had been strongly criticised by the opposition and two whistleblowers about the limited scope of the ‘Grace’ inquiry. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Limited scope of initial terms strongly criticised by opposition and whistleblowers

Oireachtas committee will meet again today and will commit to holding a referendum enshrining public ownership of Irish Water in the Constitution

Parties close to agreeing on introduction of charge as part of redrawing of 2007 law

Stardust disaster: Aftermath of the blaze in which 48 people died and 214 were injured. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Devastating 1981 blaze at Artane nightclub in Dublin left 48 people dead and 214 injured

Brian Stack who was chief prison officer at Portlaoise Prison when he was shot in 1983.

FG TD asked Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris for statements about killing of Brian Stack

O’ Connell Street Right 2 Water protests at the start of 2016. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Oireachtas water committee is examining a number of options on metering, refunds etc

Fine Gael and Labour support charges while Fianna Fail, Sinn Féin and the Anti-Austerity Alliance are arguing against a continuation of the programme.

Group is discussing a range of options but is unlikely to reach a final agreement today

  Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath who confirmed on Tuesday  a commission of investigation has been set up into the care of ’Grace’ in a foster home in the southeast.  Photograph: Collins

Senior counsel Marjorie Farrelly will lead commission and report within one year

Water charges: The levy has proved to be among the most divisive of political issues. Photograph: The Irish Times

Simon Coveney says 2007 Water Services Act must comply with European directive

The reports published by the HSE South East covering the alleged abuse of an intellectually disabled young woman. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister of State Finian McGrath to outline proposed scope of abuse inquiry to Cabinet

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has criticised Fianna Fáil’s position on how to respond to households that consistently waste water. Photograph: Getty

FF position inconsistent, says Minister: ‘FF is willing to fine householders but not charge them’

 Minister for Housing  Simon Coveney agreed to examine the  Water Services Act, which has been proposed by Fianna Fáil as a method of penalising householders, to determine if it meets European law. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil still at odds over levies after submitting positions to committee

Senior Ministers have supported Simon  Coveney’s position on the water issue. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

FF strongly criticises Coveney for intervening in water committee, says it is ‘unprecedented’

Michael Noonan: draft report critical of his meeting with representatives from the bidders Cerberus the day before the process ended. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Public Accounts Committee report examines Nama’s controversial sale of Project Eagle

 Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said on Thursday the general taxpayer should not have to pay for those who waste water. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Parties given until noon today to outline their positions to Oireachtas committee

A protester during a demonstration against water charges on O’Connell Street in Dublin in 2014. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Parties clash as Oireachtas committee fails to agree position on excessive use

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney:  said he would not sign or introduce a Bill that brought forward measures he believed to be illegal.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Simon Coveney says legislation proposed by Opposition parties is contrary to EU law

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen .Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Water charges row could bring down Government - FF; FG warns over failure to levy for excessive use

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has spoken 93 times across the Dáil and committees in the past year. His brother Danny Healy-Rae has spoken 107 times. Photograph: Alan Betson

Overhauled committee system produces legislative logjam that is frustrating TDs

Committee members suggested the €100 water conservation grant should be deducted from any refund. Photograph: Getty Images

Coveney: Fianna Fáil stance on excessive use leaves State open to fines from Europe

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government was committed to the establishment of a commission of investigation into the treatment of an intellectually disabled woman in a southeast foster home. File photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Enda Kenny apologises and calls woman’s treatment in foster home a disgrace

If you paid your five water bills in total and live in a household of more than one person, you could be entitled to €325

Those who paid fees likely to get refund, while those who did not will not be pursued

A demonstrator during a march and rally organized by Right2Change and Right2Water in Dublin last year. Photograph: Caroline Quinn/AFP/Getty Images

Coveney insists will not support charging measures that may breach European law

At the launch of the publication of the HSE reports in Kilkenny are Tess O Donovan, assistant National Director HR ,Dr Cathal Morgan Head of Operations HSE Disability Services. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Two reports published on alleged abuse say four other cases must be examined

Peter Mathews  was elected as Fine Gael TD at the general election of 2011 in the Dublin South constituency. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Tribute paid to ‘true gentleman’ diagnosed with oesophageal cancer after routine check-up

Finian McGrath will move to set up a commission of investigation into the ‘Grace’ case. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Woman is alleged to have suffered sexual and physical abuse by her carers in foster home

Inquiries into alleged abuse suffered by an intellectually disabled woman at a southeast foster home have recommended the cases of four others who were cared for in the same home be examined. Photograph: Thinkstock

Man who alleges he was locked in cupboard among investigations called for in ‘Grace’ reports

A full refund for people who paid their water charges is to be recommended by the the Dáil committee that is examining the future of water service funding in the State. Photograph: iStock

Dáil committee urges refund as it finalises its report on the future of water service funding

Minister for Health Simon Harris: with Finian McGrath, he  will ask for an early signature from the President, Michael D Higgins, to ensure up to 330,000 people can avail of lower costs.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Simon Harris and Finian McGrath to seek approval of measure for under 16s

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: Perhaps the biggest challenge the party faces is maintaining its strength in the face of significant change among its biggest rivals.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fianna Fáil must push onwards as other parties near leadership reshuffle

Changes proposed by the Minister for Transport would see even one small alcoholic drink place a driver over the limit.   File photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Minister for Transport’s Bill would disqualify all drivers found under influence of alcohol

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar set to lock horns for the coveted Fine Gael role. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Figures suggest one vote dividing Varadkar and Coveney in parliamentary party

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: he described a WhatsApp message on the Fine Gael leadership as “jovial Sunday afternoon banter”

Frances Fitzgerald, Richard Bruton and Simon Harris could enter FG leadership race

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has insisted there is no possibility the State will follow the UK out of the EU. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Finance claims report on the likelihood of an ‘Irexit’ is ‘fake news’

‘I am certainly not going to support anybody who suggests that we should be forcing the issue,’ Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said.   Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Flanagan says message he sent to WhatsApp group on Harris was ‘jovial Sunday banter’

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Eric Luke

Crucial to recognise Enda Kenny’s role as Taoiseach and leader, says Minister

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Fine Gael leader has encouraged members to focus on their jobs rather than his leadership. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sources close to Simon Coveney suggest 12-week time frame for Taoiseach departure

Michael Noonan at a corporate tax conference in Dublin Castle on Thursday. He said it was “up to the Taoiseach when he will step down”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Party Deputies believe Kenny must not be backed into corner but cannot be allowed to continue endlessly

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a meeting on Thursday night. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Leo Varadkar says Taoiseach will know the right time to resign as Fine Gael leader

Enda Kenny  at The Mansion House, Dublin, on Wednesday: Leo  Varadkar told a Fine Gaal party meeting  they needed  to discuss election preparations soon. Sources said this effectively offers a timeline for Mr Kenny to indicate when he will stand down. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ministers and backbenchers call for change over handling of Garda whistleblower affair

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar:  “I call on individual gardaí who spread rumours, passed to them by superiors, believing them to be true, to come forward . . .” Photograph: Alan Betson

International expert on police from outside jurisdiction to conduct nine-month scrutiny

One Minister said  the Fine Gael party had moved beyond Enda  Kenny’s control. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

There is acceptance the Taoiseach has lost the middle ground in Fine Gael

Independent Alliance TDs: Sean Canney, John Halligan, Shane Ross, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD and Finian McGrath  photographed on the plinth of the Dail. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Enda Kenny agrees to external audit of An Garda Síochána by policing expert

  Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: “I didn’t go into the detail of any of the allegations that I was aware of but I did indicate to him that that was the nature of the conversation.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Who said what and when in relation to the Tusla file held on Sgt Maurice McCabe

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Leo Varadkar and  Simon Coveney are attempting to calm Fine Gael backbenchers who want to rapidly remove Mr Kenny as party leader. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Taoiseach faces opposition within Fine Gael over his handling of McCabe controversy

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald  said: “Whatever anger people might feel, in this country we do not set up tribunals of inquiry simply to confirm what people already believe.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

Tánaiste awaiting details from Attorney General on implications for those involved

 Fine Gael had seemed willing to let Enda Kenny choose when he would stand aside, but much has changed in the last five days. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Taoiseach’s St Patrick’s Day visit to Trump will go ahead but nothing is certain after that

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny  said there were “many people who’ve been here before me for many years who have made mistakes”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet to hold further meeting on handling of false claims against Sgt Maurice McCabe

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: insisted she would not stand aside because she was innocent of the claims levelled against her. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Micheál Martin calls on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to assess her position

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD during a visit to Cork yesterday. The Cabinet will discuss the establishment of a tribunal this morning. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Kenny and Martin meet to forge deal on controversy that threatens Government

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone appeared to contradict Enda Kenny’s account of what he was told prior to “Prime Time” airing on RTÉ. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Zappone, Fitzgerald, O’Callaghan and Kenny give differing accounts about who knew what

 File image of Sgt Maurice McCabe outside Leinster House in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Garda whistleblower says his family has been attacked by a number of State agencies

Jim O’Callaghan and Frances Fitzgerald insist that their individual accounts of a meeting between them last week were correct. Photograph: The Irish Times

Zappone asks Hiqa to investigate Tusla amid controversy over treatment of Maurice McCabe

Taoiseach Enda Kenny leaving RTÉ in Donnybrook, Dublin, on Sunday afternoon. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Analysis: It is troubling nobody asked Zappone about her meeting with McCabes

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and then US president Barack Obama at the annual shamrock event in the White House last year.  Photograph: Reuters

Advice for our travelling envoys: no luxurious limousines or tempting first-class flights

Maurice McCabe is considering suing the State for damages.

Serious differences emerge between Frances Fitzgerald and Fianna Fáil over timeline

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed he was aware of the meeting with Katherine Zappone and the McCabe family in January.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Dáil will debate a motion tabled by SF in response to revelations about Tusla files

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan (left) told The Irish Times he asked  Tánaiste France Fitzgerald (right) to include Tusla in the commission of investigation’s terms of reference on Wednesday. File photographs: The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil will not back Sinn Féin no-confidence vote over Garda whistleblower row

Tusla chief executive  Fred McBride and Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Zappone contradicts herself over false claims against whistleblower Maurice McCabe

Sgt Maurice McCabe is to sue Tusla over the agency’s file on him. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Taoiseach and Tánaiste told Zappone met whistleblower but say they did not hear details

Sgt Maurice McCabe is to take legal action against Tusla. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Whistleblower to take action after agency sent papers containing false claims to Garda

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, has no objection to including all contacts between gardai and Tusla the terms of reference of a commission of inquiry. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sgt McCabe received documents confirming he was subject of an unfounded complaint

A file photograph of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams attending a  St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House. A Sinn Féin TD has said he detests the policies of US president Donald Trump but that his party will accept an invitation to visit the White House this year. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

Pearse Doherty detests policies of US president but says representatives will still visit White House

 Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: faces an  investigation  into allegations that she attempted to blacken the name of whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.  Photograph: Collins

Garda Commissioner’s phone records to be examined during unprecedented inquiry

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Commission of inquiry to be asked to examine contact between media and gardaí

Joan Burton has strongly criticised Fine Gael for fundraising for the party by hosting ticketed events with Ministers. File photograph: The Irish Times

‘There will have to be a few more breakfasts with Noonan and lunches with Varadkar’

Garda commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Accountable internal complaint systems are needed for gardaí

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan:  Has faced renewed calls to stand aside during  inquiry. Photograph: Eric Luke

Government sources say support for Nóirín O’Sullivan reliant on outcome of inquiry

Lunch with Leo: Senior Fine Gael figures were urged to facilitate more fundraising events included ticketed breakfast meetings or lunches with Ministers such as Leo Varadkar (above). Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Step up fundraising for possible election, Fine Gael Ministers are told

Protesters outside the Alexander Hotel where the Independent News & Media egm took place in December. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

About 650,000 workers would benefit if Fianna Fáil Bill passed, says Willie O’Dea

Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Supt Dave Taylor claims Garda management told him to discredit Sgt Maurice McCabe

The proposed injection centre would open for 12 hours a day, seven days a week and would cost between €1.5 million and €1.8 million per year. Photograph: Getty Images

Laws would exempt drug users from prosecution if found with certain drugs at centre

US president Donald Trump:  Ministers are at odds over whether Taoiseach Enda Kenny should invite the US president  to  Ireland. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Kenny to go ahead with White House trip but declines to clarify if he will invite Trump here

Irish Water says it needs €13bn between now and 2021 to meet its infrastructural requirements. Photograph: Juri Samsonov/Getty

Department of Public Expenditure warns projects could be deferred when cash is tight

 Minister for Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe  says that Ministers should set out their highest priority policy proposals for the 2018 budget by March 16th. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Donohoe warns Cabinet new pay deal and housing plan will eat into available funding

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said the air travel  industry may be considered to be under-taxed and the ability to apply the  tax should remain in order to raise revenue. File photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Recommendation from aviation forum to formally abolish levy rejected by Minister

Sunday will mark one year since the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne  during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fitzgerald says there will be heightened security on anniversary of Regency Hotel killing

The highest rent a couple with two children in receipt of rent supplement may pay in Dublin, apart from Fingal, is €1,275 per month. It is €1,175 in Fingal, €925 in Cork, €700 in Limerick and €875 in Galway

Outside Dublin the highest number of claimants are living in Cork and Kildare

Shane Ross and Bus Éireann discussed the difficulties at the company in separate rooms beside each other. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Forget about Brexit and Trump, our parliamentarians are (still) debating water charges

The Oireachtas committee on water has voted in favour of inviting representatives of the Right2Water protest group (which organised the 2015 protest pictured)  to give evidence.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Members of Oireachtas body vote in favour of hearing evidence from protest group

 In his report Kieran Mulvey will stress the contrast between the concentration of wealth in the IFSC and the deprivation in some areas nearby. Photograph: Dave Meehan

IFSC firms should provide training and jobs to nearby northeast inner city, says report

Revenue has stressed the application of the Mediation Bill would impact on a number of key powers, functions and operations.

Bill could undermine effectiveness of tax collection and enforcement, Revenue claims

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has objected to Taoiseach Enda Kenny travelling to Washington to meet US President Donald Trump for St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Independent Alliance TD only Cabinet member to oppose St Patrick’s Day visit

U.S. President Barack Obama receives a bowl of shamrock from Taoiseach Enda Kenny  during a St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House in Washington. Photograph: Chris Kleponis/Reuters

John Halligan urges Taoiseach to withdraw from St Patrick’s Day meeting

‘THMs are carcinogenic chemicals formed when chlorine is added to purify water.’ Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Republic faces infringement proceedings due to the presence of chemicals in its supply

Leo Varadkar: claimed the Government exceeded its 2016 target to help 20,000 back into employment by an additional 6,000 people

Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor will launch plan reaffirming commitment to creating 200,000 jobs by 2020

British prime minister Theresa May is to meet Enda Kenny in Dublin on Monday. File photograph: AFP/Getty Images

British leader is visiting Dublin as concerns increase over UK’s plan for leaving the EU

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