There are currently seven judicial vacancies across the Irish court system, including two in the High Court. Photograph: Getty Images

Plan to go ahead despite lobbying by legal profession and FF refusal to support lay chair

Simon Coveney: “We need to ensure that we remove as many potential disincentives to the use of vacant properties so that they can be put into productive use.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Changes follow reports of businesses facing three- or fourfold increases in recent years

European Banking Authority: the Government believes the old Central Bank building could accommodate the authority’s  220 staff. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Ireland keen to attract European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has given his views on the refunding of those who paid their Irish Water bills. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister speaks against householders who claimed water grant without paying levies

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar outside the GPO on Sunday at the commemoration of the 101th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael Minister says he is content to allow Enda Kenny depart on his own terms

Brexit ‘represents a serious disturbance to the Irish economy’, according to a new Government report. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Report says some sections of Irish economy already feeling impact of UK exit from EU

Simon Coveney said the same method of calculating house building has been applied since the 1970s. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister reacts to reports of just 7,500 new builds in 2016 which is half the official figure

The Oireachtas committee on healthcare stresses general taxation should continue to fund the health service. Photograph: Getty Images

Oireachtas group argues for wide-ranging changes to remedy health service problems

Oireachtas committee report advises repayments be made to householders

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has appointed Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan to examine the recording of breath testing. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Working group established to oversee data quality management, commissioner says

A water charges protest in Dublin in 2014. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The committee report ends the Fine Gael principle of charging for water

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen  (left) has insisted water charges would not be imposed on the majority of the population. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Solidarity TD warns deal will allow charges by ‘back door’

Barry Cowen: “When the spin fades away, the fact will remain that there are no charges and Fianna Fáil fulfilled its commitment.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil performed U-turn and cannot be trusted, says Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin

The commission will examine all communications by Michael Noonan and his officials with members of the Northern Ireland executive and whether such contacts were appropriate. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach says he expects commission of investigation to be completed by June 2018

 Floodwater surrounds a house in Athlone in January 2016. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

New scheme helps those whose homes were made uninhabitable in the winter of 2015/16

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said he would consult with the Attorney General before proceeding.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin accuses Fianna Fáil of U-turn and shifting back to Fine Gael position on issue

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, pictured here with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, will on Tuesday bring to Cabinet proposed draft terms of reference for the examination of the force. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Howlin says FF should amend its motion to reflect Dáil’s lack of confidence in O’Sullivan

Committee to examine if €160 TV fee should apply to owners of other devices

Image from a Right2Water marchin  Dublin. File photograph Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil says penalties for excessive use of water should be covered in the legislation

 Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney: “I will need to bring forward legislation for the parts of the report that are good and legally sound.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Analysis: Minister says he will proceed with water legislation despite his reservations

Barry Cowen claims Fine Gael  has engaged with the media rather than with Fianna Fail. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Letter from Barry Cowen ups the ante in dispute with Fine Gael over water charges

Simon Coveney’s correspondence has been strongly criticised by members of the committee. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Minister writes to Pádraig Ó Céidigh to highlight potential problems with report

Fine Gael Ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Behind-the-scenes intrigue in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil seems to have undermined a deal

  Sinn Féin TD Eoin O’ Broin (centre right) with Richard Boyd Barrett TD, (centre left) and other Right 2 Water TD’s and parties during a press conference reacting to the final draft report of the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services at Leinster House on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Eoin O’Broin says letter from Minister is ‘wholly inappropriate and unacceptable’

Fine Gael believes the report’s recommendations will breach European law.

Q and A: What exactly is the problem, and will it cause an election?

TDs Richard Boyd Barrett TD (Solidarity-PBP),Thomas Pringle (Independent), Eoin O’Broin (Sinn Féin) and Catherine Murphy TD (Social Democrats) outside Leinster House during a press conference reacting to the final draft report of the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fine Gael may breach confidence and supply arrangement and risk general election

Report addresses issues of refunds, metering, and over-use

 Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar says the  confidence and supply deal allowed individual parties to take differing positions on the issue of water charges. Photograph: Collins

Minister seeks to ‘congratulate’ Paul Murphy TD for role in determining FF stance

Simon Coveney has said  he will not introduce legislation which could be incompatible with the EU Water Framework Directive

Cowen says he considers such a rejection a breach of confidence and supply deal

The limit of normal usage will be 70 per cent above 133l per person per day.

Party fails in effort to charge for excessive use while meters not a requirement for all new builds

Simon Coveney: he said the report’s wording as it stood was an attempt to fool the public into believing a water charging regime was no longer in place

Coveney says levy is needed to meet Ireland’s obligations under European law

Fianna Fáil is to seek a specific measure to examine the management of gardaí, and whether gardaí should be allowed to facilitate promotions from within.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Meeting of party’s front bench hears strong criticism of Garda Commissioner

The old charging regime for water will come back into force if the committee’s recommendations are not agreed and sent to the Dáil for a vote. The Government’s nine-month suspension of the water charges lapses this month

Committee now facing the possibility it will fail to produce a final report

Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Recruitment; culture and ethos; oversight and legislative framework will be examined

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, Independent TD Séamus Healy and Sinn Féin TD Eoin O’Broin are to table amendments to the water committee’s recommendations.

Fine Gael says draft report ‘is disingenuous and misleading to the Irish public’

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald is to outline the potential scope of an independent examination of An Garda Síochána at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Policing Authority and ombudsman set to gain powers in plan for wide-ranging review

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten: bringing memo to Cabinet confirming an agreement has been signed with Eir to deliver high-speed broadband to 300,000 premises by the end of 2018. Photograph: Alan Betson

Naughten to warn Cabinet of potential legal proceedings over deal with telecoms group

Denis O’Brien had argued that speeches made by two TDs  breached his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights. Photograph: The Irish Times

Explainer: Businessman alleged two TDs had breached his constitutional rights

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan is facing a number of motions of confidence on the Dáil over the coming weeks. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Sean O’Fearghaíl says he believes Garda Commissioner is entitled to her good name

Cabinet’s open disclosure scheme will give medical professions legal protection for any information given following a patient safety incident. Photograph: Getty Images

Simon Harris is to introduce a voluntary open disclosure scheme for medical staff

Renual leader John Leahy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Party leader asks all representatives not to support repeal of Eighth Amendment

The reviewer will be asked to consider major changes in Garda management and whether more civilians should be appointed to top Garda jobs. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Inquiry to investigate if policing and security should be separated after ‘collective failure’

Committee members say a number of processes would have to be completed before a system of fines commence.

Homes using 70% more than normal limit could be penalised under committee plans

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl is understood to want a stricter enforcement of the rules. Picture Nick Bradshaw

Procedures and privileges committee also considering ban on emblems in chamber

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Suillivan is to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Justice Thursday to answer questions on the wrongful convictions of 14,700 people and the exaggeration of breathalyser tests. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Nóirín O’Sullivan to tell committee practise was ‘at worst deception... at best incompetence’

Jim O’Callaghan said a judicial review must now be launched to quash the wrongful convictions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

FF’s Jim O’Callaghan declined to state whether he has confidence in Frances Fitzgerald

Monitoring  excessive usage? A water meter in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Amended Act should allow for legal action against householders, says draft report

The Oireachtas committee is to agree to prosecute householders who waste water and impose sanctions on them.

Oireachtas committee report says those who have paid their bills should be refunded

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan Assistant Commissioner Michael Flynn pictured at Garda Headquarters. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Fitzgerald to provide statement to Dáil this evening on breath tests and FCN issues

An Oireachtas committee is to hear legal opinion stating the 2007 Water Services Act must be radically overhauled to meet the European Water Framework Directive.

Sinn Féin and Solidarity likely to oppose water meter programme for new buildings

It was decided in September 2014 to take ‘Mary’ from the foster home at the centre of the sexual abuse allegations but she was not removed until February 2016. Photograph posed by model: iStock

‘Mary’ was left with Cork foster father for two years after abuse allegation made in 2014

 Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: last month she said seven young men were  in Wheatfield Place prison. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Children to seek approval to stop practice condemned by UN rights committees

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is one of the frontrunners in the race to replace Enda Kenny as leader of Fine Gael. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Social Protection announces plans to merge USC and PRSI into one

It is expected Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will be called to appear before the Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee on Wednesday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Garda Commissioner expected to give a detailed explanation within the next 48 hours

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó’Fearghaíl  said he understood people may be concerned about the potential for a situation here similar to what occurred in London this week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Leo Varadkar calls for review of security in light of Westminster terror attack in UK

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said revelations about wrongful convictions led to serious concerns about supervision and accountability in the Garda. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Revelations over wrongful convictions ‘staggering’ , Frances Fitzgerald says

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

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