Unite  described Leo Varadkar’s proposals to curtail the right to strike in essential services as ‘anti-worker and anti-democratic’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Union criticises Varadkar’s proposals as ‘anti-worker and anti-democratic’

Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on public expenditure Dara Calleary. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Party does not foresee renegotiation of confidence and supply deal with next FG leader

Pope Francis and President Michael D Higgins meeting in the Vatican City, Rome. Photograph: Maxwells

Pope and President Michael D Higgins discuss migration and difficulties facing EU

Leo Varadkar launches campaign bid for the Fine Gael leadership in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Leadership front-runner rules out early election

 Leo Varadkar at the launch of his leadership campaign for Fine Gael Party in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Some supporters of Coveney had urged him to withdraw

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe on Leo Street in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Defiant Simon Coveney vows to fight despite rival’s near-unassailable lead

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said ‘It is clear that Brexit and its implications must and will be central to all the work of Government in the time ahead’ . Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

In letter to Fine Gael supporters Taoiseach says Britain’s exit is one of the most pivotal events in modern history

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar speaking to the media on Leo Street in Dublin  leadership of Fine Gael. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The Dublin-based TD says he is ‘very keen to get out around the country’ during contest

Leo Varadkar has a commanding lead in the Fine Gael leadership race after securing backing form twice as many of the party’s TDs and Senators as Simon Coveney. Photograph: Collins

Coveney hoping for support from large number of undeclared party members

Minister for Education Richard Bruton surprised some by supporting Leo Varadkar’s push to lead Fine Gael. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Harris behind Coveney who claims backing of most councillors in contest to succeed Kenny

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has announced his intention to step down. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Kenny describes Noonan’s contribution to restoration of economy as ‘extraordinary’

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney launching his campaign for the Fine Gael leadership with supporters including Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Minister hands in papers to enter leadership race but declines to say how much he will spend


Coveney pledges to unite party as Noonan says he will step down as Minister

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: a career politician, whose drive and determination come with personal sacrifice. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Often seen as guarded, Varadkar is much liked by the electorate and very ambitious

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny with his wife Fionnuala  after he delivered his presidential address at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in 2009. Photograph:  Julien Behal/PA Wire

Praise for outgoing Fine Gael leader from across political lines

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  launching the Finite Lives at Government Buildings prior to announcing his resignation.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Very emotional’ Taoiseach to step down from midnight

Kathleen O’Toole,  the chief of police in Seattle,  is to chair the 12-person commission which will conduct a root-and-branch review of An Garda Síochána.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Representative groups question why no former gardaí are on review commission

Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Human rights lawyer Noleen Blackwell and former Gsoc member Conor Brady selected

The Department of Education bought Harold’s Cross stadium from the IGB for €23 million. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Member of IGB claim they were confronted and suffered verbal abuse in Leinster House

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: signalled his support for seeking special status for the North. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister’s comments on potential border outcome unwise, Mary Lou McDonald says

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: instructed her officials to expand the definition of revenge porn. Photograph:  Brenda Fitzsimons

Tánaiste says acts 'can cause serious and lasting harm, particularly to young people'

Cybersecurity experts said the spread of the virus dubbed “WannaCry” – a “ransomware worm” – had slowed, but the respite might only be brief.

State networks including Health Service Executive fear WannaCry virus may have spread

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: the Tánaiste has publicly supported the commissioner despite concerns about her knowledge of financial irregularities at Templemore Garda college. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

FF, Sinn Féin and Labour criticise Minister for Justice’s support of Nóirín O’Sullivan

Enda Kenny: one Minister said there was a real prospect that the Taoiseach would not stand down as leader until the summer recess. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/PA

Enda Kenny ‘knows Varadkar and Coveney will not wield knife’, says Minister

William Lavelle, a Fine Gael councillor  in Lucan, confirmed he would be supporting  Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar in the upcoming leadership contest. File photograph: williamlavelle.ie

Taoiseach to confirm his departure date at this week’s parliamentary party meeting

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has said  there should be consequences for Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald (left) if she does not act to remove Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan (right) from office. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Howlin wants consequences for Fitzgerald if she does not act to remove Noirín O’Sullivan

All HSE staff are  asked to switch on computers on Monday morning in order to allow screening of the machines, but not to log on, in the wake of the global ransomware attack over the weekend. File photograph: Getty Images

Cyber-attack response: HSE plans updates with security patches, anti-virus capability

Garda head of human resources John Barrett claims senior gardaí were keenly aware that arrangements were in place at Templemore which ran counter to process, government accounting regulations and legislation.

Commissioner taking leave as Dáil committee considers file from Garda HR chief

As Garda controversy follows Garda controversy, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald is risking her own political future by  protecting  Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Analysis: Resignation of second Garda commissioner could be politically catastrophic

The Citizens’ Assembly recommended that abortion should be permitted in the State in a wide range of circumstances. File photographs: The Irish Times

Members will consider the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations on the Eighth Amendment

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O Sullivan at Templemore. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

PAC hears commissioner delayed telling Garda audit unit of financial irregularities

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald at Templemore Garda College with Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

PAC mix-up over signature in accounts saw Nóirín O’Sullivan accused of dishonesty

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: May keep the leadership pretenders waiting a little longer

Inside Politics: Taoiseach says he will discuss the issue with the Fine Gael party next week

John Barrett at the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee meeting:  he has said that accounting practices at Templemore Garda College operated in plain sight and  were known to senior management for decades but  they never impeded the promotion of any of those involved

Renting land Garda college did not own and 50 bank accounts among ‘bizarre practices’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  said a motion of no confidence  in the Minister for Justice would result in the collapse of the confidence and supply arrangement. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Party leader says censure of Frances Fitzgerald would cause general election

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee.

HR head becomes aware of financial concerns in June 2015

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald at a sod-turning ceremony on Wednesday to mark the start of construction of a new forensic science laboratory in Celbridge, Co Kildare. Photograph: Maxwell

Leo Varadkar says Government is ‘very concerned’ by latest allegations

Gardaí recruits during the passing out parade at the Garda College in Templemore in April. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Garda HR head outlines significant concerns over financial practices at the college

Garda recruits at Templemore. John Barrett claims he was urged to be ‘very careful’ when he questioned why an internal audit team at the Garda college was not aware of previous audits conducted in 2008, 2010 or 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

John Barrett claims he was urged to be ‘very careful’ after asking question about audits

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar outlining the main measures in the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill at  Government Buildings.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Varadkar says complaints about privacy of offenders are ‘rubbish’

Testimony given by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to a Dáil committee has been undermined by written records of a two-hour meeting at which financial irregularities at Templemore Garda College were discussed. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Garda official says a meeting, which commissioner called brief, lasted for two hours

 The leadership campaign is under way even if Enda Kenny refuses to accept it. Photograph:  Reuters/Christinne Muschi

Inside Politics: Fine Gael leadership campaign is under way even if Taoiseach refuses to accept it

Under measures to be agreed by Cabinet this week  laptop and tablet owners will not be forced to pay the TV licence

Minister has dropped proposals to expand €160 fee to devices over 12 inches

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cabinet to appoint members of external group that will conduct examination of the force

Micheál Martin said while €35m was set aside for mental health services in the budget, this actually translated to €15m in funding. Photograph: The Irish Times

Letter from Fianna Fáil leader accuses Kenny of breaching agreement between parties

Fine Gael’s Simon Coveney said he would not support any approach that could “effectively facilitate abortion on demand”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister uncomfortable with the body’s recommendations on the issue

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny appeared irritated at a question from an Irish reporter about his leadership. Photograph: Reuters

Simon Coveney says he will not pressure Taoiseach to reveal a departure date

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said he comes from a pro-life disposition but was an open-minded, reasonable person who did not seek to be judgmental. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Dáil business committee hears names of eight TDs on Eighth Amendment committee

Independent Alliance members Shane Ross, John Halligan and Finian McGrath at the grouping’s press conference in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Group says it may use election of new Fine Gael leader to raise fresh issues

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan is expected to come in for a very strong line of questioning. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Noirin O’Sullivan appears before Public Accounts Committee on financial irregularities

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has refused to disclose how Ireland voted. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Saudi Arabia appointed to major international body that monitors women’s rights

Kevin “Boxer” Moran TD will take over as Minister of State at the OPW in June. File photograph:  Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Independent Alliance TD to replace colleague Sean Canney under deal reached last year

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said he was in listening mode in relation to school admissions reforms. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Move aims to ensure children from non-religious backgrounds are not discriminated against

A senior Government source said it was inevitable the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital  would be changed

Harris given month to find solution to controversy over ownership of maternity hospital

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said he would bring forward legislation within six weeks to implement the recommendations. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Daily penalties by European Court of Justice possible if Ireland does not act appropriately

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: to hold seriers of meetings in Canada. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach expected to address his leadership intentions when he returns from trip

Only 10 TDs will be required for the Dáil to begin its business under new planned measures

Second vote on rules to allow for 30 seconds of ‘silent reflection’

The Oireachtas committee has proposed a levy for householders who use excessive water. However the size of the fine and the method of collecting such monies has yet to be agreed between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil

Coveney confirms method of refunding people will not be finalised for some time

Finian McGrath, Minister of State for Disability Issues: said he does not want to comment on the High Court award until the commission of investigation has completed its work. Photograph: Eric Luke

Government says senior counsel Marjorie Farrelly will meet deadline to submit report

 Simon Coveney  during the launch of a new  Housing Land Map at the Customs House, Dublin. The online portal will provide details of residentially-zoned lands; local authority-owned and land aggregation scheme sites; publicly-owned sites; and active private housing construction sites in the Dublin region. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister unveils plans to free up over 2,000 hectares of State-owned land for housing

Simon Harris’s support is seen as a significant boost for the Coveney campaign, as he is the first senior Minister to align himself with a candidate. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister for Health attends key private meetings to discuss campaign strategy

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

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