Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power says it is “extraordinarily unfair” to have people waiting between six and eight months for a decision on social welfare entitlements. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power said it was “extraordinarily unfair” to have people waiting between six and eight months for a decision on social we(...)

Minister for Health Leo  Varadkar said there was no perfect abortion law and never would be. “We will always be challenged to amend and refine whatever law we have and so we should,’’ he added. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times 3:41

Minister for Health Dr Leo Varadkar has ruled out holding a referendum to legalise abortion.He called for a “considered and careful’’ debate on the is(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: told the Dáil the Coalition had not decided “on a final date yet”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Referendums on same-sex marriage and lowering the age to contest presidential elections will be held in May of next year, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has sai(...)

The crisis at the emergency department in Beaumont Hospital was raised in the Dáil today.

Overcrowding in Dublin’s Beaumont hospital was not “a satisfactory position’’, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil.He said the problem had existed for (...)

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “This is a positive development, but it would be foolish to read too much into any one quarter”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

A small increase in the number of people with private health insurance was recorded in the third quarter of this year, Minister for Health Leo Varadka(...)

Richard Boyd Barrett  was in full flight, hands waving, voice hoarse from addressing the rally the previous day. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

People Before Profit Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett seemed ready to attribute superhuman powers of observation to the media in the Dáil.And then he (...)

Independent TD Maureen O’ Sullivan says  homelessness needs a ‘multi-pronged’ approach if it is to be solved. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan said a multi-pronged approach was needed to deal with homelessness. She said Prof Diarmaid Ferriter had observed tha(...)

Senator John Kelly said some water charge protesters at Wednesday’s demonstration wanted nothing but to ‘create anarchy’. File  photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Labour Senator John Kelly accused some of those on Wednesday’s protest march against water charges of thuggery.Mr Kelly said he complimented those who(...)

Senator Mary Moran: “On a personal level, because I have a son who often uses respite services in a residential unit, I felt it very deeply, as did many of the parents who contacted me.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/Irish Times

Labour Senator Mary Moran said she was disappointed not to get a seconder in the Seanad for an emergency debate on the mistreatment of residents in t(...)

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter says all that was learned from the Irish peace process should be brought to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Former Fine Gael minister for justice Alan Shatter has distanced himself from the Government’s acceptance of a Sinn Féin motion recognising the right(...)