Grassroots canvassing: Bobby Aylward, the Fianna Fáil candidate, looking for support in Piltown, Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Amid birdsong and beneath blue skies, rural Co Kilkenny is revealing some of its glories:green fields, the budding beech and oak of Jenkinstown woods,(...)

“Focused on what?” snorted Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen at the Taoiseach. “You’re like a rabbit in the headlights.” Photograph: Eric Luke

It was a quiet return for our Hardly Here At All Dáil, easing itself back into the onerous task of occasionally sitting. It’s a bit like embarking on (...)

Fianna Fáil environment spokesman Barry Cowen: says Brendan Howlin is weeping “crocodile tears”.  “I’m glad he’s acknowledged the errors of their ways. I’d like to see ways and means by which he might address those errors.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has rejected a claim by his Cabinet colleague and Labour Minister Brendan Howlin that the abolition of town cou(...)

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: decision to axe Expressway routes ‘huge setback for citizens in rural Ireland’. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Mass movement was a popular theme on Tuesday. In the Dáil, Gerry Adams worried about the national bus system. Ruth Coppinger was outraged at the ja(...)

Anne Ferris said “I don’t know if there will be others with me” in defying the Labour whip. Photograph: Eric Luke

A Labour TD is expected to vote against the Government and support a bill calling for abortion to be allowed in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities(...)

An FOI from the Tánaiste’s department has revealed the Department of Social Protection is seeking extra resources  to run the water conservation grant scheme. Photograph: Frank Miller /The Irish Times

The Department of Social Protection has set out a plan to administer the €100 water conservation grant, Tánaiste Joan Burton has told the Dáil. She re(...)

Workers install water meters outside houses in Fortlawn Estate near Blanchardstown, west Dublin, earlier this year. Picture Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin. Workers install water meters outside houses in Fortlawn Estate near Blanchardstown, west Dublin, earlier this year. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

The Department of Social Protection warned it did not have adequate resources to administer the €100 water conservation grant established by the Coali(...)

Irish Water says the  changes announced last November “have had no net impact Irish Water’s total income”.   Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney

The Government and Irish Water have both expressed strong confidence that the new water utility will pass the “market test” in April that upholds its (...)

Jonathan O’Brien said his brother had been “forced to go back into a hostel where drug-taking happens in front of him”. Photograph: Alan Betson 1:31

Here comes Maureen. For the worthy stuff. She looks out for the people who don’t usually get a look-in. Unless one of them inconveniently dies on a do(...)

Barry Cowen: “When people are told they will pay €60 for water they should know that €42 of the bill will be for the water meter. That represents 70 per cent of the bill for a single adult and some 26 per cent of the bill for a family of two or more.” Photograph: Eric Luke

More than two-thirds of the water charges bill for a single adult will be for the water meter, Fianna Fáil environment spokesman Barry Cowen has claim(...)