Former taoiseach Brian Cowen is due for a pension rise under the Public Interest Bill. Photograph: Eric Luke

However, Howlin says it is unconstitutional to penalise certain public service recipients

 Tanaiste Joan Burton: claimed Fianna Fáil was ‘not in the game at all’ when it came to the election. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Burton ‘very competent’ at ’spin and empathy’, claims Cowen

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen arrives at Leinster House in this file photograph.

Brian Cowen on €134,000, Charlie McCreevy on €108,000, Ivor Callely on €62,000

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty: objected “in the strongest possible terms” to questions he and a number of other TDs had raised being refused.

Minister for Finance says he did not rule questions out of order on investigation

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: said the Central Bank had the regulations under constant review.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil calls for Central Bank 20 per cent mortgage deposit rules to be halved

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny: said the Roscommon-South Leitrim TD had made a valid point but he said debit cards were “an invitation to continue debiting and clearly there are charges and a cost for that”. Photograph: Reuters

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice claims banks are engaging in a “con job” by moving small enterprises from chequebooks to busin(...)

Independent TD Mick Wallace: “It’s a good weekend for them [arms dealers] because it looks like there’s going to be even more arms used.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

France selling armaments to both sides in Syria and Iraq and ‘feeding IS’

Willie O’Dea: “Currently an absent parent can only be pursued until the child has reached aged seven”

O’Dea draws attention to anomaly that has arisen after change in benefit eligibility

Willie O’Dea: “The difficulty is that while supply takes time, there are 1,570 children living in emergency accommodation”

Some 1,570 children now living in emergency accommodation

French ambassador to Ireland Jean Pierre Thébault (left) earlier this year with French PM Manuel Valls inaugurating the new French embassy at Merrion Square. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Deepest condolences extended in wake of sustained applause for French ambassador

Renua TD Terence Flanagan at Leinster House. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Renua TD proposed new rules for common travel area between Ireland and Britain

Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy TD outside the Dáil. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Social Democrat Catherine Murphy wants change to law on multi-unit developments

Fianna Fáil Senator Paschal Mooney said that “not a single line appeared on the television sports results” last Sunday night about the Connacht senior ladies’ football final

Bulletins start with result of ‘English Premier League matches’ instead of Irish sports

Alan Shatter: he was told by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn to  get off his high horse. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Former minister told to ‘get off his high horse’ after taking pot shot at Opposition

Leo Varadkar: he said they should be able to negotiate independent contracts to recruit managers and specialists in the way semi-State bodies now do. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste insists comments by Minister for Health were ‘very clearly’ personal opinion

Defending the Coalitions’s approach  Heather Humphreys said that “coupled with the new visitor centre being developed in the GPO, the Moore Street commemorative centre will be a fitting and lasting tribute to the 1916 Easter Rising”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Coalition’s vision on Rising centenary is to turn 1916 sites into shopping centre, says TD

Tánaiste Joan Burton: she  said the Government was acutely conscious of the impact of debt on families.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Joan Burton offering those facing eviction ‘tea and sympathy’, says Mary Lou McDonald

 Tánaiste Joan Burton says the Government was acutely conscious of the impact of debt on families across the State and was determined to see it was resolved.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Criticism follows ‘Irish Times’ report on court proceedings lodged against families

 Martin Ferris: The Horse Racing Ireland Bill  will give more control to the executive and dilute the power of industry bodies whose representatives are elected to the board by members, he said. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Bookmakers will get seat on the board of HRI, Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris claims

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  asked if the Taoiseach was “thoroughly embarrassed” by the decision to ask KPMG to investigate. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Taoiseach claims Micheál Martin asking him to ‘break the law’ on stalled investigation

The Government will not oppose debate on the Vulnerable Persons Bill introduced by Independent TD Mattie McGrath. Photograph: PA

Mattie McGrath says 13,000 referrals HSE received over six years ‘tip of the iceberg’

Labour TD Ciara Conway expressed frustration that those who had reached 66 were still not receiving their pension payments. Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Minister says arrangements being finalised to make payments to families

 Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe TD: said he could not comment on any individual case but hoped inspectors would inspect cars in nearly all circumstances because of how important it is in terms of road safety.” Photograph: Collins

Sinn Féin’S Dessie Ellis claims inspector refused to test car because of dog hairs

Fine Gael senator Paul Coghlan: told the Seanad that in South Armagh criminals appeared to “operate in their own fiefdoms with a proliferation of blue alert signs”.

Fine Gael Senator made the suggestion to deal with ongoing criminality and large-scale smuggling of cigarettes and fuel laundering(...)

The mother of a boy killed by a drink driver has called for all driver involved in a fatal collision or who fail a drink driving test to automatically lose their licence.

Taoiseach to meet mother campaigning for ‘Brendan’s law’ for intoxicated drivers

 Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis said there were long test waiting lists for some motorists and in a number of incidents of failure the reasons were “things like that there was dog hairs in the car . . . ”

However, Paschal Donohoe says more than 99% of tests are ‘correctly assessed’

Leo Varadkar: “The growing and ageing population is causing a small but relentless increase in demand year on year”

‘Verging on unethical’ that Minister directly contacted patient, says Fianna Fáil

Micheál Martin: he repeatedly pressed Mr Kenny about when Government officials knew there were difficulties

Taoiseach hopes to get report next week

Labour Senator John Kelly said there were 21 vacancies for full-time GPs in rural Ireland of which 22 per cent had been vacant for two years

Allowances for rural GP practice under review, says Minister

“We have to give responsibility to the EPA,” said Fine Gael Minister of State for Natural Resources Joe McHugh

Leitrim SF TD says research will be used by energy companies in litigation against State

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Taoiseach says he will publish Brian Cregan’s correspondence outlining legal concerns

John Tierney, the outgoing chief executive  of Irish Water. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Beleaguered water utility rejects as ‘baseless’ reports it is to begin image rebranding

Clare Daly: Independent TD said a delegation of TDs had requested permission to visit Portlaoise. She said they had been waiting for a reply for months. Photograph: Fergal Phillips.

Independent TD Clare Daly claims authorities in Portlaoise Prison have ignored TDs and failed to answer letters

Minister for State Kathleen Lynch: said tagging was in operation in a small number of cases for prisoners on temporary release.

Tagging cheaper than prison cost of €263 a night, claims Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly

Fine Gael’s Anthony Lawlor: says the 7,500 people who made submissions “have been led up the garden path for the past 18 months”.

Fine Gael’s Anthony Lawlor and Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley criticise delay in publishing guidelines

 Minister Brendan Howlin:  said eight emergency ambulances and two rapid-response vehicles were operating on the night  Adulates Donnelly died in Dundalk. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin says Such absences were “not an exceptional circumstance”

Ambulances on display at the announcement details on Thursday in Dublin Castle of a fleet of new ambulances. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Brendan Howlin says reduction was because of ‘short-notice absences’

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Alan Kelly plays down rent row with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan

Minister for Culture Heather Humphreys: to make “positive announcement. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Heather Humphreys says Government aware of challenges facing cultural institutions

Fidelma Healy-Eames: ‘appalling’ that people cannot be buried on Sundays. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Council needs €2.5 million for essential developments, claims Fidelma Healy-Eames

 Labour Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Ciara Conway,  who spoke in favour of the Sinn Féin proposal, were absent for the vote. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

Aodháin Ó Ríordáin and Ciara Conway absent as the Government rejects a Sinn Féin motion calling for the State to grant ethnic min(...)

Limerick TD Willie O’Dea said he would benefit by more than €900 a year on his “very well paid job earning €87,500 a year, €1,700 a week gross”. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil TD compares financial benefit he receives to that of man on social welfare

Enda Kenny said the treatment of a 91-year-old at Tallaght hospital was a “shocking example of dysfunctionality in the system”. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Finian McGrath ordered from Dáil during debate over patient left on trolley for 29 hours

Independent TD Mick Wallace told Taoiseach Enda Kenny that “we need to build social housing through the local authorities. Not until then will you solve the housing crisis.”  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Rents up from €1,000 to €1,500 because ‘you have literally sold half the country away’

Taoiseach criticises Sinn Féin, saying party has no strategy for united Ireland

Minister Charlie Flanagan said the Government was making  “considered and concerted efforts to achieve positive progress for this citizen and his release at the earliest opportunity”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Charlie Flanagan acknowledges opposition to approach to seeking Irish citizen’s release

Senator David Norris: “It is a little ironic that this was stopped by a combination of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the DUP – strange bedfellows indeed”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

While DUP sabotaged vote, David Norris takes ‘glass half full’ view of majority vote

Enda Kenny: “I make no apology for having to deal with clear warning signs that were there about the economic collapse and about the collapse of the euro.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Kenny still under pressure about saying the Central Bank head told him to prepare to use Army

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly: Micheál Martin compared him to the Chelsea soccer club manager. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Taoiseach declines to say if Alan Kelly’s plans for rent control are ‘dead in the water’

Aodháin Ó Riordáin: everyone in the Dáil should stand by truth and “the truth is that the Travelling community in this State in this Republic are a distinct ethnic group” and they deserved recognition. Photograph: The Irish Times

Dáil to vote on Sinn Féin motion calling for recognition of Travellers as an ethnic group

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin referred to reports about conflict between “AK47” - Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly (above) - and “Budda” - Minister for Finance Michael Noonan - over introduction of rent control. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says Minister goes into third person to attack ‘anonymous cowards’ briefing against him

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “I make no apology for having to deal with clear warning signs that were there about the economic collapse and about the collapse of the euro, and those contingency plans covered all those issues.” File photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Enda Kenny tells Dáil Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan had said matter ‘put to bed’

The Food Safety Authority’s advice  is for 300g of red meat a week: a 100g portion three days a week. Picture: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Food Safety Authority says red meat contains good ‘gems’, but better not to eat it every day

The Government has rejected a call for homeowners who pay management fees to get an exemption on their property tax.   Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

FF says 200,000 people paying fees would benefit with average €86 saving

Michael Fitzmaurice TD says ‘the buck is being passed’ in relation to haulage ‘cartel’. Photograph: MickMcCormack

Company offering courses for nearly half price excluded for past four years, says TD

Lucinda Creighton: has introduced a Bill which she says will implement Moriarty Tribunal recommendations.   Photograph: Leah Farrell

Renua leader says it is ‘beyond doubt’ Lowry helped Denis O’Brien win mobile phone licence

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: said the party had paid a price for standing with the community and with the police services against criminality. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Taoiseach says he never believed SF leader when he said he was never member of IRA

Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton has called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to give a clear commitment that Independent TD Michael Lowry, if re-elected, would not form part of the next government. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Renua leader asks Kenny not to let former FG minister make up numbers in next government

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said: ‘My home has been regularly targeted with bomb alerts. I and other Sinn Féin representatives are under active death threats. That’s a matter of fact’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Kenny says he never believed Adams when he said he was never a member of the IRA

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: He said Nama’s chief executive and chairman met the UK’s National Crime Agency  a number of weeks ago.  The focus of their talks “appears to be very much on the purchaser side of the transaction”, he said. Photograph:

FF insists on commission of investigation to ensure no question marks over sale

Taoiseach says issue is about making decisions for appropriate accommodation

Senator Gerard Craughwell: “Thousands of subcontractors have gone out of business.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Legislation to ensure prompt payments for subcontractors was passed two years ago

 Shane Ross: He said it gave an unfair advantage to the party in power that the taoiseach had the power to dissolve the Dáil and choose an election date. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/ The Irish Times

Shane Ross introduces amendment also designed to enforce fixed Dáil term

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin : He said the budget was “the last throw of the dice by a deeply unpopular Government desperate to be re-elected”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Martin claims budget designed not to shape future but to get two parties through election

House told statutory agency needed to deal with €1 billion illegal smuggling trade

Minister of State Simon Harris, speaking before the budget speech, said the €39 million for school meals in 2015 provided food services to some 1,700 schools and organisations and benefitted more than 217,500 children. File photograph: Getty Images

Programme an ‘unsung success’ deserving more resources - Labour Senator John Whelan

Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, told  Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “You’ve not delivered equal rights and equal opportunities to all of Ireland’s citizens. You’ve resolved only to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the top 14 per cent,” he said. File photograph: Dave Meehan

‘You stuff € 181.9m into pockets of top 14% and throw crumbs to the rest’ - Pearse Doherty

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny  signs a book of condolence which was opened in memory of the victims of the Carrickmines fire in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says scene after halting site blaze will stay with him forever

Anne Ferris TD:  Bill aims to change the situation in workplaces  “particularly in State roles, where people attaining a certain fixed age, be it 60 or 65, are compelled to retire, often against their will”.  Photograph: Eric Luke

State requirement for 65-year-olds to sign on for jobseeker’s allowance ‘unacceptable’

An Air Corps flypast over the Jim Larkin statue at the GPO Easter Rising anniversary commemorations.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister says legislation would shift focus of commemerations from Easter to end of April

Alex White: sidestepped calls to say that housing situation was an emergency.

Opposition urges Labour to acknowledge homelessness crisis as emergency

Mick Wallace said in the Dáil that a insider in Dublin collaborated with the US firm. Photograph: PA

Taoiseach says TD has duty to bring allegations before Public Accounts Committee

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin:  claimed €550 million had been wasted on water meters “when they will never be used”.

Micheál Martin says €800 million spent on ‘monster’ that gave no value

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin again called for a commission of investigation into the controversial “Project Eagle” sale to a US investment company, concluded in 2014.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Fianna Fáil leader says a “group of shadowy individuals” stitched up deal on loans

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said the term “battle group” was “unfortunate and misleading”. He said this term  described the force size rather than its role and said it was a “standard technical military term for a battalion-sized force with support elements comprising 1,500 personnel”. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Force with 175 Irish personnel ‘better described as peace management force’ - Coveney

Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris: says the Government does not agree with the characterisation of the Irish corporation tax system.

Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris claims Ireland’s corporation tax regime is transparent and robust

Senator David Norris: said the byelection  to fill Jimmy Harte’s seat was a  “complete farce with only 100 voters”

Upper House has 28 Bills to pass before Christmas, Maurice Cummins tells Senators

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has again called for a commission of investigation into Nama’s Project Eagle sale to a US investment company. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Nama executives should attend Stormont and give evidence publicly - Micheál Martin

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter was last night facing a battle at the Fine Gael selection convention to retain the nomination to run again for the Dáil in Dublin Rathdown. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Former justice minister selected over Richmonde at closely fought Fine Gael convention

The Government will listen to any Opposition proposals, the Tánaiste says.

Tánaiste gives clear and lengthy answers to questions that have not been asked

Lucinda Creighton said the docklands authority engaged in a public private partnership with developer Bernard McNamara.

Minister must ensure docklands authority pays for Longboat Quay repairs - Creighton

The animals taken included nine cows, nine calves and about 15 Charolais continental crossbreeds Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times/File Photo

Garda investigation after 75 cattle, 25 sheep taken from farm in Co Westmeath

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said of the apartments: “They do not meet fire safety standards, yet the developer, the builders, the architects and the planning authority will not be penalised, and it is the owners who are being asked to foot the bill.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Families in ‘fire hazard’ flats should collaborate with receiver, says Taoiseach

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: puzzled more people are not switching Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Mortgage holders’ inertia preventing them getting better interest rates, says Minister

Independent TD Mick Wallace: ‘A message was passed on to me from a leading member of Cerberus Ireland that I was going to get sorted.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Independent TD claims investment firm said he would be ‘sorted’ over allegations

  ‘Now why would they say that if I was telling the truth?’ Independent TD Mick Wallaceasked Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

TD tells Dáil leading member of investment firm Cerberus passed a message to him

The aftermath of the 1916 Rising. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Family of 1916 rebels have until Wednesday to register their interest in attending event

The risk of poverty among children rose in 17 of the 28 countries with the biggest in increases in risk in Croatia, Greece, Luxembourg and Malta. Photograph: Getty Images

Report shows risk of poverty among children worsened in 17 of 28 member states

Pope Francis blesses a cross for Maribel Rivera, an employee at the Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility in Philadelphia, during his visit there on Sunday. Photograph: Reuters

Event is world’s largest gathering of Catholic families, held every three years

Fianna Fáil environment spokesman Barry Cowen said the figures,  obtained in a series of information requests to local authorities, showed 2,612 vacant properties. Photograph: Sara Freund

FF’s Barry Cowen says the large number of vacant units was ‘sickening’ during housing crisis

376 gardaí injured to date this year but GRA says figures are ‘completely underreported’

Mick Wallace claimed €45m in “fixer fees” were paid during the sale of the northern Irish property loans to New York company Cerberus in early 2014. Photograph: The Irish Times

Graham’s Cerberus claims follow Wallace’s Dáil allegation

Independent TD Mick Wallace said Cerberus bought the portfolio, known as Project Eagle, for approximately 27 pence on the pound. Photograph: Eric Luke

Tánaiste rejects call by Independent TD for commission of investigation

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640): Venus and Jupiter oil on oak panel, unframed. Alfred Beit Foundation

Dáil exchange: Coalition accused of allowing Alfred Beit Foundation ‘cannibalise itself’

Independent TD Mick Wallace has made further allegations under Dáil privilege about the largest property sale in Irish history. Photograph: Eric Luke

Claims Cerberus looked to sell loans back to developers before they even bought portfolio

Fianna Fáil has claimed that the Russborough House trust would have been granted full tax relief for its art works if the historic house was based in the Limerick constituency of the Minister for Finance. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Claims that trust would have tax relief if based in Minister for Finance’s constituency

Enda Kenny:  “I am advised that the loan sale was executed in a proper manner.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Losing bidder for NI loan portfolio sent letter complaining about business practices

Eric Byrne: Says that Fairy Castle cairn in Tibradden has also been interfered with. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Labour’s Eric Byrne says monuments being ‘torn to bits’ by scramblers and quad bikers

Paschal Donohoe flags ‘fundamental concerns’ on EU proposals to open the market

Attorney General Maire Whelan SC: An attempt to have her attend the Seanad to answer questions on the circumstances surrounding the resignation of former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan failed. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

FF Senator’s motion about seeking attention in the run up to election, says O’Donnell

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