Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison  (left) with his partner Marissa Simms talking to deputy Alan Kelly  at the Dáil on Wednesday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It’s the must-have accessory in Leinster House these days. You’re nobody if you don’t have a whistleblower to call upon in this time of crisis. Ye(...)

Research among parent groups at primary level suggests the weight of schoolbags is one of their biggest concerns. Photograph: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Children should be encouraged to carry schoolbags to and from school despite concerns among parents over links to back pain, according to an assistant(...)

IFA members protest in Dublin to call for an urgent aid package for grain farmers affected by dire weather conditions. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

There were sharp divisions in the Dáil over a proposed compensation fund for tillage farmers when a Fine Gael TD compared it to the controversy that h(...)

An anti-water charges protest in Dublin city centre in August 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke

A Fine Gael TD has accused the national media of stirring up civil disobedience over water charges, with RTÉ promoting demonstrations as if they were (...)

Gerry Adams, who this year said: “My teddy bears are virgins.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Politician of the Year: Is there one? It was a very disjointed time on the political front. For the best part of the first six months, sitting TDs a(...)

A large share of the electorate is probably thinking that landlords – no matter what their circumstances – have never had things better and shouldn’t be given any sort of raise for a few years. Photograph: Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon in the Dáil, Micheál Martin closed the buttons on his jacket and shivered. “It seems to be extraordinarily cold and chilly in t(...)

Consultation with younger students will be achieved  through engagement with the student council or other “age appropriate” means of hearing the voice of the child.  Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Secondary students could be included on school boards of management under new measures aimed at giving pupils and their parents greater involvement in(...)

Water committee: its key test will be whether its recommendations will be in keeping with the EU  water framework directive.  Photograph: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

Twenty Oireachtas members will sit on the committee examining the future of water charges. The committee, which will be chaired by Independent Senato(...)

Chaired by former Labour Relations chair Kevin Duffy, the commission recommends normal water usage should be paid through general taxation, with a charge for ’wasteful’ usage. Photograph: Ulrich Baumgarten/Getty Images

Fianna Fáil is to consider merging the property tax and water charges in a potential compromise. The Irish Times has learned party leader Micheál Mar(...)

Minister for Education Richard Bruton is due to publish the new Education (Parent and Student Charter) Bill over the coming weeks. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Schools will be obliged to provide performance updates to parents and students for the first time under a new legally enforceable charter. The measu(...)