Sign language users will soon be able to access State services in their native language. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Legislation initiated in the Seanad by Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly

Senator Lynn Ruane has called for an open, honest conversation on the issue of class. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Independent Senator calls for Seanad debate on class issues in Irish society

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: Nothing that commits the EU to a specific Brexit time period. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister tells Dail it is not realistic to expect a new trade arrangement in full by October

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said: “As any student of Anglo-Irish politics will tell, it will all end in tears as all of unionism’s dalliances with the British have.” File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Sinn Féin leader says some progress made in talks to restore Northern Executive

A queue outside the Capuchin Centre in Dublin last December. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

FF leader says numbers seeking help are rising and key staff have not been appointed

John Wilson, former principal of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, leading a rehearsal at the National Concert Hall.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Micheál Martin says orchestras have been part of Ireland’s cultural life for many decades

A shrine with an image of the Virgin Mary is seen on the site of the former mother-and-baby home run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam, Co Galway. File photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Katherine Zappone publishes report outlining options for mother-and-baby home site

Charlie Flanagan: he said he had discussed the consolidation of road traffic legislation with Minister for Transport Shane Ross

Flanagan says he is very concerned about ‘inconsistent’ operation of court poor box

The Seanad heard that figures released recently showed that life expectancy had increased by about five years. File Photograph: Getty Images

Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke says planning to meet challenge should begin in earnest

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘I take it very seriously and it is something I am very committed to because I really feel for these kids and their families.’ Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Leo Varadkar says he feels for scoliosis sufferers after Martin criticises €6m used for PR

Taoiseach said  he had maintained a “studied silence’’ on Monday

Taoiseach says all parties should be told about any deal at same time

Taoiseach tells the Dáil ‘some people want to work part-time’ during a debate on precarious work. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Opposition claims some employees exploited by short-term contracts

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil he believed there was time to put the Brexit border agreement back on track. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Leo Varadkar acknowledges relations between Ireland UK ‘strained’ in the last year or two

Mary Lou McDonald acknowledged  there was an “issue to be addressed” following a number of resignations. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Succession of resignations amid allegations causing party embarrassment

The Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare, one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations

Tourism Ireland says Brexit will present challenges next year

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a press conference with  European Council president  Donald Tusk on Friday. Photograph: Laura Hutton/PA Wire.

Taoiseach says Government has not been weakened by controversies

Wives and Partners of the Defence Forces march to the Dáil in protest against low pay levels of military personnel. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Coveney says offering one group of public workers special treatment would prove difficult

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: “As to whether I expect the numbers to grow, the answer is ‘Yes, I do’.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Majority expected to receive redress and compensation by the end of the year

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the Bill completed ‘a not inconsiderable task’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Gross pay of most public servants to return to pre-recession levels by July 2021

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he understood the Charleton tribunal could investigate the Department of Justice. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Justice says he recognises ‘disquiet and concern’ expressed in recent days

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Garda overtime was paid a month in arrears. “I would have hoped or assumed Garda management would have been aware of that.’’  Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Taoiseach says there is enough funding for Garda overtime next month

Charlie Flanagan: “I had been told by some people in my constituency that Deputy Kelly had made very negative comments about me in their presence.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Justice acknowledges he should have handled TD’s McCabe questions better

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: many backbench TDs are angry at what they see as a drawn-out controversy which angered the public and raised the vista of a pre-Christmas election.  Photograph: Press Association

TDs critical of Varadkar and Fitzgerald over controversy as they look to filling vacancy

The Taoiseach has said from now on Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan (above) will ensure Dáil questions to his department  are properly answered. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Taoiseach not happy at Department of Justice’s failure to fully answer questions

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said the EU taskforce would negotiate in a way that was consistent but fair and which showed some understanding of British difficulties.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Foreign Affairs says he personally believes no-deal outcome unlikely

Members of the Irish RWC 2023 bid team: IRFU chief executive, Philip Browne (centre); IRFU president Philip Orr (right) and bid chairman Dick Spring.

Heated exchanges in Seanad as Senator Terry Leyden criticises group lobbying for Ireland as Rugby World Cup venue

The Taoiseach recently tweeted a photograph of himself being “photobombed by a llama”. Photograph: Twitter

Varadkar dismisses Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin’s criticism as ‘nonsensical’

Senator Lynn Ruane said volunteers she had encountered had taken into account the personalities of the homeless people they met. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

Seanad hears it is unacceptable to dismiss work of ‘empathy and compassion’

The Bill’s passage brings to an end bitter divisions generated by the charges, which saw thousands of people take to the streets in protest marches. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Bill now goes to President Higgins for signing

The Government is exploring a number of initiatives to deal with social isolation in rural areas, Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Transport Shane Ross introduces Bill to ban all drivers caught over limit

Leo Varadkar said Frances Fitzgerald had no prior knowledge of the approach former commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan’s legal team pursued.

No record exists of telephone call to Department of Justice secretary general

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the introduction of the rent pressure zones meant 60 per cent of renters had rent certainty and control. Phoograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

‘Life goals once considered modest made impossible,’ Mary Lou McDonald says

Mr Kelleher said he had been told by one senior hospital manager the only programme in place for winter was “the flu vaccine and prayers’’. Photograph: iStock

Fianna Fáil’s Bill Kelleher says it provides evidence of the crisis in services

Minister of State for Justice David Stanton said sometimes it was better to start from scratch, redraft the cannabis legislation and resubmit it, if it was not possible to amend it.

Health committee warns enacting Bill will lead to legislative contradictions

Past winners of the award include former tánaiste Dick Spring. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Kerry Association in Dublin seeking nominations for awards which began in 1979

The Bill paves the way for refugees to bring grandparents, cousins, nephews, nieces and siblings to Ireland by expanding the reunification programme. Photograph: iStock

Proposal allows refugees bring extended family to Ireland

“There is no point in coming in here saying we all support hospices when you screwed them,’’ said Micheál Martin to Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach claims FF leader used word ‘unbecoming’ of his office

Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy has confirmed all water charges will not be refunded before Christmas, as originally planned. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Minister blames ‘Sinn Féin and Left parties’ for delay in getting money back to households

The RTÉ Investigates documentary went undercover to show people living in sub-standard rental accommodation, with bunk beds packed into rooms.

Eoin Ó Broin says recent RTÉ investigation highlighted State’s failure to protect tenants

 Minister for Arts Heather Humphries was meeting the Arts Council to discuss allegations of sexual harassment at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.   File photograph:  Matt Kavanagh.

Joan Burton says claims of what happened women at Gate Theatre ‘hardly actually believable’

 Irish Rail staff picketing  at Connolly Station in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Varadkar urged to ‘step in’ and ensure reasonable demands of workers are met

Willie Penrose said wronged tracker mortgage customers deserved to be able to take a collective action. File photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Willie Penrose says victims should be allowed collective legal action over issue

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said there were at least 30,000 cases involving tracker mortgage issues. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin criticised for unparliamentary language

John McGuinness says the tracker mortgage situation needs outside focus. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

John McGuinness says Central Bank is not fit for purpose and calls on ECB to intervene

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said while he did not accept there was a deep crisis in the Defence Forces, there were substantive issues.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach agrees ‘substantive’ issues to be dealt with but denies crisis

Mr Mullen was not present at the time of the Seanad debate on Tuesday. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik calls in Seanad for ‘respectful’ abortion debate

 Simon Coveney  told the Dáil that  different banks are behaving differently in terms of the pace of their co-operation with the Central Bank. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Paschal Donohoe said borrowers had been treated disgracefully by banks

Richard Bruton recalled that he had warned the then Fianna Fáil government in 2004 that its Central Bank Bill was defective.  Photograph : Matt Kavanagh

Strong criticism in Dáil and Seanad: ‘Scandal happened on a continuous basis’

Minister for Education Richard Bruton says The Central Bank will be given any powers it requires to deal the banks over the tracker mortgage scandal.

Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary says banks ‘slithered and slided’ from responsibilities

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said  reversing the 2012 pension changes would unnecessarily benefit people who have access to other resources. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Willie O’Dea accuses Sinn Féin of being ‘snipers behind the ditch’ in heated exchanges

 Vice Admiral Mark Mellett: nominated by the Government for election to the highest military body in the EU. Photograph: Alan Betson

Independent TD Clare Daly questions timing and neutrality implications

Senator Gerard Craughwell said there were only two qualified chain saw operators covering the entire northern section of the country in a line from Dublin to Galway. Photograph:  Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Gerard Craughwell says there is a lack of engineering units and chain saw operators

Independent Clare TD Michael Harty: claimed many successful Clare hurlers were from parts of the county that might end up in Limerick under proposed boundary changes in the McKinnon report

McKinnon report calls for the Cork city boundary to be extended into the county area

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused the Taoiseach of making “asinine’’ remarks on Brexit. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach refers to reports FF wants electronic border

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said local authorities would receive additional resources to assist in the clean-up.   Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader criticise people who disobeyed safety warnings

.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was in Drumlargan, near Kilcock inspecting damage to power lines caused by storm Ophelia. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Luas tram services resume earlier than expected after repairs at Red Cow

Advertising hoarding is ripped off during Storm Ophelia near Kent Station in Cork city. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

TDs tell of power cuts and falling trees as storm sweeps through their constituencies

 Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath: “The people who are affected want to see a roadmap back to being treated equally based on their contributions.” Photograph: Eric Luke

FF says women losing out on payments due to ‘bonkers and unbelievable’ anomaly

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane who asked about  plans to lift the “baptism barrier’’ over admissions to Catholic primary schools.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister takes legal advice on ending religious discrimination in admission policies

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said paying the money back would cost an estimated €230 million. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Dáil told women mainly affected by 2012 cost-saving changes to State pensions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that in the case of many occupational schemes amounts paid in were not enough to match promises made. “It is regrettable, but I do not see any way of resolving it.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Independent TD Clare Daly criticises ‘unfettered power’ of trustees

Leo Varadkar: ‘Is Fianna Fáil arguing now we should start training up Border guards?’Photograph: Eric Luke

Micheál Martin says it was ‘bad faith’ not to share report Revenue Commissioners’ report

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the announcement of Budget 2018 in Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Budget 2018 provision will increase tax on commercial property transactions

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy: said low-paid workers would pay for new communications unit. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Paul Murphy says new initiative under Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was to cost nothing

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Doherty says budget normalises mass homelessness of young people and children

The funeral of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave at Church of the Annunciation, Rathfarnham. Military Pallbearers carry the coffin into the church. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Three surviving ministers who served under former taoiseach present

Military Pallbearers carry the coffin into the church at funeral of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave at Church of the Annunciation, Rathfarnham. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Politician turned down a State funeral and requested ‘no speeches, no nonsense’, mourners told

Flags fly at half mast at Leinster House in Dublin after the death of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire.

FF leader says ex-FG taoiseach played big role in Ireland developing high global standing

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has warned local authorities not to impose development charges for telecommunications work.  Photograph: Maxwellphotography.ie

Denis Naughten says he will ‘name’ authorities who impose development levies

Marchers  call for the end to the  direct Provision system in Dublin last year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister tells Seanad says no ‘credible alternative’ to replace current system

Leo Varadkar: ‘I am sure we will find additional funding for disability services next year.’ File photograph Brian Lawless/PA

Micheál Martin says situation for disabled people continues to worsen year after year

There is strong evidence of the beneficial impact of the HPV vaccine for women’s health in countries that have had high uptake rates, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said. Photograph:  Getty Images.

Senator Tim Lombard expresses concern about recent negative publicity

Leo Varadkar rejected a claim by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in the Dáil that he had brought “a party person’’ with him on the trip. Photograph:   Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

FF leader Micheál Martin says government press secretaries should not do party work

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says such bodies “have a lot of autonomy to decide how that money is allocated”. Photograph: iStock

Fianna Fáil leader says disability, elderly care and other organisations also at risk

 Senator Michael McDowell said the Government should get on with governing the country under the present Constitution.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independent Senator dismisses plans to extend votes to 16-year-olds as ‘rubbish’

Minister for Health Simon Harris has appealed to young people to remain in Ireland and work in the health service. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

SF’s Louise O’Reilly says Ireland losing consultants due to poor working environment

Fianna Fáil education spokesman Thomas Byrne: The issue was not about pay but pay scales, he said. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FF’s Thomas Byrne says two-tier pay system is causing ‘massive flight’ of teachers

A file image of thousands of people attending a Right 2 Water protest in Dublin last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Politics of ‘thuggery’ did not defeat water charges, FF's Barry Cowen claims

An expert group is to be set up to examine Traveller accommodation policy, Minister of State for Housing Damien English has said. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Senator says targets not met at any point since being made mandatory 18 years ago

Mary Lou McDonald: the Taoiseach said the only time Ms McDonald was not scripted was when she was interrupting Government speakers

Leo Varadkar pays sarcastic compliment to Sinn Féin TD’s ‘flawless delivery’

TD Ruth  Coppinger told the Dáil on Wednesday that when Leo Varadkar was minister for health, 12 people were leaving the country daily for abortions. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ruth Coppinger criticises Taoiseach for not having a ‘more developed view’ on issue

Paschal Donohoe said legislation covering data sharing and governance was currently being considered by the Oireachtas. Photograph:   Conor McCabe Photography

Róisín Shortall says there is lack of trust in system to maintain people’s data safely

The first sitting of Seanad Éireann in its temporary location in the Ceramics Room of the National Museum of Ireland. Photograph: Maxwells

Minister of State John Paul Phelan pledges ring-fenced funding for local authorities

Prof Ruairí Brugha, who led the survey, said the chronic haemorrhage of doctors from Ireland would continue as long as they were undervalued.  File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

RCSI’s Ruairí Brugha says doctors will leave as long as they are being undervalued

The  Ceramic Room in the National Museum of Ireland, which will temporarily house the Seanad. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Senators were forced to relocate to the National Museum due to repair works

The seven shops which changed their signage to comply with the Charities Act 2009 were Munster Furniture Shop, Waterford; Sana, Galway; Christina’s Creations, Laois; Good Cause Way, Dublin; the former charity shop, Co Cavan; Share 2 Second Hand, Mayo; and the former Bandon Ataxia, Cork. Photograph: Google Maps

Four other shops not registered as charities shut down after prosecution and letters from the regulator

Bishop John Kirby: ‘more respectful’ system needed. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Current system ‘very unsatisfactory’, says Bishop of Clonfert Dr John Kirby

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald accused Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of a “sham fight over how best to introduce unaffordable and reckless tax cuts’’ instead of focusing on health and housing. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste defends tax breaks and says books will be balanced

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right) with European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt on his arrival at Government Buildings, Dublin, where Mr. Verhofstadt will address a special meeting of three Oireachtas Committee in the Dail chamber. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 21, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt tells Dáil ‘Irish Border and all things related are a priority’

Minister for Housing  Eoghan Murphy  said the Private Member’s Bill, moved by Solidarity and People Before Profit, required further consideration. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach says homelessness is a ‘stain’ on Irish society

Jimmy Magee at  Mansion House in Dublin after being awarded the Lord Mayor’s Award in 2010. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The sports commentator died aged 82 after a short illness

Willie Penrose: ‘I don’t bother with Twitter, Facebook or any of that nonsense.’ File photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Rank-and-file must measure up to dual role of legislator and constituency representative

Molly Brown (six months), from Donabate, is pictured in the Sam Maguire alongside members of the Dublin team at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Jim Gavin and his charges visit Crumlin centre following their All-Ireland win

 Regina Doherty said the Garda Commissioner  had an incredible track record in her service to public life. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Regina Doherty strongly defends Noírín O’Sullivan at Kennedy school

Former Fianna Fáil minister of state Conor Lenihan has confirmed he is talking to the party about running in the Dublin constituency in the next European elections. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times.

Former minister of state would run in Dublin constituency, where party is without a seat

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Central Mary Lou McDonald is likely to fight the next election as the party’s  leader if, as expected, Gerry Adams stands down in advance. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The reforms in four bellwether regions could have a significant political impact

A  heatwave in May  contributed to fires in Galway, Sligo, Roscommon, Cork and Donegal. Photograph: Getty Images

It is illegal to burn vegetation until the end of August

A recent report by the Waterford Institute of Technology on behalf of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association found two-thirds of farmers had been the victims of crime. Photograph: Alan Betson/  The Irish Times

Jim O’Callaghan says each farming victim losing average of €4,300

The People’s debate with Vincent Browne. Photograph: Brian McEvoy

Michael O’Regan recalls the career of a tough journalist who hated to be liked

IFA president Joe Healy said the Irish agri-food sector was the most exposed sector to Brexit.  Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

The more than 40% of Irish agri-food exports that go to UK are at risk, Joe Healy warns

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