Mattie McGrath: Independent TD Mattie McGrath called the quorum which requires 10 Deputies to be present.   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

McGrath condemns lack of attendance as disgraceful in debate called for 10pm

Sinn Féin’s Niall Ó Donnghaile has called for a Department of Foreign Affairs office to deal with applications for Irish passports from  Northern Ireland. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

SF Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile urges Government to ‘put its money where its mouth is’

Better management, proper clinical leadership, real accountability and proper responsibility were required from those charged with  managing the health services, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said. File photograph: Getty Images

Health service unique in estimating it needs €1.5bn extra a year to do nothing – Varadkar

Colm Cooper celebrates scoring a goal for Kerry in the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final replay against Cork. File photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former Gaelic footballer receives annual award from Kerry Association in Dublin

A Dáil debate on the findings of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment has concluded.

Minister of State opposes ‘purposeful destruction’ of a viable pregnancy

Senator Paul  Coghlan said the most basic and fundamental right was the right to life. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Colleague Gabrielle McFadden highlights exodus of 165,000 women for abortion

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD at Leinster House on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste says Government will try to make ‘quick’ decision on compensation

Joanne Hayes leaving the tribunal of enquiry into the Kerry babies in 1985. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Attitudes to gardaí and role of women have changed dramatically since nadir of 1980s

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: yet to state where he stands on the amendment introduced in 1983 to underpin Ireland’s anti-abortion laws but is expected to favour  repeal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach likely to back repeal of amendment at special parliamentary party meeting

Frances Fitzgerald: neither Fianna Fáil nor Fine Gael has an obvious candidate to oppose Michael D Higgins if he runs again. Within Fine Gael, Ms Fitzgerald’s name has been mentioned. Photograph: Eric Luke

Possible general election and cost may mean the parties will not field candidates

‘They shot us all at waist level to stop anyone from running away’, recalled Alan Black, sole survivor of Kingsmill massacre. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Alan Black, who saw 10 colleagues killed by the IRA, says Barry McElduff was ‘dancing on their graves’

Boxer Moran (left) pictured in 2015 with and Simon Coghill in Athlone as they shore up the flood defences on the Eastern side of the River Shannon. File photograph: Alan Betson

Minister of State says any tensions within Independent Alliance in the past

Pope Francis greets newlyweds during his weekly general audience at Aula Paolo VI, in the Vatican, on Wednesday. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May and Donald Trump rate poorly among Irish people, according to new poll

The Department of Foreign Affairs provided support to Irish people caught up in terrorist attacks in Barcelona (above), Manchester, London and St Petersburg, the earthquake in Mexico City and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean. Photograph: Andreu Dalmau/EPA

More than 2,500 Irish needed help, some caught up in terrorist attacks and natural disasters

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher said on average there are 15,830 delayed discharges every month, or 58 per day. Photograph: iStock

Party health spokesman Billy Kelleher says total for first nine months was 142,472

Mattie McGrath: “Members of the public are coming to us asking to join because they feel let down by other parties.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Mattie McGrath and Michael Collins set to promote anti-abortion message

Leo Varadkar letter: the lonely and socially isolated are more likely to die younger, the Senator has told the Taoiseach

Dr Keith Swanick calls on Government to set up loneliness task force

Rev Dr Laurence Graham, president of the Methodist Church in Ireland, presents a gift to President Michael D Higgins to mark his visit to the Dublin Central Mission, Abbey Street. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Higgins says many people have experienced the mission’s ‘warm embrace’

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said there would also be a new offence of coercive control under the Domestic Violence Bill 2017.

Charlie Flanagan says law allowing those under 18 years marry will be repealed

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:

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

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