Fianna Fáil leader, Micheal Martin: has told his frontbench TDs to be much more assertive. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are scouting for additional candidates

An Irish Coast Guard helicopter flying over the funeral of Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, one of the four  members of the Rescue 116 crew who died last year. The crew  will be commemorated on two new stamps. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Organ donation, Liffey Swim and first sitting of the Dáil will also be marked

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is expected to have “fiscal space” of €3.2 billion or more in the next budget. Photograph: Eric Luke

Spending €3.2 billion available would be ‘crazy’, senior Government figures say

Teachers protesting over pay inequality. The Government has said it will enter into talks with trade unions on the two-tier pay structure for teachers, nurses and other public service personnel. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Cost of ending two-tier pay system for 60,000 hired since 2011 estimated at €200m

US president Donald Trump, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  and others walk down the House of Representative steps after the Friends of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill.   Photograph: Tom Brenner/New York Times

Taoiseach ‘overwhelmed’ on trip to US and ‘blurted out’ story, says FF’s Niall Collins

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald leads activists in highlighting the Sinn Féin ‘Trust Women – Repeal the Eighth’ message outside Leinster House last week. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Veteran republican Francie Brolly accuses party leadership of ‘hedging their bets’

Anti-abortion protesters march through Dublin at a demonstration last Saturday. Photograph: Caroline Quinn/PA Wire

Regulator advises against ‘mechanistic’ coverage of referendums ahead of abortion vote

Eoin Ó’Broin, who is favour of the 12-week proposal, told RTÉ his preference is for the party to hold an ard fheis before the referendum.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Some party members want clarity on party’s 12-week abortion stance

The rally is being organised the Save the Eighth group.  Photographer: Dara MacDonaill

Simon Harris says Government must do more to reduce crisis pregnancies

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has already said her TDs will not be allowed a vote of conscience on abortion. Photograph: Daniel  Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Leader Mary Lou McDonald said holding ard fheis to amend party policy would be difficult

European Council president Donald Tusk at Government Buildings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

European Council president tells UK to come up with firm proposals avoiding hard border

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald with supporters. The party is unlikely to hold an ardfheis to update its abortion policy before the referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment is held. Photograph Nick Bradshaw.

Party now opposes terminations up to 12 weeks and must hold ardfheis to propose change

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil: “This referendum will be about asking the Irish public to change our Constitution – our basic and most fundamental law – to say that we, as a country, people and State, trust women to make these decisions for themselves.” Photograph:   Collins

Supreme Court judgment paves way for vote to change Constitution

Senator Catherine Noone alleged she was subject to misogyny by a male colleague for a number of years. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/THE IRISH TIMES

Catherine Noone tells party colleagues she wants to ‘get back to focusing’ on her work

Finian McGrath: “The convention offers us an opportunity to reassess our attitudes to people with disabilities, and to place a renewed focus on their place in society”

Finian McGrath says he insisted on ratification being priority for the Government

A Fine Gael row over alleged bullying of Senator Catherine Noone is expected to be settled tonight without any formal disciplinary action being taken. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Senator wants to ‘draw line’ under matter following complaint about FG colleague

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: to meet John McDonnell, Philip Hammond and David Lidington in London on Monday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Finance to hold meetings with senior UK figures on post-Brexit EU relations

A Dublin canal lock.  A spokesman for the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said the disruption so far has been at least on a par with the last period of severe cold weather in 2010. Photograph: Getty Images

Dublin Chamber of Commerce says cost to businesses around capital likely to be over €100m

The 2013 Rally for Life anti abortion demonstration in Dublin. The Government expects to publish the wording of the referendum next week. Photograph: Alan Betson

The 12-week stance and the notion of trust – coming from both sides – is crucial to debate

 Senator Catherine Noone made allegations against an unnamed member of the Fine Gael party  last week.  Photograph: Sam Boal/

Catherine Noone made claims of bullying and sexism against party colleague

EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said nothing in the text should ‘be a surprise’ to British or others. Photograph: European Commission/PA

Northern Ireland will be considered part of the EU’s customs territory after Brexit, text says

DUP Jeffrey Donaldson (L), deputy leader Nigel Dodds (C) and Emma Pengelly (R) leave 10 Downing Street after a meeting in June 2017. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: Donaldson says draft Brexit agreement ‘fundamentally breaches” December deal

Justin McAleese previously played a prominent role in the same-sex marriage referendum in 2015, when he spoke of his experience of growing up as a gay man.

Justin McAleese to seek Fianna Fáil party nomination in Dublin Rathdown

A Bill on regulating so-called vulture funds tabled by Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath is to be debated in the Dáil this week. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Donohoe says he will accept Fianna Fáil Bill calling for vulture fund regulation

It is  understood the pension reform plan will propose allowing people to defer the age at which they receive the State pension to allow them to work longer.  File photograph: Getty Images

Proposal to allow people to defer when they get State pension to allow them work longer

PTSB has been criticised for turning down a request to appear before the Oireachtas finance committee to answer questions about its plans to sell €3.7bn in mortgages to vulture funds. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Lender is criticised after turning down request to answer questions on loan sale

According to the report, Britain’s GDP would come in 5 per cent or 2 per cent lower than forecast while for Ireland it would be 7 per cent or 2.8 per cent.

Report measures effects of deals on various economies and suggests EU allies for Ireland

President Michael D Higgins and his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos inspect the presidental Evzoni guards, during the official welcome ceremony outside the presidental palace in Athens. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Gallagher says he is ‘very surprised’ at change of heart as President meets Greek leaders

Senator Catherine Noone made claims of bullying and sexism against a member of her own party at a meeting of TDs and senators this week. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/THE IRISH TIMES

Party to examine claims by Senator Catherine Noone she was bullied by party colleague

Michael McGrath: In danger of  being offered a Fine Gael membership form.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Party focuses on protection of mortgage holders amid concern over sale of billions of loans by Permanent TSB

President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, await the arrival of the Italian president, at Áras an Uachtaráin earlier this month. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Senior party figures say they would prefer to support a second run for Higgins

An outline of the new Metro Link shows that, as well as the existing Luas green line stop on St Stephen’s Green west, an underground Metro station will be constructed on St Stephen’s Green east. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Underground station planned for St Stephen’s Green East

President Michael D Higgins: figures in Leinster House have been told he will declare his intentions in July

A number of politicians have already said they will challenge Higgins

 Fianna Fáil’s John Curran, Michael McGrath, John Lahart and Senator Catherine Ardagh at Leinster House on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Varadkar indicates Government is willing to take on board concerns over PTSB loans

Government seeks deal over Fianna Fáil proposal to regulate vulture funds

Eighth Amendment: Simon Coveney “may not like the outcome of the proposal, but he does have ownership of it”, Brendan Howlin said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Labour leader Brendan Howlin warns Coveney against ‘starting afresh’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  after the launch of Project Ireland 2040. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Varadkar says Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford to grow at twice the rate of Dublin

Leo Varadkar: “We encourage the political parties to come behind it and to say that they support it and they endorse it .”

Fianna Fáil expresses concerns about strategy behind the €116bn project

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking after the launch of Project Ireland 2040. Photograph:   Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Taoiseach says Ireland may benefit from more migrant workers to build infrastructure

Computer-generated image of what Metro North  could look like.

Taoiseach outlines parts of the new development strategy for Ireland up to 2040

The 2,600 additional hospital beds which were recently recommended in the Government’s bed capacity review will all be provided under the new capital plan

‘Project Ireland – 2040’ plan to be announced after Cabinet meeting in Sligo

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and  Tánaiste Simon Coveney outside Stormont House, in Belfast. Coveney, when he was in the Department of Housing, launched a plan that would lay out how the State wants to manage future population growth out to 2040. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

New plan combines initiatives aimed at developing second-tier cities and some towns

Michael Ring: Declared himself happy with the national planning framework. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The planning framework is understood to be finalised after weeks of back and forth

Computer generated image of what Metro North arriving at Swords station could look like

New agency expected to manage projects aimed at increasing housing density in Dublin

Stormont talks: Theresa May in Northern Ireland on Monday, when she and Leo Varadkar discussed the state of play in Brexit talks. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

May asks Varadkar to help her with post-Brexit EU-UK relations

The underground element of the Metro North route was cut back in 2015 by then minister for transport Paschal Donohoe on cost grounds. File photograph: Alan Betson

More of 17km track could be underground under revised proposals for airport rail link

 Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald (centre)  with deputy president Michelle O’Neill celebrating after their election at a party  ardfheis at the RDS in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Perhaps McDonald felt ardfheis not the forum to signal how the future will be different

Mary Lou McDonald acknowledges the applause of delegates as she is elected  Sinn Féin president at the party’s ardfheis at the RDS in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mary Lou McDonald formally succeeds Gerry Adams as Sinn Féin leader at RDS ardfheis

Micheál Martin: One TD said: “But this is a conscience issue, and we have to respect that Micheál Martin changed his view”

Those opposing Martin’s position say vast majority of parliamentary party disagreed with leader

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin outside Leinster House this week. Cork South West’s Margaret Murphy O’Mahony downplayed suggestions of rival groupings emerging but said the “mixed views” had to be heard. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Group may meet next week to discuss party leader’s surprise stance on Eighth Amendment

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s  decision  to  support a vote to legalise abortion on request in the early months of pregnancy has prompted a huge reaction in the party. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader says matter is deeply personal and not a party political issue

The European Commission has ordered that Apple pay Ireland €13 billion in back taxes, but both the Government and the iPhone manufacturer have appealed the ruling. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

iPhone maker to start paying €13bn into escrow account pending appeal against ruling

Brendan Howlin: It is not good enough . . . that the leader of political parties don’t give leadership. Photograph:  Collins

Labour leader says leadership on the issue is required

 Barry McElduff, who has resigned as Sinn Féin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

As Kingsmill video controversy intensified ‘no one was jumping to his defence’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  previously expressed caution about the proposal to legalise abortions up to 12 weeks, suggesting last week that it might be ‘a step too far’ for many people. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach advises against straying too far from proposals to repeal Eighth Amendment

Senator Catherine Noone, chairwoman of the Oireachtas abortion committee, addressed each of the recommendations and offered explanations as to why  the committee made them. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chair of Oireachtas committee Catherine Noone explains how it came to decision

 Minister for Health Simon Harris. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael TDs and senators meet to debate abortion

Micheál Martin  is a cautious politician and will not want to needlessly make enemies. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

After poor party poll results, Micheál Martin begins 2018 on the back foot

Almost half of all TDs (46%) are in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, while 15% said they are opposed. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Irish Times’ review finds that one in three TDs has yet to declare a position on the issue

The Government’s move to offer €20,000 tax rebates to help first-time homebuyers purchase properties has led to a 50% increase in the number of such buyers getting on the property ladder. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

New CSO figures indicate that the programme has boosted demand for housing

Fianna Fáil would invest all Nama’s profits – estimated to be about €3 billion – in house building. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Agency would be established for three years to offer ‘shock treatment’ to housing market

‘Voters must be given clear proposals on how the current housing crisis can be solved.’ File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Analysis: FF is beginning to roll out its policies as confidence-and-supply deal nears its end

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stressed that there would be a free vote on the issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says proposals might be ‘a step too far’ while several Ministers express reservations

Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists chair Dr Peter Boylan. The institute said it looked forward to continuing to assist “in informing legislation to enhance women’s health and safety”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh says intervention by doctors’ group is ‘significant’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: a spokesman said he will not make any comment on his own views before the Cabinet and Fine Gael parliamentary party discussed the issue. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Simon Harris to bring memo to today’s meeting laying out likely steps before a referendum

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State at the department Patrick O’Donovan have ‘different’ views on abortion. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Finance says he agrees with Oireachtas committee’s recommendations

None of the TDs who spoke to The Irish Times were critical of Micheál Martin himself. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Deputies say frontbench must be changed or reformed to help ‘freshen up’ party

Mary Lou McDonald: Sinn Féin’s deputy leader is the only person so far to have confirmed an interest in succeeding Gerry Adams. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Mary Lou McDonald expected to succeed Gerry Adams on February 10th

The lowest spending was the Department of the Taoiseach, with €32,990 spent on six reports. Photograph: Eric Luke

Figures show 911 reports paid for, with highest number in Department of Education

Peter Sutherland, the former European commissioner, attorney general and chairman of Goldman Sachs International, has died. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Dubliner served as European commissioner, in UN role and had extensive business career

President Michael D  Higgins: he  has yet to declare if he will seek a second term in the autumn. Photograph: Getty Images

Gerard Craughwell says it would be ‘undemocratic’ not to have election for President

The Climate Change Advisory Council last month warned Ireland was not on track to meet its EU 2020 commitments to reduce carbon emissions, and would struggle to decarbonise its economy by 2050. File photograph: Getty Images

Climate Change Advisory Council warned Ireland not set to meet EU 2020 commitments

Finian McGrath said he was working with Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty on a new payment to help ‘people with disabilities who are living in poverty’. Photograph: Tom Honan

Finian McGrath calls for rises in disability and carer’s allowances in Budget 2019

Mary Lou McDonald: she has  signalled she will examine how the party is run in light of a series of bitter resignations and rows in local organisations. Photograph: Getty Images

Mary Lou McDonald will need to opt for continuity as Gerry Adams’s heir

Minister of State with responsibility for disabilities, Finian McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Greater supports for children with disabilities needed in tandem with abortion legislation

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Ireland will be a friend to Britain in the next phase of the Brexit talks. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste wants Britain to ‘go the Norway route and then negotiate around that’

Tánaiste  Simon Coveney: “I think that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will both do well in the next election, and people see the country is moving in the right direction.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste says Sinn Féin partnership will only happen if party changes ‘and pigs can fly’

Minister for Education  Richard Bruton has said the Government will move next year to ensure there are enough teachers in key school subjects. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Moves may include paying the cost of a teaching qualification for graduates

Mary Hanafin: Fianna Fáil has prioritised winning a seat in Dún Laoghaire in the next general election

Former Minister to stand in old constituency despite losing at selection convention

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: creating a new strategic communications unit. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Press officers may be moved to other departments as communications streamlined

Priority flood-defence projects are expected to be allocated €267m in total. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Priority schemes to get biggest ever investment in defences, with €130m for Cork city

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in his  Leinster House office. “I come from a background which in many respects has always been pro-life but I have never been absolutist or judgemental.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil leader cannot see coalition with Sinn Féin after the next election

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: politicians made a “real and enduring mistake” by allowing the Eighth Amendment to be inserted into the Constitution. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins

Oireachtas committee on Eighth Amendment backs terminations up to 12th week of pregnancy

Eoghan Murphy: the Minister for Housing  will announce proposals  to exempt a number of developments from planning permissions to help tackle the housing crisis.   Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Housing to include relevant changes as part of the Planning Act

An additional € 10 million had been allocated for people with disabilities over and above what had been announced on Budget day in October.

‘We can’t quantify the contribution of carers to society and neither can we repay it in full’

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

Abortion committee’s recommendations remain an issue for Leinster House before 2017 is left behind

Inside Politics: Majority of members say they will support abortion without restrictions in first 12 weeks of pregnancy

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: text on first phase of Brexit talks “means, essentially, protecting the status quo”. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Text and not individual opinions on document should be heeded, says Tánaiste

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: wants to consult with the local community in Tuam before proceeding on a definite course of action. Photograph: Dave Meehan

DNA testing on mother and baby home remains unlikely to succeed, says expert group

Minister for Health Simon Harris: says it is recognised the delivery of healthcare is an “inherently risky activity” and it is inevitable things may go wrong on occasion.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Licensing system for hospitals proposed by Simon Harris

British prime minister  Theresa May is taking an upbeat stance on securing a Brexit deal, as Ireland insists the UK must stick to its commitments on keeping a soft border with the Republic. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

David Davis caused consternation with comments he has since clarified

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar holds a press  conference in Dublin on Friday morning after the European Commission announced that “sufficient progress” has been made in the first phase of Brexit talks. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

After Monday’s debacle, Friday’s breakthrough on Border brought welcome cheer

Brexit negotiations are now expected to advance to the next stage which focuses on the transition period after Brexit takes effect in March 2019 and on the future EU-UK relationship. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland gets commitment there will be no hard border even if UK leaves EU without deal

 Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs  Simon Coveney during  a press conference in Dublin after the deal was agreed. Photograph:  Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Varadkar says Government has ‘achieved all we set out to achieve’ in phase one of talks

 Britain’s secretary of state for Brexit  David Davis (left), Britain’s prime minister Theresa May (second left), European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (second right)and European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (right) meet at the European Commission in Brussels, on Friday morning. Photograph: EPA

DUP would have preferred if May did not sign deal, says it won ‘six substantive changes’

British prime minister Theresa May may travel to Brussels on Friday to conclude a deal with commission president Jean-Claude Juncker if the Irish, British and EU teams can agree on language. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

‘Irish Times’ poll finds overwhelming public support for Varadkar’s tough line with UK

Chairperson of the Policing Authority Josephine Feehily: Nóirín O’Sullivan’s  “intentions certainly would have been to perform [her] role honourably”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Josephine Feehily says former Garda commissioner had ‘strong sense of mission’

Chris Grayling said “regulatory alignment” proposed by Theresa May – a phrase which alarmed the DUP – did not involve laws within the post-Brexit UK being the same as those in the rest of Europe. Photograph: Getty Images

Varadkar and May speak for 15 minutes on Thursday evening

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar explains a point after a meeting  the prime minister of The Netherlands Mark Rutte in Dublin on Wednesday night. Photograph: EPA

Commission says final deadline is Sunday if EU council is to make decision on next phase

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met  the Dutch prime minister  Mark Rutte in Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the substance and meaning of the deal must not be altered

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