Local election candidate for  the Skibbereen West Cork constituency Evie Nevin with Catherine Murphy TD.   Photograph: Paul Sharp

Social Democrats launch disability manifesto as candidate highlights library inaccessibility

Independent TD Tommy  Broughan said 83,000 licences of banned drivers in the past eight years had not been surrendered. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Licences should be taken off motorists ‘there and then in court’, says Independent TD

Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt said the British government was considering a proposal give veterans an amnesty from historical prosecutions after 10 years but said the change would not apply to allegations arising from service in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Government may exclude soldiers who served in Northern Ireland from amnesty

Sinn Féin deputy leader Pearse Doherty: ‘What we have are the posh boys and girls of Fine Gael developing policies for people who are struggling.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Coveney accuses Doherty of attempting to start ‘class war’ after ‘posh boys and girls’ jibe

Sam Bailey from Rathcoole, Co Dublin, his father Paul, mother Fiona and sisters Kayla and Sarah, protesting over the HSE’s decision not funding the drug Spinraza, outside the Dáil in February. Photograph: James Forde

FF condemns postponement of decision on funding of Spinraza to treat spinal muscular atrophy

Scene of a double ATM robbery on Main Street, Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Deterring of ATM robberies should be possible says FF as they call for more resources in Border areas

Ruth Morrissey and her husband Paul sued over her CervicalCheck smear tests. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister calls on professionals to continue providing service amid ‘chill effect’ warnings

Green Party leader  Eamon Ryan said: ‘We want certain things to be in public ownership and social housing should be in public ownership for use forever and a day for the people of Ireland.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Green Party accuses Government of ‘privatising everything’

Clare Daly TD: ‘Their inquests have brought the issue of maternal deaths into the public domain and given it the public attention it deserves.’ File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

TD recounts ‘hard fought’ efforts for inquests that revealed death by medical misadventure

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  said no matter when they announced the broadband plan, they would have been criticised – for electioneering or for burying it if they waited until after the local elections. Photograph:  Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Taoiseach appeals to Opposition to have open mind about €5bn broadband deal

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald criticised the Taoiseach after it emerged the European Commission was investigating the State’s insurance industry. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times.

European inquiry shows failure of ‘kid gloves approach’ to industry, McDonald tells Dáil

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has rejected Fianna Fáil claims that the Government was electioneering and playing politics with taxpayers’ money over the announcement of the national broadband plan. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters.

Leo Varadkar denies electioneering or playing politics with taxpayers’ money

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Stephen Donnelly.Photograph: Alan Betson

Salary talks will have to include issue of private practice in public hospitals, Dáil hears

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall, who championed the parental leave legislation in the Dáil, said it was a great relief to see it pass. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Four weeks extra unpaid parental leave from September with four more to be added in 2020

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said there was ‘no worse crime than one against a child and no worse form of crime or a crime that is more unspeakable than child abuse’. File photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Claimants, abused in State schools, must show abuser was the subject of a previous complaint

Fianna Fáil TD Sean Haughey said people were ‘genuinely afraid to travel on the Dart at certain times of the day and at weekends’. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Increase in knife crime also highlighted in wake of fatal stabbing of Azzam Raguragui

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Ireland’s declaration of a climate emergency: ‘It is a gesture, but symbols and gestures matter.’ File photograph: Tom Honan

Taoiseach tells Dáil case for light rail network stronger in Cork than in Galway

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil ‘we did think about’ renationalising Eir to “get out our hands on the real infrastructure which is the poles and the ducts”. File photograph: Maxwells

Taoiseach claims taking over company would have cost €8bn before funding broadband plan

Ireland remains 70% dependent on oil and gas, which the Government hopes to get to 30% by 2030. File photograph: Getty

Sharp Dáil exchanges over carbon tax as Taoiseach urged to convene crisis meeting

Over the next seven years, 147,000km of fibre will be strung on existing Eir-owned poles, said Minister for Communications Richard Bruton in the Dáil. File photograph: Getty

Utility unsuitable for delivery of service as it ‘won’t work as quickly and could cost more’

Independent TD and GP Michael Harty raised the MedLab issue during a debate on the CervicalCheck cancer screening programme. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Dáil hears High Court judgment ‘misunderstands screening programmes’

Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty  said the cost benefit analysis is not credible. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Opposition warns project may never be delivered as bidder as ’so little skin in game’

In some restaurants, it has emerged, tips or service charges become part of general business cashflow, used to pay wages and other business outgoings. A number File photograph: George Clerk/iStock/Getty Images

TD calls for emergency legislation to stop ‘greedy’ employers withholding money

 Minister for Health Simon Harris   acknowledged the need for a review and for “questions to be answered on how the mortuary operates and to ensure best practice is in place”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Simon Harris tells Dáil he will take a couple of days to consider terms of reference

Minister for Communications Richard Bruton speaking in Dublin after the Government approved the national broadband plan at a cost of €3 billion. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA

Bruton says he will not prejudice final signing off of contract by giving figure

Minister for Communications Richard Bruton said there was ‘nothing underhand’ in the Government decision to publish significant documents in relation to the national broadband plan on Wednesday. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Opposition leaders study ‘significantly redacted’ papers including warnings on risk

Ireland currently offers one of the lowest levels of parental leave in the EU. Photograph: iStock

Bill to be passed by summer will allow parents of children up to 12 an extra eight weeks

Ellie Kisyombe: ‘I’m delighted to have submitted my nomination forms to the DCC returning officer.’ File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Candidate ‘confused’ by party statement after campaigning throughout review process

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy: ‘These facilities are not intended to be seen as a housing solution.’ Photograph: Tom Honan

Critical report should be ‘seared into brain of every policy influencer’, says Fianna Fáil TD

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD: “We will ensure that people in Northern Ireland will still have access to European Health Insurance Cards.” File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Power would transfer from ‘unelected officials’ to ‘truly accountable’ politicians.

A pair of baby shoes with the message ‘Bury us with dignity’ hangs on a wall at the site of the Tuam mother-and-baby home. Photograph: Andy Newman

Tuam home commission dismisses archaeologist’s suggestion of ‘burial vault’

Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace made the remark about the national children’s hospital costs as he renewed his appeal for the Government to reconsider the tender. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independents4Change TD claims State will not retender as pause in construction would ‘look bad’

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi talks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne - Pool/Getty Images

Taoiseach tells Nancy Pelosi at State dinner the Belfast Agreement is ‘still unfulfilled’

A shrine dedicated to children who died at the  Tuam mother and baby home. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said a report by a commission investigating the homes made for ‘gruesome reading’. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters.

Taoiseach says commission of investigation’s fifth interim report makes ‘gruesome reading’

Efforts to make  senior banking executives more accountable for their actions are delayed due to  Brexit, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe  said. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Minister proposes to seek approval for Central Bank (Amendment) Bill before summer

Leo Varadkar said the Government “has the option to buy” into the network, and because it was not a commercial piece of infrastructure “one would expect that to be a relatively inexpensive proposition”. File photograph: Getty Images

Government can step in and take over if contractor fails to deliver, says Varadkar

Independent Senator Michael McDowell, leading opponent of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Bid to curtail debate on Bill defeated by 26 votes to 24 in the Seanad

Nancy Pelosi receives a standing ovation in the Dáil on Wednesday. Handout photograph: Maxwell Photography/PA Wire

US speaker Nancy Pelosi insists nothing must imperil ‘seamless’ Irish Border

Minister of State for Mental Health Jim Daly secured the funding, separate from the HSE’s mental health budget, for community-based projects.Photograph: Eric Luke

€3 million fund initiative to deal with ‘most unrecognised health crisis in a generation’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Mr Trump can be “somewhat unconventional in his communication methods” and said he might announce any “imminent arrival” to Ireland by social media. File photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Varadkar says US president ‘unconventional in his communication methods’

Barry Cowen TD:  ‘There can be no other action taken. It is then up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to take up the case and seek a conviction’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘There is no downside to bringing a fraudulent claim’, says FF’s Barry Cowen

The bullet riddled minibus  where 10 protestant workmen were shot dead by the IRA in South Armagh in 1976. Photograph: PA Wire

Senator Ian Marshall says families had got no comfort from the authorities over killings

Tánaiste  Simon Coveney has said   that ‘right from the outset we have been working to ensure that Irish and British citizens in Northern Ireland would continue to access rights and privileges that come with EU citizenship’. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Government ‘fully committed’ to ensuring vital citizenship provisions, says Coveney

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘The cost including VAT contingencies and so on could be in the region of €3 billion albeit spread over 25 years’. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/WPA Pool/Getty

Homes, businesses without broadband are ‘real casualties’ of ‘debacle’, says McDonald

The Taoiseach said not all the almost €1 billion allocated to the scheme has been spent.

Martin highlights case where funds nursing home were unavailable despite approval

Firefighters assess  damage to  Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after the massive fire on Monday. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Party leaders express sympathy to French after devastating fire at world heritage site in Paris

Michéal Martin has said that while the Oireachtas committee hearing last week was at some level ‘farcical’ it was also ‘effective’. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Taoiseach warns against inquiry that could prejudice potential criminal investigation

The Dáil was told that 30 years ago just three in 10 people survived cancer, but this had since doubled. File photograph: Getty

Minister warns against those who ‘easily hide their identity’ online to make ‘fast buck’

Independents4Change TD Clare Daly told the Dáil of the ‘crazy conditions’ members of the Defence Forces had to work under.

TD claims Defence Forces personnel working under ’crazy conditions’ as numbers plunge

09/04/19 Mansoor Uddin (41), of Castleway, Adamstown, Lucan, leaving court yesterday (TUES) after the case. PIC: Colins Courts

Mansoor Uddin (41) had pleaded guilty to sexual assaults of three female passengers

The Labour party’s  housing spokeswoman Jan O’Sullivan said Fine Gael’s free market approach to the provision of homes had failed and it was time for the State to step in directly and build 80,000 homes.File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

House rejects amendments and Labour motion for ‘fundamental shift’ in housing policy

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan  introduced a private member’s Bill in 2016, as a backbencher,for a referendum to reduce waiting times for divorce.

Separation time for couples in marriage breakdown to be cut from four to two years

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Homebuyers losing out to investment funds despite having paid booking fee, Dáil told

Mary Coll and Jacqueline Connolly, Clodagh Hawe’s mother and sister. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Bill originated from murder of Clodagh Hawe and her three sons in 2016

Labour TD Joan Burton criticised the National Museum for being “hopeless on the subject of women”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Josepha Madigan suggests permanent exhibition on women’s role in Irish history

Senator Michael McDowell called for a break from 2pm to 3pm to have lunch in the members’ restaurant rather than a sandwich. Photograph: Tom Honan

Minister quotes Lemony Snicket as row in Upper House leads to vote on lunch time

Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin described the PwC report into the escalation of costs as a “damning indictment” of the whole tendering and contract process. Photograph: Artist’s impression of national children’s hospital

FF claims nobody in Cabinet asked ’any hard questions’ about spiralling costs of project

John Delaney arrives with other FAI officials to attend the  Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport at Leinster House. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Fine Gael TD says he paid for tickets, ‘but I would accept if I was working in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done things this way’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: “The EU is born of a vision to end wars.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sinn Féin accused Simon Coveney of trying to be ‘best boy in class’ on route to EU army

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Tom Honan

Eoghan Murphy says local authorities should have no hesitation in drawing down funds

The Taoiseach said 112,000 women consulted their GPs about a second test but only 57,800 took a second test. Photograph: iStock

Laboratories reluctant to test repeat smears because of Ireland’s ‘litigious environment’

Brother and sister Gerry and Nicola Mckenna

Stay at home parents now included in Government scheme to reimburse donors

Richard Boyd Barrett said ‘there is a notion abroad that the film industry is exceptional and that the normal rules do not apply to it’. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Minister says such behaviour absolutely against law and will not be tolerated

Senator Alice Mary Higgins aims at overhauling the bid system for all public projects. Photograph: Sarah Doyle/PA Wire

Government reviewing procurement policy introduced when country ’banjaxed’

Deputy Claire  Daly said  in one case the State ‘spared no expense’ with a major legal team and 10 days of hearings before the Government ‘threw in the towel’.

Clare Daly claims State ‘enriching legal profession’, failing to make health service safe

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said there was no alternative arrangement or “magic solution” that does the same job as the border backstop. Photograph: Reuters

Some Westminster MPs ‘misrepresenting reality’, Tánaiste tells Dáil

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary asked ‘why is it taking so long to deal with the findings’ when the review was completed in 2015 and still had not been published.

Minister for Health and HSE ‘regret’ delay in completion but ‘robust report’ a priority

Staff in Limerick said the hospital repeatedly failed to adhere to national emergency department escalation policy and ‘remains in full capacity protocol’, the Dáil was told.

Hospital was like ‘scenes after a major national disaster’ without the national disaster

John Brady  said 117,131 people who had been through the programme ‘have not sourced employment or seemingly anything at all’.

Policy paper on employment scheme says 206,000 people have been referred to it since 2015

 Minister for Health, Simon Harris: A spokeswoman for Mr Harris said he would appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Health in the coming days. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Harris claims he was not informed of concerns over free tests by CervicalCheck director

Preparations for dealing with the EU frontier on the island of Ireland will be one of the main items on the agenda when the German chancellor Angela Merkel visits Dublin today for talks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Discussion of frontier will be on agenda when Angela Merkel visits Dublin

Constitutional change to ease divorce restrictions and the reduction of the waiting time ‘will help thousands of couples in Ireland who have suffered marital breakdown’, Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan has said. Image: iStock.

Josepha Madigan says 118,000 separated people deserve ‘humanity and compassion’

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar has welcomed as ‘timely’ efforts in Westminster to reach a Brexit compromise. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Irish leaders welcome efforts in Westminster to reach compromise on UK’s EU exit

There have been repeated calls for a crackdown on ‘puppy farms’ and unscrupulous dog breeding establishments, the Dáil heard on Wednesday. Photographed is Natasha Eames from DSPCA with some Cavachon puppies rescued from a car at Dublin Port in 2016. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister says ’a lot of things not right’ in animal welfare

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin  demanded that Simon Harris correct the record of the House over his claims that neither he nor his officials had been advised against offering repeat smear tests. File photograph: Eric Luke

Fianna Fáil leader says it is clear head of the cancer screening service had given warning

The Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship arrives into Dublin Port last year. The Dublin Port Company has been criticised by tourism interests for announcing plans to cut by 50 per cent the number of cruise ships docking in Dublin over the coming years. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Shane Ross says Belfast Harbour in talks to take on landings between 2021 and 2023

The Dáil was told up to eight ambulances were lined up outside the accident and emergency at Cork University Hospital waiting to hand over patients. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Eight ambulances forced to wait to admit patients as ‘Status black’ declared at CUH

Women are now having to wait up to 33 weeks for the results of their smear tests, as the delays in the CervicalCheck programme reach record levels. Image: iStock.

HSE says increased workload has led to ‘long and very regrettable delays’ in reporting of results

Simon Coveney says the Government will not let the UK drag Ireland from the single market in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Simon Coveney says Government ‘isn’t hiding anything’ about plans for no-deal Brexit

Former president Mary McAleese. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Former president says protection of the Belfast Agreement is most important issue for Ireland

Solidarity TD Mick Barry told the Dáil a Government that allowed 3,784 children to be among the more than 10,000 people who are homeless ‘does not deserve to remain in power’. File photograph: Collins

Calls for Bill to be passed banning sale of property as grounds for eviction

‘In my view there is not a proportionate relationship between the claims made and the constant hiking of insurance costs which are threatening livelihoods at this stage,’  Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan told the Seanad on Thursday. File photograph: James Forde

Charlie Flanagan says rising cost for consumers does not reflect lower level of claims

A file image of  two Northern fishing boats seized by the Naval Service for fishing in an exclusion zone off the State’s coast. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Legislation passed in Dáil amid accusations Minister ’selling out’ Irish fishermen

Minister for Sport Shane Ross (right) said Sport Ireland would ‘seek clarifications’ from the FAI about the loan given by former FAI chief executive John Delaney (left) to the organisation. File photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock claims corporate governance at soccer body is ‘shambolic’

More than 10,000 people are living in emergency accommodation

More people entering homelessness than anyone predicted, Tánaiste tells Dáil

 Government lost a number of votes on the Bill and the House accepted Opposition amendments to impose financial penalties where aircraft breach stipulated noise levels. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Clare Dalys says it does not ‘bode well’ that local authority will act as airport noise regulator

John Cronin, president of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Jane Howard, Ulster Bank’s CEO, pictured with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney. Photograph: Paul Sherwood

Varadkar insists North will have to be treated differently to avoid hard border in no-deal scenario

Sinn Fein TD  Gerry Adams: said one family in his constituency was living in terror. File Photograph: Neil Hall/Reutes

Threats by dealers to force people to pay relatives’ debts raised by Sinn Féin TD

A  card for the mass of remembrance and celebration of the life of Laura Brennan. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach leads Dáil tributes to advocate for HPV vaccine who died of cervical cancer

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil he will not “countenance” Northern Ireland being in a different time zone to the rest of Ireland.  File Photograph: Brian Lawless

Varadkar to get Dáil view after EU Parliament vote to end daylight savings times

Míchael Martin accused the Government of a “blind reliance” on recruitment over retention. File Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil leader warns Taoiseach that ‘you can’t recruit your way out of a crisis’

US president Donald Trump’s trip here could take place as early as June, as he is expected to travel to Europe for the D-Day anniversary in June and to Britain for the Nato summit in December. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Richard Boyd Barrett alleges US president ‘has given licence to the politics of hate’

Gerard Kelly began a hunger strike outside of the Dáil to highlight his concerns in relation to the introduction of the controversial Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Bill. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Seanad passes Bill to restore rights of northern fishermen to six-mile zone

File photograph of Lisa Smith from Dundalk (to right of taoiseach and Chief of Staff) converted to Islam and moved to Syria. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Varadkar says jet is not used to repatriate citizens and cannot not fly as far as Syria or Turkey

Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar said talks with the European Commission had been taking place “at official level”. File photograph: PA Wire

Britain will be held to commitments to ensure free movement after Brexit ­­– Varadkar

Schoolchildren during a global protest for action to tackle climate change by school children at Leinster Houseearleir this month. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Varadkar rejects claims the charge would increase fourfold in next budget

The two Northern fishing boats seized by the Naval Service moored in Clogherhead, Co Louth. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Legislation to pass Seanad, Dáil by Brexit deadline despite claims haste unnecessary

In 2011, 18 cases of TB were reported following an outbreak     at Cloverhill Prison in Dublin. Photograph:   Cyril Byrne

Figures show 26 prisoners and nine officers contracted contagious disease over 10 years

 Bloody Sunday family members march ahead of the  announcement of a prosecution over the incident, in Derry, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Mixed reaction in Seanad to charging of one former British soldier over 1972 killings

The Minister had wanted to complete all stages of the Irish Fisheries (Amendment) Bill in the Seanad on Thursday to have it finalised before the March 29th deadline for the UK’s departure from the EU.

Legislation aims to restored access by Northern boats to Irish waters

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