Minister for Health Simon Harris arrives at Dublin Castle ahead of the final announcement of the result in the referendum on the 8th Amendment. Photograph: PA

Taoiseach says clarity of result will make it easier to get the legislation through the Dáil

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  casts his vote at Scoil Thomas, Castlenock Dublin, as the country goes to the polls to vote in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Video: ‘Irish Times’ journalists explain what’s at stake in today’s poll

Conor O’Brien and Bruno Carv putting the final seal on the ballot boxes for the Dublin area, ahead of the abortion referendum. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Leave the jumpers and badges at home and make sure to bring ID as polls open from 7am

Presiding officer Carmel McBride and Garda Alan Gallagher carry the polling box on Thursday on  Inishbofin. Photograph:   Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty

Both sides issue final appeals to 3.2m voters after long, divisive campaign

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  with Fine Gael Ministers and colleagues during a final Fine Gael event  calling for a Yes vote. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Three FF TDs indicate they will not back legislation for abortion up to 12 weeks

Garda Pat Mcllroy and presiding officer Nancy Sharkey carry a ballot box as they arrive to collect referendum votes  on Gola Island, Ireland, May 24, 2018. Photograph: Reuters

Twelve offshore islands have already begun voting on the Eighth Amendment

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald: It is not acceptable to “solve the problem for women and girls south of the Border and say that it is alright if the same problem exists across the Border”. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA

‘Where we have a Yes vote, I imagine women would access services across the Border’

The ballot boxes are open from 7am to 10pm across the country and the results will be counted on Saturday morning. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Ballot paper will ask voters if they wish to approve Bill seeking to repeal Article 40.3.3

 Minister for Health Simon Harris speaking  at a Together for Yes billboard launch in Dublin, ahead of the referendum. Photograph:   Niall Carson/PA Wire

Harris confident Oireachtas will support the law because ‘nobody has any alternative’

Anti-abortion campaigner Maria Steen will take part in a TV3 debate on Wednesday night.

Move comes as Love Both representative Cora Sherlock pulls out of RTÉ debate

Ministger for Health Simon Harris: gave a strong performance for the Yes side. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Minister outperformed Tóibín in strongest performance by any politician on abortion issue

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar canvassing for a Yes vote in Tullamore, Co Offaly, with Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Kathleen Harris

Some FF TDs say different amendment could allow for abortion in more limited circumstances

Abortion debate: Cora Sherlock had accepted a Prime Time invitation to face Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: PA

Love Both spokeswoman says she is unavailable; RTÉ declines Steen as replacement

Britain has one of the most liberal abortion regimes in the European Union. The proposed law by the Government in Ireland is not comparable. File photograph: Getty Images

Britain has one of most unrestricted abortion regimes in EU. That’s not on the way here

Abortion laws that would be introduced in the event of the repeal of the Eighth Amendment are ‘vastly different’ to those in place in the UK, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Harris: vote is about recognising abortion is a reality for Irish women

The Iona Institute  says  the prohibition in the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill  on close family members donating their sperm   does not go far enough. Photograph: Getty Images

Oireachtas committee told children could potentially have same father and ‘uncle’

Cora Sherlock, spokeswoman for the LoveBoth campaign, will be debating the Eighth Amendment on RTÉ One’s ‘Prime Time’  on Tuesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Programme to follow style of a leaders debate after criticism of ‘Claire Byrne Show’

 Caroline Simons  of the LoveBoth campaign said “We are not talking about banning websites as such. We are simply talking about restricting abortion pills in Ireland.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Group urging No vote in referendum calls on government to resource customs authorities to intercept such pills

(From left)  Master of Holles Street Maternity Hospital Dr Rhona Mahony, Minister For Health Simon Harris and  Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital professor Fergal Malone calling for a Yes vote during a press briefng in Buswells Hotel on Monday.  Photograph:  Collins

Minister says Church entitled to its view but stance on other issues should be scrutinised

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar canvasses for a Yes vote in Tullamore on Sunday with Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Kathleen Harris

Taoiseach says cases of fatal foetal abnormality changed his views on terminations

The opposing sides in the abortion referendum campaign are preparing for an intense run-in with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar emphasising that the result of Friday’s vote will be a “once in a generation decision”. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

No campaign targets politicians and tells voters ‘send them back for something better’

In the event of a No vote, article 40.3.3 will remain in place as well as the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which allows for terminations when a mother’s life is at risk, including on the grounds of suicide

If electorate goes Yes, the Oireachtas will pass laws regulating the termination of pregnancy

LoveBoth canvassers at St Stephen’s Green,  Alexandra Brazil, Una Mary Mc Carthy Deering, Maeve O’ Hanlon, Al Byrne and Miriam Smith. Photograph: John Mc Elroy.

Anti-abortion canvassers say tone of debate on doorsteps more respectful than online

“I am a No voter, but I am also a realist and we cannot abandon women in these circumstances,” Anne Rabbitte said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil deputy says terminations should be allowed in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin and Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee chat to Gerry Quinlan and his wife Louise on a canvass in  south Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Bullish Fianna Fáil leader says party's TDs ‘are not worried that I am voting Yes’

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Yes side retains clear - but narrowing - advantage in abortion referendum campaign

Minister for Health Simon Harris (right) has confirmed he will participate in a debate on the Eighth Amendment on RTÉ television next week. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) will not take part but will conduct media interviews. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

‘What we do not need is jeering... hollering, laughing, sniggering’ over complex issue

A group of TDs and Senators opposed to repeal of the Eighth Amendment gathered in Merrion Square in Dublin. Photograph: Sarah Bardon

Photocall organised by Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler and Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the  Department of Health, is due to appear before the Oireachtas health committee today. Photograph: Eric Luke

Vicky Phelan and Stephen Teap to appear before Public Accounts Committee

Dr Gabriel Scally, the independent chair of a scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck controversy. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Doctor expresses concern about difficulties he has met in carrying out scoping inquiry

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has urged voters to repeal the 8th Amendment.

‘I am a democrat and I have to accept the outcome of a referendum and elections’

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe held a meeting in Dublin Central seeking a Yes vote on May 25th. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Referendum on Eighth Amendment to take centre stage

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Fianna Fáil has criticised him for his absence throughout the CervicalCheck controversy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Board restoration and management review to be part of plan to rebuild public confidence

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister criticises use of children with Down syndrome on referendum posters

The Government has proposed legislation allowing for access to terminations in certain circumstances in the event of a vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment

The most contested sections of the proposed abortion legislation and what campaigners say about them

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Health Simon Harris during a press conference on the cervical cancer scandal in Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Further accountability needed in cervical screening crisis, says Government

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the package  would be offered to each of the women over the course of the next few weeks.   Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan /PA Wire

Measures to include medical cards for each of the 209 woman affected or their next of kin

Tony O’Brien is to stand aside from his position on Friday after weeks of controversy over the CervicalCheck programme. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Director general of HSE to stand aside after CervicalCheck programme controversy

Sinn Féin TD for Cork East Pat Buckley has apologised for his behaviour.

Pat Buckley charged with public order offences after incident at his Cork home

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Friday afternoon, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar insisted he first became aware of three memos circulated to HSE management in 2016 on the background to cervical screening audit findings. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Emma Mhic Mhathúna says measures announced for affected women are ‘welcome’ but ‘not enough’

Emma Mhic Mhathúna, who was given an incorrect smear test result and who now has terminal cancer. “The Government need to go,” she said. “They’re not actually capable of minding us, and that is their job.” Photograph: Domnick Walsh

Vicky Phelan and Emma Mhic Mhatúna express satisfaction at HSE chief’s exit

Facebook: The social media giant banned all foreign-financed and sourced ads relating to the referendum on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Social media giant will not follow Google’s lead with wider ban; Twitter says it has not seen any attempts to manipulate platform (...)

 HSE director general Tony O’Brien: has said he did not know about Vicky Phelan’s case and its wider implications until her case was settled. Photograph: Eric Luke

Cancer screening service focus in March 2016 was ‘reactive communications response’

Outgoing HSE Director General Tony O’ Brien

Memo warning of negative media fallout from cervical cancer patients described as ‘game-changer’ by Government Minister

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at a Lawyers Together for Yes event in Dublin on Wednesday evening. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins.

Micheál Martin says Eighth Amendment ‘cruelly insensitive’ to women of Ireland

Peter Ward SC (left) and other Yes campaigners speaking at a Lawyers for Yes press conference on the issue of fatal foetal abnormalities and abortion last month. Photograph: Maxwells.

Together for Yes claims Constitutional change needed for FFA abortion law

Niamh Uí Bhriain and Mairead Hughes with posters claiming   a six-month limit. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Save the 8th campaign has claimed abortion will be legalised up to six months

Dr Gabriel Scally will lead the inquiry into delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer. “If I find serious problems, I will certainly be pointing to those serious problems,” he says.  Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Three Ministers call for HSE head to step down in relation to accountability for errors

Ciarán Breen (centre), director of the State Claims Agency, arriving at Leinster House for a meeting of the Oireachtas finance committee. Photograph: Tom Honan

State agency says it cannot accept liability for smear tests carried out by US laboratories

Tony O’Brien, director general of the Health Service Executive: role has salary of €192,000 a year. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Temporary Tony O’Brien successor likely to be one of three HSE senior executives

Seán Canney  left the Independent Alliance following a disagreement over the allocation of a junior ministerial post. Photograph: Collins

Galway East TD, who left Independent Alliance last week, said role had become a distraction

 Dr Gabriel Scally, president of the epidemiology and public health section of the Royal Society of Medicine who will carry out a scoping enquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

More than 4,500 women who called the helpline have yet to be called back by the HSE

Minister for Health Simon Harris. File photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Posters contain picture of Minister for Health, Fine Gael logo and graphic imagery

Regina Doherty: Tony O’Brien should be ‘redoubling his efforts’ to get accountability in the wake of the scandal. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

HSE director general should work ‘day in, day out’ to get accountability, Minister says

Simon Harris: has briefed Vicky Phelan on the scoping inquiry. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Inside Politics: A separate, independent review will examine the smear test results of between 2,000 and 3,000 women

RTÉ presenter Sharon Ní Bheoláin said she was paid ‘considerably less’ than Bryan Dobson

Women are paid 14% less than men, up from 12% in 2014, according to CSO figures

Position of HSE boss described as ‘tenuous’ as he takes temporary leave from US company

 Fianna Fáil for No:  those present for the photograph and those who missed the event received this image. A text message urged those present to “share widely on social media”

Slickly organised Oireachtas members rally for abortion-referendum No vote

HSE director general Tony O’Brien with Minister for Health Simon Harris. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Sinn Féin demands accountability from director general before he walks ‘off into the sunset’

 HSE director Tony O’Brien and Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Inside Politics: The events of the past few days have painted a troubling picture of how the health service is run

Thirty-one members of Fianna Fáil, including deputy leader Dara Calleary and the party’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath, participated in a photocall in Dublin’s Merrion Square on Tuesday afternoon urging voters to oppose the proposition to remove the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Fianna Fáil

Dara Calleary and Michael McGrath among group seeking retention of Eighth Amendment

Minister for Health Simon Harris met Opposition spokespersons on health yesterday to discuss the shape and the scope of an inquiry into the delayed diagnosis issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Scoping exercise’ before Government decides on commission of investigation

John McGuirk: “We support terminations as far as practicable when a mother’s life is at risk.” Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Group has difficulty with ‘vague wording in legislation’ concerning mental health

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: estimates between 2,000 and 3,000  women did not have their cases examined as part of the clinical audit.  Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

What are the latest political developments around the CervicalCheck programme?

Members of Solidarity erecting the referendum poster in Dublin city centre last month.

Solidarty party claims 170,000 have travelled for abortion since 1980

Vicky Phelan. Photograph: Collins Courts

Revelation raises prospect hundreds more women could find smear tests were misread

Prof Gráinne Flannelly stood down as the head of CervicalCheck last week. Few public servants have had to walk the plank in such a fashion. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Problems around CervicalCheck grow by day and major questions need to be answered

An anti-abortion poster in Dublin. Photograph: Reuters

Save the 8th makes claims about English abortion regime on posters

Minister for Health Simon Harris was advised that publicity around Vicky Phelan’s High Court case was likely. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Harris tells Dáil many smear tests not included in sample which revealed 208 false negatives

Minister for Health Simon Harris was told in the briefing note about the background to Vicky Phelan’s legal action.

Note suggests women not automatically being told of smear test review results

Minister for Health Simon Harris strongly criticised people working within the health service for failing to pass on important information to their patients. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet to discuss scope of HIQA inquiry as well as possible redress scheme

The CervicalCheck controversy came to light through the case of Vicky Phelan,  who settled a High Court action against the US-based laboratory subcontracted to assess smear tests.

HSE says 162 women – including 17 who have died – were not informed of a delay in their cervical cancer diagnosis

Government will introduce abortion legislation if Yes side wins

Minister for Health Simon Harris: the Government will hold a statutory inquiry into the CervicalCheck issue.

HSE says 162 women not told of delayed diagnosis

Michel Barnier to increase pressure on the British government to come forward with initiatives on ensuring there is no barrier between the Republic and the North. Photograph:  AFP Photo

EU’s chief negotiator wants significant progress on problem of Irish Border by June

Simon Harris, Minister for Health: A review team established by Mr Harris assessed each of the 206 cases over the weekend. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Several women were not told of the delay in their cancer diagnosis

 Seán Canney, Minister of State for the OPW: while on the verge of leaving the Independent Alliance, he wants to continue to support the Government on a case-to-case basis. Photograph: Alan Betson

Non-reinstatement in rotating Minister of State role thought to underpin dissatisfaction

Vicky Phelan from  Co Limerick who last week settled her High Court action for €2.5m against a US laboratory over a 2011 smear test. Photograph: Collins Courts

HSE: examination will be completed on Monday and women will be notified

Dr Rhona Mahon (right), master of the National Maternity Hospital, with Amy Callahan and Conor Upton of Terminations for Medical Reasons,  in Dublin on Sunday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Couple who had to go to UK for termination say No campaign posters cause anguish

Vicky  and Jim Phelan:  Ms Phelan settled a High Court action for €2.5 million earlier this week against a US laboratory over a 2011 smear test, which wrongly gave a negative result for cancer. Photograph:  Collins Courts

Group to examine how CervicalCheck dealt with their cases and report back to HSE

Richard Boyd Barrett, Bríd Smith and Gino Kenny of People Before Profit launch their Vote Yes campaign. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Party will support Government’s proposition for abortion within first trimester

Vicky and Jim Phelan from Annacotty, Co Limerick, speaking to the media after securing a €2.5m settlement at the High Court. Photograph: Collins Courts

Director unsure if all women who needed treatment have been contacted

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald TD. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Party wants legislation in place by early autumn if Eighth Amendment is repealed

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: Fianna Fáil TDs Bobby Aylward, Kevin O’Keeffe and Margaret Murphy O’Mahony have criticised Fianna Fáil’s decision to support the passage of the drink-driving Bill. Photograph: Alan Betson

Party says measures are ‘disproportionate’ but will not stand in the way of Bill passing

In an arrangement that was brokered after the general election in 2016, it was agreed that Sean Canney, pictured, and Kevin ’Boxer’ Moran would rotate the ministry.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Former junior minister is understood to be consulting supporters before making decision

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar listens as Caroline and Michael McCarthy speak about their experience of having to travel to Liverpool for an abortion  due to a fatal foetal abnormality during a Fine Gael  event pressing for a Yes vote in the May 25th referendum on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

‘Just because a friend you trust posts something ... does not mean it is fact’ – Minister

President  Michael D Higgins addresses the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace at United Nations headquarters in New York on  Tuesday . Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

President says he has ‘never run away from a contest in my life. Why should I?’

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: warned he would walk away from Government at one point. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Appointment of president of the Court of Appeal comes despite protests from Independent Alliance

Mr Justice George Birmingham was TD for Dublin North-Central from 1981 to 1989 and served as a minister of state between 1982 and 1987. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Parties clash over elevation of Mr Justice George Birmingham to head Court of Appeal

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten  acknowledged on radio it was a “political mistake” to have had the conversation.

Taoiseach attempts to draw veil over saga, saying Minister accounted for his actions

Mr Justice George Birmingham. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Promotion of former Fine Gael TD and Minister of State agreed at Cabinet meeting

Social Democrats joint leader  Catherine Murphy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Murphy says Minister should not have role in Irish Times purchase of Landmark Medai Group

Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Louise O’Reilly with deputy leader Michelle O’Neill and party leader Mary Lou McDonald at the launch of the party’s Repeal the Eighth campaign. Photograph:Leah Farrell/

Sinn Féin says Peadar Tóibín will not be disciplined for campaigning for No vote

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy: “The Constitution is important. It is the fundamental law of our State. It is your Constitution and only you have the power to change it.”

Referendum Commission urges everyone to vote as it launches information campaign

Smoking is prohibited in the workplace as well as restaurants, bars, education facilities and public transport. Photograph: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Fine Gael Senators have called on the Minister for Health to change legislation

Charlie Flanagan: he said he was not opposed to the principle outlined by Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin support likely to depend on introduction of sentencing guidelines for judges

Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Louise O’Reilly with deputy leader Michelle O’Neill and party leader Mary Lou McDonald at the launch of the party’s Repeal the Eighth campaign. Photograph:Leah Farrell/

Sinn Féin launches party campaign in favour of repeal ahead of the May ‘date with destiny’

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald: “I saw it on the front of The Irish Times, of course if there are polls you want to see you have gone up rather than gone down.”  File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll: 3-point gain for Sinn Féin, with 42% support among under-25s

John McGuirk: Save the 8th’s communications director claimed most recent Together for Yes donations had breached campaign legislation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Save the 8th claims most voters unaware of Yes vote’s implications

 Protestors demonstrate outside  Kingspan stadium on April 13th. The trial of rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding resulted in a number of protests across the country. All four men in that trial were acquitted.  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Minister to meet advocacy groups and legal profession to discuss potential changes

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