Solidarity TD Paul Murphy claimed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had defamed him when he accused him of thuggery during a Dáil debate on the Jobstown anti-water charges protest.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Review began after Paul Murphy wrote to Ceann Comhairle about ‘thuggery’ comment

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said: “Those who advocate for change need to explain to people how we reached the proposal to allow for terminations up to 12 weeks.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘We need to explain how we reached proposal to allow for terminations up to 12 weeks’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has come under fire over the new strategic communications unit. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

The controversial unit has paid out €160,000 on advertising since its creation last year

Minister of State at the Department of Health Jim Daly who  will support repealing the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fine Gael TD appears to criticise Simon Coveney for ‘soft politics’ stance on abortion

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy during an inspection of 29 new rapid-build social housing units at Knocknarea Court, Drimnagh. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Senator from Dublin Bay South says ‘dismal’ figures highlight Murphy’s lack of focus on issue

 Independent TD Mattie McGrath outside Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Independent TD ‘attended meetings and functions’ during trip funded by Family and Life

Labour TD Alan Kelly said the Government was behaving in a way that was “unacceptable”,“sly” and “undermines the process” in relation to the National Development Plan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Taoiseach rejects ‘political stroke’ claims in Dáil

Both Leo Varadkar (left) and Micheál Martin have been directing Cupid’s arrows toward the west of the country. Photograph: Reuters

Inside Politics: Fianna Fail and Fine Gael battle for rural Ireland’s affections

Minister of State Michael D’Arcy was questioned about a report which predicted average rents in Dublin would hit €2,500 a month before the market started to taper. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ministers for housing and children seek relief for landlords in budget this year

The acting Garda commissioner insists all suspicious deaths have been properly investigated. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Gardaí reclassified 12 cases and ‘there may have to be additional amendments’

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

It is currently illegal for learner drivers to drive a vehicle unaccompanied by someone with a driving licence of at least two years’ standing

Minister for Transport seeks approval to introduce Clancy amendment

The Minister for Health has confirmed previously he supports repealing the Eighth Amendment and allowing for terminations on request up to 12 weeks. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister pledges to support two campaign groups seeking repeal of Eighth Amendment

 Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Health tells repeal campaigners ‘I look forward to helping in any way I can’

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis, who was involved in a political feud in Dublin North-West. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

SF chair warns representatives they will face disciplinary action if they continue to do so

Independent Alliance TD Sean Canney: has raised his concerns with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, on the exclusion of the Western Rail Corridor from the investment plan.  Photograph: Alan Betson

National Development Plan will not include extension to Western Rail Corridor

Angry exchanges were traded between  Independent TDs Michael Healy Rae and Danny Healy Rae and Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry  in a row over speaking time. File photograph: Alan Betson

Row between Marc MacSharry and Healy Rae brothers made international headlines

The Government’s National Development Plan will commit to a new acute hospital in Cork. File photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

‘Irish Times’ learns the Western Rail Corridor will not be extended in the scheme

The European Commission has stressed that the problems in the housing market must be offset by an acceleration of supply in the private and public sectors. Photograph: PA

EU review queries plan’s reliance on ‘volatile’ tax bases and calls for action on housing

Abortion pill: Health officials have met the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Irish College of General Practitioners to discuss the options. Photograph: Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty

GPs, obstetricians and gynaecologists will be allowed to conscientiously object

Petitions Committee said petition seeking its removal was inadmissible

Anne Rabbitte: “The evidence is there that children are being groomed by their parents, siblings and older peers to commit crimes.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Party says children are committing crimes under guidance and direction of older people

Patrick McKee says  tweet was critical of Coppinger’s comments during the debate rather than her personally. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Patrick McKee had been criticised by colleague Lisa Chambers for comments about Solidarity TD

Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed he will allow for GPs to conscientiously object to providing terminations at their clinics. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Government preparing legislation to allow for abortions after vote

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: Received criticism over ’Dublin-centric’ nature of planning framework. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Inside Politics: Michael Ring and Michael Creed argue proposals are too Dublin-centric

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended the Government’s proposals to legislate for abortions up to 12 weeks. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES  Abortion vote tracker

Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris and nine other Ministers support the 12-week proposal

Michel Barnier, EU chief negotiator, left, and David Davis, UK Brexit secretary in Downing Street on Monday. Photograph: Bloomberg

Taoiseach agrees with Barnier that ‘time has come for Britain to make a choice’

Sinn Féin Dublin North-West TD  Dessie Ellis: has been requested to attend a meeting with the party  leadership to assess if further action is required. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Party tells TD remarks about Noeleen O’Reilly ‘out of order’

There would be a major trauma centre established in Dublin and one in Cork, as well as a number of other units which would deal with less serious cases. Photograph: Getty Images

No change to proposals expected despite opposition from rural-based Ministers

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten announcing details of the National Broadband Plan last April. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Party says departure of State’s largest telco had compromised tendering process

The decision of Cllr Noeleen Reilly to resign from the party follows a long-running dispute with Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Noeleen Reilly latest to claim she was victim of bullying campaign

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Brexit: Taoiseach ‘not entirely clear what exactly is being sought’ by UK government

Leo Varadkar has said the NPF must be realistic. Photograph: Eric Luke

‘A plan that is not realistic is not any use to anyone,’ says Taoiseach ahead of Cabinet meeting

Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly has resigned from the party. Photograph: The Irish Times

Sinn Féin wants Reilly to give her seat on Dublin City Council back to the party

Minister Denis Naughten with Richard Moat, CEO eir. File photograph:

TD says just one company is left in procurement process, raising ‘serious questions’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney raised the prospect of altering the 12-week proposal, describing it as a “starting point”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste says he will not support abortion on request up to 12 weeks

(L-R)  Katherine Zappone,  Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris following the Cabinet debate on the Eighth Amendment referendum. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Those supporting and opposing the 12-week proposal must explain their rationale

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: played down divisions over how to legislate for abortion, saying there was more agreement than disagreement on how to proceed.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach warns of ban on foreign funding of groups campaigning in abortion referendum

Billy Kelleher: supported by  colleagues Lisa Chambers TD and Senator Ned O’Sullivan, he tabled a motion recommending the committee propose terminations up to 12 weeks without restriction

‘Genie is out of the bottle in respect of online access to the abortion pill’

Eir, which had been favourite to win the National Broadband Plan State contract, said on Wednesday it was withdrawing from the tender because the risks had become “too great for its continued participation”.

Denis Naughten insists tender process will continue and project be delivered at no extra cost

Tánaiste Simon Coveney says he has a ‘principled difficulty’ with the proposed lack of legal protection for the unborn in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Simon Coveney among those to voice reservations over removing protection for the unborn

Simon Harris has confirmed his intention to publish the Referendum Bill on March 6th and have it introduced into the Dáil on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister seeks to progress Referendum Bill but says passage in hands of Dáil and Seanad

The Attorney General Séamus Woulfe has advised the Government the legally safer option would be to insert an enabling provision in the Constitution if the Eighth Amendment is repealed.

Inserting enabling provision would be legally safer if referendum on abortion is passed

Tánaiste Simon Coveney. File photograph: EPA

Tánaiste says a number of Ministers had agreed with his position on the 12 weeks

File photographs: The Irish Times

Harris given authority to draft legislation to provide for referendum in early summer

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (centre), Minister for Children Katherine Zappone and  Minister for Health Simon Harris at a press conference following the Cabinet debate on a referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, at Government Buildings tonight. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Voters to be asked to replace Eighth Amendment with provision for Oireachtas to legislate

Sinn Féin leader in the North Michelle O’Neill: will be ratified as deputy president at a special ardfheis on February 10th. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

Sinn Féin leader in North sole candidate to serve with president Mary Lou McDonald

The  chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is Dr Peter Boylan, former master of the National Maternity Hospital. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

Obstetrician and gynaecologist body says abortion law will not eliminate disability

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is expected to  tell the Cabinet the current position on abortion is too restrictive and needs to be liberalised. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Attorney General to advise Cabinet against a straightforward repeal of Eighth Amendment

Dr Peter Boylan: “We need this debate to be informed by accurate, evidence-based and factual information.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Identification of syndrome in first 12 weeks of pregnancy highly unlikely, Peter Boylan says

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill arriving at Stormont for  fresh  talks aimed at resolving the impasse over the Northern  executive.  Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Her expected appointment as deputy leader will be ratified at special ardfheis on February 10th

  Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar chose to outline his position on the abortion campaign to an international audience. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Analysis: choice of international media to reveal abortion referendum stance looks odd

 Minister of State  for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Sources insist she had no difficulty with the 12 weeks but questioned whether 10 weeks may be easier for others to accept. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mary Mitchell O’Connor said proposal could be more palatable to voters

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the case of a young man jailed for the possession of child pornography images  was a shocking indictment of the “slow response to the threat on behalf of the Irish State”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil leader says ‘dithering’ Taoiseach has given ‘mixed signals’ on internet safety

Grainia Long, chief executive of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children  described the case as “shocking” and said of particular note was Matthew Horan’s “ease of access to other adults who were prepared to collude in sharing images of the children”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Man who shared photographs with jailed abuser Matthew Horan being investigated

Cora Sherlock said the debate had not  begun and the case for retaining the Eighth Amendment has not been heard. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Cora Sherlock says support will change when people have chance to consider the question

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten is responding to increasing concerns over the deliberate targeting of children online.

Statutory position to protect children modelled on roles in Australia and New Zealand

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also sees his approval rating escalating to 60 per cent. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Inside Politics: Fianna Fáil’s failure to secure any political bounce is a worry for the party

 Minister Katherine Zappone at the March for Choice in Dublin last September.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said it was time to provide leadership

‘Huge psychological damage has been caused to many victims’ of revenge porn, Kildare South TD Fiona O’Loughlin has said. Photograph: Getty Images

Fianna Fail has called for introduction of new law to tackle “very difficult phenomenon”

Fianna Fáil TD Bobby Aylward (centre) said there was diverse opinion about repealing the Eighth Amendment within the party.  File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Eight FF Oireachtas members at meeting to oppose repeal after Micheál Martin expressed support

the Government is expected to agree to insert a new provision in the Constitution enabling the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion, if the amendment is repealed. Photograph: Alan Betson

Gathering comes in wake of leader Micheál Martin’s backing for repeal of amendment

Joanne Hayes: Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Attorney General Séamus Woulfe are looking at options including compensation. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Taoiseach tells Cabinet more needs to be done to rectify wrongs inflicted on family

A bed-capacity review says  occupancy rates are running at close to 100%   across the hospital system, posing a legitimate risk to patient safety

Government-commissioned report advises the current health system is not fit for purpose

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy said he did not believe he could mount a credible campaign in the short period of time available.

Party’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill will be only candidate for deputy leader

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan will ask the Cabinet to consider a number of options including how it can distance the State from the 1985 report of the tribunal into the Kerry babies case. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Minister for Justice to ask Government to consider options

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Simon Harris will recommend €2.5bn spend on new beds is in Government’s capital plan

Fianna Fáil’s Bobby Aylward with leader Micheál Martin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

TD emailed party members to create forum for discussing opposition to repeal of Eighth

 Pearse Doherty said he would not declare his support for any particular candidate for party vice president until he was aware who was in the race. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Donegal TD said he was happy as party’s finance spokesman and treasurer

Fianna Fáil TD   Michael McGrath. File photograph: Alan Betson

FF spokesman on finance at odds with leader on Eighth Amendment

There have been 93 allegations of bullying or sexual harassment across Government departments since 2011. Image: iStock

Government staff make 93 claims of bullying, sexual harassment since 2011

 Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill:  Sinn Féin’s deputy leader  is expected to be confirmed as the sole nominee for the position of Sinn Féin leader today. Photograph:  Alan Betson

Next Sinn Féin leader will be ratified at special ardfheis scheduled for February 10th

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

Mary Lou McDonald: A self-proclaimed champion of women’s rights, McDonald was having to defend the party against a rape victim

Profile: Despite electoral lows, Fianna Fáil defector was always at the heart of party hierarchy

Speaking to The Irish Times after Micheál Martin’s Dáil statement, one TD said the Fianna Fáil leader would be “lynched, killed” by his parliamentary party, while another acknowledged there would be “war”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Majority of party’s TDs say Martin has taken brave step ‘politically and personally’

Micheál Martin: the Fianna Fáil leader on Thursday pledged to support the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. Photograph:

Fianna Fáil leader’s unexpected announcement stunned members of his party

Minister for Health Simon Harris: Put the Oireachtas committee recommendations to the people. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Dáil deliberations took place amid uncertainty as to whether the Government accepts proposals being discussed

Katie Donoghue, from Drumcondra in Dublin, joined other Suffragettes outside Leinster House on Tuesday, a century after women won the right to vote, to show support for a new generation fighting for abortion rights ahead of the referendum. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government cannot guarantee Bill would pass if Eighth repealed, Varadkar says

Ministers will be asked, among other things, to reinforce our message on Brexit, Northern Ireland and the economy. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Tánaiste reveals details of ministerial itineraries in run up to Ireland’s national day

 Mary Lou McDonald: it is understood the party’s ardcomhairle will meet on Saturday to finalise the preparation for the special ardfheis to ratify Ms McDonald’s promotion. Photograph: Eric Luke

Mary Lou McDonald expected to replace Gerry Adams when nominations close on Friday

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: accepted there was a need for some change but wanted protection for the unborn and the mother. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting discusses abortion committee’s recommendations

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

There is mounting concern at the highest echelons of the Department of Health that healthcare professionals are failing to avail of the flu vaccine in sufficient numbers. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister indicates uptake rate so low that ‘it deserves very serious consideration by me’

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

Minister for Transport Tourism & Sport Shane Ross. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Transport says some senior politicians ‘joined at the hip to the judiciary’

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

The review recommends that a number of hospitals should be established to deal exclusively with elective or non-urgent cases. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Capacity study says up to 2,500 additional beds required if reformed health system implemented

TDs, Senators and MEPs do not have an automatic right to parental leave. Members can take a leave of absence, but the rules are based on informal arrangements. Photograph: Getty Images

Seán Ó Fearghaíl rules out introduction of dress code in Oireachtas

Conor Skehan has been reappointed as  chair of the Government’s Housing Agency. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Official recently said that families ‘gaming’ housing system by saying they are homeless

Such laws requiring a minimum distance have been passed in France, Belgium, Portugal, Canada and Australia as well as half of the states in the US.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister’s foresees problems, asking: ‘How do you prove someone is 1.5 metres away?’

Gerry Adams  delivers his address to delegates at the Sinn Féin ardfheis. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Interview: Sinn Féin president says he is looking forward to stepping aside after 34 years

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has called on the British and Irish governments to make decisions for Northern Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sinn Féin president also says ‘offensive aspects’ of DUP leadership have been exposed

Minister for Health Simon Harris: ‘I am working to make sure that the Government would be ready to hold a referendum in the summer.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister denies reports Eighth Amendment vote could be postponed until October

Speeding attracts the most penalty points of any road traffic offence, with 549,574 points issued in 2016. Photograph: Getty Images

Shane Ross is to introduce a new scheme targeting motorists who go over the limit

US president Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, after arriving for a New Year’s Eve gala at his Mar-a-Lago resort,  Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Taoiseach aspires to see a united Ireland on basis of cross-community support

Local fishermen in Glen Pier, Balliskelligs, Co Kerry, look on as Storm Ophelia rages. Photograph: Stephen Kelleghan

Hurricane Ophelia caused widespread disruption to homes and businesses countrywide

 Alex White said: “Our relationship with the EU is the central political and economic question of our time.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former minister will not stand in next general election for Labour Party

Anti-abortion campaigners outside Leinster House, December 20th, 2017. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

After three months of evidence Oireachtas group said constitutional reform necessary

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he believed there was a necessity for change and he wanted to be the Minister to put this to a referendum. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Simon Harris said he wanted to give detailed consideration to report before outlining his position

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