An artist’s impression of the exterior of the proposed new National Children’s Hospital at St James’s in Dublin

Varadkar says new facility is biggest investment in children’s health in State history

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty: Fine Gael’s “scandalous record on housing” is being endorsed by Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tanáiste defends deal and says rent pressure controls ‘slowing’ rate of rental increases

 Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has expressed confidence in Scouting Ireland’s new board. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Katherine Zappone says future funding for organisation will depend on progress report

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary:   accused the Government of delaying  publishing plans to prepare for Brexit. File Photograph:  Tom Honan.

Tánaiste accused of giving ‘Andrex puppy’ response to questions on Brexit

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice told the Dáil many people were receiving notice-to-quit letters from banks selling buy-to-let properties. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Independent TD claims officers blocked road in Co Roscommon while group ‘pegged people out’

Bus workers and drivers have been targeted in more than 1,000 anti-social behaviour incidents in the past 18 months. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

1,000 anti-social incidents on transport in 18 months, four assaults in last fortnight

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said Varadkar and Martin  could have spared ‘the pretence of a critical tension between Tweedledum and Tweedledee’. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Labour calls for summer 2019 election when Brexit situation clear

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who earlier on Wednesday officially opened Barclay’s bank new EU headquarters in Dublin, told the Dáil  the bank was an example of more money and jobs coming into Ireland with Brexit. File photograph: PA

Leo Varadkar says State will remain at heart of EU, regardless of what happens ’elsewhere’

The site of a burial ground at the  Tuam mother and baby home in Co Galway. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Varadkar’s comments come as Taoiseach is asked in Dáil about reply to Zappone letter

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (centre) is pictured during a visit to the RCSI in Dublin.  Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Varadkar says law enacted by Oireachtas will apply, ‘not Canon or any other law’

An anti-Brexit campaigner  stands outside the Westminster parliament with EU and Union Flags and a placard asking ‘Brexit: is it worth it?’. The Taoiseach said calls for a poll on Irish unity during the Brexit process were ‘disruptive’. Photograph:  Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty.

Party argued that preparations should be made for ballot if UK leaves EU without Brexit deal

Senator Ronan Mullen (left) and  Mattie McGrath TD, with pro-life supporters behind, speaking to the media on Kildare Street, Dublin on October 12th, 2017 Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Harris happy with level of preparedness to treat women ‘with care and compassion’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the rollout of abortion services was not a case of ‘just flicking a switch’. Photograph: Collins

Harris says the 300 women who travel for terminations each month will have options in State

Renewing her call for a ban on coursing, TD Maureen O’Sullivan insisted it was not a sport. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Maureen O’Sullivan renews call for ban – Ireland one of three EU states to allow meets

Mary Coughlan celebrating her appointment as Minister for Agriculture in 2004. Photograph: Frank Miller

After Constance Markievicz, Ireland had no woman at cabinet for 60 years. In the past century, there have been just 19 female mini(...)

Pope Francis shaking hands with Minister for Children Katherine Zappone at Áras an Uachtaráin as part of his visit to Ireland in August. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

No reference to money in Pope’s reply to Minister for Children Katherine Zappone

Four cancer patients died prematurely while others are terminally ill a review of more than 46,000 tests at the Tralee hospital found. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Sinn Féin TD claims says fifth death may be linked to errors in reading of scans

Noreen O’Neill from Cork  will travel to Barcelona to secure CBD, a cannabis-based oil, for her two-year-old son Michael to treat his drug-resistant epilepsy. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Mick Barry says doctors nervous about seeking import licence for schedule 1 drug

 The Bill was supported without a vote Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Tánaiste described Bill as not ‘legally sound or capable of being implemented’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  ‘I have given the Independents my commitment that Fine Gael will not sign off on a new confidence and supply agreement or renewal without them also being happy with it’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says he respects FF wish for in-depth review of Government departments

Leo Varadkar said  the Government would introduce a rent register as recommended by the housing charity Threshold in its annual report on Wednesday.

Leo Varadkar accuses Sinn Féin of ‘weaponising the homeless’ in Dáil

Independent TD Catherine Connolly said two-and-a-half years  later   the report   had yet to be published. File photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Taoiseach said he would have to check with Minister for Children on the report

Former minister for communications Denis Naughten has addressed the Dáil. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Former minister resigned earlier this year amid controversy over meetings with bidder

Danny Healy-Rae   claimed that “the social fabric of rural Ireland has been blown to smithereens”. File photograph: PA

Danny Healy-Rae claims Government wants to close down churches as well as post offices and other services

The Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar acknowledged that the rough sleeping figures were “very disappointing”, but he said “this isn’t the highest ever by any means”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tax relief should be for all workers not just those renting says Varadkar

 A Syrian refugee  sits on a  street in Beirut, Lebanon, Photograph: Wael Hamzeh/EPA

Some 96 people living with families who offered accommodation at height of migrant crisis

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan  said An Garda Síochána were proactive in dealing with drug-related crime using intelligence-led operations Photograph: iStock

Almost 400 emergency in-patient cases last year because of anabolic steroid uses

Donnacha Ó Laoghaire of Sinn Féin condemned the arson attack in Moville at the weekend on a hotel that was intended to provide accommodation for up to 100 asylum seekers. Photograph: Aoife Moore/PA Wire

Minister asks officials to look at impact of business being conducted at remote centres

Speaking to the Dáil of her experience in prison, Deputy Bríd Smith said: ‘I didn’t commit a crime, it was a civil action in case anyone thinks I’m a robber.’ File photograph: Collins

Payments for working while incarcerated a reflection of welfare wage paid to carers

Tánaiste Simon Coveney told the Dáil ‘Palestinians and the Palestinian National Authority have strong advocates in both Houses, and I am one of them’. File photograph: Donall Farmer

Tánaiste says Seanad Bill to ban goods from occupied territories is ‘not legally sound’

For some families it makes more sense for one parent to opt out of the workforce, Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said. Photograph: iStock

Sinn Féin calls for wage agreement for low-paid workers in the sector

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said Micheal  Martin was ‘in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks there could be an agreed all-of-Executive position on Brexit with the stance that has been taken by the DUP’. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

McDonald under combined FG/FF attack on lack of anti-Brexit voice for North

Senator Frances Black  stressed  the Bill was ‘not singling out any state’ .Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fine Gael says Bill requires Government to do ‘something not in its power’

Leo Varadkar: “The truth . . . is that the ongoing filibuster of justice legislation in the Seanad is causing other legislation to back up, including important legislation such as this.” Photograph: AFP

Important legislation being ‘backed up’ because of delaying tactics, Varadkar tells Dáil

Amigo Loans has been granted a licence to operate by the Central Bank, offering an interest rate of 49.5%.

Charges ‘very high’ but banning high-interest loans limits freedom of choice – Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said a decision had yet to be made on the tender. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/ The Irish Times/File photo

Varadkar questions if Opposition’s raising of tender process is attempt to ‘scupper’ project

A queue forms outside the Capuchin Day Centre for family necessities on Monday morning. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Varadkar says many people ‘for their own reasons’ go to charities rather than State

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was speaking in the wake of the publication of the report of the independent assessor Peter Smyth, who found that the process had not been compromised. Photograph: PA Wire

Varadkar says bidder changed during process ‘but it is not a new consortium’

The number of people deferring the full property tax rose each year from 30,000 in 2013 to 58,000 last year. The figure dropped slightly to 57,000 for this year. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Officials refuse to deduct tax from welfare benefits as amount paid ‘necessary to live on’

The true number of sex offenders and victims was likely to be “a multiple” of what had emerged to date.

The organisation has been contacted by over a dozen victims since abuse revelations

The tracker scandal emerged after customers on a mortgage that tracked the European Central Bank rates with no more than 1% in the difference were moved off that rate.

Paschal Donohoe unable to give exact time when all affected will receive compensation

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said: “Irish teams are stronger and they’re better when they’re all-Ireland teams.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin TD says having two separate teams splits talent pool and resources

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary called for a specific helpline to be established to allow people  come forward confidentially

Many of alleged abusers may be living outside Ireland

Nama, the so-called “bad bank”, is not now expected to be wound up until 2021.

Minister says final major sales complete by end 2018, focus afterwards on docklands SDZ

Labour Party  Senators Ivana Bacik and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin speak to the media ahead of the debate of Labour’s Irish Nationality and Citizenship Bill 2018. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Minister warns of influx to North from Britain but Government loses vote 23-16

Support in the Dáil for the Brexit withdrawal agreement will send a ‘strong signal’ that Ireland is fully behind the deal, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said. file photograph: Donall Farmer

Sinn Féin and People Before Profit amendments to motion rejected by House

Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer and Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee were involved in a row in the chamber. Photographs: The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil Senator took exception when Buttimer claimed she was ‘trying to assert herself’

Minister for Defence  Paul Kehoe denied he was ‘the scrooge of Government’ during an exchange with Deputy Jack Chambers in the Dáil. File photograph:  Alan Betson

Kehoe ‘Scrooge of Government’ with lowest budget increase of any departments – FF

Leas-Cheann Comhairle Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher criticised the failure to start business at the 10.30 am starting time

Pat Gallagher rebukes absentees after Dáil business delay over lack of quorum

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government had to get tax increases right to avoid public backlash. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Leo Varadkar concedes carbon tax increases but not to extent projected by the ESRI

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and the EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, Belgium, in March. File photograph:  Olivier Hoslet/Pool via Reuters

Minister claims agreement will not be ‘reopened’ but talks on future relationship to continue

Families who lost relatives in the 1981 Stardust nightclub fire  marched to the Attorney General’s office in Dublin on Tuesday with 48,000 signed postcards calling for a new inquest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Families say they have new evidence about 1981 Artane disaster in which 48 people died

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said the Taoiseach claimed at his party’s ardfheis he would deliver five years of tax cuts but he never said that tens of thousands of low paid workers would lose their entitlement to flat rate expenses. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Mary Lou McDonald says Government cutting expenses worth €100 a year to workers

Lauren Lehane, Blarney, Cork. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Delegates offer mixed views on grand coalition with Fianna Fáil

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe told the Ardfheis that “a no-deal disorderly Brexit will pose very significant difficult challenges to all economies across Europe and Ireland will face particular risk.”

Orderly, agreed transition for UK departure a ‘great economic prize’, says Donohoe

Minister for Education Joe McHugh has announced a review of the decision to make history an optional subject at Junior Certificate level. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Minister says it is through ‘learning the lessons of our past that we can plan for future’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney  at the opening ceremony of the 79th Fine Gael Ardfheis. Photograph: Donall Farmer/The Irish Times

Party will not stay in Government without clarity on confidence and supply deal

 Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he intends to bring proposals to Government at the end of November for the study. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Flanagan concerned over recent reports of underwear being held up in a rape trial

A cervical cancer cell. Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said a High Court case is to be taken to force the release of CervicalCheck smear test slides to women.

Women dealing with cancer waiting six months ’just to get own medical information’

There is no published data in Ireland on the prevalence of tattoos but a review in the medical journal The Lancet showed that up to 36 per cent of people under 40 had at least one tattoo.

Ban on piercings proposed amid fears they make youngsters vulnerable to abuse

Simon Coveney said neither he nor the Taoiseach ‘will claim victories or anything like that’. Photograph: Oireachtas TV/PA Wire

Simon Coveney warns parties against arguing about ’majority versus minority’ in North

The regional Armed Support Unit will be involved in  Garda operations in Co Louth amid a gang feud there. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Dáil hears crime warning amid discussion of the escalating violence in Drogheda

 Longboat Quay apartments off Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister insists responsibility rests with owners and management companies

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking about the Brexit deal in the Dáil on Wednesday

Taoiseach says unionists may be feeling vulnerable, isolated and worried

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar corrected himself in the Dáil shortly after he criticised food supplements as ‘snake oil’. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Varadkar says some products have proven benefits but that buyers should beware

The Grand Hotel in Wicklow town Photograph: Google Maps

Concern that moves to Wicklow, Roosky, Movile centres represent ‘legalised people trafficking’

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger held up a thong in the Dáil as she called on the Government to take action to end the ‘routine victim blaming going on in Irish courts’ in sexual assault cases.

Ruth Coppinger says time to end victim blaming in sex assault cases and ‘rape myths’

Former Garda press officer Supt David Taylor (left) and former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan Photographs: Cyril Byrne/Brenda Fitzsimons

Taoiseach says whistleblower case against Martin Callinan may not be defended

New animal welfare guidelines are set to be introduced in Ireland from next year.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

TD says alleged dog smuggling from State highlighted for post-Brexit legislation

Michael D Higgins at a ceremony marking the centenary of Armistice Day at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Michael D Higgins also warns against new international arms race at Armistice event

Tánaiste  Simon Coveney said outcomes are not changing for Travellers. File photograph: Tom Honan

Tánaiste says underlying prejudice driven by fear among many in settled community

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring  during the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ campaign  launch at the National Emergency Co-Ordination Centre  on Kildare Street, Dublin on November 7th Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Former FF spokesman calls on Minister to allocate funds on ‘use or lose basis’

Simon Coveney said it was “political correctness gone mad” to “pretend that rostering is not an issue and that we shouldn’t be preparing for it and have an honest conversation about it”.  Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Need to ensure no more ‘rogue doctors’ in wake of High Court case, Calleary says

Just 2 per cent of students take up apprenticeships and only 2 per cent of them are female, but “it is growing substantially” Minister of State John Halligan told the Dáil. Photograph: iStock

Minister says apprentice training ‘Cinderella’ of career options but an exciting job choice

Fianna Fáil Roscommon-Galway TD Eugene Murphy told the Dáil  he  found out over the weekend  about a secret plan   to turn the old Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey into a refugee centre.

Eugene Murphy claims only ‘special people’ being contacted about plan for Co Roscommon town

Builders pictured carrying out remedial work on November 5th at Tyrrelstown Educate Together School. The school had closed to pupils due to building defects Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Protest planned outside St Luke’s national school over threats posed by remedial works

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was urged in the Dáil to apologise publicly to hospital personnel over his remarks on them taking extended leave over Christmas.

Leo Varadkar accused in Dáil of ‘vindictive attempt’ to blame doctors and nurses for hospital overcrowding

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny (centre) held a meeting with  parents of children who need access to medicinal cannabis on Wednesday including Vera Twomey (left) and  Callie Blackwell. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Doctor ‘ashamed’ to hear stories of parents being forced to bring kids abroad to access products

A cervical cancer cell.  Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said contracts two laboratories had provided for the HSE to retrieve smear test slide results within three days.

Taoiseach says delay should be no more than a ‘couple of weeks’, not months

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said we need a winter plan for hospitals where all beds are open “not the kind we have had for years and years that does not work.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Varadkar says HSE winter plans have not worked for years because of shut down

Taoiseach Leo Varakdar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald Photographs: Gareth Chaney/Collins

McDonald accuses Varadkar of ‘cock up’ in remarks that he is open to consider review

The bill will see detailed labelling on alcohol products with ingredients, energy density (calories) and health warnings about the link between alcohol and cancer and other diseases.

State’s first health-related alcohol legislation will restrict cinema and outdoor advertising

Worldwide, the number of applications for Irish passports received from outside the State surged from 190,905 in 2016 to 227,223 last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Demand for Irish passports continues to surge in Northern Ireland, Britain

President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina. Photograph: Tom Honan

Presidential order is made of goatskin parchment

Speaking after the formal count in the election was completed, Joan Freeman praised “courage of the candidates”.

‘It’s not easy to have yourself scrutinised, criticised and sometimes brutalised’

One Meath East voter showed a preference for Dustin the Turkey when voting in the presidential election. File photograph: Alan Betson

‘All useless’ and ‘no to abortion’ among comments on spoiled ballot papers

  Gavin Duffy and his wife Orlaith Carmody at the result centre for the Presidential Election at Dublin Castle on Saturday. Photograph: Collins

‘Casey was throwing grenades repeatedly. One of them was going to explode and it did’

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald (L) and Liadh Ni Riada canvassing in the Cabra area of Dublin last week. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

McDonald defends running Liadh Ní Riada despite poor result in exit poll and early tallies

Presidential election ballot papers at the Convention Centre, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Incumbent breaks record despite lowest turnout of any presidential ballot ever

Peter Casey: ‘I’ll definitely not be standing as a county councillor, that’s far too much hard work.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Derry man says he intends to eventually become Taoiseach of a ‘revitalised’ party

LJ McAlevay casts her vote at St Laurence O’Toole CBS in Sherrif Stree with her daughter Maisie (5). Photograph: Donall Farmer/The Irish Times

Lowest turnout in capital was Dublin Central where just 31.08% of voters went to the polls

Scaffolding at Tyrrelstown Educate Together school in Dublin, a  school closed amid concerns over “significant structural issues”. Photograph: Cate McCurry/PA

Paul Murphy tells Dáil that the 42 schools being inspected ‘seems to be the tip of the iceberg’

Frances Fitzgerald resigned as minister last year following controversy over her knowledge of a Garda legal strategy against Sgt McCabe. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Former minister said politicians use the shelter of parliament to defame public servants

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Brenda FItzsimons/The Irish Times

Donohoe says technology platform will be able to handle different Brexit outcomes

Fianna Fáil spokeswoman on children Anne Rabbitte said  the Sale of Illicit Goods Bill would put the onus back on adults for child protection.

Currently ‘there is no deterrent to purchasing smuggled goods as it is not a crime’

Historian Catherine Corless holds a list of the names of missing children from  the mother and baby home in  Tuam. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/ Reuters

Legislation needed as excavation of mass grave never done in Ireland before

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

‘It will be a challenge to find alternative accommodation for 25 classes,’ Taoiseach says

Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School which is to close following structual assessment inspections

Schools were fast-track builds by same developer, with two already closed

Deputy Catherine Martin accused the Government of ‘shamefully using administrative manoeuvres to block progress’. Photograph: iStock

Green party: ‘We are further behind than ever’ in meeting environmental targets

The Taoiseach confirmed in the Dáil that litigation was underway against the company in respect of four schools including Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan, Co Dublin in relation to fire safety issues. Photograph: Collins

Taoiseach confirms litigation underway on fire safety issues in four schools

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