Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said he hopes to restore the majority of State funding to football at grassroots level. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Intermediary to be used by Government to channel funds due of lack of trust in FAI

Christmas cheer:  Micheál Martin, Finian McGrath, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Mary Lou McDonald, Róisín Shortall and Shane Ross at the Oireachtas Christmas tree lights switching-on ceremony at Leinster House.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Surviving a no-confidence motion was one thing. Tougher challenges – and a general election – await in the new year

The long-awaited enforcement notice follows a damning investigation into the public services card project in August

Move is likely to be the first salvo in a lengthy legal battle between the Data Protection Commissioner and Regina Doherty’s depar(...)

Mary Lou McDonald: believes the Stormont institutions can be re-established by Christmas. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Mary Lou McDonald tells party she believes Stormont institutions can be revived by Christmas

Bernard Durkan:  he said  some of the difficulties in housing and health were “unacceptable and shouldn’t happen”

Bernard Durkan said housing issues would pose a problem in the general election

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald made her comments at the weekly Sinn Féin staff meeting in Leinster House. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP

Negotiations between parties and Britain and Ireland due to start on December 16th

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: repeated his view that the natural ‘cut off’ point for this Dáil is Easter next year.  File Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil leader does not rule out bringing Dooley and Collins back to front bench

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Tom Honan

Maureen O’Sullivan says ‘housing situation is so dire, how could I abstain?’

Minister for Housing: The Dáil vote on the motion of no confidence in him is expected at around 10pm. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister facing second motion of no confidence in his time at Department of Housing

 Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Peter Fitzpatrick’s vote against Government will narrow support needed

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the UN General Assembly, and President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Maxwells

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande also says State has ‘good chance’ at winning Security Council seat

Joe O’Brien: ‘We had the so called green wave in the summer at the local elections, but it’s gaining traction now and I think it’s more than a wave.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

O’Brien topped the poll in the 12 candidate field with 5,744 first preference votes

Fine Gael candidate Emer Higgins canvassing in  Dublin Mid-West  at the Retired Active Men’s Social in Newcastle, Co Dublin. Photograph: Fiach Kelly

Fianna Fáil tipped to win at least two seats as voters go to polls in Cork, Dublin and Wexford

Dáil byelections: turnout will be low, transfers will be key and nobody really knows what will happen. File photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Turnout in Fingal, Wexford, Cork North Central and Dublin Mid West is expected to be around the mid 30 per cent mark

Michael Ring: claimed to  his colleagues that Shane Ross is disliked in rural Ireland

Changes unlikely to be passed through the Oireachtas before next year’s general election

The limits have not been changed since 1956, and the Government has argued they are in need of modernisation. File photograph: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Changes brought to Cabinet by Charlie Flanagan include maximum payout of €500

At present, a driver who breaks the speed limit is subject to a fine of €80 and three penalty points, irrespective of the speed they were doing. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Shane Ross’s plan will see higher sanctions imposed for those travelling at higher speeds

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: bringing amended penalty point plans back to his ministerial colleagues. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Minister for Transport is bringing amended speeding sanctions to Cabinet

Independent TD Noel Grealish arrives at Leinster House. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Independent TD’s comments on migrants are supported by some voters and TDs

Leo Varadkar canvasses with Wexford byelection candidate Verona Murphy (centre) in Wexford town. Photograph: Fiach Kelly

Fine Gael big hitters row in behind controversial byelection hopeful Verona Murphy

 Independent Paul Gogarty  canvassing in Adamstown in  Dublin Mid West. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Gogarty and Higgins frontrunners to win seat vacated by Frances Fitzgerald

Maria Bailey has been in the spotlight following the negative publicity surrounding her decision to pursue, and later withdraw, a personal injuries claim over a fall from a swing in Dublin’s Dean Hotel. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

TD says she was not told that basis of decision relied on proposal from party leader

Minister of State John Halligan: The clash happened at the weekly meeting of Independent Alliance, attended by Mr Halligan, Minister for Sport Shane Ross and Ministers of State Finian McGrath and Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Independent Alliance TD in row with Shane Ross over allocation for his constituency

Motorists caught exceeding a speed limit by more than 30km/h would face prosecution in the courts under a proposed law. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Shane Ross has proposed more severe sanctions for speeding motorists

Verona Murphy was discussing the Direct Provision system when she made the comments and said those seeking international protection in Ireland should not be housed where support services for them are not available. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Verona Murphy said that some asylum seekers may have been ‘infiltrated by ISIS’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: Declining home ownership due to  a ‘failure of Government policy’. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Martin vows new scheme to help tenants save deposit and exit ‘rip-off’ rental market

Maria Bailey has been in the spotlight following the negative publicity surrounding her decision to pursue, and later withdraw, a personal injuries claim over a fall from a swing in Dublin’s Dean Hotel. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Swing injury case TD disappointed with Taoiseach’s decision to ‘sanction me again’

Noel Grealish’s statement on remittances sent by Nigerians was met with a certain dread among TDs. Photograph: Alan Betson

Inside Politics: TD singled out Nigerians for special attention with remittance figures that far exceed any State calculations

Fianna Fáil byelection candidate Lorraine Clifford Lee  has been embroiled in controversy in recent days over tweets she posted in 2011 in which she used words such as “knacker” and “pikey”.

Fianna Fáil leader says Lorraine Clifford Lee will be apologising directly to Pavee Point over tweets

Maria Bailey: has been in the spotlight following the negative publicity surrounding her decision to pursue, and later withdraw, a personal injuries claim over a fall from a swing in Dublin’s Dean Hotel.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dún Laoghaire deputy in spotlight after controversy over personal injuries claim

Minister for Transport  Shane Ross: While there was no row with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Mr Ross felt three  nominations to be premature. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney

Dublin Rathdown TD argued at Cabinet three judicial nominations were premature

Lorraine Clifford-Lee  said  the tweets were “totally inappropriate” and “wrong”, adding that she is “very sorry for offending people”.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘I’ve apologised and I am extremely sorry’, said Lorraine Clifford Lee

Micheál Martin: confidence-and-supply agreement the most effective thing Fianna Fáil has done ‘to rebuild trust with the Irish people’. Photograph: James Forde

Fianna Fáil leader’s comments raise prospect of agreed election timetable

 RTÉ HQ at Donnybrook. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Cost-cutting measures floated by management include end to ardfheiseanna coverage

The RTÉ campus, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, as the broadcaster announced it will cut some 200 jobs next year. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Broadcaster hopes to generate €50m from second land sale at Donnybrook campus

RTÉ Headquarters. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Inside Politics: Dee Forbes blunt about need for Government funding

RTÉ director general will take a 10 per cent pay cut as part of the restructuring.

Major financial restructuring at national broadcaster to save €60m over three years

An estimated 22,000 disposable cups are used every hour. Photograph: iStock

Minister for Climate action to introduce a range of environmental charges

Aer Lingus plans to fly four times a week to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and three times a week to Barcelona. Photograph: Frank Grealish

New routes expected to help return airport to growth in passenger numbers in 2020

TDs must have a minimum of 120 days’ attendance over the year to qualify for the travel and accommodation allowance. File photograph: Alan Betson

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission ponders request to address concerns on issue

Maria Bailey: Earlier this month, a motion of no confidence was tabled in Ms Bailey. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bailey tells party colleagues her career and livelihood are on the line

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Fine Gael is a party of ‘democracy’, indicating that he and other senior figures will reflect on the views of the party’s Dún Laoghaire members. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fine Gael’s Dún Laoghaire members set to vote on a motion to change election ticket

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Leo Varadkar says Fianna Fáil leader has already turned down an offer to agree a date

Businessman Kevin Lunney was kidnapped on Tuesday, September 17th, on a roadway in Co Fermanagh as he drove home from work.File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Varadkar promises extra security resources for Border area amid meeting with Garda chief

The new carriages will enter service by 2021, for the Kildare, Maynooth and Northern commuter lines.   Photograph: George Doyle/Getty

Minister announces plan to buy 41 carriages to bolster rail services in greater Dublin area

Despite accepting the recommendations, PDForra, the soldiers’ representative organisation, said it had reservations and would continue to push for increased allowances for its 8,500 members

PDForra head says ‘executive do not believe that the recommendations go far enough’

 Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan  and  Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris during a press conference following a meeting in Government Buildings on Wednesday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

‘Investigations are well resourced and progressing,’ says Drew Harris after Government meeting

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has ruled out a pre-Christmas election.

Statement follows internal Fine Gael speculation that there could be a pre-Christmas poll

Maria Bailey: Earlier this month, a motion of no confidence was tabled in Ms Bailey. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Meeting on October 31st seen as putting pressure on local party TD Maria Bailey

Clare TD Timmy Dooley and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party is damaged by Dáil voting controversy and glad election is not imminent

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Inside Politics: Pre-Christmas election could not come at worse time for party

DUP leader Arlene Foster speaks to reporters after a meeting of   the Stormont Assembly on Monday ahead of changes to laws on abortion  and gay marriage  in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Changes to NI abortion law and same-sex marriage also cited as issues for Foster’s party

Sinn Féin vice president, Michelle O’Neill, speaking in  Dublin today. Photograph: Alan Betson

SF leader in NI described Monday’s assembly sitting as a ‘farce’ and ‘political stunt’ by DUP

Fianna Fáil TDs Niall Collins and Timmy Dooley are being investigated over a series of votes last week. Photograph: PA

Fine Gael accuses Fianna Fáil of muddying waters with video of Ministers out of seats

British prime minister Boris Johnson  in the House of Commons on Saturday. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK parliament/AFP via Getty Images

Johnson to introduce legislation needed to implement withdrawal agreement

Barry Cowen: he says the revised deal negotiated by  Boris Johnson paves the way for a much harder Brexit than envisaged by his predecessor Theresa May

Many Fine Gael sources claim that election preparation is intensifying, but are reluctant to spell out its nature

Fianna Fáil Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers TD said she sat in the wrong seat in the Dáil. File photograph: Fran Veale/The Irish Times

Frontbencher says she has since reported voting for deputy leader to Ceann Comhairle

Timmy Dooley was not in his Dáil seat during a time on Thursday when six electronic votes were recorded in his name.  File photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times

Ceann Comhairle asks for inquiry after FF’s Niall Collins says he voted for Timmy Dooley

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said a deal was likely to pass in Westminster. File photograph: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Pool via Reuters

Taoiseach’s remarks come as British government triggers no-deal preparations

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin:  Ministers want to know if he intends to agree to a May 2020 general election to prevent Leo Varadkar calling for a November poll. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

FF leader Micheál Martin urged to show his hand to stop ‘nonsensical’ speculation

 Ms Bailey, who  lost her position as chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing in the controversy over a personal injuries claim against a Dublin hotel, is one of three Fine Gael candidates for Dún Laoghaire at the next election. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Motion backed by some activists in her Dún Laoghaire constituency was ruled out of order

A file image of DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds leaving 10 Downing Street in London. Mr Dodds said the latest Brexit deal drives ‘a coach and horses’ through the Belfast Agreement. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images.

McDonald rules out Sinn Féin MPs taking seats in Westminster for vote on agreement

British prime minister Boris Johnson hopes to put the new deal before the House of Commons at a special sitting on Saturday. Photograph: Getty

Questions raised over whether Boris Johnson will sign up to new deal amid consent worries

Elements of the proposed Brexit deal are set to be a customs border in the Irish Sea  and a huge financial package for Northern Ireland. File photograph: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: EU’s chief negotiator says he must inform member states by lunchtime today if a deal can be agreed

British prime minister Boris Johnson in London on Tuesday. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA/Bloomberg

Senior sources say the prospects of an accord are ‘looking more promising’

DUP leader Arlene Foster. File photograph:  Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Varadkar says progress made but ‘unclear’ if deal will be struck tonight

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: favours election next May. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Comments follow days of speculation that Varadkar could go to country in November

Josepha Madigan held out the ‘possibility of limited licensing’ for this coursing season. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Fears among some that ban has caused public perception of party as anti-rural

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe with Budget 2020 at Government Buildings. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ministers took time to realise Donohoe was serious about tightening expenditure

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe is to announce Budget 2020 on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Rise in commercial stamp duty to help cover cost of more care hours, gardaí and allowances

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe will have €2.8 billion to spend on budget day itself, of which €2.1 billion has already been committed. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Agri-food sector and beef industry will receive largest share of contingency fund

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said he will not be putting € 500 million into the State’s Rainy Day Fund this year, as had been planned, due to the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Minister for Finance says he will not be putting €500m into State’s Rainy Day Fund

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Deputy Michael McGrath and Barry Cowen, the public expenditure spokesman, are still negotiating the details of the budget with Fine Gael. File photograph: Alan Betson

Finance spokesman says there is less than the €700 million initially allocated

 Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys (above) and Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty are working jointly on the plan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Budget initiative will target ‘vulnerable but viable’ firms to support in no-deal scenario

Green Party Finance spokeswoman Neasa Hourigan  and Party leader Eamon Ryan at the Irish Georgian Society in Dublin at the launch of the party’s pre-budget submission 2020. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Party’s pre-budget plan outlines €1.1 billion in climate investment for next year

Leo Varadkar: will thank Sweden and Denmark ‘for their ongoing solidarity with Ireland’. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inside Politics: It is widely expected the UK will seek another extension to the Brexit deadline

Minister for Finance Paschal  Donohoe will have €2.8b   to spend on budget day, although €2.1bn   has already been committed. Photograph: Getty Images

Reports of Government tensions over next year’s education budget due to costs of pay, pensions

A new charge on all new petrol and diesel cars is expected to be introduced in next week’s budget.  File photograph: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

Paschal Donohoe is likely to announce environmental health surcharge, sources say

The updated projections for 2019 Corporation tax – with November one of the highest yielding months – will be included in the budget white paper to be published this weekend. Photograph: Getty Images

Cabinet hears about tight parameters for budget due to potential no-deal Brexit

The owner of the  former Connemara Gateway Hotel had applied to covert the building into a   direct provision centre Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Department of Justice says move will exacerbate serious shortage of accommodation for those who come to Ireland

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, DUP leader Arlene  Foster said her party would be open to discussing a time-limited backstop. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Arlene Foster tells Tories Northern Ireland could not be part of two customs territories

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: said concerns expressed over the appointment of Gabriel Makhlouf also echoed those of his own party.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Finance ‘less than forthcoming’ on issues around new Central Bank governor

Gabriel Makhlouf’s appointment as governor of the Central Bank was approved by the Government in May and he took up the €286,760 post at the start of September. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Managers were concerned the bank would be hurt by new governor’s ‘hacking’ row

Paschal Donohoe: he said it “now seems evident” the UK wants to adopt sharply different regulatory rules to the EU after Brexit. Photograph: Getty Images

Final budget negotiations ‘difficult’ in the light of uncertainty around Brexit

Willie O’Dea: It is  suggested he  has been stung by jibes from  Opposition TDs on the pension  issue

Fianna Fáil social protection spokesman believes FG intends to allocate greater resources to younger families

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath gave an update to his party’s senior TDs on carbon tax on Tuesday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Stand-alone fund may require legislation, finance spokesman tells front bench

Leo Varadkar speaks during the Climate Action Summit 2019 in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Photograph: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: Varadkar uses event as platform to outline Government policy to phase out fossil-fuel exploration

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: While details of how the  fund may be used to help deal with a disorderly Brexit are not  finalised, triggering the fund is being examined. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Donohoe could borrow less by employing State nest egg fast approaching €2bn

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. It is understood the overall figure being examined for the budget welfare package  is between €150m and €200m

Focus will be on home benefits package with support for gas and electricity bills

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: chastised his Ministers over negative briefings. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Government figures are unimpressed with proposal of all-island agri-food zone

Some Ministers and TDs were privately critical of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when he said he was open to a grand coalition with Micheál Martin’s party. Photograph: Douglas O’Connor

Donohoe may ask fiscal advisory council to scrutinise Opposition spending policies

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told  his party’s TDs that Government and Opposition party leaders had agreed the byelections would be held in the last week in November. File image: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

November 29th mooted for polls in Wexford, Dublin and Cork as TDs speculate on general election date

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will tell the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee it is “critical that the expenditure position for Budget 2020 is managed within the parameters set out in the mid-year expenditure report”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Limits allow for budget-day package of €2.8 billion, with €2.1 billion already committed

Noel Rock’s promotion will be seen as a boost to the  TD, who is battling to hold his seat in the three seat Dublin North West constituency. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Dun Laoghaire TD lost position amid controversy over personal injuries claim

The 32nd Dáil looks unlikely to last beyond May next year.

The domestic political battlegrounds are health, housing and the rising cost of living

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Enterprise Heather Humphreys at the end of day two of Fine Gael’s autumn think-in in Ballycotton, Cork. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Senior FG figures claim even considering idea may help ‘rehabilitate’ the Opposition

Senior Government figures have said they are examining increasing the €20 per week universal childcare subsidy in the October 8th budget. Photograph: iStock

Fine Gael seeks to put family-friendly policies at the centre of their bid for a third term

President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin speaking about pay and conditions in the Defence Forces at a presentation of the Defence Forces Values Awards. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach says Higgins’s comments on sufficient remuneration extend to all of society

A show of hands was taken at the meeting in Oughterard. Photograph: Gearóid Murphy/Twitter

Galway TD claimed direct provision centre would ‘destroy the fabric of Oughterard’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that if Fianna Fáil had the majority after the next general election then Fine Gael would have to consider a Confidence and Supply Agreement. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘I am certainly not ruling out any future arrangement with Fianna Fáil, either confidence and supply or coalition’ - Taoiseach

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