Local election candidate Samantha Long canvasses with Senators Victor Boyhan (left) and Michael McDowell in Dartry, Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton

BusConnects, rural broadband and property tax are some of the issues that keep cropping up at Dublin doorsteps

The issue of Government spending has been one of main the topics of the local and European elections, with TDs from all parties reporting voter concern about projects such as the national children’s hospital and the National Broadband Plan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fine Gael accused of dishonesty over spending on big projects

Regarding climate change Leo Varadkar acknowledged there was “lots to be worried about” but added that there will also be “lots of opportunities”.

It will take a further €30bn to phase out petrol and diesel cars, adds Taoiseach

All of Government Plan to Tackle Climate Disruption will be published by Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton in the coming weeks.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Departments will be required to account to Dáil and Seanad on carbon reduction

The Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton: he is expected to publish the All of Government Plan to Tackle Climate Disruption in the coming weeks

Certain buildings will be obliged to install charging points for electric cars by 2025

Anne Rabbitte, Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East: ‘Pressure was put on’ by people who wanted to support Mr Smith and not her, she claimed.

Anne Rabbitte and Brendan Smith standing in Midlands North West as party chases seats

Anne Rabbitte  at an Ibec-hosted debate in the  Clayton Hotel, Galway earlier this month. Photograph: Michael Dillon

Sprawling Midlands North West opened to two candidates in last week

Climate change is a prominent issue on doorsteps

Inside Politics: A successful local election for the Green Party is predicted by many

Former Rose of Tralee and FG candidate Maria Walsh is standing in the same Midlands North West constituency as MEP and opinion-poll topper  Máiread McGuinness.

Party tells political heavyweight Máiread McGuinness to give counties to running mate

‘This was an evening for the patrons of The Bridge Tavern, a pub I have drank in for 40 years,’ said Nial Ring. Photograph: Google Street View

Two weeks before elections 50 visitors enjoy ‘an evening of refreshments, food and music’

Director of Corporate Enforcement Ian Drennan has previously said he would  release the report  if he was offered protection. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Director of Corporate Enforcement has said he would release report if offered protection

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said the policy would be difficult to implement. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Implementing tax refund of up to €2,400 would present major difficulties – Donohoe

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe says he has received a ‘lot of different views’ on the €3 billion National Broadband Plan that is set to be announced in the coming weeks. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

US has been lobbying allies to ban Huawei equipment from telecoms infrastructure

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (left), Minister for Health Simon Harris (centre) and paramedic  Tony Kelly at the opening of a primary care centre on Summerhill in Dublin 1 on Friday.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Minister says sending unvaccinated child to schools or crèches ‘against the public good’

 Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan: issue of night mayors has arisen in her meetings with the pubs and clubs sector. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Extended licensing hours for serving alcohol also considered as part of local election plan

DUP leader Arlene Foster, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and deputy leader Michelle O’Neill at  funeral service of journalist Lyra McKee at St Annes Cathedral, Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Coveney and Bradley set to announce fresh talks to end stalemate

 Solidarity- People Before Profit candidates Gillian Brien (Dublin) and  Adrienne Wallace (South) during a launch by Solidarity- People Before Profit of its European Election campaign. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

People Before Profit launches European campaign and defends 2016 support of British exit from EU

Prof Rob Landers said he had been campaigning  for a new facility for 15 years ‘and suddenly, after a huge negative pressure from the media today, the HSE announces it’s going to start in six months’. time’ Photograph: Eoghan Dalton

HSE tells Minister that plans for a new facility are at an advanced stage

Vlad new pic to support hdline

Top party figures hear suggestions FF chief Micheál Martin building Dáil alliances

Ministers last week consented to the change, which will seek to resolve the issue that arose after the referendum approving same-sex marriage was passed in 2015. File Photograph: Getty

Legal anomaly left male same-sex adoptive parents unable to claim State benefit

Sport Ireland chairman Kieran Mulvey and chief execuitve John Treacy at Leinster House ahead of an Oireachtas committe hearing, last week. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sport Ireland chair ‘livid’ to learn Deloitte had filed notice with CRO about soccer body

Leo Varadkar during the  Good Friday Way of the Cross procession in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Fine Gael still leads Fianna Fáil in the opinion polls and the Taoiseach is still a more popular leader than Micheál Martin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Painting the Taoiseach as a creature of spin has been a triumph of spin itself

 Billy Kelleher meets up with Clare hurling legends Brian Lohan and Niall Gilligan  while canvassing in Ennis, Co Clare, for the European elections. Photograph: Eamon Ward

A green revolution and disappointment for Fine Gael are among the predictions for May 24th

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy: “There will be one count – one count in Dublin for the four seats and one count in Ireland South for the five seats.”  Photograph: Tom Honan

Winners of seats arising from UK’s exit plan may visit European Parliament, says Murphy

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead overnight during riots in the Creggan area of Derry, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Jess Lowe/AFP/Getty Images

Police appeal for information and help from Creggan community in tracking down killer

Bono and his wife Ali with  US speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl. Photograph: Maxwell Photography/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Presence of Bono for speech by Nancy Pelosi adds to end-of-term atmosphere in Leinster House

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

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

Fine Gael has added Verona Murphy,  the president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), to its general election ticket in Wexford. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Verona Murphy joins Ministers of State Kehoe and D’Arcy on ticket in five-seat Dáil constituency

Flowers at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘Shameful’ of Minister to suggest people are not coming forward with information

Independent TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly: “Increasingly what we deal with in the Irish parliament either comes from Europe directly or Europe is being used as an excuse why we can’t do things that benefit Irish people.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The deputies will aim to bring “Europe home in a timely way” to Irish voters

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone: ‘There is still more information out there.’

Commission finds no evidence babies from institution had been ‘sold’ to America

A ballot box for Gola Island, off the west coast of Donegal, is brought to the polling station on the island ahead of the 2016 general election. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Cabinet sanctions ‘money message’ to give effect to move proposed by FF’s Éamon Ó’Cuív

The process will closely follow the process used to appoint Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Mr Justice Frank Clarke in 2017. File photograph: The Irish Times

Minister for Justice secures ‘agreement to note that nomination process be put in place’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: he  had said a decision on whether to proceed with the plan to roll out high-speed internet access to rural Ireland  would be made by Easter. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Communications Richard Bruton says Ministers will not meet Easter timeline outlined by Varadkar

Members of the European Parliament take part in a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. File image: Reuters/Vincent Kessler

Nominations closed at noon on Monday for Ireland’s three European constituencies

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visiting the Sikh Temple in  Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, on Sunday, the day after the centenary of the Amritsar massacres in 1919. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says union a win-win as Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair call for second Brexit poll

Midlands North West MEP Luke “Ming” Flanagan: put ad in local newspapers comparing his work with that of constituency colleagues Matt Carthy and Maireád McGuinness. Photograph:  Mick McCormack

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy at loggerheads with Independent MEP over work record

 British prime minister Theresa May speaks at a press conference after a special EU summit on Brexit at the European Council in Brussels. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Inside politics: Questions remain after FAI and Delaney appear at Oireachtas committee

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny: the VentureWave website lists him  as one of four people on its senior team

Mayo TD will take up his first business-related role since stepping down as taoiseach

Billy Kelleher: he is accused  of not taking the prospect of  taking  two seats in Ireland South  seriously

Councillor candidate claims TD Billy Kelleher is not taking seriously the prospect of the party winning two seats in Ireland South

The Dorchester Hotel in London, owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Photograph:  Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Séamus Woulfe decides against going to Dorchester amid controvery over gay rights

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has a testy relationship with Imelda Munster. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Transport action plan accidentally sent to SF transport spokeswoman Imelda Munster

 Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: concerned about suggestions banks may have employed unregistered security to assist in executing court orders. Photograph: James Forde

Flanagan to seek approval for requirement that private security firms register with State

Michel Barnier, EU chief Brexit negotiator, at Government Buildings speaking to media following meeting. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ministers at Dublin meeting are told EU will ‘stand fully behind Ireland’

Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín: “There needs to be sustainable levels of immigration in this country, it needs to be managed.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pearse Doherty says former colleague is courting populist views as he launches Aontú

Senator Alice Mary Higgins at her campaign launch in Dublin on Monday. .Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan says he would be the only ‘authentic voice’ for NI if elected

Landlords will also be required to copy a tenancy termination notice to the Residential Tenancies Board. File photograph: PA

New measures also tighten rules around ending a tenancy to enable refurbishments

US speaker Nancy Pelosi: renewed efforts to seal a landmark American visa deal for Irish citizens. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Speaker of House of Representatives to visit Border and meet Taoiseach later in month

 Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance, speaks to media on the report of the review of the Local Property Tax  at the Department of the Taoiseach. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Department of Finance outlines options to reform tax to deal with rises in property prices

Angela Merkel: “She really wants to listen, to show support and to listen, and to find out what is the current situation, what is the view of Ireland, and how can we proceed in different scenarios”

German ambassador to Ireland says chancellor’s visit is a show of solidarity with Ireland

The report is said to outline a number of proposed options for dealing with the tax, from cutting the rate to widening the bands.

Changes to Local Property Tax have been deferred for one year

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow announces the results of a round of voting on alternative Brexit options at the House of Commons on Monday night. Image: Reuters TV via REUTERS

Inside Politics: Taoiseach is expected to press case for a long extension of article 50 negotiating process

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘No one should under-estimate the difficulties that a no-deal will present, for all of us.’  Photograph: Brian Lawless/ PA Wire

Taoiseach to discuss EU single market and open Border with Macron and Merkel

Calls for McGrath to resign after claiming drink-driving checks were ‘over the top’

House of Commons speaker John Bercow is pictured during a debate on a series of indicative proposals tabled in an attempt to find consensus among MPs on Brexit. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire.

May to hold five-hour cabinet meeting amid speculation she could seek long delay to Brexit

File photograph: iStock

Revenue would give unused tax credits back to those earning below €16,500 in the policy

‘If judges are taken off the pitch, it could have problems for the practical administration of justice.’ Photograph: Nicolas Nadjar

Chief justice issues warning after Government moves to allow public inquiries

Becky Loftus Dore: she cautions  people against choosing surrogacy in Ireland unless a family member or close friend has agreed to be the surrogate

‘This journey has been so different to any of my own. My husband and I aren’t sitting in bed talking about names’

Fianna Fáil spokesman Barry Cowen said constituencies such as his own of Offaly, where Bord na Móna has a significant presence, could see its industries affected. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Party insisting on funds being reinvested in affected communities during report negotiations

One TD characterised Leo Varadkar’s warning as: “You better have your leaflets ready if you are going to do that.”

A number of Government TDs understood to have missed Dáil business for soccer match

Sligo councillor Joe Queenan was secretly filmed by the RTÉ Investigations unit. File image: RTÉ.

Joe Queenan and John O’Donnell both breached Local Government Act - watchdog

The Fine Gael intention is to link payments such as the pension to the consumer price index this year. File photograph: Getty Images

FG plan would consign people to poverty while claiming to help them, says Willie O’Dea

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar discusses Brexit at the end of an EU summit last week. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Taoiseach also says he will work with whoever is British PM amid turmoil in London

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has refused to engage with suggestions that an EU task force could be set up to deal with the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Getty Images

Merkel notes difficulties of protecting the Belfast Agreement in a no-deal situation

Mark Durkan said the sitting Fine Gael MEPs should have shown their discomfort with   Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s policies. Photograph: Alan Betson

Mark Durkan says MEPs should have shown discomfort with Hungarian leader’s policies

Paddy Tully (centre flat cap) keeps an eye on the prices at the mart in Granard, Co Longford. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

Fine Gael needs rural Ireland but its seen to be weak on country concerns from post office closures to driving laws

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar gives a press conference at the end of an EU summit focused on Brexit in Brussels on Friday.  Photograph: Aris Oikonomou/AFP/Getty Images

DUP describes Theresa May’s failure to secure new EU concessions as ‘inexcusable’

Supporters of serving Defence Forces personnel and retired members participating in a  protest over low pay in the armed forces. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Defence Forces Family Political Forum wants to see strategic voting among members, families

Cllr Malcolm Byrne (left) defeated Billy Kelleher TD by eight votes. Photographs: File/Brenda Fitzsimons

Wexford councillor Malcolm Byrne defeats Billy Kelleher for European Parliament nomination

The Cabinet adjourned once more, with Ministers and officials – sustained by late-night sandwiches – gathering around televisions to watch the joint May-Juncker press conference. Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Juncker wanted a ‘verbal handshake’ with Varadkar before any sign-off with May

Paschal Donohoe, will be Fine Gael’s director of organisation for the next general election. He is in London for St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Minister for Finance does not want to lead now ‘nor in the future’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: took call from European Commission president Jean Claude  Juncker on the final wording of the unilateral declaration. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Dublin and Brussels deemed notion lacked rigour under EU and international law

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the onus was now on London to find a way out of the current crisis. Photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Simon Coveney ‘deeply disappointed’ by latest rejection by MPs of Theresa May deal

Leo Varaadkar, speaking at a press conference in  Government Buildings on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Documents provide additional layer ‘interpretation, clarification, elaboration’

British prime minister Theresa May arrives back at Downing Street in London after making a statement on Brexit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire

Inside Politics: May insists she has secured ‘legal changes’ to backstop ahead of Commons vote

Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the European Union,  greets British prime minister Theresa May before a news conference in Strasbourg, France, on Monday.  Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Joint interpretive instrument means EU cannot trap UK in backstop indefinitely

Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar and his senior staff were due to travel to the United States for the annual St Patrick’s Day series of events yesterday, but postponed their departure. Photograph: Tom Honan

Ministers insist no change in the position that UK can unilaterally exit backstop

Details of an Irish woman in Syria first emerged after a TV crew working for ITV News visited a camp in northern Syria two weeks ago. Photograph: ITV

Removing citizenship for woman who left for Syria would not be ‘compassionate’ move

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker are pictured during a  news conference in Strasbourg on Monday. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters.

Juncker says there will be no further chances on agreement and Varadkar approves latest offer

Leo Varadkar attends the Six Nations match between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Sunday. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP

Any Brexit extension would have to be an ‘extension with a purpose’

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley  said she is profoundly sorry for deeply insensitive comments she made on Wednesday suggesting that deaths caused by soldiers and police during the Troubles were not crimes. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Northern Secretary criticised in North and State for saying killings by soldiers, police ‘not crimes’

A poster for Niall Blaney’s EU election campaign. Image: Facebook

Former Donegal TD Niall Blaney says timing of convention is unreasonable

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar does not believe the recent controversy surrounding the national children’s hospital overspend is responsible for a drop in his and Fine Gael’s standings in opinion polls. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters.

Taoiseach notes consumer confidence drop when asked about poll ratings for him and party falling

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the launch of the Action Plan for Education 2019 in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Julien Behal

NI business group says absence of a departure deal has seen investment evaporate

 Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley: ‘never intended to cause offence’. Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Northern Secretary criticised in North and State for saying killings by soldiers, police ‘not crimes’

The site of the national children’s hospital in Dublin. The €450m overrun in the project, now expected to cost €1.7bn, has led to a major political controversy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Robert Watt to tell PAC greater cost controls being introduced following hospital overspend

 Leo Varadkar launched the group at the weekly Fine Gael  parliamentary party meeting. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Group will ‘develop links’ with NI parties and build FG profile in North, says party chair

Paul Murphy TD outside Leinster House, Dublin  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Dublin TD describes rivals as bourgeois, sectarian nationalists with an ‘armed wing’

Paul Murphy, left, said: “The guiding line for us all in this debate should be what Lenin, approvingly quoting Trotsky, argued, that ‘ideological struggle within the party does not mean mutual ostracism but mutual influence’.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Paul Murphy advocates ‘united front’ when dealing with Sinn Féin, documents show

Paul Murphy, left, said: “The guiding line for us all in this debate should be what Lenin, approvingly quoting Trotsky, argued, that ‘ideological struggle within the party does not mean mutual ostracism but mutual influence’.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

In internal documents Paul Murphy advocates ‘united front’ when dealing with Sinn Féin

From left to right: Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger TD, Cllr Michael Murphy and Mick Barry TD pictured in 2017.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Papers show serious differences between leading party figures on domestic strategy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Mark Durkan, the former SDLP leader who is now a Fine Gael candidate. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Sinn Féin appears stung by FG selection of former SDLP leader Mark Durkan as European Parliament candidate

British prime minster Theresa May and President of European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. The EU and UK will map out what technological solutions could be used to keep the Irish border open after Brexit. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty

Work would take place during transition phase which starts after Britain leaves EU

Emergency services at the  scene at the Department of Health on Baggot Street. Photograph: Conor Pope

Taoiseach asks ‘what kind of oddballs’ send such material, which is ultimately opened by civilian staff

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn: “We are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country.” Photograph:  Aaron Chown/PA

London to bring back direct rule in NI as administrative move in event of crashout

Ali Charaf Damache is serving a 15-year sentence in a maximum security facility in the United States. Photograph: Collins Courts

Right to same-sex marriage and abortion universal, Taoiseach tells Arab League

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British prime minister Theresa May at the Arab-European Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on Monday. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Taoiseach says Fianna Fáil has offered ‘no substance of policy, no alternative’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British prime minister Theresa May held bilateral talks at the margins of the first Arab-European Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Photograph: Getty

Tusk confirms he has discussed an extension with May: says it is a ‘rational solution’

British prime minister Theresa May attends the  EU-Arab League Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, yesterday. Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA

British PM’s move does not alter anything for Ireland or European Union, says Varadkar

The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  at  the opening of the  EU-League of Arab States summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photograph: EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Varadkar to make an address at the first EU-League of Arab States summit in Egypt

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