Peadar Tóibín: after 24 nights on the road, he reckons more than 4,000 people have attended his rallies. Photograph: Harry McGee

Peadar Tóibín’s attack on political and media groupthink works well with local audiences

In 2016, then minister for heath Leo Varadkar said the children’s hospital would be completed by 2020, “short of an asteroid hitting the planet”. The estimated cost was €670 million at that time.

Conflict of interest that can lead to underestimating costs lies at core of public projects

EU Council President Donald Tusk and  Leo Varadkar gesture as they give statements after a meeting at the European Council headquarters. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Inside Politics: Donald Tusk’s ‘special place in hell’ comments dominate British press agenda

“As long as landlords are leaving the market we will have a challenge in homelessness”

Some headway made in Rebuilding Ireland plan, but structural problems remain

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (L) has alleged PAC had strayed outside its remit in a recent hearing on sick leave and other issues in the prison service. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Public spending watchdog accused by other Oireachtas groups of waging a ‘turf war’

The HSE website: the fake website was run by an anti-abortion group.

HSE forced to increase advertising spend to stop fake website getting top hits on search engine

A view of the construction site of the national children’s hospital. Photograph: Tom Honan

Opposition finds it ‘unbelievable’ that Ministers not aware of costs until November

The Government has sought Attorney General Séamus Woulfe’s view on the possibility that two MEPs will have to go on furlough if Brexit is delayed. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet decided to reconfigure three constituencies to accommodate 13 MEPs

The omnibus Bill  covers contingencies in the event of a no-deal Brexit across all Irish Government departments. Photograph:  Leon Neal/Getty Images

The 95-page document covers all Government areas in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Theresa May addresses the Commons following the results of voting on amendments put forward over the government’s Brexit deal. Photograph: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA Wire

Inside Politics: May secures backing for amendment calling for backstop to replaced as Europe dismisses reopening of withdrawal ta(...)

With a delay in Britain’s EU exit looking possible, two of Ireland’s 13 MEPs  will not be in a position to take up their seats. Photograph: Hannah McKay

Ireland’s allocation of two extra MEP seats cannot be activated until after UK exits EU

Minster for Justice Charlie Flanagan reportedly told colleagues at a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting Minister for Transport Shane  Ross (pictured) had his “foot on my neck” over the Bill. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fine Gael is under considerable pressure from Independent Alliance Minister to complete Bill

In an interview with the media over Christmas, Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar suggested a reshuffle would take place after the local and European elections. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Varadkar ‘minded’ to make extensive changes to ministerial posts in June or July

Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners Niall Cody told the Oireachtas committee there would be “significant change” if there was a hard Brexit. Photograph: Alan Betson

Study in 2016 in wake of British vote found serious challenges for Irish customs

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government denies it tried to hide the need to retest 6,000 women for cervical cancer

Sinn FéinŽleader Mary Lou McDonald. Cllr Úna D’Arcy said: ‘I love Mary Lou to bits.’ File photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Westmeath representative does not intend to join Peadar Tóibín’s group despite close ties

It feels like 100 years since the Brexit referendum of 2016

British proposal for a bilateral treaty with Ireland to supersede backstop is quickly rejected

Minister for Health Simon Harris said patients and service providers should be able to enter a premises without fear of intimidation or harassment, he said. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister says existing protections in place for workers under other laws

Senator Gerard Craughwell: “We intend to debate it for another 70 hours at least, and that’s before the legislation gets to report stage.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Group committed to debating Bill at length at committee stage to block its enactment

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar receiving a birthday cake on his 40th from DCU students and staff on Friday. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Screening of ‘Strictly Ballroom’, music and finger food at private party at Dublin venue

UK prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Downing Street dismisses reports it wanted bilateral alternative to backstop

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney: Both roundly rejected  British suggestions of a bilateral treaty  to avoid a Border backstop. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Bilateral treaty envisaged both governments bypassing EU for deal on invisible border

The transport sector is one of the big two emitters of greenhouse gases along with agriculture, and emissions have been increasing in recent years.  Photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Transport Shane Ross attributes underspend to delay in getting projects set up

Seán Kyne TD. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Chief Whip announces only six priority Bills to be published in spring session

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar listens as a tour guide explains the artwork in the all-male St Mary’s Monastery in Axum, Ethiopia. Photograph: Harry McGee

In Ethiopia Taoiseach says it is appropriate to respect customs of different cultures

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visits  some of the stores in the redistribution centre in the Mai Aini refugee centre in Northern Ethiopia. Photograph: Harry McGee

Biggest political mistake is to be dismissive of with migration concerns – Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets school children in Kawaneet, Ethiopia. Photograph: Harry McGee

Taoiseach says money on Irish Aid is being ‘well spent’

Theresa May speaking during prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons in London on January 9th. Photograph: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA Wire

UK parliament forces prime minister to quickly present ‘plan B’ if withdrawal deal rejected

Taoiseach Leo Varadkarand his Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed, stand for the national anthem during his official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on  January 9th Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Taoiseach met with Ethiopian prime minister, president during official visit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stands for the national anthem during his official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

Taoiseach says weekend strike would have affected far fewer patients

Locked gates at Stormont Buildings in Co Down, east of Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

DUP denounces move by British government as ‘cosmetic and meaningless’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets Irish troops in Mali during his visit to Africa.

Tánaiste to warn time for ‘wishful thinking’ is over if Britain is to avoid no-deal Brexit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, and trainer Sgt John Maloney watch local soldiers undergo training manoeuvre at a training camp in Mali. Photograph: Harry McGee

Defence Forces in Koulikoro helping locals deal with climate change and rising population

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May on the BBC’s “The Andrew Marr Show”: said she would work to secure further assurances from EU leaders on the backstop to assuage members of her Conservative Party and the DUP. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout

DUP calls backstop ‘poison’ amid efforts to end Brexit impasse over likely duration

File photograph of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, chief of staff of the Defence Forces, who are visiting Mali. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach begins week-long visit to Africa in Mali

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has praised British prime minister Theresa May’s latest comments on the Irish Border. File photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Taoiseach responds after British PM calls for actions to avoid hard Border post-Brexit

Organ donation legislation was brought back on the public agenda recently because of a documentary on the experience of  campaigner Orla Tinsely as she awaited, and then received, a double lung transplant in New York. Photograph: Alan Betson

Proposal to come before Cabinet in first quarter of the year, 12 years after first recommended

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was one of the public figures who welcomed the introduction of the new abortion services. However Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign said voters were lied to every step of the way during the referendum campaign by abortion supporters. Photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Department of Health and HSE websites updated to carry details on available services

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: promised his supporters in the parliamentary party who expected promotion he would carry out bigger  changes in  next reshuffle.  Photograph:  Tom Honan/PA

Eoghan Murphy and Simon Harris may be among Ministers to be reassigned portfolios

A poster highlighting homelessness in Dublin city centre in December. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach concedes big challenges remain but argues real progress has been made

Mark Killilea Photograph: Handout

Tuam native represented Galway in the Seanad, Dáil and European Parliament

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already carried out two mini reshuffles following the resignations of Frances Fitzgerald and  Denis Naughten. Photograph: The Irish Times

‘The logical time to reshuffle the Cabinet is after the Local and European elections’

Changes to the 1956 gambling Act will include the burgeoning area of online gaming.

Rapidly changing industry: Independent regulator to employ up to 100 people

 Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

Ban on unnecessary use of plastic will extend to all State agencies, hospitals and schools

‘Eksund’ captain Adrian Hopkins, claimed after his arrest that the arms on board the vessel “were actually loaded in Libya”.

Libyan foreign minister snubbed Irish diplomat in Tripoli in wake of ‘Eksund’ incident

Taoiseach Charles Haughey welcoming French president Francois Mitterrand at Dublin Airport in February 1988.

Former taoiseach sought red carpet for Abbeville lawn from Aer Rianta

 Ian Paisley and  James Molyneaux in Derry: Molyneaux, a diffident and taciturn figure, was ultimately not able or not willing to hold a direct meeting with Haughey. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Molyneaux’s UUP and Paisley’s DUP had boycotted the Anglo-Irish Agreement

The Birmingham Six after their release in London in 1991, with Chris Mullin (centre, with scarf) outside the Old Bailey. File photograph: Joe St Leger

Haughey’s request for clemency for the six men in 1988 was rebuffed by Thatcher

The close collaboration between Charles Haughey (left) and financier Dermot Desmond (right) in marketing the IFSC is disclosed in Department of the Taoiseach documents released under the 30-year rule.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

A huge emphasis was placed on the IFSC by Haughey after he returned as taoiseach in 1987

File photo from September 1994 of former priest Patrick Ryan whose extradition to the UK had been sought by Margaret Thatcher’s government. Photograph: Martin McCullough/PA Wire

Taoiseach complained of PM’s ‘constant bickering’ after Fr Patrick Ryan arrest

John Bruton, seen here with taoiseach  Garret FitzGerald, warned of “serious emerging excesses”. Photograph: Pat Langan

How a former taoiseach’s efforts to save the Dublin cafe chain led to a row with a minister

The National Archives on Bishop Street where State papers for 1988  have been released under the 30-year rule. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Official files from 1988 are being released under 30-year rule

Mairéad Farrell: one of the three members of an IRA active service unit, shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar. Photograph: Pacemaker

State Papers show Fianna Fáil government had misgivings about inquest’s limited mandate

Taoiseach Charles Haughey  at Dublin Airport in December 1988 on his return from an EU summit in Rhodes.  Further tensions surfaced there with  Margaret Thatcher. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Former taoiseach offered to ‘run a course for British diplomats’ on how to handle Irish Americans

Electronic voting machines and ballot modules for Dublin county in storage in Glasnevin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

John Paul Phelan claims electronic voting could undermine confidence in democracy

British Army corporal Derek Wood emerges from his car with a gun in his hand in Belfast in March 1988. Photograph: Pacemaker/Belfast

State Papers 1988: British PM complained to taoiseach about force’s lack of professionalism

John Paul Phelan, Minister of State at the Department of Housing and Local Government. The electoral commission “is up there with Seanad reform as a nettle that has never been grasped”, he said. Photograph: Collins Courts

Government says body would oversee political advertising on internet and social media

Armed gardaí near the family courts in Smithfield, Dublin, on Thursday. Photograph: Collins

Major review of security arrangements under way after controlled explosion

Local election candidate Micheál Kelliher talks to Irish Times journalist Harry McGee using a combination of lip reading and a video connection to the Irish Remote Interpreting Service

People with disabilities have overcome many obstacles to pursue careers in politics

Minister for Health Simon Harris opened a training day for more than 60 GPs who have committed to providing the service over the weekend. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

Training for GPs and gynaecologists ahead of introduction of services in January

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: Government document is expected to focus on expanded checks in Irish ports and  increase in veterinary checks. Photograph: Philip Toscano/AFP/Getty

Contingency plans to be released on Thursday will focus on scenario of ‘no deal’ Brexit

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy: “To say I am disappointed is probably an understatement.” Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan

Commission’s workload includes 500,000 pages of documentation and 102 statements

Lisa Chambers TD :“If it were not for Brexit, there would be an election now.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Lisa Chambers says FF decision to extend confidence and supply agreement was ‘absolutely dictated’ by Brexit crisis

Presidential candidate Peter Casey sharply criticised what he described as a complete lack of detail in the review. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Presidential candidate responds to document revealing details of Higgins’s allowance

Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin’s office in Sligo town was defaced. Photograph: Twitter

Vandalism of Tony McLoughlin’s Sligo office comes after passage of abortion legislation

Catherine Martin:   “This survey has been a priority for the Oireachtas Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and we are delighted that our call for it to be an independent and confidential survey has been listened to”.

Oireachtas Commission agrees to Women’s Caucus call to examine working conditions

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May in the   House of Commons on December 10th. She told the house that a vote on her  Brexit deal would be  deferred. Photograph:  Getty Images

Inside Politics: May begins whirlwind tour of European capitals to rescue her withdrawal treaty

Harry and his daughter Sadhbh watch the Galway v Kilkenny hurling match in the Mater Hospital.

I made many mistakes that day but the mega-mistake was to move: my back was broken though I didn’t know it then

Despite public’s lack of interest, parties see MEP elections as morale-boosting exercises

Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

State’s two new representatives can only join European Parliament after UK’s exit

The PSO, worth €800,000 annually, requires the airline to provide 3,500 flights each year to Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr on a fixed schedule.

Protracted dispute continues over PSO contract which company says makes service not viable

 Bank of England governor Mark Carney: UK economy would slump by 8 per cent in worst possible case. Photograph: EPA/WILL OLIVER

Inside Politics: Assessment forecasts Ireland would suffer collateral economic damage ‘very quickly’

Richard Bruton has set out a “stark” context for the performance of Ireland’s climate change policies. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

State will only achieve 1% reduction by 2020 versus 2005 – the EU-set target is 20%

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the fiscal council’s assessment that the budget was not prudent differed very much from that of the European Commission only a week ago. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Government increasing spending ‘in line with growth’ in economy, Minister says

Mark Zuckerberg’s empty chair in the committee room in the House of Commons where he had been invited to answer question from parliamentarians from nine countries.

Facebook berated for sharing of personal data

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s refusals to appear before House of Commons committee may be in danger of backfiring. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Ireland one of countries at joint meeting with aim of holding big tech to account

 Leo Varadkar  meets  the Grand Secretary of the Orange Lodge, Rev Mervyn Gibson at Government Buildings. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘The colours on our flag are white, orange and green in equal measure,’ says Taoiseach

Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton, who is chairwoman of the Oireachtas climate change committee. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

TD says having vision to fight climate change important but it is hard to see one across Government

Mairia Cahill outside Buswells Hotel in Dublin after her meeting with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald on Tuesday. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

SF leader says she reiterated apology to sex abuse victim who has criticised party’s handling of case

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addresses delegates at the Fine Gael Ardfheis. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Early election would not be in national interest due to Brexit, Taoiseach says

British prime minister Theresa May hopes to travel to Brussels this week to sign off on a political declaration on the future relationship between Britain and the EU. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

No preferential treatment for EU citizens after Brexit, UK prime minister says

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  addressing the delegates at Fine Gael Ardfheis. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw /The Irish Times

Taoiseach accuses Opposition party of delaying confidence and supply review

Mr Martin was speaking to reporters ahead ahead of the Fianna Fáil presidential dinner in Dublin on Saturday night. Photograph: The Irish Times

Micheál Martin accuses Taoiseach of making ‘election platforming speech’ at party Ardfheis

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at Government Buildings, Dublin this week. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

‘The Irish Times’ visited four key constituencies to gauge party's ahead of its Ardfheis

UK Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Guildhall in London. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Inside Politics: The ultimate aim of the backstop is to go nowhere in particular

Tony O’Brien. The Public Accounts Committee’s reputation has been under the spotlight this week, following the former HSE chief’s charge that it was ‘a kangaroo court’. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

PACs have built deserved status as watchdogs of public finances, but are they now going too far?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon at the British Irish Council’s 31st summit meeting. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

British and Irish leaders meet for Brexit-dominated summit on Isle of Man

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar: hospitals should “match peak demand with peak resources”.  Photograph: Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva

Taoiseach criticised over remarks about flawed winter rostering of staff in hospitals

Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke failed to overcome Ted Cruz in Texas. Photograph: EPA/LARRY W. SMITH

Democrats’ House win will allow party undertake investigations into president

New detention powers on the way: above, undercover members of the Garda Síochána search a rickshaw driver in Dublin last year. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Rickshaw cyclists face new licensing and vetting rules as motorised rickshaws banned

President Michael D Higgins ‘is committed to establishing an audit committee’, a spokesman said. Photograph: Martial Trezzini/EPA

President is expected to make scrutiny proposal to Government following inauguration

 Sunset on the Tapajós River, deep in the Amazon rainforest, in Brazil. Scientists are warning that if human beings continue to mine the world’s wildernesses for resources and convert them into cities and farms at the pace of the previous century, the planet’s few remaining wild places could disappear in decades. Photograph: Meridith Kohut/The New York Times

10 per cent of the earth’s wilderness which serves as a brake to effects of climate change has been lost since the 1990s

Peter Casey casts his vote at the polling station in Greencastle National School, Co Donegal,  in the  presidential election. Photograph: PA

‘Nothing to stop him’ becoming a member but election candidates already chosen

Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív and Senator Mark Daly with Sorcha McAnespy, in  Omagh, Co Tyrone. Photograph: PA Wire

TD announced Fianna Fáil’s first North candidate without confirmation from party

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: disagreed with the Taoiseach’s assessment that the uncertainty of not having a new agreement weakened the Government’s hand in Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fine Gael eager to look forward, but Fianna Fáil insists on review, say sources

Presidential runner-up Peter Casey in Dublin Castle on Saturday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Fianna Fáil accuses presidential candidate of engaging in lazy and dangerous politics

Joan Freeman arrives at Dublin Castle to attend the count. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Taoiseach’s nominee to Seanad says she will not run for political office again

President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, at Dublin Castle on Saturday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Fianna Fáil rebuffs Casey plan to join and lead party

If Peter Casey had not shot up from nowhere to second place, the performance of the Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada would have been the story of the election. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Ní Riada’s poor performance impacts on perception of McDonald’s judgment

During the campaign, Michael D Higgins divided his diary between presidential obligations and the campaign. There is no doubt it conferred some advantage to him. Photograph:  Reuters/ Clodagh Kilcoyne

Body fulfils functions and duties when the office is vacant or the president is abroad

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