Eighth Amendment: Simon Coveney “may not like the outcome of the proposal, but he does have ownership of it”, Brendan Howlin said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Labour leader Brendan Howlin warns Coveney against ‘starting afresh’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  after the launch of Project Ireland 2040. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Varadkar says Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford to grow at twice the rate of Dublin

Leo Varadkar: “We encourage the political parties to come behind it and to say that they support it and they endorse it .”

Fianna Fáil expresses concerns about strategy behind the €116bn project

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking after the launch of Project Ireland 2040. Photograph:   Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Taoiseach says Ireland may benefit from more migrant workers to build infrastructure

Computer-generated image of what Metro North  could look like.

Taoiseach outlines parts of the new development strategy for Ireland up to 2040

The 2,600 additional hospital beds which were recently recommended in the Government’s bed capacity review will all be provided under the new capital plan

‘Project Ireland – 2040’ plan to be announced after Cabinet meeting in Sligo

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and  Tánaiste Simon Coveney outside Stormont House, in Belfast. Coveney, when he was in the Department of Housing, launched a plan that would lay out how the State wants to manage future population growth out to 2040. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

New plan combines initiatives aimed at developing second-tier cities and some towns

Michael Ring: Declared himself happy with the national planning framework. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: The planning framework is understood to be finalised after weeks of back and forth

Computer generated image of what Metro North arriving at Swords station could look like

New agency expected to manage projects aimed at increasing housing density in Dublin

Stormont talks: Theresa May in Northern Ireland on Monday, when she and Leo Varadkar discussed the state of play in Brexit talks. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

May asks Varadkar to help her with post-Brexit EU-UK relations

The underground element of the Metro North route was cut back in 2015 by then minister for transport Paschal Donohoe on cost grounds. File photograph: Alan Betson

More of 17km track could be underground under revised proposals for airport rail link

 Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald (centre)  with deputy president Michelle O’Neill celebrating after their election at a party  ardfheis at the RDS in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Perhaps McDonald felt ardfheis not the forum to signal how the future will be different

Mary Lou McDonald acknowledges the applause of delegates as she is elected  Sinn Féin president at the party’s ardfheis at the RDS in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mary Lou McDonald formally succeeds Gerry Adams as Sinn Féin leader at RDS ardfheis

Micheál Martin: One TD said: “But this is a conscience issue, and we have to respect that Micheál Martin changed his view”

Those opposing Martin’s position say vast majority of parliamentary party disagreed with leader

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin outside Leinster House this week. Cork South West’s Margaret Murphy O’Mahony downplayed suggestions of rival groupings emerging but said the “mixed views” had to be heard. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Group may meet next week to discuss party leader’s surprise stance on Eighth Amendment

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s  decision  to  support a vote to legalise abortion on request in the early months of pregnancy has prompted a huge reaction in the party. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader says matter is deeply personal and not a party political issue

The European Commission has ordered that Apple pay Ireland €13 billion in back taxes, but both the Government and the iPhone manufacturer have appealed the ruling. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

iPhone maker to start paying €13bn into escrow account pending appeal against ruling

Brendan Howlin: It is not good enough . . . that the leader of political parties don’t give leadership. Photograph:  Collins

Labour leader says leadership on the issue is required

 Barry McElduff, who has resigned as Sinn Féin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

As Kingsmill video controversy intensified ‘no one was jumping to his defence’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  previously expressed caution about the proposal to legalise abortions up to 12 weeks, suggesting last week that it might be ‘a step too far’ for many people. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach advises against straying too far from proposals to repeal Eighth Amendment

Senator Catherine Noone, chairwoman of the Oireachtas abortion committee, addressed each of the recommendations and offered explanations as to why  the committee made them. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chair of Oireachtas committee Catherine Noone explains how it came to decision

 Minister for Health Simon Harris. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael TDs and senators meet to debate abortion

Micheál Martin  is a cautious politician and will not want to needlessly make enemies. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

After poor party poll results, Micheál Martin begins 2018 on the back foot

Almost half of all TDs (46%) are in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, while 15% said they are opposed. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Irish Times’ review finds that one in three TDs has yet to declare a position on the issue

The Government’s move to offer €20,000 tax rebates to help first-time homebuyers purchase properties has led to a 50% increase in the number of such buyers getting on the property ladder. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

New CSO figures indicate that the programme has boosted demand for housing

Fianna Fáil would invest all Nama’s profits – estimated to be about €3 billion – in house building. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Agency would be established for three years to offer ‘shock treatment’ to housing market

‘Voters must be given clear proposals on how the current housing crisis can be solved.’ File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Analysis: FF is beginning to roll out its policies as confidence-and-supply deal nears its end

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stressed that there would be a free vote on the issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says proposals might be ‘a step too far’ while several Ministers express reservations

Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists chair Dr Peter Boylan. The institute said it looked forward to continuing to assist “in informing legislation to enhance women’s health and safety”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh says intervention by doctors’ group is ‘significant’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: a spokesman said he will not make any comment on his own views before the Cabinet and Fine Gael parliamentary party discussed the issue. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Simon Harris to bring memo to today’s meeting laying out likely steps before a referendum

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State at the department Patrick O’Donovan have ‘different’ views on abortion. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Finance says he agrees with Oireachtas committee’s recommendations

None of the TDs who spoke to The Irish Times were critical of Micheál Martin himself. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Deputies say frontbench must be changed or reformed to help ‘freshen up’ party

Mary Lou McDonald: Sinn Féin’s deputy leader is the only person so far to have confirmed an interest in succeeding Gerry Adams. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Mary Lou McDonald expected to succeed Gerry Adams on February 10th

The lowest spending was the Department of the Taoiseach, with €32,990 spent on six reports. Photograph: Eric Luke

Figures show 911 reports paid for, with highest number in Department of Education

Peter Sutherland, the former European commissioner, attorney general and chairman of Goldman Sachs International, has died. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Dubliner served as European commissioner, in UN role and had extensive business career

President Michael D  Higgins: he  has yet to declare if he will seek a second term in the autumn. Photograph: Getty Images

Gerard Craughwell says it would be ‘undemocratic’ not to have election for President

The Climate Change Advisory Council last month warned Ireland was not on track to meet its EU 2020 commitments to reduce carbon emissions, and would struggle to decarbonise its economy by 2050. File photograph: Getty Images

Climate Change Advisory Council warned Ireland not set to meet EU 2020 commitments

Finian McGrath said he was working with Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty on a new payment to help ‘people with disabilities who are living in poverty’. Photograph: Tom Honan

Finian McGrath calls for rises in disability and carer’s allowances in Budget 2019

Mary Lou McDonald: she has  signalled she will examine how the party is run in light of a series of bitter resignations and rows in local organisations. Photograph: Getty Images

Mary Lou McDonald will need to opt for continuity as Gerry Adams’s heir

Minister of State with responsibility for disabilities, Finian McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Greater supports for children with disabilities needed in tandem with abortion legislation

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Ireland will be a friend to Britain in the next phase of the Brexit talks. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste wants Britain to ‘go the Norway route and then negotiate around that’

Tánaiste  Simon Coveney: “I think that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will both do well in the next election, and people see the country is moving in the right direction.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste says Sinn Féin partnership will only happen if party changes ‘and pigs can fly’

Minister for Education  Richard Bruton has said the Government will move next year to ensure there are enough teachers in key school subjects. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Moves may include paying the cost of a teaching qualification for graduates

Mary Hanafin: Fianna Fáil has prioritised winning a seat in Dún Laoghaire in the next general election

Former Minister to stand in old constituency despite losing at selection convention

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: creating a new strategic communications unit. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Press officers may be moved to other departments as communications streamlined

Priority flood-defence projects are expected to be allocated €267m in total. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Priority schemes to get biggest ever investment in defences, with €130m for Cork city

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in his  Leinster House office. “I come from a background which in many respects has always been pro-life but I have never been absolutist or judgemental.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil leader cannot see coalition with Sinn Féin after the next election

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: politicians made a “real and enduring mistake” by allowing the Eighth Amendment to be inserted into the Constitution. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins

Oireachtas committee on Eighth Amendment backs terminations up to 12th week of pregnancy

Eoghan Murphy: the Minister for Housing  will announce proposals  to exempt a number of developments from planning permissions to help tackle the housing crisis.   Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Housing to include relevant changes as part of the Planning Act

An additional € 10 million had been allocated for people with disabilities over and above what had been announced on Budget day in October.

‘We can’t quantify the contribution of carers to society and neither can we repay it in full’

A shrine with an image of the Virgin Mary is seen on the site of the former mother-and-baby home run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam, Co Galway. File photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Katherine Zappone publishes report outlining options for mother-and-baby home site

Abortion committee’s recommendations remain an issue for Leinster House before 2017 is left behind

Inside Politics: Majority of members say they will support abortion without restrictions in first 12 weeks of pregnancy

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: text on first phase of Brexit talks “means, essentially, protecting the status quo”. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Text and not individual opinions on document should be heeded, says Tánaiste

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: wants to consult with the local community in Tuam before proceeding on a definite course of action. Photograph: Dave Meehan

DNA testing on mother and baby home remains unlikely to succeed, says expert group

Minister for Health Simon Harris: says it is recognised the delivery of healthcare is an “inherently risky activity” and it is inevitable things may go wrong on occasion.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Licensing system for hospitals proposed by Simon Harris

British prime minister  Theresa May is taking an upbeat stance on securing a Brexit deal, as Ireland insists the UK must stick to its commitments on keeping a soft border with the Republic. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

David Davis caused consternation with comments he has since clarified

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar holds a press  conference in Dublin on Friday morning after the European Commission announced that “sufficient progress” has been made in the first phase of Brexit talks. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

After Monday’s debacle, Friday’s breakthrough on Border brought welcome cheer

Brexit negotiations are now expected to advance to the next stage which focuses on the transition period after Brexit takes effect in March 2019 and on the future EU-UK relationship. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland gets commitment there will be no hard border even if UK leaves EU without deal

 Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs  Simon Coveney during  a press conference in Dublin after the deal was agreed. Photograph:  Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Varadkar says Government has ‘achieved all we set out to achieve’ in phase one of talks

 Britain’s secretary of state for Brexit  David Davis (left), Britain’s prime minister Theresa May (second left), European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (second right)and European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (right) meet at the European Commission in Brussels, on Friday morning. Photograph: EPA

DUP would have preferred if May did not sign deal, says it won ‘six substantive changes’

British prime minister Theresa May may travel to Brussels on Friday to conclude a deal with commission president Jean-Claude Juncker if the Irish, British and EU teams can agree on language. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

‘Irish Times’ poll finds overwhelming public support for Varadkar’s tough line with UK

Chairperson of the Policing Authority Josephine Feehily: Nóirín O’Sullivan’s  “intentions certainly would have been to perform [her] role honourably”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Josephine Feehily says former Garda commissioner had ‘strong sense of mission’

Chris Grayling said “regulatory alignment” proposed by Theresa May – a phrase which alarmed the DUP – did not involve laws within the post-Brexit UK being the same as those in the rest of Europe. Photograph: Getty Images

Varadkar and May speak for 15 minutes on Thursday evening

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar explains a point after a meeting  the prime minister of The Netherlands Mark Rutte in Dublin on Wednesday night. Photograph: EPA

Commission says final deadline is Sunday if EU council is to make decision on next phase

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met  the Dutch prime minister  Mark Rutte in Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the substance and meaning of the deal must not be altered

British prime minister Theresa May with DUP leader Arlene Foster wh spoke by telephone on Wednesday as efforts continue to rescue a deal on the Border arrangements after Brexit.  Photograph: Daniel Leal Olivas/AFP/Getty

Taoiseach is playing a dangerous game, says DUP’s Nigel Dodds

The Government believes it is  up to Theresa May to get DUP leader Arlene Foster (above) over the line. Photograph: Getty Images

Inside Politics: Dublin believes it is now up to Theresa May to get the DUP and North deal over the line

The age at which people are entitled to a State pension will rise to 67 in 2021 and to 68 within the next decade. Photograph: Getty Images

Workers will still be able to retire at age 65 but will have option to work until age 70

Leo Varadkar: he has said on numerous occasions that while the wording of a deal could be changed, its substance must not

Additions ‘must not undermine’ substance of Dublin-Brussels-London agreement

DUP shock: Arlene Foster with party colleagues Jeffrey Donaldson and Nigel Dodds in Belfast on Monday. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Draft agreement was a ‘big shock’ to Democratic Unionists, says Arlene Foster

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker prior to addressing a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday.  Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

Unionists reject ‘regulatory divergence’ as Varadkar says he is ‘disappointed’ with impasse

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a press conference in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Fianna Fáil describes outline deal as ‘best of both worlds’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney  at Government Press Centre on Monday evening. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

‘We were happy to accept either convergence, no divergence or regulatory alignment,’ says Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a Brexit press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Agreement between EU and Britain ‘not possible today’ as DUP objects

UK prime minister Theresa May: set to meet Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Ireland insists same regulations must apply North and South in final Brexit deal

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said that despite assumptions she is the runaway favourite, “there is no done deal here . . . there is no ordination, coronation”. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

TD will announce run for leadership at Dublin Central selection convention

The resignation of Cllr Gabriel Cronnelly from Sinn Féin comes days after a high-profile Galway Senator also quit the party amid allegations of bullying. Image: Facebook.

Departure comes days after Senator Trevor Ó’Clochartaigh, also from Galway, quit

Resignation: Frances Fitzgerald at Government Buildings after she quit the Government. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

On Monday night, the then-minister was on two phones, fighting for her political life

Frances Fitzgerald: “I expect her to continue to play a full role in political and public life including at the highest level,” says Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Former tánaiste may be offered role in referendum campaigns but is unlikely to return to ministerial office

Garda Keith Harrison and  Marisa Simms: his solicitor said Garda Harrison  would continue suing the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Garda says he is disappointed but not surprised at Charleton judgment


Association of Higher and Civil Public Servants says members will not be ‘scapegoated’

 Former tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald, after her resignation. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Department of Justice says it ‘fully complied’ with tribunal’s orders of discovery

Noel Waters: resigned this week.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Salary of around €200,000 is unlikely to attract an external candidate

 Former tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald  arriving tonight at Finnstown House Hotel, Lucan for the Fine Gael Dublin Mid West general election convention on Tuesday.  Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Varadkar believes former tánaiste to be vindicated at Disclosures Tribunal

Other colleagues feel Varadkar’s staunch defence of Fitzgerald will stand to him. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister admits concern about Taoiseach’s perceived lack of strategic thinking

Outgoing Siptu president Jack O’Connor is poised to run for the Labour Party at the next general election in Wicklow.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Trade unionist asked to contest Labour Party selection convention in Wicklow

 Frances Fitzgerald leaving Government Buildings. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Laws of political logic suggested the Tánaiste would have resigned last week

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  arriving at the funeral mass of former TD Donal Creed in Co Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney

Negotiations a bitter reminder that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have history

File image of Tánaiste  Frances Fitzgerald  with former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael defence of Tánaiste melts away as damning new emails emerge

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald  leaves Government Buildings on Monday night. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fresh revelations about treatment of Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe undermine effort to resolve crisis

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the funeral of Donal Creed, father of Minister Michael Creed, in St Colman’s Church, Macroom, co Cork. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Reaction: Taoiseach and ministers insist they don’t want election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is seen on Monday at the funeral of former TD Donal Creed in Cork on Monday. Mr Varadkar will resume talks on Monday with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in a bid to avoid a general election. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Varadkar and Martin to resume talks tonight in a bid to avert general election

Party leaders Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar have agreed to resume talks over the weekend in an attempt to resolve the political impasse.

Frances Fitzgerald under pressure over Garda legal strategy on whistleblower

Leinster House. The deal which underpins the minority Government does not expire until late next year, and picking a moment to go to the polls before then must be finely judged

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will initially try to claim the other party caused the election

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald leaving Government Buildings on Friday evening: she is understood to be adamant she will not resign.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Parties look to December 19th poll despite idea of Fitzgerald temporarily stepping aside

Even if Fitzgerald resigns, an election would be unavoidable in the medium term. Photograph: Press Association

The controversy arises from an email sent to Fitzgerald while she was Minister for Justice

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on RTÉ’s Six One News on Friday

Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader hold one-hour meeting amid Government crisis

Fine Gael executive council will meet next week

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fine Gael executive council to meet as officials get ready for election in mid-January

 Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’s arrest in 2014 was a blow to Mary Lou McDonald when she was on the cusp of becoming an acceptable figure to many middle-ground voters. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Departure will put theory Adams was cap on party’s potential in Republic to test

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