The Department of Justice and Equality signed a three-month contract with the owner of the Achill Head Hotel for the use of the premises for emergency direct provision accommodation. Photograph: Conor McKeown

State is paying for the accommodation while protests prevent 38 asylum seekers moving in

The new national children’s hospital will cost an extra €50m on inflation alone if current inflation levels remain the same, the PAC was told. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

‘I’m not really here to interview for the job,’ Fred Barry tells Sinn Féin Deputy Imelda Munster

Fianna Fáil  criticised Minister for Health Simon Harris over a failure to set out the cost of the nurses’ deal when answering a parliamentary question last week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Agreement that ended strike to cost €48 million this year, Department of Health says

The Government last night scraped its way through a motion of confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy

Inside Politics: Motion of no confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy defeated by 56 votes to 53 with 35 abstentions

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin raised the case of a woman from Cork who has recently discovered she was part of the original audit of CervicalCheck.

Taoiseach signals expert report another step in restoring confidence in life-saving scheme

According to multiple former graders, recordings made by Siri accidentally were regularly sent for review, including those containing confidential information, illegal acts and even Siri users having sex.

Privacy fears to fore as tech giant to say analyses done on small subset of audio

Malcom Byrne: ‘Racism and the language of hate and division has no place in Wexford politics. Wexford is better than that. Ireland is better than that.’ Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/

Verona Murphy eliminated on fourth count but plans to run in next general election

The controversy first emerged when Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins voted six times for colleague Timmy Dooley, above, while he was absent from the chamber during Dáil votes. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Dáil ethics committee defers decision on censuring FF deputies involved in row

Staff are understood to be seeking additional payment to be trained and use the new printer. Photograph: RTÉ News

‘This has been a total pig’s ear’: Members of PAC label situation as ‘absolute mess’

The committee also examined the lives of children inside the system and has called for a new allowance for parents. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Recommendations include increasing allowances and shorter waiting period for work

On Friday, voters in four constituencies will go to the polls to elect a handful of new TDs to the Dáil. Photograph: PA

Friday’s votes in Wexford, Fingal, Dublin Mid-West and Cork North Central come after TDs secured MEP seats

Every department responded to queries from Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan on the gender balance of senior staff, except the Department of Justice and Equality, he said. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Progress made on Civil Service gender equality, says top-level appointments body

The cost of the new hospital has risen from an estimated € 800 million in 2014, to € 983 million in 2017, and €1.43 billion now.

Fred Barry and colleagues due to appear before Oireachtas committee on Wednesday

The exterior of an existing direct provision centre in Salthill, Galway. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

More centres are needed due to rise in the number seeking international protection

Mosney direct provision centre in Co Meath. File photograph: Frank Miller

Department of Justice seeking providers to operate centres in eight regions

A direct provision centre in Foynes, Co. Limerick. The State has issued tender documents to find accommodation for asylum seekers across 26 counties. Photograph: Brian Gavin

Tender documents issued for new regional accommodation centres across 26 counties

 Fine Gael election candidate Verona Murphy  meets Louise Hennessey while  canvassing in New Ross, Co Wexford. Photograph: Patrick Browne.

Wexford byelection candidate claimed terror group is a big part of immigrant population

Fine Gael Wexford byelection candidate Verona Murphy (centre) with Seamus Kiely from Southknock, New Ross, and Cllr Bridin Murphy. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Inside Politics: Taoiseach resists calls to deselect Wexford byelection candidate over comments on Isis and migration

 Fine Gael  Wexford byelection candidate Verona Murphy (centre) with  Seamus Kiely from Southknock, New Ross, and  Cllr Bridin Murphy. Photograph:  Patrick Browne

Taoiseach says he is standing by his Wexford byelection candidate and will canvass with her

Fine Gael byelection candidate in Wexford Verona Murphy  has made a number of controversial comments in recent days.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘These kind of comments need to be condemned in the strongest possible terms’

Verona Murphy: ‘We also have to take into account that possibility that Isis have already manipulated children as young as three or four’. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Fine Gael byelection candidate said addiction and bad choices lead people to become homeless

Fine Gael byelection candidate in Wexford Verona Murphy (L) with Louise Hennessey from Southknock, New Ross, and Cllr Bridin Murphy. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Minister says ‘this kind of misinformation’ is threatening ‘to take root’ after comments by Wexford candidate

Fine Gael byelection candidate in Wexford Verona Murphy with  Louise Hennessey from Southknock, New Ross, and  Cllr Bridin Murphy. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Verona Murphy, FG candidate in Wexford, said some asylum seekers ‘infiltrated by Isis’

Fianna Fáil election candidate Malcolm Byrne canvassing in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Key issue for all candidates is that a lot of people are unaware an election is coming up

Verona Murphy told The Irish Times  Isis is ‘a big part of the migrant population’ in Ireland. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Fine Gael byelection candidate said Isis was a ‘big part of the migrant population’

The report said the Garda budget is ineffectively managed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Garda budget is managed ineffectively and HSE practices are ‘alarming'

Fgures that this week showed housing starts nationally totalled nearly 20,000 in the first nine months of the year, up 22 per cent on an annual basis

Inside Politics: Figures show housing starts nationally rose, ESRI report states Irish houses not overvalued €

The controversy first emerged when Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins voted six times for colleague Timmy Dooley, above, while he was absent from the chamber during Dáil votes. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Committee will write to four Fianna Fáil TDs seeking further information on issue

The report  noted that building commencement notices, a strong indicator of future supply, fell by 18.5 per cent during the three month period. Photograph: PA

Dublin Economic Monitor shows 14 per cent fall in house completions in three month period

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Case arises after Ceann Comhairle blocks bid by TDs to alter regulations on order paper

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said there had been no increase on the 2019 budget allocation for the building. File photograph: The Irish Times

Robust defence to be mounted against claims, says chief of hospital development board

Those in the areas affected by the boil water notice can use only boiled or bottled water for drinking and in food preparation.

Rainfall warning has been issued for Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath

Irish Water conceded anyone can ring up and inform the utility they believe themselves to be vulnerable to get access to bottled water

Inside Politics: Second boil-water notice imposed after officials cite ‘elevated risk’ of cryptosporidium entering water supply

There were low stocks of water in Supervalu Castleknock due to the Boil Water notice issued in the greater Dublin Area by Irish Water last month. Photograph: Alan Betson

Warning on water quality issued on Monday night after heavy rain results in cloudy water

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has been in extensive talks with the Attorney General    in a bid to break an impasse over the proposed  Adoption and Information Tracing Bill. Photograph: Dave Meehan

New law would allow release of birth information to adopted people for the first time

Michael Healy-Rae: he attended a funeral in Sneem, Co Kerry, at 11am on June 21st last year

Kerry TD was in Sneem on June 21st last year, yet Dáil records show his ID tag was used to clock him present for Juncker speech

The motion in Dún Laoghaire will be widely seen as an attempt to have Maria Bailey removed from the party ticket. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

‘She has been through an incredible amount but we’re a democratic party’

 Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Request comes after it emerged several TDs clock in to Dáil but do not take part in votes

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe: “demanding work lies ahead regarding the future trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union”. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Corbyn plan to broker new accord with EU in 2020 dismissed by Minister

An analysis by RTÉ has found that several TDs record their attendance at Leinster House for expenses purposes on voting days when they do not take part in any votes.

Minister says Dáil’s oversight body should reflect on whether a review needed

A shopper in Leixlip, Co Kildare, stocks up on drinking water following the boil water notice’. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

EPA points to funding, management and operational issues behind contaminations

Niall Collins TD and Timmy Dooley: If it is found they have breached ethics laws, the Dáil’s committee could recommend a suspension for up to 30 days.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Video footage ‘stretches political credibility’, says Mary Lou McDonald

The report examined last week’s events, when Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins (left) voted six times for colleague Timmy Dooley while he was absent from the Dáil chamber

Investigation into voting row finds committee on procedures needs more powers

The commission’s report on the Public Services Card contains eight adverse findings about the project, all of which Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said her department disagrees with

Government may challenge Data Protection Commissioner’s ruling restricting use of card

Niall Collins voted for his colleague Timmy Dooley, who was not in the chamber.. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Party braced for findings after Niall Collins voted for Timmy Dooley six times

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

TDs from across the political spectrum have admitted to voting for colleagues who were present in the Dáil chamber but who were not in their designated seats

Fine Gael Ministers among those who pressed buttons for colleagues in the Dáil

Timmy Dooley, who with Niall Collins has stood down from the party’s frontbench pending the outcome of an investigation. Photograph: James Forde

Introduction of thumbprint verification suggested to safeguard integrity of system

Barry Cowen TD. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

TDs from across political spectrum admit to voting for colleagues not in designated seats

Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming, PAC chairman said ‘We can’t leave a couple of hundred people out there’. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Committee chairman says it would be a travesty if abuse survivors ‘left high and dry’

DUP leader Arlene Foster: her party has said it cannot suport the current withdrawal deal. File photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Party says it cannot support proposals as they stand despite positive signals last night around talks

Caranua was established in 2012 to manage €110 million pledged by congregations to enhance the lives of survivors of institutional child abuse.  Image of boy: CSA Images/B&W Archive Collection/Getty. Crest: public domain. Montage: Paul Scott

Caranua says €110m survivors' fund is almost spent, despite €3m owed by Christian Brothers

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: ‘My expectation is there will be election in 2020, not this year.’ .  Photograph: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg

Minister for Finance says Government to act once full impact of Brexit is known

The Irish Kidney Association believes  the new law may not increase the number of donors across the country.

Irish Kidney Association chief to address issue before Oireachtas health committee

Fiona Ryan and Jonathan Mathis were the subject of online abuse after the couple appeared in an ad campaign for supermarket chain Lidl. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government has ‘failed to properly resource’ Garda, expert to tell justice committee

Concerns have been raised unsuitable individuals could seek access to children through applying for certain jobs and avoid vetting. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Department of Culture bodies say interpretation at odds with child-protection policies

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, whose spokesman said there had been a consistent preference for a May 2020 date and that had not changed. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Parties say they are largely prepared for early election if one is called

Fianna Fail party leader Micheal Martin: accused Fine Gael of trying to force election. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Varadkar had ‘some neck’ to claim credit for budget demands, says FF leader

Simon Harris: he is said to have delivered a rallying call amid claims that the party is “downtrodden”

Some within Fine Gael believe the Taoiseach may go to the country within weeks if a Brexit extension or deal is achieved

UK Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay is welcomed by EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP Pool.

Donald Tusk says hopes of agreement have risen but that positive signs can be ‘political tricks’

Orchard Lawns in Cherry Orchard, Dublin, where builders were targeted by antisocial behaviour while constructing a social housing project. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Drug gang figures still received money from construction firms after accounts frozen

The Department of Housing was informed two years two years ago of the allegations of criminality at a time when Tánaiste Simon Coveney was minister. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Housing department informed of Dublin protection money operation in 2017

Go Ahead  commenced operations in September 2018.

National Transport Authority says Dublin Bus will pay €280k for failure to operate as scheduled

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy  said he ‘can’t condone that kind of activity, or officials from any local authority being involved in that type of activity’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Survey is considered after allegations that Dublin authority paid protection money

Paschal Donohoe’s budget: delivered with zero fanfare. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Government can do very little to rock the boat as parties look to Brexit and end of confidence-and-supply arrange(...)

The Taoiseach had signalled changes to the help-to-buy scheme, saying some couples who could already afford a deposit were benefitting. File photograph: Getty

Budget move to ensure couples who can ‘well afford to buy’ will not be unfairly subsidised

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘We are in the process of trying to arrange a meeting with prime minister Johnson next week. Time is tight.’ Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty

Still time for UK to bring further solutions to break current Brexit impasse, says Varadkar

A European Commission source said the talks, with Brexit adviser David Frost (above), will continue on Monday. Photograph: AP

EU declines to continue discussions with Johnson’s chief negotiator over weekend

The site of the national children’s hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Concerns have also been raised about the number of health and safety incidents on the site

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar following a meeting with Swedish prime minister in Stockholm. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Johnson’s proposals create ‘major obstacles’ to deal, says Taoiseach

A 16-year-old girl told Childline she had sent images to a former boyfriend, who then shared them with others without her permission. File photograph: Getty

Officers to inform Oireachtas justice group that images often circulated to third parties

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

The final stage of naturalisation requires attendance at a citizenship ceremony. Photograph: Frank Miller

Minister says ceremonies will be held after Bill about unbroken residence becomes law

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the budget would be safe and careful. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister insists he and Taoiseach ‘absolutely aligned’ on policy after Varadkar comments

Garda commissioner Drew Harris has said existing laws are adequate to deal with protests outside healthcare centres that provide abortion care. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Minister for Health to press ahead with plans for exclusion zones outside hospitals

A report by Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon found that several aspects of how the public services card was used were unlawful. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Data Protection Commissioner stands over her report and is going ahead with enforcement proceedings

 A garda  speaks to a motorist at a checkpoint. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

PAC hears thousands of drivers will not have their cases appealed despite having already paid fines

Paschal Donohoe: reportedly confident the Government can steer the country through a disorderly Brexit with the planned budget. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Paschal Donohoe does not plan on any supplementary or emergency budgets, sources say

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris revealed on Wednesday which stations would be the divisional headquarters after 28 divisions are amalgamated to create 19. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Reorganisation plan ‘unacceptable’, Roscommon TD Denis Naughten says

Most councils have opted to increased tax next year due to budgetary pressures

Not all companies that produce medical devices in the UK have put measures in place to transition their UK  certificates to the necessary EU regulations.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

‘Significant’ number of UK suppliers will not have regulations in place by October 31st

Minister for Health Simon Harris and  HPRA chief executive Lorraine Nolan. File photograph: Naoise Culhane

Health authority warns ‘no absolute guarantees’ on critical medicines such as insulin

Kathleen Lynch was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1994. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Ex-junior minister lost her Cork North Central seat in 2016 general election

Minister for Justice  Charlie Flanagan: it has emerged employees at prominent State attractions who could have access to children and vulnerable people may not be vetted. Photograph: Tom Honan

Minister at odds with bureau claiming some staff access to children ‘incidental’ to job

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan also hopes to give effect to the divorce and blasphemy referendum results this year. Photograph: Tom Honan

Judge ruled practice of allowing applicants six weeks out of country not permitted by law

Drew Harris is seen by some as being more akin to a chief executive than a traditional Garda commissioner. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘Distant but decisive’ ex-PSNI man has impressed many, but others say the jury is out

‘Whether there is a deal, a soft Brexit, a hard Brexit, no deal, we are looking at a border situation,’ Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan has said. File photograph: Tom Honan/ The Irish Times

Minister for Justice says Garda Commissioner has plans to deal with border issues

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said there is “strong legal advice” in favour of the continued use of the public services card. She said the Government did not agree with the findings in a report by data protection commissioner Helen Dixon.

Regina Doherty admits this may be the first time a regulator has been challenged

The Government had planned to address the fact that 8% of households use 30% of the water supply. Photograph: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty Images

Commission seeks update on Irish water management, infrastructure improvements

A protester’s sign at the Dawn Meats plant at Grannagh, Co Waterford. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Farming body warns of beef shortages unless breakthrough made soon

The Public Services Card: The Department of Social Protection said it might be necessary and appropriate for the matter to be referred to the courts for a definitive decision.

Government to challenge watchdog’s findings that card has no basis in law

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the cost of the new national children’s hospital is just 1.3 per cent of the annual health budget. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach says claims rising cost will see other projects scrapped are ‘fake’ and ‘made-up’

Maria Bailey has been in the spotlight following the negative publicity that surrounded her decision to pursue, but later withdraw, a personal injuries claim.  Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

TD mired in controversy over swing incident under pressure not to run in Dún Laoghaire

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: Childminding “has not received the support it deserves in our public funding or our system of regulation”. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Department has not yet decided what level of qualifications minders must have

Fianna Fáil committee member, James Lawless, TD. Photograph: Tom Honan/  The Irish Times

Unlikely issue will unseat Government, despite FF TD’s take on it

The chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee Hildegarde Naughten, said it was ‘critical’ the Government proceed and sign the contract.

Oireachtas Communications Committee publishes report seeking independent review

The committee will call on the Government to ‘examine the best model’ for delivery of a new national broadband plan through the ESB. File photograph: Getty

Oireachtas group critical of Government reluctance to identify flawed tendering process

Because the HPV virus can cause cancers and conditions in boys too, the Government announced the decision to extend the vaccine from September onwards. File photograph: Getty

Vaccine will now also be given to boys in what Harris called ‘important milestone’

In a written response Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Leo Varadkar said that no external consultancy or legal firm had been used by his department to investigate protected disclosures. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government department says it may be necessary to share identity ‘on occasion’

John Wall highlighted the difficulties faced by those who are given a terminal diagnosis in getting access to terminal illness medical cards.

John Wall, diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, had emergency medical card revoked

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