Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: ‘We cannot have a law that provides unrestricted access to information about one’s identity to the adopted person.’ Photograph: Patrick Bolger

Katherine Zappone is working on amendments to enable disclosure of information for adoptees

 Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton:  the Climate Action Fund is one of four funds established under the National Development Plan 2018-2027. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Funding of Government plan from levy on oil products under dispute

In a statement, the HSE said that ‘the delivery of the new MRI scan remains a key priority for the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore and the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group’. Photograph: Getty Images

Midlands hospital group has longest waiting list for scans in the State, at more than 16,000

New proposals for exclusion zones outside healthcare centres that provide abortion care are expected to be given to the Minister for Health Simon Harris later this week. Photograph: SON Photo

Comes after protest saw baby-sized coffins outside National Maternity Hospital

Phil Hogan: role in the Mercosur trade agreement did not go unnoticed. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Inside Politics: Hundreds of farmers are expected to protest outside the Dáil today

European Union agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan. The IFA praised Mr Hogan for tackling unfair trading practices and delivering a Brexit aid package for the sector. File photograph: Ray Ryan

Taoiseach to nominate the EU agriculture commissioner for another term in Brussels

Labour TD Joan Burton: ‘I don’t think there has been any really serious debate on this, and no white paper on the extent of the proposal.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Vote proposed to extend rights to allow Irish citizens abroad vote in presidential elections

Maria Bailey received criticism from Cabinet Ministers after an interview with RTÉ’s Seán O’Rourke about the swing incident in a Dublin hotel. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Fine Gael TD may instead be asked to resign as Oireachtas committee chair

‘The report is nothing to do with me, so I don’t know what is in it, ’Regina Doherty said.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach has received document compiled by senior counsel on TD’s claim controversy

Maria Bailey’s  withdrawn action against the Dean Hotel in Dublin  alleged she had suffered injuries after falling from a swing in the hotel bar in July 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Varadkar says he has discussed with TD and will not publish due to anonymity

Former TD John V Farrelly said he has stepped aside from his role as chairperson of the Meath East constituency pending the outcome of an investigation by the party.

John V Farrelly alleged to have described female party member as ‘n****r in the woodpile’

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin speaking to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Sam Boal /

‘I have offended a lot of people...I do apologise and I am going to withdraw the remarks’

Irish farmers have taken issue with the Mercosur trade deal, with lobby groups saying the beef element of it could cost the Irish meat sector up to €750m annually. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters.

Mercosur promises to shut out farms, regions or countries dumping low-quality meat

Michael Creed has vowed to ‘thwart’ the EU’s Mercosur deal. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Minister for Agriculture has vowed to ‘dismantle’ EU-Mercosur agreement

After three days of unprecedented deadlock and whisperings, agreement has been reached on who should take the coveted top jobs in Europe. Photograph: Filip Singer/EPA

Politics digest: Varadkar stands with rebels against Merkel

 Under Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly’s amendment, the tribunal dealing with CervicalCheck claims would be able to award aggravated damages. Photograph: Eric Luke

Party tables Bill amendment about ‘unnecessarily aggressive’ questioning of women

The EU offered the Mercosur countries a 70,000 tonne annual beef quota. But Mercosur made it clear in January 2018 that an increased beef offer would be needed for an agreement, if a deal was to be reached. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed calls on commissioner to safeguard Irish farmers

Global survey  revealed  Irish people have a lower than average belief that vaccines are safe. Photograph:  Joe Raedle/Getty

Need ‘to call out those who spread lies and nonsense about vaccinations’, says Harris

Fine Gael asked  David Kennedy SC to ‘establish all the facts’ around Maria Bailey TD’s claim over swing incident. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach has said making public internal party report not usual

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: The meeting he had with the Taoiseach  and Minister for Housing  discussed the complexity of ensuring ‘moderate’ increases across the country. Photograph: Niall Carson/ PA Wire

Ministers’ meeting discussed the importance of keeping the local property tax stable

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was “evident” the deal would be bad for the beef sector. Photograph: Getty Images

Strong backlash from farmers concerned about potential European beef import surge

While the accord makes the EU the first major economy to strike a comprehensive trade deal with Mercosur, it drew furious reaction from farmers  concerned about the potential for a surge in beef imports. File photograph: Getty

Furious reaction to trade breakthrough over potential for surge in European meat imports

 President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina in Dublin during the 2018 presidential election. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Fiscal and legal obstacles must be overcome to allow global access to presidential vote

Maria Bailey: withdrew her action against the Dean hotel in Dublin, where she alleged she suffered injuries after falling from a swing in the hotel bar in July 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach says FG investigation into swing fall compensation claim is ‘not a public inquiry’

Gabriel Makhlouf set to take up his new role as governor of the Central Bank. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg via Getty

Fianna Fáil warns of ‘lingering questions’ over Gabriel Makhlouf’s handling of incident

Gabriel Makhlouf. Imminent departure from New Zealand post made an official reprimand or other punitive action not practicable, his employer said. Photographer: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Finance minister stands over appointment of Gabriel Makhlouf despite NZ inquiry finding

In his piece, Wall details stark warnings given by the HSE where they say that it will be almost impossible to deliver planned multibillion-euro investments because of cost overruns. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Inside Politics: We could find ourselves in a position where we might need to borrow billions

The University of Limerick: The PAC has criticised the university for a ‘governance failure that could have cost the State €1.2 million’. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

Two employees of subsidiary company added to UL’s State-funded pension scheme

 Minister for  Children  Katherine Zappone: The Bill aims to establish a statutory scheme for information and tracing for adopted people. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Zappone explains difficulties with Bill for searchable electronic database for adopted

The measures are part of a Government attempt to co-operate with the legacy institutions to be established under the Stormont House Agreement.

Major review of legacy inquests due to begin in September

A row has emerged between supporters of Waterford Fine Gael TD John Deasy (pictured)and party members in his  constituency. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos.

Party members in constituency have backed a no-confidence motion in TD John Deasy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: in July, the Government will publish an updated no-deal Brexit contingency action plan. Photograph: EPA

Government preparing contingency plan for UK crashing-out of EU at end of October

Work in progress at the national children’s hospital site at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Draft Public Accounts Committee report is set to recommend mechanism to manage costs

Expressions of sympathy on the late former TD Jackie Healy Rae will be heard in the Dáil on Wednesday, some 4½ years after his death.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Former Kerry TD died in December 2014 and now has two sons elected to the House

Gardaí will be equipped with body cameras under plans approved by the Cabinet today. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins.

Body-camera use ‘increases admissions and early guilty pleas’ says Minister for Justice

 Green Party European election candidate Ciarán Cuffe (left) and Social Democrats candidate Gary Gannon at the Simmonscourt count centre. Few predicted Gannon would do so well. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tensions between leading figures threaten to derail party after successful local elections

The Oireachtas Committee on Communications is told that “competition increases the incentives for bidders to develop proposals of higher quality and foe reducing costs and delays”

Committee hears current plan should be terminated and ‘more affordable alternatives explored’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said ‘It is a concern that pornography is so accessible to young people.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Leo Varadkar says Government may review effectiveness of UK online safety measures

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  indicated the appeal  was to obtain clarity on the legal position after the judgment by Mr Justice Kevin Cross caused widespread alarm among doctors.  Photograph: Fran Veale

Varadkar says appeal against High Court judgment is to obtain clarity

Dr Gabriel Scally: according to his report, disclosure of the audit occurred in just 43 cases. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Cabinet approves payments for women who were not informed of smear test audit

Robert Watt: ‘We assume that attendance at the above two committees is sufficient on this occasion’.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Senior civil servant says he is before another committee to discuss broadband next week

Friends of Earth group: Government plan is ‘biggest innovation in Irish climate policy in 20 years’

Inside Politics: Green Party leader Eamon Ryan says proposals lack ‘real ambition’ in certain areas

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan is expected to bring forward amendments to a new Bill that would place perjury on a statutory footing. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Lying in court to be made statutory offence and extended to commissions and tribunals

Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton: the plan will involve a “radical change in the way we do things” and Ireland will  no longer be a laggard on climate change. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Richard Bruton says result of 183 listed actions will defossilise and decarbonise Ireland

The national children’s hospital site at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Builder BAM says two-week delay arose in one zone as result of wind exposure on site

Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP are stridently opposed to the backstop plan to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland after the United Kingdom exits the European Union. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

DUP chief whip accuses Taoiseach of ‘sub-contracting NI policy’ to the EU

A file image of thousands of people taking part in a 2015 anti-water charges protest in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Commission for Regulation of Utilities to make decision soon on Irish Water plan

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

Paschal Donohoe said any changes to the local property tax will be ‘affordable’

Stephen Teap, whose wife Irene Teap died of  cervical cancer, Dr Gabriel Scally and Lorraine Walsh,  who received an incorrect smear test result, at the launch of the Scally report into the CervicalCheck screening programme in September 2018.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

First payments to women affected by CervicalCheck scandal promised within weeks

Local residents, pupils and teachers from Clohanes National School meeting US President Donald Trump at his golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare. Photograph: PA Wire

‘He was asking was there going to be any future presidents there,’ pupil says

US president Donald Trump seated beside his wife Melania and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the restaurant at his hotel and golf resort in Doonbeg on Thursday evening. Photograph: Stephen Kearon

Ireland’s ambassador to the US Dan Mulhall and Senator Mark Daly in attendance

The Irish officials who are due to attend include the Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly and Fine Gael TD John Deasy who also serves as special envoy. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Student J1 visas may be raised at dinner in Trump’s International Golf Links Hotel

US first lady Melania Trump  signs the visitors book at Shannon Airport as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and US president Donald Trump  watch on. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images.

Clare TD and Minister of State says US meeting president ‘a colourful occasion’

Cork Institute of Technology

Issues include errors in claims for expenses and a lack of records on conflicts of interest

Eight properties remain to be transferred by the Church to the State. File photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Department of Education says excess cash will go towards National Children’s Hospital

Tommy Haugh carries a US flag to festoon the streets of Doonbeg village ahead of a visit by US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Taoiseach not expected among officials joining US president at his Doonbeg golf resort

Cllr Frank McBrearty said he had “been caught in the middle of an internal battle” in Fine Gael. Photograph: Alan Betson

Councillor submits resignation from party over ‘internal battle’

Minister for Health Simon Harris has asked the committee members to waive the usual pre-legislative scrutiny in order to speed up the process of setting up the tribunal.  Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

New figures reveal almost 65,000 women still waiting to receive smear test results

 Maria Bailey is the head of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and was due to chair Thursday’s meeting. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fine Gael TD withdraws personal injury case against Dean hotel but fallout continues

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he would not be in favour of the introduction of e-voting machines but would be in favour of electronic counting machines. File photograph: Getty Images

Varadkar ‘glad’ referendum to give parliament more investigative power defeated

 Labour Party Party leader Brendan Howlin: said meeting 	‘went well. File Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Howlin and Ryan discuss formation of ‘co-operative arrangements’ at local level

Angela Kerins was the subject of an in-depth inquiry by the PAC in 2014 about the finances of Rehab, including her own remuneration. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Working group to report in autumn in wake of Supreme Court ruling

Maria Bailey TD has withdrawn her claim against a Dublin hotel over a fall on an unsupervised swing.

‘They couldn’t fire her for doing that awful interview. They aren’t grounds for dismissal’

‘Deputy Maria Bailey has agreed to participate fully with this review,’ Fine Gael said. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill

Party undertakes review ‘to establish all facts’ after meeting with Taoiseach

Candidate for Independents 4 Change in Ireland South Mick Wallace, talks to count staff at the Ireland South count centre at Nemo Rangers GAA Club in Co Cork. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has sought recount as she faces losing seat

Maria Bailey TD. Photograph:

Varadkar says many would agree with criticism from Heather Humphreys over ‘compensation culture’

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews takes fourth seat, saying he will ‘figure out what to do’ until Brexit

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey: her radio interview was “unfortunate”, said Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cabinet and FG colleagues critical of TD’s personal injury claim and radio interview

Independents 4 change candidate Clare Daly and Fianna Fáil candidate Barry Andrews during the count of the Dublin Constituency. Ms Daly is line to take the third seat with 65,683 votes to Mr Andrews’s 63,177. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Dublin: Daly on way to Brussels after securing third seat, leaving Andrews in ‘cold storage’ until Brexit

Maria Bailey . ‘I had my beer in my hand and then I was reaching for my friend’s, she had a bottle of wine...I then found myself on the floor’. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Simon Harris says TD’s radio interview ‘unfortunate’ and ‘blaming lots of others’

 A number of  newly elected Green Party councillors from the Dublin local authorities with party leader Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil will strengthen its position as the largest party of local government

Catherine Murphy: “We are still in play in quite a few areas, so it is difficult to see what the final number will be”

Co-leader Catherine Murphy says party’s goal is to reach 20 councillors

Minister for Transport Shane Ross at the North Dublin count centre in the RDS Dublin: his home was targeted by a peaceful protest group. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Kevin Daly and Seamus O’Neill fail to retain Glencullen Sandyford and Dundrum

Dún Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett: “I think realistically once Clare Daly ran it was always [the case] that she was going to take the left vote...” Photograph: James Forde

Anger at housing crisis does not translate into support in same way as water charges

Leo Varadkar at the count centre in the RDS, Dublin.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

‘Others could pull the plug on the government’, says Leo Varadkar

Labour leader Brendan Howlin speaking to the media at the RDS on Sunday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Party gets some key wins despite Greens stealing its thunder

Eamon Ryan at the local and European election count in the RDS, Dublin. Photograph:  Collins

Taoiseach says FG under-performed against expectations in local elections

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: there is “no need for an election” if the Government can continue to get its agenda through the Oireachtas. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Green leader Eamon Ryan to work with all parties on climate-friendly goals and policies

Lettie McCarthy of Labour looks set to be re-elected in Glencullen, Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Labour is still struggling to find relevancy and faces an uphill battle to gain seats

Former co-directors of Together for Yes, Gráinne Griffin, Orla O’Connor and Ailbhe Smyth, and other campaigners mark one-year anniversary of historic Yes vote. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Landslide victory for the Yes was confirmed with a result of 66.4% to 33.6%

Concerns have been expressed in the locality of St James’s Hospital, where the new children’s hospital is being built, about the impact of the bus plan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Board disputes NTA claim engagement took place over proposed corridor near new site

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin during the final Labour press event of the election campaign. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says FF will not follow FG instruction in banning pacts with Sinn Féin

British prime minister Theresa May delivers a speech detailing a new Brexit deal on Thursday. Photograph:  Kirsty Wigglesworth/ WPA Pool/Getty

Inside Politics: Housing and broadband are the top issues worrying Irish voters, candidates say

Oscar Stakem (centre, holding goat’s skull) and fellow students from  Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa meet the Prince of Wales at Glendalough, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/EPA

Prince of Wales impresses schoolchildren while duchess is wowed by Avoca weavers

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Royal speaks of affection for Ireland and importance of Anglo-Irish relations in Co Wicklow

Sinn Féin councillor Malachy Quinn and TD Louise O’Reilly talk to Siobhán Mulligan in Balbriggan. Photograph: Tom Honan

On the canvass with six parties, climate change and broadband also dominate talk

Work continues at the site of the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Secretary general of health department to outline plans to increase oversight of project

Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness is the first of 13 Irish MEPs to be elected. Photograph: Tom Honan.

Fine Gael candidate suggests giving religious groups greater access to EU institutions

Richard Greene, chairman of the Alliance for Defence of Family and Marriage,  says the Government is seeking a blank cheque in terms of setting the separation time. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/ THE IRISH TIMES

Arguing against the referendum could result in being pilloried or dismissed in modern Ireland

Fine Gael: achieving value for money for the taxpayer?

Inside Politics: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe recently gave ‘stark warning’ to Cabinet colleagues about need to control bu(...)

At the formal launch of 221+ CervicalCheck Patient Support Group were, from left, Stephen Teap, Lorraine Walsh and Vicky Phelan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Department of Health pledges it will not delay in dealing with €5m ex-gratia scheme

RTÉ campus at Montrose, Donnybrook. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Move follows review that found freelances have ‘attributes akin to employment’

More than 1,700 passengers on Irish Rail countrywide have made complaints about anti-social behaviour including intimidation, assault and theft. File photograph: The Irish Times

Irish Rail to bring in text alert system for passengers along with increased CCTV

Fianna Fáil councillor Claire O’Connor with party leader Micheál Martin and other local election candidates at the launch of Fianna Fáil’s local election manifesto in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fianna Fáil leader launches party’s local election manifesto

Paschal Donohoe:  ‘There is risk, there is complexity in all of this.’  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Finance going ahead with plan despite several warnings from senior officials

The funding in question was provided by Cosc, an agency under the remit of the Department of Justice.

Demand follows investigation into alleged misuse of funds provided by Cosc

A storm of criticism greeted the Government’s National Broadband Plan on Wednesday as official documents revealed the extent of objections to the project by senior civil servants. File photograph: Getty

Private entity to own network at end of 25-year contract despite €3bn State investment

Fiona O’Reilly (right) with Linda Ahern, from Templeogue and other protesters for better respite and homecare services.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘We can be left waiting for the basic right of being able to get up out of bed in the morning’

 Grace and Mathew Drysdale, great great grandchildren of executed 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, at  the State commemoration  at Arbour Hill, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

State commemoration at Arbour Hill hears the great challenge is to create a society that enables all citizens to flourish in equal(...)

Fianna Fáil communications spokesman Timmy Dooley said the Cabinet decision to proceed with the €3 billion plan has ‘all the hallmarks of a PR exercise’. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Opposition parties accuse Government of using plan to bolster chances in elections

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