Simon Coveney: said such a package must not be ‘unreasonable’ or ‘put an unfair burden on Ireland’. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Taoiseach predicts ‘nasty surprise’ for those expecting EU27 unity to crack

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the  inability of the House of Commons to ratify the Brexit withdrawal agreement meant the UK is currently stuck. Photograph: Collins

Countries are asking if the UK can ‘make [trade deals], ratify them and stick to them’

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Inside Politics: Party rolled its eyes when John McGuinness was on radio

John McGuinness: he said rank-and-file party members were unhappy with the extension to the deal that underpins the Fine Gael-led minority government

Cowen and McGuinness had row at Fianna Fáil party meeting over extension of confidence and supply deal

Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy: “While there is no quick fix, our housing plan is now showing real progress in the delivery of new homes and new social housing homes.” Photograph: Tom Honan

Rebuilding Ireland plan wants to increase the supply of social homes to 10,000 by 2021

Ministers  discussed the episode which saw protesters block Mr Harris, his wife and their three-week-old daughter in their home in Greystones, Co Wicklow.  Photograph: Tom Honan

Fears expressed by some members of Cabinet about safety

Barry Cowen (left), the spokesman on public expenditure, and John McGuinness (right), the outspoken deputy for Carlow-Kilkenny, clashed in front of colleagues at the weekly Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting. File photographs: The Irish Times

Offaly TD criticises some colleagues for speaking in ‘personal capacity’ at interviews

Minister for Health Simon Harris addressing the Dáil on Tuesday.

‘I should have added further detail that the process was ongoing to finalise costs’

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy: the department has been seeking ways to make it less attractive for people to turn down offers of social housing. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

New rules mean applicant will be suspended from the waiting list for five years

Any motion against Simon Harris (above)  will fail, but will be used by Sinn Féin to further underline its distinction from both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for its target audience. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin’s no-confidence motions will fail to get FF backing due to its deal with FG

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said he did not find Simon Harris’s “explanations credible at all”. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Taoiseach says he understands taxpayers ‘very annoyed’ about cost overrun

Mary Lou McDonald on the screen during the Sinn Féin special ardfheis held in the RDS. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Party sources say it is after the ‘angry vote’, raising questions about longer-term strategy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he has “total confidence” in Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

‘I have every confidence in Mr Harris but am not going to pre-empt what he says in Dáil’

Philippe Lamberts said the EU single market must be protected. Pictured in 2012, photograph: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/GettyImages

Philippe Lamberts says Ireland is between ‘a rock and a hard place’ in Brexit negotiations

File photograph of President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina voting in 2014. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Poll about franchise for presidential election campaigns was initially expected in May

  Nurses on the picket line at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin last week. Photograph: Collins

Inside Politics: 50,000 medical appointments are rescheduled due to second strike today by almost 40,000 nurses and midwives

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “There are definitely options for preserving the integrity of the single market even when Northern Ireland isn’t part of it because it is part of Britain while at the same time meeting the desire to have, if possible, no border controls”. Photograph:  Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool Photo via AP

David Trimble plans to take UK government to court over backstop agreement

Minister for Climate Action and the Environment Richard Bruton: his climate plan will be implemented if Britain has an orderly exit from the EU. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Plan to lead world in tackling carbon emissions may be ‘paused’ if UK crashes out of EU

Conor Lenihan at the announcement that he wishes to be selected by Fianna Fáil to be its candidate in the upcoming European Election. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

MEP candidate Conor Lenihan also says he has nothing to hide in past Russia dealings

 Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín said a notice in a recent parish newsletters asking “pro-life supporters especially” to attend one of his rallies was not ordered by him. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

TD distances himself from parish newsletter adverts inviting ‘pro-life supporters’ to rally

Kit Malthouse, right – who gives his name to the Tories’ Malthouse compromise – and Boris Johnson in 2011. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Industry figures trash Tories’ reheated idea of technology plus checks away from Border

Dominic Raab gives evidence about the Brexit backstop to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in London. Mr Raab claims a meeting he had with Simon Coveney ‘was leaked in an inaccurate and misrepresenting way by the Taoiseach directly’ Photograph: PA Wire

Former Brexit secretary accused Taoiseach of ‘directly’ leaking Tánaiste meeting's contents to UK newspapers

Tánaiste Simon Coveney addresses a meeting of the Institute of International and European Affairs at the Gresham hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Tánaiste warns Ireland will not be casualty of Tory infighting

British prime minister Theresa May  addresses MPs following the results of voting on amendments put forward by MPs over the Government’s Brexit deal, in the House of Commons, London, on Tuesday. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

PM wants to secure ‘legally binding changes’ to withdrawal agreement

 Minister for Justice  Charlie Flanagan and  Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan speaking to journalists on the Government’s decision to hold a referendum to amend the constitutional provisions on divorce. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

It is proposed that the divorce waiting period will drop to two out of three years living apart if the referendum is passed.

The Irish economy would be 4.5 per cent smaller by 2023 than current projections, following a no-deal Brexit, the Department of Finance warned. Photograph: PA PA Wire

Unemployment rate could rise 2 per cent if UK leaves EU without deal, department says

British prime minister Theresa May:  cannot win parliamentary backing for her deal based on Conservative and DUP votes. Photograph: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Inside Politics: Amendment calling for alternative arrangements to avoid hard border does not detail what these are

 Simon Coveney told BBC’s  The Andrew Marr Show: ‘The backstop is already a compromise’.  Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/handout via Reuters.

If UK stays in customs union and rejects hard border, negotiations could begin – sources

 Micheál Martin says:  ‘I am blocking nobody from running for anything.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

FF leader asks members to think of the party when selecting MEP candidates

Simon Coveney: ‘The backstop is already a compromise.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/File

Tánaiste says nobody has come up with sensible solution to avoid hard Border

Political sources have previously said Mr Hogan could change brief if he remains at the Commission. File photograph: Alan Betson

It is understood Varadkar has not given Mr Hogan a commitment on the issue

Flags tied to railings outside parliament in London:  The Irish Government’s no-deal Brexit Bill attempts to cover all likely areas of change. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth

State’s 95-page legislation document covers healthcare, education and social protection

A ‘No Border, No Brexit’ sticker on a road sign in front of the peace statue entitled ‘Hands Across the Divide’ in Derry. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Legislation covers issues ranging from social welfare to immigration controls

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: “I would like to see the Bill progressed. So would Shane.” Photograph: James Forde

Minister for Justice says Minister for Transport has his ‘boot on his neck’ over Bill

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to meet all party leaders in the Dáil on a fortnightly basis to maintain political consensus on the approach to Brexit. File photograph: Tom Honan

Varadkar remark ‘made in passing’ at Brexit briefing for Opposition leaders

Government Chief Whip Seán Kyne recently told TDs that any unapproved absences during the coming Dáil term will be reported to the Taoiseach. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Alliance under pressure not to vote against Government on occupied territories Bill

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has asked his Ministers to refrain from criticising Shane Ross. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/ The Irish Times

Taoiseach wants to end public ‘back and forth’ with Independent Alliance

Robert Watt, secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure, has declined to attend an Oireachtas committee meeting  to answer questions on the hospital overspend.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

PAC to hear €50m of overrun for St James’s site to come from health budget this year

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney speaking to the media at Government Buildings. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Simon Coveney says backstop is the solution to protecting the status quo in Ireland

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald: “Dublin cannot blink . . . I will tell the Taoiseach that he must stand firm in the face of British pressure.”  Photograph: John Thys/AFP

In event of no-deal Brexit, arrangements at ports will remain unaltered for nine months

Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz: Warsaw political observers say he has no political base and little connection to party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Photograph: Robert Ghement

Polish foreign minister says London, Dublin ‘playing chicken’ over post-Brexit border

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: expected to table a neutral motion in the House of Commons on Monday. Photograph: Hannah McKay

Dublin and Brussels may agree to bargain on political declaration rewrite but not backstop

The site of the proposed National Children’s Hospital, which is currently projected to cost €1.43bn. Photograph: Eric Luke

Public expenditure secretary claims health counterpart should answer Oireachtas questions

 Fianna Fáil’s Eamon Ó Cúiv: “What I am proposing is that through the LocalLink companies a subsidy be given to service providers on an organised basis to provide local area hackney services in and around rural areas”

Minister says number of checkpoints in recent weeks had led ‘Joe Public’ to feel ‘persecuted’

 Britain’s prime minister Theresa May makes a statement at Downing Street after  she won a vote of no confidence in the government. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Inside Politics: Shane Ross caught on tape privately admitting he didn’t know what to say at press conference

Minister for Transport Shane Ross. A Minister said Mr Ross’s public performance was not surprising given that he did not seem ‘up to speed’ on Brexit preparations in his own portfolio.

Minister for Transport’s Brexit remarks were ‘as if he didn’t even read his own documents’

Drivers are told by gardaí to blame increased checks on Minister for Transport Shane Ross, according to one Minister. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Garda checkpoints are ‘over the top’ and akin to ‘police state’, Cabinet member claims

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said if the UK moved on its red lines of ruling out membership of the customs union and single market, the EU position would also evolve.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Taoiseach says UK government must honour its commitments to the people of Ireland ‘north and south’

Simon Coveney brought a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday on the operation of the CTA in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

New UK-Ireland arrangement to protect Common Travel Area ‘ready to go’ – Tánaiste

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is to complete a review  of the Local Property Tax  by the end of March. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Homes are to be revalued for the levy, with the amended bills taking effect next year

Assistant commissioner Fintan Fanning is currently suspended and under investigation by Gsoc but is due to retire in August File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister for Justice calls for accelerated investigation of retiring members cases

Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle: “That was a decision that the Public Accounts Committee made itself and it is empowered to make these decisions”.

‘I can’t decide what their (PAC’s) agenda is’ – Ceann Comhairle

Arson attack took place at the KBC bank premises on the Main Street in Swords at 5.18am.

Controversial eviction took place at Roscommon farm

 Michael D’Arcy, the Minister of State with special responsibility for insurance. “I find the settlement channels incredibly diverse,” he says. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Database tracking insurance claims will be running by end of year, says Minister

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan wants ‘only persons of suitable character’ employed by private security firms. ‘In other words, no criminal convictions,’ he said. Photograph: James Forde

Minister outlines plans for regulating private security companies involved in evictions

Sheila Nunan:  “I obviously have been in organised labour all my life; this is a shift to political Labour.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Nunan contesting selection convention to be candidate in Ireland South despite claims move could ‘look like desperation’

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

Credit unions want greater flexibility to set their own business models. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe looks to amend legislation to increase interest rate cap for credit unions

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said acceding to the nurses’ pay demands would “take us back to the bad old days of unsustainable and unaffordable pay rises”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Finance says acceding demands would ‘take us back to the bad old days’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: Mr Howlin says both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are “chameleons” who will change their polices to get into power. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Labour leader wants centre left alliance to negotiate future coalition as a bloc

“Credit unions are not banks,” said one Minister, adding that they usually “look after” people who may usually have difficulty accessing credit from banks. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Higher-risk loans could pave way for ‘aggressive moneylending’, Ministers claim

Anti-abortion protesters outside a GP surgery in Galway city on Thursday morning.

A woman going through a crisis pregnancy ‘is going through enough upset and turmoil’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Christian Social Union regional group chairman in the German parliament Bundestag Alexander Dobrindt  attend the annual Christian Social Union  party meeting at Kloster Seeon, in Seeon, Germany. Photograph:  EPA

‘Divorce can bring those left behind closer together’, Varadkar says in Bavaria

Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath said the Government must get over a fear of being labelled as being “on the side of developers”. Photograph: James Forde

Government should not fear allowing builders make bigger profits, Minister of State says


Cost is based on State’s contribution of €25,000 to one case settled out of court

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media following the first Cabinet meeting of 2019 at Government Buildings, Dublin, on Thursday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Report says 1,000 police officers will be sent to North in case of no-deal Brexit disorder

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he and German chancellor Angela Merkel  had a long phone conversation at her request. File image: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

German chancellor and Taoiseach reiterate support for UK withdrawal deal in 40-minute conversation

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has with deputy leader Nichola Mallon written to party members assuring them that any relationship with Fianna Fáil would be for the party to endorse or reject. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Colum Eastwood and Nichola Mallon aware ‘change won’t be comfortable for some’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Fine Gael had more scope to gain seats in the Munster region than in the greater Dublin area. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/EPA

Fine Gael could win ‘well above’ 60 seats in a general election, Tánaiste claims

Shane Ross’s planned anti-speeding measures have prompted concerns. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Séamus Woulfe questions if planned graduated speeding penalties are ‘proportionate’

An artist’s impression of the exterior of the proposed new National Children’s Hospital at St James’s in Dublin

Harris considering sponsor opportunities for overall and sectional nomenclature at site

St James’s Hospital, site of new children’s hospital.  Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Construction costs have risen, now estimated annual operating costs spiral upwards

Projects that may be shelved include new laboratories and theatres at the Coombe hospital, and a €3.4m investment in paediatric and blood services.

Confidential memo from Simon Harris says final bill for the facility could be €1.73bn

Tánaiste Simon Coveney meets then British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a prominent Brexiteer,   at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on January 31st last. Photograph:  Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images.

Tánaiste responds to Rees-Mogg claim that hard Border can be avoided even if no Brexit deal reached

Michael McDowell: “The reform of the Seanad is not a matter best left to the initiative of the unreformed Seanad.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Senator argues Seanad should not be relied on to implement changes in a timely fashion

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl  would not be drawn on whether his proposal followed controversial comments made by Peter Casey in the presidential election campaign. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Seán Ó Fearghaíl proposes new Dáil committee to examine concerns of ethnic group

It is understood  Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met Minister for Transport Shane Ross before the Cabinet meeting and brokered a deal. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Measures removing Garda discretion to allow motorists present licence at station are stalled

Among other reforms is  the possible divestment of “non-core” activities away from An Garda Síochána. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government accepts Garda oversight bodies will be reduced from three to two

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured speaking to reporters in James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown on Monday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach says latest increase is ‘way beyond what we had ever anticipated’

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

Mayo County Council

Frank Durcan and Cyril Burke investigated by State ethics watchdog over Castlebar land

The spending report:  ‘The Presidency in review, 2011-2018,’  said an unspent portion of the €317,000 annual  allowance  - a cumulative €238,443 -  will be returned to the exchequer. Photograph: PA

Food and beverages is the most expensive element of events, costing €125,589 in 2018

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness has said the extension of the confidence and supply agreement has put his party in a ‘straitjacket’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Martin has given Government ‘blank cheque’ by extending agreement, says McGuinness

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin speaks to the media on the plinth at Leinster House. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Martin and Varadkar will appoint two teams of four to oversee running of agreement

Micheál Martin on Leinster House plinth on Wednesday. The Fianna Fáil leader reacted sharply to suggestions that the extension was offered in the hope Fianna Fáil could close the gap on Fine Gael. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil leader showed deft political management in how he manoeuvred party

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: “People will not be happy with this decision within the party. I think the general public will be.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Coveney praises ‘maturity’ of FF agreement that there be no election until 2020

Leo Varadkar had asked Micheál Martin to agree to hold the next general election in the summer of 2020. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Political chaos we see in London will not be allowed to spread to Ireland,’ Martin says

British prime minister Theresa May is facing a leadership challenge. Photograph: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

Inside Politics: Chairman of Tory committee announces threshold of 48 MPs to trigger a vote has been reached

Shane Ross, Minister for Transport: proposals at an early stage. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Penalty points and €80 fine proposed for drivers who don’t have driving licence to hand

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are to meet on Wednesday to discuss the future of the confidence and supply deal, sources say. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

FG and FF have been reviewing agreement, which props up minority Government

Shane Ross said the idea behind his proposals “is that the faster you go the more points you get”

Graduated speeding measures sought by Minister for Transport Shane Ross

Theresa May (L) shakes hands with Angela Merkel ahead of talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Juncker says there is ‘no room whatsoever for renegotiation’ as PM seeks concessions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday. A statement from Government Buildings said both he and European Council president Donald Tusk agreed the Brexit withdrawal agreement “could not be renegotiated”. Photograph: PA Wire

Taoiseach warns any clarifications on what withdrawal agreement says cannot change its substance

 Minister for Transport Shane Ross: “Speeding is a killer, drink-driving is a killer. They both kill in almost equal amounts.”  Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Ross moves to introduce long-promised graduated fines for speeding

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the rollout of abortion services was not a case of ‘just flicking a switch’. Photograph: Collins

Harris says the 300 women who travel for terminations each month will have options in State

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. It is widely expected he  will offer to open negotiations on an extension to the arrangement underpinning the minority government, possibly for another year

Micheál Martin has asked both parliamentary party and frontbench to trust his judgment

The Seanad chamber at Leinster House. The electorate is currently confined to TDs, Senators, councillors and graduates of Trinity College, Dublin, and the National University of Ireland

Report explores how to widen franchise for elections to Upper House

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin:  will decide his next move after his negotiating team report back to him on progress of talks to date. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader to decide on renegotiating confidence and supply deal with Fine Gael

Leo Varadkar, Mr Varadkar’s partner Matt and friends with Kylie Minogue at the singer’s gig at the 3Arena. Photograph: Tiernan Brady/Twitter

Taoiseach posts that he has receipt to prove he paid for drinks amid social media allegations

Olivia Buckley is expected to to run for Fianna Fáil in the Dublin Rathdown constituency Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Olivia Buckley expected to fill slot left by decision of Justin McAleese to not run

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