Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “The EU is totally united, not just behind Ireland but also behind the single market.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach says talks are going through ‘rocky patch’ but he is hopeful of progress

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has been accused of being disconnected from his brief. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister: ‘I make Government policy, but don’t ask me for details. I don’t micro manage’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: castigated Britain’s international trade secretary Liam Fox for ‘playing fast and loose with food safety’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

FF leader ‘astonished’ at proposals to reduce standards to allow trade with US after Brexit

PAC chairman said members would keep questions to how money is spent and would not direct any towards Michael D Higgins personally. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Micheál Martin and Ministers believe PAC may have undue influence on election

BAI chief executive Michael O’Keeffe said the authority recognised the growing importance of social media, particularly where viewers follow debates on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as they watch live TV debates.

Guidelines to come into effect immediately for the forthcoming presidential election

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has defended the response to Storm Ali, which led to the deaths of two people as it swept across Ireland on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Minister says some may not have appreciated seriousness of orange weather warning

President Michael D Higgins at the  National Ploughing Championship in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Office of President’s spending to be examined despite constitutionality concern

Michael Fitzmaurice spent several weeks trying to put the group together with a view to supporting a candidate. File photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil TD says he is likely to vote for Seán Gallagher in the presidential election

Leo Varadkar: likes concise summaries of policy positions. Photograph: EPA/AIDAN CRAWLEY

Inside Politics: Weather warnings force Taoiseach to miss Ploughing Championships ahead of Salzburg trip

Luxury Geneva hotel, the Beau-Rivage, where top suites are advertised for €3,000 a night

Committee asked to examine claims Michael D Higgins stayed in €3,000-a-night hotel

Government Chief Whip Joe McHugh published the legislative programme for the autumn. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘Rainy day fund’ among 39 pieces of legislation planned for before end of the year

Peter Casey: ‘I can go to the ploughing competition tomorrow and relax.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Derry man is ‘excited to get into race proper’, as Gemma O’Doherty’s chances look slim

Labour Youth defended the occupation of the properties, something that was not specifically defended by Mr Howlin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Labour Youth said it ‘distanced itself’ from senior members over Take Back the City

Casey seems to be the only candidate left in a position to secure a council nomination

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

Housing crisis, health budget overruns and limited fiscal space among challenges

 Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: “By your actions you should be known and not by your tweets.”   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Leader Eamon Ryan accuses Taoiseach and Ministers of being more interested in social media than dealing with policy issues.

Irish presidential candidate Gavin Duffy amongst the fashion on Ladies Day during day four of the Galway Summer Festival at Galway Racecourse. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

There is very little of his career that has not revolved around the airwaves or presentation

President Michael D Higgins: may formally announce his candidacy at the National Ploughing Championship on September 19th. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Confusion over rules of engagement in first election to feature incumbent since 1965

 Michael Fitzmaurice said he will set up a meeting to bring the group of backers together on the day the Dáil returns next week.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Michael Fitzmaurice says aspiring candidates would address group and its members would then vote

Businessman Seán Gallagher and Senator Joan Freeman both reached the required four council endorsements on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Seán Gallagher and Senator Joan Freeman each secure backing of four councils

Sean Gallagher at Galway City Hall on Thursday where he was seeking a nomination to run for president. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Presidential election might turn out to be something other than a coronation for Michael D Higgins

Cllr Jimmy Guerin, speaking at the special meeting of Fingal County Council to consider presidential nomination requests. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

‘Only John Gilligan and Gemma O’Doherty say he is not responsible for Veronica’s death’: Jimmy Guerin

Sinn Féin TDs Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Mary Lou McDonald (the party leader) and  Pearse Doherty. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Doherty says political opponents using PSNI assessment to attack party but have ‘no evidence’

Sinn Féin has not ruled out the possibility that the Union flag could fly above Leinster House if the North and Republic united in future.  Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg.

MLA claims delay on Brexit deal part of a UK effort to bounce EU, Dublin into pact suiting London

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty described as ridiculous’ a notion that Irish unity would lead to thousands of public sector workers losing their jobs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins.

Pearse Doherty says party committed to raising public service numbers across island

The new Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, after he took a sworn oath at Kevin Street Divisional Headquarters in Dublin. Photograph:  Garda/PA Wire

Party backs new Garda Commissioner but raises concerns over loyalist-RUC collusion

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald speaking at a meeting of elected representatives in Co Cavan. Photograph: Press Association

The party’s status is now inextricably linked to the success of Mary Lou McDonald at helm

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald described the  housing situation as a national crisis and a scandal. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

McDonald says party will table motion calling for reversal of rural post office closures

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said her party will table a motion of no confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

SF leader attacks Government’s record on homelessness and calls it a ‘scandal’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  meeting President Donald Trump  at the White House around St Patrick’s Day: Mr Trump is set to meet Mr Varadkar in Dublin in November and almost certainly pay a courtesy call to President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Government may request visit to take place after Armistice event to avoid protocol clash

 President Michael D Higgins: when Mr Reagan was conferred with an honorary doctorate in University College Galway,  Mr Higgins led a protest outside. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Higgins led protest against Ronald Reagan’s Irish visit in 1984

Seán Gallagher during his campaign for the presidency in 2011 .Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Gemma O’Doherty mired in controversy over Veronica Guerin ‘conspiracy theory’

Former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett is involved in Irexit Freedom, a new political party that will launch in Dublin next weekend.

Former diplomat and UCD professor involved in the Irexit Freedom group

Alan Kelly has never made any secret of his leadership ambitions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Rumblings mean Labour think-in will be dominated by Howlin defending leadership

Labour TD Alan Kelly said on Friday the party needed to change  direction. ‘We need a different vision. We need far more energy’.

Tipperary TD criticises failure of Labour Party leader ‘to turn the ship around’

The greatest number of closures is in Galway (18), followed by Donegal (17), Cork and Kerry (both 12), and then Mayo and Wexford (both 11). The only county with no closures is Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Opposition outcry as An Post announces 159 closures, with west of Ireland hardest hit

Ann Gilmore closes the door  on the last day of business at the Post Office in Ballindine, Co Mayo. Photograph: Keith Heneghan

Despite angry community opposition Ministers privately concede there has to be attrition

Presidential hopeful Senator Joan Freeman pitching to members of Kildare County Council for a nomination.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Independent councillors and those disobeying party HQs should ensure range of hopefuls

Demonstrators participate in a march demanding a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal in central London on June 23rd, 2018. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: Britain’s campaign has frustrated all other countries and cast doubt over everything being agreed by October

Michael Lowry has said the Taoiseach has sought his support and has instanced new investment for South Tipperary General Hospital in that context. Photograph:  Collins Courts

Taoiseach says: ‘They are able to raise queries and issues on which we try to assist’

Michael D. Higgins will be president until he is 84 if he is re-elected. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: President should explain why he changed his mind on running for second term

 Joe Mulholland:  said the number of women attending the MacGill Summer School had grown noticeably in recent years. Photograph: Eric Luke

Organiser Joe Mulholland says other panellists are to be arranged for special session

DUP leader Arlene Foster at the  Ulster GAA senior football championship final in  Clones, Co Monaghan. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Taoiseach says DUP leader’s presence at Donegal v Fermanagh game should be welcomed by everyone

Christine Lagarde at Government Buildings for her meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Leo Varadkar says free markets and open economies are better for the long term

Alan Shatter: “This is mad stuff.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former minister for justice says ‘bizarre vanity project’ is worse than a ‘dog’s dinner’

Seaworthy: Maeve Binchy. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Neale Richmond urges naming of ship after ‘one of Ireland’s most famous daughters’

Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy met the Ceann Comhairle and said he was very supportive of the idea and of the need for a survey. Photograph: Alan Betson

Questions will relate to experiences of inappropriate behaviour and bullying

Joint leaders of the Social Democrats, Róisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy both wrote to MacGill Summer School director Joe Mulholland earlier this week to say they would withdraw from the event if the gender imbalance issue was not addressed. Photograph: Eric Luke

Social Democrats joint leaders say better gender balance still required

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Ireland has been transformed since 1993. All of the organisation that held sway in 1993 have gone,” she says. “People are much more open and accepting of things.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn recalls her role in removing repressive laws in 1993

Alcohol Action Ireland says that 900 people in Ireland develop cancer every year as a result of alcohol dependency.

Committee hears the European Commission raised no objection to plan

The Health and Information Quality Authority investigated  the management of allegations of child sexual abuse cases by the Child and Family Agency Tusla. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Investigation into Tusla makes for ‘difficult reading’ says Katherine Zappone

 Minister for Children Katherine Zappone  said the report made for “difficult reading”.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Damning health watchdog report calls for urgent action at child protection agency

Leo Varadkar: More borrowing means a bigger deficit, and higher debt does not make sense. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Taoiseach rules out expansionist budget in October

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the official opening of AWS (Amazon Web Services) offices on  Burlington Road, Dublin, on Monday, where he  indicated that avoiding overheating in the economy would be a major priority of the budget. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Think-tank urges Coalition to avoid overheating economy but plays down fears of house-price bubble

 Stepaside Garda station in Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Maria Bailey says there is a far more compelling case for a new station in Cherrywood

Minister says 59 prisoners on temporary release were monitored last year at a cost of €166,117. Photograph: iStock

Questions have been raised about the efficacy and costs of method of monitoring

Minister of State for Local Government John Paul Phelan brought forward a memorandum to realign the local authorities in Cork, and to begin the process of merging the two councils in Galway

Galway County Council and Galway City Council to be merged within three years

Householders transferring to the Cork City Council area will continue to pay property tax to Cork County Council until the end of 2019.  File image: Getty

Cork city boundary to increase, Galway councils to merge within three years

Women wait to have their babies vaccinated at a Harare hospital. Photograph: Harry McGee

Country needs vast aid programmes to realise its potential and address climate change

 Fianna Fáil’s   Michael McGrath: “It’s time for the Government to live up to its word and treat deserving cases in a fair and humane manner”

Figures disclosed in parliamentary answer to Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone holds a press conference on false birth registrations, at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Agency says it does not have the ‘remit’ for such an audit amid birth registration scandal

Dr Geoffrey Shannon  and Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Current Minister says conclusive evidence of 126 cases since 1952 at St Patrick’s Guild

Susan Kiernan: “Even knowing about the circumstances and my mother’s identity would be good . . . as it would give closure from my point of view.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Susan Kiernan’s search revealed her birth cert ‘had my adoptive parents’ names on it’

Former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan at the Charleton  Tribunal in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Former Garda press chief withdraws series of claims he made about Nóirín O’Sullivan

Former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan  responded to allegations made by Supt Taylor of a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photograph: Tom Honan

Former Garda commissioner tells tribunal she could not recall sexual allegations being discussed until late 2014

Simon Harris will bring legislative proposals to Cabinet today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Consensus is Bill could now become reality by autumn

Breege Comer with her granddaughter Gráinne O’Brien, eight months, arrives to vote at the polling station in Ballinlough, Co Roscommon. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Abortion result aftermath: ‘People said, this is out of date; we need to update Ireland’

The three co-directors of Together For Yes, from left,  Ailbhe Smyth, Grainne Griffin and Orla O’Connor. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The No side started early but personal accounts pushed Yes way ahead

Micheál Martin at the referendum count in Cork City Hall. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

From Micheál Martin coming out for Yes to an extraordinarily high turnout on polling day

Yes campaigners celebrate the official result of the Irish abortion referendum at Dublin Castle in Dublin on May 26th, 2018. Photograph: PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: From the second The Irish Times exit poll was published on Friday night, people knew that the change was emphatic

Co-Director of Together For Yes Ailbhe Smyth speaking to the media  in Dublin’s RDS count centre on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Harry McGee: Smiling Savita portraits proclaiming a new reality for Ireland

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan:  Has been put forward to be an advocate general to the EU Court of Justice. Photograph: Collins Courts

Former TCD professor Gerard Hogan is leading authority on Irish Constitution

The Yes side is probably ahead. but the gap between both sides closing

Inside Politics: Yes and No sides have put new emphases in campaigns over the past week

Paula Farrell, left  speaking to Tina Robinson,   canvassing for the Together for Yes campaign in Cabra on Friday night. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Clear evidence on the doorstop that the number of people who are clued into the debate is growing

From left, Enya Kennedy, Veronica Plus, Katherine Nolan and Brid Collins  on the YES campaign canvas in Castlecomer Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

The Irish Times has travelled with Yes and No campaigners. Now people are deciding

Erasmus participant did not apply to local authority and is not entitled to vote in Ireland

No vote campaigners canvassing  in the Westbourne area of Clondalkin, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Be polite, and don’t get involved in prolonged debates, supporters told

 Dr Peter Boylan, chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: said he is ‘standing up for Irish women and getting them the proper treatment’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Seventeen obstetricians wrote to Dr Boylan saying his position as chairman was incompatible with advocating on the issue

Tánaiste Simon Coveney categorically ruled out some of the technical solutions to the Border issue that have been advanced from the British government. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/EPA

Dublin open to ‘new thinking’ but will be inflexible on proposals for Border infrastructure

Aoife Flaherty speaking with Noel Carroll at his home during a Together for Yes house to house call in the Knocknacarra area of Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Galway canvass: Smattering of Yeses, Nos, lots of Don’t Know, and many unanswered doors

Labour Party TD Alan Kelly said the Government should move quickly to appoint a high-calibre board and its first task would be to choose a new director general. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Public Accounts Committee requesting 10 senior figures at next meeting

At the Love Both press conference in Dublin were from left; Monica Hadarean, Cora Sherlock, Sinead McBreen and Diana Gherasin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Abortion on the grounds of disability will occur within first 12 weeks, No campaign says

‘And then I looked to Simon Harris. I was thinking: well, surely the Minister for Health is going to step in and do something.’ Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: radio interview with terminally ill woman adds further tragic layer to screening scandal

Offaly TD Carol Nolan canvasses for a No vote in Tullamore. Photograph: Tom Honan

Suspended SF TD Carol Nolan is among those canvassing to retain the Eighth Amendment

Together For Yes canvass in  Perrystown, Dublin 12: Canvassers on the doors frequently end up engaging in very long – and inconclusive – conversations. Photograph: Tom Honan

Comparatively high number of people remain undecided

 Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald and Ian Marshall, a unionist farmer who has been elected to the  Seanad. Photograph: @MaryLouMcDonald/PA Wire

Armagh dairy farmer and now Senator is what you might call a progressive unionist

The Yes Together HQ in Mount Street, Dublin which is run by campaign manager Deirdre Duffy. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘When it comes down to the rub, it is much closer to 1995 in terms of urban/rural split’

Abortion referendum: Joan Burton, the Labour TD, makes the case for repealing the Eighth Amendment in Porter’s Gate in Clonsilla, in the Dublin West constituency

On the ground, a good way of gauging strength of one side is to follow the opposition

RTÉ’s policy position is to increase the amount of Irish heard on radio, with more Irish language and bilingual programming on Radio 1, 2fm and Lyric Fm. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Stations aimed at younger people were best performers among stations surveyed

Minister for Health Simon Harris: Will not get a free pass on the screening scandal from Opposition TDs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Inside Politics: Origins of CervicalCheck controversy go back over a decade when HSE decided to outsource screening to US labs

Eighth Amendment: Save the 8th canvassers on Cathedral Road in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Both sides in abortion referendum believe they have the edge. How can both be right?

 Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring: “The towns and villages of rural Ireland are the heart and soul of our rural communities and it is crucial that we revitalise these areas.” File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Renewal scheme will benefit up to 200 places around country, says Michael Ring

Sinead Slattery speaking at the Love Both press conference  in Dublin on Wednesday.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Parents of children born with life-limiting conditions call for alternatives to termination

The report states that “work has also commenced on a Carbon Tax review and it is expected that this will also be completed to inform Budget 2019”. File photograph: Getty Images

National Reform Programme 2018 completed and signed off by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

If Sean Canney, former Minister of State for the OPW,   were to leave the Independent Alliance, it is understood   he would support the Government on a case-by-case basis.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Meeting of Alliance has been postponed while Galway TD clarifies his future

The Knowledge Development Box was introduced by the Government in October 2015. It offered relief to income from qualifying patents, computer programmes and certain other intellectual property. Photograph: Getty Images

Donohoe reveals that fewer than 10 companies availed of relief in 2016

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar calling  for  a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Total of 25 individuals and organisations register with the Standards in Public Office Commission

Sisters Agnes, Ann, Bernadette and Joan Mallon at the meeting of the Yes campaign in the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown, Co Roscommon, last Friday night. Photograph: Paul Molloy

County has ‘a lot of silent Yes voters who are afraid to say openly they will vote Yes’

Emma Kearney (L) and Jacqueline Jago canvass Raymond Greene in Boyle O’Reilly Terrace, Drogheda, Co Louth, on the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Canvassers from both sides are working hard to win hearts and minds in Drogheda

 Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten: phone call between Eoghan Ó Neachtain and Mr Naughten on the proposed Celtic Media takeover by INM was not registered.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

PR executive who spoke to Naughten about INM ruling met Donohoe among other politicians

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