John Paul Phelan, Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform: only received a handful of submissions from the public on the shape of the electoral commission. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Current Act ‘lacks teeth’ in dealing with online political campaigning and donations

House of Commons speaker John Bercow’s application of 1604 law  is “another instance of an internal Westminster issue that we cannot impact”. Photograph: Parliamentary Recording Unit/EPA

Application of ancient Westminster rule a ‘surprise’ which brings further uncertainty

Billy Kelleher: suffered a shock defeat in a Fianna Fáil selection convention. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

FF and FG figures see no case for holding by-elections ahead of general election

Former minister for finance Richie Ryan who died aged 90. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Former TD, who has died aged 90, steered fiscal policy during turbulent economic period

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Declan Breathnach said any return of a border would see the border region go ‘back to El Paso’. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Senior Government source said activities of smugglers might be deterred by technology

Declan Breathnach, a Fianna Fáil for Louth, accused the British government of playing “Russian roulette”. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Dáil Deputies in constituencies close to the Border responded to British document

It estimated the cost to women of menstruating ages of such products is equivalent to €208 a year and €8,100 over a lifetime. Photograph: Getty Images

Measure proposed as a way to tackle ‘period poverty’ and ‘normalise menstruation’

Chris Patten, Lord Patten of Barnes, being interviewed by  Harry McGee at NUI Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Ardently pro-European, the veteran Tory has watched in horror as the debacle unfolds

The Government is planning four major measures to try to curb escalating premium costs for drivers and businesses.

Planned move on personal injury awards part of initiative to lower premium costs

Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan published the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill on Friday along with colleagues Fiona O’Loughlin and Lorraine Clifford-Lee. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fianna Fáil published Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill to be introduced in Dáil

Robert Watt before the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday

Robert Watt criticised for reportedly saying PAC chairman was trying to ‘control the mob’

A poster for Niall Blaney’s EU election campaign. Image: Facebook

Former Donegal TD Niall Blaney says timing of convention is unreasonable

Robert Watt before the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday

Robert Watt defends response to €450m cost overruns at children’s hospital

Leo Varadkar’s popularity has fallen by eight points in the latest Irish Times poll. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Inside Politics: Fine Gael is down three points to 30 per cent, Fianna Fáil falls one to 24 per cent and Sinn Féin drops three to (...)

The site of the national children’s hospital in Dublin. The €450m overrun in the project, now expected to cost €1.7bn, has led to a major political controversy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Robert Watt to tell PAC greater cost controls being introduced following hospital overspend

Joanne Hayes leaving the tribunal of enquiry into the Kerry Babies in 1985. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Compensation talks with Department of Justice over wrongful accusations collapse

Denis O’Brien and Angela Kerins both took Supreme Court cases over their treatment by the Oireachtas. While the results were different, the rulings were consistent. Photographs: Collins

Judgment in O’Brien case a strong restatement of privilege enjoyed by TDs and Senators

Catherine Murphy said parliamentary privilege was an important aspect of Ireland’s system of democracy. Photograph: Collins

Businessman says he is disappointed at decision as it suggests TDs could say anything

Minister of state at the department of Industry and Commerce Eddie Collins (third from left, standing) with members of taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald’s cabinet in June 1982. Photograph: The Irish Times

Collins came from ‘Redmondite tradition’, says former taoiseach John Bruton

Emergency services at the  scene at the Department of Health on Baggot Street. Photograph: Conor Pope

Taoiseach asks ‘what kind of oddballs’ send such material, which is ultimately opened by civilian staff

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is pictured with Lithuanian prime minister Saulius Skvernelis during a visit to Hartstown Community School in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

British attorney general reported to have changed strategy on controversial backstop

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media following a meeting  with business representatives in Northern Ireland to discuss Brexit. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Taoiseach says law to be changed to restore UK-Ireland fishing rights

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD. File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Government aims to reach UN targets by doubling amount spent on aid in next 10 years

Angela Kerins was questioned at length by the Public Accounts Committee. Photograph: Collins Courts

Approach to hearings involving voluntary organisations led to deep divisions in PAC

Angela Kerins: was subjected to prolonged questioning about her salary,  pay and  conditions

Kerins case raises fundamental questions as to the extent of the powers of Oireachtas committees

The committee hearing in 2015 examined costs, salaries and allowances of voluntary organisations that were in receipt of State funding and Angela Kerins was questioned at length about her salary arrangements at Rehab. File photograph: Collins Courts

Court rules public accounts committee acted outside remit when questioning ex-Rehab chief

Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley said members of all Oireachtas committees will have to take stock of the Supreme Court judgement. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘In light of the judgement various different members of all committees will have to take stock of that’

Theresa May told the House of Commons that any Brexit delay would be short

Inside Politics: May accepts Brexit may be delayed as Corbyn relents on second referendum

Chairwoman of the Law Reform Commission, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, along with two of its four Commissioners, Raymond Byrne and Tom O’Malley. File photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Law Reform Commission details report on regulatory powers and corporate offences

Theresa May  and Leo Varadkar at the EU-League of Arab States Summit in  Egypt on Monday. Last week Mr Varakdar said contingency plans were in place to recall Ministers travelling abroad for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Photograph:   Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Foreign affairs spokesman says ‘key members’ should remain due to Brexit concerns

The numbers of these types of vehicles have increased sharply in Dublin in the past year. File photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Minister for Transport Shane Ross says he is keen to understand safety implications

Simon Coveney said putting a time limit to the backstop without saying what would happen after that time limit ran out was a non-runner. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Tánaiste insists withdrawal agreement cannot be reopened to change backstop

 Senator James Reilly said he would be focusing his efforts on regaining a Dáil seat. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Senator’s withdrawal clears path for Fitzgerald while FF’s Rabbitte puts name forward

Declan Conway from Waterford. Photograph: Alan Betson

Delegates at the party’s ardfheis give their views on the deal with Fine Gael

 Micheál Martin  at the 2019 Fianna Fáil ardfheis.   Photograph: James Forde

The internal mutterings in Fianna Fáil in recent weeks of the deal have translated into open criticism

Party leader  Micheál Martin told the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis he wanted the Government gone but delegates had to face the ‘harsh reality of this very moment’. Photograph: James Forde for The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader says Brexit could not be tackled with ‘politics as usual’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told press at  his party’s ardfheis that the continuation of confidence and supply was a ‘no brainer’. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Micheál Martin says deal with Fine Gael not an issue in terms of his leadership

Patrick Hutch leaves the Special Criminal Court after all charges were dropped against him regarding the Regency Hotel murder. Photograph: Padraig O’Reilly

Garda Commissioner to also face questions in relation to trial over David Byrne’s murder

Dr Victor Bayda, originally from Moscow,   has been appointed  Irish language planning officer for the south Kerry Gaeltacht area. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Dr Victor Bayda has been a lecturer in Irish for 15 years and speaks nine languages

Det Supt Colm Fox was found dead in Ballymun Garda station in February 2018 near a loaded Garda firearm. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Det Supt Colm Fox was found dead in Ballymun Garda station in February 2018

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

Inside Politics: Overspend at national children’s hospital has Harris in firing line

Minister for Health Simon Harris will on Wednesday face a motion of no confidence, primarily over the failure to control the escalating costs of the new national children’s hospital. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Minister for Health expected to survive vote due to abstention of Fianna Fáil TDs

Fianna Fáil’s housing spokesman, Darragh O’Brien, said his party’s  proposed Bill was aimed at people who already paid management fees for services where they lived. Photograph: Laura Hutton/ The Irish Times

Fine Gael Ministers concerned about potentially steep hikes in property levy

 The delegates with Tánaiste Simon Coveney. They paid a visit to President Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin on Monday evening, and were then greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House

Talks included foreign ministers and others including League of Arab States’ secretary general

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald has criticised Fianna Fáil’s refusal to support its motion and dismissed its argument that such a move would precipitate a general election. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sinn Féin tables motion against Simon Harris for Wednesday over escalating costs

Facebook – and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg – were singled out for particular criticism. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Hildegarde Naughton says Government accepts the ‘days of self-regulation are over’

Independent TD Dr Michael Harty, who is also  the chair of the Oireachtas health committee.  ‘I cannot support a Minister who is not able to deliver on the commitment he has made.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Deferral of 60-bed unit in University Hospital Limerick behind Michael Harty’s volte face

Peadar Tóibín: after 24 nights on the road, he reckons more than 4,000 people have attended his rallies. Photograph: Harry McGee

Peadar Tóibín’s attack on political and media groupthink works well with local audiences

In 2016, then minister for heath Leo Varadkar said the children’s hospital would be completed by 2020, “short of an asteroid hitting the planet”. The estimated cost was €670 million at that time.

Conflict of interest that can lead to underestimating costs lies at core of public projects

EU Council President Donald Tusk and  Leo Varadkar gesture as they give statements after a meeting at the European Council headquarters. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Inside Politics: Donald Tusk’s ‘special place in hell’ comments dominate British press agenda

“As long as landlords are leaving the market we will have a challenge in homelessness”

Some headway made in Rebuilding Ireland plan, but structural problems remain

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (L) has alleged PAC had strayed outside its remit in a recent hearing on sick leave and other issues in the prison service. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Public spending watchdog accused by other Oireachtas groups of waging a ‘turf war’

The HSE website: the fake website was run by an anti-abortion group.

HSE forced to increase advertising spend to stop fake website getting top hits on search engine

A view of the construction site of the national children’s hospital. Photograph: Tom Honan

Opposition finds it ‘unbelievable’ that Ministers not aware of costs until November

The Government has sought Attorney General Séamus Woulfe’s view on the possibility that two MEPs will have to go on furlough if Brexit is delayed. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet decided to reconfigure three constituencies to accommodate 13 MEPs

The omnibus Bill  covers contingencies in the event of a no-deal Brexit across all Irish Government departments. Photograph:  Leon Neal/Getty Images

The 95-page document covers all Government areas in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Theresa May addresses the Commons following the results of voting on amendments put forward over the government’s Brexit deal. Photograph: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA Wire

Inside Politics: May secures backing for amendment calling for backstop to replaced as Europe dismisses reopening of withdrawal ta(...)

With a delay in Britain’s EU exit looking possible, two of Ireland’s 13 MEPs  will not be in a position to take up their seats. Photograph: Hannah McKay

Ireland’s allocation of two extra MEP seats cannot be activated until after UK exits EU

Minster for Justice Charlie Flanagan reportedly told colleagues at a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting Minister for Transport Shane  Ross (pictured) had his “foot on my neck” over the Bill. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fine Gael is under considerable pressure from Independent Alliance Minister to complete Bill

In an interview with the media over Christmas, Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar suggested a reshuffle would take place after the local and European elections. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Varadkar ‘minded’ to make extensive changes to ministerial posts in June or July

Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners Niall Cody told the Oireachtas committee there would be “significant change” if there was a hard Brexit. Photograph: Alan Betson

Study in 2016 in wake of British vote found serious challenges for Irish customs

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government denies it tried to hide the need to retest 6,000 women for cervical cancer

Sinn FéinŽleader Mary Lou McDonald. Cllr Úna D’Arcy said: ‘I love Mary Lou to bits.’ File photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Westmeath representative does not intend to join Peadar Tóibín’s group despite close ties

It feels like 100 years since the Brexit referendum of 2016

British proposal for a bilateral treaty with Ireland to supersede backstop is quickly rejected

Minister for Health Simon Harris said patients and service providers should be able to enter a premises without fear of intimidation or harassment, he said. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister says existing protections in place for workers under other laws

Senator Gerard Craughwell: “We intend to debate it for another 70 hours at least, and that’s before the legislation gets to report stage.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Group committed to debating Bill at length at committee stage to block its enactment

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar receiving a birthday cake on his 40th from DCU students and staff on Friday. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Screening of ‘Strictly Ballroom’, music and finger food at private party at Dublin venue

UK prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Downing Street dismisses reports it wanted bilateral alternative to backstop

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney: Both roundly rejected  British suggestions of a bilateral treaty  to avoid a Border backstop. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Bilateral treaty envisaged both governments bypassing EU for deal on invisible border

The transport sector is one of the big two emitters of greenhouse gases along with agriculture, and emissions have been increasing in recent years.  Photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Transport Shane Ross attributes underspend to delay in getting projects set up

Seán Kyne TD. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Chief Whip announces only six priority Bills to be published in spring session

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar listens as a tour guide explains the artwork in the all-male St Mary’s Monastery in Axum, Ethiopia. Photograph: Harry McGee

In Ethiopia Taoiseach says it is appropriate to respect customs of different cultures

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visits  some of the stores in the redistribution centre in the Mai Aini refugee centre in Northern Ethiopia. Photograph: Harry McGee

Biggest political mistake is to be dismissive of with migration concerns – Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets school children in Kawaneet, Ethiopia. Photograph: Harry McGee

Taoiseach says money on Irish Aid is being ‘well spent’

Theresa May speaking during prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons in London on January 9th. Photograph: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA Wire

UK parliament forces prime minister to quickly present ‘plan B’ if withdrawal deal rejected

Taoiseach Leo Varadkarand his Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed, stand for the national anthem during his official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on  January 9th Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Taoiseach met with Ethiopian prime minister, president during official visit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stands for the national anthem during his official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

Taoiseach says weekend strike would have affected far fewer patients

Locked gates at Stormont Buildings in Co Down, east of Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

DUP denounces move by British government as ‘cosmetic and meaningless’

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

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, and trainer Sgt John Maloney watch local soldiers undergo training manoeuvre at a training camp in Mali. Photograph: Harry McGee

Defence Forces in Koulikoro helping locals deal with climate change and rising population

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May on the BBC’s “The Andrew Marr Show”: said she would work to secure further assurances from EU leaders on the backstop to assuage members of her Conservative Party and the DUP. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout

DUP calls backstop ‘poison’ amid efforts to end Brexit impasse over likely duration

File photograph of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, chief of staff of the Defence Forces, who are visiting Mali. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach begins week-long visit to Africa in Mali

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has praised British prime minister Theresa May’s latest comments on the Irish Border. File photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Taoiseach responds after British PM calls for actions to avoid hard Border post-Brexit

Organ donation legislation was brought back on the public agenda recently because of a documentary on the experience of  campaigner Orla Tinsely as she awaited, and then received, a double lung transplant in New York. Photograph: Alan Betson

Proposal to come before Cabinet in first quarter of the year, 12 years after first recommended

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was one of the public figures who welcomed the introduction of the new abortion services. However Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign said voters were lied to every step of the way during the referendum campaign by abortion supporters. Photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Department of Health and HSE websites updated to carry details on available services

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: promised his supporters in the parliamentary party who expected promotion he would carry out bigger  changes in  next reshuffle.  Photograph:  Tom Honan/PA

Eoghan Murphy and Simon Harris may be among Ministers to be reassigned portfolios

A poster highlighting homelessness in Dublin city centre in December. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach concedes big challenges remain but argues real progress has been made

Mark Killilea Photograph: Handout

Tuam native represented Galway in the Seanad, Dáil and European Parliament

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already carried out two mini reshuffles following the resignations of Frances Fitzgerald and  Denis Naughten. Photograph: The Irish Times

‘The logical time to reshuffle the Cabinet is after the Local and European elections’

Changes to the 1956 gambling Act will include the burgeoning area of online gaming.

Rapidly changing industry: Independent regulator to employ up to 100 people

 Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

Ban on unnecessary use of plastic will extend to all State agencies, hospitals and schools

‘Eksund’ captain Adrian Hopkins, claimed after his arrest that the arms on board the vessel “were actually loaded in Libya”.

Libyan foreign minister snubbed Irish diplomat in Tripoli in wake of ‘Eksund’ incident

Taoiseach Charles Haughey welcoming French president Francois Mitterrand at Dublin Airport in February 1988.

Former taoiseach sought red carpet for Abbeville lawn from Aer Rianta

 Ian Paisley and  James Molyneaux in Derry: Molyneaux, a diffident and taciturn figure, was ultimately not able or not willing to hold a direct meeting with Haughey. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Molyneaux’s UUP and Paisley’s DUP had boycotted the Anglo-Irish Agreement

The Birmingham Six after their release in London in 1991, with Chris Mullin (centre, with scarf) outside the Old Bailey. File photograph: Joe St Leger

Haughey’s request for clemency for the six men in 1988 was rebuffed by Thatcher

The close collaboration between Charles Haughey (left) and financier Dermot Desmond (right) in marketing the IFSC is disclosed in Department of the Taoiseach documents released under the 30-year rule.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

A huge emphasis was placed on the IFSC by Haughey after he returned as taoiseach in 1987

File photo from September 1994 of former priest Patrick Ryan whose extradition to the UK had been sought by Margaret Thatcher’s government. Photograph: Martin McCullough/PA Wire

Taoiseach complained of PM’s ‘constant bickering’ after Fr Patrick Ryan arrest

John Bruton, seen here with taoiseach  Garret FitzGerald, warned of “serious emerging excesses”. Photograph: Pat Langan

How a former taoiseach’s efforts to save the Dublin cafe chain led to a row with a minister

The National Archives on Bishop Street where State papers for 1988  have been released under the 30-year rule. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Official files from 1988 are being released under 30-year rule

Mairéad Farrell: one of the three members of an IRA active service unit, shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar. Photograph: Pacemaker

State Papers show Fianna Fáil government had misgivings about inquest’s limited mandate

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