Former tanaistí Mary Harney, Joan Burton, Mary Coughlan and Frances Fitzgerald at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin on Wednesday evening. Photograph: Dave Meehan

FF’s backbench baritone pleads with leader to abandon confidence-and-supply deal

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: Brexit made him do it.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

If not for the sake of baby Brexit, he would be out of the relationship in a heartbeat

Investigative journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Brexiteer tells reporters in Loughinisland case he will leave (almost) no stone unturned

 Senator Ronán Mullen (left) said any organisation collecting outside a church which had advocated a Yes vote in the abortion referendum should ‘be told, in a nice way, where to go’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Mattie McGrath blew a gasket at suggestions he might have been filibustering

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

Diary clashes saw the Treeseach miss the festive tradition after non-existent concert meal

“Kerry TD John Brassil shouted ‘Trigger’s broom!’ Nobody had the foggiest idea why.” Above, Only Fools and Horses

TDs discuss broadband consortium that altered composition but is somehow not new

The Taoiseach went after the doughnuts - not the sugary confections filed under “comestibles” but the sugary confections filed under “communications”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Questions over photographs of aspiring TDs clustering around a Minister in the hope of electoral jamminess rubbing off

Leo Varadkar and Denis Naughten: The Taoiseach was more interested in the really good bits of the report he commissioned in the wake of Naughten’s resignation as minister for communications. Photograph: Sam Boal/

The consortium bidding on the broadband plan is different but the same, says Varadkar

 Boris Johnson delivers his speech during the DUP annual conference  in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/ Getty Images

Nothing would make them happier than to receive a Jacob Rees-Mogg doll for Christmas

Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer was accused by Fianna Fáil senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee of using “misogynistic” and “gendered” language towards her.

Male politicians react smugly as woman senator overreacts to routine sideswipe

Senator Paudie Coffey at the Four Courts on Wednesday for the second day of his High Court action against Iconic Newspapers, publishers of the ‘Kilkenny People’. Photograph: Collins Courts

Paudie Coffey suing newspaper over comparison with 18th-century thief William Crotty

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste should not be ‘harbingers of doom’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The Sinn Féin leader defended her seat at the group photo celebrating women of the Dáil

 An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  addresses the delegates. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Going forward was thrust forward quite a lot in a speech which was not backward about coming forward

Minister for Transport Shane Ross complained that “Law Library insiders” were trying to derail the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Filibustering senators debate dogs and drugs instead of judicial appointments

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar at a press conference on Brexit in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

In an uncommon moment of Irish political solidarity, all sides zip it to give May space

As she faced the Taoiseach during Leaders’ Questions, Ruth Coppinger tugged at her white cuff, pulled a thong from inside her sleeve and held it up for all to see.

Solidarity TD records Irish parliamentary first by producing thong during Dáil sitting

 President Michael D Higgins at the beginning of the presidential inauguration ceremony at Dublin Castle on Sunday. Photograph: Maxwells

Smiles all round on a special night as the President shows how lucky we are to have him

The Green Party’s Catherine Martin made quiet history on Thursday by becoming the first woman TD to speak in the House of Commons

Meanwhile, Catherine Martin shows she has the Commons touch during historic speech

Shrewd: Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Agriculture changes the tune but Opposition still refusing to buy it

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald: ‘I think it says everything about you that when your competence in the discharge of your duties is questioned, you lash out.’ Image: Oireachtas TV

Varadkar and McDonald savage each other over Border during Leaders’ Questions

 President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina after last weekend’s result was announced. Photograph: Tom Honan

President Higgins received a warm letter of congratulations but did Brazil's Bolsonaro?

Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina arrive at Dublin Castle for the count. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Airwaves buzzed with talk about the man who came a distant second, and how Casey might shake up Ireland

Minister of State Kevin “Boxer” Moran, who as groom “Butty” Moran is getting “married” in a charity fundraiser

Kevin ‘Butty’ Moran’s (first) wife seems quite pleased to have him taken off her hands

Canvassers promoting a Yes vote for the upcoming referendum on blasphemy, in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Apart from Brendan Howlin urging a Yes vote, not many Deputies seemed to care

Presidential candidates Senator Joan Freeman, MEP Liadh Ní Riada, President Michael D Higgins, Seán Gallagher, Peter Casey and Gavin Duffy ahead of the debate on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time’. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Viewers of RTÉ presidential debate got an even-handed free for all

Mattie “I’m partial to a slice of hot buttered toast’” McGrath was in the canteen, gloomily looking at the chicken Caesar wraps. Photograph:  Eric Luke

‘Irish Times’ sparks Brussels spat, political women booked and Casey Traveller remarks

Peter Casey arriving at Virgin Media One studios prior to Wednesday’s debate Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

It is lowest common denominator stuff, but Casey knows exactly what he is doing

Frances Fitzgerald – the woman who would be vindicated. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

No apologies for Frances Fitzgerald and no women for new ministerial appointments

Denis Naughten: to his credit, he quickly stepped down from his Cabinet post. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ministers and billionaires are meant to be smart. What were Naughten and McCourt thinking?

Minister for Communication Denis Naughten’s protestations that he didn’t stay for lunch brought lovely memories flooding back of the Mahon tribunal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Frustrated Fianna Fáil chief Micheál Martin resorts to . . . Jack Nicholson impression

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue is seen at the Budget 2019 press conference in Dublin Photograph:James Forde

Head count of five in Dáil bar before the speech proves budget is no longer box office

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith: knew what Leo was going to say even before he stopped himself saying it. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Leo knew he was about to put his foot in it on housing, so he put his mouth in reverse

Fr Peter McVerry with his dog Tiny at the  Raise the Roof housing rights protest outside Leinster House. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

For TDs, 10,000 protesters outside Dáil bring housing crisis uncomfortably close to home

Gavin Duffy: could emerge as a middle-of-the-road candidate. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The candidate has dramatically unveiled himself as the country’s nuclear option

 Presidential candidate Peter Casey following a presidential radio debate at RTÉ Radio studios, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

But which of the chasers can take advantage of chinks in the presidential armour?

Presidential election candidates in RTÉ studio with presenter Áine Lawlor. Photograph: Julien  Behal

Lovely visions unfurl at RTÉ as election debating starts without Higgins and Gallagher

The launch of President Michael D Higgins’s election campaign on Wednesday, at his campaign headquarters on Lord Edward Street, near Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

After witnessing the 77-year-old you’d be afraid for the other five

The money for the Christmas bonus will be found – but only after much effort on the Government’s part, it has to be said. And it was. Photograph: iStock

Kite-flying isn’t what it used to be. This one flew for barely a day

 President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, the National Ploughing Association director Anna May McHugh,  and chairman of the National Ploughing Association, Denis Keohane. Photograph: Tom Honan

President helps Germans find Donaghmede while Madigan shows off her Hochdeutsch

Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson

Deputies are stuck in Ploughing-related tailbacks as they return from summer break

Into battle: Michael D Higgins at the first day of  the National Ploughing Championships at Screggan in Co Offaly. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

President’s ploughing championship visit leaves challengers with ground to make up

Simon Coveney and his family greet the pope at Dublin Airport, following a last-minute deal with Simon's daughter Annalise. Photograph: EPA

Coveney inundated with cat offers after bribing daughter (5) to greet the pope

 Norma Burke aka Bunty Twuntingdon McFluff at City Hall. “I did this because I got so angry listening to people who want to be candidates but haven’t read the constitutional requirements for the job,” she said. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Councillors driven round the bend as candidate selection process goes off the rails

Stephen and Irene Teap with their two children Noah (3) and Oscar (5). Irene died last year, having received incorrect cervical cancer screening results. Photograph courtesy of Stephen Teap

Scally has shown up a noxious current in Irish medicine in all its arrogant swagger

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin with Anne Rabbitte, Fiona O’Loughlin, Lorraine Clifford-Lee, Catherine Ardagh and Lisa Chambers in Malahide, Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In Malahide, a wide-eyed Micheál Martin berated Fine Gael for inventing political spin

 Different times: Pope Francis arrives at the Phoenix Park for Mass on Sunday. Photograph:  Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Hugely anticipated visit of Pope Francis to Ireland did not attract the expected numbers

A child during the World Meeting of Families closing Mass in the Phoenix Park. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

All smiles and plundering flowers, it was magnificent – for those who wanted to be there

 Pope Francis shakes hands with Katherine Zappone, Minister  for Children and Youth Affairs, at a reception at Áras an Uachtaráin  in Dublin. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Minister addresses him in the language of her forebears and Francis replies in English

Kevin Sharkey and others at Carlow County Council meeting: “Ireland should come first – that’s not to exclude anyone, that just makes common sense.”  Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Potential presidential candidates display their stalls to polite Carlovian councillors

President Michael D Higgins: still  doing what he has to do, even if journalists will be turning up in increasing numbers at his public events. Photograph: Inpho/Tommy Dickson

RDS was hopping with champagne, spice bags and tarot cards as President bides his time

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

Gavin Duffy happy to get into any enclosure to press the flesh

Photographic Genius Award: Fianna Fail’s Waterford TD Mary Butler got 31 colleagues, mostly TDs, to pose together for a photograph on Merrion Square to signal support for the No campaign in the abortion referendum. Photograph: Fianna Fáil

Plus: ‘Make Ireland late again’ – Why I’m running for office of Uachtaráin na hÉireann

Minister for Education Richard Bruton and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy make their way back from Derrynane beach in Kerry following a Cabinet meeting in Derrynane House. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Cabinet made to wait for emancipation in Daniel O’Connell’s former home

Senator Terry Leyden finally got the memo.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FF veteran goes from opposing to supporting Frances Black’s Bill, but Coveney’s not happy

 Prince Harry and  Meghan Markle with  President Michael Higgins  and his wife, Sabina, with  Bród and Siodá, Michael D’s Bernese Mountain dogs. Photograph: Getty Images

Newly wed prince and actress princess unleash waves of unbridled enthusiasm

The duchess and duke of Sussex with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as they arrive at Government Buildings during their visit to Dublin. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Sparse Dáil attendance as Deputies prepare to party with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

A supporter of Colombia reacts after the penalty shootout of the FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16  match against England in Moscow. Sinn Féin TDs and Senators were supporting the South American side in the Dáil bar this week

Sinn Féin supports Colombia with gusto as Leo faces penalties over his US remarks

For all his media savvy, when meeting a group of media savvy young people, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar didn’t think his remarks would get out. File photograph: PA

When a politician says a journalist isn’t interested in the truth it’s usually because that politician can’t handle the truth

The Tánaiste took a swipe at Mary Lou McDonald (above) during Leaders’ Questions, calling out Sinn Féin for showing no interest after the last election when the country needed a government: “At least Fianna Fáil engaged.” File photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Do you feel wanted this morning,’ Simon asks Mary Lou in one of the weirder moments

From here to maternity: Minister for Health Simon Harris was spreading his own good news at his Fine Gael party’s summer night out this week. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Harris breaks news of wife’s pregnancy while Fine Gael colleagues hit Harcourt Street

There was no sign of Independent Tipperary TD Michael Lowry in the Dáil on the day after he and his company were fined a total of €25,000. Photograph: Collins Courts

A Moriartyesque state of affairs as the Independent TD stays away from questions

26/06/2018 - NEWS -Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, speaking to media responding to comments made by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, in Dublin.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish TimesPhotograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Having a Minister for Culture say ‘I never claimed I said Mass’ is not what you expect

Helen McEntee, Eamon Mallie, Noel Murphy, Leo Varadkar, Katherine Zappone and Declan McGrath pose in front of Murphy’s portrait of all the women members of the Oireachtas.

Painting of all female members of Oireachtas marks centenary of women’s suffrage

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten at the launch of “Empowering Communities for Climate Action” on Wednesday. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Apologies abound as Leo says mea culpa to the people of West Belfast for tweet that insulted the wrong people

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar marking  25 years since Ireland decriminalised homosexuality. Photograph: PA

David Norris heralded in Dáil and Seanad as State apologises for treatment of gay people

When the huge poster was unveiled on Tuesday, Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin posed happily beside it.  Photograph: Cate McCurry/PA Wire

Attack ad the latest bout in sparring match between two south Dublin private schoolboys

Leo Varadkar: “We have much more to do and it’s going to take many more years”

No cakewalk for Taoiseach at Leaders’ Questions as TDs queue to burst his balloon

“Leo feels at home in this territory – where he speaks above the heads of politicians in the Dáil chamber and directly to middle Ireland.” Photograph: DominicWire

Procedure involves monitoring movements of top medics using the latest equipment

Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris at the Phoenix Park. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

The pair, tied together since the referendum, present food for thought in the Phoenix Park

Rising Social Democrats star Sinéad Gibney with comedian Des Bishop and Catherine Murphy TD.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil casts an envious eye over Social Democrat talent

Richard Boyd-Barrett: When he brought the story closer to home, the TDs in the chamber looked and listened with a mixture of upset and concern. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The adoption scandal is the latest in a relentless stream of dispiriting episodes

Clare Daly, the Independents4Change deputy from Dublin Fingal, has been the most compelling voice of recent times in Dáil Éireann in the fight for abortion rights.

Emotional Independents4Change Deputy tells TDs it was public who led on abortion

A single rose is held aloft at Dublin Castle as the crowd gathered to celebrate the Yes vote. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Cheers and tears greeted the verdict – a just reward for decades fighting the good fight

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina casting their votes in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment at St Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Suffocating old certainties, unrepresentative lobby groups and celibate clerics swept aside

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has voiced his support for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, saying that the proposed legislation, “in no way represents abortion on demand”

International media arrive in Dublin as photocalls and press conferences wind down

‘The Fianna Fáil TDs who are not backing their leader Micheál Martin’s position sat stony-faced. Not a peep out of one of them’

Not a peep from retainers as Varadkar calls their bluff over concern for hard cases

Danny Healy Rae: insists he’s got nothing against winged creatures. Or hedges.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Kerry TD reckons it’s okay to cut hedgerows, as birds are too smart to nest by busy roads

Vicky Phelan arriving at the Dáil prior to her appearance before the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Vicky Phelan tells Public Accounts Committee she does not want to die in vain

Referendum posters advocating Yes and No outside  Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Getty Images

Flying column arrives outside the Dáil just in time for Leaders’ Questions

Men of the Week: members of Waterford City and County Council who stood for a group photograph to highlight their support for a No vote in the referendum. Photograph:  Darren Skelton/Waterford News & Star.

Healy-Raes exhaust patience over driving Bill, Kenny to be named European of the Year

Mattie McGrath:  “I’m asking you, Taoiseach, to have some accountability for your Ministers”

Taoiseach allowing Minister for Health to cavort with people from Amnesty – McGrath

Canny time-hogging strategies by rural TDs a feature of grab-a-number speaker system

Bertie Ahern: will his achievements be eclipsed by his shortcomings? Photograph: David Sleator

The former taoiseach resigned 10 years ago this weekend. We assess his legacy

Former Fianna Fáil TD Noel O’Flynn who was honoured by being made a tribe leader last week in Kenya in recognition, according to Cork businessman Michael Mulcahy’s Facebook posting, of his support for businesses in the east Africa country. In case anyone was wondering, wrote Mulcahy in a post with this photograph, he did not know whether O’Flynn, when attending future events in Cork, would have to be addressed as Chief

‘If a boy gets himself into trouble, can he not take the morning-after pilsner?’

Leo Varadkar:  moved to reassure women whose smear tests returned a negative result that they should not worry that those results may not be accurate. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Taoiseach coincidentally surrounded by women as he addresses serious women’s issues

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right) and  Minister for Health Simon Harris: Taoiseach told the Dáil he is ‘very angry’  women were not told that following an audit of their tests it was discovered that pre-cancerous cells were not identified in  their first check. ‘I’m a Taoiseach, a doctor and also a brother with two sisters,’ he said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

All sides in the Dáil agreed the CervicalCheck and HSE response is unacceptable

Anybody But McDowell?: Shane Ross seems not to want Michael McDowell (above) to chair the Taoiseach’s committee to oversee the implementation of the Manning report on Seanad reform. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Miriam Lord on Shane Ross, strange alliances, and a lather of misplaced indignation

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “This is more fake news, I’m afraid. This time it was in ‘The Irish Times’, it was the ‘Irish Examiner’ earlier on in the week.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach tries to pin blame on media for reported dissent over judicial appointment

Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy holding up “Repeal the Eighth” posters in the Dáil on Tuesday. Image: Oireachtas TV.

Tánaiste denounces ‘stupid stunts’ as Solidarity/PBP TDs hold up images of mural

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten addresses the Dáil about claims in relation to Independent News & Media. Photograph: Oireachtas TV/PA Wire

Minister learns that everything remains private until corporate big boys fall out

“The reported data breaches [at INM] represent a very significant threat to the freedom of our press but the way in which the media have responded to this threat to date should reassure us that our press will not be silenced,” the Taoiseach told the Dáil.

Echoes of times past as party leaders proclaim unbridled love for the media

Simon Community team: members    served food and hot drinks to homeless people and rough sleepers during the recent snow. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Warm sausage rolls, cold war paranoia and ... the Ceann Comhairle interruption

Simon Harris then he made an interesting point about how the same people keep popping up all the time in all these different campaigns. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister for Health draws attention to false claims from previous referendum campaigns

'TDs may sneer all they like about dogs’ dinners, but sometimes you can’t help thinking that a lot more thought goes into the composition of food on Fido’s plate than into the composition of certain utterances and actions dished up in Leinster House.'

Give the Taoiseach a bowl of Winalot at the next election and he will bite the hand off you

Fiona O’Loughlin declared: “I am a bog woman and I’m very proud of it. I come from the heart of the Bog of Allen.”

Meanwhile, there was a crucial Grand Slam decider that didn’t go to plan in London

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae argued if the Eighth Amendment is repealed, unborn babies won’t stand a chance. Image: Oireachtas TV

Bill allowing referendum passes but significant minority don’t trust themselves

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar poses for selfies during the St Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue in New York.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Varadkar’s Doonbeg joke melted away as he paraded on the sunny side of the street

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is greeted by US vice-president Mike Pence and wife Karen at a breakfast event in Washington. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Smart money would have been on Trump saying something stupid. Instead he teed Leo up

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and US president Donald Trump shaking hands in the Oval Office of the White House. Photograph: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Talk of golf and Doonbeg may have landed the Taoiseach in a hole

A screen shot from Government video promoting Ireland.

Slick production tells US audience about the best of Ireland. ‘What about it?’ asks one viewer

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