Palestinian farmer Muna al-Taneeb with Irish Senator Frances Black outside Leinster House  for a vote on the occupied territories Bill. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/AP Images for Avaaz

The legislation would ban imports from illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attend the National Day of Commemoration ceremony at   Collins Barracks in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

President’s announcement that he will seek a second term opens up the bear pit

Shipping containers in Dublin Port. Photograph: Alan Betson

Simon Coveney claims extra measures will be required at Irish ports and airports

Senator and former attorney general Michael McDowell says he believes that aspects of the Bill are unconstitutional. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Legislation championed by Shane Ross has not concluded committee stage in the Seanad

Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson

Parties get funding for each TD and senator, while Independents get individual grants

Labour former minister Ben Bradshaw (bottom right) throws copies of the Brexit White Paper to colleagues as Brexit secretary Dominic Raab makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons. Photograph: PA Wire

Publication will ‘inject momentum’ into negotiations, Government hopes

Today is the final day of scheduled Dáil sittings for the term, with the House adjourning until Septemer 18th

Inside Politics: Some believe Fine Gael has been stringing out the legislative process as there is little enthusiasm in party for (...)

The Bill’s author, Independent Senator Frances Black, has called the settlements “a gross violation of international law”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ballot to ban Israeli goods from occupied Palestinian territories passes in Seanad

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the British government was moving to “what the majority of people are looking for - which is a sensible, soft Brexit.” File photograph: Cyril Byrne

British moving towards a ‘sensible, soft Brexit’, says Coveney

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: has clashed with Shane Ross on occasion. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Shane Ross wants reform of selection process as he believes bench is marred by ‘cronyism’

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan  resigned last year after controversies in the gardaí.  Photograph: The Irish Times

Ministers and commissioners have to resign or retire ‘even for issues not of their making’

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu: when the Bill was last tabled, he summoned the Irish Ambassador to Israel to hear his objections. Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty

Campaigners optimistic Frances Black Bill will pass when it reaches Seanad

British prime minister Theresa May: has she the political strength to follow through after the resignations? Few are  willing to say so with much confidence.  Photograph: Rick Findler

Intensifying Brexit negotiations likely to make May move further towards EU position

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. ‘Neither the Constitution nor political logic gives him the power to have his election while blaming someone else for it.’

Taoiseach’s damaging Trump comparison adds to Brexit and election misfires

British prime minister Theresa May hosts a meeting with her cabinet at Chequers to discuss Brexit. Photograph: Joel Rouse/MOD Crown Copyright

British ministers agree at Chequers summit to plans for a new EU-UK free trade area

Irish sources expressed concern that Theresa  May’s anticipated move would be unacceptable to Brussels. Photograph: Sean Gallup/EPA

Irish Government expects British prime minister to signal towards soft Brexit

In recent weeks NGO search and rescue activity has ceased in the Mediterranean under pressure from EU governments. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

EU operation helps return of migrants to risk of rape, slavery and murder, charity says

The referendum on the deletion of article 41.2 from the Constitution is likely to be held on October 25th. Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Poll likely to be held on day of blasphemy referendum and presidential election

‘LE Samuel Beckett’  is back on duty in the  Mediterranean in Operation Sophia. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/ Provision

Operation Sophia has made crossing the Mediterranean more deadly, says charity

Leo Varadkar arriving at the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels last week. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Taoiseach pilloried for ‘subservient’ attitude to EU during Dáil statements on summit

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: to meet  UK cabinet office minister David Lidington and chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond in London on Wednesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister set to emphasise Britain must deliver legally on December commitments

The exchequer figures show the Government collected just under €25 billion in taxes in the year to the end of June, which was 5 per cent up on last year and more than €168 million ahead of target. File photograph: Getty Images

Concerns grow over reliance on corporate sector, and health overspending

The Taoiseach is seeking to give himself the grounds for an autumn election. Photograph: Reuters

Inside Politics: Varadkar and Martin are circling one another over renewal of the confidence and supply agreement

The Sláintecare report recommends  reforms throughout the health service, including the complete separation of the public and private systems of healthcare. Photograph: Getty Images

There is nervousness in Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure about potential escalation of costs under the plan

 Super-junior Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath:  “I wouldn’t feel comfortable wining and dining there”

A number of politicians have declined invitations to a US embassy event in protest over Trump administration policies

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: rejected a charge that Fine Gael Ministers were “swaggering around the place”. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Senior Fianna Fáil figures believe Varadkar is keeping option of autumn election open

Online political ads: Who pays  and where they get the money is information citizens need if they are to be fully informed about the democratic processes.

Democracy of Irish voting needs laws to ensure transparency of digital influence

Some Ministers believe Fine Gael can gain between seven and 13 seats in the next general election

Senior Government sources say Taoiseach is eager to have general election this year

French president Emmanuel Macron greets Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a breakfast meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, on Friday. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/PA

Varadkar struggles to sound optimistic in Brussels while EU’s focus shifts to other matters

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “Some of these NGOs are doing great work, some aren’t up to much good, quite frankly.”  Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

EU summit resolves to increase aid to Africa and consider refugee reception centres

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks at the end of a night of negotiation on migration during an European Council summit in Brussels.Photograph: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Ireland will accept migrants to Europe as part of burden-sharing, says Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Helen McEntee, Minister of State for European Affairs, arrive at the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Bloc’s leaders warn Theresa May of the danger of the UK crashing out of the union

Micheál Martin: he said he had been clear since as early as last February that he wanted to pass a  third budget as committed to in the confidence and supply arrangement

Fianna Fáil leader claims the Taoiseach is trying to provoke him into an election

Leo Varadkar: “We’re two years telling people that it can’t be cherrypicking – it can’t be cake and eat it.” Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

Taoiseach warns that the EU could not compromise on fundamental principles of single market

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘If Belgium wins, England will probably get an easier ride in the next round. So perhaps it’s one of those win-win scenarios.’ Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuter

Taoiseach spoke to reporters on Fianna Fáil and football ahead of EU Brexit talks in Brussels

New Garda commissioner Drew Harris. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Government desperate to show it can pass Bills through Dail, says insider

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

No official comment from Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil or Labour on Lowry verdict

Simon Harris: he has insisted that all legal provisions to allow for abortion services will be in place by the end of the year

No mention of abortion Bill in list of 19 Bills Government is seeking to progress in next fortnight

The MV “Lifeline”, now moored off Malta, has 234 migrants who were rescued on June 20th including 14 women and four children younger than three years.   Photograph:  Felix Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Coveney says he told Malta that Ireland would take 10 per cent of the 234 migrants

Big test: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

There’s one force working against pledges to not repeat mistakes of the past: an election

“At the moment everything is driven by the chaos in London.” Britain’s prime minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Increasingly, the Government will have to ride two horses in the Brexit negotiations

Minister for Health Simon Harris said a clause has been included in the agreement to ensure contractual compliance by consultants, “in particular those relating to private practice”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Consultants had lodged breach of contract claims against HSE and the State

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the launch of Feile An Phobail at St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Friday June 8th, 2018. Photograph: Laura Hutton/PA Wire

Inside Politics: We have become used to Varadkar as Taoiseach now, so it’s easy forget how novel he was

Seamus Coffey: will brief TDs and Senators on the advisory council’s budget warnings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fiscal Advisory Council to recommend paying down debt and making economy resilient

The cases are due in court this week. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Private investigators were used to monitor individual doctors’ hours, it has been reported

Leo Varadkar: ‘The deadline is October and I do think it is possible between now and October for us to finalise and negotiate that withdrawal agreement.’ File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Leo Varadkar says Brexit talks should continue despite the lack of progress on the issue

 Leo Varadkar is expected to frame the plan as part of Ireland’s response to Brexit. Photograph: EPA/Paul McErlane

Increased promotion of Irish arts and culture abroad will form a key part of the plan

 Mary Lou Mc Donald voting at St Joseph’s, Navan Road: her intentions are clear – a coalition with Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

McDonald may have her moment but competition between FG and FF will remain key

Pro-Life Campaign spokeswoman Caroline Simons says the result of the referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment does not mean the Government is obliged to legislate for unrestricted abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Pro-Life Campaign says there is no need for Government to legislate for abortion up to 12 weeks

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis (right), with international trade secretary Liam Fox outside 10 Downing Street on Thursday. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

UK wants a permanent solution to the issue to be included in its withdrawal agreement

Observers of Theresa May’s management of Brexit might raise some questions about the details and progress made. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool/EPA

Amid much political huffing and puffing, the latest Brexit ‘plan’ leaves many unsure

President Michael D Higgins: cannot sign the referendum result into law – therefore amending the Constitution – until the legal process has been exhausted. Photograph: Eric Luke

Concluding all possible legal avenues by early July will be extremely difficult

Criminal lawyer Tara Burns, currently counsel to the former Garda press officer Dave Taylor at the Disclosures Tribunal, has been nominated for appointment to the High Court.  Photograph: Collins Courts

Three new Court of Appeal judges and one High Court judge named

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has been increasing pressure on London to propose more concrete solutions in time for the summit. Photograph: EPA/BALAZS MOHAI

Irish officials expect new British proposals on Border this week

Mary Lou McDonald said that she expected to talk to both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael about forming a government. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Party expects to open negotiations on coalition deal after next election

On a roll: Mary Lou McDonald at the RDS during the abortion referendum count. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Abortion question, bullying allegations and intolerance of dissent could cause problems

Shane Ross  has frequently held up appointments because he wants to see new laws governing judicial appointments introduced. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Shane Ross declined to say if he would assent to new appointments to Court of Appeal

The Villa Spada, the Irish embassy in Rome. Derek Hannon is to replace Emma Madigan as teh new ambassador to the Holy See in the Vatican.

Mumbai, New Zealand and Jordan among new diplomatic missions to be established

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: ordered a review of how rape cases were conducted following Belfast trial. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Justice says proposal complicated by nature of Ireland’s trial process

The HSE has told the department that overspending is a result of the January trolley crisis and additional pressure on hospitals, especially from older patients

HSE overspending understood to have reached €100m for first quarter of year alone

Minister for Health Simon Harris is expected to table the Bill in early July and the first debate is likely to take place before the Dáil rises for the summer recess. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

‘Disability is not a ground for abortion under the draft law and will not become one’

Simon Harris is among the politicians who have benefited from the abortion referendum campaign. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The referendum has not changed the world, but it has created opportunities for women

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall  said an implementation plan had been promised in December, then by Easter, then at the end of May, but it had not yet materialised.

Sláintecare report was published one year ago but has still not been implemented

 Health committee chairwoman Róisín Shortall TD with health committee members during the launch of the Sláintecare report.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Report contains clear path for implementation

Taoiseach: January at the earliest for introduction of abortion service. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Taoiseach says it will be January at the earliest before abortion service is in place

Minister for Health Simon Harris.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Government lays out timetable for implementation of referendum result

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said she was ‘keenly aware that many of those affected have no idea that the people they regarded as their parents were not in fact their birth parents’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Those affected, between 1946 and 1969, had adoptive parents wrongly registered as birth parents

Former  minister for finance Michael Noonan who had not declared his position: “We’ll see what is in the Bill but my general disposition would be to support what is being proposed by the Government.” Photograph: Eric Luke

General reason given for post-result support is they accept democratic will of the people

Leo Varadkar (left),  Catherine Noone and Simon Harris: both Mr Varadkar and Mr Harris are eager to move quickly on the new legislation. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Legislation unlikely to come before Oireachtas until the autumn

“Doctors, or a majority of them, had swung, too, against the Eighth, and the public always looks to experts in such circumstances.” Above, Peter Boylan during the count. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Undecideds swung in huge numbers to Yes, as politicians struggled to keep up with pace of change

Repeal supporters at Dublin’s RDS wait for the start of the count. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inside Politics: The margin of the result will mean few TDs will oppose the legislation

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar casts his vote at Scoil Thomáis, Castleknock: as well as dealing with the result, the Government has many other pressing issues  to resolve.  Photograph Niall Carson/PA Wire

Brexit, budget, confidence-and-supply deal and health all need serious attention

A member of the public holding a Yes placard in Fairview, Dublin as Ireland voted in the abortion referendum. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Exit poll result suggests huge majority of younger people voted Yes

Voters at a polling station in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Voters interviewed throughout day for ‘Irish Times’ exit poll

Presiding officer Carmel McBride and Garda Alan Gallagher carry the polling box on Thursday on  Inishbofin. Photograph:   Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty

Both sides issue final appeals to 3.2m voters after long, divisive campaign

Turnout for the same-sex marriage referendum in 2015 was 61 per cent but for the children’s rights referendum in 2012 it was 34 per cent

Younger people tend to be poorer at turning out on election day, as does rural Ireland

 Minister for Health Simon Harris speaking  at a Together for Yes billboard launch in Dublin, ahead of the referendum. Photograph:   Niall Carson/PA Wire

Harris confident Oireachtas will support the law because ‘nobody has any alternative’

Pat Kenny: bossed  studio guests and  audience  with  customary authority

Acrimony and personal antipathy that has bubbled under the surface emerged in flashes

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar canvassing for a Yes vote in Tullamore, Co Offaly, with Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Kathleen Harris

Some FF TDs say different amendment could allow for abortion in more limited circumstances

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín who has broken ranks with his party on the issue of abortion.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Broadcast followed row between RTÉ and the No side over who should represent it in debate

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan told Ministers there was a substantial and continuing threat from republican dissident groups in particular. Photograph: Alan Betson

Flanagan seeks Cabinet approval for renewal of Act to grant special powers to Garda


Turnout crucial to outcome of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment

The opposing sides in the abortion referendum campaign are preparing for an intense run-in with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar emphasising that the result of Friday’s vote will be a “once in a generation decision”. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

No campaign targets politicians and tells voters ‘send them back for something better’

Campaigning for a Yes vote on Dublin’s Grafton Street. A Yes result would  reinforce the image of Varadkar as a young, liberal, progressive leader. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

A Yes vote will alter the political landscape; a No vote could upend it

President Michael D Higgins: running in the presidential election of 2011,  he said he would only serve  one term

President has not yet formally indicated if he intends to seek second term

Minister for Health Simon Harris  and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  poll results suggest they are being held responsible for the cervical cancer screening scandal. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Blame for the cervical cancer screening scandal is seeping towards politicians

Brexit Vlad

Better-off voters more likely to approve of Government performance on issue,

New legal actions heap pressure on response to CervicalCheck controversy

 No campaign supporters hold placards aloft during a  rally  in Dublin last weekend. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Campaigners will take heart from late swings of recent referendums

Inside Politics: The last week of campaigning will be intense and decisive

The latest ‘Irish Times’/Ipsos MRBI poll finds once the undecideds and those who will not vote are excluded, the Yes side leads by 58 per cent to 42 per cent

Anti-abortion campaigners need acceleration of change to secure majority on May 25th

We would be wise, always, to realise what polls cannot tell us, as much as what they can tell us

Analysis: Margin in Irish referendums always contracts as campaign proceeds

“We have laid out what we think is the most important part of the Government’s proposals,” says spokesman for the Save the Eighth group, John McGuirk

Booklet warns unborn babies will have no rights, ‘and you will never have a say on this again’

Lawyer and Iona Institute spokeswoman Maria Steen was the best performer on RTÉ’s referendum debate on Monday night

Big viewer numbers for RTÉ referendum debate make it a good night for anti-Repealers

Yes campaign: repealers have taken a softly-softly approach to their pitch to the middle ground.  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Analysis: Tonight’s RTÉ debate a chance for anti-abortion groups to influence swing voters

British prime minister Theresa May. Irish support for her “customs partnership” proposal will be forthcoming only if she faces down the hard Brexiteers in her cabinet. Photograph: Tolga Akmentolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland is likely to support UK proposal at EU summit

 Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: must fight and decisively win the battle within her own government that she has been avoiding for the past 18 months. Photograph:  PRU/AFP/Getty

Rolling controversy poses obvious personal danger to former minister for health: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

The Taoiseach has dealt with Dáil questions “as a doctor and as a brother”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Even Taoiseach’s friends wouldn’t say he suffers from excess of empathy

Facebook: The social media giant banned all foreign-financed and sourced ads relating to the referendum on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Social media giant will not follow Google’s lead with wider ban; Twitter says it has not seen any attempts to manipulate platform (...)

 Google said its decision was part of its “election integrity” efforts but declined to elaborate or to explain the decision further. Photograph: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

Surprise move deprives anti-abortion campaigners of key strategic element

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