Asked how he would describe the consequences of a hard Brexit, Enda Kenny replied “potentially catastrophic”.  Photograph: Barbara Lindberg.

Former taoiseach tells New York audience UK has not drafted trade deals for 40 years

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will brief Ministers about the Government’s response to the tracker mortgage scandal at a Cabinet meeting. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Mood hardens in Government circles in favour of sanctions against lenders

Voting on the pro-choice motion on abortion at the Fianna Fáil ardfheis earlier this month, in the RDS. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Referendum will depend on what Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil agree between them

Leo Varadkar clashed with Macron in the council discussion over a potential digital tax, a proposal yet to be formulated by the Commission, but one much desired by the French. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Leo Varadkar, a political nerd before he became a politician, is in his element

The Irish Government fears that changes to EU rules would mean US tech companies paying less tax in Ireland and more in other EU countries. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/ AP

Taoiseach says he will miss Theresa May’s support when the UK leaves the EU

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was unwilling to echo more apocalyptic language used by  Commissioner Phil Hogan  warning that the EU is on a cliff edge.  Photograph: REUTERS/Eric Vidal

‘If UK is leaving the EU, it is incumbent on them to put forward detailed proposals’

Leo Varadkar     in Brussels on Thursday: “The position of Ireland.. is that if we are going to do anything on digital taxation, we should do it on an international basis through the OECD.” Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Draft conclusions of meeting urge EU to ensure all companies pay fair share of taxes

Leo Varadkar  in Brussels, on Thursday: “A customs union is a little bit like a marriage, if you want to put it that way. And once you’re committed to a marriage, you’re committed to it,” he said. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Most people in North are likely to seek to remain European citizens ‘for the convenience’

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: says pace of “divorce” talks inadequate. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Simon Coveney welcomes ‘very strong language on Ireland’ in EU summit documents

The constitutional ban on abortion is “unworkable” because of online access to abortion pills, Peter Boylan, the former master of Holles St and chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Ireland, will tell the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The constitutional ban on abortion is ‘unworkable’, Prof Boylan will tell the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment on Wedn(...)

People familiar with the  Brexit negotiations in Brussels tell me that political instability in London and Franco-German impatience with it are a growing negative dynamic at the talks

The implosion of the British political elite has pretty hairy consequences for Ireland

Micheál Martin: he dominates Fianna Fáil but does not control it absolutely. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Analysis: Growing expectation in Fine Gael that Martin will manoeuvre election early in 2018

Demonstrators fly a European Union flag and a Union Jack outside  the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London,  October 12th, 2017. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Latest round of talks end with no sign of progress hoped for after May’s Florence speech

Paschal Donohoe: a realist and a quick learner. Photograph: Collins

Inside Politics: Minister’s savvy budget draws grudging admiration around Leinster House

Each option has uncertainties and pitfalls, says committee’s legal adviser Nuala Butler

The option of replacing the Eighth Amendment with a constitutional provision which allowed for abortion in specified circumstances would be “likely to prove very difficult”, as grounds such as rape or fatal foetal abnormality would present “practical problems arising as to how they should be established and to whose satisfaction”. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Rotunda master says woman died flying home due to termination complications

Dr Bela Ganatra and Dr Ronald Johnson of the  Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organisation, address the Oireachtas committee.

Rhona Mahony of NMH says Eighth Amendment creates ‘unacceptable clinical risk’

‘Paschal Donohoe had to make the numbers work, but Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wanted the politics to veer in his direction.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Budget 2018 has something for everyone and is bold in its revenue-raising measures

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the announcement of Budget 2018 in Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Coalition wanted to protect Budget 2018 tax hike from property industry pressure

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.  There will be increased staffing across the public sector to deal with Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Decrease in prescription charges set to form part of financial package worth about €1bn

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe:  the overall size of the package of new tax cuts and spending commitments  is expected to be about €1.1 billion to €1.2 billion. Photograph: Reuters

Threshold for higher rate of income tax could rise by €750 with significant State spend planned

Michael D Higgins: knows if he wants to serve a second term, he must have a purpose, a theme – a reason to be President. Photograph:  Ian Walton/Getty Images

The anti-austerity President has spoken. The 1916 centenary President has done his work. So what’s next?

President Michael D Higgins: said he would make his intentions known after next summer. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Most supporters of President want him returned to office without election campaign

“The religious orders still owe the taxpayer at least €150 million, on their own terms. And really, a lot more.” Photograph: iStock

Religious orders, some of whom fell short on redress pledges, will soon sell huge land holdings

“Spend more on building houses, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure” was nominated by 52% of voters. Photograph: Getty Images

Support for capital spending consistent among supporters of all parties

The Oireachtas committee on the eighth amendment  will advise the Government  what kind of referendum it favours, and what kind of legislation should accompany it. Photograph: Getty

Poll shows preference for limited abortion, despite Citizens’ Assembly recommendations

Less than a quarter of voters say  they are in favour of holding a referendum on allowing abortion in all circumstances up to 22 weeks.

Ipsos MRBI poll: Over half of voters would favour more limited version of referendum

A group of demonstrators opposed to contraception pictured outside Leinster House in July 1974.  Photograph: Tommy Collins

Northern violence and stagflation dominated the 1970s while official Ireland was monochrome and male

Former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, who has died at 97. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Death of former leader is always a signal moment in country’s development

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Almost half of voters  say they are satisfied with the way he  is doing his job, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fine Gael leads Fianna Fáil by two points with support up to 31%, Ipsos MRBI survey finds

Leo Varadkar: Budget 2018 gives the Taoiseach a megaphone to use on voters. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill A hefty 45 per cent say Leo Varadkar has had a positive impact, against just 14 per cent who view his impact negatively. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Analysis: Varadkar hits 49% approval rating, but voters still see his party the same way

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: also considering the old favourites of hiking excise on tobacco and alcohol. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Measure is one of several being mulled to offset budget tax cuts and spending increases

The Government has collected just over €35bn  in taxes so far this year, €212m  less than expected. The below-par performance was again down to income tax, which came in 1.4% or €188m below profile. Photograph: Getty Images

Donohoe will have to raise some taxes to meet Ministers’ demands for more spending

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission says  there should be access to abortion services “for reasons of a risk to the life, health or wellbeing of the woman, socio-economic or family circumstances, pregnancy due to rape or incest and in cases of fatal foetal abnormality”.

State human rights watchdog says abortion should be widely available

Increasing the threshold would diminish the amount of tax payable on inheritances, many of which are mainly comprised of the family home. Photograph: iStockPhoto

Budget committee calls for fiscal space to grow by €1bn by amending calculations

“Our thoughts in Ireland, and of the Irish in the United States, are with the people of Nevada and the United States at this tragic time.” Photograph: Getty Images

Coveney says he wished to express ‘my heartfelt condolences and those of the Irish people’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Paschal Donohoe: the Minister for Finance’s  polite yet firm nature will be tested to its limits this week, when the real talking begins. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Budget 2018 looms, but who is really in charge of the public purse strings?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: trying to strategically shape the landscape of political debate and competition to his advantage. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil is primary target of Fine Gael attacks on Sinn Féin

While the public faces of each campaign are careful to stress their respect for the other’s point of view, it is clear many campaigners on either side really, really dislike their opponents. Photograph: Alan Betson

Campaign will be a clash of moral absolutes, with each side convinced of the justice of its position

Fine Gael said it echoes the sentiments expressed by the chair of the Citizens’ Assembly, Ms Justice Laffoy. Photograph: Eric Luke

None favour implementing Assembly proposal to greatly increased access to abortion

Senator Catherine Noone, the chairwoman of the Oireachtas  committee on abortion, outside Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Eighth Amendment committee chairwoman calls for the Government to be ‘prudent’

The chairwoman of the all-party committee on the eighth amendment Senator Catherine Noone.

FG ministers believe only more restrictive abortion regime will pass

Pro-choice and anti-abortion protesters on O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Citizens’ Assembly proposals on the issue would not pass ‘party, Dáil or country’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: said any proposal to remove property rights involved taking things away from people. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach disputes claim constitutional protection prevented action on homelessness

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has previously indicated that he does not believe that proposals for a wide-ranging liberalisation of the law would be passed in a referendum.

Spokesman says Leo Varadkar needs to see proposals from all-party committee

Leo Varadkar is likely to raise some taxes to pay for a cut in the universal social charge. Photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Fianna Fáil is holding Leo Varadkar to a budget promise that could cost €100m

People will notice if Varadkar  is insufficiently enthusiastic in mounting a tractor or handling a farm implement while trudging through muck at a  ploughing match. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach is targeting economic interests of the lower middle class, and we’ll see that in the budget

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at a joint press conference  at 10 Downing Street in London on June 19th. Photograph: Philip Toscan/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach says ‘further clarity’ needed from the British prime minister

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said his Government believed in a “culture of aspiration” and wanted to help those who feel “they pay for everything but get little in return”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach stresses middle-income earners will see income tax reductions in budget

British Prime Minister Theresa May: hopes her keenly anticipated speech in Italy will help to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Deal would keep Britain in single market during period, while paying into EU budget

Theresa May: expected to signal a concession on the “divorce bill” promising that UK contributions to the EU budget will continue until 2020 at least. Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/Bloomberg

Government content with EU approach so far but anxious about slow pace of progress

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “When an economy is growing, we should balance the books and pay down our debt.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill /The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar says those who ‘pay for everything’ should see some improvements

 Horses  at the site  near Athenry in Co Galway  where Apple plans to build  a data centre. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government plans to change law to fast-track data centres

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: big challenges ahead. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Leo Varadkar has had a quiet start to his stint as Taoiseach – that's about to change

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: The Government needs  his party’s  agreement to abstain if it is to pass budget measures in the Dáil in three weeks’ time. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Confidence and supply agreement to reduce USC must be honoured, warns Martin

The Minister  has  secured Cabinet approval to refund 990,000 householders who paid   water levies before they were suspended last year. The refunds will cost €173m

Households will be charged for water if they use 70% more than average

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said both parties  have signed up to a reduction in USC and said it was not possible to do this and cut taxes in the next budget. Conor McCabe photography

Martin insists Varadkar stick to deal and fix housing crisis before beginning tax cuts

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings, Dublin, September 17th, 2017. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Idea that more money will fix health sector issues ‘really just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar photographed at Government Buildings, Dublin, September 17th, 2017. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Interview: Number one priority for Budget 2018 is to balance the books, says Taoiseach

 An astounding number of voters have been asked for their vote personally by the candidates, election studies show, and moreover, asking more voters for their vote increases a candidate’s chances of being elected. Photograph: Alan Betson

Public services may be the decisive battleground on which next election is fought

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the  Fine Gael think-in in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, ahead of the resumption of the Dáil next week.  Photograph:  PA Wire

Early days see directness and caution, and no striking out in any bold new direction

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  ahead of a group photograph at the Fine Gael parliamentary party think-in in  Clonmel, Co  Tipperary. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach’s think-in speech tackled Nama and the budget but left his vision to one side

Nama homes: the agency’s joint ventures are already scheduled to have built 20,000 homes by 2020. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Agency would raise finance, take planning role and work with developers

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will attend an Ecofin council meeting later this week where the EU’s economic future will be discussed. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

State supportive of banking and capital markets unions but wary of losing authority

The Independents, including John Halligan, claimed a great victory when Government agreed to a review of corporation tax. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The changing mood towards the State’s tax regime presents opportunities and dangers

The proposals for deepening economic and monetary union within the euro zone  were discussed by the Cabinet after a briefing from Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney

State could lose €4bn in taxes if corporate tax harmonisation is adopted, expert says

Apartment supply is the main concern when it comes to building costs, with house building seen as satisfactory by sources. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Government report sought industry group input, who say housing estates only marginally viable

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said health services in Ireland ‘have never had more resources available to them as they do now. Photograph: Collins

HSE faces a €300 million deficit but Minister says no extra funding will be made available

The scheme is part of a series of measures Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is bringing forward as the  crisis worsens. File photograph: Frank Miller

Loans in arrears to be bought from banks by private investors under Government plan

Nóirín O’Sullivan resigned unexpectedly from her role as garda commissioner on Sunday. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Commissioner’s decision to step down comes after three years dogged by controversies

Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan is stepping down but the next Garda scandal won’t be far away.

Apparently damning report from Policing Authority awaiting publication

‘If you had asked me to pick a single representative of the last government who best represented the views of conservative Christian Democracy, I would have reached for Leo Varadkar,’ Mr Howlin said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Labour leader challenges Taoiseach’s claims be part of a new European centrist politics

The Government’s ‘mantra’ that the €300 million shortfall in the HSE budget will be met by savings in the system by the end of the year is not ‘anyway sustainable’, Brendan Howlin said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Plans for tax cuts should be abandoned for investment in services - Labour leader tells think-in

Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Clear divisions between British and Irish governments on direct rule

A Union Jack and an EU flag fly outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. File photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

European Commission to publish its long-awaited Brexit paper on Ireland

Martti Ahtisaari delivering the Iveagh House lecture at the Department of Foreign Affairs in   Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari delivers lecture in Dublin

 Charlie Flanagan. he will also outline the contents of a report by the Policing Authority into the slow pace of reform in the Garda Síochána. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan will brief colleagues on two inquiries into Garda

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. It is understood that the package of policy measures will include the review of the Government’s housing plan, Rebuilding Ireland. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/

Eoghan Murphy hopeful of “scaling up” plans for permanent accommodation

“Events on Monday sharply illustrated how the housing and health issues have elbowed their way into the front of the Government’s agenda.” File photograph: Getty Images

Government insiders speak of Brexit but it is not on the political agenda in same way

A projection of Leo Varadkar’s personality: the Taoiseach competing in Dublin City Triathlon last weekend. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Pat Leahy: If Leo Varadkar won’t define himself, his opponents will do it for him

Sinn Féin’s northern leader Michelle O’Neill outside the party’s  headquarters in Belfast. The party has  rejected a DUP proposal for an an immediate restoration of the assembly in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan

Sinn Féin has dismissed a DUP proposal to restore a powersharing government

Irish ministers can speak Irish and have it translated at European meetings, but only with prior notice and in practice, few ever speak Irish. The Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada (above) has made a number of speeches in the European Parliament in Irish. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

High cost of Irish translation - almost twice average cost - has led to budget overruns

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson  on Monday proposed the abolishment of the US special envoy to Northern Ireland. Photograph: Reuters/Mike Theiler

Democrats say they will oppose the move, which would require congressional approval

Britain’s Brexit secretary, David Davis (left), and the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. Photograph: François Lenoir/Reuters

The ‘sooner we remove ambiguity’ the better, Michel Barnier tells David Davis

 Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams: is the party starting a move on coalition? Photograph: Eric Luke

Unless left unites, FG and FF will dominate politics and government forever

“Mr Crowley’s prolonged absence is symptomatic of much that is publicly perceived to be wrong with Irish politics,” says Hartley. Above, Brian Crowley. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Kieran Hartley appeals to Micheál Martin to intervene over Brian Crowley’s long absence

EU officials are saying privately that the British government has yet to engage seriously on the detail of the separation agreement. Photograph: Getty Images

Latest round of Brexit negotiations between UK and EU begins on Monday

Sinn Féin’s  David Cullinane favours coalition. Party  leader Gerry Adams and deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald have  signalled that the party’s stance on coalition could change. Photograph: The Irish Times

Cullinane favours coalition even as the minority party: ‘We want to be in government’

EU officials have warned the Irish Government that the British may seek to use the Border issue to open talks on the future trading relationship between the EU and the UK.

British government’s customs plans ‘are not on the agenda’ for next week’s negotiations

Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire,  in Dublin. Photograph:   Julien Behal

Proposed measures to deal with the customs issue were insufficient, says Taoiseach

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney welcomes Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire to a meeting at The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin for talks on Northern Ireland and   Brexit. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

James Brokenshire and Simon Coveney meet in Dublin ahead of talks with northern parties next week

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Montreal, Canada. Photograph:   Reuters/ Christinne Muschi

Taoiseach’s plan to double Ireland’s ‘global footprint’ is an ambitious one

 Sarah Jane Hennelly: “If I had a vote for every time people told me they were let down by Labour I’d be elected for sure”

SocDem chairwoman says the Labour Party has ‘lost its moral compass’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The recovery has not reversed the latent volatility in the Irish political landscape

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: believes public and political debate is riven by misconceptions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Focus on communication may carry message Taoiseach is set to step up action in autumn

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: said there was a political border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, but not an economic one. Photograph: Collins

‘We’re not going to help design some sort of border we don’t believe should exist’

‘Asked about a newspaper story that reported tensions between the British and Irish governments, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar let rip.’ Photograph: Collins

Analysis: Taoiseach’s extraordinary outburst signifies a distinct change of mood

 Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen who was conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the National University of Ireland, meeting former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern after the conferring ceremony. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former taoiseach expresses regret for loss of jobs by so many during recession

US president Bill Clinton and Gerry Adams in 2000 in the Oval Office of the White House. Photograph: William Vasta/AFP/Getty Images

Transcripts of the ex-US president’s calls to NI leaders reveal his huge influence on events

David Trimble, Bill Clinton, Seamus Mallon and Tony Blair at Stormont in 2000. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Transcripts shows active role of former US president during early days of peace process

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