New traffic measures include increased penalties for speeding, mobile phone use, non-wearing of seat belts and carrying unrestrained children.

Shane Ross insists legislation is about ’one thing only and that is saving lives’

A pro-choice rally organised by Strike4Repeal  outside the Dáil on Wednesday. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Calls for all information to be accurate as TDs differ on foetal disability

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall proposes that tenants in rental accommodation for less than a year should have at least 90 days’ termination notice. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Róisín Shortall says new tenants should know how much rent predecessors paid

Simon Harris  said that if it was the “sad reality that we have been exporting this issue, are we now accepting that women must import their own solutions”. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister for Health: 3,265 women from every county had travelled abroad for abortions last year

 Mick Wallace at Leinster House. File photograph: Eric Luke

Wallace asks why non-profit group Pobal has charity status

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: wants  a commission to start inquiry into the handling of complaints in the 1980s against Bill Kenneally by various State agencies. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Taoiseach keen for commission to start inquiry into jailed former basketball coach

Dolores O’Riordan who died suddenly in London was 46 years old. Niall Carson/PA

Taoiseach leads Dáil tributes to trailblazer whose music is appreciated worldwide

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “Only people who should provide addiction services are those who are appropriately qualified and licensed to do so.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Varadkar says Catholic Church offers programme as FF condemns Scientology rehab

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil: “I am committed to having a referendum in May or June if possible.”

Government concerned legislation could be deemed unconstitutional due to other rights

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar takes Leaders’ Questions as the Dáil returns after its Christmas break

Abortion referndum, Brexit negotiations, trolley crisis to dominate this political term

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring who will answer parliamentary questions for the first time on Tuesday following his appointment seven months ago. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Rural and Community Development to answer first questions on his portfolio

Dáil Éireann: One senior Government TD believes that in the current arrangement “the Government has conceded parliament to the Opposition”

There are 115 Bills clogging up in the Dáil, with the vast majority having no chance of being passed

Richard Boyd Barrett of People before Profit said: ‘We probably wouldn’t win it because military defence, common defence is somewhat ill-defined.’ File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

People Before Profit considered moving against EU structure but was advised against it

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “I certainly see no reason why the agreement can’t be continued beyond the third budget.”

Leo Varadkar says confidence and supply agreement could run beyond third budget

Irish pounds, no longer legal tender, can still be exchanged for their equivalent in euro at the Central Bank’s headquarters on New Wapping Street, North Wall Quay in Dublin

Just €1.22m in total was redeemed in 2017, according to Central Bank data

Shopping spree: Revenue could take in between 9 and 23 per cent of the total spent on vouchers if the Government changed the law. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Five-year validity would stop retailers pocketing balances, says Catherine Murphy

The scene near Dún Laoghaire pier  where a young woman was assaulted. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Teenager refused bail as gardaí fear he may commit murder if released from custody

National Rehabilitation Hospital: Has rejected claims made in the Dáil as ’inaccurate’ and ’most unfair’

Sinn Féin TD claims patients using prosthetic limbs not supplied by hospital are refused treatment there

A compromise agreed after consultations in the past month will allow alcohol be displayed in three storage units or placed behind a barricade up to 1.5 metres high as part of provisions of the Bill. Photograph: Frank Miller

Manufacturers seek changes on labelling following concessions on legislation

Minister for Health Simon Harris described the Bill as “landmark legislation, the first ever piece of public health legislation on alcohol”. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Minister for Health insists new labelling rules will include alcohol sold at airports

Prosthetic legs in the prosthetic centre at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

TD claims hospital denying treatment to those who do get prosthetics elsewhere

Ruth Coppinger: she cited the success of the anti-water charges campaign, and said it had been organised totally through social media. Photograph: Getty Images

Defeat is embarrassing but there is no obligation on administration to process the Bill

Paschal Donohoe: “Much as I would like it to be, public transport cannot be the answer to connectivity for all parts of our country”

Green Party leader told to ‘hold your fire’ until national capital plan is published

Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will now include concessions for small traders. File photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Taoiseach pushes for Bill to be passed in Upper House by Christmas

Simon Coveney: he appealed to TDs to show leadership to the rest of the country on how the debate should be conducted

Simon Coveney calls for respectful debate as issue will ‘divide households’

The Government has rejected a  Bill that would make it a crime to use automated social media accounts or “bots” to manipulate online political debates. File photograph: Getty Images

Bill criminalising use of automated social media accounts to manipulate debates rejected

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and the Labour Party group of Senators have formed a new Seanad technical group. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Group set up so Labour Party four and ex-SF member could keep Seanad speaking rights

Then taoiseach Enda Kenny (right) with   US president Donald Trump  in Washington earlier this year. The Tánaiste has said an invitation to Mr Trump to visit Ireland still stand. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Simon Coveney says that US president ‘will be facilitated’ if he chooses to come to State

Michel Barnier with Tánaiste Simon Coveney: leaked report highlighted sharp criticisms of London from other European Union states. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Document relayed strong criticisms of the UK’s performance in Brexit negotiations

 Leo Varadkar said a further €18m had been added to the budget for homelessness services next year to bring it to €118m. File photograph: David Ryder/Reuters

Varadkar defends record after Adams claims 300 children homeless since he became Taoiseach

File image of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking in the Dáil. File photograph: Dáil/PA Wire

Taoiseach under fire for saying ‘no government will ever again leave North behind’

Castletown House and Demesne contains four occupied properties.

Social Democrat TD calls for the properties to be restored for holiday lets or long-term rental

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (left), Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Transport Shane Ross remove the ribbon on the first Luas tram to use the new cross-city track. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar a ‘big fan of light rail. Once built it requires no subvention whatsoever’

People in rural areas who collect their pension “might like to have a pint or two, but they are petrified to do so”, Independent TD Michael Collins said. File photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Move to ban anyone caught above limit has made people scared ‘even to drive to Mass’

Niall Collins: said ConnectIreland had written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claiming that the IDA’s behaviour “has laid waste to potentially thousands of new jobs and billions of euro of investment in Ireland”.

No sign of review of ConnectIreland initiative nearly nine months after promised, says FF

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Independent TD chides Minister for Housing for difficulty in getting ‘straight answer’

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy: he said 200 additional permanent emergency beds would be ready by mid-December. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Bríd Smith ‘ashamed’ of Ireland with the deaths of eight homeless people since August

Irish Army: soldiers on an anti-terrorism training exercise in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Defence Forces

Constitutional challenge may be taken against Government plan

The Christian Brothers are selling the three hectares (7.5 acres) of land used by Clonkeen College in south Dublin for playing fields

Minister says he cannot intervene in Christian Brothers sale of land at Clonkeen College

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was concerned when he learned that even after Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan directed that “one of the famous emails” be sent to the tribunal, the department “still sought legal advice on whether it was covered by the terms of reference of the tribunal.” Photograph: Laura Hutton/PA Wire

Taoiseach warns national security could be compromised for years in setting up agency

A new EU military structure that the Government supports is the start of Europe taking control of its own defence, the Taoiseach has said.

Opposition TDs say further debate is required on whether State should sign up to Pesco

Margaret Hassan had spent 30 years in Iraq and worked for Care International, when she was abducted and murdered by militants on  October 19th, 2004. Photograph: AP

Statement untrue that murdered Irish aid worker Margaret Hassan converted to Islam

Unlike the harp and flag, Amhrán na bhFiann is the only national symbol not protected by copyright, Seanad is told. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Author’s grandson says anthem due respect, dignity and protection

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett claimed  the Government wanted to ‘ram through a vote’. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Opposition TDs say no rush to sign deal and time is needed for debate

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil he believed there was time to put the Brexit border agreement back on track. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Leo Varadkar acknowledges relations between Ireland UK ‘strained’ in the last year or two

Róisín Shortall said it was essential that a GP can refer a young person on to psychological services and counselling services at an early stage rather than referring the person to a waiting list.

‘You can’t put someone on a waiting list when they’re in crisis,’ says TD

Fianna Fáil has proposed that landlords who engage in a high volume of short-term lettings be required to seek planning permission. Photograph: AFP

Measure targets landlords using letting services such as Airbnb at professional level

Sinn Féin’s John Brady highlighted potential problems at Sydney Parade Dart station in Sandymount, Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Total of 34 railway stations currently unmanned as part of ongoing review

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Dáil on Thursday that Ireland needed to use its  veto if it did not get the assurances on the Border that it needed. Photograph: PA

Tánaiste tells the Dáil Brexit will see a permanent change in relationship with Britain

Fianna Fáil Roscommon-Galway TD Eugene Murphy.

‘I can’t understand cut of that nature’ when budget increase for every year to 2021

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Coveney says culprit is from another department as Micheál Martin applies pressure

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: said the use of zero-hours contracts sends a poor message to employers. Photograph: Alan Betson

If-and-when employment contracts can work in on-call and agency situations - Taoiseach

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil: “We have more than €8 billion for housing which will allow us to build 3,000 social houses”. Photograph: PA

Leo Varadkar ‘deeply saddened’ by deaths of two homeless men in Dublin

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said  no letter about maintenance requirements should be sent out to abuse victims. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Women seeking lone parent’s allowance no longer have to provide evidence of seeking maintenance

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar faced criticism in the Dáil about the Government’s strategic communications unit. Photograph: PA.

Taoiseach is warned against using Government funds for ‘full-blooded’ political campaigns

Vera Twomey touching the gates of Leinster House after her marathon walk in March in support of her daughter Ava Barry. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Vera Twomey walked from Cork to Leinster House to highlight daughter’s struggle

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks in the Dail on Tuesday following the resignation of Frances Fitzgerald. Image: screengrab

Taoiseach says ‘a calm reading of evidence will show the tánaiste acted appropriately’

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald. A Fine Gael backbencher said: “We’re ready for an election and personally I don’t think Frances Fitzgerald should resign or be forced to resign.”

Michael D Higgins will resolve controversy if party leaders fail to, says Fine Gael veteran

 Mary Newman, sister of Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell, is seeking selection as a party candidate. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Parties race to complete candidate selection as prospect of Christmas poll looms large

Repeal the Eighth: the abortion referendum is likely to be delayed if a general election is triggered by next week’s no-confidence motions in the Dáil. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Social-welfare increases and public-service pension restoration also hit

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil on Thursday.

Fitzgerald gives impassioned defence of her role as minister in heated Dáil exchanges

Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghaíl said the Dáil should be pursuing family-friendly policies. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Some decisions made in the early hours of the morning have ‘not exactly been sterling’

Independent Senator condemns politicians for looking for ‘heads on a plate’

Shane Ross:  “We are not ashamed of the fact we lobbied and put our case.” Photograph: Getty Images

Shane Cassells questions Minister for Sport about lobbying of Wales and Scotland

Fianna Fáil TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony highlighted the transport difficulties of people with disabilities travelling by bus in Cork.  “Even if the bus is disability-friendly, there are towns in which the bus stop is not.” File photograph: Getty Images

Shane Ross says plans in place for Irish Rail pilot project to reduce notice to four hours

Leo Varadkar: “I’m not satisfied with the fact that on a number of occasions, at least two occasions in the past week, I’ve been given incomplete information by the Department of Justice.” Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Varadkar ‘happy to correct the record’ on timeline of knowledge of legal strategy

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald speaking on justice issues in the Seanad tonight. Photograph: Oireachtas TV

Frances Fitzgerald gives Seanad staunch defence of actions over Garda whistleblower controversy

Public hospital consultants, who should be working a maximum of one day a week in private care, are working two to three times that amount, according to the investigation.   Photograph: iStock

Varadkar says non-compliance with HSE contracts is ‘deeply offensive and must stop’

The current focus is to amend broadcasting legislation to address licence fee evasion in the short-term, which is twice the UK rate. Photograph: iStock

Government focus on targeting evasion which is twice the UK rate

Tánaiste Frances  Fitzgerald said she had always acted in the interests of whistleblowers to ensure they would be protected. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Frances Fitzgerald insists she has always worked to protect whistleblowers

Catherine Murphy, concerned commission  ‘deviating from the role originally envisaged for it’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cregan commission request for doubling of legal fees refused as cost could rise to €25m

A visitor uses her iPhone X to take a photo  at the new Apple Visitor Center in Cupertino. Photograph: Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage

Taoiseach told tech giant that contested back taxes must be in escrow account ‘without further delay’

 Members of the RTE Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall.

Varadkar to raise issue with Minister for Culture amid fears of merger

The Taoiseach said in the Dáil on Tuesday he told British prime minister  Theresa May there could be no return to direct rule in NI as it existed prior to the Belfast Agreement.

Varadkar: Irish Government cannot accept a return to pre- Belfast Agreement ’direct rule’

Martin tells Dáil Maurice McCabe takes issue with Fitzgerald’s comments on RTÉ radio

Martin Shanahan of the IDA Ireland speaking with a robot at the press conference to announce details of the 2016 results for the Authority at Dublin’s Convention Centre in January.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Foreign direct investment totalled almost €93 million in 2016

Gerry Adams: Sinn Féin’s outgoing president at the party ardfheis in Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Vox pop: ‘A society with jobs and peace is as important as a united Ireland’

Gerry Adams and Martin Ferris TD during his address to delegates at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘There’s always a time for change and this is the time for it,’ says Kerry TD

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams at the RDS in Dublin during the party’s ardfheis. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Delegates vote to change rules to allow extraordinary ardfheis after president steps down

Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill said republicanism and unionism “must reach a sustainable compromise through respectful dialogue, premised on anti-sectarianism”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin’s McCallion defends abstentionist policy as O’Neill urges respect for unionists

 Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill speaking to media at the start of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

McDonald says Brexit poses a grave threat to economy and ‘the Good Friday Agreement’

In the run-up to the budget the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe appeared on a number of social media videos.

Leo Varadkar says more social media ‘key part of Government media modernisation’

An obesity expert has criticised the fact the fast food chain McDonald’s is sponsoring part of the National Children’s Hospital thorugh its charitable arm.

Obesity expert Dr Donal O’Shea asks if Heineken would be allowed sponsor a liver unit

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall: “I have to question the Government’s sincerity and commitment to this.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

Government warned not to let vested interests ‘block progress’ on Sláintecare programme

Members of the Irish RWC 2023 bid team: IRFU chief executive, Philip Browne (centre); IRFU president Philip Orr (right) and bid chairman Dick Spring.

Heated exchanges in Seanad as Senator Terry Leyden criticises group lobbying for Ireland as Rugby World Cup venue

Epilepsy drug was given out with  no leaflet   detailing potential birth defects or problems in unborn children if administered to a woman during pregnancy.

Health officials to contact regulator about pharmacies failing to provide data leaflets

Former cabinet colleagues Charlie Flanagan and Alan Kelly have clashed in recent days. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Charlie Flanagan angry over Labour TD’s questions regarding Maurice McCabe

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: says Ireland will not be only country to miss targets. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says report is ‘unofficial’ and confirms Ireland will miss 2030 targets

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has established a taskforce on AirBnB lettings and said it would report by the end of the year. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images.

Minister has asked task force to examine Airbnb lettings and report by end of year

Humphreys said it was deeply worrying that Michael Colgan, above, could have been “so misguided in respect of what he felt were his freedoms to interact with the women who came forward”. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Heather Humphreys declines to be drawn on Michael Colgan’s apology at weekend

Independent TD Michael Lowry. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

TD claims banks used banking corporation money to improve their balance sheets

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he would talk to small retailers to discuss and explain how provisions for minimising the visibility of alcohol in smaller shops would work.

Minister for Health said he will talk to small retailers about minimising visibility of drink

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. “Leo’s new, vibrant, really taking on social media,” said Conor Murphy (Cork North-Central). Photograph: Aurore Belot/AFP/Getty Images

Fine Gael members on Varadkar, Kenny, elections, abortion, Fianna Fáil and Halligan

Minister for Health Simon Harris said:  “I’ve sat in far too many rooms with women who have found this country to be cold, neglectful, lonely and isolating when they have a crisis pregnancy.” File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Harris urges end to ‘tyranny of labels’ as ‘I’ve never met anyone who is not in favour of life’

Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty said Ireland’s social policy “is going to follow international norms of best practice – that parents get to stay at home with their children for the formative times in their lives”.

Minister says new social policy reflects reality that ‘there’s far more to life than work’

 Simon Coveney  on stage during the Fine Gael national party conference in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, on Friday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Minister tells Fine Gael conference more credibility needed from UK to ensure no hard Border

Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil that from January 1st next year all public service pensioners with annuities worth up to €34,132 would be exempt from the charge imposed in 2011 under the Fempi legislation.   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister says pensions worth up to €34,000 will be fully restored by January 1st 2018

Minister of State John Halligan told the interviewee “I know I shouldn’t be asking this”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

‘I am not too sure how repayment could work but I have no problem in paying the money’

Minister for Health Simon Harris stressed his bottom line was to minimise visibility in shops. Photograph: PA.

Separation in shops needed as drink purchases ‘not the same as buying milk or bread’

Minister for Health Simon Harris: aims to target minimum unit pricing at cheap and strong alcohol affordable to young people at pocket-money prices. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minimum unit pricing key among measures in Bill aiming to reduce alcohol consumption

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