Joanne Hayes leaves the tribunal of enquiry into the Kerry babies tragedy in June 1985. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: It has not been explained how the Hayes family came to sign statements in Garda custody that implicated them

Barry McElduff: Mary Lou McDonald spent a few days insisting his suspension was “a proportionate response” for a “stupid” stunt.

Three-month suspension was far short of solution to quell public and media anger

6/07/2013: Anti-abortion and pro-choice demonstrators in O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Varadkar is expected to back both the repeal referendum and 12-week proposal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be under pressure to state his position soon, as will Micheál Martin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

After this week’s Dáil debate, Simon Harris will seek decisions on three crucial issues

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  previously expressed caution about the proposal to legalise abortions up to 12 weeks, suggesting last week that it might be ‘a step too far’ for many people. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach advises against straying too far from proposals to repeal Eighth Amendment

‘The total spend on healthcare in Ireland is among the highest in the OECD. But our health outcomes – ie, what we get for spending all that money – tend to be comparatively poor.’ Photograph: Getty Images

If health staff do not change the way they work, then the system cannot change

Almost half of all TDs (46%) are in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, while 15% said they are opposed. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Irish Times’ review finds that one in three TDs has yet to declare a position on the issue

Almost half of all TDs said they were in favour of repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

We ask every TD and Senator if they want the Eighth Amendment repealed

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stressed that there would be a free vote on the issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says proposals might be ‘a step too far’ while several Ministers express reservations

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  indicated before Christmas in a briefing with journalists that his views on abortion had evolved. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘I consider myself to be pro-life in that I accept that the unborn child is a human life with rights,’ Taoiseach told Dáil in 2014(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar declined to give his own position on the abortion question during a media briefing following the first Cabinet meeting of the new year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Many politicians concerned proposal might go too far for majority of people, says Varadkar

Former minister for justice Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Eric Luke

Charleton tribunal evidence casts new light on repeated Government denials

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: a spokesman said he will not make any comment on his own views before the Cabinet and Fine Gael parliamentary party discussed the issue. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Simon Harris to bring memo to today’s meeting laying out likely steps before a referendum

Karen Bradley leaves 10 Downing Street on Monday. In her first statement as Northern Secretary, Ms Bradley said restoring the Executive was her top priority.  Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

New Northern Secretary Karen Bradley will need time to work her way into new brief

Former tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald was forced to resign amid questions about whether she knew about the aggressive strategy employed by Garda lawyers against Sgt McCabe. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Charleton tribunal revelations cast light on Frances Fitzgerald’s resignation

Incoming RSA board members Gillian Treacy and Donna Price with Minister for Transport Shane Ross at an event to mark the publication of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

RSA criticises ‘rural TDs’ who ‘have called for leniency in drink-driving legislation’

The numbers of those without homes will continue to grow in 2018, house prices will continue to tick upwards, and the runaway inflation in rents, particularly in Dublin, will continue to be driven by the roaring engine of market forces

The best the Government can hope for is to show modest progress on health and housing

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

Leo Varadkar in Brussels earlier this month. The Taoiseach has said there is a risk  tax giveaways and substantially increased public investment in the economy could repeat the “mistakes of the past”. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Ireland’s competitiveness could be damaged and economic growth undermined, says Taoiseach

Paschal Donohoe: the “magical mediocrity of sustained average rates of growth” is what enables countries to plan for the future, the Minister for Finance says. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The Minister for Finance believes slow but steady progress is our best economic hope

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said  he would be ‘loath to go down’ the route of  interfering with religious groups. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach pledges Government’s support for visit by Pope Francis next year

 Catherine Noone, who chaired discussions of the committee on the Eighth Amendment: the emerging position on abortion is not one that would have been even contemplated in the days of Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The generational transformation of Irish political leadership in 2017 has been dramatic

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “Ireland has fallen back quite a lot, first because of the recession and secondly, more recently because of a very fast-growing economy.” Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Irish contribution to international development has fallen to 0.33% of GDP, from 0.58%

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: said he and British prime minister Theresa May would make another effort to promote agreement between the northern parties in the new year on re-establishing the powersharing institutions. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

British-Irish conference 'would not amount to joint rule' of Northern Ireland

A Palestinian demonstrator is seen  during clashes at a protest against US president Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Photograph: Mussa Qawasma/Reuters.

UN ambassadors warned America would be ‘taking names’ of those who oppose embassy move

Senator Catherine Noone, chairperson of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, hailed the work of the committee as finding the voice of the middle ground on the abortion issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Committee report explicitly rejects Citizens’ Assembly’s more liberal recommendations

Ministers will be free to vote against holding an abortion referendum when the issue is considered in the Dáil, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Taoiseach has personal view on issue but this will not determine Government stance

Leo Varadkar: the favourable outcome of the first phase of Brexit negotiations was achieved in the face of considerable pressure from Downing Street. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

Taoiseach to be pitted against Micheál Martin in election slugfest

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a news conference at the end of the European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels on December 15th. Photograph: ReuterS/Phil Noble

EU figures point to slow pace of process so far and large volume of work remaining

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said his party would  campaign in a respectful and dignified fashion to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister Eoghan Murphy says abortion is a matter for a ‘woman and her doctor’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrives for  the second day of the European Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Stephanie LeCocq/EPA.

Leaders meet in Brussels to discuss moving British withdrawal process on to second phase

The 24 heads of state who are members of the Defence Permanent Structured Co-operation (Pesco), on the side of the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Leo Varadkar says State has responsibility to defend ‘common European home’

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May arrives for an  EU summit in Brussels, where EU leaders are to agree formally that sufficient progress has been made to move to next phase of talks. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Phase two talks will only begin when phase one commitments are made legal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrives at the European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: EPA

Varadkar says he hopes Brexit-supporting politicians realise the problem they caused

Will the process undergone by both the Citizens’ Assembly and the Oireachtas committee – where weeks of discussion and debate led to a more liberal position than might have been expected – be replicated in the country at large? Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

A large chunk of voters are in the middle: most favouring repeal, but many nervous

British Brexit secretary David Davis on the BBC’s ‘Andrew Marr Show’. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty

Brexit officials express doubts over UK promises on the issue ahead of Brussels summit

Frances Fitzgerald: she quit just hours before a Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence in her would have brought the Government down

'Irish Times' poll finds even Fine Gael voters say Fitzgerald should have resigned sooner

David Davis  on The Andrew Marr Show.

David Davis: Deal was ‘more a statement of intent’ than a ‘legally enforceable thing’

Protesters at a Repeal the Eighth Amendment Rally in   Dublin this year. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Opinion poll analysis: Referendum campaign likely to be heavily influenced by what is proposed to replace abortion ban

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. “He will go to Brussels next week with his stature enhanced both domestically and in Europe.” Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Taoiseach’s judgment in Fitzgerald episode overlooked by public amid Brexit gains

Pro-choice demonstrators outside Leinster House in Dublin last month. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI Poll finds support for repeal consistent among supporters of all parties

 Britain’s secretary of state for Brexit  David Davis (left), Britain’s prime minister Theresa May (second left), European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (second right)and European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (right) meet at the European Commission in Brussels, on Friday morning. Photograph: EPA

DUP would have preferred if May did not sign deal, says it won ‘six substantive changes’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney. The Irish position has angered the pro-Brexit lobby in London. Photograph: Laura Hutton/PA Wire

Majority support threat to block Brexit progress until Border issue resolved

British prime minister Theresa May may travel to Brussels on Friday to conclude a deal with commission president Jean-Claude Juncker if the Irish, British and EU teams can agree on language. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

‘Irish Times’ poll finds overwhelming public support for Varadkar’s tough line with UK

Irish Times poll: Leo Varadkar benefited from being seen to stand up for Irish interests. Photograph: Reuters

Inside Politics: Fine Gael sees a jump in support to establish a significant lead over Fianna Fáil

Latest poll reveals Fine Gael stretch clear of Fianna Fáil to enjoy an 11-point lead

Leo Varadkar: the last time a taoiseach had this sort of approval rating was in July 2011. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

He has projected an image of standing up for Ireland – a good look for any Taoiseach

British prime minister Theresa May with DUP leader Arlene Foster wh spoke by telephone on Wednesday as efforts continue to rescue a deal on the Border arrangements after Brexit.  Photograph: Daniel Leal Olivas/AFP/Getty

Taoiseach is playing a dangerous game, says DUP’s Nigel Dodds

British prime minister Theresa May:  It seems incredible that, 18 months after the Brexit vote, the British government has not spelled out what exactly it wants from the negotiations. Photograph: Andy Rain/Bloomberg

Ball is in Theresa May’s court, says Taoiseach, but it seems clear she has no gameplan

DUP shock: Arlene Foster with party colleagues Jeffrey Donaldson and Nigel Dodds in Belfast on Monday. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Draft agreement was a ‘big shock’ to Democratic Unionists, says Arlene Foster

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker prior to addressing a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday.  Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

Unionists reject ‘regulatory divergence’ as Varadkar says he is ‘disappointed’ with impasse

Mood swings: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney at a press conference at Government buildings. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Irish Government lurches from elation to dejection after DUP forces May into U-turn

Sgt Maurice McCabe: The fact some forces in the State were so determined to destroy him shows how serious and substantial were his complaints, how threatening to power. Photograph: Alan Betson

If Irish system is as corrupt as critics claim, why have so many in power stepped down?

Paschal Donohoe: will be closely watching Tuesday’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tax could reduce Ireland’s appeal as a base for Google, Apple, Facebook and LinkedIn

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and European Council President Donald Tusk speaking at a joint press conference at the Government buildings on Friday afternoon. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

If UK’s offer on the Border ‘is unacceptable to Ireland it will be unacceptable to the EU’

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said other EU countries were fully supportive of Ireland’s position on the Border. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/EPA

Government could not accept re-emergence of Border, says Tánaiste

Democratic Unionist Party MP Ian Paisley Jr delivers a speech during the annual DUP party conference at La Mon House on November 25th, 2017. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

‘I think you would be better off with us’ - DUP MP says Republic should leave EU

Leo Varadkar: Will announce a new  tánaiste and Cabinet member today.  Photograph: Dáil/PA

Inside Politics: Irish Border remains final hurdle to overcome to enable phase two of talks to begin

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: will meet with British prime minister Theresa May on Monday.  Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

Ministers intensify contacts with Britain and EU prior to crucial Brexit meeting on Monday

Frances Fitzgerald arriving on Tuesday night at Finnstown House Hotel, Lucan, for the Fine Gael Dublin Mid West general election convention, after her resignation from her post earlier in the day. Photograph:  Colin Keegan, Collins

Tánaiste’s departure ends crisis that threatened pre-Christmas general election

Minister for Justice   Charlie Flanagan:  Taoiseach says his department was largely responsible for Frances Fitzgerald’s resignation. Photograph: Eric Luke

Leo Varadkar vows to restore public confidence in ‘dysfunctional’ State department

Outgoing tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Mr Varadkar acknowledged the good faith of Micheál Martin and Fianna Fáil during the controversy.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Crisis around Fitzgerald likely to shorten Government’s life as relations frayed

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald  leaves Government Buildings on Monday night. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fresh revelations about treatment of Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe undermine effort to resolve crisis

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is seen on Monday at the funeral of former TD Donal Creed in Cork on Monday. Mr Varadkar will resume talks on Monday with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in a bid to avoid a general election. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Varadkar and Martin to resume talks tonight in a bid to avert general election

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald. As minister for justice she made it clear that the Garda’s difficulties required action from the force itself.

Profile: Tánaiste drew on doggedness and canniness to return from political wilderness

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “Leo is not looking at this through the usual political lens,” said a senior Fine Gael politician. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

FG and FF have little more than a day left to work out a deal to save this Government

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: restated on Saturday that he would not seek Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald’s resignation. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Election looms as late-night meeting between Varadkar and Martin fails to end crisis

Leinster House. The politics of pragmatism requires a clear-headed view of priorities. In recent days the priorities on view have been partisan advantage, ego and bloody-mindedness

Varadkar decided Martin was bluffing and called the bluff – a disastrous misjudgment

Leo Varadkar: Fianna Fáil had signalled to him  on Tuesday that the email to Fitzgerald represented a very big problem. Photograph: Getty Images

Three Dáil parties have indulged in a snowblind waltz towards an unwanted election

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald leaving Government Buildings on Friday evening: she is understood to be adamant she will not resign.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Parties look to December 19th poll despite idea of Fitzgerald temporarily stepping aside

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald along with the Cabinet. Photograph: Maxwell

Even if Government finds a way through Fitzgerald affair, there will be a toxic legacy

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin must judge whether he wants to run the risk of pulling down the Government on the issue. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Crisis in government takes more serious turn as SF table motion of no confidence

Tnaiste Frances Fitzgerald making a statement “on justice matters” to the Senate.

Inside Politics: If you’re a bit confused, take comfort in the fact you are not alone

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald  faces defenestration  unless she can satisfy Sinn Féin’s requests for better answers about the Maurice McCabe controversy than she has managed over the past two days. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Analysis: Tánaiste’s fate depends on attitudes of Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Taoiseach

Micheál Martin said that the email from a senior official to Franis Fitzgerald, which she said she had forgotten about, was “damning”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach could be faced with a simple choice: his Tánaiste or a general election

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

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald: Her explanation remains  she was extremely incurious about matters which might have been unprofitable to be too inquisitive about.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Lack of recollection of email about Maurice McCabe may prompt no-confidence motion

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, centre, with EU foreign and defence ministers after signing the notification on Pesco

Pesco projects likely to range from peacekeeping operations to weapons research

Mary Lou McDonald, heir presumptive to Gerry Adams’s crown as Sinn Féin leader. Photograph: Alan Betson

Analysis: Changes to leadership and coalition stance aimed at boosting appeal in Republic

Gerry Adams: he understands that  the facts can change if the symbols are maintained. Photograph: Getty Images

A government in the North would be a powerful dynamic in the Brexit process

Gerry Adams, Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald at the start of the Sinn Féin ardfheis at the RDS. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sinn Féin president expected to lay out time frame for exiting role in ‘historic’ ardfheis

Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill with colleague Conor Murphy. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire.

Northern leader says party would accept abortion in certain, limited cases

Gerry Adams personifies for many all they dislike about Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA.

‘If we go into the next election with Gerry as leader, it caps our potential growth’ – source

The Republic of Ireland’s James McClean (right) and Daryl Murphy stand dejected after a 5-1 defeat to Denmark on Tuesday night ended their World Cup qualification hopes. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Inside politics: Hold that soup run; the fate of Gerry Adams; Ross heads to London

Simon Coveney: Minister told his EU colleagues that  he was confident Ireland’s participation would be approved. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach to consult ‘major Opposition parties’ before bringing EU proposal to the House

Senator Catherine Noone said that the Oireachtas committee had found it difficult to find expert medical witnesses who wanted the Eighth Amendment  retained in its present form. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Organisation to launch ‘Every Woman’ campaign in support of repealing Eighth Amendment

Hospital consultants consider the reallocation of funds from hospital to general practice as a key development in addressing the problems in the health system. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Report calls for substantial investment to move away from ‘hospital centric’ system

Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the European Union: the EU is drawing up contingency plans for the possible collapse of Britain’s departure talks. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

Leo Varadkar says Ireland must prepare itself for UK exiting without agreement

Peadar Tóibín holds different views on abortion than many of his Sinn Féin colleagues.

Peadar Tóibín said more witnesses to committee favoured repealing amendment

Tax avoidance: if a country behaved like Apple – which is richer than many countries – it would be regarded as a rogue state. Photograph: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty

Pat Leahy: The political centre needs to force big business to pay its way

Brexit talks: the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said time is running out for agreement on the Border. Dublin anti-Brexit protest photographed by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty

Varadkar: London must explain how to avoid hard Border if it wants to discuss trade

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar delivering his first party leader speech at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, last night. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Taoiseach delivers first party conference speech and highlights middle-income earners

Leo Varadkar: Struck a note of cautious optimism in the Dail on Brexit. Photograph: PA Wire
Good news on Brexit?

Inside Politics: Leo Varadkar tells the Dáil he believes a Brexit talks breakthrough is likely in the coming weeks

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “It is not going to be possible to fully resolve the Border question until we start to talk about the future relationship that the UK will have with the European Union.” Photograph: PA

Brussels believes December summit may decide trade talks phase can begin

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Will give his keynote speech at the Fine Gael national conference on Friday night instead of Saturday night, when Ireland play Denmark in Copenhagen.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Varadkar moves keynote speech to avoid clashing with Ireland’s World Cup play-off

Minister for Transport and Sport Shane Ross said the award of the 2023 Rugby World Cup was a “matter of persuasion”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Government lobbying to have South Africa 2023 recommendation set aside in favour of Irish bid

Tánaiste and Minister for Business Frances Fitzgerald, who briefed the Cabinet on the report, “Building Stronger Business”, on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Report urges firms doing trade with UK to diversify their markets and avail of supports

Supreme Court has two more vacancies; further appointments not thought imminent

Outside the Department of the Taoiseach in 2015, over 80 suitcases signify the number of women who travel to the UK to access a safe and legal abortion. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

UN Human Rights Committee case concerns abortion in UK for fatal foetal abnormality

Chairman of the Oireachtas culture committee Peadar Tóibín is seeking support from the committee to hear from the Arts Council, the actors’ union Equity, and the chair of the Gate’s board. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach says allegations should be investigated ‘in the first instance’ by theatre

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