Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, California.  Facebook has confirmed it plans to create hundreds of new jobs in Ireland next year. Photograph: Facebook

Dr Mary Aiken says asking company to self-regulate like asking drink drivers to award themselves penalty points

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arriving at Derrynane House, Kerry, for a special Cabinet meeting:   Ministers agreed to hire 1,000 additional customs and veterinary officials. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Brussels has vowed to stand by Ireland in no-deal ‘doomsday scenario’, says Taoiseach

“We need to hear a response from Facebook and an explanation from them as to why they haven’t upheld their own standards,” Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says. Photograph:  Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Varadkar raises prospect of penalties after revelations

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar heads  a Cabinet meeting at Derrynane House in Kerry. Health overspending is on track to be well over €500 million for 2018.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

High level of health spending will make Sláintecare plan ‘difficult’ to implement

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said about 3,000 new “bedspaces” for students have been built in the last two years, with a further 7,000 currently under construction. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Move sought by FF and SF comes after increases of as much as 15% in some areas

Speaking at a special Cabinet meeting in Derrynane House, Co Kerry, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said  the British government will be expected to honour its ‘cast iron guarantee’ of the so-called backstop arrangement. Photograph: PA

Taoiseach says EU reassured him no physical checks needed on Border if no deal on Brexit

Senator Joan Freeman says ‘simple ideas’ have helped her work towards a ‘lifelong ambition to build a better quality of life’, in a letter to councillors as part of her bid for a presidential nomination. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Senator Joan Freeman seeks nomination from councils

Senator Gerard Craughwell is seeking a nomination. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Varadkar may ask councillors to facilitate only ‘truly Independent’ candidates

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy will  update the Cabinet on the National Regeneration and Development Agency (NRDA), a key element of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure plan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government hopes release of State lands to build homes will drive down cost of housing

Even with Government measures such as the Rebuilding Ireland programme, a shortage of houses is “one of the most prominent risks and challenges facing the country”. File photograph: Getty Images

Government report warns issue will have major impact on economic growth and society

President Michael D Higgins meeting with Deena Cotter from Dún Laoghaire  during the afternoon tea party in Áras an Uachtaráin on Monday. Photograph:  Maxwell’s

Taoiseach: Issue of allowing councillors facilitate candidates into race yet to be decided

Minister for Health Simon Harris told the Cabinet last week that if agreement cannot be reached with the IMO, the State could unilaterally set its own fees. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government is warned that medics may use new services as a negotiating ploy

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Mary Lou McDonald and Ciarán Quinn at the Sinn Féin ardfheis in  November 2017. Sinn Féin’s executive council, the ard chomhairle,  is expected to decide that the party should select a candidate to run against Michael D Higgins in a presidential election. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Some in party feel Higgins can’t be beaten, but election would offer a huge platform

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: the “will of the people” must be respected concerning the referendum. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Fianna Fáil leader will aid Government in resisting filibustering TDs intent on stalling passage of law

Micheál Martin: he said  Mr Varadkar’s statements about a potential extension to the confidence and supply arrangement have been “about putting politics before policy”

Fianna Fáil leader rules out confidence and supply renewal talks until after October budget

  Finian McGrath stressed the importance of enacting the legislation before the summer recess so the service can be in place for carers in September. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Scheme expanded to include those in receipt of carer’s benefit, says Finian McGrath

Joan Freeman of Pieta House at Pieta House, Bishopstown, Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Joan Freeman, Padraig Ó’Céidigh, Gerard Craughwell or Kevin Sharkey may stand against Michael D

President Michael D Higgins:  formally declared yesterday he will nominate himself for a second term. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: No candidate has yet emerged who is likely to cause President serious trouble in bid for second term

President Michael D Higgins has confirmed he is to offer himself for a second seven-year term in Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph:   Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Oireachtas members begin co-ordinated efforts to field a rival presidential candidate

 President Michael D Higgins: he has finally declared his hand, and says  he wants a second seven-year term in Áras an Uachtaráin

TDs and Senators of main parties unlikely to sign nomination papers of any aspiring Independent

A file image of Michael D Higgins and Seán Gallagher during the 2011 presidential campaign.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Michael D Higgins confirms intention to seek second term and is likely to face an election

A memorandum  on EU data sharing for criminal investigations says “Ireland is relying on the solidarity and support of other EU member states” in Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Istock

Ireland must not be perceived as being soft on large companies, warns EU

President Michael D Higgins: he already has the support of the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil. Fine Gael is also expected to support him

‘Higgins has really screwed it for most of us,’ says Independent Senator

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson departs Downing Street following a cabinet meeting in London last week. Photograph: EPA

PM tells MPs that strategy agreed last week represents the ‘right Brexit’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meeting with British prime minister Theresa May in June. Photograph: Yves Herman/Pool/AP

Taoiseach says he looks forward to seeing detailed proposals for future future EU-UK relationship

President Michael D Higgins. The details of how he will declare his hand are still uncertain. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

President is due to announce his candidacy next week – but what will he do with it?

Labour TD  Willie Penrose has announced he will not contest the next general election after more than 25 years as a TD. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Deputy says public service a ‘privilege’ and believes Longford-Westmeath seat can be held by party

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said media, ‘should not consider itself above criticism’. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Taoiseach did not say in NY he agreed with Trump ‘on anything’, adds spokesman

Jurys Inn,  Christchurch. Photograph: Alan Betson

Lower VAT rate of 9% was put in place to help hospitality industry during downturn

The Taoiseach has allied himself with Trump’s views of the media in comments made on  a US trip. Photograph: EPA/Kim Haughton

Inside Politics: Taoiseach’s ill-judged comments see him claim the focus of political reportage is on gossip

  Leo Varadkar has said talks on any deal extension should begin before its  final budget, but Micheál  Martin has   said the arrangement allows for a review at the end of the year.   Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Taoiseach needs a compelling argument to call an election

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said  the ‘person who occupies the highest office in the land, ought to have an electoral sanction’. Photograph: PA Wire

Party’s ard comhairle will make a decision on the matter at a meeting on July 14th.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has spoken of entering talks on a successor to the confidence-and-supply deal before the budget, but Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says no negotiations will take place until later this year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil appears in lockstep with Government on budget and Brexit

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar and President of the European Council Jean-Claude Juncker:  “Ireland has to be part of the deal.” Photograph: Tom McLoughlin/EPA

Jean-Claude Juncker assures Varadkar State is priority in Brexit talks

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, during his visit to the Government Buildings in  Dublin. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach says time running out for reaching and implementing deal on UK’s EU departure

President of the European Council Jean Claude Junker pictured with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Government buildings on Thursday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Leo Varadkar warns British government ahead of Dublin visit by European delegation

Paschal Donohoe: Risks political damage if he abandons his cautious mantra. Photograph:  Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Minister risks political damage if he abandons cautious mantra as budget day approaches

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said the  budget must “involve practical measures to tackle the acute crises the Government has allowed to develop in housing and in parts of our health service”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Failure to follow EU rules reduces Government scope for spending, party says

Simon Coveney gave the Cabinet a Brexit update in advance of the visit to Dublin of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Tánaiste also warns of ‘very difficult’ summer of talks ahead amid current impasse

The initial plans for the €3 billion Metro Link project include a proposal to establish a major infrastructural construction site and an underground train station on St Mobhí Road in Glasnevin.

Decrease in disruption to Dublin northside sporting facilities and schools targeted

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: “As capacity constraints are increasingly becoming a feature of some sectors this, in turn, could lead to overheating of the economy.” Photograph: Tom Honan.

Minister for Finance warns Government needs to be wary of overheating economy

It is anticipated that Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will say that his objective is for a broadly balanced budget. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Finance to use summer economic statement to flag policy change

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said John A Costello’s “vision and leadership” in culture and the arts still provide guidance today. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Varadkar delivers annual commemoration for former taoiseach in Deansgrange Cemetery

 Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald makes her keynote speech during the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis at Waterfront Hall on Saturday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Analysis: Party leader’s message positions Sinn Féin on centre left with Labour and Fianna Fáil

Mary Lou McDonald: “A new and better Ireland is emerging.” Photograph: RTÉ

Party leader says Sinn Féin’s policy on abortion is now settled

 Peadar Tóibín TD, pictured at the Sinn Féin ard fheis in 2015, did not speak during the party’s debate on Saturday on changing  its  policy toward  abortion. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Party ardfheis hears strong criticism of anti-abortion TD Peadar Tóibín

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin with a mobile billboard criticising Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy outside Government Buildings in Dublin this week. Photograph: Cate McCurry/PA Wire

Party says move against Minister for Housing could happen in autumn

Micheál Martin  said: “The confidence and supply agreement allows for a review at the end of the year, and that remains the case.” Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Minority government: Confidence and supply deal effectively runs out after the October budget

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

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the Exchequer was facing potentially gigantic arrears. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Doctors conclude breach of contract case against Health Service Executive

Sinn Féin deputy Dáil leader Pearse Doherty; Louise O’Reilly; leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill; and president Mary Lou McDonald urging a Yes vote in the abortion referendum. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

SF is consolidating its position, aiming to replace Labour in a recast 2½ party system

Leo Varadkar launches Féile An Phobail at St Mary’s University College, Belfast last Friday as part of his visit to Northern Ireland. Photograph: Laura Hutton/PA Wire

Opinion polls showing rising support for united Ireland, Taoiseach tells party meeting

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (L) and former taoiseach Enda Kenny during the European of the Year award ceremony  in recognition of Kenny’s contribution to Irish-EU relations in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Inside Politics: Kenny suggests Donald Tusk should convene a special Brexit summit

“We are in no way underestimating or making light of the issues people will face.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Widening of streets on parts of most routes will necessitate compulsory purchase orders

Under the plans, 230km of expanded bus lanes and 200km of cycle lanes are to be constructed within a decade. Photograph: Alan Betson

Up to 1,300 houses affected by National Transport Authority’s 230km of new lanes

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny receives the European Movement Ireland’s European of the Year  award. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

‘British business is afraid to speak out because of the spectre of Labour’, says former taoiseach

Leo Varadkar on his visit to the headquarters and heritage museum of the Orange Order in Belfast on Friday. He is the first taoiseach to visit the HQ of the Northern Ireland’s largest Protestant organisation. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Varadkar has had triumphs including the referendum, but mistakes are regretted

Under the Referendum Act, applications to bring petitions seeking leave to challenge the result of a referendum must be presented seven days after the official result is published in ‘Iris Oifigiúil’. Photograph:  PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

Government sources insist such actions were expected and will not ‘derail’ plans

Gardaí at the scene of a fatal shooting at Bray Boxing Club in  Co Wicklow on Tuesday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Minister says Garda adequately resourced to fight crime amid fallout from latest murder

 Heather Humphreys was one of a number of senior figures from both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to rule out coalition with Sinn Féin

Heather Humphreys says the two parties will not share power in a future coalition

The first payment was made, but not the second phase, following the collapse in the public finances, and the State later cut consultants’ pay by 15%-25%. File photograph: Getty Images

Honouring pay claims could cost State €700m and be ‘beyond the means’

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: ‘If there is no progress on the backstop, we are in for an uncertain summer.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste says EU Brexit group must receive written plans in advance of crunch summit

Emily Logan, chief commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, said the appointments ‘bring significant legal, academic and practical expertise’ to the organisation. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Appointments delayed by Betty Purcell’s challenge to the selection process

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is expected to outline how different levels of public spending will affect the budget deficit. Photograph: Getty Images

Coalition to justify decision not to spend all the money available to it in October’s budget

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: ‘The Bill places the information and tracing service on a statutory footing for the first time.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Legislation would allow adopted person statutory right to their birth certificate

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told his party’s his TDs and senators any amendments to legislation allowing for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks must go through Stephen Donnelly, the health spokesman. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Leader says any amendments must go through health spokesman

Minister for Health Simon Harris during the Irish Times Women’s Podcast on Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Simon Harris says Bill will be tabled before summer and sent to President by autumn

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the Cabinet was yet to discuss the idea of removing the current criminal penalty that faces women for procuring an abortion in the State. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Fianna Fáil leader does not believe ‘fences to be mended’ with anti-abortion party colleagues

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wave at crowds in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Varadkar’s confidence also enhanced by referendum result ahead of big challenges

Micheál Martin: he may need to go against his natural inclinations and forcefully impose his will on the party

‘When the country went 70-30 in one way, the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party went 80-20 in the opposite direction’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has passed a referendum on an issue that many other leaders have ran away from. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Varadkar, Martin and McDonald strengthen their position while conservatives miss out

 The victory for the Yes campaign looks set to be neither narrow nor based on a few segments of Irish society. Rather, it will be carried high on the shoulders of a majority across the entire country. Photograph:  Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Old assumptions about the urban/rural divide proved to be wrong

Highest turnout was to adopt 1937 Constitution, while next-highest was accession to EEC

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

Eoghan Murphy: the Minister says he has “full confidence in each of the presiding officers in each of our polling stations, that they will be able to do their job properly and accurately”.

Eoghan Murphy says attempt to affect result could be made by questioning electoral register procedure

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel    and Minister for Business Heather Humphreys on the Louth/Down Border. Photograph: EPA

Taoiseach will look at proposals that are ‘the same or better’ than what is outlined in the backstop

One Fine Gael Minister said the public settled on its view last weekend - and its view is for repeal

Inside Politics: Yes side believes tide is with it as No campaigners try to rationalise their anticipated defeat

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: said co-operation between the Government and Sinn Féin did not mean the two parties are preparing to go into government. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ceann Comhairle suspends Dáil debate on Bill over contradictory amendments

Retainers know, as do repealers, that if the public mind is focused on allowing for abortion in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities, the proposition will be carried.

Focus on ‘hard issues’ replaced by ‘abortion on demand’ and #toofarforme objections

The bill ‘will remove the risk of political patronage’, says Shane Ross. Photograph: Alan Betson

Government agrees to introduce sentencing guidelines as part of reform package

In publicly announcing his position last January, Leo Varadkar said he had to think “long and hard” about supporting the committee’s proposals.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach says he kept quiet as he did not want to be accused of influencing members

Shane Ross diatribe at Mattie McGrath over Road Traffic Bill enrages Independent TD

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade  Simon Coveney:  any disagreement towards the end of this year over the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union would leave little time before Brexit formally took effect next March. Photograph: Tom Honan

Taoiseach to meet Theresa May for first time in two months, ahead of crucial EU summit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin after HSE chief Tony O’Brien stepped down amid CervicalCheck controversy. Photograph: Lorraine O’ Sullivan /PA

Inside Politics: Varadkar rubbishes the alternative ‘max fac’ model favoured by hard Brexiteers

Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel on Tuesday. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/PA

Government urged to expel Israeli ambassador and recognise Palestinian state

Seamus Mallon. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Labour Senator Ged Nash says Sinn Féin move ‘a vindictive, petty and small-minded political act’

Former Attorney General Michael McDowell: “To those who say hard cases make bad law, I say hard cases and bad law together make for tragedies.” Photographer: Dara MacDonaill

Michael McDowell warns that ‘hard cases and bad law together make for tragedies’

A Palestinian woman holding her national flag during clashes with Israeli forces near Gaza City. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

Coveney should have told envoy to ‘pack his bags’ in wake of Gaza violence, says Doherty

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

Outgoing HSE Director General Tony O’ Brien

Memo warning of negative media fallout from cervical cancer patients described as ‘game-changer’ by Government Minister

Leo Varadkar expressed his concern at the weekly meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday night.  File photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Issue raised after reports that three ministers told Cabinet this week they wanted HSE boss to step down

A statement from all three campaign groups for a No vote called the move “scandalous . . . and an attempt to rig the referendum”.

Pro Life Campaign, Save the Eighth and Iona Institute say move ‘shutting down’ fair debate

Google is to stop all advertising relating to the Eighth Amendment, amid concerns about the integrity of the vote. Photograph: Loic venance/AFP/Getty Images

Together for Yes welcomes move but No campaigners say it is an ‘attempt to rig’ referendum

HSE director-general Tony O’Brien: Minister for Health Simon Harris told his colleagues that, operationally, he believes it is best for O’Brien to see out his term to deal with the ongoing fallout from the CervicalCheck scandal. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

No one will express confidence in HSE head, but main players will not move against him

 Dr Gabriel Scally, president of the epidemiology and public health section of the Royal Society of Medicine who will carry out a scoping enquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

More than 4,500 women who called the helpline have yet to be called back by the HSE

Paschal Donohoe is expected to tell Fianna Fáil that at least €800m it had understood would be available will now not be included in the calculations for next year’s budget. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister to tell Fianna Fáil that at least €800m is no longer available for spending

Darragh O’Brien, Fianna Fáil’s housing spokesman, said councils would be given ‘specific targets’ of how many houses they should build.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Plan to provide 50,000 homes over five-year term under FF government

Minister Paul Kehoe said: “Our continued participation in peacekeeping operations has made friends for Ireland around the world while also promoting a positive image of Ireland.” Photograph: Alan Betson

President to address event in Dublin Castle as part of 60th anniversary of peacekeeping

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald with Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke and Aebhric McGibney, director of public and international affairs at Dublin Chamber. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Sinn Féin leader also says her party shares ‘common goals’ with businesses

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