The site of the proposed National Children’s Hospital, which is currently projected to cost €1.43bn. Photograph: Eric Luke

Public expenditure secretary claims health counterpart should answer Oireachtas questions

 Fianna Fáil’s Eamon Ó Cúiv: “What I am proposing is that through the LocalLink companies a subsidy be given to service providers on an organised basis to provide local area hackney services in and around rural areas”

Minister says number of checkpoints in recent weeks had led ‘Joe Public’ to feel ‘persecuted’

 Britain’s prime minister Theresa May makes a statement at Downing Street after  she won a vote of no confidence in the government. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Inside Politics: Shane Ross caught on tape privately admitting he didn’t know what to say at press conference

Minister for Transport Shane Ross. A Minister said Mr Ross’s public performance was not surprising given that he did not seem ‘up to speed’ on Brexit preparations in his own portfolio.

Minister for Transport’s Brexit remarks were ‘as if he didn’t even read his own documents’

Drivers are told by gardaí to blame increased checks on Minister for Transport Shane Ross, according to one Minister. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Garda checkpoints are ‘over the top’ and akin to ‘police state’, Cabinet member claims

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said if the UK moved on its red lines of ruling out membership of the customs union and single market, the EU position would also evolve.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Taoiseach says UK government must honour its commitments to the people of Ireland ‘north and south’

Simon Coveney brought a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday on the operation of the CTA in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

New UK-Ireland arrangement to protect Common Travel Area ‘ready to go’ – Tánaiste

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is to complete a review  of the Local Property Tax  by the end of March. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Homes are to be revalued for the levy, with the amended bills taking effect next year

Assistant commissioner Fintan Fanning is currently suspended and under investigation by Gsoc but is due to retire in August File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister for Justice calls for accelerated investigation of retiring members cases

Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle: “That was a decision that the Public Accounts Committee made itself and it is empowered to make these decisions”.

‘I can’t decide what their (PAC’s) agenda is’ – Ceann Comhairle

Arson attack took place at the KBC bank premises on the Main Street in Swords at 5.18am.

Controversial eviction took place at Roscommon farm

 Michael D’Arcy, the Minister of State with special responsibility for insurance. “I find the settlement channels incredibly diverse,” he says. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Database tracking insurance claims will be running by end of year, says Minister

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan wants ‘only persons of suitable character’ employed by private security firms. ‘In other words, no criminal convictions,’ he said. Photograph: James Forde

Minister outlines plans for regulating private security companies involved in evictions

Sheila Nunan:  “I obviously have been in organised labour all my life; this is a shift to political Labour.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Nunan contesting selection convention to be candidate in Ireland South despite claims move could ‘look like desperation’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets Irish troops in Mali during his visit to Africa.

Tánaiste to warn time for ‘wishful thinking’ is over if Britain is to avoid no-deal Brexit

Credit unions want greater flexibility to set their own business models. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe looks to amend legislation to increase interest rate cap for credit unions

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said acceding to the nurses’ pay demands would “take us back to the bad old days of unsustainable and unaffordable pay rises”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Finance says acceding demands would ‘take us back to the bad old days’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: Mr Howlin says both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are “chameleons” who will change their polices to get into power. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Labour leader wants centre left alliance to negotiate future coalition as a bloc

“Credit unions are not banks,” said one Minister, adding that they usually “look after” people who may usually have difficulty accessing credit from banks. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Higher-risk loans could pave way for ‘aggressive moneylending’, Ministers claim

Anti-abortion protesters outside a GP surgery in Galway city on Thursday morning.

A woman going through a crisis pregnancy ‘is going through enough upset and turmoil’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Christian Social Union regional group chairman in the German parliament Bundestag Alexander Dobrindt  attend the annual Christian Social Union  party meeting at Kloster Seeon, in Seeon, Germany. Photograph:  EPA

‘Divorce can bring those left behind closer together’, Varadkar says in Bavaria

Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath said the Government must get over a fear of being labelled as being “on the side of developers”. Photograph: James Forde

Government should not fear allowing builders make bigger profits, Minister of State says


Cost is based on State’s contribution of €25,000 to one case settled out of court

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media following the first Cabinet meeting of 2019 at Government Buildings, Dublin, on Thursday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Report says 1,000 police officers will be sent to North in case of no-deal Brexit disorder

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he and German chancellor Angela Merkel  had a long phone conversation at her request. File image: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

German chancellor and Taoiseach reiterate support for UK withdrawal deal in 40-minute conversation

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has with deputy leader Nichola Mallon written to party members assuring them that any relationship with Fianna Fáil would be for the party to endorse or reject. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Colum Eastwood and Nichola Mallon aware ‘change won’t be comfortable for some’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Fine Gael had more scope to gain seats in the Munster region than in the greater Dublin area. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/EPA

Fine Gael could win ‘well above’ 60 seats in a general election, Tánaiste claims

Shane Ross’s planned anti-speeding measures have prompted concerns. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Séamus Woulfe questions if planned graduated speeding penalties are ‘proportionate’

An artist’s impression of the exterior of the proposed new National Children’s Hospital at St James’s in Dublin

Harris considering sponsor opportunities for overall and sectional nomenclature at site

St James’s Hospital, site of new children’s hospital.  Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Construction costs have risen, now estimated annual operating costs spiral upwards

Projects that may be shelved include new laboratories and theatres at the Coombe hospital, and a €3.4m investment in paediatric and blood services.

Confidential memo from Simon Harris says final bill for the facility could be €1.73bn

Tánaiste Simon Coveney meets then British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a prominent Brexiteer,   at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on January 31st last. Photograph:  Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images.

Tánaiste responds to Rees-Mogg claim that hard Border can be avoided even if no Brexit deal reached

Michael McDowell: “The reform of the Seanad is not a matter best left to the initiative of the unreformed Seanad.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Senator argues Seanad should not be relied on to implement changes in a timely fashion

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl  would not be drawn on whether his proposal followed controversial comments made by Peter Casey in the presidential election campaign. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Seán Ó Fearghaíl proposes new Dáil committee to examine concerns of ethnic group

It is understood  Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met Minister for Transport Shane Ross before the Cabinet meeting and brokered a deal. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Measures removing Garda discretion to allow motorists present licence at station are stalled

Among other reforms is  the possible divestment of “non-core” activities away from An Garda Síochána. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government accepts Garda oversight bodies will be reduced from three to two

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured speaking to reporters in James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown on Monday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach says latest increase is ‘way beyond what we had ever anticipated’

Presidential candidate Peter Casey sharply criticised what he described as a complete lack of detail in the review. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Presidential candidate responds to document revealing details of Higgins’s allowance

Mayo County Council

Frank Durcan and Cyril Burke investigated by State ethics watchdog over Castlebar land

The spending report:  ‘The Presidency in review, 2011-2018,’  said an unspent portion of the €317,000 annual  allowance  - a cumulative €238,443 -  will be returned to the exchequer. Photograph: PA

Food and beverages is the most expensive element of events, costing €125,589 in 2018

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness has said the extension of the confidence and supply agreement has put his party in a ‘straitjacket’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Martin has given Government ‘blank cheque’ by extending agreement, says McGuinness

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin speaks to the media on the plinth at Leinster House. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Martin and Varadkar will appoint two teams of four to oversee running of agreement

Micheál Martin on Leinster House plinth on Wednesday. The Fianna Fáil leader reacted sharply to suggestions that the extension was offered in the hope Fianna Fáil could close the gap on Fine Gael. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil leader showed deft political management in how he manoeuvred party

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: “People will not be happy with this decision within the party. I think the general public will be.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Coveney praises ‘maturity’ of FF agreement that there be no election until 2020

Leo Varadkar had asked Micheál Martin to agree to hold the next general election in the summer of 2020. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Political chaos we see in London will not be allowed to spread to Ireland,’ Martin says

British prime minister Theresa May is facing a leadership challenge. Photograph: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

Inside Politics: Chairman of Tory committee announces threshold of 48 MPs to trigger a vote has been reached

Shane Ross, Minister for Transport: proposals at an early stage. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Penalty points and €80 fine proposed for drivers who don’t have driving licence to hand

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are to meet on Wednesday to discuss the future of the confidence and supply deal, sources say. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

FG and FF have been reviewing agreement, which props up minority Government

Shane Ross said the idea behind his proposals “is that the faster you go the more points you get”

Graduated speeding measures sought by Minister for Transport Shane Ross

Theresa May (L) shakes hands with Angela Merkel ahead of talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Juncker says there is ‘no room whatsoever for renegotiation’ as PM seeks concessions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday. A statement from Government Buildings said both he and European Council president Donald Tusk agreed the Brexit withdrawal agreement “could not be renegotiated”. Photograph: PA Wire

Taoiseach warns any clarifications on what withdrawal agreement says cannot change its substance

 Minister for Transport Shane Ross: “Speeding is a killer, drink-driving is a killer. They both kill in almost equal amounts.”  Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Ross moves to introduce long-promised graduated fines for speeding

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the rollout of abortion services was not a case of ‘just flicking a switch’. Photograph: Collins

Harris says the 300 women who travel for terminations each month will have options in State

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. It is widely expected he  will offer to open negotiations on an extension to the arrangement underpinning the minority government, possibly for another year

Micheál Martin has asked both parliamentary party and frontbench to trust his judgment

The Seanad chamber at Leinster House. The electorate is currently confined to TDs, Senators, councillors and graduates of Trinity College, Dublin, and the National University of Ireland

Report explores how to widen franchise for elections to Upper House

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin:  will decide his next move after his negotiating team report back to him on progress of talks to date. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader to decide on renegotiating confidence and supply deal with Fine Gael

Leo Varadkar, Mr Varadkar’s partner Matt and friends with Kylie Minogue at the singer’s gig at the 3Arena. Photograph: Tiernan Brady/Twitter

Taoiseach posts that he has receipt to prove he paid for drinks amid social media allegations

Olivia Buckley is expected to to run for Fianna Fáil in the Dublin Rathdown constituency Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Olivia Buckley expected to fill slot left by decision of Justin McAleese to not run

Leader of Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin, is pictured with Anne Rabbitte TD, Fiona O’Loughlin TD and  Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee at the party Think-in in Malahide on September 11th. Mr Martin has been keen for a retrospective review of the confidence and supply agreement  Photograph: Conor McCabe

Move comes as party prepares to decide on confidence and supply deal extension

Some €900 million of the PTSB loans to be covered by the bond sale comprise split mortgages, where repayments on a portion of the loans have been frozen until a future date.

Bond sale aimed at removing non-performing loans from lender’s balance sheet

Micheál Martin: Most TDs believe the Fianna Fáil leader wants to extend the confidence and supply deal with Fine Gael, possibly by another year. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Review of confidence-and-supply agreement goes on with no immediate threat of election

Former minister for communications Denis Naughten: expected to make a public statement today

Inside Politics: Auditor’s findings are expected to clear former minister Denis Naughten of seeking to influence process in favour(...)

A Guinness lorry at the Border. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Government says it will not prepare for extra checks on Border with Northern Ireland

Former minister for communications Denis Naughten did not influence or seek to influence the conduct of the broadband tender process in favour of Granahan McCourt Capital, or otherwise, the independent auditor found.

Cabinet to consider report on tendering process from independent auditor

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath: “The people won’t be fooled because they know Fine Gael has form in making grandiose tax promises before elections and then dropping them afterwards.”  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath says Varadkar ‘going around the place like Santa Claus at the moment’

Speaking on surveillance claims, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said “it must be stressed that these are allegations, and we must in the first instance determine if they are factual’. File photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan says allegations raise serious issues

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government proposed to continue to increase tax credits “and anyone who pays income tax would benefit from that”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ireland should follow model being pursued in Canada, Taoiseach says

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said  he would not engage in ‘megaphone diplomacy’ with Fine Gael. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Fianna Fáil leader rejects ‘megaphone diplomacy’ with Fine Gael over deal

The planned amendment to the Constitution would stipulate that ownership of a water services authority must be retained by the State or a State-controlled body. File photograph: Getty Images

Planned amendment would ensure State control of water services authority

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe declined to increase carbon taxes in last month’s budget but said it was his intention to put a long-term plan to 2030 in place that could see the tax rise to €100 per tonne.

Taoiseach promises to increase top rate tax threshold to €50,000 over five years

EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said the report covered cross-Border topics inlcuding trade, animal health, tourism, the environment and cross-Border fraud.

EU Ombudsman O’Reilly believes it is in the public interest for documents to be released

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s speech to the Fine Gael Ardfheis was ‘the clearest manifestation yet’ of what he promised he would deliver as Fine Gael leader. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Deal with Fianna Fáil leaves Taoiseach limited scope for headway on ardfheis pledge

Fine Gael Árd Fheis, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressing the delegates. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says Fine Gael will cut taxes over the next five years if the party stays in power

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Fine Gael was “almost” but “not quite” ready for an election. Photograph: Donall Farmer

Talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on extending government pact ‘going well’, says Minister

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy at the opening of phase one of a housing regeneration project at Dolphin House in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach acknowledges border infrastructure could return

Leo Varadkar: “If you start trying to amend it or unpick it you might find that the whole thing starts to unravel.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Very difficult’ to avoid hard border if no withdrawal agreement in place, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will address the Fine Gael ard fheis on Saturday evening. File photograph: Lorraine Teevan/PA

Special party conference may have to approve FG government deals

The question in Leinster House will soon turn to what Varadkar does with the political capital the Brexit deal gives him: push Fianna Fáil to extend the confidence and supply deal or call an election in the new year?

Some Fine Gael TDs believe Varadkar has secured a huge political win and are checking if an election can be held before Christmas

Tánaiste Simon Coveney (left) and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a press conference on Brexit at Government Buildings in Dublin on Wednesday night. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Taoiseach will not lobby anyone in Westminster before Commons’ vote as it’s an ‘internal matter’

The Withdrawal Agreement will include one backstop, with an EU-UK customs union at its core. Photograph: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: May’s initial vision of ‘red, white and blue’ Brexit gives way to much closer relationship with EU

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  Told the Dáil that Britain remaining closely aligned with EU customs arrangements will benefit Irish businesses. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Deal preserves goal of avoiding hard border, though details of backstop review still unclear

Pursuit of the border backstop has been a policy fraught with danger for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government can claim huge success if mooted backstop is reflected in final deal

The EU and the UK have reportedly agreed the main details of the withdrawal agreement. Photograph: Getty

Foster says NI trade rules being set in Brussels would be ‘democratically unacceptable’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said an EU summit held by the end of November on a Brexit deal would be “preferable”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘A lot’ of work ongoing in Brussels between EU and UK negotiating teams, Taoiseach says

Vulture funds are, on average, considering more arrangements for those in arrears when compared to banks and retail credit firms. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Central Bank finds firms acting for vulture funds largely honouring code of conduct

British prime minister Theresa May speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at the Guildhall in London on Monday night.  “The negotiations for our departure are now in the endgame,” she said. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Theresa May says speculation about an imminent breakthrough in talks is premature

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attends the launch of the Gender Action Plan 2018 on Monday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Garda chief Drew Harris seeks to reverse decision to fund defence of his predecessor

John Deasy, the Waterford TD appointed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to spearhead efforts at visa reform in US. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

John Deasy credits figures in president’s cabinet for helping progress US-Ireland plan

Minister for Children Dr Katherine Zappone with Jessica Shaw and Niamh Finglas from Louth after the Minister launched four new childcare reports on Thursday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ministers warned over lack of engagement with Government’s public services portal

Eamon O’Cuiv TD and Senator Mark Daly with Sorcha McAnespy, who said she would  run as a Fianna Fail candidate in next year’s local council elections. Photograph: Fianna Fáil/PA Wire

Party says Ó Cuív ‘aware in advance’ of plans to hold unauthorised candidate launch

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Éamon Ó Cuív, who also took part in event, says he has not been contacted about matter

Geoffrey Cox, the UK’s attorney general, arriving at 10 Downing Street for a cabinet meeting. He described the EU’s willingness to consider a review mechanism for the backstop  a “major step” towards a deal. Photograph: Bloomberg

EU believes movement on Border issue this week would allow for November summit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made clear to British prime minister Theresa May  his “consistent” position that a unilateral withdrawal from the Border backstop by the UK was unacceptable. Photograph: Tom Honan

Taoiseach underlines ‘consistent’ stance on Border in call with British prime minister

Taoisech Leo Varadkar  and Junior Housing Minister Damien English at the opening of a new housing development  in Ballymun, Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach says three month limit ‘not worth paper it’s written on’

Border at Derry: emerging withdrawal agreement will contain additional measures on the Border,  including extra customs rules. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Guarantee’s specific application to NI may be replaced by Britain-wide customs control

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin: may not have to vastly improve party’s  Dáil standing to acquire again the position of post-election powerbroker.  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Left-leaning bloc may serve Labour as bargaining chip in future government formation

Labour leader Brendan Howlin (right) greets the party’s spokesperson on health Alan Kelly at the party conference in Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Party to produce ‘red line’ demands for participating in government ahead of election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said  areas of rural Ireland that will be easiest to reach for new broadband infrastructure could be connected in the next “year or two”, but said more remote areas may taken longer to connect.

Leo Varadkar declines to put timeline on scheme completion or give precise figure on cost

Tánaiste & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney with UK minister for the cabinet office, David Lidington. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Simon Coveney and David Lidington at British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin says he has written to SDLP leader Colum Eastwood asking him to outline his intentions regarding a potential merger with Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Labour leader says Irish and UK Labour parties may need to contest North polls together

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