Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, whose spokesman said there had been a consistent preference for a May 2020 date and that had not changed. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Parties say they are largely prepared for early election if one is called

Denis O’Brien: Communicorp  does not allow   journalists from The Irish Times to feature on its radio stations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

All political parties support letter calling on Communicorp to ‘reconsider approach’

 British prime minister Boris Johnson walks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the grounds of Thornton Manor Hotel in Liverpool, England, on Wednesday. Photograph: Noel Mullen/Government Press Office via Getty Images

Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson’s crunch Liverpool meeting followed a tense few days

Ballot boxes in the 2018 presidential election at the Dublin city count centre. Photograph: NIck Bradshaw

Government sources say poll on giving vote to emigrants delayed amid Brexit turmoil

Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson will meet in private for two hours

Inside Politics: Dublin and EU have played down any chances of breakthrough

 Paschal Donohoe in studio at RTE ahead of the Today with Sean O’Rourke show to take calls from the public on Budget 2019. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Government delivers cautious budget amid no-deal Brexit fears

Paschal’s day in the sun was overshadowed by the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, and his Brexit negotiations

Analysis: Donohoe set out a €1.2bn package for responding to a no-deal Brexit

UK prime minister Boris Johnson: ‘new deal or no deal’. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Inside Politics: Proposals appear to be like May’s time-limited backstop that was rejected by EU and Ireland

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty launched its alternative budget document on Thursday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Party proposes to spend €3.4 billion more than the € 2.8 billion of the Government

Wolves  became extinct in Ireland 250 years ago. Photograph: iStock

Eamon Ryan believes animals would contribute positively to the ecosystem

In exchanges with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in July, the Taoiseach said he supported the Seanad’s abolition. Photograph: Tom Honan

Report includes draft legislation for recommendations to be implemented without delay

Paul Murphy: he says  Rise will act as a third arm of Solidarity-People Before Profit. Photograph: Getty Images

Founder Paul Murphy been influenced by ground-up campaigns like water charges, Repeal

Former Workers’ Party members Pat Rabbitte, Proinsias De Rossa, Liz McManus and Eamonn Gilmore campaigning for Democratic Left in 2002. Photograph: Eric Luke

New group formed by Paul Murphy joins crowded space on Ireland’s political left

Paul Murphy TD launches his new political grouping, Rise, at a press conference in Buswells Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Dublin TD says the group will try to build a new, radical left movement in Irish society

While Ireland has consistently been ranked in the first three in the world for energy efficiency in new homes built since 2011, the big challenge is the 2 million homes built when standards were much lower. Photograph: Getty Images

Rules will require new homes to be twice as energy efficient as current standards

Paul Murphy, who has left the Socialist Party,  argued for more engagement with the Green Party and Sinn Féin, but his party colleagues in Leinster House disagreed. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Analysis: Differences over relations with other parties and group at heart of latest split

Paul Murphy is leaving  the Socialist party after it failed to resolve an internal year-long dispute over the extent and level of co-operation it should have with other left-leaning parties and movements of the left. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Dublin TD’s departure follows failure to resolve year-long dispute over party strategy

British prime minister Boris Johnson speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in  New York City. Photograph: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: British prime minister suffers stunning court defeat, US president faces impeachment inquiry

Minister for Education Joe McHugh: ‘I want to get something working for the new year.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

McHugh pledges rules to stop children with special needs being put on reduced hours

Students at the global climate change strike in Dublin’s Merrion Square on Friday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Green Party and Fianna Fáil describe children’s protests as ‘moving’ and ‘inspirational’

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly: “I am from west Cork and have five children, aged between six and 16. It just was becoming very difficult for me to spend any time with my family.” Photograph: Julien Behal

Politicians must juggle time spent in constituency with requirement to attend the Dáil

Jim Daly: I cannot continue in public life spending three or four days in Dublin each week. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES

As a west Cork TD ‘it was becoming very difficult for me to spend time with my family’

PSNI officers at the laneway at Kinawley in Co Fermanagh where Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney was abducted   on Tuesday. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

QIH chief operations officer believed to have been held in a horsebox, investigators believe

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tries his hand at ploughing with Colman Cogan  from Sligo during the National Ploughing Championships in Carlow, Ireland. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Private meeting held with DUP leader in Dublin on Wednesday night

Farmers protesting outside the Dawn Meats plant at Grannagh on the Waterford/ Kilkenny border. File Photograph: PA

Creed urges farmers to ‘step away from blockades’ as beef deal stalls

UK home secretary Priti Patel told the BBC the “entire machinery of government” was focused on securing a Brexit deal. Photograph: BBC

Two British ministers said on Sunday that deal was still possible by October 31st

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said action needed to be taken now and not at the end of the decade when it will be too late. File photograph: Tom Honan

Eamon Ryan tells think-in the party wants the tax to increase to €90 per tonne by 2030

Even after the bruising that followed the Greens pairing up with Fianna Fáil in 2007, the predominant view in the party is that it should go back into coalition. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Climate change a zeitgeist issue but Brexit and rivals playing catch-up may complicate matters

Green Party TD Catherine Martin: “You just don’t land a punch like that and then go away.”

Independent TD criticised over comments about African asylum seekers

The Connemara Gateway Hotel, Oughterard: The  Department of Justice  cannot confirm or deny if any building is being considered for direct provision. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Locals say lack of communication about direct provision centre is behind opposition

A show of hands was taken at the meeting in Oughterard. Photograph: Gearóid Murphy/Twitter

Galway TD claimed direct provision centre would ‘destroy the fabric of Oughterard’

Galway West TD Noel Grealish has faced criticism from politicians and on social media for allegedly portraying African asylum seekers as economic migrants who ‘sponge off the system’. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Deputy spoke at Oughterard meeting where concern about direct provision centre was raised

Dr Eddie Casey, Séamus Coffey, Dr Martina Lawless and Dr Michael Tutty of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Fiscal council warns overspending in health and social welfare is eating into surpluses

A further 14 individuals in 2016 earned between €1m and €3m, giving them annual tax reliefs of almost €300,000 to €900,000.

Contentious State initiative to attract senior personnel allows for 30% relief on income

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Cllr Shay Brennan, turn the sod on new ‘cost rental’ development in Stepaside, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

CIF wants Budget 2020 to extend Help-to-Buy scheme and relax mortgage lending rules

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the details of the situation facing Irish trawlers entering UK waters on November 1st had yet to be worked out. File photograph: Jeff Mauritzen/National Geographic/Getty Images

Government ‘escalating’ no-deal Brexit preparations amid concerns over sector’s exposure

An image from last month showing indepdendent farmers protesting outside the  Dawn Meats plant at Grannagh on the Waterford/ Kilkenny. Photograph: PA

Meat Industry Ireland says decisions to cease processing operations had ‘not been taken lightly’

Brendan Howlin is sharpening Labour’s appeal ahead of the next general election. File photograph: The Irish Times

Mood at Cork conclave among party parliamentarians and new councillors upbeat

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said it is ‘disclosure time’ for the Government to spell out what is going to happen to the Border if there is a crash-out Brexit. File photograph: Laura Hutton

Labour leader warns Taoiseach on Dublin meeting with British PM and chaotic Brexit

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson: Told the summer school regarding the Belfast Agreement that ‘we can’t enhance the relationship and the principle of consent’. File photograph: The Irish Times

Brexit not to frustrate or derail Belfast Agreement, claims leading unionist politician

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meeting Séamus Whelan and Sinéad McSweeney, the son and wife and son of the late Noel Whelan. Photograph: Mary Browne

Commentator and school founder died at age of 50 in July

Charlie Haughey: very different, he acted differently and lived differently. Photograph: RTÉ screen grab

Former Fianna Fáil TD Conor Lenihan says former taoiseach did State a disservice

Even with a no-deal Brexit ‘there will be net growth in employment’, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says economy will slow down but there will be no recession

RTÉ director general Dee Forbes  said  ‘our current financial situation is not like anything we have seen before’.

Dee Forbes says station is ‘reassessing everything we currently do’

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin: ‘In March we came within days of a crash-out Brexit for which Ireland manifestly was not prepared – something the Taoiseach admitted during Dáil questions.’ File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

FF leader questioned Government’s preparedness for worst possible Brexit outcome

The European Commission  has already told Ireland that in a no-deal Brexit ‘you will have a hard border’. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

Even soft border would mean eight crossing points may be needed, according to Revenue

US vice-president Mike Pence and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  at Farmleigh House on Tuesday. Photograph:  Pool/Getty

Hard border would have a ‘deeply destructive’ impact on Ireland, Varadkar says

US vice-president Mike Pence during a joint news conference with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House in Dublin. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

US vice-president’s robust support for Britain had not been expected at Farmleigh event

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael has been characterised by a party strategist as the only grouping that can ‘protect the economy’. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Promising jobs data bodes well for Fine Gael but Brexit, housing and health pose problems

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson faces fierce opposition for insisting on an October 31st withdrawal from the European Union. rew Parsons/ EPA

Backstop represents the ‘maximum flexibility’ the EU can offer, says Barnier

Maggie Clune, Social Enterprise Manager, PACE Organisation. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

The busy Four Courts outlet was set up to give its workforce a second chance

Peter Lawlor and Gerry Gowan, aka “Dublin Gerry”, pictured in advance of the All Ireland final. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

‘The cycle of Dublin’s success will end,’ says sports historian. Yes but not on Sunday, supporters insist

Richard Boyd Barrett TD of People Before Profit: ‘All bets are off’ should there be a global recession. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

PBP calls for ‘unified action’ on housing and climate change in letter to parties and unions

The Road Safety Authority says anecdotal evidence suggests e-scooter-related injuries “are generally minor and a result of users falling off rather than interactions with other road users”.   Photograph: Dave Meehan

Controlled rollout of ‘powered transporters’ could ensure safety and bestow green benefit

 European Council president Donald Tusk and UK prime minister Boris Johnson  at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France on Sunday. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Boris Johnson hints UK may refuse to pay £39bn divorce bill in event of no-deal

 Outgoing  Fine Gael  TD John Deasy: Waterford politician  brought a direct and sometimes abrasive style to Dáil Éireann. Photograph: Stephen Collins

Dungarvan maverick spoke his mind and drew on experience of White House politics

Lottie Groenland (4) and her mother, Rosa Groenland, at the Extinction Rebellion protest at the Brazilian Embassy in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan Meade

Taoiseach threatens to vote against deal backed by Hogan over rainforest wildfires

Electric scooters are currently not regulated in Ireland and are technically illegal. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Shane Ross is expected to impose licensing and speed restrictions if e-scooters legalised

Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton: said it was unfair on  householders who had applied on time for retrofits to have to wait indefinitely for a decision.  Photograph:  Tom Honan

Bruton reversal of decision to end scheme may need €8m for work on 302 households

Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the  Environment. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

SEAI says it does not have enough funding for all applicants, but Bruton disputes claim

Richard Bruton says he expects letters of offer to issue from early September 2019 to  eligible applicants. Photograph: iStock

Move comes after 300 homeowners were told the scheme had run out of money

 Minister for  Social Protection Regina Doherty: accused of being ‘bull-headed’ about card.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Opposition say PAC should examine if € 60m spend represented value for money

The position remains that the scheme is closed and the 302 applications have been put ‘on hold’ pending a review. Photograph: iStock

Homeowners not entitled to claim for costs linked to expensive application process

More than 300 homeowners who had been awaiting approval for a deep retrofit grant  have been told the funding is not available. Photograph: iStock

‘They dangled a carrot at us even though they knew the carrot was not there’

Despite a doubling of the budget to €10 million this year, only 91 houses will be retrofitted, compared with 139 last year and 120 in 2017.

‘Hundreds of jobs across the retrofit industry are now at risk,’ says contractor

The grant offered more than 50 per cent of the costs of a deep retrofit of older homes with a C2 energy rating or worse, bringing its rating up as high as A3. File photograph.

Grants for deep retrofits to be given only to projects already approved

The scaffolding is coming down on Leinster House as the refurbishment comes to an end. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Unforseen issues in historic building resulted in delays and 15% budget overrun, says OPW

Shane Lowry  playing The Golf Course at Adare Manor on Friday at the launch of the  2020 JP McManus Pro-Am. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Golf resort owned by financier JP McManus will host event 20 years after K Club

President Michael D Higgins’ campaign spent €50,000 on publicity. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Lowest expenses of just under €120,000 were incurred by Peter Casey who came second

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring: “[Eir] pulled out of the process and created a problem. I want them to stop now telling us that they could do it cheaper.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister accuses Eir of hypocrisy in half-price claims after leaving tender process

Newly elected MEP Clare Daly has hired the son of her political colleague Mick Wallace as her European Parliament assistant. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Since 2009, MEPs can no longer employ close relatives for parliamentary roles

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said a decision on when to hold the referendum, on extending the vote in presidential elections to Irish people living abroad, does not have to be taken until September. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Government urged to postpone poll and focus on Britain’s impending exit from EU

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: ‘It would be profoundly serious if two different time zones were to exist on the island of Ireland.’  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Having two different time zones north and south of the Border would cause significant problems after Brexit, says Minister

CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy (L)  and Chairperson of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey during a Joint Committee meeting on Transport Tourism & Sport regarding the governance review of the FAI at Leinster House, Dublin.Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Conway worked to ‘steady the ship’ but it’s ‘time to hand it over’ – Sports Ireland chief

Dónal Conway: he is the only person to be nominated for the role of FAI president. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Transport accused Dónal Conway of reneging on promise to step down

FAI president Donal Conway giving evidence at the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport in April. Photograph: PA

Dónal Conway and FAI say current board will stand down at AGM on July 27th

Of the injury claims lodged in relation to Leinster House, the largest settlement was for €62,250 after a trip and fall. Of that, €35,000 was in damages, with the remaining €27,500 in legal fees. Photograph: Alan Betson

None of the six claims were brought by TDs or Senators, commission confirms

Minister for Health Simon Harris is to bring proposals to Cabinet on Wednesday to re-establish six regional healthcare structures around the State, which will have high levels of autonomy. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Harris to propose re-establishing regional structures similar to old health board system

Minister of State at the Department of Defence Paul Kehoe: accused of being “an empty vessel who makes a lot of noise but the exodus of Defence Forces personnel continues”.  Photograph: Tom Honan

Amid calls for sacking as morale hits ‘rock bottom’, Paul Kehoe stands over track record

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan addresses his party’s annual conference  on Saturday. He lambasted the Government’s transport policies and called Fine Gael and Minister for Transport Shane Ross ‘a waste of space’. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Eamon Ryan rules out electoral pact with parties of the left and centre-left

Screening results were either delayed or not issued to 800 women and their GPs because of an IT issue at a US laboratory, Quest Diagnostics in Chantilly, Virginia. File photograph: Getty

Minister briefed on the matter as soon as Health Service Executive completed report

Eamon Ryan: ‘Stop-start policies will not work’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Motion ruling out coalition with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil rejected by large majority

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD is more open to coalition with bigger party than Saoirse McHugh. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The event in hip Dublin 7 includes yoga, a biodiversity talk and some radical motions

Green Party member Saoirse McHugh, a candidate in the European elections,  has said she would leave the party if it entered coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. Photograph: Michael McLaughlin

Party’s success in European elections could see it win up to 12 seats in general election

 Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys at the conference in the Aviva stadium in Dublin.

Digital knowledge and financial skills also issue, report finds

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right)  has defended the decision not to nominate a female candidate for the European Commission alongside outgoing agricultural commissioner Phil Hogan (left). Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach says Maireád McGuinness and Emily O’Reilly roles provide ‘a good balance’

The LGBT Pride Rainbow flag is raised over the Dáil during last month’s celebrations. Photograph: Alan Betson

All talk of elections off the agenda as harsh political realities govern party thinking

No-deal Brexit: the very-worst-case scenario

Preparations for no-deal departure of UK dominate last Cabinet meeting before Dáil’s summer recess

Reforms could lead to a 300-fold increase in the maximum stake allowed for slot machines. File photograph: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Fears expressed the changes will exacerbate Ireland’s gambling addiction problem

Gerry Adams: he has rejected suggestions he has sent a signal to Belfast that Mary Lou McDonald needs time, free of the demands for an immediate Border poll, to rebuild in the Republic

Some believe SF must not only point to Government's failings but also to solutions

Waterford TD  John Deasy has called for the entire Waterford Fine Gael organisation to be suspended and for party headquarters to intervene in the constituency. File image: Stephen Collins / Collins Photos

Unsuccessful candidate said she was ‘intimidated’ at meeting to vote no confidence in TD

Fine Gael TD John Deasy has implicitly criticised how the leadership of his party has handled what he sees as issues with the Waterford Fine Gael organisation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

TD says ‘the entire Waterford organisation needs to be stood down and reviewed’

Boris Johnson claimed he could dive back into the closed Brexit negotiations. Photograph: EPA/ANDY RAIN

Inside Politics: Likely new PM claims he could reopen talks and fix backstop issue with technical fixes

Independent Senator Frances Black: her   Occupied Territories Bill is subject to a money message. “The Government is misusing the rules to veto Bills they don’t like, even when the Dáil votes to pass them. It’s fundamentally anti-democratic and has to be challenged.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Money message’ device has stalled 55 Bills tabled by Opposition TDs and Senators

(Front from left to right)  Catherine Murphy,   Róisín Shortall  and newly elected councillors at the Social Democrats conference in Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Party wants restrictions to tackle dominance of investment funds in the rental sector

Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton at Monday’s launch of the Government’s climate action plan at TU Dublin, Grangegorman. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton to host first meeting in Cork with Simon Coveney

Boris Johnson: still way out in front in the Conservative party leadership race. Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Hunt or Gove appear most likely to face Johnson in one-to-one contest

Fr Seán Healy of  Social Justice Ireland. Photograph: Eric Luke

Disorderly Brexit or other negative external shock could prevent overheating

Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton announcing details of the climate action plan at TU Dublin, Grangegorman, on Monday. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

The many aims for individual sectors remain highly aspirational with little detail

Prof John Fitzgerald. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

John Fitzgerald points to massive amount of evidence showing key role for carbon taxes

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