Alan Shatter: “This is mad stuff.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former minister for justice says ‘bizarre vanity project’ is worse than a ‘dog’s dinner’

Seaworthy: Maeve Binchy. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Neale Richmond urges naming of ship after ‘one of Ireland’s most famous daughters’

Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy met the Ceann Comhairle and said he was very supportive of the idea and of the need for a survey. Photograph: Alan Betson

Questions will relate to experiences of inappropriate behaviour and bullying

Joint leaders of the Social Democrats, Róisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy both wrote to MacGill Summer School director Joe Mulholland earlier this week to say they would withdraw from the event if the gender imbalance issue was not addressed. Photograph: Eric Luke

Social Democrats joint leaders say better gender balance still required

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Ireland has been transformed since 1993. All of the organisation that held sway in 1993 have gone,” she says. “People are much more open and accepting of things.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn recalls her role in removing repressive laws in 1993

Alcohol Action Ireland says that 900 people in Ireland develop cancer every year as a result of alcohol dependency.

Committee hears the European Commission raised no objection to plan

The Health and Information Quality Authority investigated  the management of allegations of child sexual abuse cases by the Child and Family Agency Tusla. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Investigation into Tusla makes for ‘difficult reading’ says Katherine Zappone

 Minister for Children Katherine Zappone  said the report made for “difficult reading”.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Damning health watchdog report calls for urgent action at child protection agency

Leo Varadkar: More borrowing means a bigger deficit, and higher debt does not make sense. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Taoiseach rules out expansionist budget in October

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the official opening of AWS (Amazon Web Services) offices on  Burlington Road, Dublin, on Monday, where he  indicated that avoiding overheating in the economy would be a major priority of the budget. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Think-tank urges Coalition to avoid overheating economy but plays down fears of house-price bubble

 Stepaside Garda station in Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Maria Bailey says there is a far more compelling case for a new station in Cherrywood

Minister says 59 prisoners on temporary release were monitored last year at a cost of €166,117. Photograph: iStock

Questions have been raised about the efficacy and costs of method of monitoring

Minister of State for Local Government John Paul Phelan brought forward a memorandum to realign the local authorities in Cork, and to begin the process of merging the two councils in Galway

Galway County Council and Galway City Council to be merged within three years

Householders transferring to the Cork City Council area will continue to pay property tax to Cork County Council until the end of 2019.  File image: Getty

Cork city boundary to increase, Galway councils to merge within three years

Women wait to have their babies vaccinated at a Harare hospital. Photograph: Harry McGee

Country needs vast aid programmes to realise its potential and address climate change

 Fianna Fáil’s   Michael McGrath: “It’s time for the Government to live up to its word and treat deserving cases in a fair and humane manner”

Figures disclosed in parliamentary answer to Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone holds a press conference on false birth registrations, at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Agency says it does not have the ‘remit’ for such an audit amid birth registration scandal

Dr Geoffrey Shannon  and Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Current Minister says conclusive evidence of 126 cases since 1952 at St Patrick’s Guild

Susan Kiernan: “Even knowing about the circumstances and my mother’s identity would be good . . . as it would give closure from my point of view.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Susan Kiernan’s search revealed her birth cert ‘had my adoptive parents’ names on it’

Former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan at the Charleton  Tribunal in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Former Garda press chief withdraws series of claims he made about Nóirín O’Sullivan

Former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan  responded to allegations made by Supt Taylor of a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photograph: Tom Honan

Former Garda commissioner tells tribunal she could not recall sexual allegations being discussed until late 2014

Simon Harris will bring legislative proposals to Cabinet today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Consensus is Bill could now become reality by autumn

Breege Comer with her granddaughter Gráinne O’Brien, eight months, arrives to vote at the polling station in Ballinlough, Co Roscommon. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Abortion result aftermath: ‘People said, this is out of date; we need to update Ireland’

The three co-directors of Together For Yes, from left,  Ailbhe Smyth, Grainne Griffin and Orla O’Connor. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The No side started early but personal accounts pushed Yes way ahead

Micheál Martin at the referendum count in Cork City Hall. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

From Micheál Martin coming out for Yes to an extraordinarily high turnout on polling day

Yes campaigners celebrate the official result of the Irish abortion referendum at Dublin Castle in Dublin on May 26th, 2018. Photograph: PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: From the second The Irish Times exit poll was published on Friday night, people knew that the change was emphatic

Co-Director of Together For Yes Ailbhe Smyth speaking to the media  in Dublin’s RDS count centre on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Harry McGee: Smiling Savita portraits proclaiming a new reality for Ireland

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan:  Has been put forward to be an advocate general to the EU Court of Justice. Photograph: Collins Courts

Former TCD professor Gerard Hogan is leading authority on Irish Constitution

The Yes side is probably ahead. but the gap between both sides closing

Inside Politics: Yes and No sides have put new emphases in campaigns over the past week

Paula Farrell, left  speaking to Tina Robinson,   canvassing for the Together for Yes campaign in Cabra on Friday night. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Clear evidence on the doorstop that the number of people who are clued into the debate is growing

From left, Enya Kennedy, Veronica Plus, Katherine Nolan and Brid Collins  on the YES campaign canvas in Castlecomer Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

The Irish Times has travelled with Yes and No campaigners. Now people are deciding

Erasmus participant did not apply to local authority and is not entitled to vote in Ireland

No vote campaigners canvassing  in the Westbourne area of Clondalkin, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Be polite, and don’t get involved in prolonged debates, supporters told

 Dr Peter Boylan, chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: said he is ‘standing up for Irish women and getting them the proper treatment’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Seventeen obstetricians wrote to Dr Boylan saying his position as chairman was incompatible with advocating on the issue

Tánaiste Simon Coveney categorically ruled out some of the technical solutions to the Border issue that have been advanced from the British government. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/EPA

Dublin open to ‘new thinking’ but will be inflexible on proposals for Border infrastructure

Aoife Flaherty speaking with Noel Carroll at his home during a Together for Yes house to house call in the Knocknacarra area of Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Galway canvass: Smattering of Yeses, Nos, lots of Don’t Know, and many unanswered doors

Labour Party TD Alan Kelly said the Government should move quickly to appoint a high-calibre board and its first task would be to choose a new director general. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Public Accounts Committee requesting 10 senior figures at next meeting

At the Love Both press conference in Dublin were from left; Monica Hadarean, Cora Sherlock, Sinead McBreen and Diana Gherasin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Abortion on the grounds of disability will occur within first 12 weeks, No campaign says

‘And then I looked to Simon Harris. I was thinking: well, surely the Minister for Health is going to step in and do something.’ Photograph: The Irish Times

Inside Politics: radio interview with terminally ill woman adds further tragic layer to screening scandal

Offaly TD Carol Nolan canvasses for a No vote in Tullamore. Photograph: Tom Honan

Suspended SF TD Carol Nolan is among those canvassing to retain the Eighth Amendment

Together For Yes canvass in  Perrystown, Dublin 12: Canvassers on the doors frequently end up engaging in very long – and inconclusive – conversations. Photograph: Tom Honan

Comparatively high number of people remain undecided

 Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald and Ian Marshall, a unionist farmer who has been elected to the  Seanad. Photograph: @MaryLouMcDonald/PA Wire

Armagh dairy farmer and now Senator is what you might call a progressive unionist

The Yes Together HQ in Mount Street, Dublin which is run by campaign manager Deirdre Duffy. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘When it comes down to the rub, it is much closer to 1995 in terms of urban/rural split’

Abortion referendum: Joan Burton, the Labour TD, makes the case for repealing the Eighth Amendment in Porter’s Gate in Clonsilla, in the Dublin West constituency

On the ground, a good way of gauging strength of one side is to follow the opposition

RTÉ’s policy position is to increase the amount of Irish heard on radio, with more Irish language and bilingual programming on Radio 1, 2fm and Lyric Fm. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Stations aimed at younger people were best performers among stations surveyed

Minister for Health Simon Harris: Will not get a free pass on the screening scandal from Opposition TDs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Inside Politics: Origins of CervicalCheck controversy go back over a decade when HSE decided to outsource screening to US labs

Eighth Amendment: Save the 8th canvassers on Cathedral Road in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Both sides in abortion referendum believe they have the edge. How can both be right?

 Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring: “The towns and villages of rural Ireland are the heart and soul of our rural communities and it is crucial that we revitalise these areas.” File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Renewal scheme will benefit up to 200 places around country, says Michael Ring

Sinead Slattery speaking at the Love Both press conference  in Dublin on Wednesday.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Parents of children born with life-limiting conditions call for alternatives to termination

The report states that “work has also commenced on a Carbon Tax review and it is expected that this will also be completed to inform Budget 2019”. File photograph: Getty Images

National Reform Programme 2018 completed and signed off by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

If Sean Canney, former Minister of State for the OPW,   were to leave the Independent Alliance, it is understood   he would support the Government on a case-by-case basis.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Meeting of Alliance has been postponed while Galway TD clarifies his future

The Knowledge Development Box was introduced by the Government in October 2015. It offered relief to income from qualifying patents, computer programmes and certain other intellectual property. Photograph: Getty Images

Donohoe reveals that fewer than 10 companies availed of relief in 2016

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar calling  for  a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Total of 25 individuals and organisations register with the Standards in Public Office Commission

Sisters Agnes, Ann, Bernadette and Joan Mallon at the meeting of the Yes campaign in the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown, Co Roscommon, last Friday night. Photograph: Paul Molloy

County has ‘a lot of silent Yes voters who are afraid to say openly they will vote Yes’

Emma Kearney (L) and Jacqueline Jago canvass Raymond Greene in Boyle O’Reilly Terrace, Drogheda, Co Louth, on the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Canvassers from both sides are working hard to win hearts and minds in Drogheda

 Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten: phone call between Eoghan Ó Neachtain and Mr Naughten on the proposed Celtic Media takeover by INM was not registered.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

PR executive who spoke to Naughten about INM ruling met Donohoe among other politicians

Leo Varadkar still remains the leader with the highest satisfaction ratings.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Inside Politics: The surge in popularity evident through the winter might not be maintained

Mounting insurance costs could threaten the future provision of playgrounds, the Alliance for Insurance Reform has warned. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Mounting insurance costs could close pre-schools and playgrounds, TDs hear

Michael Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia in 2009. Photograph: PA Wire

Decision by human rights commission to examine killing of Michael Dwyer seen as breakthrough

Tánaiste Simon Coveney. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Anyone seeing images of chemical attack in Douma would be ‘sick to their stomach’

Eoghan Murphy said his department has been applying the recommendations of a report which said high-rise apartments were not an optimal solution. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘All tools and incentives are there’ for developers to build more homes – Murphy

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar suggests joint cabinet meetings could bolster the relationship between both countries post-Brexit. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Without regular meetings relationships will decline, according to the Taoiseach

A Tomahawk land attack missile is fired from the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey  early on Saturday, April 14th, 2018.  The US, Britain and France carried out a wave of pre-dawn strikes against Syria’s regime in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack. Photograph:  Mass communication specialist 3rd Class Kallysta Castillo/US Navy/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Department of Foreign Affairs does not expressly support air strikes by US, UK, France

 Micheál Martin will be asked if he had been contacted or informed of any false allegations being made about Mr McCabe’s character by members of the force.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Tribunal investigating allegations of a Garda whispering campaign against Sgt McCabe

The property tax is currently calculated on 2014 property values. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Any increases will be ‘moderate and affordable’ despite rise in property values

Charging point: the Government’s climate-change-mitigation plan aims to increase the number of electric vehicles on Irish roads to 500,000 by 2030

Sales of electric vehicles still only 0.47% of the Irish car market

Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin said that under Mr Varadkar’s leadership homelessness had gone through the roof, with nearly 10,000 people now homeless in the State

Varadkar says he has no difficulty describing situation as an emergency and crisis

The Department of the Taoiseach was spending much of its justifying the SCU’s very existence, the report finds. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Controversy took up staff resources which damaged the ability to focus on priorities

Labour TD Alan Kelly: “That a department has no clear system in place for the filing and storage of emails is extraordinary”

Alan Kelly: No meaningful explanation for failure to search emails of Policing Division

Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov, leaves the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ambassador denounces ‘political theatre’ and ‘cover-up’ over UK chemical attack

Russia’s ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov leaves the Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Government anticipates retaliation from Moscow following expulsion of Russian official

Director of the SCU John Concannon. Photograph: Alan Betson

New report also exonerates the controversial unit from claims of politicisation

Vladimir Putin: It is no surprise the Russian diplomatic corps in Dublin might contain some members of the FSB, the security and intelligence service that is a successor to the KGB. Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin

Decision not just support for UK but based on doubts about Russian activity on Irish soil

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar ordered a review of the “spin unit” after negative publicity surrounding its operations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Staff in controversial ‘spin unit’ to be redeployed to other areas of the public service

Russian ambassador: Yury Filatov was summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs. Photograph: Tom Honan

Russian ambassador was told of the Government decision on Tuesday

Séamus Woulfe, Attorney General. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

Shane Ross wants Judicial Appointments Bill enacted by summer - that now seems fanciful

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the  Judicial Appointments Bill was a case of “too many cooks have spoiled the broth”. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan moves to quell controversy despite admitting legislation was in ‘difficult place’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: has instructed  that any future advertising campaign should require the SCU, and not a media agency, to have final sign-off on copy and layout, to ensure no perception of partisan political bias. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

Review of role of 'Fine Gael spin unit’ sparks plan to downsize €5m operation

Russian ambassador Yury Filatov with the media in the Russian embassy last week. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government is expected to announce expulsions of at least one official tomorrow

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin, former minister and now European election candidate Councillor Ciaran Cuffe and party leader Eamon Ryan pictured in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. The electorate tends to approach European elections with a different mind-set and have given a fair wind to the Greens in the past. Photograph: Green Party/Twitter

European candidate Ciarán Cuffe has a chance of winning a seat for the small party

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan speaking  at the party’s national convention in Dún Laoghaire. Photograph: Pauline O’Reilly/Green Party/Twitter

National convention hears sustained criticism of Government on so-called ‘green’ agenda

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin, former minister Councillor Ciaran Cuffe and party leader Eamon Ryan pictured in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Photograph: Green Party/Twitter

Party’s Dublin candidate in next year’s European elections will be former minister Ciarán Cuffe

The Oireachtas Housing and Local Government Committee heard from senior departmental planning advisers about how the Project Ireland 2040 development plan is to be implemented in the months and years ahead. File photograph: Getty Images

Interpretations differ over legal advice on status of 20-year planning framework

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh roimh dó aitheasc a thabhairt do Sheanad Éireann. Griangraif:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tugann an craoltóir iomráiteach aitheasc do Sheanad Éireann mar chuid de Bhliain na Gaeilge

Theresa May: expressed confidence an alternative arrangement with Ireland could be brokered. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: Theresa May concedes the ‘backstop’ would be included in the text of the draft withdrawal agreement.

Barry McElduff:  resigned as an MP after posting a video of himself with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head in the anniversary of the 1976 Kingsmill massacre. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Three-month suspensions for Máire Devine and Barry McElduff criticised as too lenient

Austin Stack  with his mother Sheila and brother Oliver: called the tweet ‘disgusting’ and said Ms Devine should be expelled from Sinn Féin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Máire Devine retweeted anonymous post describing murdered prison officer a ‘sadist’

 Sinn Féin’s   Pearse Doherty. “The SCU has been tarnished, and there has been political interference.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Government review by top civil servant expected to be concluded at end of this week

The NTA has  said the Green Line is operating at capacity at peak times, with crowding on trams between Ballaly and Ranelagh

Withdrawal of longer trams has added to difficulties for commuters on Green Line

Labour leader Brendan Howlin:  he  said the deal on the transition period provided no clarity around how a hard border would be avoided

Fianna Fáil spokesman on Brexit says new deal ‘a fudge’ to enable talks to move to trade

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.  Photograph Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Motion on unrestricted access to abortion in first trimester will be discussed after referendum

Eilis Ryan and fellow members of the Dublin Central Repeal the 8th Campaign canvass door-to-door in Stonybatter, Dublin 7. Photograph: Alan Betson

Most young, urban dwellers favour repeal, but in rural areas the ‘12 weeks issue’ is key

The Liffey accounts for  over 80% of Dublin’s water supply, extracting 40% of all its waters, close to the upper threshold of environmental and sustainable limits.  Photograph: Getty Images

Capital is vulnerable to unexpected weather events such as a freeze or a drought

The proposed  new insurance levy would collect between €35 million to €40 million a year, the Joint Committee on Finance was told on Thursday.

Balance of deficit from collapse of Quinn and Setanta now stood at €872 million

 Actress Joely Richardson plays Countess Markievicz during the filming of a  series about the making of the Titanic in 2011. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/THE IRISH TIMES

Portrait of all 53 women in Oireachtas to be unveiled for International Women’s Day

In addition to the Dublin restrictions, there were about 20,500 people with no  water and 47,000 with reduced flow

More than a million people in the greater Dublin area with reduced supply overnight

A combination of burst pipes,  people remaining in their houses for days, and  a minority selfishly leaving taps running to prevent freezing conspired to increase water usage by 10%  across the capital

Water restrictions have affected 120,000 people in Dublin, and look set to continue for days

Water shortages underline the argument for a single water utility. Photograph: Getty Images

Inside Politics: Dublin is facing weeks of restrictions as capital strains at near capacity

 O’Connell Bridge, Dublin during Storm Emma. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Government defends its reaction and sets out challenges still to come

Flying high: John Concannon in 2014, as director of the 2016 centenary commemorations. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Government’s marketing whizz faced a snowstorm and a ‘sh**storm’ this week

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