A  file image of  children being served rice at a makeshift relief camp  in Janakinagar, India following flooding.  The Government is to ask the public for its views on how the State spends taxpayers’ money overseas. Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP.

Simon Coveney says spending to combat world hunger ‘rooted in our own experiences’

 Fine Gael TD  Jim Daly said “2,000 positions have been approved and funded but the people with the necessary skillset are not out there”. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Mattie McGrath claims €10m spent on psychological services but €400m on medication

Vicky and Jim Phelan from Annacotty, Co Limerick, pictured leaving the Four Courts. The Tánaiste has apologised for a delay in informing Ms Phelan of cervical cancer diagnosis. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Minister for Health orders review of Cervical Check screening programme

European Commissioner Phil Hogan: ‘We must be on our guard.’ File photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

EU Commissioner tells Seanad Brexit irreversible and Britian must ‘soften’ its stance

Minister of State for Housing Damian English had asked the Opposition not to call a vote on the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Government forced to call walk-through vote after its Senators abstain on charge

Former Minister for Health James Reilly wants big food retailers to stop selling cigarettes. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/THE IRISH TIMES

James Reilly says large retailers are supposed to be ‘providers of nourishment’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has insisted he and Tánaiste Simon Coveney hold the same view that “sufficient and substantial progress” needs to be made on Brexit by the time of the next European Council meeting in June. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Varadkar says he and Tánaiste agreed substantial progress needed by June EU summit

Keith Burke (29) of Addergoolemore, Dunmore, Co Galway, was found guilty of raping three foster children between 2003 and 2007. He was between 14 and 18 at the time, while the girls were all under 10. He  was jailed  earlier this month at the Central Criminal Court. File photograph: RTÉ

‘Sarah’ was one of three victims of Keith Burke (29), of Galway, who was jailed this month

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten

Minister apologises due to ‘fourth day’ taken up by discussing ‘30 second conversation’

Driving test application numbers are expected to rise to up to 119,000 once legislation passes to penalise car owners who allow learner drivers out on the road by themselves. File photograph: Frank Miller.

Almost 120,000 applications are expected due to law change for unaccompanied learners

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Photograph: RTÉ

Review concluded that national broadcaster cannot fund two orchestras at the same time

Danny Healy-Rae TD: “You have not shown that people were the cause of fatalities or indeed the cause of accidents by driving with that amount of alcohol”. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Six TDs fail to halt Ross legislation that would introduce mandatory bans for category of first drink-driving offence

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten  acknowledged on radio it was a “political mistake” to have had the conversation.

Taoiseach attempts to draw veil over saga, saying Minister accounted for his actions

Shane  Ross refused a request from Sinn Féin that the slip road tolls would be suspended for the week-long festival in August, which is expected to attract 400,000 visitors. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Transport Minister says free access to Drogheda could cost State up to €130,000

Leo Varadkar also said  that “while you can paint over a mural you certainly can’t paint over an issue”.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

However, Varadkar says murals and posters will not convince people to change minds

Nell McCafferty has said she is a reluctant supporter of abortion. File photograph:  Collins

Veteran campaigner compares abortion to the mass slaughter at the Somme

Smokers were the biggest litter louts in 2016, according to Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten.

Substantial increases in fines on way to increase deterrent factor, warns Minister

The Provision of Objective Sex Education Bill was introduced by Solidarity TD Paul Murphy. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Fianna Fáil had been expected to oppose legislation but just two TDs sought vote

Simon Coveney on Denis Naughten: “in my view he did not do anything that constitutes giving inappropriate information to anybody. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he had confidence in Denis Naughten as Minister for Communications. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Simon Coveney defends Minister for Communications in heated Dáil exchanges

Fianna Fáil’s education spokesman Thomas Byrne said he was concerned that the Bill would result in changes to the ‘characteristic spirit of schools’. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Sex education in Ireland ‘in the dark ages’ says Solidarity TD Paul Murphy

Labour leader Brendan Howlin: asked if the Government had decided whether or not the State should have a ‘bespoke security agency’

Labour’s Brendan Howlin says Ireland ‘almost unique’ in not having such a body

Minister insists ‘I have acted to the letter of the law in the process’ on media acquisition

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten speaking in the Dáil this afternoon on the INM controversy. Screengrab: Oireachtas TV

Minister faces questions in Dáil over information he provided about INM acquisition

Problems with road conditions were raised with him “everywhere” he went over the Easter break in Limerick, Galway, Tipperary, Laois, Meath, Kildare and north County Dublin, the Taoiseach said.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Lowry warns Government to increase road funding ‘if it wants to be re-elected’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar rounded on Green Party leader Eamon Ryan in the Dáil. Photograph: PA Wire

Sinn Féin leader claims attempt being made to ‘silence’ the ODCE

Depression, anxiety, stress and burn-out were recurring issues for all medical professionals with mental health issues presenting   at  the Practitioner Health Matters Programme

Practitioner Health Matters Programme treated 48 health professionals in 2017

Dr Peter Boylan, chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said 19 of the executive’s approximately 25 members attended the executive meeting at which the decision was made to support repeal of the Eighth Amendment. File photograph: Collins

Doctors to discuss proposed abortion legislation but opposing views likely to surface

Painting of Michael D Higgins put up beside picture of all 53 female TDs and Senators

Ailbhe Smyth, centre,  at a Together for Yes press conference in Dublin with Dr Cliona Murphy, left,  and Dr Aoife Mullally. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Together for Yes claims ‘at least two women a day in Ireland are taking an abortion pill in secrecy’

 Prof Eamon McGuinness,   former chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, at a Save the Eighth press conference in  Dublin. Photograph:  Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Former obstetrician says primary responsibility is to mother ‘even if life of baby at risk’

Grassroots support: Together for Yes and Save the 8th say they have raised significant amounts from small donors. Photograph: Getty

Together for Yes raises €200,000 in a day; Save the 8th generates €100,000 at rally

Pranathi O’Donovan with her mother Anne-Marie Lally

Parents of girl grateful to donor for ‘life changing, life-saving chance’

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger, who had earlier raised the high-profile rape case in Belfast: “Consent should be looked for. It should be actively sought and not assumed,” she said.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

TD introduces Bill for ‘factual, objective’ sex education as Belfast rape case raised

‘The majority of people being made homeless are coming predominantly from the private sector,’ Fr McVerry said

Opposition says Murphy’s position is ‘untenable’, claims Government making crisis worse

Mary Lou McDonald: she pointed to  the letter writer’s “deep anger and distress”

Case raised of ‘Irish Times’ letter writer angered by sentence reduction for her rapist

Minister for Health Simon  Harris said nobody in either the Dáil or Seanad had suggested amendments to the legislation or come up with an alternative proposal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister to ‘hold people to account’ for untrue claims in potentially divisive campaign

Seven FF, one FG and two Independent Senators oppose abortion referendum Bill. File photograph: Alan Betson/ Irish Times

Five hour debate sees Senators argue for and against holding of referendum

Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace

Leo Varadkar satisfied with legal adviser’s clarification that remarks were ‘off the record’

 Minister for Health Simon Harris: said legislation post-referendum would deal with a number of areas not covered by the Oireachtas committee in its recommendations. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

FF Senator appeals to ‘men of Ireland’ to get informed and ‘stand up for your women’

The Taoiseach believes the vast majority of people would welcome Pope Francis and ‘would want us to meet the costs of this historic visit’. Photograph:  Franco Origlia / Getty Images

FF papal visit volunteer concerned at Church not welcoming ‘non-traditional families’

Opposition politicians and legal experts have criticised a proposal from Tánaiste Simon Coveney for  a two-third Dáil majority lock in any future abortion legislation. Photograph: Reuters

Taoiseach says Tánaiste’s proposal aimed at limiting powers of Dáil is ‘unconstitutional’

Margaret Gallery and her home on  Northbrook Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Photograph:  Tom Honan

Transport Infrastructure Ireland sent ’vague letter I thought was about noise and dust’

Paschal Donohoe: “it is appropriate that Ireland conduct a review of this matter within our own jurisdiction, and that is what is happening”

Donohoe says appropriate for State to review matters of national security

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said advertorials for the launch of the National Development Plan – Project Ireland 2040 – in national and regional newspapers and online media for five days last month cost €384,372. FIle photograph: Getty Images

Government departments spend €9m on public awareness, advertising, PR since start of 2017

The most recently available figures show that 18 per cent of JobPath participants acquired a permanent job from the initiative. File photograph: Getty Images

Some long-term jobless being ‘unfairly coerced’ into labour activation initiative – O’Dea

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said he was working with Nordic countries to form a deeper understanding on issues in which we have a common interest. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Finance Minister: ‘Competitiveness should not be prerogative of larger countries only’

Valerie Cox and Sean O Rourke at the launch of her book The Family Courts in 2015. Photograph: Brian McEvoy

Former reporter awarded €50,000 after WRC ruling of broadcaster discrimination

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he hoped the judgment in the Valerie Cox WRC case ‘sends a signal to the many people who find themselves in similar circumstances‘.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Coveney pledges to prioritise Bill to increase compulsory retirement from 65 to 70

Dáil voted by 85 votes to 49 to disband the SCU

Varadkar not obliged to act as Government loses non-binding vote

Senator Máire Devine has been suspended from Sinn Féin for three months in what the party referred to as “unacceptable behaviour” on the part of an elected representative. File photograph: The Irish Times

Sinn Féin chief Mary Lou McDonald acted ‘swiftly and decisively’, says Seanad leader

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: said the Government will respect the result of the abortion referendum.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Vote to hold referendum passes by 97 to 27, with 16 Fianna Fáil TDs voting against

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris spoke in the Dáil about the birth of his first grandchild, who survived for just 58 minutes. Her parents took a chance to continue with the pregnancy, even though they were told the baby would not have any independent life. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Danny Healy-Rae: Aborted foetus brought from UK in boot of car ‘did not feel very loved’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the funding would benefit the community as a whole rather than just the school.

Mick Barry says Sports Minister ‘trumpeting’ grant as deprived schools get ’not a button’

Mary Butler is the first Fianna Fail speaker in the debate on the Thirty Sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill to oppose the holding of a referendum on abortion. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/THE IRISH TIMES

Mary Butler not in favour of referendum providing for ‘regulation of terminations’

Doonbeg Golf Course Co. Clare. Concernning the windfarm proposal, Mr Varadkar said he put in a call to the county council. File photograph: The Irish Times

Trump call to Varadkar over windfarm application sparks testy Dáil exchanges

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she found the phrase “abortion on demand” offensive.

No right to equal healthcare for pregnant women, says Catherine Murphy TD

Women’s health and lives cannot be dealt with “in a few rigid lines in bunreacht na hÉireann”, Minister for Health Simon Harris has told the Dáil.

Harris said he does not doubt the sincerity of people opposed to removing the Eighth Amendment, but that retaining it would not st(...)

Speaking in the Dáil, Independents4Change TD Clare Daly accused the Policing Authority of “ratting out” Garda civilian analysts Lois West and Laura Gilligan.

Tánaiste says evidence of women at Justice committee ’very concerning’

A newspaper supplement about the history of the  Tricolour received ‘absolutely no funding’ from the office of Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Mr Ó Fearghaíl has said. File photograph: Ed Pritchard/Photographer’s Choice/Getty

Mary Lou McDonald queries ‘extraordinary’ ‘Irish Independent’ inset on the flag

Solidarity TD  Paul Murphy Mr Murphy called on the Taoiseach not to meet US president Donald Trump because he is “racist, sexist and dangerous”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES

Varadkar rejects call not to meet Trump and ‘green-wash’ his ‘racist, homophobic’ views

Brendan Howlin:” Isn’t it time that we actually faced that reality and tried to find a solution before we slip over the edge?”

Concern in Dáil at UK suggestion Taoiseach has ‘shared responsibility’ for solution

Varadkar acknowledges more work needed to implement child safety recommendations

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “this is going to be a profoundly deep and difficult debate for everyone”. Photograph: PA Wire

Leo Varadkar renews appeal for respectful debate to change ‘fundamental law’

The Bill provides for detailed health warnings on labels including links to cancer and measures to segregate alcohol from other products in shops. Photograph: iStock

Move to increase price of cheapest, strongest drink made before referendum, Stormont crisis

 Permanent TSB wants to sell billions of euro worth of non-performing loans.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Pearse Doherty ‘fears the country is being sold a pup’ on Bill ahead of PTSB loan sale

Labour leader Brendan Howlin:  he said the Taoiseach “should not be churlish”. Photograph: Getty Images

Varadkar says inviting TDs to meet ambulance crews in Wexford ‘last thing on my mind’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has accused Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin of  being ‘venomous’ in the Dáil. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar accuses Micheál Martin of ‘venomous’ attack during Leaders’ Questions

Every year 335 women and 85 men in Ireland are diagnosed with a HPV-related cancer

Appeal to parents to have daughters vaccinated against virus which kills 130 annually

 Lidl  in  Jobstown, Tallaght. There are claims that. due an attack there and other anti-social behaviour, snow ploughs failed to clear an area around an estate in which a man died without emergency services reaching him. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Allegations Killinarden home inaccessible as snow plough withdrawn over anti-social acts

Drifting snow made the road at Rathmore, Co Kildare, impassable. On Friday night, Met Éireann extended its red snow-ice warning for counties Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath until 9am on Saturday.  Photograph: Niall Sargent

Storm’s lingering effects delay resumption of transport services

The Dáil chamber. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

TDs react angrily as Marc MacSharry compares Government campaign to work of Joseph Goebbels

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Brexiteers needed to honour the Irish vote on the Belfast Agreement. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Varadkar says UK voted by 51.8% for Brexit, while Ireland voted 97% and NI 72% for peace deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil the estimate of between €20 million and €25 million for the cost of operating the commission of investigation into IBRC was “tentative”. Photograph: Reuters

Fees to eight legal counsel for work since 2015 total €1.23 million, Varadkar says

Parties have been asked to ’pause for reflection’ as Brexit draft published, debated

Minister of State Jim Daly’s advice to the elderly to keep their heating on 24/7 during the cold weather is ‘not the advice of Government’, the Taoiseach has said. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

Jim Daly’s call to elderly to leave heating on for 24 hours ‘not advice of Government’

An X-ray taken of a person with scoliosis. File photograph: iStock

Aisling Corcoran has little faith in the health system after repeated delays for treatment

Wexford TD Mick Wallace said Pobal was  paid €13.5 million in 2016 for  work for the Department of Children when “they’re supposed to be a not-for-profit charity.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Minister promises review of Pobal after TD queries lack of tendering by Govt departments

Independent TD Mattie McGrath (right) claimed the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment was a ‘stitch up’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Heated exchanges in Dáil but Simon Harris says voters will get their say on issue in May

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice: reaffirmed his opposition to the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. “The 12 weeks is a big worry to a lot of people to put it bluntly.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach asks TDs and Senators who support change to contact his office in coming days

Leo Varadkar: “I thank [Alison McCormack] for her bravery in coming forward and in making her case public so that lessons can be learned and mistakes not repeated,” the Taoiseach said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Hospital only informed woman of misdiagnosis nine months after it found out

Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice reaffirmed his opposition to the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Simon Harris confirms referendum will take place before end of May

A dog with puppies at a Co Cavan breeding establishment that featured in a BBC Panorama investigation. Photograph: ISPCA

Minister pledges to investigate Raymond Cullivan’s Misty Meadow farm

Teeth cleaning and glasses repair: more than 330,000 claims have been processed and paid in the three months from November to January, a fourfold increase over a year earlier. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

‘Absolutely deadly’ that 450,000 self-employed have access, Doherty says

Leo Varadkar: “I learned from the masters on political communication. And that’s a strength, not a weakness.” Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Taoiseach defends cinema, newspaper advertising on National Development Plan

Sinn Féin leader says talk about June date ‘highly problematic’ for many young voters

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said supports included a free, confidential counselling service for prison staff to help officers resolve personal or work-related concerns. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Absences due to occupational injury allow six months on full pay followed by six on half pay

Transcripts of the Kerry Babies tribunal are to be withheld from the National Archives to avoid further upset and distress to Joanne Hayes (pictured) and her family. Photograph: Peter Thursfield.

Department of Justice says privacy of Joanne Hayes ‘paramount’ in retention of files

Stormont talks: Simon Coveney said Micheál Martin “doesn’t understand what is going on ”. Photograph: PA

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and FF leader Micheál Martin clash on Stormont strategy

Kerry TD John Brassil suggested that the drinks industry should have to pay for HSE and Government advertising showing the harmful effects of alcohol. File photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil says drinks should carry general health warning labels

An x-ray taken of a person with scoliosis. Tallaght Hospital has been accused in the Dáil of engaging in an ‘arse covering exercise’ by confirming surgery for a scoliosis patient only after being contacted by the Minister for Health. Image: iStock.

TD hits out at surgeon who twice cancelled woman’s surgery but failed to speak to her

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney  expressed the hope that the talks could be brought around again and  said there were positives in the statement of DUP leader Arlene Foster. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Simon Coveney says there are positives from Arlene Foster’s statement

 Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty: the Bill will “genuinely help those employed in precarious situations”.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘Precarious contracts’ give employers ‘power to control and manipulate their workforce’

Leo Varadkar: he said “the sad thing about this is the extent to which politicians from the Opposition have wrapped themselves in process and procedure”

Varadkar claims SF and Labour engaging in ‘opposition for opposition’s sake’

A consultation paper had been published on the proposed security measures and incident reporting guidelines that operators of essential services would have to meet.

State has ‘responsibility’ to deal with attacks given large number of technology companies

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin raised the issue of Versatis pain relief patches and said ‘it seems that the only patient advocacy service in the country is Liveline, courtesy of broadcaster Joe Duffy’.

Harris takes potshot at RTÉ’s ‘Liveline’ as he says hundreds of patients back on Versatis

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, British prime minister Theresa May and delegates from the British and Irish cabinets meet for talks at Stormont House. Photograph:  Kelvin Boyes

Varadkar leads all-male delegation of six as UK group includes three women

The largest number of students were from Italy followed by Spain and 78 per cent of students were from the EU and the European Economic Area. Photograph: Frank Miller

Report shows, per head of population, Ireland is ahead of UK, US, Canada and Australia

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: “The abolition of the death penalty is one of Ireland’s international priorities.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister says State condemns use of death penalty ‘in all circumstances’

Dublin North West TD Noel Rock has claimed  minimum unit pricing, a bid to prevent low cost sales of alcohol, was based on “middle class guilt with working class consequences”. File photograph: PA

WHO lists alcohol as most serious carcinogen - ’similar to tobacco, arsenic, asbestos’

Pearse Doherty:  Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman said the banks were still fighting “tooth and nail” against tracker mortgage holders despite their comments to the Oireachtas Finance Committee and letters of apology. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Bill to be introduced to make it a crime for bankers to lie to Central Bank

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