Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty insisted that she is not undermining the Data Protection Commissioner’s office, which ruled that it was illegal to force the public to apply for a PSC for services other than social welfare.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach says parents without card can ‘go through the rigmarole’ of filling in forms

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin highlighted the problems families with autistic children in particular face in trying to get school places. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Taoiseach highlights investment in special needs amid FF accusations of ‘inertia’

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said homeowners in Dublin and Kildare are facing significant costs to address latent faults uncovered in their properties. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Damien English told to ‘get your head out of the sand’ and help homeowners fix defects

Giving details of the case TD Ruth Coppinger said the woman was renting a ‘bedsit in all but name’ in the Rathmines area. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Landlords seeking ‘sex for rent’ from tenants, Dáil hears

Some of the people taking part during a protest on Monday outside the former Connemara Gateway Hotel in Oughterard, Co Galway.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Varadkar cites Lisdoonvarna, Wicklow Town as examples where discussions ‘allayed fears’

Independent Farmers Ireland members protest outside Meadow Meats (which is owned by Dawn Meats) in Rathdowney, Co Laois, on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Creed appeals to protesters to ‘step back for the sake of fellow farmers’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said gardaí are prohibited by law from asking anybody to produce the card. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Varadkar insists card is “absolutely not IDcard’ as gardaí not allowed to ask for it

 Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the French ‘have committed to ensuring a separate lane in Calais for Irish trucks coming off ships from Dover’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

French ‘unbelievably helpful’, will have separate lane for Irish trucks from UK at Calais

Protests by farmers continue outside meat processing plants around the country. File image

Taoiseach calls for compromise as total out of work in sector during dispute hits 6,000

Meeting the Taoiseach, Brexit, bus stops and ’violence’ of French education system

Leinster House: when it reopens on Monday, some claim only the Ceann Comhairle and visiting dignitaries will  be allowed  use its refurbished entrance. Photograph: Alan Betson

Claims made that two entrances to be used, one for elected members and one for staff

The unpaid parental leave increases from 18 weeks to 22 next month. Photograph: iStock/Getty

TD makes call as 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave increases to 22 from September

Labour’s Aodhán Ó Riordáin has proposed the introduction of a free book scheme for primary schools. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Senator calls for universal payment for school clothes, footwear and free books

Minister for  Transport Shane Ross and  his wife, Ruth Buchanan, at the RDS: “I do not drive a diesel car as suggested nor have I ever owned a Jaguar.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister defends climate-friendly driving claims and says he is trialing electric vehicles

 The Hyundai Ioniq electric car is the mode of transport   for  the Minister for Climate Action and  Environment Richard Bruton

FF TD John Lahart says Government wants people to change ‘yet their own house is not remotely in order’

Rotunda hospital, location of one of the State’s 15 colposcopy clinics. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Clinical need will determine access to clinics as smear test backlog to be cleared in weeks

The citizens’ assembly meets for its final meeting on the topic of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in 2017. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tender process to commission polling company to select 99 voters on electoral register

Prof Brian MacCraith: his report urged the HSE to move quickly to ensure CervicalCheck becomes a well-structured, strongly-led organisation. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Patients waiting six months told they are HPV negative when actually HPV positive

Lorraine Walsh, whose test results were misdiagnosed, and Stephen Teap, whose wife Irene Teap died of cervical cancer, represent the 221+ patient group that met with Mr Varadkar and Mr Harris. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Taoiseach expected to acknowledge State’s role in repeated failures, errors in Dáil

President of DCU Prof Brian MacCraith (right), alongside HSE director Paul Reid, found that the almost total reliance on a single international supplier of laboratory services for the CervicalCheck national cancer screening programme was a source of ‘significant fragility’ for the programme. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Too few people in CervicalCheck managing too many projects, rapid review finds

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Alan Betson

Technical problem uncovered by woman who questioned delay in getting her results

The Health Service Executive has made several significant announcements following publication of a report by Prof Brian MacCraith.

Results of more than 4,000 smear test not affected by ‘major communications failure’

Six months after the HSE’s breastfeeding implementation group drafted a Staff Breastfeeding in the Workplace policy, the document has yet to be implemented. Photograph: iStock

Document proposes encouraging employees to breastfeed until child’s second birthday

One parent was asked questions about what religion the family was and asked for a baptism certificate if there was one. Photograph: Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty

Section preventing schools asking questions will not come into effect for two years

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said it established a ‘comprehensive framework for dealing with the corrosive legacy of the past’ . Photograph by Crispin Rodwell

Bill rushed through Dáil, Seanad on cooperation with PSNI, UK

Simon Harris described the situation as one of ‘great frustration, annoyance and worry’ for women. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

GPs to receive test results from today following IT glitch as HSE directly contacts ‘small number’ of 800 women

Michael Ring:  ‘We cannot allow other departments to throw everything over to my department.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister says other departments are foisting issues onto Department of Rural Development

Set to become a university: the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland building on York Street, Dublin 2.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Reforming legislation also increases powers of regulator over English language schools

Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan: said he increased the number of judges to ‘ensure the efficient administration of justice’.   Photograph: Tom Honan

District Court judges’ retirement age to increase from 65 to 70

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said progress was being made, but it had been slow. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Tánaiste says PNA has been patient with Government’s slow progress on resolution

Fianna Fáil Brexit spokeswoman Lisa Chambers.  Photograph: Fran Veale

‘We have to look at bigger picture, time beyond Brexit,’ FF’s Lisa Chambers says

Brendan Grace and Noel Whelan

Two very different men ‘both made enormous contributions’ to Irish life

Under the new law a coroner is empowered to direct production of relevant evidence. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Family of women whose deaths became high profiles cases observed as Bill completed

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill would be delayed at least into the autumn. Photograph: Aoife Moore/PA Wire

Bill unexpectedly passes committee stage after more than 100 hours of Seanad debate

Minister for Education Joe McHugh is expected to bring a memo to Cabinet next week outlining the Government’s plans to deal with the ex-gratia scheme for people sexually abused in day schools. Photograph: Joe Boland/PA Wire

‘We failed as a State and as a society,’ education minister Joe McHugh tells Dáil

The Mercosur deal includes provision for the import into the EU of 99,000 tonnes of beef from Argentina. Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, as well as poultry and pig meat. File photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters

Taoiseach says State will vote against Mercosur deal ‘if it is not in Ireland’s interests’

Minster of State for Defence Paul Kehoe. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Varadkar defends Kehoe as FF leader claims military had ‘lost all confidence’ in him

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arriving last week at the Church-State dialogue plenary meeting  at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Varadkar said remarks ‘caused offence to people I never intended to offend’

Minister for Transport Shane Ross is to introduce legislation on graduated penalties for speeding. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister will also consider requiring car manufacturers to put instal ’speed limiters’

The Mercosur deal agrees to the importation to the EU of 90,000 tonnes of beef, 180 tonnes of poultry meat and 25,000 tonnes of pig meat a year.

Minister repeats claims they could ‘thwart, limit, frustrate’ South American countries

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Varadkar says two vessels unlikely to be back in service when maintenance completed

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said every politician is lobbied in various forms nearly every day. Photograph: PA Wire

Bríd Smith withdraws claim Leo Varadkar told ‘deliberate lies’ on climate change commitment

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  accepted people like Louise O’Keeffe were failed a number of times. Photograph: PA Wire

Payments to be made to 13 appellants and ex-gratia scheme will be re-opened

The largest number of patient delays occurred at St James’s Hospital in Dublin, above,  with 59 followed by the Mater where 52 patients stayed in hospital longer than necessary. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Lengthy stays due to lack of home-help hours, care packages, respite support, says TD

The long-running dispute  has pitted the Government against the fishing industry, Fianna Fáil and most of the Opposition. File photograph: Annie Sakkab/Bloomberg

EU Commission to take infringement proceedings against Ireland on fishery penalties

Minister for Communications Richard Bruton said the Eir offer to provide the service more cheaply  “by abandoning all of the protections that were included, namely, the clawbacks, penalty clauses, performance requirements, distinct governance and upfront capital”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister challenges Opposition on safeguards they would abandon for reduced cost

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said  formal guidelines on sentencing would enhance confidence in the criminal judicial system. Photograph: Tom Honan

Landmark legislation first proposed 20 years ago, dealt with by Dáil in less than two hours

Labour leader Brendan Howlin asked why the Government did not look at core pay. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Howlin hits out at decision not to allow pay commission examine soldiers’ core pay

The multi-sector deal includes provision for the import into the EU of 99,000 tonnes of beef from Argentina. Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, as well as poultry and pig meat. File photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters

Doherty rejects claims Phil Hogan being made ‘scapegoat’ in beef deal

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin speaking to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Sam Boal /

‘I have offended a lot of people...I do apologise and I am going to withdraw the remarks’

Michael Creed has vowed to ‘thwart’ the EU’s Mercosur deal. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Minister for Agriculture has vowed to ‘dismantle’ EU-Mercosur agreement

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he hoped the Bill would provide some closure for the families of missing persons. File photograph: Alan Betson

Bill passed to allow relatives deal with estates where evidence shows death almost certain

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was “always amused and bemused that Deputy Martin likes to accuse me of being partisan and personal”. File photograph: PA Wire

Martin tells Varadkar not to be ‘petty, silly or idiotic’ in clashes over Dunkettle Interchange

Micheál Martin said families who previously could have expected  council housing were now facing living in emergency accommodation long-term. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Micheál Martin claims Government’s ‘litany of failures’ have doubled child homelessness

The deal also includes the importation of 180,000 tonnes of poultry into the EU and 25,000 tonnes of pig meat. Photograph: David Moir/Reuters

Humphreys says impact of Brexit will be key to economic assessment of Mercosur

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan at a protest outside the Department of Agriculture  against the alleged exploitation of greyhounds. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Minister of State to meet chair and board of Irish Greyhound Board to discuss dog welfare issues

(Left to right) HSE chairman Ciaran Devane, Minister for Health Simon Harris  and HSE chief executive  Paul Reid at the inaugural meeting of the new HSE board last week. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Minister says costs of acute hospitals, medical card and treatment abroad schemes to blame

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said efforts to tackle rent inflation are not working because the creation of Rent Pressure Zones had given landlords a signal to increase their prices by 4 per cent a year, which was pushing people out of properties. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Minister Eoghan Murphy says rents still too high and time needed for measures to work

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin claimed the deal, reached on Friday between the EU and Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, could potentially signal the death knell of the beef sector in Ireland in the wake of Brexit. Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters.

Trade deal could be ‘death knell’ for Irish beef sector, FF leader says

Aodhán Ó Riordáin said if his colleagues  believed in equality ‘then it would be deeply hypocritical’ to attend the US ambassador’s July 4th reception. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour Senator asks politicians not to attend over Trump’s handling of migration

 Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe, under increasing pressure over poor pay and conditions for the military, accused the Opposition of not wanting soldiers to participate in anything.

Paul Kehoe defends Defence Forces participation in EU battle group approved by Dáil

Independents 4 Change candidate Mick Wallace at the European Parliamentary election Ireland South count centre in Nemo Rangers GAA Club in Cork. Phototgraph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

TDs, Senator say their farewells to Leinster House on last day in Oireachtas

Tánaiste Simon  Coveney said that work was ongoing to ensure that projects that have been committed to will be completed.

Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin critical of ministers over spending on children’s hospital

Ruth Morrissey, a terminally ill woman with cervical cancer was awarded  €2.1m in damages which the State is now appealing. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Bill aims to set up alternative system for dealing with claims arising from controversy

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: If the offer stacks up it is a ‘big turnaround’. Photograph: Reuters

Varadkar says Government is taking Eir comments to Oireachtas ‘seriously’

Health support workers Mag Dowling (L) Margaret Doherty (C) and Naveen Sharma (R), on strike outside St James’s Hospital in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Government accused of treating health support workers as ‘menials’

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty  said the figures ‘haven’t taken account of the fact that the Christmas bonus has not been factored in’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Doherty says social welfare bonus and health overspend not included in calculations

Eir chief executive Carolan Lennon said the firm is prepared to take part in a retendering process for the broadband plan.

Telecoms firm tells Oireachtas committee it is ‘certain’ plan can be delivered for €1bn

Mr Varadkar insisted that Wednesday’s 24-hour stoppage by 10,000 health support workers ‘is not inevitable’. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Opposition says union does not trust Government on job evaluation process

View of Sandycove in Dublin on Tuesday where there is a swimming ban in place following overflow discharges of wastewater. Tests showed the discharge was unrelated the orange discolouring of the water. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Swimming bans in Dublin the result of lack of investment, says Irish Water

Irish soldiers training in the Glen of Imaal. The Government has already approved Irish participation in the stand-by force, which will also include personnel from Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and the Netherlands. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

Fianna Fáil confirms it will support move

There are about 100,000 microbeads in a facewash product.

Bill bans microparticles in soaps, shower gels, scrubs but excludes ‘wear off’ products

The Bill now goes to the Dáil and Minister of State Michael D’Arcy said once the Bill was enacted it would be for the judiciary to establish the council and the personal injuries guidelines committee. Photograph: Collins Courts

Judicial Council Bill deals with conduct of judges and disciplinary measures

Fourteen personnel to serve on four-month rotations in war-torn African country

 Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the time for self-regulation of online material was now over. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Tánaiste says days of self-regulation are over and Bill should be ready by end of this year

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has been accused of not explaining where he will find up to €900 million to cover cost overruns on key infrastructure projects.

Minister warned ‘it’s a mistake you’ll regret’ to run roughshod over Fianna Fáil

US president Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC.

Varadkar tells Dáil ‘I have the measure of Trump’ after their meeting in Shannon

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe tsaid he would also look at the “so-called prudence fund”.

Minister for Finance says it is too early to say if IFAC’s recent concerns are legitimate

 Minister for  Children Katherine Zappone has put the controversial Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill on hold. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Minister halts legislation after meeting advocacy groups, lawyers, social workers

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar insisted  the dispute by 10,000 workers could be resolved without a strike on Thursday by going to the Labour Court. Photograph: PA Wire

Varadkar says work stoppage could be avoided by referral to Labour Court

Michael (left) and Danny Healy-Rae outside the Dáil in a file photograph. Photograph: Getty Images

Dáil suspended as Paschal Donohoe accused of telling a ‘lie’ by Kerry TD

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visits Irish troops in Mali in January

Minister for Defence wants to deploy 14 members of Army Ranger Wing

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said talks were ongoing between representatives of Ruth Morrissey and lawyers for the State. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Taoiseach says ‘I was wrong at the time’ to think all cases could be settled by mediation

Independent TD Joan Collins rejected Leo Varadkar’s claim as a red herring. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Taoiseach insists legislation would result in gratuities being taxed

Gino Kenny said it was outrageous what was happening to people trying to access medicinal cannabis. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Legislation ‘soon’ on access programme for drug for specific conditions – Taoiseach

Leo Varadkar told Mr Howlin that ‘the commitment was to consider the outcome but not to automatically implement it’. Photograph: Tom Honan

Labour leader Brendan Howlin warned the Dáil with HSE workers set to strike

The treatment of former garda Majella Moynihan was ‘deeply sexist’ and ‘wrong every level’, the Taoiseach has told the Dáil. Photograph: RTÉ.

Varadkar says treatment of former garda ‘sexist’ and that Ireland has changed since 1980s

Ruth Coppinger TD has urged the Government to follow the example of Italian fashion house Prada which has joined every other major international designer brand to go fur-free. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Bill to prohibit practice, with loss of 100 jobs, has support of all parties except Fine Gael

The review is due to conclude soon and Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe   says he expects the authorities to take any necessary action to ensure the right of military personnel to vote. File photograph: Frank Miller

Minister expects authorities to take necessary action to ensure voting rights of soldiers

Ruth Morrissey and her husband Paul speaking outside the High Court after winning her case. File photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Cervical cancer case: Minister accused of ‘putting politics ahead of common decency’

Irish naval vessel LÉ Róisín on a routine patrol off Rockall. Photograph: Irish Naval Service

IFPO seeking legal advice on overturning agreement between Ireland and UK

The Minister for Justice has said republican paramilitary groups remain ‘wedded to brutality and criminality’. File photograph: Aoife Moore/PA Wire

Emergency anti-terrorist and organised crime legislation renewed for another year

Fewer people are waiting for home help today than there were this day last year, Minister of State for Older People Jim Daly told the Dáil on Thursday. File photgraph: Eric Luke

‘No freeze on provision of home help hours’ Minister for Older People insists

Garda members could be paid up to €1,000 for being on duty during the visit of US president Donald Trump while the 497 military personnel also on duty received €20 after tax for a 24-hour shift, the Dáil was told. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Government under pressure after defeat on vote over Defence Forces pay, conditions

The national children’s hospital has to provide some private facilities because of existing contracts with consultants, the Dáil has been told. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Non-public facilities will be at ‘very low level’, Minister Bruton says

Referring to air pollution breaches, Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton said: “There was one event in February and a more significant one over the Easter weekend.” File photograph: Tom Honan

Pollutants from continental Europe also contributed to air quality breach in February

Aontú TD Peadar Tóibín raised the issue with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Case of termination after misleading test result raised by Peadar Tóibín under privilege

The Taoiseach  has described as ‘reasonable and sensible’ a suggestion that Junior Cert students who suffer a bereavement during their exams should be allowed to resit those exams. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar says the extension of provision for Leaving Cert pupils would be ‘sensible’

Minister for Social Protection was sharply criticised by Independent Senator Michael McDowell and others. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister warns legislation will mean tips being taxed under PAYE system

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  said the revelations that some of the laboratories testing cervical smears outsourced slides to other labs was serious and unacceptable. File image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin clash over CervicalCheck report in the Dáil

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