Former RTÉ journalist Valerie Cox announced her decision to run just a day before the close of nominations at noon on Wednesday.

Former RTÉ journalist announced decision to run for Dáil seat in Wicklow after pension row erupted

Jack O Connor, Alan Kelly and Brendan Howlin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Election campaign launch: Howlin says his party will ‘end the waste of public money’

Simon Harris is expected to comfortably hold his seat. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sinn Féin TD John Brady vulnerable to internal party rows and Green momentum

Last time around Pat Breen (above) was well ahead of his colleague Joe Carey but clever vote management between the two meant the party got two seats despite Fianna Fáil having a higher percentage of the vote. File photograph: Tom Honan

Fine Gael will battle to keep its two seats while Fianna Fáil tries to gain second one

One of the certainties in Dublin Bay North is that Fianna Fáil’s Seán Haughey will keep his seat. File photograph: Eric Luke

Labour likely to gain from decision by Finian McGrath not to stand again

Aontú party leader Peadar Tóibín. Photograph: Tom Honan

Party says it will tackle regional imbalance to combat Dublin/Belfast dominance

Helen McEntee from Nobber is seen as a reserved but smart politician who has performed well on the international Brexit stage. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

No change expected here where Independent candidate’s office was petrol-bombed in recent days

Despite ferocious criticism, to consider the Minster for Housing Eoghan Murphy to be in trouble is to misunderstand what a Fine Gael heartland Dublin Bay South is, according to expert observers. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Despite trenchant criticism of Eoghan Murphy, the electorate likes having a minister in the constituency

Bríd Smith has been helped by her focus on climate issues including her stalled legislation to ban offshore fracking and a developing campaign to reverse the increased age (67) to qualify for a State pension. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Fine Gael Minister of State in danger of losing seat

Fergus O’Dowd TD with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Justice Charles Flanagan  in Drogheda on Friday/ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Martin says Government failed to recognise changing nature of gangland crime

Screen Grab from spoof video released by Fine Gael and later deleted.

Taoiseach says video targeting FF was making ‘serious point’ ; Micheál Martin says it is ‘juvenile’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan  visit Drogheda on Friday, where teenager  Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered and his body dismembered. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Violent crime now central election issue as Varadkar promises more resources

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett claimed the ‘political establishment’ of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael has ‘failed spectacularly’.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Time for voters to ‘think left, move left, move red, move green, have a new type of politics’

Jim O’Callaghan said Fine Gael were ‘not interested’ in confronting gangland crime. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party promises to increase number of gardaí by 2,000 at cost of €47m per year

Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin called for a task force to tackle crime in Dublin’s north side. Photograph: Aoife Moore/PA Wire

Labour Senator says ‘children passing murder scenes beginning to think this is normal’

More than one-third of the Seanad’s 60 Senators, including 11 former TDs, are running for the Dáil in the general election. File photograph: Tom Honan

McDowell says Seanad should be more than ‘stepping stone’ as 11 ex-TDs named as candidates

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with President Michael D Higgins following  his request to dissolve the 32nd Dáil.  Photograph: Damien Eagers/PA Wire

Legislation to help ease trolley crisis through doctor training among measures that fall

Senator Michael McDowell had repeatedly called elements of the  legislation unconstitutional. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Judiciary and politicians who opposed controversial legislation welcome its lapsing with dissolution of Dáil

Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Minister insists Stepaside Garda station will re-open ‘in a couple of weeks’

Finian McGrath, Minister of State for Disability Issues, has confirmed he  will not seek re-election. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Senator Michael McDowell said he will not stand for the Dáil in the general election

Eighteen years after the Irish punt ceased to be legal tender, a total of €347,404,127 in notes and coins still remains unaccounted for. Photograph: ThinkStock

Money matters: Negligible amounts of ‘old money’ being exchanged for euro equivalent

Up to June this year the HSE recorded 279 assaults, with almost 90 per cent  against nurses. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Politicians must deal with aggression towards medical, security staff, says Eugene Murphy

Ballot boxes in the warehouse of  Dublin City local returning officer  for  delivery to polling stations during  October 2018 elections. Photograph: Alan Betson

Successive governments criticised for failure to create authority to oversee elections

Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Local Government, says proposed reforms represent the ‘most significant modernisation of the electoral registration process since 1918’. Photograph: Tom Honan

Unique identifier is part of proposals to ensure principle of ‘one person, one vote’

Leo Varadkar with Boris Johnson in Dublin.  The Taoiseach says when he told Mr Johnson he expected the UK to pay for a Northern Ireland-Scotland bridge, Mr Johnson said the EU would pay for it. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach warns that Border poll would be ‘defeated, divisive’ and not a good idea

Emergency services and gardaí from Clifden were called to the scene at 5.15pm. File photograph: Getty

‘One male received serious injuries and his condition is unknown at this time,’ say gardaí

Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary said the legislation needed the backing of a senior Government Minister.

Opposition criticise failure to set targets to ensure 20 per cent of public service recruits competent in Irish

While the defeats are an embarrassment for the Government it is not obliged to act on the result of the measures introduced by Opposition parties.

Coalition outnumbered on smoky coal ban, pension protection, pay restoration but no obligation to enforce

Creches are to receive average funding of €1,500 in the coming days to assist with administrative costs. Photograph: iStock

Zappone denies funding of €1,500 is a bailout to deal with rising premiums

Former TD Dara  Murphy has been criticised for claiming over €50,000 in expenses while working full-time for the past two years in Brussels. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Varadkar and Martin in ongoing spat over former TD and ‘votegate’ Deputies

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was responding during leaders’ questions to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. File photograph: AP Photo/Francisco Seco

Varadkar says cancellation rate in Ireland around 2 per cent or 3 per cent

Labour leader Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he would consult parties other than Fianna Fáil about a date for the general election.

Howlin asks if Varadkar will discuss election dates with other parties as well as Fianna Fáil

It would be “totally reckless” for the State to cover insurance costs for creches Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil as just one company is now offering to quote for the childcare sector.  Photograph: iStock

SF leader calls for emergency fund over fears some creches may be forced to close

New Assembly elections would be “an election too many” for Northern Ireland, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has told the Dáil. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Coveney opposes new Assembly poll as one ‘election too many’ for North

No Government backbenchers attended a Dáil debate into the funding and staff shortage crisis in the disability sector. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin says FG empty benches ‘speaks volumes’ about party attitude

Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy will on Wednesday tell an Oireachtas committee that the organisation relied on ‘clean, unqualified’ audits of the FAI when approving grants. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Committee to hear FAI’s financial statements did not give true view of its financial health

“If people are crossing the Border to buy cheap alcohol, this measure will not work economically or in public health terms,” Leo Varadkar said.

Taoiseach says measure will not work if not applicable on both sides of Border

The Taoiseach acknowledged the Social Democrats had made ‘a very good point’. File photograph: The Irish Times

Social Democrats urge change as it emerges Deloitte audited FAI accounts for 23 years

Former Cork North-Central TD Dara Murphy claimed his full salary, parliamentary and travel allowances despite spending much of the last two years working in Brussels. File Photograph: The Irish Times

Varadkar accepts need for inquiry over claim for Dáil allowances while Murphy in Brussels

Sinn Féin said motor premiums had increased each year since 2016 even though the number of claims had dropped by 40%. File photograph: Getty

Varadkar rejects Pearse Doherty’s suggestion and insists ‘never soft’ on the industry

 Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan: the Arts Council must seek her consent to dispose of or acquire property and “the council has not applied for such consent”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Protected disclosure says agency breached financial guidelines on property acquisition

The seat of Fianna Fáil MEP for Dublin Barry Andrews is in ‘cold storage’ pending the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Belfast Agreement will give deliver ‘strong voice’ through NI Assembly, says Coveney

The Currency co-founder Ian Kehoe: ‘We have decided not to appear on Communicorp stations while the ban remains in force against Irish Times journalists.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Editor Ian Kehoe says Currency team will stay off air while Irish Times ban remains

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan is to write to all stakeholders in the row over commitments made by the Abbey Theatre (pictured) to produce new and in-house dramas, in an attempt to find a ‘palatable’ solution. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

FF spokeswoman says Irish artists should not be ‘side-lined by our National Theatre’

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said the Sinn Féin rent freeze Bill would drive small landlords out of the rental sector and could be deemed unconstitutional in the courts. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Vote a symbolic victory with Minister saying measures would drive small landlords out of sector

Pearse Doherty called for an independent investigation into the issue. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Odds of jackpot being omitted across three card scratch games are ‘one in 25 million billion’ - Doherty

The hugely divisive Bill has been championed by Shane Ross who  wants to have a non-legal majority on the board that will appoint new judges. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Minister rules out general election over issue and says legislation could pass in January

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan highlighted figures released last week by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris that gardaí are responding to 30,000 domestic abuse calls every year.  Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government criticised for failure to build enough refuges to meet demand

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has dismissed allegations that he was engaging in ‘spin worthy of Boris Johnson’. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

TD told to ‘stop your nonsense and stick to the facts’

 Paul Anthony McDermott  who died on Tuesday after a short illness. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Barrister remembered by TDs in debate on Bill to criminalise telling of lies on oath

Senator Michael McDowell filibustered on the legislation which has been debated for almost 110 hours in the Seanad. Photograph: Tom Honan

Legislation on appointments must return to Dáil for debate on up to 60 amendments

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (centre) with Micheál Martin (left) and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at an Oireachtas Christmas tree lighting ceremony last week.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Varadkar was responding to news of boy’s letter to Father Christmas: ‘Please come to my hotel again with Batman toys’

Independent senator Michael McDowell’s amendment to the Judicial Appointments Bill was passed without a formal vote as no Fine Gael senator was present. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Losses increase challenge to pass legislation debated in Seanad for more than 120 hours

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy accused the Bill’s sponsor, Sinn Féin, of ‘hypocrisy’ for blocking housing projects in their own constituency. File photograph: The Irish Times

Minister warns legislation is reckless, unconstitutional and would cut housing supply

The electoral register is being used to select the assembly membership who will be “recruited at a national level and randomly selected to be broadly representative of Irish society”, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  told the Dáil. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Taoiseach will consult on whether it should sit during general election period

Government backbencher and Fine Gael Limerick TD Tom Neville asked about the implications for Lyric FM, which RTÉ had proposed moving from Limerick to Cork and Dublin.

Leo Varadkar confirms €9 million additional funding for broadcaster

Leo Varadkar said ‘good progress’ had been made in recent years with motor insurance falling by up to 30% since 2016. File photograph: The Irish Times

Varadkar critical of ‘profit motive’ that exists among certain group of doctors and lawyers

Ireland is the third best country in the world to live when it comes to quality of life, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Fianna Fáil leader questions why smoky coal ban has not yet been extended further

Angela Kerins claims her treatment by the Public Accounts Committee led to an attempt by her to take her own life and to other fundamental life changes. File photograph: Collins Courts

Former chief executive pursuing damages for ‘witchhunt’ treatment during 2014 hearings

Fianna Fáil spokeswoman on children Anne Rabbitte said the failures at Scouting Ireland were current and not legacy issues. File Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister wants to establish if organisation ‘comprehensively’ implemented changes

Protesters against Government plans for bingo outside the Dáil on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

David Stanton reminds all operators they must run contests ‘for a charity’

People take part in a protest over the homelessness crisis in Dublin.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

McGuinness says his party’s confidence and supply arrangement with Fine Gael a ‘farce’

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary warned that the good work of the ambulance services was being undermined because of overcrowding in emergency departments.

Regina Doherty offers sympathy to family for death that ‘potentially shouldn’t have happened’

Joan Collins said there were probably about 40 Dáil days left before the next election and people were very concerned about privatisation.   Dublin. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Joan Collins claims Minister Eoghan Murphy intends to ‘bury Bill in committee’

 Jackie Duffy and Peggy O’Connell from Dublin playing bingo during a protest outside the Dáil to stop the Government affecting  bingo on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónail

Taoiseach and Minister insist ‘vast majority’ of community events will not be affected

Bernard Durkan:  he said  some of the difficulties in housing and health were “unacceptable and shouldn’t happen”

Bernard Durkan said housing issues would pose a problem in the general election

The former Fine Gael TD and minister Denis Naughten said that currently under the Fair Deal scheme 7.5 per cent of the market value of a house is part of the payment.

Older people’s homes are being ‘taxed on the treble’, says Roscommon TD

A six months pregnant woman was forced to leave her private rental accommodation because her landlord did not want other tenants disturbed by a crying child, the Dáil has been told. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty

Dáil told property owners ‘brazen’ as cards stacked in their favour with Fine Gael in power

Dara Murphy,  Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central: to resign and take up job in Brussesl. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil accuses Taoiseach of error of judgement in backing former junior minister

Five judges are due to be sworn in on Friday. File photograph: Getty

Judge should have shown more ‘consideration’ for people affected by delays, claims John McGuinness

The Government is set for a majority of three in a Dáil motion of no confidence in Mr Murphy, according to latest estimates. Photo: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

Dáil defeats proposal by 56 to 53; Social Democrats say Minister has ‘utterly failed’

The Taoiseach told the Dáil that 120,000 people had been made Irish citizens since Fine Gael came to office. File photograph: Getty

Novice Green Party TD Joe O’Brien highlights criticism of State failings on hate crime

Mr Varadkar told the Dáil that ‘it is a system that’s essentially designed by politicians for politicians’.

Taoiseach: ‘This whole issue is not one that should be run for ourselves by ourselves’

The Leas Ceann-Chomairle, speaking in Irish, said the TDs should never forget the great honour bestowed upon them. File photograph: The Irish Times

‘I do hope your stay will not be a short one,’ says Varadkar as parties eye general election

Tractors parked on the streets around St Stephen’s Green in Dublin city centre last week in protest. Photograph: PA

Discussions on beef sector reforms start after contentious court injunctions lifted

Four new TDs take their seats in the Dáil on Tuesday.

Fresh faces follow four byelections last week

Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy will seek Cabinet approval in the next two weeks for the Register of Electors Bill to reform and modernise the electoral register. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Teenagers can ‘pre-register’ to be automatically on electoral register when they turn 18

 Malcolm Byrne of Fianna Fáil: he says he has faced much social media abuse, not just about his sexuality but on other issues too.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Malcolm Byrne to seek leave of absence from his role in the Higher Education Authority

 Joe O’Brien votes at Skerries Community Centre in the Dublin Fingal byelection. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Profile: The Dublin Fingal representative is a hard worker with a strong record on migrant rights

No one voted in one area of  Bishopstown in Cork North Central in Friday’s byelection.  Photograph: Provision

Dublin Fingal sets record for lowest turnout in byelection where just 25.6% cast their vote

Sinn Féin’s Mark Ward (right) is seen canvassing during the 2019 byelection campaign in Clondalkin. Photograph: Fiach Kelly

Mark Ward is a behavioural therapist, former mayor of South Dublin County Council

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘I’m not sure if it was approved by the candidate but as I say it will form part of the review that we will carry out in all four constituencies in the next couple of weeks.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

No party candidate ‘guaranteed’ to be on ticket for general election, says Taoiseach

Cork North Central TD Dara Murphy: his attendance at the Dáil on sitting days during 2018 and 2019 was the worst of any TD. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fine Gael TD says many deputies have legal, medical, or farming interests outside the Dáil

Counting of votes in the byelections gets under way at the Dublin Mid West count centre at Adamstown Community Centre, in Lucan. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Result shows SF are clear alternative to FF and FG at general election, says McDonald

Minister says consortium change always recognised in contract documents

Sinn Féin deputy leader Pearse Doherty: ‘Too many children are facing into a Christmas they don’t deserve in emergency accommodation.’  File Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste rejects renewed Sinn Féin call for rent freeze during debate on housing

Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin. Photograph: Google Street View

Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell compares Crumlin A&E to ‘South American’ facility

It will be mandatory for dog owners to carry a litter bag when out with their pets in public if a new Bill introduced in the Dáil on Wednesday is passed.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Legislation to make it mandatory for owners to carry litter bag when in public with dogs

A motion of no confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy (right) will be debated in the Dáil next week. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the move is designed to give publicity to opposition parties. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Housing to face second motion of no confidence in just over a year

TDs in the Dáil accused Larry Goodman’s ABP Group  of stalling the beef taskforce by failing to lift injunctions against protesting farmers. File photograph: Alan Betson

Minister appeals to company to consider lifting injunction ‘as gesture of goodwill’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to Solidarity TD Mick Barry in the Dáil: “I know you are at best ambiguous about your support for democracy”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Barbs exchanged in Dáil in row over proposal to store fracked gas from US in Cork

Tractors parked on the streets around St Stephen’s Green in Dublin as  farmers stage a protest over beef prices. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister tells Dáil he and Minister for Justice told directly about threats to beef-plant managers

Tractors parked around St Stephen’s Green during the second day of a protest by farmers. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Last tractors leave St Stephen’s Green on Wednesday afternoon after two day of protests

Independent Senator Victor Boyhan said they were doing a job to rigorously pursue and tease out all the issues

Victor Boyhan tells Seanad ‘we’ll be here for many, many months yet’

Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar pointed out that there were already several proposals for citizens’ assemblies. Photograph: Collins

Taoiseach and Tánaiste Simon Coveney later met Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O’Neill

Brendan Howlin pointed out that online political advertisements “that are misleading or malicious can be purchased on social media platforms by third parties and targeted at specific audiences to maximise the damage such misinformation can cause”. Photograph: iStock

Taoiseach says first outline of Bill in second quarter of 2020, quickest it can be drawn up

Verona Murphy, the Fine Gael candidate in the upcoming Wexford byelection, is  the president of the Irish Road Haulage Association. File photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Micheál Martin condemns Fine Gael candidate for contact made with road safety staff

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed told the Dáil that difficulties surrounding the beef crisis had been compounded by the death threats. Photograph: Tom Honan

Michael Creed says Government and gardaí taking threats very seriously

A view of an  unused unit at the existing Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Junior minister Jim Daly says €170m project will be finished on time in the next few weeks

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane has criticised ‘unsustainable’ funding cuts to councils. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin TD criticises results of decision to end Irish Water compensation scheme

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