Around 300 people participated in a protest in Dublin on Saturday entitled   Stop the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil Stitch Up. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Union of FF, FG and Greens would draw criticism and a sigh of relief in same breath

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald secured the psychological victory of getting most votes to be taoiseach. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

A FF/FG/Green coalition now seems most likely but must be sold to parties' grassroots

Election posters in Dublin. Photograph:  Damien Eagers/PA

The numbers are pointing to a Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Greens, and Soc Dems alliance

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. The party faces a dilemma: share power with Sinn Féin and others or stand aside and face the possible wrath of the electorate if events go out of control and there is another election. Photograph: Reuters

Analysis: 2016 was a lost opportunity for Fianna Fáil and a serious miscalculation

Broadcaster Gay Byrne on the set of The Late Late Show in  1966. Photograph:  RTE Stills Library

‘Controversies reflect an Ireland struggling to emerge from the post-independence social and economic doldrums’

Michael O’Regan. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

You must draw on your reserves. Sometimes there is enough, sometimes there is not

The conviction and jailing of David Drumm (above) was a recognition of the seriousness of the crimes committed, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Tánaiste stresses white-collar crime must be dealt with robustly

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker addressing a joint sitting of the Dáil and Seanad:  “As the clock to Brexit ticks down, we must prepare for every eventuality, including no deal.”

European Commission president tells Oireachtas Ireland comes first in talks

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: “It is deeply regrettable to see the good name of America being damaged by the shocking images that have been seen around the world in recent days.” Photograph: EPA

Minister for Foreign Affairs backs all-party Dáil motion calling for immediate policy reversal

Leo Varadkar: ‘Men and women of all ages who tried to live and love and be themselves in a society where their identity was feared and despised, and who were aliens in their own country for their entire lives.’ File photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Government issues formal apology to men criminalised prior to legal change in 1993

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he will consider an inquiry into illegal dumping throughout the State. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

RTÉ broadcast revealed ‘appalling levels of environmental criminality’, FF leader claims

Seán Sherlock: “This would involve huge expense for small companies involved in the alcohol industry.” File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Health implications should also be debated in other areas like pregnancy, says Sherlock

Michael Healy-Rae: “The people want reassurance. They want to ensure that their children will be safe.’’ Photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Varadkar adopts benign Dáil approach to possible post-election supporters

Historian and author Fr Anthony Gaughan who received the Kerry Association in Dublin arts award at the National Library, Dublin with RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan and Keelin Kissane, chairwoman  of the association.

Listowel-born author was presented with the award at the National Library, Dublin

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has urged TDs engaged in a filibuster delaying the passage of the controversial Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill to rethink their strategy. Phtotgraph: Nick Bradshaw

Independent TDs call series of votes during resumed debate on the legislation

Dr Gabriel Scally: to chair an  independent inquiry examining the CervicalCheck controversy . Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Dr Gabriel Scally has ‘direct line’ to Minister for Health, says Varadkar

After various amendments it transpired that the Dáil appointed 16 people to a 13-member commission. File photograph: The Irish Times

Sinn Féin joins with Fianna Fáil in voting down several Government amendments

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said a point would be reached where an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 social houses were provided annually.

Tommy Broughan says Government relying on developers and landlords to ease crisis

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett  told the Dáil he was adopted through St Patrick’s Guild adoption society, which is at the centre of a controversy over incorrect registrations. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach apologises to adoptees over ‘another dark chapter in our history’

Seanad Éireann in its  temporary home in the Ceramics Room of the National Museum of Ireland. File image: Maxwells.

Ned O’Sullivan says there should be no more ‘dancing around on the heads of pins’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said it will be January of next year before full effect is given to the will of the people as expressed in the abortion referendum. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach warns that clinical guidelines will need to be drawn up as well as legislation

Posters advocating a No vote were prominently displayed in Kilgarvan village, leaving locals in no doubt where the two Healy-Rae TDs stood on the contentious issue. File photograph: Dáil Éireann TV

Fianna Fáil preparing to target vulnerable Danny Healy-Rae at next general election

Referendums mooted by the Government include removing the prioritising of a woman’s domestic role over work. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fragile Dáil arithmetic means abortion legislation the priority, say Ministers

 Ballot paper being counted for  the 2012 Fiscal Stability Treaty referendum. Photograph: David Sleator

No advocate Mattie McGrath (Ind) says there will be a full election-style tally on Saturday

Cavan-Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil TD says article by Sammy Wilson and Owen Paterson has no recourse to facts

Speaking on Tuesday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Cabinet had discussed the murders at its meeting earlier. File photograph: PA

Taoiseach condemns ‘senseless and ’brutal’ crimes

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said his “world began to slow down and then stop’’ when he heard the RTÉ Radio Morning Ireland interview with Emma Mhic Mhathúna on Thursday.  Photograph: Frank Miller

‘It makes us reflect on the obligations we have as members of Government,’ Paschal Donohoe tells the Dáil

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae said having a bus  service once a month did not amount to it being  a bus route. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Brendan Griffin reacts sharply as Danny Healy-Rae criticises rural transport plan

Emma Ní Mhathúna, pictured above in a HSE promotional video for the HPV vaccine, was told by her doctor the smear results from a test in 2013 were incorrect.

Mary Lou McDonald says mother with cervical cancer ‘has no confidence’ in HSE chief Tony O’Brien

Richard Bruton said  there was no doubt there were activities which were a cause of concern to anyone who wanted to see citizens make a discerning decision based on fair information.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Education Minister makes comment in light of social media being used to influence referendums

Bob Barnes, with family members at the funeral of his wife former TD, Senator and member of the Council of State, Monica Barnes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Former Senator and TD had intended campaigning for repeal of Eight Amendment

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: Given his experience and work rate, he remains the best leader available to the party. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Analysis: Yes vote in abortion referendum would provide him with a significant boost

The conference will be opened by former tánaiste Dick Spring. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former tánaiste Dick Spring to open annual PHOBUS gathering

President Michael D Higgins: “Michael D is regarded as unbeatable if he goes again,’’ said one long-time Leinster House observer.  Photograph: Getty Images

Growing consensus that political parties will back President for second term

Colm Cooper: “He is one of the most admired figures in the history of the GAA and has provided us with many moments of magic,’ said Kerry Association chairperson Keelin Kissane

Former intercounty footballer described as one of the most admired figures in GAA history

Minister for Health Simon Harris  said   waiting times for calls to be answered had  reduced significantly following  the decision to  bring in 40 additional public health staff to deal with the volume of calls being received. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Senators call for the resignation of HSE chief Tony O’Brien

HSE director general  Tony O’Brien arriving at Leinster House on Wednesday ahead of  a hearing of the Oireachtas  Committee on Health. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mary Lou McDonald calls for removal of ‘that incompetent man’ Tony O’Brien

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday. Image: Oireachtas TV screengrab.

Varadkar asks for time to deal with CervicalCheck fallout as ‘we want to do the right thing’

Alan Kelly, Labour health spokesman:  said it was ‘deeply worrying’ that the National Cancer Control Programme did not consider the issue to be a patient-safety incident. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Not all cases notified to CervicalCheck subjected to screening history, Harris reveals

Minister for Health Simon Harris was advised that publicity around Vicky Phelan’s High Court case was likely. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Harris tells Dáil many smear tests not included in sample which revealed 208 false negatives

HSE director-general Tony O’Brien. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Varadkar says HSE chief is entitled to fair hearing over cervical cancer controversy

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said he would consider running for the presidency if President Michael D Higgins does not seek a second term. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil leader praises former taoiseach’s ‘tireless work for peace’ in Northern Ireland

Party leader Micheál Martin speaking during the annual Fianna Fáil 1916 Easter Rising commemoration at Arbour Hill cemetery in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil leader blames British and Irish governments for Northern Ireland impasse

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

In 2009, there were only 120 GP training places, while this year it was expected there would be 194. Photograph: iStock

Fianna Fáil spokesman Stephen Donnelly claims GPs facing serious challenges

Senator Frances Black  said  conditions in a Dublin hospital where her sister, singer Mary Black, was admitted resembled a “war zone”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/THE IRISH TIMES

Senator Frances Black witnesses old people crying in pain and for their loved ones

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

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

Big Tom at the funeral of Irish country singer Larry Cunningham in Co. Longford in 2012. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/THE IRISH TIMES

Country star had a huge following despite being lampooned by critics as uncool

Ian Marshall is “a certainty” to secure one of the seats, according to one Seanad source

Ian Marshall’s invitation to contest byelections at end of month came from Varadkar

Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Many work in private homes and the fishing industry, Dublin conference told

Fianna Fáil TD James Brown said increasingly teachers  were meeting  children who had nothing physically or intellectually wrong with them but who were presenting with speech, language and social developmental issues. Photograph: Getty Images

James Browne claims social media contributing hugely to their difficulties

Labour health spokesman Alan Kelly said there was a public health risk associated with not vaccinating both boys and girls against HPV.

Minister for Health agrees clinical examination by Hiqa should be concluded quickly

Simon Coveney: June is a significant date from an Irish perspective. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

October is deadline for overall treaty covering UK departure from EU

Senator Máire Devine said she had retweeted what she thought was a genuine tweet without reading its full content.

Máire Devine sorry for ‘any and all offence and hurt’ caused over insensitive post

Russia’s ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov: The Taoiseach said the decision to expel a  diplomat was based on intelligence and advice from Garda and the Defence Forces.  Photograph:  Tom Honan

Leo Varadkar insists Ireland has no quarrel with Russian people

Brendan Ogle:  “There is no party to represent a broad, progressive, human rights base.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ex-chief of ESB unions concerned about the political direction country is taking

Former ceann comhairle Seán Treacy (top left), with (on right)  then taoiseach Charlie Haughey, listening to Nelson Mandela addressing the Dáil in 1990. File photograph: Frank Miller

Former mayor of Clonmel was first elected to Dáil in 1961 and held his seat until 1997

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the passport  service was back to an “acceptable benchmark’’ in terms of online applications. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Minister for Foreign Affairs tells Dáil staff worked on bank holiday to clear backlog

 Members of Dublin Fire Brigade and gardaí at the scene of the fire at the Metro Hotel, Ballymun, Dublin,  on Thursday morning. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Coveney thanks emergency services, praises ‘professionalism that resulted in no loss of life’

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’

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty: he referred to the SCU  as the Government’s “spin unit’’. Photograph: The Irish Times

SF motion calling on Government to stand down unit has backing of other Opposition parties

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’

Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly has described the latest deal on Brexit as a political fudge to allow the talks to move on and kick the can down the road on the Border issue.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Tánaiste alleges party’s stance on issue has changed as Donnelly claims Dublin ‘asleep at the wheel’

File image of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in his office at Leinster House. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader also criticises Government’s handling of the crisis in the North

Former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes has advised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to close his Twitter account. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Former Fine Gael leader says handling of Strategic Communications Unit ‘hamfisted’

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has accused the Government of having a “hostile, manipulative and aggressively pro-choice’’ abortion agenda.

The Independent TD said the manner in which the Government had dealt with the issue had been nothing short of disgraceful

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(...)

 The National Museum on Dublin’s Kildare Street. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Josepha Madigan confirms more cases following questioning from Sinn Féin TD

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launching  Project Ireland 2040 at Sligo’s Institute of Technology.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Government spokesman says there will be no change in campaign despite criticism

Children placed at potential risk and systems to notify gardaí of abuse allegations not robust, watchdog finds

 Michael McDowell: has clashed with Minister for Transport Shane Ross publicly.   Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister and Senator have publicly differed in the past over judicial reform

Minister for Health Simon Harris said there was no question of the hard border deal being watered down or changed. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fianna Fáil’s Stephen Donnelly claims recent developments are a cause for concern

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins/ File

Minister for Health says bank should discuss sale of €3.7bn in residential mortgage loans

Leo Varadkar: told Dáil the pain-relief patch was being prescribed in Ireland for a use for which it was not licensed. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Varadkar accused of cost-cutting but says HSE withdrew drug for patient safety reasons

A Garda removes a  checkpoint sign at the border between counties Armagh and  Louth, during a visit by EU chief negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier last May. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Firms relying on UK market will face difficulties when Britain leaves EU, Varadkar says

 Fianna Fáil’s John Curran, Michael McGrath, John Lahart and Senator Catherine Ardagh at Leinster House on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Varadkar indicates Government is willing to take on board concerns over PTSB loans

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said: ‘There is not a [constitutional] provision, however, which states every parent should get the school of their choice.’ File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Education told families being split due to restrictions on places

Luas cross-city: Fianna Fáil said Shane Ross had become the “minister for standstill”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister for Transport calls Dublin tram system ‘temporary victim of its own success’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil on Tuesday the bank had not yet sold any of the loans and had not identified a prospective buyer. Photograph: Alan Betson

Varadkar tells Dáil any proposed deal must first be discussed with Minister for Finance

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has approached  former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union and strong anti-Brexit campaigner Ian Marshall to run for the seat vacated by  Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar favours ex-president of Ulster Farmers’ Union Ian Marshall

Deputy leader of the Labour Party  Barry Desmond (right) with party leader  Dick Spring, in 1987. Mr Desmond, who represented Dún Laoghaire, recalls being denounced by priests from the altar. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Gemma Hussey recalls threatening letters warning ‘we know where you live’

Fianna Fáil TDs Dara Calleary and Michael McGrath raised concerns about banks selling non-performing loans in the Dáil on Thursday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Simon Coveney says sales are regrettable but banks need to continue on a path of recovery

 Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean Fitzpatrick. Shane Ross said he had never suggested Mr FitzPatrick should be Central Bank governor. File photograph: Collins Courts

Minister denies recommending former Anglo chairman for job in newspaper article

Sinn Féin spokesperson on finance Pearse Doherty outside Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government accepts the ‘overall principle’ of SF’s proposed banking reforms

Mr Varadkar said checks between Ireland and Britain would be inevitable if the UK decided to leave the customs union and the single market and did not replace them with a new arrangement that was very similar or close to them

Taoiseach says Brexit is complicated negotiation but Government’s objectives are very simple

Senator Catherine Noone said the public sees the Seanad “as a creche or a retirement home’’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Catherine Noone claims politicians degraded themselves in populist cost-cutting moves

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil landlords get a bad press, some deservedly so, but they did not all deserve it. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Varadkar says people could end up paying cash secretly or sub-letting

Mother-and-baby homes: Gerry Kearney is to chair the collaborative forum for former residents

Minister for Children says Gerry Kearney will spearhead ‘fruitful endeavour’

The Iona Institute’s has launched billboards featuring an unborn child at 11 weeks as part of its anti-abortion campaign. Photograph: Iona Institute

Maria Steen says baby in the womb a ‘fellow human being’

Social Democrats: Ms Shortall said that under her party’s legislation unpaid leave would be available to either or both parents. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Social Democrats Bill extending unpaid leave accepted by Minister of State

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: said the Government wanted to ensure there was “no pullback” from commitments on the Border. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/EPA

Labour leader claims legal basis for agreement running into sand

  Minister for Planning Eoghan Murphy said the Office of the Planning Regulator would also be enabled to consider complaints from members of the public. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Murphy tells Seanad office will have power to review procedures of An Bórd Pleanála

The Irish Times story on the struggle between the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health over how the spending plan for the health service this year should be presented to the public was published on Monday.

FF leader accuses Government of ‘lack of transparency’ about resources

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the poor school attendance record of some children was not of their own making. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says disadvantaged children more likely to miss school

 Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte, party spokesman  on communications Timmy Dooley and Fianna Fáil technology spokesman  James Lawless  speaking to media at Leinster House regarding the party’s  private member’s  motion on the delivery of   broadband.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Naughten says he will not allow process to continue a minute longer than necessary

Passengers at  Heuston station in  Dublin.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Fianna Fáil leader challenges Government’s record on rural development

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