James Whelan in Doheny & Nesbitt. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Many publicans opt to wait as clarity over indoor hospitality arrives at 11th hour

Paschal Donohoe: transfer to Europe on the cards. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Forget Tokyo 2020 – the Convention Centre was where the real athletic action took place

An Irish Times cartoon of Charlie Haughey and Des O’Malley with the caption ‘Mr Haughey leaving office with dignity’. Illustration: Martyn Turner

The PD founder was charming, but could also be grumpy – especially around Charlie

Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon was quick to assure us there ‘wasn't a scratch on the bike’ after his crash. File photograph: Eric Luke

A touch of perspective wouldn’t have gone amiss in the Dáil this week

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is only delighted to discuss Project Happy because it’s his baby and right there in the Programme for Government. Photograph: Stephen Collins/ Collins Photos

Micheál gets ratty in slugfest over housing, CO2 monitors and Belarus comparisons

Mattie McGrath: The Independent TD  is taken to task, not for the first time, by the Taoiseach over his references to totalitarianism and authoritarianism.  Photograph: Tom Honan

Dáil Sketch: Tone of befuddlement as the Coalition goes roaring down the road to reopening

Ivana Bacik celebrates with, from left,  her daughters Louie and Cyan, and her husband, Alan Saul, after being declared the winner for the Dublin Bay South byelection at Simmonscourt, RDS.  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

FF’s Deirdre Conroy was standing on her own when her result was announced

Darragh O’Brien, the  Minister for Housing, was rolled out on RTÉ radio’s Drivetime in an effort to clear things up about tax breaks for cuckoo funds. Sarah McInerney ate him without salt.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Sarah McInerney eats up Minister without salt as Dáil left to ponder who is turning off a housing tap

The Government has big plans, said Taoiseach Micheál Martin. The focus will be on building houses. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Taoiseach ‘incentivising’ funds to buy up houses, Sinn Féin leader alleges

Mary Lou McDonald in Belfast recently. Photograph: Sinn Fein/PA Wire

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald and TD Martin Browne were singing different songs

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘My only concern is to protect people.’ Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Taoiseach robustly defends decision to delay reopening following ‘stark’ warning

Dining outdoors on Baggot St, Dublin on Tuesday. Labour leader Alan Kelly said the plan to allow only people who are fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19 to dine indoors was criminal, unenforceable and shocking. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Opposition TDs go ballistic over ‘bonkers’ and ‘bananas’ decision to delay reopening

Kate O’Connell with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, SF’s Dublin Bay South byelection candidate Lynn Boylan, O’Connell’s mother-in-law Nora O’Connell and sister-in-law Deirdre at O’Connell’s pharmacy in Rathgar

FG get a taste of their own medicine at Kate O’Connell’s Dublin Bay South pharmacy

The Minister for Health is off for more negotiations with St Vincent’s Hospital Group, still refusing to budge on selling him the land. File photograph: The Irish Times

Eight years down the line and political ructions reigning ... with no end in sight to saga

Ivana Bacik, the Labour Party candidate for the Dublin Bay South byelection with her director of elections Duncan Smith in Dublin city centre on Tuesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Promises fly as FG and SF circle the bandwagons ahead of Dublin Bay South byelection

Darragh O’Brien is compared to former US president Ronald Reagan. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Praise for O’Brien’s concrete efforts and thanks to the Mayo women who gave voice to the House

Sarah Durcan, the  Social Democrats’ candidate in Dublin Bay South, launching her byelection campaign outside the Dáil on Wednesday, flanked by Róisín Shortall. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Amid Bloomsday celebrations, Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll sounds a sobering note

Homeowners from Donegal, Mayo and Clare protest at the Convention Centre in Dublin seeking 100 per cent redress over the mica issue. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Rural TDs warn of crumbling support for parties unless mica redress issue dealt with

Danny Healy-Rae is accusing Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin of ‘showboating’ over filling in the Kerry potholes.

Prospect of having to listen to people banging about constituency until October proved frightening

 Kevin Lunney: “I was conscious of blood running down from my face onto my arm.” Photograph: BBC Spotlight

Disturbing evidence could have been drawn from pages of Stephen King

Hangin’ on the telephone: Independent TD for West Cork Michael Collins.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The Taoiseach enjoyed the row so much he couldn’t resist returning to it on Wednesday

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

‘Unprecedented’ financial giveaway will help economy ‘take off like a rocket’, says Tánaiste

Taoiseach Micheál Martin shimmies down the red carpet to deliver the good news to the nation on Friday. Handout photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Micheál served up a nourishing number soup and we lapped it up with palpable relief

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: has  recommended slapping on the emergency powers for another six months. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Good faith turns to buyer’s remorse as TDs see no unwinding of draconian Covid curbs

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan’s cautious approach left sinking hearts all round. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Everyone poised to jet away for the Med just as soon as that vital paperwork comes through

Michael Ring: ‘The senior civil servants are running the Dáil and they’re running everything.’ Photograph: Crispin Rodwell for The Irish Times

Fed-up politicians want out of Convention Centre and back to Leinster House

Deputy Mattie McGrath warned us before about the appalling vista facing the nation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

It’s like ‘Germany in 1933’ all over again but Mattie’s not falling for the ‘scamdemic’

Kilcummin sewerage scheme near Killarney is an issue of huge importance to householders living in what Danny Healy-Rae said is “the biggest parish in Ireland”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Micheál Martin’s predecessor made an unexpected appearance at leaders’ questions on Tuesday

Sod that: Deputy mayor of Fingal Robert O’Donoghue, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien and mayor of Fingal David Healy at the sod-turning on a new social and affordable housing scheme at Dun Emer, Lusk, Co Dublin. Photograph:  Damien Eagers/The Irish Times

Darragh O’Brien huffed and puffed and finally got a shovelful of dirt – disappointing

Richard Boyd Barrett told the Taoiseach he must be ‘living in a parallel universe’ if he thinks his plans for affordable housing are realistic. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Mary Lou McDonald heaps scorn on stated promise to tackle the housing crisis

It’s all about the cuckoo investors and the vulture funds and curbing their spread further and further into the housing market

Mary Lou McDonald is mining a rich seam of public discontent and she knows it

Jim O’Callaghan dutifully tried to sound enthusiastic when asked about his party’s campaign in a constituency not noted as a Fianna Fáil stronghold. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Senior counsel Jim O’Callaghan has his work cut out to get an FF candidate over the line

“How are ordinary house buyers who scrimp and save for a mortgage supposed to compete with this?” File photograph: iStock

A nasty ‘variant’ of Greed-09 has swooped through an entire housing estate in Kildare

Helen McEntee: from here to maternity. Photograph: Tom Honan

Congratulations pour in for Minister as knives come out in Dublin Bay South

Happy days: Minister for Culture and Sport Catherine Martin, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar during the announcement of easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the reopening of hospitality, hairdressing and other services. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

The Taoiseach was happy to do the heavy lifting: lifting restrictions, lifting our spirits

Racing heart: Senator Martin Conway. Photograph: Tom Honan

Martin Conway of FG was overheard doing some side business during a virtual meeting

There’s talk of light at the end of the tunnel, but Labour leader Alan Kelly is still stuck in the tunnel, trying to get past a large blockage of vaccine the Government is promising to ‘roll out’ quickly.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

It was hard to contain the excitement at the election of two Senators, but we managed

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny staying on track

Miriam Lord: the former taoiseach is networking away on abandoned old railway lines

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: No more Mr Nice Phibsboro.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister needed a protective layer of cotton wool after getting a kicking over kids’ shoes

 Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald: disconnected, mid-sentence, from the Convention Centre’s PA system. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

It’s a plucky individual who mutes the Sinn Féin leader when she’s holding forth

Micheál and Leo were wearing the same outfits.  They were like non-identical twins with nothing in common except their matching clothes. Photograph:  Julien Behal Photography

Micheál holds out a whiff of a carrot and a smaller stick with a promise of better days to come

Jimmy Deenihan. Photograph: Eric Luke

‘Jimmy’s Borehole’ might not sound very charitable, but that’s exactly what it is

Thomas Byrne, TD for Meath East, was disgusted. It’s bad enough to be compared to Cromwell in Dáil Éireann, but to make such an accusation to “someone born and reared in Drogheda” is particularly “outrageous”, he howled. Photograph:  Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Green soap forgotten as spirit of Cromwell evoked in Dáil

These women appear to have been subject to an Upstairs, Downstairs regime in Leinster House, left without basic facilities. Photograph: Alan Betson

The lack of recognition for the cleaners of this (very big) building is about to be rectified

All the best questions on the day were asked by Séamus the Dog on RTÉ’s Home School Hub when Taoiseach Micheál Martin dropped by for a chat. Image: RTÉ

Puppet pooch might have had more luck grilling Taoiseach about Gravy Stockbrokers

Derville Rowland, who heads the Central Bank’s financial misconduct unit, might as well have been talking about catching vampires for all the confidence her words inspired in her audience of politicians.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

For Derville Rowland, the silver bullet is a shaft of sunlight through the company wallet

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly: he has eased up noticeably on the histrionics and adopted a more considered and conciliatory approach during his Dáil outings.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Elsewhere Sinn Féin reminded us that if you have to curse, you should curse in Irish

Minestrone for Housing Darragh O’Brien – feeling the Opposition’s broth. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Opposition pours on the scorn and gives FF a good roasting over its Celtic Tiger past

Boastful: Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan handed black card for unsporting behaviour

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is rolling the dice on the success of the vaccine rollout. Photograph: Julien Behal

‘The variants are on tour,’ intones Alan Kelly as Government rolls dice

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addresses the nation at Government Buildings on Tuesday evening. Screengrab: RTÉ

Taoiseach’s big speech told us nothing we didn’t know and nothing we wanted to hear

Stephen Donnelly has confided his belief that “the vaccine offers the best chance of tackling Covid”.  Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Twee pancake videos on social media mean Minister for Health was not only one to fall flat

Talk to Pearse: Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

When it comes to striking fear into insurance firms, the Sinn Féin TD is the new Joe Duffy

Eamon Ryan, one  TD declared, needed ‘to be put back in his green box’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Beer Gardens mortifies former hacks amid leaks of ridiculous proportions

Labour TD Duncan Smith:  ‘I’m not going to be lectured on understanding workers.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Labour TD reminds Rural Independents they don’t have a monopoly on country matters

The National Children’s Hospital: When the famous report is published, look for it in the horror section. Photograph: Alan Betson

The sitting is a bit like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? when they phone a friend

Ian Marshall, the former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union and Leo Varadkar’s nominee to the Upper House in 2016, has thrown his hat in the ring for the Agriculture panel.  Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Bloomberg

Never mind the vaccine rollout – all we want to know is when will the election take place

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘In terms of policing someone in their bedroom, that does, obviously, raise obvious challenges’

When will mandatory quarantine be implemented? Depends on which Minister answers

Fianna Fáil’s James Lawless –Covid rules mean less time with constituents, more time in the garden

This week veered from green fingers in Kildare to Tubthumping in the Seanad

Donegal TD Thomas Pringle: ‘People always ask me when I do Leader’s Questions: what do I think of the responses? And I say I never listen to the responses because they mean nothing.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Micheál Martin has feathers ruffled by Pringle over his missing zero Covid strategy

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan at the press briefing in Government Buildings

Captain Micheál Mainwaring’s new motto is ‘hold firm and stick to the basics’

New Irish Ambassador to Bulgaria Martina Feeney inspecting the guard of honour provided by the Bulgarian National Guard in Sofia.

Meanwhile, Bulgarians put on a show for new Irish Ambassador in Sofia

 Josepha Madigan  likened the very difficult circumstances facing children with additional needs and their families while their schools remain shut to the plight of vulnerable children in mother and baby homes. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

No lessons learned as Madigan keeps digging through the medium of riddles

Dáil chamber: Scene of Seanad debate. Photograph: Alan Betson

News of Seanad’s return has heartsick country reaching for the tonic

Robert Watt is moving from Merrion Street to Baggot Street to take up his new job as secretary general of the Department of Health. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Forget the Fitbit – this short stroll is bringing one public servant a very healthy salary boost

Carmel Larkin, who was born in the Tuam mother and baby home in 1949, holds a statement of apology from the Sisters of Bon Secours  at the grotto on Wednesday, on an unmarked mass grave at the site. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Catherine Connolly’s compelling, clear-eyed speech stood out over all the apologies

 Stephen Donnelly:  in August  he takes bronze in the trampoline at the  Olympics in Japan

In May Labour Party leader Alan Kelly explodes during Leaders’ Questions. ‘It’s what he would have wanted,’ says a constituency co(...)

Labour Party Leader Alan Kelly TD during a Labour press brieifng on The Sick Leave and Parental Leave (Covid-19) Bill 2020. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin’s prediction about an ‘interesting’ year came true, and then some

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh: like something out of Le Carré.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Christmas visits off the menu as Oireachtas restaurant only open to serving members

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh: like something out of a Le Carré novel. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Christmas visits off the menu as Oireachtas restaurant only open to serving members

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at  the launch of Co-operative Housing Ireland’s Brookhill estate of 69 affordable family homes in Carrigaline, Co Cork. Photograph: David Clynch

Talk about spoiling the Opposition with presents of denials about bank bailout

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley: It was the dearth of Sinn Féin TDs in the chamber when their colleague was making his apology which was the most striking thing about the short episode. That was not by accident. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

To lose one TD may be regarded as misfortune but to lose two looks more than careless

Response to Green leader’s climate change speech has him blushing under his mask

Taoiseach Micheál Martin  strongly resisted Opposition charges that his Government is wilfully refusing to pay these students for working during the Covid crisis. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Micheál Martin reaches for Fempi as Opposition denounces failure to pay student nurses

Micheál Martin didn’t even try to sound optimistic when opposition TDs wondered where we were at now in this crucial, last-gasp phase of the Brexit negotiations.  Photograph: Laura Hutton

Micheál Martin offers little comfort as the clock runs down on EU/UK trade talks

The big surprise about the furore over mild-mannered TD Brian Stanley’s tweet last weekend was the fact that it was seen as such a big surprise. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tweets are dominating the Dáil, and who’ll blink first as Brexit talks go to the brink?

 Danny Healy Rae  accused the Taoiseach of hurting and “belittling” thousands of rural-based publicans and their patrons. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Shock news of deputy’s conversion to value of evidence pulses in global research community

Taoiseach does a quick bit of Christmas shopping in the Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street but all he really wants is a dozen com-it-tees as stocking fillers.

But Micheál wants a buffer of taskforce proportions between a ministerial posterior and the blame

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: Has reassured the nation’s kids that Santa is exempt from travel restrictions. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Martyn Turner’s Endgames; Santa cleared for takeoff; tie dies; MMO’C makes fresh start

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. “One of the great strengths of the Irish judiciary has been its non-political characteristics,” said McEntee as she was rattling through her prepared script.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Micheál comes out of this saga looking like a patsy and Leo like a bit of a cad

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly (aka  John Wayne or Liam Neeson) vows ‘to get to the truth’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Kelly vows to get justice – or at least the Minister for Justice – into the Dáil

The Taoiseach reminded the Dáil what happened when the country slowly opened up again during the summer after the first lockdown.  Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Taoiseach under pressure to bring on his Minister for Justice to answer questions

RTÉ: Don’t stand too close.

RTÉ social distance, McEntee in Dáil, Woulfe pack, pints in public and moving statues

Taoiseach Micheál Martin arrives for an all-party meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Manure hits the fan over FF-FG AG deal and appointment of Séamus Woulfe

 Minister for Justice Helen McEntee:  it looks like she didn’t tell two of the people at her pre-Cabinet meeting about the other three applicants. Did she tell Leo Varadkar, her boss? Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Justice keeps low profile as Opposition looks for answers

Christmas decorations at the GPO on O’Connell Street in Dublin’s city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ballybunion locals are on the ball as they fly the American flag for Joe Biden

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin on his way to the Dáil chamber at  the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photograph: Collins

Waves of congratulatory indifference pulsed around the tiered velvet seating

If the lionising of Leo was hard to take, the lack of any fresh argument amid the overweening smug self-righteousness radiating from Sinn Féin  was even worse. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party’s meaningless buzzwords, soundbites and rehashed arguments fail to find traction

Leas Cheann Comhairle Catherine Connolly said a record of what is said in the chamber has been kept since the first sitting of the Dáil 101 years ago. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Political anoraks rejoice as the Nealon’s Guide to the 33rd Dáil and 26th Seanad lands

Jim “Young Cuív” O Callaghan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

As far as Taoiseach is concerned, if it didn’t occur on his watch, it didn’t happen

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney leaves Government Buildings  after a fraught Dáil seating which saw  Leo Varadkar defending his actions in the GP contract controversy. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

Cabinet incontinence is all about some things being more confidential than others

Former commissioner Phil Hogan with EC president Ursula von der Leyen. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

EC president drove five hours from Belgium, through Netherlands, to Hanover

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: dealing with explosive TNT revelation that the country’s much vaunted test-and-trace system collapsed when the very much expected second wave arrived unexpectedly. Photograph:  Johanna Geron/Getty Images

'Close encounters of the Covid kind, running on continuous loop in everyone’s head. And nobody knows the ending'

Hand-sanitising gel. Photograph: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

TDs are used to ensuring their seats are safe but never in quite such a literal sense as this

 Dr Ronan Glynn, right, gave  Nphet members a  dressing down this week over the amount of times ‘Nphet sources’ are quoted in the media. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The House ushers in a special moment but has no time for unladylike behaviour

  Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe   at Government Buildings ahead of  Budget 2021.  Photograph:  Julien Behal

Mother-and-baby homes, Level 4 restrictions and Brexit shove big spenders off agenda

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe arrive at  the Convention Centre in Dublin to announce Budget 2021. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath’s largesse leaves Opposition struggling to find fault

Green tea Taoiseach Micheál Martin was sorely disappointed with Nphet but determined to move on in a renewed spirit of working together for the sake of the nation. File photograph: The Irish Times

Leo rages at public health chief; Cap’n Grealish frets about the arts; Harris and Holohan framed

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: at the centre of the storm over the Taoiseach and Tánaiste’s public annoyance over learning at the last minute that the National Public Health Emergency Team  was recommending an escalation to Level-5 lockdown. Photograph:  Julien Behal

Timelines and clashing accounts as Minister levels on Nphet

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at the Convention Centre Dublin: the seats are built for the comfort of theatre audiences, not for taoisigh hopping up and down to answer questions. Photograph: Maxwells

Martin Kenny’s contribution to Leaders’ Questions had a few squirming in their seats

More articles