A protest outside the Dáil demanding the right to free and safe legal abortion. Photograph: James Forde

Legislation’s passage could be delayed due to the number of Amendments tabled

A view of a Ukip ‘Brexit Betrayal’ march in London, Britain, on Sunday. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

British PM speaks to Leo Varadkar by phone ahead of vote in the House of Commons

James Menton, chairman of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, Minister for Health Simon Harris and Dr Rhona Mahony at the site of the new National Maternity Hospital in March 2017. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Healthcare group seeks to allay fears over future of the NMH after protest in Dublin

Paschal Donohoe. Ultimately politicians will give voters what they demand, whether that is wise or not.

Pat Leahy: Public myopia and our political culture are obstacles to economic prudence

James Menton, chairman of St Vincent’s University Hospital,  Minister for Health Simon Harris and Master of the National Maternity Hospital  Dr Rhona Mahony: new EU building rules could force the project to be redesigned, escalating the cost and threatening its future. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

St Vincent’s site may fall foul of EU building rules after saga of politics, finance and ethos

St Vincent’s University Hospital in south Dublin, site of the proposed new National Maternity Hospital. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government hopeful of deal with hospitals on new facility ahead of year-end deadline

Cllr Sarah O’Reilly announced her resignation from Fianna Fáil on Friday saying she would join forces with the all-Ireland movement being built by Peadar Tóibín TD and others. Image: Facebook.

Sarah O’Reilly from Cavan notes ‘disconnect’ between Martin’s party and its membership

The Government is on course to run a budget surplus this year for the first time in over a decade. Photograph: Getty Images

Watchdog to issue spending warning after €2.7bn business tax take in November

Junior health minister Jim Daly will explain to the health committee that the health service needs the Dáil to vote the extra money for this year’s budget Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Reasons include overspending and non-achievement of €150 million savings

At present, the constitution only permits divorce where spouses have lived apart for four of the previous five years

British prime minister Theresa May: will appeal to MPs to back a deal that is ‘opposed by much of her party and the opposition’ Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Inside Politics: A big Commons defeat on the withdrawal treaty would likely end prime minister’s tenure

Reports at the weekend suggested former minister for communications Denis Naughten believed he should return to the Cabinet as he had been exonerated by the Smyth report. Photograph:  Alan Betson

Concerns over contract price remain but officials say price would be spread out over 25 years

Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

TD who left SF after abortion fallout also raises united Ireland and economic issues

Anti-Brexit campaigners protest outside the House of Commons in London, Britain. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

What we can expect as the historic five-day debate on the UK’s withdrawal deal begins

On the way down? A day of reckoning is fast approaching for Theresa May. Photograph: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

If she loses small, she could get it to a second vote. If it’s big, all hell could break loose

BrexitCoveney

Amid UK political uncertainty, diplomats pessimistic about May plan being passed

Gardaí  earn, on average, about €1,300 a week, according to figures from the first quarter of this year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Public service pay and pensions bill now €1bn a year more than before economic collapse

Former minister for communication Denis Naughten: My sole focus was to keep Granaghan McCourt at the table. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Former minister says process was a ‘competitive dialogue procurement process’ rather than a tender ‘in the normal sense’

Stalling of digital tax is a victory for Irish diplomats and officials who have been building alliances against it for months.  Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Passing of 3% tax on EU-based digital sales of multinationals would have hit exchequer

Former minister for communications Denis Naughten welcomed the findings of the report. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Report finds former minister did not influence process in favour of Granahan McCourt

Denis Naughten former  minister for communication, climate change and environment announcing details of the National Broadband Plan at Government Buildings on April 4th, 2017 Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Naughten’s offence did require resignation but not serious enough to mess up process

Report examined whether contacts between former minister Denis  Naughten and David  McCourt undermined the broadband tender process. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Bruton says by stepping aside Naughten ‘removed any apparent bias from process’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar discusses the outcome of the EU Council summit meeting in Brussels. “Any other deal really only exists in people’s imaginations.” Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Taoiseach says he understands DUP’s position but deal respects Belfast Agreement

 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Union Council President Donald Tusk, and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier give a press conference at the end of the European Council meeting in Brussels. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Analysis: There is general recognition Ireland has done as well as it could have expected out of a bad situation

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker arriving for a special meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Sunday. Photograph: Sascha Steinback/EPA

Leaders agreed text of UK withdrawal from EU warning deal is best Britain will get

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  Fine Gael will have to acknowledge that by spending money cutting taxes, it will have less to spend elsewhere. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tax cuts within scope of prudent budgeting will please ‘squeezed middle’

British prime minister Theresa May will be in Brussels on Saturday to meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council  president Donald Tusk. Photograph: Will Oliver/Bloomberg

Officials finalise treaty and declaration texts ahead of meeting of leaders in Brussels

Denis Naughten: An independent audit found the National Broadband Plan has not been fatally undermined by private meetings the former minister for communications  had with the sole remaining bidder. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

What is happening with the plan and what are the other concerns?

British prime minister Theresa May with  European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.  Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Varadkar facing limited options if EU’s draft withdrawal deal with UK cannot be ratified

Housing may have fallen off the immediate political agenda

Inside Politics: Think tank says necessary influx may add to rental pressures and housing demand

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, left, announced the review in answer to fears that the process had been fatally undermined by private meetings between Denis Naughten and David McCourt (right). Photograph: Sam Boal/ Rollingnews.ie

Report by independent auditor Peter Smyth expected to be published in coming days

The report was ordered following the resignation of then minister for communications Denis Naughten after revelations he had held private meetings with US businessman David McCourt. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Review of process to award State contract for rural network ordered in wake of Naughten resignation

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar rolls the sleeves up on an outing with Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The party is agonising over timing of vote but getting the message right is more important

Some 23 Conservative MPs have publicly said they submitted letters of no confidence in Mrs May. This is still short of the required 48 to trigger a no-confidence vote, although leading pro-Brexit campaigner Steve Baker said the party was “pretty close” to reaching that number

Prime minister gets boost after pro-Brexit minister Michael Gove decided not to resign, and trade secretary Liam Fox backed her

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney at the opening ceremony of the 79th Fine Gael ardfheis in Citywest. Photograph: Donall Farmer

Minister for Foreign Affairs says May’s deal offers Northern Ireland ‘best of both worlds’

The Bill is part of Mr Ross’s efforts to combat what he says is “cronyism”.

Vested interests ‘hell-bent’ on maintaining political influence, claims Shane Ross

 Theresa May reacts during a news conference at Downing Street in London.

Concern in Dublin for May’s prospects as ministers resign and MPs move to oust her

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar making a statement following the announcement of the draft Brexit deal from London. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

If draft treaty is destroyed, prospect of a soft, managed Brexit may evaporate with it

Shane Ross is known within Government circles to be monitoring the Bill’s progress on a daily, if not an hourly, basis. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Senators joke that one of them may die before judicial appointments Bill gets passed

Peadar Tóibín TD speaking at the Sinn Féin ard fheis 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

TD says he will seek support from like-minded people in Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil

British prime minister Theresa May delivering a Brexit statement at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Protocol on Northern Ireland provides backstop guarantee that will safeguard a soft border

Theresa May outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. On first inspection, the draft agreement between the UK and the EU  fulfils the key requirements of the Irish Government. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The 585-page treaty is complex but it seems the Irish Government got what it wanted

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking about the Brexit deal in the Dáil on Wednesday

Taoiseach says unionists may be feeling vulnerable, isolated and worried

The biggest difficulty   was the UK and EU agreeing on a way to avoid the return of a hard Irish border. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP

With the EU and UK having agreed draft of withdrawal deal, we are in the endgame now

Michael D Higgins is inaugurated for his second term as President, at St Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Michael D Higgins sends warning of ‘deepening inequalities’ as he begins second term

Michael Healy-Rae said TDs would not seek to filibuster but would “do our jobs as TDs” to debate and scrutinise the legislation. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Both sides to continue with efforts to modify legislation at report stage later in November

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Her tendency to flog every minor political controversy for political advantage undermines ability to land political hits on big issues. Photograph: Collins

Presidential election disaster and stalemate in North pose challenges for Sinn Féin leader

British prime minister Theresa May, whose cabinet is expected to meet early next week to consider a draft Brexit agreement including a compromise proposal on the Border backstop. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Arlene Foster accuses British PM of breaking promises over proposal for Northern Ireland

Government fears are mounting  over spending vast sums on a rural broadband network only a minority may actually use.

Scant interest in high-speed broadband plan casts doubt on viability of national rollout

Protesters at an anti-Brexit demonstration at City Hall in Belfast in October: seminars will cover sectors such as aviation and financial services and key areas like citizens’ rights. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Series of seminars planned to help EU countries prepare for difficulties

Doctors Kirsten Fuller, Andrew O’Regan and Valerie Morris hold a press conference in Dublin to raise concerns about the Government’s plans for a GP-led abortion service. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Group of GPs concerned with plans to begin abortion services in less than two months

John Deasy, the Government’s special envoy to the US,  is confident that the proposal has bipartisan support

Bill could bring Ireland into E3 visa scheme, and benefit undocumented Irish

 Happy days: then taoiseach Enda Kenny with Brian Hayes, party spokesman on education in 2009. In 2010 Hayes   joined  Richard Bruton’s challenge to  Kenny, quickly emerging as one of the leaders of the rebellion.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

As an MEP, he was regarded as a big beast of the party, and a possible return to national politics was occasionally mooted

The US elections are seen as a  referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump. Photograph: Reuters/Carlos Barria

Inside Politics: midterm elections are seen as a referendum on presidency of Donald Trump

The committee stage will see TDs go through the abortion legislation line by line, debating the amendments proposed by pro-choice and anti-abortion TDs

Government to accept only minor changes to legislation published before referendum

Minister for Health Simon Harris with Angela Twohey, secretary of Friends of Nenagh Hospital, at the opening of the UL Hospitals cataract centre at Nenagh Hospital. Photograph:  Brian Arthur

Resilient Minister for Health will survive criticism Fine Gael TDs see as unwarranted

President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina. “Labour’s ideas, Michael D’s ideas, won out in the end” as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil accommodated themselves to change. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government’s budget spending shows priorities of President now mainstream

Photograph: iStock

FF, FG and Labour in rude good financial health, Sipo accounts show

Fine Gael  recorded a surplus for 2017 of €1.6m. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty

Fianna Fáil received €5.6m in State funding last year under three schemes

Peter Casey has threated to set up a new party called New Fianna Fáil. Photograph: PA

John Leahy says he will not stand in way of presidential runner-up taking over his party

President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, at Dublin Castle on Saturday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Fianna Fáil rebuffs Casey plan to join and lead party

President Michael D. Higgins makes his acceptance speech. Photograph: Reuters/ Clodagh Kilcoyne

Despite its triumphant ending, the campaign has been bruising for Michael D Higgins

Presidential candidate Seán Gallagher  with his wife, Patricia,  at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Reuters/ Clodagh Kilcoyne

‘If I can use my skills and abilities I will, but how, I don’t know’

 President Michael D Higgins: he won with a resounding majority, the largest ever in a national election. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Casey’s comments about Travellers will embolden a hundred cheaper imitations

Michael D is a wily old political warhorse, and he manipulated the campaigning advantages of office skilfully. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

There is a responsibility on councillors to exercise a more rigorous judgment when controlling admissions to the presidential race

Irish Times exit poll projects blasphemy referendum will be passed comfortably

Denis Naughten resigned after his meetings with the leader of the sole remaining bidder for the broadband contract were made public. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government officials are working on ‘plan B’ amid fears over possible collapse of process

The exit poll is being conducted by Ipsos/MRBI among approximately 4,500 respondents at 160 polling stations in every constituency.

Friday evening poll to give projected results of election and blasphemy referendum

The flag of Taiwan. The Ceann Comhairle said the Taiwan issue ‘is a very important one for our Chinese friends’. Photograph: Getty Images

Ceann Comhairle claims State adheres to ‘one China’ policy in letter to Deputies

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: he and the administration he heads are relatively popular by the standards of recent  governments. Photograph: Olivier Matthys

Extension of transition period not something that can be exchanged, Taoiseach insists

Brendan Howlin:  he said it was “amazing” that the government jet issue was persisting.

Brendan Howlin says Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada was ‘squirming’ in RTÉ debate on how much of her salary she takes

Candidates during the  ’Prime Time’ presidential debate. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Debate format did not help candidates or viewers

Site of the mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home in Galway.

Minister signals children interred at mother-and-baby home site ‘to have a dignified burial’

Simon Coveney: “There will be no withdrawal agreement without the backstop, end of story.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Tánaiste alludes to no deal after Brexit secretary Raab suggests backstop ‘alternative’

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: he stressed his offer to guarantee the stability of the Government until the outcome of the talks in Brussels is clear

‘The one person who has done the most to create an aura of instability around his own Government is the Taoiseach himself’

President Michael D. Higgins. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Incumbent criticised over use of Government jet but holds huge poll lead as campaign nears end

A file photograph of former Fine Gael TD for  Cavan-Monaghan  Seymour Crawford.

Taoiseach says ex-Cavan-Monaghan deputy played important role during peace process

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: he and the administration he heads are relatively popular by the standards of recent  governments. Photograph: Olivier Matthys

Poll shows majority for Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil is out of question so deals will be done

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addresses media in Brussels on Friday. Photograph:  Ben Stansall/ AFP/Getty

Taoiseach says any Brexit deal must be acceptable to European Parliament

Nigel Farage arrived at the summit venue only to be refused access by security, due to a mix-up, wilful or otherwise. File photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

EU summit: Nigel Farage dispenses his brand of bluster; Leo Varadkar is in his element

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May leaves after a news conference at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Merkel and Macron turn up heat on May to find a political solution to impasse

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addresses a press conference at the EU summit at the European Council in Brussels. Photograph:  Getty Images

Irish Government ‘not exaggerating’ concerns about consequences of no deal in NI

Theresa May arrives for a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on Thursday.  Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and David Davis write open letter to May

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the start of the European Council summit in Brussels. Photograph: EPA/Olivier Hoslet

‘Irish Times’/Ipsos MRBI poll finds overwhelming majority backs Varadkar’s stance

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and British prime minister Theresa May during a bilateral meeting in Brussels. Photograph: Taoiseach Government/PA Wire

British PM asserts commitment to backstop while Varadkar says time limit unworkable

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll

Presidential candidates approval on October 17th 2018

Irish Times opinion poll: President set to be re-elected at his ease

Presidential candidates approval on October 17th 2018

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll analysis

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and  Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD during a visit to the O’Devaney Gardens project in Dublin 7 on Monday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Parties want to fight elections when strong, Fine Gael maintains lead over Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael maintains lead over its rivals despite a dip in satisfaction with Varadkar

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar. Photograph: AFP/Getty

State is currently stuck with a zombie Government unable to do anything

Seán Gallagher and Martin McGuinness on RTÉ’s ‘Frontline’ during the 2011 presidential election campaign. Photograph: RTÉ

Presidential candidate sued broadcaster over tweet mentioned during live debate in 2011

Denis Naughten: His departure from Government reduces the number of votes the Taoiseach can command in the Dáil to 54 – three short of a bare majority when Fianna Fáil abstains. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Independent auditor will assess if process has been compromised, says Taoiseach

Former  minister Denis Naughten and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Analysis: Political drama could pull broadband project off the rails

Varadkar either wants an election, or he wants Fianna Fáil to believe he wants an election. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Martin doesn’t want election, but wants Fine Gael to know he isn’t afraid of having one

An image of the Coombe hospital in Dublin from Google Street View.

Post-budget measures aim to avoid another huge overspend in the sector next year

Interested groups listen to Minister Donohoe, as he delivers Budget 2019 Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Donohue avoids the rabbit-from-a-hat surprises of predecessor McCreevy

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue: stressed the Government needed to be cautious in the light of a possible no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Martin says Fianna Fáil to back Government until Finance Bill passes on December 11th

The overall health budget is set to be €17.2 billion, an increase of 6.6 per cent, with new and existing measures grouped under the Sláintecare heading.  File photograph: iStockPhoto

Health and housing to be main focus with mild income tax cuts for middle earners

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