Big test: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

There’s one force working against pledges to not repeat mistakes of the past: an election

“At the moment everything is driven by the chaos in London.” Britain’s prime minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Increasingly, the Government will have to ride two horses in the Brexit negotiations

Minister for Health Simon Harris said a clause has been included in the agreement to ensure contractual compliance by consultants, “in particular those relating to private practice”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Consultants had lodged breach of contract claims against HSE and the State

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the launch of Feile An Phobail at St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Friday June 8th, 2018. Photograph: Laura Hutton/PA Wire

Inside Politics: We have become used to Varadkar as Taoiseach now, so it’s easy forget how novel he was

Seamus Coffey: will brief TDs and Senators on the advisory council’s budget warnings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fiscal Advisory Council to recommend paying down debt and making economy resilient

The cases are due in court this week. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Private investigators were used to monitor individual doctors’ hours, it has been reported

Leo Varadkar: ‘The deadline is October and I do think it is possible between now and October for us to finalise and negotiate that withdrawal agreement.’ File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Leo Varadkar says Brexit talks should continue despite the lack of progress on the issue

 Leo Varadkar is expected to frame the plan as part of Ireland’s response to Brexit. Photograph: EPA/Paul McErlane

Increased promotion of Irish arts and culture abroad will form a key part of the plan

 Mary Lou Mc Donald voting at St Joseph’s, Navan Road: her intentions are clear – a coalition with Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

McDonald may have her moment but competition between FG and FF will remain key

Pro-Life Campaign spokeswoman Caroline Simons says the result of the referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment does not mean the Government is obliged to legislate for unrestricted abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Pro-Life Campaign says there is no need for Government to legislate for abortion up to 12 weeks

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis (right), with international trade secretary Liam Fox outside 10 Downing Street on Thursday. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

UK wants a permanent solution to the issue to be included in its withdrawal agreement

Observers of Theresa May’s management of Brexit might raise some questions about the details and progress made. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool/EPA

Amid much political huffing and puffing, the latest Brexit ‘plan’ leaves many unsure

President Michael D Higgins: cannot sign the referendum result into law – therefore amending the Constitution – until the legal process has been exhausted. Photograph: Eric Luke

Concluding all possible legal avenues by early July will be extremely difficult

Criminal lawyer Tara Burns, currently counsel to the former Garda press officer Dave Taylor at the Disclosures Tribunal, has been nominated for appointment to the High Court.  Photograph: Collins Courts

Three new Court of Appeal judges and one High Court judge named

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has been increasing pressure on London to propose more concrete solutions in time for the summit. Photograph: EPA/BALAZS MOHAI

Irish officials expect new British proposals on Border this week

Mary Lou McDonald said that she expected to talk to both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael about forming a government. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Party expects to open negotiations on coalition deal after next election

On a roll: Mary Lou McDonald at the RDS during the abortion referendum count. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Abortion question, bullying allegations and intolerance of dissent could cause problems

Shane Ross  has frequently held up appointments because he wants to see new laws governing judicial appointments introduced. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Shane Ross declined to say if he would assent to new appointments to Court of Appeal

The Villa Spada, the Irish embassy in Rome. Derek Hannon is to replace Emma Madigan as teh new ambassador to the Holy See in the Vatican.

Mumbai, New Zealand and Jordan among new diplomatic missions to be established

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: ordered a review of how rape cases were conducted following Belfast trial. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Justice says proposal complicated by nature of Ireland’s trial process

The HSE has told the department that overspending is a result of the January trolley crisis and additional pressure on hospitals, especially from older patients

HSE overspending understood to have reached €100m for first quarter of year alone

Minister for Health Simon Harris is expected to table the Bill in early July and the first debate is likely to take place before the Dáil rises for the summer recess. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

‘Disability is not a ground for abortion under the draft law and will not become one’

Simon Harris is among the politicians who have benefited from the abortion referendum campaign. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The referendum has not changed the world, but it has created opportunities for women

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall  said an implementation plan had been promised in December, then by Easter, then at the end of May, but it had not yet materialised.

Sláintecare report was published one year ago but has still not been implemented

 Health committee chairwoman Róisín Shortall TD with health committee members during the launch of the Sláintecare report.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Report contains clear path for implementation

Taoiseach: January at the earliest for introduction of abortion service. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: Taoiseach says it will be January at the earliest before abortion service is in place

Minister for Health Simon Harris.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Government lays out timetable for implementation of referendum result

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said she was ‘keenly aware that many of those affected have no idea that the people they regarded as their parents were not in fact their birth parents’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Those affected, between 1946 and 1969, had adoptive parents wrongly registered as birth parents

Former  minister for finance Michael Noonan who had not declared his position: “We’ll see what is in the Bill but my general disposition would be to support what is being proposed by the Government.” Photograph: Eric Luke

General reason given for post-result support is they accept democratic will of the people

Leo Varadkar (left),  Catherine Noone and Simon Harris: both Mr Varadkar and Mr Harris are eager to move quickly on the new legislation. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Legislation unlikely to come before Oireachtas until the autumn

“Doctors, or a majority of them, had swung, too, against the Eighth, and the public always looks to experts in such circumstances.” Above, Peter Boylan during the count. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Undecideds swung in huge numbers to Yes, as politicians struggled to keep up with pace of change

Repeal supporters at Dublin’s RDS wait for the start of the count. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inside Politics: The margin of the result will mean few TDs will oppose the legislation

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar casts his vote at Scoil Thomáis, Castleknock: as well as dealing with the result, the Government has many other pressing issues  to resolve.  Photograph Niall Carson/PA Wire

Brexit, budget, confidence-and-supply deal and health all need serious attention

A member of the public holding a Yes placard in Fairview, Dublin as Ireland voted in the abortion referendum. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Exit poll result suggests huge majority of younger people voted Yes

Voters at a polling station in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Voters interviewed throughout day for ‘Irish Times’ exit poll

Presiding officer Carmel McBride and Garda Alan Gallagher carry the polling box on Thursday on  Inishbofin. Photograph:   Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty

Both sides issue final appeals to 3.2m voters after long, divisive campaign

Turnout for the same-sex marriage referendum in 2015 was 61 per cent but for the children’s rights referendum in 2012 it was 34 per cent

Younger people tend to be poorer at turning out on election day, as does rural Ireland

 Minister for Health Simon Harris speaking  at a Together for Yes billboard launch in Dublin, ahead of the referendum. Photograph:   Niall Carson/PA Wire

Harris confident Oireachtas will support the law because ‘nobody has any alternative’

Pat Kenny: bossed  studio guests and  audience  with  customary authority

Acrimony and personal antipathy that has bubbled under the surface emerged in flashes

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar canvassing for a Yes vote in Tullamore, Co Offaly, with Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Kathleen Harris

Some FF TDs say different amendment could allow for abortion in more limited circumstances

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín who has broken ranks with his party on the issue of abortion.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Broadcast followed row between RTÉ and the No side over who should represent it in debate

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan told Ministers there was a substantial and continuing threat from republican dissident groups in particular. Photograph: Alan Betson

Flanagan seeks Cabinet approval for renewal of Act to grant special powers to Garda


Turnout crucial to outcome of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment

The opposing sides in the abortion referendum campaign are preparing for an intense run-in with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar emphasising that the result of Friday’s vote will be a “once in a generation decision”. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

No campaign targets politicians and tells voters ‘send them back for something better’

Campaigning for a Yes vote on Dublin’s Grafton Street. A Yes result would  reinforce the image of Varadkar as a young, liberal, progressive leader. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

A Yes vote will alter the political landscape; a No vote could upend it

President Michael D Higgins: running in the presidential election of 2011,  he said he would only serve  one term

President has not yet formally indicated if he intends to seek second term

Minister for Health Simon Harris  and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  poll results suggest they are being held responsible for the cervical cancer screening scandal. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Blame for the cervical cancer screening scandal is seeping towards politicians

Brexit Vlad

Better-off voters more likely to approve of Government performance on issue,

New legal actions heap pressure on response to CervicalCheck controversy

 No campaign supporters hold placards aloft during a  rally  in Dublin last weekend. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Campaigners will take heart from late swings of recent referendums

Inside Politics: The last week of campaigning will be intense and decisive

The latest ‘Irish Times’/Ipsos MRBI poll finds once the undecideds and those who will not vote are excluded, the Yes side leads by 58 per cent to 42 per cent

Anti-abortion campaigners need acceleration of change to secure majority on May 25th

We would be wise, always, to realise what polls cannot tell us, as much as what they can tell us

Analysis: Margin in Irish referendums always contracts as campaign proceeds

“We have laid out what we think is the most important part of the Government’s proposals,” says spokesman for the Save the Eighth group, John McGuirk

Booklet warns unborn babies will have no rights, ‘and you will never have a say on this again’

Lawyer and Iona Institute spokeswoman Maria Steen was the best performer on RTÉ’s referendum debate on Monday night

Big viewer numbers for RTÉ referendum debate make it a good night for anti-Repealers

Yes campaign: repealers have taken a softly-softly approach to their pitch to the middle ground.  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Analysis: Tonight’s RTÉ debate a chance for anti-abortion groups to influence swing voters

British prime minister Theresa May. Irish support for her “customs partnership” proposal will be forthcoming only if she faces down the hard Brexiteers in her cabinet. Photograph: Tolga Akmentolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland is likely to support UK proposal at EU summit

 Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: must fight and decisively win the battle within her own government that she has been avoiding for the past 18 months. Photograph:  PRU/AFP/Getty

Rolling controversy poses obvious personal danger to former minister for health: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

The Taoiseach has dealt with Dáil questions “as a doctor and as a brother”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Even Taoiseach’s friends wouldn’t say he suffers from excess of empathy

Facebook: The social media giant banned all foreign-financed and sourced ads relating to the referendum on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Social media giant will not follow Google’s lead with wider ban; Twitter says it has not seen any attempts to manipulate platform (...)

 Google said its decision was part of its “election integrity” efforts but declined to elaborate or to explain the decision further. Photograph: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

Surprise move deprives anti-abortion campaigners of key strategic element

John McGuirk of the Save the Eighth campaign:  Google’s decision amounts to “foreign interference”. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Photos

Social media companies have declined to explain decisions behind move

Leo Varadkar: keeping the focus on the women concerned and the need to find answers. Photograph: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Inside Politics: Government’s handling of political explosion has been steady and purposeful

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. The move by the company  to no longer accept foreign advertisements relating to  Eighth Amendment referendum will come as welcome news to some on the Yes side of the campaign. File photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters.

Polls on abortion broadly unchanged but No side is running effective online campaign

Seán Canney  left the Independent Alliance following a disagreement over the allocation of a junior ministerial post. Photograph: Collins

Galway East TD, who left Independent Alliance last week, said role had become a distraction

Bertie Ahern: will his achievements be eclipsed by his shortcomings? Photograph: David Sleator

The former taoiseach resigned 10 years ago this weekend. We assess his legacy

Despite the apparently enthusiastic backing of the then minister for health (one L Varadkar), open disclosure did not make it as far as a full legislative proposal until it was shoehorned into the Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill last year.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Dáil has failed to bring in mandatory reporting in the face of health professional opposition

“I trust the Prime Minister. She has said on so many occasions that she will take us out of the customs union,” Jacob Rees-Mogg said.  

Increasing pessimism in Dublin over prospects for Brexit talks

Dáil private members’ business on Tuesday is scheduled for a motion from the Rural Independents group of TDs, but Sinn Féin says it will seek to amend the Rural Independents’ motion with its own motion of no confidence in the HSE chief

Senior Government figures say pressure for O’Brien to depart may become overwhelming

 TDs Brendan Howlin,  Monica Barnes and  Alan Shatter at a hearing of the sub-committee on the Abbeylara incident, at Kildare House, Dublin, in April 2001. File photograph: Eric Luke

Barnes was first elected in 1982, after encouragement from Garret FitzGerald

Majella McGuire Flanagan speaking to Campaigners for the No campaign  in Castleknock, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Government may need to seek change in law to govern online campaigning – McEntee

HSE director-general Tony O’Brien must have the hide of a rhinoceros. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Even Varadkar and Harris admit being unable to trust what HSE officials told them

Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee has urged young people  to make sure they are registered to vote. File photograph: Getty Images

Vital young people make their voices heard in the debate, Yes campaign meeting told

The amendment was proposed by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Photograph: Eric Luke

Legislation allowing for voluntary disclosure has not been brought into operation

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

If Varadkar’s record as minister comes under scrutiny story could take violent turn

Anti-abortion poster in Dublin: If the referendum is passed, the path to reform of Ireland’s abortion laws will still be far from straightforward. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Faltering Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil relations put election in mid-distance

Shane Ross: He has continued to be an outsider. It has not made for a happy or productive experience in Government.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

From Stepaside station to judicial appointments, Minister is not getting his way

Put ’em up: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Fine Gael TDs want to go to the polls at a time of their own choosing, not Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

This week’s verbal skirmishes show main parties are squaring up for an election battle

Paschal Donohoe: Urging financial prudence: Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Inside Politics: Minister will find strategy of finance prudence and saving for the future is easier said than done

Minister for Sport Shane Ross was criticised for his reaction to a grant awarded to private school Wesley College in his Dublin Rathdown constituency. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Review of funding follows controversy over €150,000 grant to Wesley College

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance Michael McGrath:  “We are the party of fiscal responsibility,” he said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach says party will ‘bankrupt the country, as they have done in the past’

Prof Lesley Regan, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said  ‘women in the Republic of Ireland should be able to access abortion care services within their own country. Photograph: Getty

College ready to train Irish doctors to provide abortion services if referendum is passed

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: ‘The intention here is to make education completely free’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Labour proposes move days after report says parents paying €46m a year to schools

The launch of GAA Athletes for a No Vote  on Saturday, in Ballyfermot, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Organisation to remind county boards of its neutrality as players voice support for both sides

Charlie Flanagan: insisted the Government was still committed to passing the judicial appointments legislation by the summer

Flanagan says any sentencing guidelines will not be part of Judicial Appointments Bill

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. Séamus Dooley, the NUJ’s Irish secretary, called on the Minister to recuse himself voluntarily from involvement in media regulation.

Minister should not regulate media to avoid perceived conflict of interest, union says

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Denis Naughten’s defence in the Dáil of his INM warning was frankly risible

Campaign posters about the upcoming referendum on abortion outside Government Buildings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Strong backing for removing constitutional ban on abortion but fifth of voters undecided

“A lot of campaigning has yet to come. But unless something very substantial changes in the campaign over the coming weeks, the proposal to repeal the amendment, and liberalise Ireland’s abortion laws, will be passed.” Photographs: PA/The Irish Times

When undecided voters taken out of reckoning ‘Yes’ side has significant advantage

The sense that Leo Varadkar’s popularity could be the catalyst for a paradigm shift in Ireland’s post-crash politics is waning. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

New Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald appealing to wider base than Gerry Adams

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s  approval rating is by  far the highest among  party leaders, according to the latest   Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll findings mark end of encouraging run for Taoiseach and his party

Spokeswoman Cora Sherlock at the launch of the  ‘Love Both’ campaign in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Pro-Life Campaign makes claim as it unveils ‘Love Both’ campaign in Dublin

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: Never enough in his treasury to satisfy all the demands of his colleagues. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Inside Politics: No minister for finance can have enough in his treasury to satisfy all the demands of colleagues

Projections for domestic growth are also based on a pre-Brexit transition period, which would mean the United Kingdom remains inside the EU until 2020. File photograph: Getty Images

‘Extraordinary’ spending demands strike note of caution despite positive economic outlook

The Public Health Alcohol Bill was published by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during his time as minister for health in 2015, but is not yet law. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

European Commission said the proposed legislation may conflict with bloc’s law

Facebook executives will apologise at an Oireachtas Committee  for  the transfer of  data  to third parties which was used for campaigning purposes. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Senior aide in George W Bush White House to lead delegation of Facebook executives and advisers at Oireachtas committee

Tánaiste Simon Coveney:  “We are putting down a marker which says that if there isn’t significant progress towards trying to find a wording that puts in place an operational backstop in the withdrawal treaty, well then we’ll have to ask some very serious questions...”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

If no progress on ‘backstop’ wording by June, UK withdrawal treaty at risk, says Coveney

Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton at a Belfast  event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Belfast  Agreement. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Pat Leahy: politics has been described as a combination of high purpose and low cunning

Responding to the controversy in INM, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says the protection of journalists’ sources needs legal protection. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

New governance code due as Fianna Fáil leader calls for protection of media sources

Simon Harris: spoke about “the danger of the abortion pill, which we know is now a reality for many Irish women”

Obstetrician warns of ‘serious dangers’ when women take abortion pills without supervision

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