Michael Harty

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Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney (left) and  Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Irish politics after Enda will be a real test of the fragile arrangements that have kept the minority Government in place for the past year. There is(...)

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs have joined together to block a plan to abolish tax relief on private health insurance. File photograph: Getty Images

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail TDs have joined together to block a plan to abolish tax relief on private health insurance, dealing a significant blow to pl(...)

A variety of cannabis-containing products are in development, and one - Sativex - has already been licensed in Ireland. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Cannabis is in the news these days, with campaigns underway on both sides of the Border for its legalisation for medicinal use. Mothers such as Cork(...)

Minister of State for Health Catherine Byrne said she was “sick to my stomach” trying to understand that 12 years on “we are here again in the Dáil Chamber talking about the location and site of the new national children’s hospital”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister of State for Health Catherine Byrne has accused members of the Opposition of “jumping on the bandwagon and scaremongering” about the building(...)

The Government lost four Dáil votes on Thursday. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

The Government lost four Dáil votes on Thursday. The votes covered motions on securing a special status for the North post-Brexit and on the North-So(...)

 People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny (3rd from left) with  Dr Cathal O’Suilliobhain, Mark Gaynor,  from Galway and Vera Twomey, from Cork, at the launch of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Bill 2016 in November. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced a compassionate access programme for cannabis-based products. He plans to implement a Health Products(...)

 Minister for Health Simon Harris has been asked by the Oireachtas health committee to ensure both organisations representing GPs participate in negotiations on a new contract for the profession. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Oireachtas health committee has called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to ensure both organisations representing GPs participate in negotiatio(...)

Simon Harris: the question is whether he  wants to stay in Health for invevitable  battles, or escape as others have in the past. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ask most people around Leinster House what they think of Simon Harris, and the same adjectives usually flow: clever, ambitious, hardworking and compet(...)

‘The Dáil parties and Independent groupings, having lined up in Government and Opposition, are frozen in position for fear that any sudden movement may cause the whole thing to come to an end.’

In various chats and social encounters with a broad spectrum of politicians, political staffers and officials this month, I asked each to give a word (...)

Gino Kenny TD, whose Bill for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis has received widespread support in the Dáil. Photograph: Alan Betson: The Irish Times

Legislation allowing for the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is expected to pass through the Dáil. A Bill proposed by People Before Profit TD (...)

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