Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has called a general election for February 26.
His coalition government is seeking to win over the additional support needed for re-election and avoid a possible political deadlock.
Mr Kenny said the new Dail, or lower house of parliament, will sit again on March 10.
"I am going to make my way to Aras an Uachtarain (the president's residence) to ask the President to dissolve Dail Eireann (parliament)," the Irish Prime minister announced.
Rory Best will captain Ireland for the Six Nations with uncapped quartet CJ Stander, Stuart McCloskey, Ultan Dillane and Josh van der Flier the 35-man squad's newcomers.
Ulster skipper Best takes Ireland's captaincy from legend Paul O'Connell, who retired from Test rugby after the 2015 World Cup.
Two Irish men have been killed while working on a building site in Australia where an apartment complex was being built.Read the full story ›
In this touching video, six-year-old Jack Dooley bursts into tears after being told he is going to be a big brother.Read the full story ›
Ireland's drugs minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has announced Ireland will consider decriminalising drugs including heroin and cocaine.Read the full story ›
A scheme to reduce the number of one and two cent coins in circulation in Ireland launches today, with customers having bills rounded to the nearest five cents instead.
If the customer consents, bills ending in one, two, six, or seven cents would be rounded down to the nearest five, while those ending in three, four, eight or nine cents would be rounded up.
The policy has already been tried in Wexford in the Republic of Ireland, and from today will be rolled out across the country in a bid to reduce the number of low-denomination coins, which experts say are often simply "stockpiled" in people's homes.
Dr Ronnie O'Toole, an economist at Ireland's Central Bank, said he believed it would prove successful.
"Consumers may be surprised at first but, judging from the experience in Wexford, they will embrace rounding very quickly," he said.
Since joining the euro in 2001, Ireland has spent some €37 million (£27m) minting the copper coins.
Similar schemes have already been introduced in other eurozone states including the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Hungary.
The 24-year-old man became agitated and violent halfway through the two-hour Aer Lingus flight from Lisbon to Dublin on Sunday.Read the full story ›
The police officer killed in a shooting at a house in County Louth, Ireland, has been named as Anthony Golden.
Mr Golden, 36, was married and a father-of-three, Ireland's National Police Service confirmed.
The Justice Minister for Ireland has said she is "appalled" over the loss of a Garda's life.
Frances Fitzgerald said: "His death will be mourned by the entire nation.
"While no words at this time can be expected to console his wife and children, his family, his colleagues and all who loved him, they know that he gave his life in the best traditions of An Garda Siochana protecting the community he was so proud to serve."
Garda commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan added her "thoughts and prayers" were with the entire Garda service.
"This incident highlights the unique nature of the job carried out by the men and women of An Garda Siochana, and the dangers they face every day."
The President of Ireland has led tributes to the Garda killed in a shooting during a domestic dispute in County Louth.
Michael D Higgins said in a statement: "This most serious and tragic incident has not only led to the death of a member of An Garda Siochana, while on duty, but tragically has also involved the death of one and the serious injury of another person.
"I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the Garda who has so tragically lost his life while responding to this incident.
"My thoughts at this time are also with all others who have been affected by these events."