Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  suggested  the next government could encourage people to work from home by offering them income tax incentives. Photograph:  Dave Meehan

Government formation talks likely to continue until end of next week

 Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin (right),  last week said she is giving serious consideration to challenging Eamon Ryan for the position of leader.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

FF source gives cool response to idea of Green tánaiste role

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan with Catherine Martin at a 2016 press conference in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Micheál Martin expected to be taoiseach for first half of next government

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: Some Green sources say he has had  huge support since an issue around leadership arose. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FF, FG and Greens discuss details of coalition with focus on climate change policies

Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin: Martin was against coalition talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, so some wonder if her anticipated run against Ryan  is a way to disrupt those negotiations

Eamon Ryan’s authority has been seriously damaged by events of the last 24 hours

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan with his deputy,   Catherine Martin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Catherine Martin thanked members ‘who have asked me to contest’ party leadership

The Opposition will seek to press Ministers to guarantee there will be no cuts to the current Covid-19 unemployment payment before the crucial Dáil vote on spending takes place. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Dáil vote due as Covid-19 outlay likely to deplete €8.6bn budget by June, Donohoe warns

Green Party TD Catherine Martin: Some claim she would be better at standing up to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael than Eamon Ryan.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Deputy leader Catherine Martin urged to try unseat incumbent from top role

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar:  the pair  were in contact on Saturday night

Varadkar had objected directly to Martin about attacks by Fianna Fáil TDs on the Government over election contingency plans

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar: the reaction of both parties  illustrates the gulf that still exists between them, even as they stand on the cusp of a historic coalition.

It does not augur well that a bitter row has flared up over something so relatively small

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen, one of his party’s government negotiators, has accused Fine Gael of acting in ‘bad faith’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Barry Cowen accused Fine Gael of acting in ‘bad faith’ by drawing up contingency plans

Eamon Ryan: the 57-year-old Dubliner, who lives in Clonskeagh, has led the Green Party over the past 12 months to its greatest results. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

The Green Party leader's upbeat approach may not be enough to persuade his party to enter office

No legislation is required to hold an election, and the difficulties around an election may decrease as  restrictions are eased. Photograph: Getty Images

Government considers measures including allowing polling in nursing homes if ballot needed

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control had issued an alert about 230 suspected cases of a new paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome linked to Covid-19. Photograph: iStock

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control issues alert over inflammatory syndrome

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed  that the State would “probably” borrow €30bn  this year, which was at the outer limits of the Government’s worst-case scenario calculations  a month ago

NZ’s ‘wellbeing’ approach understood to have influenced FG, FF framework document

Dr Siobhán Kennelly, the HSE’s national clinical adviser for older persons, said the State’s public health officials were “quite keen” for the health of nursing home residents and staff – and the relatives of the residents – that nursing homes reopen to visitors “in a safe and controlled way”. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

‘Very desirable’ that nursing home residents get to see loved ones again

Delays in the testing and tracing system for Covid-19  will not affect the decision on whether to ease lockdown restrictions next Monday, the State’s chief medical officer has said. File photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Medical chief rejects Taoiseach’s view schools could reopen earlier than planned

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Encouraging employers to take people off the pandemic payment and on to their books will be a key goal. Photograph: PA

Social Democrats rule themselves out of FF-FG coalition government

A Garda checkpoint on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin on Tuesday.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

State faces severe financial constraints amid economic recovery from Covid-19

Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, has written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about his concerns. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Coronavirus crisis is affecting ‘safety, welfare and wellbeing of children’ – Niall Muldoon

People are seen jogging past a social distancing sign in the Phoenix Park in Dublin last week. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

What restrictions will be lifted first? When will schools reopen? Will the 2km limit increase?

Gardaí are planning wide-ranging operation this bank holiday weekend to ensure public adhere to travel restrictions

Government to unveil plan for lifting restrictions as pressure mounts to ease cocooning advice for over 70s

Leo Varadkar speaking in the Dáil

Taoiseach says gardaí and PSNI need to co-operate on Covid-19 restrictions

Dr Tony Holohan, chair of NPHET, delives a media briefing in the Department of Health. Photograph:  Crispin Rodwel/The Irish Times

Team of medical experts and health service chiefs have been advising Government on navigating crisis

The only way to improve and speed up contact tracing is by using technology, Dr Liam Glynn says. Photograph: Collins

Reports of success of remedesivir drug in treating virus encouraging, says Paddy Mallon

Gardaí at  a  checkpoint on the Southbound carriageway of the N7 this week. Photograph: Collins

Some sporting and recreation facilities could reopen in an early phase of easing lockdown

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and nurses Leona Byrne and Sarah Totney at the Covid-19 Community Assessment Hub in DCU in Dublin. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Under proposals for phased opening, creches would also be in later stages of plan

Creches would open for the children of essential workers in the middle stages of the phased plan to ease restrictions, but not for other workers until the late phases. Photograph: Alex Grimm/Getty

Lifting coronavirus restrictions: Later stages include reopening of schools and colleges

Cafes and restaurants could reopen by the middle of the summer, with people allowed travel within Ireland for holidays by late summer. Photograph:  Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty

Progress through phases will not happen unless number of key targets are met

Labour Party TD Alan Kelly at Leinster House. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Letter sent on Tuesday evening is expected to pave way for meeting between three leaders

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. The party last week published 17 conditions for entering discussions on a potential programme for government. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar expected to write to Green leader Eamon Ryan on Tuesday

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan at Leinster House in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Social Democrats and Labour now seen as unlikely to enter government with FG and FF

Leo Varadkar said the next government will want to study a new system mooted by the Australian government which would see Google and Facebook pay media outlets for news content displayed on the companies’ services. Photograph: Getty Images

Taoiseach says charging Google and Facebook for news media content is ‘a good idea’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings announcing  the #InThisTogether initiative . Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA

Government launches initiative aimed at promoting mental health during lockdown

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Latest figures include 185 probable deaths as number of confirmed cases passes 18,000

Rent freezes and other temporary actions could be extended if the pandemic continues into June, as experts anticipate. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Memo outlines extension of rent freeze and tapering-off of welfare payments

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  said he would ‘listen’ to any proposals for the Green Party to share the office of taoiseach with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.  Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Party prepares to write to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil seeking further detail on the framework document agreed last week

From left, Dr Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory , Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, and Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer HSE. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

GPs told they must wear surgical masks for consultations with all patients as precautionary measure

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media during a visit to  Civil Defence headquarters in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Varadkar says by end of April Cabinet will have considered plan to reopen society

Longitude Festival is expected to be cancelled. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Varadkar hopes to be able to announce the lifting of some restrictions on May 5th

It is remarkable that the Greens, Social Democrats and Labour are asked to support a government between the Civil War two without knowing who they are being asked to back in a Dáil vote for taoiseach

A rotating taoiseach is about to be put into practice without any discussion of what it means or entails

FF leader Micheál Martin introduced rules in 2012 which stipulate that a draft programme for government must be voted on at a special ardfheis. Photograph: Henry Nicholls

Ireland’s political factions face a number of logistical challenges due to the pandemic

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. The rhetoric of the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil framework document signals a move leftward for the parties. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Broad strokes of framework document leave ample room for other parties to add in details

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar leaves the GPO in Dublin’s city centre following the annual 1916 Easter commemoration on Sunday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Labour source says tax pledge in FF-FG framework document is ‘unbelievably stupid’

Michael McGrath, Fianna Fáil finance spokesman, said other parties should not be presented with a “fait accompli”. Photograph Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Majority of FG TDs gave the green light to continue with government formation talks

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. Photographs: Nick Bradshaw

Framework for potential coalition includes ‘new green deal’

Simon Coveney: Left wing parties will not be able to form a stable majority. File Photograph: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Richard Bruton ‘has expressed concerns’ about risk of Fine Gael forming a government with Fianna Fáil

  There are now 10,647 known coronavirus cases in the State, and 365 people have died from the virus. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Some restrictions may be eased on May 5th but social distancing to remain until vaccine found, says Minister

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have 72 Dáil seats, eight short of a majority

Document said to be light on specific policies and is ‘designed to be inviting’ for other parties

Minister for Health Simon Harris during a press conference at the Department of Health in Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister says social distancing will be in force until vaccine available but restrictions may be ‘tweaked’ after May 5th

Members of An Garda Síochána pass through a quiet Henry Street in Dublin during the annual Easter Rising commemoration at the GPO. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Initial changes could include limited openings of schools, DIY stores and garden centres

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: wants to “keep investing in those new houses, in the public transport, in the primary care centres and hospitals”.   Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Infrastructural spending vital to quash idea austerity back in Covid-19 wake, says Fine Gael

 Micheál Martin: he warned  a recession  from Covid-19 may be deeper and economic recovery slower than may have been initially expected

Negotiating teams expected to sign off on document outlining priorities of potential coalition

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: ‘Many people were hoping initially in the early days for a kind of quick bounceback but I don’t think that is going to happen to the degree that people might have thought.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil leader updates Senators and MEPs on Covid-19 and government formation

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has told a party meeting that the public may need to be told when the restrictions introduced to deal with the coronavirus crisis will be lifted. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fianna Fáil meeting hears need for public to be given hope in Covid-19 crisis

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Two main parties seek to entice smaller parties to help them achieve Dáil majority

 Alan Kelly: told his TD colleagues Labour’s post-election position of going into opposition should not change. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Some believe Tipperary TD has matured and is less likely to bulldoze party to his view

Denis Naughten: the Regional Independent group is only interested in “forming a government that can last five years”. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘Four legs’ and stable majority needed, says Regional Independent group Denis Naughten

The Dáil will sit in the Convention Centre in Dublin if a vote needs to be taken to elect a new taoiseach.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Restricted Leinster House sitting after Easter will see Ministers take questions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been  clear that a third party is needed, not just Independents, to form a new government. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Greens’ internal issues have made Labour a more attractive option as coalition partners

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan: ‘We have flattened the curve, but we need to flatten it further.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Irish cases of Covid-19 rising at rate of 10% a day as global total passes 1m mark

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: ‘There is an obligation on us to try and steer  the country through crisis and on a pathway to recovery.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says document could act as catalyst for other parties to join government

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael negotiating teams hope a joint document can be finalised next week. Photographs: Nick Bradshaw

‘People have taken too much in the last 10 years,’ parties’ negotiating teams believe

It had been assumed that Micheál Martin would be taoiseach first but some in Fine Gael now think Leo Varadkar should remain in place to deal with Covid-19. Photograph: Niall Carson/AFP via Getty Images

FF and FG agree position should rotate between leaders and on equal split of ministerial jobs

Martin Fraser (pictured), the secretary general of the Government, sent a letter to his counterpart in the Oireachtas, Peter Finnegan.

TDs to gather on Thursday afternoon to hear statements on Covid-19 and related social protection measures

Green leader Eamon Ryan and the parliamentary party held a videoconference meeting on Wednesday. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Labour to elected new lead on Friday and has again said it wants to go into Opposition

Willie O’Dea  said any workers are also unsure if they are essential workers, as their employers claim in order to encourage them to attend work during the severe restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus crisis.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil TD contacted by workers concerned measures not being followed

Alan Kelly expressed a view that was in line with the ‘thrust’ of the general attitude of the meeting, according to a source. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Results of Alan Kelly-Aodhán Ó Ríordáin leadership vote to be announced on Friday

Fianna Fail  TD  Cathal Crowe canvassing in Milltown Malbay , Co Clare  during the general election campaign. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Clare TD Cathal Crowe makes call at party meeting held via teleconference

A woman wearing a mask at a bus stop in Dublin which displays a message “Thank you to all of Ireland’s retail workers.” Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Extra coronavirus checks on citizens returning to Ireland mooted but confirmation that Ireland will not close its borders

 Duncan Smith: “I don’t think at this point we should go into government, and it doesn’t change the mandate we got in February.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Opinion in Green Party said to be split between those open to FF-FG talks and those opposed

Michael Lowry: “If anyone steps into government, they are stepping in knowing difficult decisions will have to be made.” Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Members of the group reluctant to enter coalition with the two larger parties without another small party

 Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Bill includes abolition of planning permission for emergency health facilities

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  during  a press briefing at Government Buildings on Tuesday. He introduced sweeping measures to tackle coronavirus, including restricting all public gatherings to four people. Photograph:   Steve Humphreys/PA Wire

Cabinet is told that increased welfare payments and income support schemes will cost €300m per week for 12 weeks

204 new cases in State as gatherings restricted to four people and measures extended until April 19th

The Seanad election count takes place next week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Martin Fraser’s intervention seen as challenge to leaders to form a government

Pubs closed in Temple Bar, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

State will pay employers 70-80% of a worker’s salary up to €35,000-€40,000

 The LE Samuel Beckett on Sir John Rogersons Quay is being used as a coomunity sampling centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Cabinet to discuss ban on commercial, social activity and on all non-essential travel

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health pictured speaking Monday’s Covid-19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Significant new restrictions on movement expected after death toll rises to six

 Claire Byrne presenting her show on RTÉ One last Monday while in isolation at home.

Simon Coveney tests negative for virus after being in ‘close contact’ with confirmed case

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin on the Dáil plinth on Monday  afternoon. Photograph Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin urges Government to close all non-essential business

Tánaiste Simon Coveney:  said the Government is ‘going to introduce a significant and supportive economic package in the coming days that will go well beyond what we have announced to date’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Tánaiste says decisions on tightening restrictions will be informed by medical advice

Tánaiste Simon Coveney  with Minister for Health Simon Harris. Mr Coveney has said more funding will be available for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Ireland. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Coveney says more funding will be made available for unemployed and those at risk

Tánaiste Simon Coveney at a news conference at Government Buildings last week. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Tánaiste says agreement has been reached between BA and Aer Lingus to bring 135 citizens home

 Following concerns about people failing to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Wicklow County Council and gardaí closed public car parks and blocked access to Glendalough on Sunday. Photograph: Garry O’Neill

Warnings over social distancing repeated as 121 new cases confirmed in the Republic

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan with colleagues outside Leinster House. Photograph: Aiden Crawley

Temporary national unity government to tackle Covid-19 crisis urged by Ryan

Members of the naval service outside the 3Arena in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Employers will be allowed to top up State’s €203-a-week unemployment payment

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald TD and Louise O’Reilly TD speaking to media outside Government Buildings, Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Green party proposal had been given cool reception by main parties but SF now open to idea

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressing media at a Covid-19 press briefing at Government Buildings on Tuesday. Photograph: Steve Humphreys/PA

Number testing positives jumps by over 200 for second day in a row, while another fatality is recorded

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar outlining the new measures at Blair House, Washington DC, on Thursday. Photograph: PA

‘Acting together, as one nation, we can save many lives’: Taoiseach announces measures

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. The party says its membership base just two years ago was about 700 but has since increased to more than 2,700. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Senior figures yet to decide how to approach conferences if mass gatherings are banned

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin: she said her party would continue government talks if its  national administration proposal was rejected. Photograph: Brian Lawless

Measure suggested to tackle coronavirus given cool reception by Fine Gael and Sinn Féin

Green party  leader Eamon Ryan. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

All parties urged to suspend discussions on forming a majority government

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and  Minister for Business Heather Humphreys TD speaking to the media about the Covid-19 crisis at the Italian Room in Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Donohoe says plea is supported by ‘very significant’ public funds to tackle coronavirus crisis

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien has sought a meeting with the Land Development Agency  without Department of Housing officials present. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Move would dilute ability of councillors to block sale of council land for housing

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Ahead of talks with Fianna Fáil, he  said his party was “needed to stand by the State and our Republic”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Varadkar and Martin look to Greens to join them as coronavirus weighs on State

The pressure to form a government amid the growing coronavirus crisis appears to have forced the hand of Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar.

Identical statements issued simultaneously by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael say detailed talks to start

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health, during a media update on the confirmed case of coronavirus at Miesian Plaza, Baggot Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Republic has total of 34 reported cases as Irish airlines suspend flights to Italy

Passengers are checked as they leave Milan’s  main train station: Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced the lockdown would be extended to the whole country as it was its  “darkest hour”. Photograph: Antonio Calanni

Varadkar delivers bleak assessment of potential outcome of coronavirus spread

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