The Psychological Society of Ireland said in a report last week that restrictions are impacting negatively on the mental health of women and increasing anxiety among partners. Photograph: iStock

Minister asked to offer ‘leadership’ as he supports decisions by individual hospitals

Fine Gael Seanad leader Regina Doherty: said Ireland was ‘dragged kicking and screaming by populism to mandatory hotel quarantining’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

System could be ‘major inhibitor to recovery of aviation sector’

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien says he is looking at ‘whatever measures that are needed, up to and including a ban’ to address the issue of bulk-buying of new homes by investment funds. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Finance officials considered special tax increase on funds buying up Irish property

The Dáil was told that the debate should not be seen as a ‘binary choice between meat on the one hand and vegetables or plant-based diets on the other’. File photograph: Getty

Ireland ‘one of the most efficient producers of food globally’ despite 34% of emissions via sector

The Dáil heard that a pregnant woman in Carlow or Wexford could be in a different situation and it was time that in all hospitals ‘the same rules apply’. File photograph: Getty

TDs highlight cases of requests for programme details, but information not forthcoming

The Ministers for Finance and Housing are developing proposals for a solution to investment funds buying up housing estates, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Tánaiste comes under fire in Dáil over groups ‘gobbling up’ homes

Three vials with different vaccines against Covid-19 by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna. File photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Two Ministers back US support for patent waiver opposed by pharmaceutical industry

Secretary of state for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney after their meeting on Wednesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Simon Coveney says Brandon Lewis gave no indication of plans during meeting

New homes at Mullen Park, Maynooth, Co Kildare. Round Hill, a multinational investment company, is in discussions to buy 115 homes at the development. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Move has been agreed between three Coalition parties, sources say

Investment fund SFO Capital have bought 135 of 170 houses at the new-build Mullen Park estate in Maynooth in Co Kildare. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ministers fear they are politically exposed on housing issue as pandemic recedes

Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Minister calls for ‘transparency’ amid claims of artificially high rates registered

US president Joe Biden’s administration made the call for the waiver amid WTO talks on easing trade rules. File photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP Photo/Bloomberg

President Higgins welcomes move as one of ‘immense moral significance in international policy’

Thomas Pringle said the introduction of a ‘tout line, rat line’ is ‘crazy’ and ‘will do nothing but set back the response in the county’. File photograph: Collins Courts

Pringle says move ‘will do nothing but set back response’ to high virus case numbers

The group said women who had experienced trauma or perinatal loss during a previous pregnancy were ‘disproportionately’ affected by the restrictions. File photograph: Katie Collins/PA

Taoiseach says partners of expectant mothers should be allowed to join them in hospital

People enjoying the May bank holiday as Covid restrictions were lifted in Belfast: ‘We will look at a variety of mechanisms that we could deploy to assist the hospitality sector,’ Martin said. File photograph: Charles McQuillan/ Getty

Suggestion being considered to help hospitality sector and show appreciation for frontline workers

Eoin Ó Broin said ‘the rental system is well and truly broken with rents too high and continuing to rise.’ File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Housing Minister says Government wants renters to be able to buy own home

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘We do not want institutional investors competing with first-time buyers.’ File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Issue to be ‘examined’ as Opposition accuses Government of providing tax deals for firms

Under the plan, the cheapest bottle of wine would cost €7.75 where previously it could cost under €5. A 700ml bottle of supermarket gin or vodka costing between €13 and €14 would cost €20.71 under the system. A 440ml can of lager would cost a minimum of €1.32.

Donnelly to bring memo to Cabinet on measure targeting cheap alcohol

One submission will say ‘what some children describe as “bullying” can be more accurately described as robust banter’. File photograph: Getty

Oireachtas Education committee to hear of rise in serious bullying from Niall Muldoon

The Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Entertainment, Recreational and Sporting Events) Bill includes a specific provision for the Euro championships, banning the unauthorised sale of tickets for matches. Photograph: iStock

Bill to be passed by start of European soccer championships

President Michael D Higgins said he believed the religious oath he swore during his inauguration should be removed and replaced with an affirmation. File photograph: Maxwell Photography

Issues around NI protocol can be resolved: ‘This is not putting somebody on moon’

Papal Mass, Phoenix Park, 2018: TD Catherine Murphy said expenditure on big events  is part of a ‘balance sheet’ between public importance and a purely economic factor. File photograph: AFP

Perimeter gates still not rehung almost three years after removal for Pope Francis’s visit

Minister of State for Agriculture Pippa Hackett:  ‘It is Donegal this week. It could be another county or area in another few weeks.’ Photograph:  Julien Behal Photography

‘Common sense’ urged in Border areas as cross-Border travel driving up Covid-19 rates

The Minister said ‘there is a logic in providing support . . . during the off-peak rather than the peak season’. Photograph: PressEye

Emergency supports to be wound down as ‘we start to see Covid in rear-view mirror’

The Citywest Covid-19 vaccination centre in Dublin. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Up to 240,000 Covid-19 vaccines could be issued next week, says Paul Reid

There are three drugs to treat extreme morning sickness, but only one is licensed in Ireland. File photograph: Katie Collins/PA

Cost of treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum can be €3,000 over course of pregnancy

Deserted streets in  Temple Bar  in March, 2020. File photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Reuters

Varadkar says re-opening ‘cannot be false dawn’ and Ireland ‘must avoid fourth wave’

Taking the seabed into account, “Ireland is one of the largest countries in the EU, and our coastline of 7,500km is longer than that of many of our European counterparts”. Photograph: Getty Images

Strategy aims to turn 30% of Irish waters into protected areas, and also allow for major wind farm projects

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has called for a “swift conclusion” to final negotiations on the certification so that it will be “up and running” by June. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/Getty Images/Bloomberg

European Parliament backs plan for certificate to reopen travel quickly for tourism

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar. File Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Varadkar says up to 15,000 businesses could re-open , 200,000 could get jobs back in May

 Medical personnel prepare a Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19. Photograph: Bienvenido Velasco/EPA

Half of 3,500 housebound adults have received first Covid-19 vaccine

Speaking in the Dáil on the landmark Climate Bill, Barry Cowen hit out at the ‘slow snail’s pace and lack of progress to date’ which he said was a ‘far cry’ from where he expected it to be in relation to the midlands. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Growing importation of peat products ‘makes laugh and mockery of just transition’

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said it made no sense to impose intellectual property rights ‘in the middle of a global pandemic’.  Photograph: Igor Kovalenko/ EPA

Taoiseach should ‘pick up phone to Joe Biden, EU’ and support temporary waiver

 Mattie McGrath TD  claims ‘we’re living in a totally totalitarian State that we can’t have any protest safely in cars’.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Martin calls on Opposition to withdraw remarks about ‘political policing’

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin said about 4.5 million doses of vaccine are due up to the end of June. Photograph: iStock

Government to ‘keep close’ to target of 82% of adults to receive first dose by end June

Sinn Féin senator Fintan Warfield: ‘Prayer and religious ideology do nothing to protect children or young people.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Fintan Warfield criticises Catholic bishops’ new sex education programme for schools

Stardust families and supporters protesting over a delay over legal aid funding outside Leinster House on Monday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister pledges response ‘shortly’ which will allow inquests to start

 A medical staff member prepare shots of  Johnson & Johnson vaccine . Photograph: Giuseppe Lami/EPA

WTO to decide on temporary waiver of intellectual property rights on Covid vaccines

National Lottery draw is shown on Saturday during RTÉ’s weekly scheduled family movie. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister acknowledges lack of gambling controls make Ireland a ‘wild west’

 Senator Eileen Flynn has appealed for all maternity hospitals to allow partners of pregnant women attend medical appointments with them. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Eileen Flynn says same rules should apply in all hospitals amid variations in access

Sinn Féin housing spokesman, Eoin O Broin, sais  slide in the training material suggesting people can be tagged as a “social media engager” was not correct. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

FG Senator calls for German data commissioner to investigate Frankfurt-based system

The Dáil heard that during the current restrictions, the Passport Office has issued 40,000 passports, 3,000 of which were in response to urgent requests.

Minister pledges clearance within six to eight weeks once level 5 restrictions are eased

File photograph: iStock

‘Regulatory failure of dramatic nature’ after property firm went bust owing €3 billion

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: said reopening will be costly and will pose new challenges that will need to be sustained by supports and corrective measures. Photograph: Alan Betson

Vaccination programme will be ‘touchstone’ for economic recovery, says Minister

Sinn Féin said India is not on the ‘red list’ despite a ‘really worrying’ number of cases and deaths. But the country has been added to the list in Northern Ireland.

Surge in infections and emergence of yet another coronavirus variant ‘concerning’

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said asking local GPs to make house calls or pharmacists to get involved are among the options that could be considered. Photograph: iStock

Varadkar says GPs may be asked to do house calls to assist National Ambulance Service

The Covid-19 vaccine portal is to open for online registration of people aged 60-64. Photograph: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty

Minister says EU starting legal action against AstraZeneca over contractual issues

 Robert Watt worked as interim secretary general at the Department of Health until Cabinet decided on Tuesday to appoint him to the permanent position. File photograph: Collins Photos

Department of Health secretary general urged to provide details of how pension affected

Eamon Ryan in the Dáil on Wednesday. Photograph: Screengrab from Oireachtas footage

O’Gorman accuses dissenting TDs of performing for cameras but failing to do hard work

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has indicated that the public may be permitted to attend religious services in person from next month. File Photograph: John McElroy

Former minister insists churches ‘a hell of a lot safer than supermarkets’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin defended the appointment of Robert Watt as Department of Health secretary general . Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach defends Watt appointment after claim it amounts to a ‘stroke’

Public mental health services ‘reflect the attitude of a bygone era’, Dáil is told

Dáil is told mental health services reflect ‘attitude of bygone era’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, pictured on Tuesday at  Dublin Castle,  said the Government would make a comprehensive statement next week on what might happen in May, and for some other sectors in June.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government statement on what sectors can reopen in May and June to made next week

Antigen testing will ‘play its part in allowing students back’ onto college campuses after the summer, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party. File image: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach rules out lifting of overseas holiday ban in early summer

 Minister of State  Pippa Hackett has called for a pilot public banking project. File photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Pippa Hackett says such a scheme should be considered after KBC and Ulster Bank moves

 Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the Children (Amendment) Bill would now go to President Michael D Higgins for consideration and signature and should come into effect by May 3rd at the latest. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Legislation to address legal loophole should come into effect by May 3rd, says Minister

Commercial gambling operations must be prevented from ‘piggybacking’ on  the National Lottery by allowing bets on the outcome of its draws, the Seanad has heard. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fine Gael’s Barry Ward publishes legislation to prevent commercial bets on Lotto draws

The Seanad was told that the average length of stay in a nursing home is just over three years. File photograph: Getty

Problem arises in rolling 7.5% charge against value of assets held towards care home costs

The taskforce is to examine what the impact of potentially increasing the weeks between vaccine doses would have on the rollout. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Donnelly awaiting recommendation from deputy chief medical officer and vaccination taskforce

Micheál Martin: ‘Important to say that very serious harm can come if we keep seeing people trying to use Brexit as an issue to create points of dispute’

NI protocol ‘not as complex’ as thousands of trade issues between EU and Britain

Under-30s will not be vaccinated against older age groups,  Stephen Donnelly has said

Minister for Health says country is ahead of best-case scenario given four weeks ago

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said on Sunday the easing in case numbers meant the country was in a ‘very positive position’ to talk easing restrictions. Photograph: Collins

One death and 269 new cases are reported on Sunday, the lowest total since mid-December

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman: ‘Level 5 has meant that there have been major restrictions on our ability to engage in terms of unaccompanied minors.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fourteen children due to travel last year, then last month, remain in devastated camp

Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, running as an Independent. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Contestants include four former senators, with FF/FG favourite to win the two seats

Holly Cairns TD:  “I know people in west Cork opting for home births because they were just not willing to go through childbirth alone.”  Photograph: Tom Honan

Surge by 60% in deliveries at home in Dublin Mid-Leinster region, says midwifery officer

Fine Gael TD Michael Creed said it was ‘entirely unacceptable’  that the most senior official in the Department of Health  contacted RTÉ about the programme. File photograph: Tom Honan

Minister says families who were subject of dossiers would be contacted

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee had pledged to amend the law. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister tells Dáil legislation to be fully implemented ‘within weeks’

A major row had erupted within Government over plans by the Department of Health to extend mandatory hotel quarantine to 43 additional countries, including the US, France and Germany. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Quarantine system extended to 26 countries rather than the 43 originally proposed

FF backbencher Jackie Cahill said the proposed cheese plant would  reduce dependence on British cheese market. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Use of judicial review to ‘frustrate and delay’ projects a cause of concern – Taoiseach

Stephen Donnelly said Alan  Kelly had a right to make accusations ‘but you’ve left me 10 seconds to respond’. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Alan Kelly criticises Minister for repeatedly failing to give forecasts for Covid deliveries

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar  at the Convention Centre  Dublin. The Government has moved, following public health advice, from using both profession and age as priority markers. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

New system should help speed up the rollout, WHO special envoy on Covid-19 says

The report predicts that annual house price growth will reach double digits by this summer.

Donohoe pledges to talk to banks after Doherty raises ‘heartbreaking’ cases

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said ‘it was not a practice when I was minister for health of deliberately going out either to authorise the collection of data in respect of individual children or families’. File photograph: The Irish Times

Martin accepts that RTÉ Investigates gleaned evidence of unauthorised ‘collection of data’

The hospital’s chief executive said the decision ‘was made under time pressure and with a view to ensuring that the vaccine did not go to waste’. File photograph: The Irish Times

Hospital chief executive has apologised for unauthorised St Gerard’s School incident

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government aimed to be at the ‘latter end of the vaccination programme’ in July and August. File photograph: iStock

Taoiseach tells Dáil that 70% of the population should be inoculated fully by end of July

Parents have struggled to order properly fitting shoes for growing children during the lockdown. Photograph: Getty

Guidance to be published enabling shops to measure for children, according to Taoiseach

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addresses the nation at Government Buildings in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Organisations for restaurants and pubs hit out at lack of clarity for such businesses

A spokeswoman for the Beacon had no comment on Tuesday when asked about the claim of HSE permission. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

HSE says it ‘certainly did not approve’ of move to give surplus doses to school staff

Every adult in the State is to have been offered a vaccine by the end of September, said the Minister for Health. File photograph: Getty

Projected benefits of vaccination against virus several weeks away, says HSE official

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney told Senators Government could get Northern Ireland protocol ‘back on an even keel’. File photograph: Alan Betson

Ironic to be seen as ‘bogey man’ over protocol as office pushed for compromise with EU, says Minister

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that, “despite the challenges, we are consistently one of the top performers in the EU in terms of the speed of our [Covid-19 vaccine] rollout”. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Inoculation of teachers linked to Beacon Hospital chief executive ‘stank of privilege’

The Beacon Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Twenty teachers and staff in a fee-paying school received ‘leftover’ vaccines in the private hospital last week

Fr PJ Hughes is parish priest of Mullahoran and Loughduff in Co Cavan. File photograph

Parish priest Fr PJ Hughes says gardaí blocked roads to church

Anne Rabbitte said a more transparent method of managing such legal cases needs to be developed. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Department must stop keeping files on children, says Minister as report set to be published

Gerson Rodrigues turns away to celebrate scoring Luxembourg’s winner in the World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-island teams successful in rugby and hockey, says FF Senator Robbie Gallagher

A Covid test being carried out at the National Aquatic Centre, Blanchardstown. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Blanchardstown walk-in testing centre results not surprising, says HSE official

Catherine Murphy, joint leader of the Social Democrats: ‘On too many occasions I’ve seen whistleblowers who have paid a very heavy price in terms of careers being really ruined.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

TD warns that protected disclosures process not protecting those reporting wrongdoing

Remains of the burnt-out Moria migrant camp on the Greek Aegean island of Lesbos. Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP

Social workers and gardaí due to travel to Greece this week but trip date not confirmed

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly asked the HSE to suspend the programme of vaccination at Beacon  Hospital in Sandyford on Saturday. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Childcare provider confirms 36 staff received vaccines as Minister calls controversy ‘slap in the face’

  Staff  at one of the five new walk-in Covid-19 testing centres in Grangegorman, Co Dublin. File photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Further 13 deaths of coronavirus patients and 604 Covid-19 cases reported

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and British prime minister Boris Johnson  at Hillsborough Castle  in Belfast last year. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister believes ‘politics being played’ in report of British offer to export 3.7m doses

Vincent Fahy, 1928-2021

The Mayoman began his career with ESB ‘putting the light’ into rural areas

Shane Corr, a senior civil servant with the department of health made a protected disclosure as a whistleblower. Photograph: Screen grab from RTÉ

Issues raised by whistleblower around use of sensitive information merit examination, says Taoiseach

Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath told the Dáil it is awful ‘to think that people will be persecuted for going to Mass or having public worship’.

Cabinet ‘most anti-Christian Government of all time’, rails Independent Mattie McGrath

Varadkar said restrictions would not be eased on a county-by-county basis as no county had case levels low enough. File photograph: iStock

Varadkar warns virus ‘more deadly’ due to mutations and stuck at 500 cases a day

An RTÉ Investigates programme to be broadcast on Thursday follows a protected disclosure last year about the dossiers which included medical and educational information of children involved in long-dormant court cases, gathered without the knowledge or consent of parents. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Dáil told Department of Health gathered information from private doctor consultations

1.1 million doses of vaccine from three pharma companies would be received by the end of March and a fourth company Janssen would begin supplying vaccines in April, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly says. Photograph: iStock/Getty

AstraZeneca supply fell to 9,600 last week following concerns over blood clots

Labour transport spokesman Duncan Smith said that ‘four Aer Lingus aeroplanes that would otherwise have taken off from Ireland will now be taking off from Manchester’. File photograph: Sasko Lazarov/

Airline considering transfer of routes from Cork and Shannon to Belfast

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