Soprano Elizabeth Hilliard and clarinettist Paul Roe prepare for a performance of Concerts in the Courtyard before 40 guests at Imma, as society’s slow reopening continues. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Irish Times poll shows almost equal split among public on preferred pace of reopening

As restrictions continue to be eased, 50% of respondents say they want the Government to proceed with the full reopening ‘as quickly as possible’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Results show stark age divide regarding speed of reopening social and economic life

SF at 31% approval but support for Coalition continues to hold

The Taoiseach has risen to 49 per cent approval, while Eamon Ryan dropped to 26 per cent. Photograph: Paul Scott/The Irish Times

Party consolidates support among working class and attracts wealthier and older voters

A health worker prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19  vaccine. File photograph: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images

Up to 450,000 people to get second vaccine dose sooner due to concerns over Delta variant

Homeowners from Donegal, Mayo and Clare at protests in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Government to move ‘closer’ to covering 100% of costs as final bill heads ‘substatially’ above €1bn

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he believes ‘in the unification of our island and I believe it can happen in my lifetime’. File photograph: Julien Behal Photography.

Tánaiste tells Fine Gael ardfheis party should establish a Northern Ireland branch

British prime minister Boris Johnson (left) discussed the Northern Ireland protocol during a bilateral meeting with  US president Joe Biden during the G7 summit in Cornwall. Photograph: PA

Bilateral meeting focused on issue that overshadowed G7 summit of world leaders

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman will bring proposals to Cabinet for an independent expert to examine the report and the testimonies “through a human rights lens”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Pressure to remain on commission members to take questions in Oireachtas

 A traveller at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain. Travellers to the State from Britain are facing changes to self-quarantine rules. Phtotograph:  Andy Rain/EPA

Unvaccinated passengers travelling from the region set to face longer minimum isolation

Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference on the final day of the G7 summit in the UK. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA/Bloomberg

Dublin worries EU-UK diplomatic clash could inflame tensions in the North

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Coalition expected to oppose a Sinn Féin motion on mica in Dáil this week

The Irish 12.5 per cent rate – and the fierce political commitment, unchanged from government to government, to maintain it – has acted as a beacon to foreign investors.

Corporate tax rate is symbol of openness and cross-party consensus on it is set to shatter

British prime minister  Boris Johnson and US president Joe Biden: Mr Johnson said the US president did not express concern over Britain’s unilateral actions over the protocol and his failure to negotiate agreed solutions to its difficulties with the EU. Photograph: Hollie Adams

Cornwall meeting ahead of G7 summit takes place in wake of US diplomatic rebuke

‘Remote work will not have any impact on the substance of our operations here or employee numbers on balance,’ Facebook said in reply to questions. Photograph:  Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Concern in Government at possible loss of income tax from non-resident workers

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson (2R) and his wife Carrie Johnson (R) walk with US president Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden prior to a bi-lateral meeting at Carbis Bay, Cornwall. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Coveney says there is ‘some strain’ between governments – understatement of the year

 British prime minister Boris Johnson and US president Joe Biden, speak as they look at copies of the Atlantic Charter during their bilateral meeting in Carbis Bay, Britain. Photograph: Hollie Adams/EPA

UK prime minister plays down dispute over Northern Ireland protocol ahead of G7 summit

The HSE expects to administer up to 280,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine a week. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Press Eye

Deliveries in Johnson&Johnson vaccine lower than ‘worst-case’ scenario shortfall

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Anxiety at spiralling bill as Clare and Sligo look to join Donegal and Mayo in scheme

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin: seeking to play down tensions between the EU and the UK over the Northern Ireland protocol. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

London wants more flexibility from EU on goods checks as Biden expected to intervene

The report says road-use strategies should be used to promote cycling and public transport, and dissuade the use of cars. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Committee calls for free public transport to be examined as a way of promoting less carbon-intensive travel

Government has signalled that the large fiscal response to the pandemic  will be wound down in the second half of the year as the country opens up and the economy recovers. File photograph: Getty

Additional borrowing of almost €3bn will be required to finance economic stimulus plan

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: the recovery  package will add some €3bn   to the deficit by next year. Photograph:  Julien Behal/PA Wire

Hard to make any ‘austerity’ claims stick when Coalition is still borrowing and spending at such an enthusiastic rate

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the plan shortly after noon on Tuesday outside Government Buildings with the other Coalition party leaders. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

PUP rate cut, 50,000 new training places and 9% VAT rate extended under €3.6bn stimulus package

People enjoying the sunny weather and eased Covid-19 restrictions at the beach in Greystones on Sunday. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Covid support schemes to be wound down gradually with payments cut in three stages

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings last Friday when the widespread reopening of the country over the summer was confirmed. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Analysis: Government already looking beyond pandemic to policymaking challenges

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the easing of restrictions was an important step forward but that the coming month could be ‘the most important test’ in the fight against the pandemic.

Confirmation of significant easing of restrictions described as a ‘good news day’

Some people in Government talk about a delayed honeymoon for Micheál Martin. To which I would say: forget it, fellas. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Handling of pandemic bodes well for Coalition in battle for middle-ground voters

Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell has been a Supreme Court judge since 2010. Photograph : Collins Courts

Current Chief Justice Frank Clarke to retire in the autumn

The National Public Health Emergency Team confirmed that outdoor hospitality could reopen from June 7th. File photograph: Getty

Significant vaccine supply shortfalls not expected to affect pace of Ireland’s reopening

From July 5th, indoor services at restaurants and bars can reopen. Photograph: iStock

Cinemas set to return in June, outdoor event capacity to increase to 100 in July

Stephen Donnelly: ‘Anyone who wants a vaccine should be fully vaccinated by the end of September’. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fewer doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca due, with uncertainty around J&J delivery, says Reid

 Paschal Donohoe   arrives for an informal meeting of the Eurogroup in Lisbon: The Minister for Finance says removing  Covid supports now  ‘would be akin to falling at the final hurdle’.  Photograph: Carlos CostA/AFP via Getty

Government will outline plans to phase out payments from the fourth quarter

About 300,000 vaccine doses  were administered last week, with a similar amount expected to be done next week. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

HSE to outline next phase of rollout which will see 400,000 vaccinations a week in June

There will be a distance of one metre between tables, and a limit of six people per booking. Photograph: iStock

New guidelines on resumption of hospitality delayed to give sector ‘clear understanding’


Digital pass for people recovered from or vaccinated against Covid-19, or with negative test

There has been no evidence of stolen HSE data having been published online early on Monday but there the expectation is that some will be published. Photograph: iStock

Public advised to report any contact regarding personal information to gardaí

A Belarusian dog handler checks luggage off a Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS parked on Minsk International Airport’s apron in Minsk, on May 23rd, 2021. Photograph: Getty Images

Video emerges of journalist Roman Protasevich as leaders call for his release

To some in Dublin, Edwin Poots looks like he is presenting as the hard man who can compromise from a position of strength. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Meeting expected with Taoiseach in weeks before North-South ministerial gathering

Mary Lou McDonald: many believe  she will be the Taoiseach in the next government. Photograph: Gettty Images

There are two groups who seem most certain of Sinn Féin's coming ascendancy

News of the HSE hack  continues to dominate the attentions of Government, and the political agenda

Inside Politics: Successive annual reports contained warnings about vulnerabilities in the HSE systems

Stamp duty on the purchase of ten or more houses will attract a new rate of 10 per cent

Inside Politics: Dáil is set to pass a resolution that will see a new 10 per cent stamp duty on the purchase of ten or more houses

 People Before Profit  TD Gino Kenny said the move would ‘send a message to the Israeli government but also to the Palestinian people that they are not alone, but Ireland is with them’. File photograph Nick Bradshaw

Time for Government to ‘go beyond words’ in response to violence against Palestinians, says TD

The tone surrounding discussion of the mega-hack has been relatively harmless to the Government so far

Inside Politics: Issue may become more politically serious if health services disruption continues

 Members of the Defence Forces await passengers in order to enforce Covid-19 mandatory quarantine measures, at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Government is working on plans for resumption of international travel

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said his party would ‘prefer a poll in the summer’. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste says he expects date to be finalised during coming weeks

British minister David Frost has told MPs that negotiations with Brussels have not yet dealt with the heart of the problem with the Northern Ireland protocol. Photograph: Aris Oikonomou/AFP via Getty Images

British minister blames bloc’s member states for lack of progress on the issue

Taoiseach Micheál Martin  speaks with French president Emmanuel Macron  in Brussels in December. File photograph: Olivier Hoslet/AFP via Getty Images

State must be ‘open’ during debate on union’s future despite challenges of referendums

Mandatory hotel quarantine will also be with us in some form for some time to come, Mr Varadkar has said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste says mandatory hotel quarantine will be with us in some form ‘for some time’

Tánaiste and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar is expected to announce the move this morning at a press conference with the party’s candidate, Councillor James Geoghegan. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

FG candidate in Dublin Bay South James Geoghegan says housing is ‘crisis of the next decade’

British prime minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street on Friday. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire

Leaders agree to meet again ‘before summer recess’ following Chequers summit

Micheál Martin: he has declared Covid is no longer the top priority of Government – because housing is.  Photograph: Getty Images

Housing is fast becoming the political ground-zero for the Coalition

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “We’re very clear we will not be paying any ransom.” Photograph: Daragh McSweeney

Disruption set to persist into next week as Taoiseach vows ransom will not be paid

British prime minister Boris Johnson (right) and Taoiseach Micheal Martin greet each other  at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast last summer. The two are meeting today at Chequers in England. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Leaders ‘reflected’ on coroner’s report into the Ballymurphy massacre published this week

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is to travel to Chequers, the British prime minister’s country residence, for a lunchtime meeting, Government Buildings has confirmed. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Hopes that face-to-face meeting could rebuild trust between two governments

Taoiseach Micheál Martin greets British prime minister Boris Johnson at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast last August. Photograph: Brian Lawless/AFP via Getty Images

The meeting will take place at Chequers, the British prime minister’s country residence

The Garda investigation into a leak by Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, pictured last week, which had been believed to be nearing its conclusion, is now expected to continue into the summer. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gardaí have conducted more interviews than initially expected to ascertain if leak is crime

CSO data analysed by the HSE suggests that another 230,000 people would become eligible to receive the vaccines if the eligibility was lowered to 45. Photograph: Samsul Said/Bloomberg

HSE to shortly begin sending J&J vaccine to centres for use in currently approved cohorts

The sniping between the Green Party and its partners in Government is  to be expected. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Sniping is a signpost to cultural and policy conflicts to come within diverse Coalition

Israeli ambassador to Ireland Ophir Kariv:  Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney told him  the deaths of civilians in Gaza from  Israeli air strikes was “completely unacceptable”. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

‘Wholesale flouting of international law by Israeli state’ – Mary Lou McDonald

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Divide grows between public health figures and Ministers on use of such tests

If an intervention on stamp duty applying to multiple unit sales was pursued, sources said it would have to be carefully designed as not to impact buyers such as approved housing bodies and local authorities. File photograph: iStock

Local authorities may be blocked from agreeing long-term leases with investment funds

Even those with stable employment and decent salaries are findng  that rising house prices and tough rules on how much banks can lend result in  unbridgeable gap between what they can afford, and what the market offers them. File image: PA

Analysis: Many voters blame Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for policy failures behind housing shortage

Palestinians evacuate a body from a building targeted by Israeli bombardment in Gaza City. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Minister says in Dáil that approach of security forces has not been acceptable

Ministers and the three party leaders favour rolling out the use of antigen tests to help with the reopening of many sectors of commercial and social life. Photograph: Getty

Government’s chief science adviser backs use of rapid tests to complement other health measures

The AILG presentation will say “for more than a century local authorities have successfully been the providers of social housing for the Irish population” .Photograph: Getty Images

Representatives from the Association of Irish Local Government to make presentation to the Oireachtas Housing Committee

Houses are out of reach. And people expect the State to provide them. File photograph: Getty

Sinn Féin see the political opening and have a simple message: ‘build more public housing’

Access to information and tracing legislation was promised by Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman in the wake of the mother and baby home report earlier this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Original birth certs with names of mothers are currently withheld on privacy grounds

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney met  Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis at the Department of Foreign Affairs  in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Simon Coveney warns Britain against ‘unilateral’ action on North legacy issues

Mullen Park estate in Maynooth, Co Kildare, where a multinational investment company has bought 115 homes. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Ministers and officials wary of chasing away source of funding needed for new projects

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

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis visited Dublin for a meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney on Wednesday but it was not clear if the amnesty was discussed. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Statute of limitations to be introduced as well as plans for truth and reconciliation commission

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Britain’s secretary of state for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis  in Iveagh House, Dublin, on Wednesday. Photograph: Julien Behal

Intergovernmental conference will be first since two administrations were formed

There are understood to be about 20 projects proposed.

Cash to be paid in grants over two years and is part of bloc’s €750bn Covid-19 fiscal resource

The Health Service Executive sent recommendations on the revised plan to Government yesterday ahead of today’s Cabinet meeting. File photograph: Getty

Same approach will apply to under-50s as to over-50s following high-level discussions

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

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said almost 200,000 vaccinations were carried out last week. Photograph: Alan Betson

HSE issues 707,000 vaccines during April with more than 200,000 to be administered this week

Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis is to visit Dublin on Wednesday for talks with Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Talks to take place amid continuing uncertainty at Stormont and turmoil in DUP

 The former minister for housing Eoghan Murphy announced his resignation last month. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Some party sources favour a contest in June or July, hoping for a boost for the Government as the vaccine rollout gathers pace

Medical workers at the Citywest Covid-19 vaccination centre in Dublin. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Between 220,000 and 240,000 vaccinations scheduled for this week

High time Sinn Féin realised there are more than two audiences on the island.

Developing crisis within unionism cannot leave southern politics untouched

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressing the nation: After various reopenings, foreign travel and inbound tourism will restart in July if the public health situation remains positive. Photograph: Julien Behal

Public must ‘stick with strategy’, says Taoiseach, with May and June set for easing of restrictions

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has sanctioned the reopening of the social and economic life of the country at a pace considerably quicker than had been widely expected. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Biggest shift in Covid regulations since the lockdown was reimposed at Christmas

It is understood public health officials agreed reopening outdoor activity in May and June would be low risk

Move follows lengthy talks between health chiefs and leaders of the coalition parties

Visitors at the reopening of Dublin Zoo on Monday: The Coalition is finalising plans for the next phase of reopening, which will be unveiled later this week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Stephen Donnelly declares ‘full steam ahead’ on Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines

The Mater hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

St Vincent’s and Tallaght hospitals will also deal with trauma care for less complex cases

People arriving on bus from Dublin Airport to Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, the State’s first hotel quarantine centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Travellers arriving into State from countries on list must spend at least 12 days in hotel

‘Those aged under 50 years and who are not immunocompromised and who have had a Covid-19 infection in the previous six months should receive a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine,’ Government says. File photograph: iStock

Pregnant women to be offered faster access to vaccines after Cabinet decision

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has approved the use of  the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen)  vaccine and relaxed its restrictions on the AstraZeneca shot. Photograph: EPA

Allowing J&J for over 50s, along with change in AstraZeneca guidelines, to accelerate vaccinations

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe:  “Our public debt is approaching a quarter of a trillion euros.” Photograph: Julien Behal

Pandemic supports burning through cash quicker than anticipated

Ibec said vague sentiments about summer being outdoors were not enough. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Letter to Taoiseach and Ministers says ‘summer being outdoors’ is not a plan

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is to be recommended for use by over-50s. Photograph: Giuseppe Lami/EPA

Use of both vaccines had been curtailed due to concerns around blood-clotting events

Vaccinators administering Covid 19 Vaccinations of Cohort 4 at the HSE Vaccination Centre in the Aviva Stadium .Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Number of Covid-19 patients in hospital falls to 162, the lowest level since October

The European Medicines Agency has reiterated that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s vaccine outweigh any risks. File photograph: Getty

Change to supply plan comes after EMA licenses manufacture of drug in Asian plant

A heave in Fianna Fáil to unseat leader Micheál Martin seems likely, but what would Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael do then?

Big two may be uneasy allies but realising this circumstance is recognition of political reality

The Health Protection Regulatory Authority says the vast majority of side effects are mild to moderate in nature, and the benefits of Covid-19 vaccines continue to outweigh the risks. Photograph: Gent Shkullaku/AFP

Fewer than five reports of clotting with low platelets post-jab, regulatory authority says

People queue up outside the Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on  Wednesday. Photograph:  Niall Carson/ PA Wire

Niac to consider extending time between doses of Pfizer jab to vaccinate more people

Some 14,400 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine have arrived in the State, with 26,600 due next week. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP

Niac to discuss key elements of the State’s plan on Thursday

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