‘India and China have the capacity to make vaccines at scale. Pharmaceutical companies should hand over their patents and allow companies in those countries to make these vaccines,” said Prof Maire Connolly. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Omicron has generated optimism but more emergence of severe variants still possible

The Cabinet has agreed to a €1,000 tax-free ex gratia payment to frontline health workers in clinical settings, but it will not be afforded to all roles. Photograph: iStock

Inside Politics: Soothing noises from Government as it looks at a post-Covid landscape

Labour Party call for senior minister to tackle gender-based violence. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Need for public awareness campaign about violence against women, says Bacik

There will be a €1,000 bonus for healthcare workers and and extra public holiday. Photograph: iStock

Extra public holiday on March 18th this year to give many citizens a four-day weekend

Government Chief Whip has brought the proposals to the Cabinet meeting ahead of the Dáil resuming after its winter recess.

Plans for remediation scheme for mica homeowners included in 44 bills

A further 5,295 people have registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal. File photograph: Patrick T Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Varadkar says he does not agree with rules requiring employees to show vaccine status

Flowers and messages close to the scene where Ashling Murphy was was attacked and killed on the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur, Co Offaly, Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Gender based violence to be discussed as Dáil returns

Several committee members pointed out that SUVs were still outselling EVs by a considerable distance.  Photograph: iStock

Reductions in methane challenging and not possible until latter half of the decade, official says

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, former minister Nora Owen and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at the State commemoration on Sunday to mark the centenary of the handover of Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Increase in security follows Garda review of Cabinet members’ personal safety

Flowers, messages and candles were  left at a memorial outside Leinster House for Ashling Murphy, who was murdered in Tullamore on Wednesday. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Response to Ashling Murphy murder to centre on countering violence against women

Simon Coveney asked the general secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Hackett, to examine the circumstances surrounding the impromptu gathering. Photograph: Alan Betson

Varadkar ‘unaware’ inquiry into impromptu event in June 2020 had begun

Tánaiste Leo Mr Varadkar said he will be  be pushing for ‘a more ambitious and quicker reopening over the next couple of months’. Photograph: Collins

‘Ireland is probably the only country where it hasn’t been possible to go to a pub or your office’

Speaking on RTÉ, Mr Varadkar said that when the last agreement for public servants was negotiated inflation was projected to be very low, but has increased since. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

With inflation at 5 per cent Tánaiste says it is reasonable for issue to pay to be raised

Ashling Murphy: murder has caused widespread anger and shock in Ireland and beyond. Photograph: Billy Stickland

Tánaiste says the killing of the school teacher is a ‘watershed moment’ for Irish society

When academics were asked what measures would be needed for emissions reductions, the one that grabbed most attention was the suggestion that rationing of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel be introduced. Photograph: Getty Images

Everybody seems to agree with emissions reductions in principle until their implementation

Mr Varadkar said that every one in the country was shocked by what had happened in Tullamore. Photograph: Roisin Nic Lochlainn /PA

Taoiseach spoke to family of Ashling Murphy and to ‘express our solidarity with them’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘hopeful’ of easing restrictions. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Number of patients in hospital rises to 1,023, with 83 of those in intensive care

“Increases in herd sizes on dairy farms are undermining any gains from more efficient and sustainable farming practices,” Social Justice Ireland argued in its submission to the committee. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Energy generation an opportunity, Oireachtas committee told, but livestock numbers an issue

1.39 million households with one car or more were responsible for a  18 per cent of emissions, committee told

Academics say carbon budgets recommended do not go far enough to achieve 7% reduction

 Kieran Carrick: ‘Normally when people reach a healthy level of iron they excrete the excess from the blood. But if you have haemochromatosis that switch does not work and you continue to store up iron.’  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Haemochromatosis sufferers have excess iron in their blood, and the standard treatment essentially removes blood from the body

Afforestation ‘is one of the highest policy priorities on our agenda at the moment,’ the Oireachtas Environment and Climate Change Committee was told. Photograph: iStock.

Land formerly a carbon sink will become net emitter of greenhouse gases, academic says

Alliance MP Stephen Farry said Britain’s new foreign secretary Liz Truss (pictured) was a  ‘fresh face’ in the Brexit negotiations and the change ‘can’t do any harm’.  Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Minister Simon Coveney discusses Brexit with new UK counterpart Liz Truss for first time

The health service is preparing for what is traditionally the busiest week of the year. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hospitals brace for sharp increase in patients infected with disease this week

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said there were grants available, many now targeted on those with lower income who might otherwise be subject to fuel poverty. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister says some 55% of money raised through carbon tax to go back to homeowners

“The loss if we don’t have our children back in school is much larger than any other measure,” said Eamon Ryan. File photograph: EPA

Further 17,071 cases of coronavirus reported in State on Sunday in latest provisional data

Dermot Nally, speaking at his retirement in 1993, had argued that the EPA would act as disincentive to industry to locate in Ireland. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Taoiseach opted to set up Environmental Protection Agency despite mandarin’s resistance

Office buildings in London’s docklands which were devastated in a  ceasefire-ending IRA bomb blast in February 1996. Photograph: David Giles/PA Wire

Adams said IRA held threat of violence for ‘25 years if necessary’ in 1996

UK prime minister Tony Blair and taoiseach Bertie Ahern at Hillsborough Castle, 2002. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters

Taoiseach told UK government he had changed ‘my damn Constitution’ for peace

 The aftermath of the Omagh bombing in August 1998. Photograph:  Frank Miller

On the morning after the bombing Ahern and Blair met in Belfast to discuss its implications and their joint response

Ministers are concerned at the possible impact of Omicron on jobs and the economy. File photograph: Rodrigo Urzagasti/AFP via Getty Images

Record number of new coronavirus infections reported as officials consider testing changes

‘The public do want to see key players being questioned and to see their answers,’ said Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Model introduced to cut cost of inquiries lacks public sense of accountability, says Minister

From left, former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, US senator George Mitchell, and former British prime minister Tony Blair smile after  signing the Belfast Agreement in 1998. Photograph: Dan Chung/ AFP  via Getty

Officials spent thousands of hours trying to come up with formula of words that would allow Executive to be formed

Homeowners from Donegal, Mayo and Clare demonstrating in Dublin in June over the mica controversy. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Commitment given to help those families who have to move during work on homes

Niall Burgess tweeted a photograph on the evening of June 17th, 2020 showing himself and other staff members celebrating Ireland’s success in winning a place on the Security Council after the first round of voting

Department concedes it ‘did not meet the standards expected of it’ in June 2020

South African archbishop Desmond Tutu ‘used the word ubuntu - a certain African trait of being willing to forgive’.  Photograph: Ginluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

State papers: Padraig O’Malley’s 1997 trust-building trip was dubbed ‘rubbish’ by then taoiseach

Nationalists celebrate the IRA ceasefire in Belfast, 1994. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Security costs were running at £200m per year, according to 1994 State correspondence

Taoiseach Albert Reynolds with British prime minister John Major and minister for foreign affairs Dick Spring outside 10 Downing Street in February 1994. File photograph: The Irish Times

Irish ministers viewed British demand to remove unilaterally articles 2 and 3 as ‘unhelpful’

A watchtower and perimeter wall of the Maze Prison. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Bloomberg News

When prison staff found tunnel in 1997, republicans said it was occupational therapy

Queuing for a PCR test on Tuesday at the City West Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Capacity for tests substantially increased with arrival of coronavirus Omicron variant

Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘I have, since I became leader, facilitated a fairly free framework of people having opinions and having ideas.’  File photograph: PA

Micheál Martin cool on party return for maverick MacSharry – ‘Marc took his own decision’

The number of people being treated for Covid-19 in the State’s hospitals has risen sharply on Tuesday and a further 9,006 cases of the disease have been reported.  Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

HSE chief says Omicron variant ‘running rife’ in community as testing system comes under strain

Floral tributes for Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, from Grapenhill, Warrington, who were killed in the IRA bomb blast in Warrington in 1993. Photograph: Richard Baker/Getty Images

Ambassador refers to misleading media coverage around State ambivalence to IRA

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams leaving Westminster Hall in London, 2001. Photograph: Peter J Jordan/PA Photo

Adviser also said ‘Slab’ Murphy had expressed reservations about ending violence

Charles Haughey and John Major leaving Government Buildings in 1991. Photograph: Eric Luke

Major was opposed to idea of single currency but Haughey said it was worth the risk

Prime minister John Major ‘was “walking on egg shells” because of the danger of a unionist backlash to any concessions to republicans’, according to Sir John Chilcot.

British diplomat was told they seemed to share unionist suspicions about nationalists

Boris Johnson in 2004, when editor of the Spectator. In 1995 he told an Irish diplomat John Major was moving cautiously in the peace process, primarily because of the fear of unrest from the Tory backbenches or from unionist politicians. Photograph:  John Giles/PA photo

State papers: The future British prime minister was said to have written ‘naively’ on the North

Col Muammar Gadafy, the late Libyan leader, pictured in 2009. Photograph: Reuters

Then-taoiseach and British PM discussed how to respond to the Lockerbie bombing

  Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair  had frequent conversations by telephone and in person.  Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri.

Declassified papers show depth of relationship between former taoiseach and prime minister

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams meets US president Bill Clinton at the White House in Washington DC in February 1996.  Photograph: Reuters

Documents also show reluctance on part of US to grant visa to Sinn Féin leader in 1994

John Major made a number of suggestions to Charles Haughey on how to advance the peace process in 1991. Photograph: PA

State papers: Ex-taoiseach floated idea of Sinn Féin peace talks 30 years ago

Electricity created by wind can be used to split water by electrolysis into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen

Hydrogen’s role may be substantial in a post-fossil fuel era, in particular in the transport sector

There were 7,089 people  living in direct provision at the end of November. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Department of Justice has released numbers for first time

The queue outside the UCD vaccination centre on Thursday morning. The Taoiseach apologised to the hundreds of people who were turned away from the oversubscribed walk-in clinic. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Only a matter of time’ before variant is more dominant in State as six cases now identified

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘....it is part of the outworking of Brexit that the UK is going to harden its borders and reduce immigration, including from the EU”. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach says he wants to maintain ‘seemless travel’ on the island of Ireland

The queue outside the UCD vaccination centre on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

People queued at UCD for prolonged periods but demand outstripped capability at centre

Large queues formed outside the UCD vaccination centre on Thursday morning. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

HSE says vaccine booster system upgraded but problems persist as queues form at clinic

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is to outline his plans for major green all-island projects including new cross-Border greenway routes. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Major green cross-Border initiatives to be confirmed at Shared Island event

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach Micheál Martin held separate parliamentary party meetings on Wednesday evening. Photograph: Maxwells

Fianna Fáil meeting attended by Green Party leader in a political first

‘The variation in the parental fees charged by providers is striking,’ the report found.’ Photograph: Getty

Much higher public funding needed along with better pay for staff – report

Average fees for full-time childcare in the State now run to €186.12 per week. File photograph: PA

O’Gorman unveils wide-ranging reforms set to alter sector – from privately run, to hybrid model

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach Micheál Martin at Dublin Castle: there is need for co-ordinated communication due to the mixed messaging. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Martin, Varadkar stress need for co-ordinated communication, but reject gagging claims

The Mica Action Group has called for a flat rate of €145 per square foot, and warned of renewed protests in Dublin if the sliding scale is not dropped before Christmas. Photograph: Laura Hutton / The Irish Times

Taoiseach defends redress scheme as campaigners criticise sliding scale

Dr Tony Holohan: ‘The additional efforts to adhere to the public health measures we have all been taking over the last few weeks are having a positive impact.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Taoiseach calls for caution while impact of Omicron variant assessed

The fine imposed on Bank of Ireland  is the second highest ever levied by the Central Bank.

Central Bank said IT service continuity provision was inadequate

There is uncertainty about where we stand with the new Covid variant

Inside Politics: Nphet meets today to consider new restrictions amid continuing high numbers

 Minister for Housing Darragh O Brien: independent review of redress scheme’s rates would be carried out by Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) in February.  Photograph:   Gareth Chaney/Collins

Action group calls for scrapping of sliding scale in favour of flat rate of €145 per sq ft

Mica protest: Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien defended the mica redress plan, saying the rates were ‘indicative’.Photograph: Laura Hutton

Group warns of renewed protests in Dublin if proposal is not dropped before Christmas

Aleigha Babington-Byrne among third class pupils from St Clare’s Primary School in Harold’s Cross, Dublin, wearing facemarks in the classroom during lessons on Wednesday. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Holohan appeals to parents to follow new rules as masks now mandatory in school from third class up

New measures require travellers into Ireland to show clear PCR or antigen tests

Inside Politics: Cabinet signs off on restitution of mandatory hotel quarantine and emergency powers

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is expected to hold a press conference at lunchtime on Tuesday formally announcing the scheme. Photograph: Alan Betson

Donegal and Mayo homes affected by defective blocks will have access to remediation

The latest Covid measures that will be announced in Cabinet will be persuasive rather than prescriptive

Inside Politics: Ministers are expected to sign off on a recommendation that children over nine wear face masks in primary schools

Eamon Ryan at the Green Party convention. Photograph: Alan Betson

Eamon Ryan to bring plan for as many as seven new plants to deal with energy demand

Thousands of homeowners affected by Mica, and their supporters, protest in Dublin for a 100 per cent redress scheme from the Government in October. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Darragh O’Brien to bring memo to Cabinet on revised scheme for rebuilds in Donegal and Mayo

Cape Town International Airport. A number of countries have introduced travel bans and restrictions on passengers from southern African countries in a bid to contain the new variant. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

UK to require arrivals from outside CTA to take PCR test amid Omicron concern

Party leader Eamon Ryan said that not alone had Green policies been approved by the Government, but they were beginning to be implemented. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Time for Green policies is now, Minister tells annual party convention

South Africa: Travel restrictions were reintroduced on Friday in a push to contain a new strain of Covid as the WHO designated the Omicron variant as being of concern. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook

Ireland to review UK requirement for passenger PCR test by second day of arrival

 Two-day convention was originally scheduled to take place in person but was moved online once the current coronavirus situation began to deteriorate. Photograph: The Irish Times

Green Party leader and deputy leader to address Covid and climate at convention

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: The Climate Action Plan is a reality and Mr Ryan has achieved big wins in the National Development Plan on transport, retrofitting and renewable forms of energy. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Conference agenda suggests peace in the party after turbulent 18 months

Truckers protesting in Dublin city centre on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Haulage group warns of action in early December unless fuel costs are reduced

The last remaining peat stockpiles on the Boora Bog near Ferbane: a 2019 High Court ruling  effectively brought large-scale peat extraction in Ireland to a halt. Photograph: Alan Betson

Greens oppose Bill, citing high levels of peat exports out of Ireland

The biggest single cost of the proposals would come from freezing rents and offering tenants one month of rent as a once-off payment. Photograph: iStock

Party survey shows most respondents experienced negative impacts on mental health

With the stockpile of milled peat quickly diminishing, imports of peat from countries such as Latvia into Ireland commenced in September. Photograph: iStock

Bórd na Móna put a complete stop to harvesting peat from its bogs in 2020

Prof Orla Hegarty argues that proper ventilation of buildings to ensure a constant supply of clear air, in addition to proper masking protocols, is the most effective way to suppress the spread of the virus.

Orla Hegarty claims half coronavirus deaths from infection in fewer than 400 structures

Some estates, built in the 1990s and 2000s, have no connection to public water services. Instead they have temporary facilities put in place by the developers.

Over 560 estates with developer-provided infrastructure not linked to public services

An unusually quiet Temple Bar on New Year’s Eve last year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet to discuss retaining level of business supports in light of deteriorating picture

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: ‘Now is the time to try to give space to the negotiations.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

European Court of Justice must be ‘final arbiter’ on EU law and regulations, says Minister

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan and Nphet’s head of forecasting Professor Philip Nolan have both expressed doubts over subsidising antigen testing. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney says future lockdowns were not inevitable

A new Nitrates Action Programme for 2022 to 2025 has been formulated by the Government to ensure that fertiliser on Irish farms does not contribute to excess pollution of rivers, lakes and waterways.  Photograph: iStock

Move comes after delays at European level to approve the programme for next three years

When asked if he was sorry about the terminology he used about loyalist areas of Belfast, Bertie Ahern said: ‘It’s not just about being careful of language, it’s about understanding what these people are saying.’

Former taoiseach also faced calls for apology for suggesting loyalists did not understand protocol

Mural of a healthcare worker in Harold’s Cross, Dublin: Modelling indicates that under pessimistic projections case numbers could rise to more than 12,000 daily. Photograph: Alan Betson

Modelling shows case numbers could rise steeply by the middle of December

Róisín Shortall of the Social Democrats. A party  spokesperson said: ‘The Taoiseach expects cheerleaders on the opposition benches. Our job is to hold the Government to account.’ Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Analysis: Opposition says it is being asked to support measures with ‘no briefings or debate’

Fianna Fáil TD and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Comments on working-from-home ahead of announcement likened to FF bailout interviews

Micheál Martin says Alan Kelly’s interpretation of the 40-second conversation was ‘a complete misconstruction’. Photograph: The Irish Times

Labour leader accuses Martin of u-turn after ‘off-microphone’ Dáil conversation

Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan said that one of the key things that came out of a recently published Eirgrid study was the need for microgeneration. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Department to allow microgenerated electricity to be sold to the State in January 2022

The byelection will fill the vacancy created by the departure from the Seanad of Ivana Bacik during the summer. File photograph: Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos

Postage accounts for bulk of expense in election expected to generate low turnout

When asked in interviews, Sinn Féin  leader Mary Lou McDonald refused to commit the party to a specific figure for emissions cuts in agriculture. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party majors on climate justice and just transition to exclusion of almost everything else

Government sources expect the use of the vaccine pass for gyms and hairdressers will be mandated. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Cabinet meeting to discuss Nphet advice on working from home in face of fourth wave

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern was speaking at the launch of a new book, Albert Reynolds: Risktaker for Peace, by ex-TD Conor Lenihan (right). Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

‘The game is up’: Former taoiseach strongly criticises British government’s negotiating stance

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern with Conor Lenihan at the  launch of Mr Lenihan’s book, Albert Reynolds, Risk Taker for Peace. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Former taoiseach says Downing Street Declaration was the ‘key cornerstone document’

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee  says she understands  the concerns of communities about sex offenders and she hopes the Bill will ‘help alleviate those concerns’. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Legislation would allow Garda to release information on offenders in certain circumstances

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