Taoiseach Micheál Martin  confirmed that the Government was looking at additional travel and quarantine restrictions due to concerns about emerging variants of the disease. Photograph: Julien Behal

Government was in ‘exploratory and embryonic’ talks with Britain

An almost empty arrivals hall in Terminal 2 of Dublin Airport: Since last week, all passengers arriving into the State must produce a negative test result. Photograph: Brian Lawless/ PA Wire

Cabinet to consider tighter controls as Nphet says pre-flight Covid tests are not enough

A member of the public pass the Heartbreak Social club during  in Dublin’s city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Adverts linking vaccines to travel ‘not very responsible’, Holohan says

There are 1,949 people in hospital with Covid-19 and 214 people in intensive care, according to the Covid-19 data hub. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Holohan says figures illustrate that people must adhere to public health restrictions

Minister for Education Norma Foley focused her arguments on public health advice that schools, per se, remained safe environments. Photograph: Julien Behal

It is a tricky situation where competing rights are pitched against each other

US president Joe Biden has signed 17 executive orders, designed to undo the major changes of the MAGA agenda. Photograph: Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty

Inside Politics: All major parties see the new US president as a friend of Ireland

‘Trials are too often delayed or disrupted because issues which should be dealt with in advance are subject to legal argument in the absence of the jury,’ Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

McEntee says pre-trial hearings would improve process in sexual offence cases

‘The numbers are too high and we need to get them down. We will take advice from NEPHT and others when making a decision,’ Taoiseach Micheál Martin is reported as having said. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

State has ‘some distance to go’ to curb virus spread, Fianna Fáil parliamentary party hears

Almost 140,000 intending passengers filled out electronic passenger locator forms between December 11th and January 3rd. File photograph: iStock

System to prevent Covid-19 carriers entering State is not working, says Catherine Murphy

The levels of fear and anxiety experienced by older people during the Covid-19 pandemic is disclosed in extracts from calls a charity received to its helpline during the last lockdown. Photograph: Getty

‘Y called to talk about Covid-19, said she feels very bad and it is starting to really get to her’

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘The Cabinet signed off on temporary appointment of Robert Watt as interim secretary general. He is there on his existing salary.’ Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

New secretary general of Department of Health will be highest paid civil servant

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the reality of Brexit required the management of very “damaging developments”.  File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Micheál Martin says there was never such a thing as a ‘good Brexit’ for Ireland

Leo Varadkar: Covid pandemic has changed mindsets about his nature of remote work. Stock image: PA

Tánaiste says Covid-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated change in mindsets

Cars  line up at the RocDoc rapid Covid test centre based  at Dublin Airport on Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Anyone who arrived into State from Brazil is urged to self-isolate and identify for testing

A new Road Traffic Bill will legislate for e-transport for the first time, including e-scooters. File photograph

Climate Action, Affordable Housing and Parents Leave Bills planned before Easter

The name of babies and wollens hang in the rain in the Tuam babies burial ground on Tuesday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

For 35 years one health inspector wrote fearless reports highlighting the appalling conditions

Ambulances outside the  Emergency Department at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hospital system under severe pressure as patients in Donegal treated in ambulances

In an email sent to survivors on Sunday, Roderic O’Gorman said he was ‘deeply angered’ at the leak. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Timess

Survivors to receive State apology from Taoiseach after commission report published

Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, who is head of contact tracing and testing for the HSE. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe is hopeful new figures mean we are reaching peak of current surge

 Minister for Education Norma Foley speaking at a Government press briefing on Wednesday when the plan was initially announced. Photograph: Julien Behal

Remote learning to take place until February 1st after unions and principals voiced opposition

Dr Tony Holohan: noted the overall situation is “expected to deteriorate further in the coming days”. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

CMO told Government daily movement of some 1m people posed a 'significant additional risk'

All schools will close for three weeks from Monday. File photograph: PA

All you need to know about school closures, retail, travel, childcare and financial supports

Clinical nurse manager Deborah Cross gives Annie Lynch the Covid-19 vaccination at St James’s Hospital in Dublin 8. The 79-year-old Dublin grandmother was the first person in the Republic to receive the vaccine. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Closure of non-essential retail and reintroduction of 5km restriction expected

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe estimated the stay-and-spend scheme would cost the exchequer about €270 million, based on more than €1 billion of spending. Photograph:  Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

State was subject to series of lockdowns soon after scheme’s commencement date

A Covid-19 testing facility at Dublin Airports. A Government Minister has said indicators suggest a return to a full Level 5 lockdown is imminent. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister suggests tighter restrictions are inevitable ahead of crunch Cabinet meeting

The Government may look to reintroduce the 5km travel limit. File photograph: The Irish Times

Number of cases in community is high, and expected to rise steeply this week

People recovering from flu are often run down and may  be more susceptible to severe Covid-19 illness, says Prof Karina Butler, chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee. Photograph: Jose Sena Goulao/EPA

Dr Cillian de Gascun says too soon to say Covid-19 and flu ‘twindemic’ will not happen

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says  while the number of homeless people has fallen, the numbers have not fallen enough. Photograph:  Julien Behal Photography/PA

Almost 18,000 new homes built this year despite Covid, says Micheál Martin

The Taoiseach acknowledged the severe impact the outcome of the Brexit negotiations would have on the fishing industry. Photograph: Sander Koning/ANP/AFP

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar confirms new €100m support scheme for agrifood sector

Two women walk on Burrow beach in Dublin.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Varadkar says there is case for Level 5 measures to stay in place until at-risk are vaccinated

 Former taoiseach Charles Haughey  with former US president George Bush in the Oval Office

In a meeting in 1990 the former US president asked Haughey for his views on the implications of German reunification

Ulster unionist leader Brian Faulkner with taoiseach Liam Cosgrove during tripartite talks on the future of Ireland at Sunningdale,  December 6th, 1973. Photograph:  Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The 1973 coalition produced draft amendments to remove State’s claims to island of Ireland

West German chancellor Helmut Kohl, French president François Mitterand and taoiseach Charles Haughey at the European Community summit in Dublin in March 1990

State Papers: Taoiseach saw future of cheap flights, open borders and common currency

Minister for foreign affairs Gerry Collins, taoiseach Charles Haughey, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and British foreign secretary Douglas Hurd

State Papers: Prime minister excoriated European Commission, calling it a ‘politburo’

Nelson Mandela addresses the Dáil where then ceann comhairle Seán Treacy (top left) and taoiseach Charles Haughey were present. File Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

ANC leader, who was released from jail in 1990 after 27 years, visited Ireland in July

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has faced   questions over his leadership and the direction the party has taken in Government. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ryan believes party’s ‘common cause of addressing ecological crisis’ will help it ‘pull together’

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: “Can we get a whole generation of young people and pay them better to look after our land?” Photograph: Alan Betson

Interview: Cycle lanes, rail, 15-minute cities, forests, bogs and wind farms are Minister’s passions

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee: she was not going to bring forward a nomination having not seen other names. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister responds to internal documents released by Department of Justice

Taoiseach Micheál Martin did  not have his finest hour defending the non-payment of student nurses. Photograph: John Thys/Pool/AFP/Getty

Inside Politics: It’s been the type of year that has torn our hearts and hair equally

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said that between July 11th and 14th she informed Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Attorney General Paul Gallagher of her intention to propose Séamus Woulfe for the Supreme Court position. Photograph: Julien Behal

Minister informed party leaders of her intention five days after Cabinet request

Leader of the Green Party  Eamon Ryan, deputy leader Catherine Martin, and Ministers Roderic O’Gorman and Pippa Hackett all set out reasons why they supported the Government decision to bring a motion before the Dáil to ratify the final elements of the trade deal with Canada.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Show of unity likely to reduce the prospect of difficult split over controversial mechanism

Green Party TD  Neasa Hourigan: said the party has long argued that the proposed EU-Canada deal, known as CETA, could have a significant negative impact on Irish agriculture and business. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

TD calls for long postponement of Dáil ratification vote

Shane Ross: “It appears the Government has learned absolutely nothing from the Séamus Woulfe appointment.”    Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

McEntee’s Bill proposes commission of nine but strong legal influence criticised by Ross


Commission to be smaller than 17-strong panel recommended by Shane Ross

The fire at Grenfell Tower in west London in 2017 in which 72 people died. Photograph:  Natalie Oxford/PA Wire

Kingspan has been drawn into the spotlight in the Grenfell inquiry, leading to searching questions about its safety checks

British prime minister Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU Commission, had their dinner in Brussels last night as talks drag on. Photograph: Aaron Chown

Inside Politics: Taoiseach misses point when it comes to student nurses and well-off public servants

Chief Justice Frank Clarke announced he would not take his pay rise worth almost €5,000. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Q&A: Cabinet agrees 2 per cent pay rise for judges while rejecting paying student nurses

Former taoisigh (L-R) Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and John Bruton will see their current pensions of €134,500  increase to €151,680 per annum.

Martin and Varadkar face barrage of criticism from their own parliamentary parties

 Taoiseach Micheal Martin  told Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators that politicians needed to modernise how the Oireachtas does its business.    Photograph: Laura Hutton

It is important that we bring progressive change on how parliament works, Taoiseach tells party

Thomas Pringle: he says there have been lots of reassurances but there has been huge uncertainty about what will happen

‘We live in the shadow of the Border here...counties like ourselves will feel the impact far worse than anybody else’

Hundreds of emails and letters from distressed and angry women and their partners were sent to the Government. Photograph: iStock

‘I had to sit in a room alone to be told my baby had died’ says one woman among hundreds to complain

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee welcomed the report and said she was committed to implement the reforms. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

High costs ‘one of the main barriers’ for people in accessing justice, says McEntee

Christine O’Mahony: she  said she left the party in light of the controversy surrounding Brian Stanley. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Christine O’Mahony resigned after party told her not to discuss internal matters publicly

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and her husband, Paul Hickey. Photograph: Alan Betson

There are no legal provisions for female TDs to take leave; position for ministers is unclear

Plans around the vaccine rollout are to be finalised

Pharmacists seek to be involved in vaccine roll-out to ease pressure on GPs

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has written to Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl requesting time to make a personal statement to the Dáil on December 15th

Laois-Offaly TD makes request to give personal statement to Dáil

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: he says   Brian Stanley’s   apology for celebrating “atrocities” has not gone far enough.  Photograph:  Getty Images

Martin describes Narrow Water bombing in 1979 in which 18 British paratroopers died as ‘a crime against humanity’

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, apologising for posting a controversial tweet

Taoiseach says Stanley tweets damaging to credibility of Public Accounts Committee

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl. Photograph: Eric Luke

Impartiality of Ó Fearghaíl’s role raised by some, while Stanley seems to be in the clear

Ireland has now the lowest Covid-19 figures in the EU according to the EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Inside Politics: Restrictions have seemed endless and have been taking their toll on people

Shannon river, minutes walk from Athlone town centre. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Plans breach EU rules in six major areas independent legal advisers warn

“Unfortunately the situation is probably being exacerbated by Level 5 restrictions, where more people are staying at home burning wood, coal and peat.”  Photograph: Getty Images

Pollution expert says smoky coal ban must be extended nationwide to protect lives

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Cabinet expected to approve easing of Covid curbs as Level 5 cost hits €1.5bn

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar  arrives at the Convention Centre for a sitting of the Dáil. Photograph:  Crispin Rodwell

Tánaiste clarifies a ban was not his intention rather restrictions on all inter-county travel

Dr Paul Armstrong at the Lifford Bridge beside his practice in Lifford, Co Donegal. Photograph: Joe Dunne

Cavan has got its Covid numbers down while Donegal lags behind

In a letter to the Government, the Nphet recommendedthat the hospitality sector should be allowed offer takeaway only services throughout December. Photograph: PA

Cabinet sub-committee meets ahead of ‘polite showdown’ with public health experts

A person wearing a facemasks passes a closed Italian restaurant on O Connell Streetduring the Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic in Dublin’s city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says Christmas will be a very different to previous years due to Covid-19

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Some see her as a future FG leader. She will need to survive tricky justice portfolio first

  Garda Commissioner Drew Harris met the Taoiseach, the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Health on Friday afternoon in relation to policing Covid-19 regulations. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Drew Harris met Micheál Martin to discuss weekend street drinking and way forward

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the lapse in the past week - where infection numbers crept up again - was worrying and might have been stoked by news around a new vaccine as well as restriction fatigue being experienced by the public.  File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A further eight deaths and 330 new cases reported in the State

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Minister for Justice Helen McEntee had not specifically mentioned any of the three other judges who had expressed an interest. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Government accused of ‘further evasion’ after Minister asks for her next session of oral ministerial questions to be rescheduled

Taoiseach Micheál Martin arrives for an all party meeting in relation to the Séamus Woulfe controversy at Government Buidlings on Merrion Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister asks for her next session of oral ministerial questions to be rescheduled

Micheál Martin has spent his whole political life wanting to be taoiseach. Being taoiseach needs more than a rhetorical set piece  every few weeks. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Irish Times wins number of gongs at the Newsbrand awards

 Séamus Woulfe: It appears there is no obstacle, barring possible action by Opposition parties, to the judge beginning work despite controversy. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Constitutional protection of judiciary’ best served by no further Coalition steps

Séamus Woulfe’s name was the only one submitted by the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board after the end of its process. Photograph: Alan Betson

Report finds process not free of political influence with best candidates not chosen

Supreme Court judge Séamus Woulfe (left) and the Chief Justice Frank Clarke are engaged in a stand-off due to Mr Woulfe’s refusal to resign. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Prospect of Woulfe facing an impeachment motion in the Dáil is increasingly unlikely

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. Photographs: Gareth Chaney/Collins and Niall Carson/PA

Fine Gael TDs let loose against Sinn Féin in deliberate shift in its parliamentary strategy

Chief Justice Frank Clarke listens to the then attorney general Séamus Woulfe at an event in Dublin. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Opposition leaders to seek independent legal advice and full documentation on controversy

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly with Mattie McGrath (background)   leaving Government Buildings on Friday afternoon. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Another meeting due to place early next week over standoff between judges

Judge Brian Curtin: Politically and morally, parliament could not allow a judge surrounded by such a cloud to continue sitting on the bench.  Photograph: Eric Luke

‘The structure is legally sound but it never has been utilised,’ Brendan Howlin believes

The meeting between Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Opposition leaders on the controversy surrounding Supreme Court judge Séamus Woulfe is expected to take place on Friday. Photograph: Collins

Supreme Court judge Séamus Woulfe attended a golf dinner in August despite Covid indoor restrictions

Séamus Woulfe: not helpful to have the  Pavlovian view that he is all wrong. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Successive governments failed to enact legistlation to set up Judicial Council

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney says Sinn Féin are looking to inflict personalised political damage on Leo Varadkar by tabling a no confidence motion.

Tánaiste is facing Sinn Féin no confidence motion over sending draft contract to NAGP

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Coalition’s 84 TDs set to support Tánaiste in Sinn Féin vote

 Eamon Ryan:  Catherine Martin ran him  to a handful of votes in the Green Party’s  leadership contest. Photograph: Getty Images

The party lost members since going into Government and is no longer just about green issues

Leo Varadkar: Enmeshed in controversy over the leaking of a GP draft document. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Move follows controversy about Tánaiste’s leaking of new GPs’ contract last year

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

Minister says removing restrictions only achievable if ‘we all follow the basics’

Leo Varadkar said party leaders agreed any  easing of individual restrictions  would dilute the public message. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach and Tánaiste tell respective parties there will be no early easing of measures

  Taoiseach Micheál Martin faced criticism from members of his party. Photograph: Getty Images

Heated exchanges at FF meeting as Taoiseach is accused of being ‘flag-flyer’ for Tánaiste

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will make a statement  in the Dáil in relation to  leaking of a document about a GP pay deal to a rival organisation of doctors. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Tánaiste is expected to tell Dáil he did not act unlawfully in passing on document

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is pictured leaving Dublin Castle after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Tánaiste provided a copy of a document about a GP pay deal to a doctors’ group led by his friend

Leo Varadkar: has got  snared in a trap of his own making. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Tánaiste’s apology needs to be more contrite than mealy mouthed explanation

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: has strenuously denied  he broke any laws when he passed the document to the National Association of General Practitioners in April 2019.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Martin backs Tánaiste amid fears of fresh revelations and complaint to ethics body

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Coveney says there was ‘no personal gain’ for Tánaiste in passing on the document

Former NAGP president Dr Maitiú O Tuathail. Photograph: Conor Healy/Picture It Photography

NAGP got support from four of the party’s Oireachtas members after lobbying campaign

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar issued a lengthy statement on Saturday evening in which he rejected the magazine’s claims that he may have broken the law. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Harris was not told by Tánaiste that he was sharing copy of GP contract

Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking to the media after he gave an address on the Shared Island initiative  at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Julien Behal

Martin faces down some internal criticism over his perceived approach to unity

Michael Ring says a 5km limit was ‘not reasonable’ even in some parts of Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Michael Ring says he is prepared to lose party whip as he cannot support ‘cruel’ 5km limit

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin giving an address on the Shared Island initiative at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Julian Behal/PA

Martin could find himself at odds with traditional Fianna Fáil members further down the road

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking to the media after giving an address on the Shared Island initiative at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Julian Behal  Photography/PA

Martin says traditional republican rhetoric of ‘Brits out’ mould ‘gets you nowhere’

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