Barnardos chief executive Suzanne Connolly said many of the families the charity supports face a lot of challenges. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Barnardos says many families face mental health, drug issues and domestic violence

Minister for Justice  Helen McEntee:  ‘Significant funding has been allocated in Budget 2021 to try to move away from a paper-based system to an online one.’ Photograph The Irish Times

Justice department ‘very much behind’ rest of Government with paper-based system

External consultants on contact tracing were hired by the HSE. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Seán Sherlock criticises health service for cost of contact-tracing, PPE and ICT advisors

The HSE  had spent €7.5m on ViraPro products, and has purchased 3.8m units. Photograph: Dave Meehan

ViraPro in Ireland contained methanol, a chemical which with prolonged use can cause nausea, dermatitis and headaches

Legislation that allows for on-the-spot fines for non-compliance with public health guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fiines of up to €1,000 for those who organise house parties will comes into effect immediately

Minister for Children Roderic O Gorman said on Sunday that he believes the Oireachtas can move ‘very quickly’ to address the concerns of survivors about the records. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman says Oireachtas can move ‘quickly’ on survivors’ concerns

 Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman:  apologised for his approach and his “haste to fix a legal problem”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

GDPR rights can override domestic legislation, data protection watchdog claims

The Seanad passed an amendment ensuring Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman will hold a copy of the full archive as well as Tusla. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Roderic O’Gorman ‘deeply apologetic’ for approach to Bill dealing with legacy issues ‘not cold legal problems’

Minister for Justice and Equality Helen McEntee. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government refuses to accept amendment from FG Senator who highlighted errors

File photograph: Getty

UCD lab to suspend Covid-19 testing over next two weekends due to staff issues

St Patrick’s Boys’ National School in Drumcondra and Gaelscoil Ros Eo in Rush, Co Dublin among those to close. Photograph: iStock

Some schools forced to close due to short notice over product recall

Prolonged  use of product can cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches, says Department. File photograph: iStock

Department of Education says some of product contains methanol rather than ethanol

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother-and-baby home, Co Galway. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Opposition claims legislation rushed through in spite of survivors’ fears in heated debate

Pictures appeared on social media of queues outside Aldi – with some claiming to have been in line since 6am – for a toy sale on Thursday. Above, a queue on Tuesday at Aldi on Parnell Street, Dublin. Photograph:  Stephen Collins

Business leaders warn of move as huge retail chains continue trading in non-essential goods

Minister for Health Stephen  Donnelly will meet campaign group 221+ and listen to their concerns and ideas, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos Dublin

Varadkar says Minister for Health will direct whether Government defers tribunal

Most of the residents in the  Nightingale Nursing Home in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, have contracted coronavirus. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

One nurse and one carer working 13-hour shifts looking after 24 residents, says director

Major questions are being asked about Level 5 restrictions, the Dáil was told

Shortall tells Dáil that Government decision-making fails to take human nature and needs into account

Sinn Féin spokeswoman on children Kathleen Funchion. File photograph: Alan Betson

Minister pledges to ‘re-examine’ access to mother and baby home personal records

Independent TD Mattie McGrath: “Many young adults and children with disabilities are totally sidelined and marginalised”

Independent TDs Fitzmaurice and McNamara appeal for marts to be allowed to remain open

Ruptured lead piping excavated  by Irish Water. File photograph: Frank Miller

Minister of State says Tipperary issue due to low chlorine caused by age of pipe network

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Taoiseach should have been informed by Minister of Health, Dáil told

Denis Naughten said the private sector have turned their backs on many students across the country. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Naughten says certain providers had refused point blank to refund students

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Taoiseach he previously referred to co-living as “battery cage-type accommodation”. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Dáil hears that regulations allow for single rooms the size of ‘average car parking space’

Holly Cairns urged the Taoiseach to call a halt to the legislation which has been passed by the Seanad. File photograph: Alan Betson

Heated exchanges as Taoiseach accused of telling lies that records will ‘disappear’

Staff at Keanes Jewellers during heavy flooding on Oliver Plunkett street, Cork city. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Martin says controversial OPW scheme to prevent Leeside floods should go ahead

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: he  said the reproduction number, the rate at which an infected person spreads Covid-19, needed to be consistently below one. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Martin predicts move from higher to lower restrictions, and back to higher if virus keeps spreading

Senator Michael McDowell said extra time should be given to debate the controversial legislation. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

Claims ’bogus’ that legislation needs to rushed through Seanad - McDowell

Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan also called for clarity on the help-to-buy scheme which had cost €310 million since July 2016. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Neasa Hourigan seeks fuller detail on where €218m allocated for homeless services will go

Clare TD  Michael McNamara said  legislation allowed for patients with health insurance to be billed for stays in private rooms and multi-occupancy rooms, but  “a corridor is not a room”.  Photograph: Getty Images

Varadkar suggests HSE might not charge for first night ‘if the patient ends up spending that night on a trolley or sitting on a ch(...)

Rapid antigen testing has a role to play in combatting Covid-19, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.

TDs demand airport testing system as Ryanair closes bases at Cork, Shannon

Sinn Féin spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly  called for ‘recognition for remote working as a protected form of work with particular safeguards, protections and allowances for those workers’. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/ The Irish Times

Tánaiste warns of risk to jobs with e-working from ‘Canaries, Ibiza, Poland or India’

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said  for many the pandemic payment they received, which ranges from €203 to €300, represented either the full equivalent of their wage or 86 per cent. File photograph: PA Wire

Varadkar says PUP cut will be under review if State is ‘still in the teeth of’ pandemic

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: people need to understand the public health message

Tánaiste rejects claim of ‘total systems failure’ and says everywhere in Europe seeing record numbers

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar  speaking at a media briefing in Government Buildings. Photograph: Julien Behal

Border counties move to Level 4 as extra restrictions imposed nationwide

In relation to the number of social homes that would be built this year, the Minister  said the figure would be “around 7,000 or so”.

First homes under scheme to be available for purchase next year, says Minister

Mary Lou McDonald said the Bill would ‘stop families accessing information about or babies buried in unmarked graves’. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach insists Bill will ‘preserve information, not put it beyond reach’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Budget shows Government’s determination to get Ireland through pandemic -Taoiseach

Ms Foley said 1,785 teachers, special needs assistants and other support staff applied for a Covid-19 risk assessment

Over 900 ‘very high risk’ teachers and special needs assistants allowed to work remotely

The closure of schools in the Republic is not under consideration at present  Norma Foley has said. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Education says transmission of coronavirus is not amplified in schools

Minister for Education Norma Foley said there would be no change to the length of exams in Leaving Cert. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Education confirms independent review of calculated grades process will take place

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae joined Sinn Féin in criticising the carbon tax rise. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Kerry TD describes fuel increase as ‘one of most vicious attacks’ on rural Ireland

The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes has increased by 20 cent in the budget. File photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

High taxation is ‘very effective’ in cutting consumption, Minister for Health says

Peadar Tóibín: “What we got is a few bob here and there for rural schemes, rural schemes that amount to nothing more than social welfare for rural Ireland, enough to survive but never enough for a vibrant regional balance.” File photograph: Collins

Broadband funding is same money Naughten secured years ago as minister, TD claims

In his Dáil response to Budget 2021,  Labour Party finance spokesman Ged Nash said there was a long way to go on the ‘two-tier health system’ but there was also a two -tier economy. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Budget ‘papers over cracks’, instead of building health service

Rise TD Paul Murphy says former commissioner Phil Hogan  had to resign as a minister of state over budget leaks. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Murphy asks if there will be consequences for Varadkar tweeting McGrath’s speech early

Sinn Féin says Government did not tackle housing crisis in budget

Eating out on Dawson Street, Dublin, on Saturday. Business in shops in city and town centres has collapsed, with a huge drop in footfall. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Coronavirus: City and county councils need €300 million for 2021

  Suffolk Street  in central Dublin: the rate of new cases in the capital is slowing after three weeks of Level 3 restrictions. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Increased regional measures more likely than ‘circuit breaker’, sources say

Groups of protesters and counter-protesters clashed in Dublin on Saturday at an anti-lockdown demonstration. Photograph:  Paul Faith/ AFP

Up to 100 gardaí involved in operation as protesters and counter-protesters gathered on Saturday afternoon

The Oireachtas passed the Public Health (Alcohol) Act on October 17th, 2018

Two years after legislation passed, ‘difficult stuff’ not done, says Alcohol Action Ireland

Minister for Health  Stephen Donnelly arriving at RTÉ’s  Donnybrook studio  on Sunday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach says Level 3 restrictions can curb the spread of the virus if people work together

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: ‘The information about Level 4 was conveyed to the Taoiseach, yes.’  Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Minister says he and CMO discussed possibility of moving tightening Covid-19 restrictions beforehand

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, whose Dying with Dignity Bill faces  faces significant resistance from members of the medical profession.  ‘It is not going to be straightforward and it is difficult to know where it will go.’ Photograph: Sam Boal/

Cabinet divided on legislation which has been moved to Oireachtas Committee on Justice

School secretaries gathered for a rally at the Dáil in January this year. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Varadkar tells Dáil Government wants to regularise their situation

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny welcomed the majority Dáil vote to allow the Dying with Dignity Bill to progress to committee stage. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Kenny says no guarantee legislation passes but Dáil decision a ‘significant’ step forward

Minister for Health Stephen  Donnelly said the first time he heard Level 5 mentioned was on Sunday evening after the Nphet meeting. File photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Health tells Dáil he heard of Level 5 proposal around 7pm on Sunday

Minister of State for Justice James Browne said dissident paramilitary groups continue to focus their efforts primarily on targeting members of the security forces in the North. File Photograph: Eric Luke

Increasing cooperation between New, Continuity IRA, rising loyalist paramilitary activity in Belfast

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he is determined to “do what is required” for those with disabilities. File photograph: Alan Betson

Martin pledges funding for sector which SF leader says is ‘on the ledge, on the floor, on their knees’

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny introduced the Dying with Dignity Bill in the Dáil on Thursday evening. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Legislation sponsored by People Before Profit will now progress to the committee stage

 Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer,  leaving Government buildings. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach pays tribute to ‘selfless’ CMO returning to help country deal with Covid-19

 School secretaries gathered for a rally at the Dáil in January this year. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Three one-day stoppages to be followed by indefinite strike from November 16th

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health during a briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Holohan criticises leak of Nphet recommendation that entire State go to Level 5 lockdown

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme is expected to cost more than €5.2 billion by April 2021.

Heather Humphreys criticised in Dáil after blanket €350 payment reduced to between €203 and €300 depending on previous income

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar  leaving a Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Remarks were too personal towards the chief medical officer and went ‘much too far’

Social Democrats TD  Gary Gannon:  Claimed the Arts Council advertised a tender for communications advice and many major creative agencies applied and it cost them “into the tens of thousands in time, commitments and production”.

Organisation accused of being ‘tone deaf to artists and agencies’

 Michael Healy-Rae pictured at Leinster House on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Martin claims Kerry TD approaches Mass goers to offer transport for cross-border surgery

Labour leader Alan Kelly said ‘there’s a huge difference’ between ‘bloody well visors and proper masks’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Kelly calls on Minister for Health and Nphet to give guidance on different levels of protection

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said she was very alarmed by the Tánaiste’s ’aggressive approach’ on RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live show. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Martin accuses Sinn Féin leader of constantly seeking to undermine Government

Mattie McGrath TD during a press briefing by the independent Rural group at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent TD said ‘I want to profoundly apologise’ for querying CMO’s whereabouts

The registered address for Polymetrika International Inc is a  residential home in Ottawa, according to company records. Photograph: Aedan Helmer

Department of Education made payment to Canadian company without tendering process

Just  15 per cent of babies are still being exclusively breast-fed by the time they are six months old. Photograph: iStock

Ryan says breastfeeding ‘very difficult for a man to talk about’

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny introduced the Dying with Dignity Bill in the Dáil on Thursday evening. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister says time needed to consider complex issues of most fundamental importance

 Fianna Fáil TD John Lahart suggested local authorities be given significant budgets for fantastic public lighting displays that people could safely admire.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Government must acknowledge people’s anger at impact of pandemic, TD says

Norma Foley  again apologised to Leaving Certificate students for the errors in coding “that should not have occurred”. Photograph: Education Department /PA Wire

Students who get alternative offer can stay in current course for year, Foley says

Mary Butler said 7 per cent of people on the Covid sick pay were confirmed cases, 82 per cent were a probable risk. File photograph: Getty images

Majority on benefit a ‘probable risk’ rather than confirmed case of virus – Minister

The Taoiseach told Danny Healy-Rae to ‘cop on’. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Martin claims Danny Healy-Rae consistently trying to ‘undermine public health message’

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

SF leader seeks social housing scheme Minister promised to launch in September

“These are errors which should not have occurred. However, the error will not disadvantage any student,” Minister for Education Norma Foley said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Government will work with colleges to give places to those who missed out

Michael McGrath told Sinn Féin spokeswoman Mairéad Farrell to ‘reserve final judgment until you see the actual allocation on Budget day’. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons /Irish Times

SF express concern that if pandemic lasts two to three years allocation is ‘real cut per capita’

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: ‘he had fulfilled his responsibilities which was how 89,000 mortgage and loan holders got payment breaks.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty claims Fine Gael party is ‘too close to big finance and banks’

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe  said many workers  starting new jobs while remote working was encouraged   would not have the opportunity to meet  peers and learn from them. Image: iStock.

Minister concerned workers will miss out on picking up knowledge gained sitting among colleagues

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned that there will be no Irish forestry industry by the end of October or November unless legislation before the Dáil dealing with licence appeals is passed.  File photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg.

Taoiseach says no forestry industry left within months unless licence appeals dealt with

Prof Brian Mac Craith will head up the 11-person commission alongside a former Guardian editor and the founder of Storyful. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimmons

New body established by Government includes journalists, academics, entrepreneurs

Taosieach Micheál Martin said he was not at all happy that former ministers ‘would be taking up positions’ in the area they had responsibility for ‘immediately after or within months of having left office’. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Dáil hears ethics laws to be reviewed as SF leader critcises ‘cosy’ links between Government and banks

 The demolishing of the O’Rahilly home at Herbert Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Iconic and historic locations such as this should be preserved or incorporated,’ Martin says

Minister of State Anne Rabbitte acknowledged there was ‘some way to go before disability services can be fully restored’. Photograph: iStock

There has been repeated criticism of delay in resumption of supports which have not yet been fully restored due to Covid-19

A charity can claim tax relief on any donation above €250 but the foundation is asking that tax relief on donations more than €5,000 should go to the donor.

Community Foundation Ireland appeals for change to rules ‘hampering’ philanthropy

Infectious diseases consultant Professor Sam McConkey warned, however, that a test being used ‘here and there’ is no guarantee ‘that it actually works well’. Photograph: iStock

HSE monitoring project for test claimed to have 97 per cent accuracy

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting Chief Medical Officer. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Glynn urges public to reduce contacts, with 212 more cases in Dublin and 54 in Cork

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has warned he could not make a commitment on the fast-tracking of the extension of the Luas light rail line to Bray. File photograph:   Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Minister warns local authorities not to allow development on ‘speculative’ projects

Minister of State Pippa Hackett said, ‘the NTA will commission analysis of other potential metro routes in Dublin, such as a metro to the south east or to the south west.’ Photograph: iStock

Minister says work beginning to ‘review and refresh’ national transport strategy

Last year then minister for heritage Josepha Madigan suspended the licences pending further study into the prevalence of the disease among the hare and rabbit populations. Photograph: iStock

TD expresses concern about prevalence of deadly RHD2 virus in hare population

Minister for Foreign Affairs  Simon Coveney: Progress on fisheries has been “disappointing” and “progress on an overall trade deal is linked to progress on fisheries”. Photograph:  Tom Honan/PA

‘Trust and relationships like everything in politics are what matter here’

Eamon Ryan said the right-to-die legislation ‘hasn’t been discussed at Cabinet and we haven’t discussed it yet with our own party’. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill /The Irish Times

Bill to allow terminally ill decide timing of their own death to be debated next week

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said that of the 830 new acute beds announced 409 are actually already in place.

Alan Kelly says almost 1,000 of 1,500 hospital beds already in place

Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for Transport. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton says it is looking at testing in line with EU proposal

Clare TD Cathal Crowe said ‘our country has one army and one army only’ during a Dáil debate.

Fianna Fáil’s Cathal Crowe says Ireland has ‘one Army only’ who wear national uniform

Senator Malcolm Byrne said there was a ‘serious shortage’ of staff in the Data Protection Commissioner’s office. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

More than €2 million underspend in data protection office over recruitment delays

 The implementation of a testing system at Irish airports “has been difficult because we’ve been getting different advices”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister says it is ‘imperative’ to retain international connectivity through Shannon and Cork

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