The number of new Covid-19 cases dropped to 1,380 on Sunday, following the nine-month high of 2,180 cases recorded on Saturday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Total of 470 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Sunday night, including 74 in ICU

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl added that changing the accessibility of politicians would amount to allowing the ‘criminals who carry out these heinous acts to win’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Attack will not change access to politicians here, Ó Fearghaíl predicts

Ard Gréine Court: HSE chief executive Paul Reid says the organisation has ‘been advised by the gardaí to hold in terms of publication on the basis of their own investigations [...] I have to respect that’. Photograph: Joe Dunne

Unpublished investigation finds at least 18 residents were subjected ‘to sustained sexual abuse’

The Department of Health said there were 459 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospital on Sunday (up 53 in 24 hours).  Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach and Minister say Coalition not contemplating imposing new restrictions

Delivery of broadband to rural homes by  end of 2022 could be reduced to between 130,000 and 150,000  – down from the original goal of more than 200,000. Photograph: iStock

Committee heard agency dealt with more than 3,000 cyber incidents in 2020

Sligo-Leitrim Independent TD Marian Harkin, critical of the overall package for agriculture in the budget.

Farmers had expected €49m boost in budget this year to help sector decarbonise

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party meeting that the decision to send ministers to the service of reflection and hope was ‘in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement’. Photograph: Daragh Mac Sweeney/Provision

Many FF TDs supported President’s decision to not attend religious ceremony

Budget2020: Ten big spends  that didn’t make the headlines. Photograph: iStock

Extra funding to boost farm safety, flood prediction and video games among others

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Photo

Ramped-up spending to cover social welfare, housing, health, education and easing tax burden

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar pictured at Government Buildings on Tuesday.

Housing measures in Budget defended by Tánaiste amid opposition criticism

The original protocol defaulted to ‘excessive rigidity,’ David Frost said, which is now ’needlessly harming’ Northern Ireland. Photograph: Aris Oikonomou/AFP via Getty Images

Latest British demands on Brexit ‘very hard to accept’, says Varadkar

Richard Boyd-Barrett, and Paul Murphy criticised the Budget measures. Photograph: Alan Betson

Budget will not effectively respond to costs of living, housing or health says Boyd-Barrett

The Tánaiste says he cannot confirm what will or won’t not be included in the budget at this stage as ‘there are still some decisions being made’. Photograph: iStock

Childcare costs a ‘top priority’ as Ministers work to finalise budget details

Tuesday’s budget will be very different from the one announced in the teeth of the Covid-19 pandemic emergency last October

Taoiseach Micheál Martin talks to the media at the Grand Central Hotel during a day-long visit to Belfast. Photograph: Mark Marlow/PA Wire

DUP leader says Government has ‘stepped up’ but he still regrets President’s decision not to go

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has issued the strongest signal yet that next week’s budget could include measures to help families with the cost of childcare.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Tánaiste signals budget may include help for families on issue but that nothing finalised

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe says  not signing up to the OECD agreement would have brought reputational and economic risks. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Exchequer set to lose €2bn in tax receipts when OECD deal comes into effect

Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor: ‘I want to thank those who have supported me during the past number of days and for your kind messages of support.’ Photoghraph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Cork East TD says meeting with Martin over road projects in NDP was ‘a success’

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys says the commission ‘has unambiguously established that the current State pension system is not sustainable into the future’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Report also recommends allowing people to defer their pension until the age of 70

CervicalCheck campaigners led by Lorraine Walsh, Stephen Teap and Vicky Phelan leaving Leinster House. Photograph: Tom Honan

Active claims currently number 12,000, including 305 cases relating to CervicalCheck

Forty-one legal cases in relation to CervicalCheck have concluded so far – 33 in relation to claimants themselves and eight in relation to family members. Photograph: iStock

State Claims Agency director to provide detail on compensation and legal costs paid out

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said it is the ‘right decision’, ‘made in the interests of our country’. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Firms making less than €750m a year will be taxed at previous rate of 12.5%

James O’Connor said he will wait to see what happens in the meeting before making any decision on whether or not to quit the Fianna Fáil whip. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Cork East TD says he was ‘misled’ over road projects; unrest at FG meeting over NDP

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath is understood to have given little away about his plans for Budget 2022 at the meeting.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

McGrath fields views of backbench TDs on budget during parliamentary party meeting

Chief executive of the National Treasury Management Agency Conor O’Kelly: ‘When the crisis hit, we had fiscal room when we needed it most and, in the years ahead we need to create that room again.’  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Conor O’Kelly to hail increase in disposable income and add note of caution in front of PAC

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien had written to Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin in August seeking the church’s support for the Government’s proposals to tackle homelessness. Photograph: Tom Honan/ The Irish Times

Church leadership says its recognises homelessness as ‘key social justice challenge’

Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor said he was lied to ‘by a multitude of colleagues’. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

James O’Connor said he may consider resigning Fianna Fáil whip over NDP

Mark Foley said Eirgrid expects ‘to have a secure supply over the winter period’. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Mark Foley says scenario ‘very unlikely’ and he expects a secure supply over winter period

CRU’s chairwoman, Aoife MacEvilly, will outline how  the ongoing decline of Corrib gas production will leave Ireland dependent on a single supply source. Photograph: Alan Betson

Commission to urge Government to consider LNG as domestic energy sources dwindle

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson: the woman told him she was traumatised during the mandatory hotel quarantine process. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Donaldson outlined constituent’s criticisms in email to Minister for Health

The Government has committed to increasing carbon tax to €100-per-tonne by 2030. Photograph: iStock

New increase in petrol and diesel set to kick in on Budget night

A review of the transport strategy for the Greater Dublin Region will look at the proposed Navan rail line and Dart Underground. Expansion of the Luas lines are also under consideration. Photograph: Eric Luke

What does the Government plan mean for transport, housing, climate action and jobs?

Pictured at the National Development Plan 2021-2030 launch at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar;  Taoiseach Micheál Martin; Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Eamon Ryan: Not all National Development Plan projects will ‘necessarily’ go ahead

Almost half of the €1 billion could be taken up with welfare increases and changes, while there is pressure to use much of the remaining fund to tackle soaring waiting lists across the health service. Photograph: iStock

Room to manoeuvre in €4.7bn package limited with €1bn available for new spending

Leo Varadkar insisted in meetings with business representatives that Ireland remains a good investment location despite the uncertainty over the State’s 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Tánaiste used US visit to outline how State needs assurances minimum tax rate will not change

 Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar: ‘We think [remote working] is going to be a big part of the future.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste says most of €500m in tax measures will be used to offset inflation impact on take-home pay

 Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar on the proposed pandemic bonus: ‘It’s something we want to do. We think it’s right that the extraordinary work done by so many people is recognised in some way.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Talks about reward for efforts during pandemic could go beyond budget day, says Tánaiste

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he is not concerned that the cost of a ‘pandemic bonus’  could threaten his party’s plans for a tax and welfare package in the upcoming budget.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ways to reward retail staff for work during Covid-19 being explored, Varadkar says

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Trade Leo Varadkar: ‘We’d certainly need to be assured that it would actually be implemented by all of the countries signing up to it.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Tánaiste addresses US business leaders amid pressure to sign up to OECD deal

Angela Merkel long-flagged her intention to step down as chancellor and make way for a potential successor ahead of the German election. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty

Outgoing German chancellor is a strong ally and warm, down-to-Earth person – Tánaiste

The Tánaiste said changes to the Local Authority Home Loan Scheme will make mortgages affordable for more people. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘Help-to-buy is there, and it’s going to remain in place for a little bit longer,’ says Tánaiste

Health workers and gardaí have sought inclusion in any pandemic bonus scheme. Photograph: iStock

Tánaiste says Government exploring options of tax credits, extra bank holiday

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘Ultimately we decide what our income tax rate is...’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

‘Through boom and bust’, Ireland’s rate has remained constant, says Tánaiste

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it was still undecided whether the Government would sign up to the tax deal. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

OECD asked to change text of agreement to ensure tax rate will not exceed 15% in future

Leo  Varadkar will   take part in a roundtable meeting with the US chamber of commerce during his two-day visit to the US capital. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste’s Washington visit comes as State faces pressure to sign up to OECD tax deal

Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar: going to Washington DC. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste’s heads to US as future of Ireland’s corporate tax rate remains uncertain

Taoiseach Micheal Martin speaking at the UN Council for Foreign Relations in New York in recent days. File photograph:  Don Pollard/CFR/PA Wire

Remarks come as Pfizer and BioNTech say their Covid-19 vaccine is safe for use for children aged 5 to 11

Taoiseach Micheál Martin visiting NBC. Photograph: Cormac McQuinn

Taoiseach met with executives and was offered tour of studios at Rockefeller Plaza

President Michael D Higgins refused an invitation from the five main Christian churches to attend the  Armagh  service. Photograph: Maxwells

Move is a display of difference with the President, say some Government sources

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘Had we made more progress in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, our societies would have been more resilient, better prepared to weather the storm, and lives would have been spared.’ Photograph: Peter Foley/Pool/AFP via Getty

Covid-19 pandemic ‘caught the world off-guard’, Martin tells UN General Assembly

‘I think we’re going to have a challenging winter ahead of us,’ said the Taoiseach. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach says rules out ‘premature pull-back’ on PUP due to staff shortages

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘The existing scheme is clearly not adequate and there is a need for an enhanced scheme.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

FG representatives sought meeting following intensifying pressure from constituents for solution

Taoiseach Micheál Martin presides as president during a meeting of the UN Security Council, on September 23rd, 2021, in New York. Photograph: John Minchillo/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Micheál Martin says Covid-19 pandemic has ‘masked a lot of the issues’ around Brexit

Taoiseach   Micheál Martin presides as president during a meeting of the UN Security Council   in New York. Photograph: John Minchillo/EPA

Micheál Martin insists proposal not doomed despite opposition from Russia and China

Brooks’ plans to hold five concerts in Croke Park in 2014 led to more than 300 objections from local residents. .Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Micheál Martin said Croke Park has learned a lot since 2014 in engagement with local residents

Micheal Martin: climate change is the defining challenge of our generation. Photograph:  Don Pollard/CFR/PA Wire

Russia and China express strong opposition to Ireland’s proposal to extend remit

Speaking in New York Mr Martin suggested that retail workers are to be included in efforts to reward those on the front-line of Covid-19.  Photograph: iStock

Bonus for public sector could top €1bn, warns Minister for Public Expenditure

A small number of protesters gathered outside the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s home in the south inner city in Dublin for a period on Sunday afternoon. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Protest at Varadkar’s home prompts calls for law against ‘intimidation’ of public figures

Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN, Geraldine Byrne Nason, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney at the opening ceremony of the UN General Assembly in New York. Photograph: Twitter

Asked if Zappone should have appeared at committee Minister says she is ‘private citizen’

The British government has sought to row back from a  minister’s suggestion that US president Joe Biden does not understand the issues surrounding the Northern Ireland protocol.  Photograph: Adam Schultz/The White House/AFP  via Getty Images

US president understands Northern Ireland protocol ‘very well’, Taoiseach says

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the UN Council for Foreign Relations in New York: Ireland’s diplomats are “working very hard” to get agreement on  the link between climate and security.  Photograph: Don Pollard/CFR/PA

Taoiseach to use Security Council presidency to mobilise international diplomacy on issue

Joe Biden has warned British prime minister boris Johnson that that the Belfast Agreement must not be put at risk by the difficulties in reaching agreement on post-Brexit trade rules between the UK and EU. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

UK minister claimed US president does not ‘fully appreciate’ complexity of protocol

Donegal residents protest outside Leinster House in support of a redress scheme for people affected by mica and pyrite defects in their homes. Photograph: Conor O’Mearain / Collins Photos

McGrath appeals to Opposition not to pass judgment before enhanced proposals issued

Tánaiste indicates local companies may be able retain 12.5% tax rate

State would not have certainty on future rate had it signed up to OECD deal, Donohoe says

The US president  Joe Biden speaks during the United Nations General Assembly  in New York. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

US pledges to double funds to address climate crisis in developing nations

Taoiseach Micheál Martin attending the opening ceremony of the UN General Assembly 2021 in New York. Photograph: Irish Foreign Ministry Twitter account

Taoiseach says he respects the President’s judgement, and that Higgins has given ‘a lot of time and energy to commemoration’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin attending the UN general assembly with Ireland’s ambassador to the UN, Geraldine Byrne Nason, and  Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Photograph: Department of Foreign Affairs/Twitter

Martin cites ‘challenges ahead’ with energy supplies but rules out banning new data centres

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterpriser Leo Varadkar (centre): ‘What has worked for us is having a low rate of corporation profit tax.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Tánaiste says Ireland’s 12.5% rate would remain for businesses with turnover less than €750m

The names of almost 3,000 people killed in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania are inscribed around two pools in the footprint of the twin World Trade Center towers in New York. Photograph: Cormac McQuinn

Micheál Martin visits site of attacks as part of trip to New York for United Nations meetings

Former minister Katherine Zappone has turned down an invitation to appear before an Oireachtas committee to discuss the special envoy controversy. Photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach says former minister is a ‘private citizen’ as he seeks to draw line under the matter

Taoiseach Micheál Martin with  New York governor Kathy Hochul  at their meeting in New York. Photograph: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Martin says he will not be making commitments ‘one way or the other’ to companies

The United States is set to relax EU and UK travel restrictions for vaccinated passengers, according to reports. Photograph: iStock

Passengers will have to show proof of vaccination and negative test from previous three days

  Taoiseach Micheál Martin:  He will address the UN General Assembly on Friday. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography.

Martin to use Ireland’s presidency of Security Council to urge action to prevent conflicts linked to climate change

Competing promises on the State pension regime was a key feature of last year’s general election campaign. Photograph: iStock

Paul Kenny raises questions about Sinn Féin proposals for changing pensions regime

The cost of petrol is expected to rise by €1.28 from October 13th due to the increase in carbon tax. Photograph: iStock

Department of Finance Tax Strategy Papers outline estimated increases to cost of fuels

Laura Magahy last week resigned as executive director of the Sláintecare implementation group. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Regional structures ‘critical enabler’ of reforms, Magahy and Keane told Donnelly

 HSE chief executive Paul Reid is expected to tell the committee that there had been 5,135 deaths due to Covid-19 as of September 8th. Photograph: Leah Farrell/ Photocall Ireland

More than 350 surplus ventilators have been sent to five hospitals in India

 Marc MacSharry  has written to party colleagues criticising how Fianna Fáil is being run and saying he has “no option but to resign the party whip”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Sligo-Leitrim TD votes no confidence in Simon Coveney and criticises how party is run

The company tasked with building the State’s high-speed rural broadband network still believes the project can be delivered on time or earlier, as well as on budget.

National Broadband Ireland chief to say project could even be completed early

 Sinn Féin leader  Mary Lou McDonald with colleagues:  Party would increase employers’ PRSI by four percentage points over the course of several budgets to help fund the proposal. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney

McDonald says retirement at 65 ‘mark of a progressive and a civilised society’

Emirates Team New Zealand (right) competes against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli during race ten on day seven of the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland on March 17th, 2021. Photograph: Gilles Martin-Raget /AFP via Getty Images

Potential hosting of yacht race worth ‘full consideration’, says Catherine Martin

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar (left) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney speaking to the media at the Fine Gael think-in in Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister says he is embarrassed over ‘fiasco’ surrounding UN special envoy role

 Sinn Fein  leader  Mary Lou McDonald  at the  party think-in. Photograph: Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos

Sinn Féin leader does not rule out coalition with FG and FF but says government with neither best

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at the Trim Castle Hotel, in Trim, Co Meath, on Monday for the Fine Gael parliamentary party think-in. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Varadkar, Coveney and Donohue begin think-in with apology to parliamentary party

Tánaiste and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar at the Fine Gael parliamentary party think-in in  Trim, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister warns that increasing PRSI rate for self-employed could damage efforts to get people back to work

The contentious proposal from the Pensions Commission to help fund the delayed increase in qualification age is an increase in PRSI for the self-employed – from 4% to 11%.

Fine Gael fails to outline policy on changes to fund the delay in increasing qualification age

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton and Minister of State Damien English speaking to media at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting  in Trim,  Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘As a party we’re all about protecting people’s incomes,’ says Fine Gael leader

Fine Gael leader Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at the Trim Castle Hotel for the Fine Gael parliamentary party think-in. Photograph: Collins Dublin

Tánaiste admits to FG members that envoy issue has overshadowed party’s good work

The Taoiseach said he expected all Fianna Fáil TDs to support Simon Coveney should a motion of no confidence be tabled in the Dáil. Photograph: Conor McCabe/PA Wire

Martin says he expects all Fianna Fáil members to vote down proposed Dáil motion

Age Action said raising the pension age to 68 was futile while most workers still face mandatory retirement from their jobs at 65 and would not fix Ireland’s ‘ailing’ retirement system. Photograph: iStock

Pensions Commission set to recommend retirement age should not increase until 2028

Coveney has denied he effectively offered Ms Zappone the special envoy job before his officials carried out the work to create it, and that her contact to him amounted to lobbying. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

SF calls on Taoiseach to sanction Minister over Zappone special envoy appointment

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou  McDonald said that if the Taoiseach did not take action by sanctioning Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, her party would act. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

McDonald raises possibility of no-confidence motion if Martin fails to sanction Minister

School principals and teachers’ unions have complained about delays in getting public health advice and public health officials responding to reports of Covid-19 cases among students. Photograph: iStock

Some schools struggling to manage impact from surge in cases and close contacts

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald speaking to members of the media on the plinth of Leinster House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Simon Harris says move is merely attempt to ‘politicise’ situation

Gerard Craughwell has written to Charlie Flanagan, signalling his intention to seek another opportunity to question Simon Coveney. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Senator Gerard Craughwell wants to ask more questions about phone hacking

The documents show  Ms Zappone contacted Mr Coveney  several times seeking updates on the role; Mr Coveney has said she did not lobby for the position.

Minister to face Opposition questions over process that ‘stinks to high heaven’

  Katherine Zappone hosted an event at the Merrion Hotel for about 50 people which was attended by  Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Tom Honan

‘I saw the Tánaiste last eve, and he’s really excited about this too,’ former minister said in email

 Katherine Zappone says  she will not be taking up the role of UN special envoy.  Photograph: Niall Carson/ PA Wire

How it happened: Controversy over UN special envoy role

About 2,000 affordable homes are “on the drawing board” across Dublin city, an official said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Plan relies on private builders providing 170,000 of 300,000 new homes by 2030

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said the Government will face trouble at the next election if there are no solutions. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Government TDs hope improvements in housing will aid election next campaign

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