Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Michael McGrath has given little away but his leanings would tend towards openness

At present, data centres use 11 per cent of Ireland’s electricty grid capacity, but this is due to rise to 28 per cent by 2030. Photograph: iStock

Committee hears call for moratorium on new data centres while more alternative energy sourced

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien believes the way to get a handle on rising house prices is  by ‘increasing supply’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Inside Politics: Busy week of policy discussion ahead as personality crises take back seat

Data centres currently represent 11 per cent of the national grid capacity. Photograph: Alan Betson

Average data centre uses as much electricity as a small city like Kilkenny, academic says

The number of courts equipped with the technology needed to hold remote hearings is to  more than double during the course of this year, according to the Courts Service. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Public consultation told more courtrooms needed in Dublin, particularly in Tallaght

President Michael D Higgins: The leaders of the four main Christian churches on this island were completely unaware there was any problem over the President’s attendance until The Irish Times began reporting on the issue on September 14th.  Photograph: Maxwells

Warnings were either missed or ignored or there was a breakdown in communications

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will chair the UN Security Council meeting on Friday with a focus on the critical issues of climate and security. Photograph: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

Taoiseach to give speech on climate and security to UN Security Council on Friday

Labour TD Ivana Bacik: said feedback from renters was that people continued to struggle, find the rent levels ‘soul-destroying and demoralising’ and are under a constant fear of eviction. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Opposition urges Government to back three-year rent freeze to combat rising prices

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 horticultural and mushroom-growing sectors say they have been thrown into crisis by the sudden cessation of peat production by Bord na Móna. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister does not say if peat would be Irish or imported from other countries

Pope Francis and President Michael D Higgins   in Rome: The Government is expected to send a Minister as a delegate to the Armagh church service marking a centenary of partition and creation of Northern Ireland. Photograph:  Maxwells/Vatican

President said title of service marking partition was not a ‘neutral statement politically’

President Michael D Higgins presenting  Pope Francis  with a ‘fisherman’s stick’ made on Inis Mór. Photograph: Maxwells/Vatican

The pontiff was presented with ‘fisherman’s stick’ made on Inis Mór

President Higgins criticised both Mr Bruton’s interpretation of the constitution and also the tone of his reference to credit unions. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Former taoiseach says he stands over initial interpretation of the Constitution

President Michael D Higgins at the Quirinal Palace in Rome this week. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire

John Bruton says Michael D Higgins should reverse decision to decline invite to event queen attending

Pope Francis and President Michael D Higgins meeting in the Vatican, May 2017. Photograph: PA Wire

President will also talk about climate change in his third meeting with pontiff

President Michael D Higgins at the graves of Italian philosopher and writer Antonio Gramsci and English poet John Keats in Rome. Photograph: Maxwells

President rejects suggestion he is snubbing the queen and hits back at DUP criticism

President Michael D Higgins with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle during the President’s state visit to Britain in 2014. Photograph: Alan Betson

Michael D Higgins rejects accusations of snub after declining to attend service with queen

The DUP has questioned whether President Michael D Higgins is ‘snubbing’ events marking Northern Ireland’s centenary. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Peter Weir writes to Michael D Higgins over decision not to attend church service

President Michael D Higgins and other non-executive presidents during the press conference of the Arraiolos Group meeting in Rome. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire

President says Europe also needs to learn from ‘inadequate response’ to financial crisis

A file image of a poster outside Government Buildings in Dublin opposing the Ceta trade deal. Photograph: Getty

Green Party member opposes deal, meaning committee cannot make a recommendation

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins visiting  the Terme di Diocleziano, which was the largest public bathing complex in ancient Rome. Photograph:  Maxwells

President has arrived in Rome for four-day visit to the Italian capital and the Vatican, where he will meet Pope Francis

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly with recently elected Dublin Bay South TD Ivana Bacik at the Labour think-in at the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy, Co Kildare

Labour leader says there is ‘huge space’ for party in post-Covid transition period

Their overall finding was that the Government scored a C+ or moderate progress in the first year of the Coalition. Photograph: iStock

Waste policies receive 8.5 out of 10 but agriculture and forestry given just four

Katherine Zappone. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fine Gael rank-and-file surprised that party leaders went out on limb for former minister

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Fianna Fáil think-in  in Co Cavan. Photograph: Conor McCabe/PA Wire

Zappone controversy a recurring theme at Fianna Fáil think-in, with some TDs claiming the Taoiseach has downplayed the issue

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Fianna Fáil think-in at the Slieve Russell Hotel. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Some TDs say party could be thrown into fresh crisis over Coveney vote next week

The outside of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/The Irish Times

Micheál Martin says it was inappropriate to let in camera crew but not patients’ partners

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says Fianna Fáil TDs will be expected to vote against the Sinn Féin motion. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil TDs who defy whip or abstain from vote face six-month suspension

  Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Fianna Fáil  meeting last night, at the Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan, where he heard some strong criticism of his performance. Photograph: Conor McCabe/PA Wire

TDs and Senators asked to hand over phones before entering meeting room

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Fianna Fáil think-in at the Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan. Photograph: Conor McCabe/PA Wire

Party report made ‘fair points’ on some failings and weaknesses, Martin concedes

Taoiseach Micheal Martin at the Fianna Fail think-in, taking place at the Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan. Photograph: Conor McCabe/PA Wire

Attendees at Cavan event asked to hand over their mobile phones for the duration of discussion

DUP leader  Jeffrey Donaldson. Photograph: DUP/PA Wire

Jeffrey Donaldson threatens to collapse Stormont over Northern Ireland protocol

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin is likely to face severe criticism at the party’s think-in in Co Cavan. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Taoiseach Micheál Martin expected to come under fire at party think-in

Katherine Zappone: several committee members said they would look for her to appear via video link from New York. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Coveney could face a motion of no-confidence when Dáil resumes next week

Micheál Martin: ‘There can be no doubt in the public’s mind about how appointments are made by Government in future.’ Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

There can be ‘no doubt’ in public’s mind about how appointments are made, says Martin

Sinn Féin has called on the Taoiseach to state whether he has confidence in Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

TD says ‘all options on table’ surrounding Coveney’s involvement in Zappone row

Simon Coveney told a meeting of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday morning that he had ‘raised the possibility’ with Katherine Zappone that she might fill the role but did not offer her the job.

Oireachtas committee questions Minister over UN special envoy controversy

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: Texts deleted by Mr Coveney are not understood to form part of the tranche as no separate record was kept of them.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/ PA Wire

Release to include text and email correspondence between officials, Coveney and Zappone

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly says the vast majority of young people decided to trust the vaccines. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

High take-up of vaccine among young cohort cited as major factor in falling case numbers

The Housing for All plan says up to 2,500 empty properties will be purchased and resold as family and individual homes during the lifetime of the strategy. Photograph:  Yui Mok/PA

Higher charges for homes that lie idle among tough measures expected in October budget

Simon Coveney is still willing to explain all the circumstances involved in Katherine Zappone’s appointment. File photograph: PA

FF remain out of sorts despite Coveney and Varadkar being rattled over Zapppone saga

Taoiseach suggests former independent TD should provide record of correspondence over envoy job

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has indicated a willingness  to attend another Oireachtas committee meeting to discuss the proposed Katherine Zappone UN  appointment. Photograph: PA

‘You cannot erase history,’ states former Labour minister and architect of legislation

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney was willing to ‘fully address’ any issues that lingered over the envoy controversy. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Tánaiste denies Zappone lobbied him about UN special envoy role in text message

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has written to the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Charlie Flanagan. File photograph: Collins

Tánaiste apologises for failure to release texts as Cowen says Taoiseach needs to act as Zappone controversy continues

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: said he had  deleted phone texts between himself, Mr Varadkar and Ms Zappone because his phone had been hacked.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Texts reveal ‘apparent inconsistencies’ in Minister’s account of Zappone’s appointment

Katherine Zappone’s first text to Leo Varadkar on July 16th explicitly asks him about the UN role and said she was expecting to hear from Simon Coveney. File photograph: The Irish Times

Three political protagonists still have some explaining to do on botched UN appointment

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney speaking to the media in Dublin city centre on Wednesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Tánaiste first made aware of UN special envoy post 11 days before Cabinet approval

Former minister Katherine Zappone asked Tánaiste Leo Varadkar about her taking up a United Nations special envoy position 11 days before the Cabinet approved her nomination. Photograph: Tom Honan

Sinn Féin TD accuses Simon Coveney of changing his story about deleted texts

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘I don’t do Government business by text, that would be known. I engage with people.’ Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

‘I engage with people,’ says Martin responding to report of Coveney’s deleted texts

Taliban fighters in Kabul celebrate on Tuesday  after the US pulled all its troops out of Afghanistan. Photograph: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Afghan refugee in Ireland fears for boys stranded in Kabul on visit to grandparents

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney arrives for a Cabinet meeting at Dublin Castle on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister mentioned position to Tánaiste in text exchange 10 days before announcement

Kerry Mountain Rescue Team during a rescue operation

Lockdown has inspired people to embrace the outdoors but ill-equipped climbers are taking to the hills in pursuit of ‘Instagram mo(...)

Workers will be able to return to offices as part of the proposals being considered by senior Ministers. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Government to press ahead with easing even if full Nphet criteria for reopening not met

Jeffrey Donaldson was in Dublin on Friday for his first meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin since he became DUP leader earlier this summer. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Mechanisms exist in EU-UK trade agreement to resolve issues, Taoiseach says

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson on his way into Government  Buildings on Friday afternoon. Photograph Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

DUP leader enters meeting with Taoiseach intent on setting out reality of situation in North

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien: ‘I have given local authorities the ability to buy more land. I am asking them to deliver more public homes.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Document to be launched next week with ‘massive emphasis on affordable housing’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘We can certainly see lifting of restrictions in terms of entertainment and theatre and the arts in September.’ Photograph: iStock

Office working and confirmations set to resume while rules on entertainment ease

Alone estimates that almost 60,000 new homes will be needed for older people who wish to move from their family home to one which is more appropriate in terms of space and design to their age and their needs. Photograph: iStock

New model required to cater for needs of growing number of elderly, according to charity

Four universities – TCD, UCD, NUI Galway and UCC – are taking part in the Covid-19 study, each of which will employ different types of tests, both random and serial.

TCD, UCD, NUI Galway and UCC to test 8,000 in autumn in search of early-warning system

French and Afghan citizens being evacuated to France in a French military plane, at Abu Dhabi airport. Photograph: Etat Major des Armees via AP

Evacuation mission ended minutes after two suicide bombs killed and injured dozens outside Kabul airport gates

Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher has objected to the delay. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Publication of review of the 2020 general election has been postponed by a week

Sinn Féin’s Claire Kerrane has said she would like to see the current PUP rates stay in place until the end of the year at least.   File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party also warns against plan to transition some recipients to jobseeker’s allowance

It is estimated that as many as 5,000 affordable homes could be constructed on private residential estates with Land Development Agency involvement.  Photograph:  David Davies/PA

Up to 5,000 affordable homes could be kickstarted on privately owned sites

Former minister Katherine Zappone and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: “It has not been a good week, and the public’s perception of the Government has become quite negative,”  says Government Chief Whip Jack Chambers. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Department challenges claim Fáilte Ireland unable to get clarity on hospitality rules

The queue for the walk-in Covid-19 Vaccine clinic at  the National Show Centre, Cloghran, Swords. Photograph: Alan Betson

Cowen calls on Government to ‘get back to the drawing board’ in relation to guidelines

Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said ‘personal responsibility’ was important in the context of the pandemic. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Micheál Martin makes first public comment about Merrion Hotel event

Irish farming has long argued that its dairy sector is the most sustainable in the world. Photograph: Getty

Sustainability is the buzzword of the Food Vision 2030 plan for agrifood export expansion

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

Fragmentation of electoral landscape to come more into play as Sinn Féin advances

TCD observatory’s report calls for a clarification of the relationship between the Government and Nphet and the decision-making process

TCD group describe ‘significant lack of transparency’ in key decisions during pandemic

When the rains stop reservoirs run dry, water shortages loom, while forest fires are more likely to happen. File photograph: Getty

‘Reality is somebody is going to have to advance a serious amount of money to Irish Water’

Des O’Malley: ‘His contribution to public life . . . was extensive and meaningful.’ Photograph: DAVE MEEHAN

Progressive Democrats founder believed in ‘principles that are eternal truths’, Mary Harney tells congregation

The Housing for All publication was due to be published next Tuesday but has been delayed

Housing for All publication is held back until late August or early September by Government

A spokesperson for Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said the launch of the policy was being put back in order to allow for more work to be done on the package of reforms next month. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

TDs criticise failure to publish plan that had been due next week

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Micheál Martin says those who committed murder ‘should be subject to justice’

Micheál Martin: “The reality is that the Taoiseach is doing a good job and getting a good response from the public. It is sheer futility to say he should be replaced now”

Alliance of Fianna Fáil TDs do not believe he will lead party into next election

Alleged inhumane practices surrounding the slaughter of horses in the UK ‘would never happen in Ireland’

Department of Agriculture officials comment on BBC documentary at Dáil committee

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly and Ivana Bacik. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Bacik may have been ‘ideal candidate’ but there are signs Alan Kelly is making progress

Tractor and trailer haul turf near Ferbane and Boora Bog in Offaly. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The rapid shutdown of the peat industry has brought a new focus on clean energy, though some workers are concerned about how the ‘(...)

‘Negative comments are damaging our party and should cease,’ Taoiseach Micheál Martin tells the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Taoiseach proposes ‘think-in’ meeting in September to discuss election performances

Julian de Spáinn, the director of Conradh na Gaeilge, on Wednesday tweeted an image of his  digital Covid certificate with the incorrect spelling of his name. Photograph: via Twitter

Conradh na Gaeilge director says incorrect spelling will not be accepted at airports

A sign outside a restaurant in Rathgar, Dublin.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/ PA Wire

Ministers forced to issue several corrections over use of Covid cert for indoor dining

Association of Irish Local Government president Cllr Mary Hoade said the association did not condone any behaviour that deviated from the highest standards. File photograph: Mary Hoade/Twitter

Councillors alleged to have claimed expenses for gatherings in different locations happening at same time

Independent TD Mattie McGrath. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Auschwitz Memorial shares seven-part online Holocaust course with Independent TD

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin had said that people who recovered from Covid could receive a letter from their GP to dine indoors or travel. File photograph: iStock

Anger that no prior notice of announcement regarding use of letter was provided to GPs

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy says reopening indoor hospitality now would be a ‘reckless mistake’. File photograph: iStock

Government hopes to bring Bill before Dáil today to allow reopening begin by July 26th

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: he said   Micheál Martin was doing an “excellent job” at “a very difficult time”.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue calls on internal Fianna Fáil critics to ‘cop on’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: Unsurprisingly the vast majority of Ministers support him. Photograph: Getty Images

Growing number of TDs want Martin to step down before the next election

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at a National Day of Commemoration Ceremony in Dublin to honour Irish who died in wars or on service with the UN. Photograph: Tom Honan

Party TDs express disappointment at slowness of report and poor byelection showing

Ivana Bacik with Labour Party leader Alan Kelly at the RDS as she tops the poll in the Dublin Bay South byelection. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Some Fianna Fáil TDs say party’s worst ever performance raises leadership questions

Fianna Fáil candidate Deirdre Conroy with director of elections Jim O’Callaghan outside the count. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Jim O’Callaghan hints that Taoiseach may not lead party into next general election

Green Party candidate Claire Byrne with Minister Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Campaign for Dublin Bay South ‘energised’ the Greens, says party leader

Sinn Fein candidate Lynn Boylan. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Lynn Boylan achieved over 15% of first preferences in Dublin Bay South

Mr Martin was responding to a remark by Jim O’Callaghan  that Fianna Fáil would ‘have to think about’ if the Taoiseach should lead the party into the next general election. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Jim O’Callaghan will not say Martin will lead Fianna Fáil in next general election

Dublin Bay South byelection: workers seen at the count centre at the RDS, Dublin, on Friday. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Analysis: It’s all over bar the counting and Bacik looks to be coasting home to victory

 Ivana Bacik, Labour Party candidate in Dublin Bay South byelection. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan polls second and Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan takes third

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said  the use of antigen testing on a ‘population-wide basis’ is under consideration.

Expectation law to enable indoor hospitality will be fast-tracked through Oireachtas next week

Dublin Bay South byelection on polling day. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

General turnout unlikely to top 40%, as Bacik and Geoghegan considered frontrunners

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