Some operators are not enforcing the regulations to ensure that only vaccinated patrons are entering their venues, says Donnelly. Photograph: Tom Honan

Compliance by hospitality sector key for restrictions to be avoided, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Living with Covid will mean substantial infection numbers for the foreseeable future

Those aged between 60 and 70 are likely to get boosters in mass vaccination centres

Covid-19 booster shots to be given to more than 800,000 aged between 60 and 80

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD: The easiest thing is to shut down the entire country. The next easiest thing is to reopen it completely. Everything in between is going to be messy.

While pandemic landscape can change abruptly, Ministers nervous but not terrified

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD arrives for a government cabinet meeting at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘There will be anomalies, it’s not one clear line across different sectors,’ Micheál Martin said

Reduced capacity or social distancing ‘won’t work’ for nightclubs,  said event manager Buzz O’Neill. Photograph: iStock

Vaccine passes, contact tracing and face masks likely to be required under new rules

Medical guidance from the National Public Health Emergency Team was discussed by the three party leaders at Government Buildings late last night

Cabinet to reflect on advice relayed from National Public Health Emergency Team


Senior Government figures strongly opposed to media commission recommendation

President Michael D Higgins and Queen Elizabeth at a banquet held at Windsor Castle in 2014. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pat Leahy: When statecraft stutters, a sense of the bigger picture is necessary

The Government will closely monitor the data this weekend before making a final decision next Monday or Tuesday.  Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/

Move could see vaccine certs remain in place as a requirement for indoor hospitality

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney arriving at Government Buildings, for a Cabinet meeting last week. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Acute concern over British intentions and impact on political stability in North

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 Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath: The fact the package did not grow as the improving state of the public finances  became clear means they  won a few internal battles. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA

Donohoe and McGrath held the line as fiscal position improved in recent days

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath at the Department of Finance on Monday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Christmas bonus to be paid in full as part of €4.7 billion package

British Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost:  will list the UK’s objections to the European Court of Justice role in a speech in Lisbon. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Coveney frustrated as Downing Street insists court enforcement of rules ‘a central issue’

Formidable campaigner: Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

For the party to seize power, it must expand its policies and silence lingering doubts

Almost half of all respondents  said the bonus  should be paid to frontline hospital and emergency services workers only. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/ Bloomberg

Bonus proposal has been subject of considerable political controversy in recent weeks

 Attorney General Paul Gallagher: Some legal colleagues believe he was unwise to continue representing former Independent News & Media directors after becoming Attorney General. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Stellar legal mind with ferocious output and common touch has become figure of criticism

The strongest opposition recorded by the poll is over higher taxes on fuel and energy (82%  opposed) and more expensive petrol/diesel cars (72%)

Concern over climate change does not seem to translate into enthusiasm to combat it

Voters are opposed to many potential climate action measures which would impact them personally. Photograph: Paul Scott

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll suggests major political obstacles for Government in meeting climate obligations

Support for the President’s decision is highest among older age groups. Photograph: Maxwells

More than two-thirds of respondents back President’s decision not to attend NI centenary

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘The vast majority of companies will not be impacted.’ Photograph: Daragh Mac Sweeney/Provision

As State set to accord with OECD 15% rate for multinationals, only quarter of voters agree

Sinn Féin has the support of almost a third of voters at 32 per cent. The poll totals 101% due to rounding up

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll shows 7% drop in satisfaction rating of Government

The overall picture of the opposition is one of domination by Sinn Féin, which voters see as by far the leading option for change. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Analysis: Mary Lou McDonald’s party now enjoys commanding lead over its main rivals

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe who is in Luxembourg for meetings with European finance ministers. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Success reported on having sticking-point phrase ‘at least 15%’ removed from draft text

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe who is in Luxembourg for meetings with European finance ministers. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Understood Government has been successful in having ‘at least 15%’ removed from draft text

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe confirms he received new draft text of the OECD agreement. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ireland under pressure to sign up to the OECD agreement to end State’s 12.5% rate

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach Micheál Martin with Ministers Michael McGrath and Eamon Ryan at the launch of the National Development Plan at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Monday

Putting climate-friendly projects first is clever but may see some road projects set aside

Fridays For Future activists participate in a climate strike march during the Pre-COP26 Summit in Milan, Italy on Friday. Photograph: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

For the Greens, climate action is priority, putting them at odds with other parties

The politics of energy are simple: people expect the Government to keep the lights on and to keep the price of power affordable.

Any winter plunge into darkness will test popular support for Green energy agenda

Ms Justice Mary Irvine said she fully understood the hardship, upset and distress this will cause to all those affected, litigants, their lawyers, victims and accused persons, but she had ‘no option’. File photograph: Tom Honan

Newly appointed judges unable to sit before November because they have not yet got warrants of appointment

Michael McGrath (left) and Paschal Donohoe arrive at Dublin Castle a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Photograph: Collins

Minister says decision depends on changes being made to OECD draft agreement

Warnings by public expenditure minister Michael McGrath that this could all cost in excess of a billion euros didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. Photograph: iStock

Inside Politics: Scheme likely to disappoint those who qualify, enraging those who don’t

A mica homeowners’ protest on Merrion Square, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Officials remain opposed to scheme that grants 100% redress for all affected houses

Martin Fraser appeared  before the committee but former minister Katherine Zappone has declined an invitation to attend. Screengrab: Oireachtas TV

But senior civil servant says ‘two, possibly three’ leak inquiries in the past failed to identify the source

While the HSE has hired more staff than ever before it is expected the organisation will fall far short of the 14,000 additional staff it had hoped to recruit this year. Photograph: Getty Images

One reason for the underspend is that the hiring of new staff is proceeding slower than expected

Mr Justice O’Donnell was called to the Bar in 1982 and appointed a senior counsel in 1995. Photograph: Collins Courts

Belfast-born judge to succeed Frank Clarke, who is due to retire on October 10th

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

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty  suggested   the Government should give every adult in the country a voucher for €200   which they could spend in the tourism and hospitality industry. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin wants €200 voucher for everyone in country and extra bank holiday introduced

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

Tánaiste  and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar: Could it really be the same politician who once warned with conviction of the scourge of auction politics, but who now seems more than happy to buy his way out of political trouble? Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Having lambasted Fianna Fáil for its profligacy, is Varadkar now losing the run of himself?

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has promised benefit for workers.

Tánaiste pledges statutory sick pay, flexible working and living wage

The Taoiseach speaks at the UN Council for Foreign Relations in New York. Photograph: Don Pollard/CFR/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Concern is growing that finances will be gobbled up quickly by pledges that Ministers are making daily

Labour leader Alan Kelly said: ‘The Government is genuinely facing a winter of discontent unless it acts on these issues, which affect people’s everyday lives and living standards.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Labour leader warns of ‘winter of discontent’ amid soaring cost of electricity and gas

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar's ‘strong view’ is that bonus payments or extra leave should not be limited to frontline workers in the health service. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Union claim for 10 days’ leave for health staff could cost €377m, HSE estimates

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 price of fuel and heating is set to become a significant political issue this autumn. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Tánaiste promises budgetary measures to alleviate impact of increased heating bills

President Michael D Higgins is “anxious we all move forward, with respect, and  will not be commenting further on this matter”. Photograph:  Maxwells/PA Wire

Foreign affairs and Áras crossed wires over invitation, Government sources suggest

Traffic volumes were high on all main routes in and out of the capital this morning as employers begin to welcome back employees. Photograph: Ellen O’Riordan

Returning office workers not required to reveal vaccination status, department says

President Higgins and Pope Francis in the Vatican. While the Government must give its consent when the President wishes to travel outside the State, the Áras operates a high degree of independence on its diary. Photograph: Getty Images

President had been considering whether he should attend North centenary event for some time

Fine Gael, if everyone keeps their word, will be in government for another three and a half years, so it is rather early to start talking about going into opposition. Photograph: Alan Betson

Parties need to partner better, stop fighting and tackle tax, defence and healthcare

Demonstrators at Leinster House on Wednesday, as  the Dáil returns after the summer break. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

FF’s Marc MacSharry votes against his party, likening it to ‘undemocratic totalitarian regime’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney leaving Government Buildings, Dublin, after a motion of no confidence in him was defeated. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Facts of the case are ignored as Dáil drama redraws dividing lines of Irish politics

Minister for Sport Catherine Martin is to write to the race organisers outlining the Government’s position. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Ministers not rejecting bid but need more time to do due diligence, says spokesman

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney faces a motion of no confidence in Dáil this evening. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister’s account of how Zappone was appointed will be interrogated by Opposition

Simon Coveney: He has argued that the  yacht race is third only to the Olympics and soccer World Cup in terms of scale for host countries. Photograph: Getty Images

Some officials believe State could face costs over €200m to host prestigious yacht race

Paschal Donohoe had said an agreement between the State and Malta would end ‘Single Malt’ arrangements. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Call comes as investigation shows Abbott apparently using ‘Single Malt’-type structure

Christian Aid says Abbott  books profits from around the world in its Irish companies before transferring them to Malta where it avails of a complex system of allowances and intercompany transfers. Photograph:  Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

Christian Aid charity says the company is transferring money from here to Malta

A view from the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland on January 29th, 2021. Photograph:  Gilles Martin-Raget/AFP via Getty Images

Concerns build about cost of underwriting project championed by Simon Coveney

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Fianna Fáil think-in in Co Cavan. He will seek to put unrest in the party behind him after last week’s lengthy internal discussions. Photograph:  Conor McCabe/PA

Analysis: there is an unsettling dynamic in FF over its leadership, while Fine Gael cannot seem to escape the consequences of its (...)

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said his TDs will vote with the Government in a Dáil motion of confidence in Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party leader says Green TDs will back Simon Coveney in Dáil confidence vote

‘The return of fiscal gravity was inevitable, and it is coming soon.’ File photograph: iStock

Pat Leahy: We once again face the question of whether we want to learn from past mistakes

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

  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

Laura Magahy, executive director of the Sláintecare programme office, resigned earlier this week. File photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach to seek meeting with Magahy and Keane ‘to get their perspective’ after resignations

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

No move against Martin by the decisive middle-ground TDs at Cavan event

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

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin at the party’s opening press conference of general election 2020. Photograph: Fran Veale

Lack of identity emerges as one of the most worrying issues for party to deal with

 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

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: sources say he is prepared to come out fighting. Photograph: Getty Images

‘There’s a group that want him gone in the morning. There’s a group very loyal to him. And then there’s a group in the middle’

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

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: He insists that Katherine Zappone did not lobby for the job, despite all appearances to the contrary. Photograph: Collins

Analysis: All versions of Zappone affair involve Government job for old colleague

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: Few in the Government can bring themselves to believe the almost comically botched appointment of this  former government minister to a low-profile – and hardly lucrative – role will cost Simon Coveney his job.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Role in peril over botched appointment as public sees political elite looking after its own

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will appear before the Oireachtas committee on Tuesday. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Three key questions Simon Coveney will face at foreign affairs committee

The release of 100 records were prompted by 20 Freedom of Information requests concerning Katherine Zappone’s appointment as UN special envoy

Former minister texted Coveney in March thanking him for ‘incredible opportunity’

Social Democrats co-leaders, Róisín Shortall (right) and Catherine Murphy speak to reporters at the party’s  pre-Dáil meeting on Monday. Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

Co-leaders, Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall, rule out merger with Labour Party

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at Thursday’s launch of Housing for All, the Government’s new housing plan for Ireland. Photograph: Maxwells

Hypocrisy, self-interest and another case of cronyism – surely we can do better than this

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien: Housing for All outlines plans to increase the supply of housing to  33,000 per year over the next decade. Photograph: Maxwells

Housing plan targeting social, affordable and cost-rental homes broadly welcomed

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 Housing Darragh O’Brien: boasts of “a massive expansion in the role of the State in providing affordable homes for purchase and rent, while building historic levels of new social housing”. Photograph: Maxwells/PA

Multiple evolving challenges in mass building plan a test for party’s core identity

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

Public transport will return  to operating at full seating capacity as and from Wednesday. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

Taoiseach announces shift from restrictions to ‘judgment and responsibility’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at Government Buildings: An evaluation of the State’s Covid-19 response should be undertaken. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Cases remain high, fears persist and U-turns may loom but nation breathes sigh of relief

Easing of restrictions: The Government’s plan will include the phased return to workplaces from September 20th. Photograph: iStock

Cabinet agrees to larger crowds to be permitted at sporting and cultural events

What the live music industry – despite the regular advocacy on its behalf by Minister for Arts Catherine Martin – has learned in recent weeks is that a lobbying campaign will get you heard, but it will not guarantee a decision in your favour. Photograph: Tom Honan

Reopening plans will push ahead, but caution will continue to be the watchword

Five-month-old Aqsa is carried by her father as her family arrives at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Photograph:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Kabul airport evacuations restart following bombings despite fear of further attacks

French president Emmanuel Macron chats to residents during a walkabout in Dublin city centre after a meeting at Government Buildings on August 26th. Photograph: Getty

Pat Leahy: Coalition is facing a choice between two unappealing alternatives

French president Emmanuel Macron at Trinity College Dublin: Citizens “want us to change a system” that enables multinationals to avoid tax while small businesses have to pay. Photograph:  Chris Bellew/Fennell

French president’s visit ends after positive talks that see agreement on Brexit and Afghan crisis

French president Emmanuel Macron speaking during a visit to Trinity College Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Pool/EPA

Irish officials contradict French president, saying French ‘were pushing us to sign’

French president Emmanuel Macron and Taoiseach Micheál Martin: Mr Martin thanked Mr Macron for France’s assistance in evacuating Irish citizens and their dependants from Kabul, and hailed the co-operation between Ireland and France. Photograph: Julien Behal

‘We will never let you down’ says French president after discussion with Taoiseach

It is understood that members of Nphet believe that somewhere between 85 to 90 per cent of over-16s will need to be fully vaccinated before any widespread easing of restrictions can be recommended. Photograph: iStock

Most over-16s must be vaccinated for Nphet to consider further easing of restrictions, say Coalition sources

Electric Picnic  2019: Laois County Council again ruled out this year’s event

Council says there is no provision in law to enable it to revisit refusal of event licence

Families evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Wednesday. Photograph: Jose Luis Magana/AP

Pentagon working to meet August 31st deadline as Irish mission nears end

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan urged anyone returning to school or college to be especially vigilant. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A further 2,051 Covid-19 cases confirmed as Tony Holohan says ‘high incidence’ in 16-29 age group

A file image of music fans at the Electric Picnic festival. Dr Tony Holohan warned the next phase of  reopening would only be safe for fully vaccinated people. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Chief medical officer says unvaccinated should not attend events such as All-Ireland football final

There is great reluctance in Government to reopen live entertainment as Covid-19 infection numbers rise. Photograp: iStock

Minister wants Cabinet to back reopening of live events ‘from earliest possible date’

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