The number of critical cases of Covid-19 has risen. Photograph: Alan Betson

Head of HSE warns of difficult winter as 2,427 new coronavirus cases confirmed

Removing the sign from former Bank of Ireland building  in Strokestown. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The stories behind three vacant buildings chart Strokestown’s recent history

How it started: Brian O’Donovan on his appointment as RTÉ’s  Washington correspondent.

RTÉ’s man in Washington Brian O’Donovan’s jaunty memoir of a frenetic time

The Government permitted reopening of nightclubs at full capacity from last night. Photograph: Getty

Holohan raises concerns about high number of unvaccinated people in young age groups

The number of critically ill patients with coronavirus in ICUs rose to 90, an increase from 63 this time last month.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Hospitals across the country forced to cancel surgeries due to increase in cases

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “Everyone in Government is going to be a little bit worried about what we face into for the next couple of weeks”. File photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Tánaiste warns stringent restrictions on society may have to be reintroduced should new variant of the virus emerge

Ed Sibley, deputy governor of the Central Bank: “We are pushing lenders to go further than they have been doing, to go deeper into that waterfall of solutions and think more imaginatively about the solutions that they can offer.”    Photograph:  Jason Clarke

Deputy governor urges lenders to ‘think more imaginatively’ to resolve Celtic Tiger-era debt cases

The Circuit Court overruled the objection of Ulster Bank by allowing Waterford handyman Paddy O’Regan remain in his home and pay a mortgage of just €93 a month for life in a personal insolvency arrangement. Photograph: iStock

Court decision slashing mortgage payments may be solution for Celtic Tiger-era debts

The full return to offices is being delayed until next spring in response to rising Covid-19 cases

Tánaiste says a ‘staggered and phased’ return to offices is still possible

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

For the past month, the HSE has been asking people signing up for PCR tests whether they had carried out an antigen test at home beforehand. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Taoiseach says he is ‘strong believer’ in the value of antigen testing

Since September 27th, routine contact tracing has no longer been taking place for close contacts among children aged 12 years and younger in primary schools and creches. File photograph: Getty

Rising coronavirus cases put spotlight on whether antigen tests would afford defence

Vicky Barron, the principal of CBS Primary School in Wexford Town, said there were “serious flaws” in HSE guidance for schools and the decision not to contact trace for cases in classes. Photograph: Maura Hickey

INTO wants pilot antigen testing scheme started in schools and review of face covering policy

Irish shipping traffic had not been affected, with between 20 and 22 ships continuing to arrive into Dublin every day, Eamonn O’Reilly, chief executive of Dublin Port Company, said

Truck freight volumes fall by a third on Dublin-Holyhead route in nine months

US Congressman Richard Neal: criticised the UK for attempting to ‘reinvent the circumstances around the negotiation’ of the Northern Ireland protocol and then calling for a renegotiation of the deal they signed up to. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Democrat overseeing trade deals says British reversal on North raises question of trust

The EU and UK previously agreed on the NI protocol in the Brexit divorce agreement that avoided checks along the Irish Border by leaving the North in the EU single market for goods. File photograph: Getty

Plans include scrapping checks, cutting red tape and getting sausages to Belfast from Britain

Sign on a lamppost near Larne Port states: ‘Scrap the NI Protocol, Save the Good Friday Agreement.’ Photograph: Mark Marlow/Bloomberg

Brussels proposes to iron out differences over Brexit deal but UK wants bigger change

Mary Claire O’Sullivan, Irish Rail driver. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

Reactions vary to tax and spending measures outlined in Budget 2022

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’

Britain’s Brexit minister David Frost:  he will claim the European Court of Justice’s oversight of post-Brexit trade rules has “created a deep imbalance in the way the protocol operates”. Photograph: PRU/AFP via Getty Images

UK’s push to remove EU judges as final arbiter of protocol seen as ‘Brexit purity issue’

UK Brexit minister David Frost speaks at the Conservative Party Conference. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty

UK ‘red lines’ and a testy Twitter exchange amid ominous signs ahead of negotiations

There are 127,300 construction workers in the Republic, or almost 6 per cent of the workforce, which is below the European average of 8 per cent.  Photograph: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg

Cost of living barrier to attracting enough builders to Ireland, says company owner

Anti-Brexit placards in Belfast in 2018: Britain is set to ratchet up pressure on the EU this week to agree an overhaul of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Sides set to clash over UK call to remove oversight of North’s trade from EU judges

Businessman Dermot Desmond: “What is happening at the moment from an Ireland Inc perspective is insane.”

Businessman says social housing policy is `shocking mismanagement of public funds’

Brian O’Donovan: “It is such a vast country, such a big breaking story on so many different levels. You were always on call, you were always busy, and it was a rush and it was a buzz.”

The RTÉ correspondent on four years covering the Trump presidency and periods of extreme crisis in the US

Patrick Nugent, a 23 year-old banqueting manager in Bunratty, died in the early hours of February 11th, 1984.

Relatives of Patrick Nugent have ‘positive’ meeting with Justice officials about report

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic speaking to the IIEA: “We have to move away from political rhetoric.”

New proposals are not being presented on a ‘take it or leave it basis’ – Sefcovic

The road haulage industry has estimated that there is a shortage of between 3,000 and 4,000 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and wants more new foreign drivers to help fill jobs. File photograph: Getty

New licence swap deals sought with Moldova, North Macedonia, Ukraine and Argentina

Peadar Tóibín: he said Navan’s emergency department and ICU had been ‘on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 for so long’

Letter confirms closure of hospital’s emergency department and intensive care unit

Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit arrangements are exercising the collective Tory mind – returning the protocol to priority status ahead of EU talks.

Consequences of EU departure and impact on trading with Britain begin to bite for London

The Sláintecare process has been thrown into turmoil with the resignation of the two officials leading the reforms. File photograph: The Irish Times

Government attempts to restore confidence in reforms amid turmoil

Homeowners must resubmit valuations on their properties by the start of next month as part of the first revision of the local property tax regime since it was introduced eight years ago. Photograph: iStock

Online valuation tool showing discrepancies in localities ‘should not be used in isolation’

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: he and   Minister for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte published the Commission of Investigation interim reports on Friday

Commission finds woman placed in care despite criminal convictions of foster parents

The C&AG found the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment did not check whether businesses were eligible for restart grants towards the costs of reopening before paying out €633 million. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Watchdog finds that in nearly one in 10 cases examined, the PUP claim recipient was not eligible

Grafton Street deserted in March 2020. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Spending watchdog’s report shows €6.3bn paid to individuals and €6.1bn to businesses

Over 2,000 British fuel stations were still dry on Thursday due to a shortage of lorry drivers. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Irish fuel tanker haulier blames ‘panic-buying’ for chaos at Britain’s petrol stations

 Just one helicopter rescue base has been approved for using night vision technology despite the government spending €4.305m on modifications to the four existing Coast Guard helicopters and a new helicopter. Photograph: Alan Betson

Auditor queries use of funds on helicopter technology and gaps in management of Hap scheme

The Department of Social Protection received 1.75 million applications for the pandemic unemployment payment between March 2020 and February 2021. Photograph: Frank Miller

More than €14.5m in overpayments identified by end of August 2021, says C&AG report

Medicines for Europe says small companies may decide not to proceed with a change in marketing authorisation holder and may simply decide not to supply products to Northern Ireland. Photograph: iStock

Supply of up to 9,000 medicines and medical devices threatened by regulatory change

Kay Collins of Collins Transport finds herself driving lorries due to shortage of skilled drivers in Ireland. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

Industry struggling with exodus of foreign truckers and inability to attract young staff

Liam Doran, a member of the Sláintecare implementation advisory council. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Council sought answers about concerns raised by Magahy and Keane in resignations

The  Food and Drug Administration  is still reviewing the AstraZeneca jab for use in the US. The jab has been approved and administered to tens of millions of people in Europe. Photograph:  Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

AstraZeneca, received by tens of millions in Europe, not approved by America’s regulator

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly at LauraLynn Children’s Hospice on Monday as the charity announced significant plans for expansion. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Surplus shots in booster programme for residents ‘may be used’ for first doses

The change in school Covid-19 case rules, which came into effect on Monday, means that children deemed close contacts of cases in schools do not have to restrict movements or be tested or contact traced. Photograph: Alan Betson

Teachers believe change to close contact rules should have been made after midterm break

Teachers are worried about the pace of the changes, given the high numbers of cases among schoolchildren. Photograph: iStock

Teachers fear parents will ‘drop their guard’ in wake of changes to close contact guidance

Overall, 91%  of people either intend to get vaccinated or have already received the jab.Photograph: Alan Betson

Tracking survey shows 13% of 18-34 year-olds refusing to take the jab

The vaccine refusal rate among staff at Beaumont Hospital stands at 4 per cent. File photograph: The Irish Times

Frontline staff had been temporarily moved ‘for protective measures’, says spokesman

Dr Tony Holohan said that it was “very reassuring” to see the Covid-19 positive rate decrease from 16 per cent to 5 per cent. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A further 1,459 confirmed cases of Covid-19 reported with 296 in hospital

  USI president Claire Austick  protests with students at the Dáil   to put pressure on the Government to take urgent action over   accommodation shortages. Photograph:  Alan Betson

DCU criticises Government plans as student housing construction deemed ‘uneconomic’

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

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal  said  the British prime minister ‘seemed to blame the European Union for the impasse over the Protocol.’ Photograph:Al Drago/The New York Times

Congressman Richard Neal says UK proposal to join North American trade pact presents ‘a new wrinkle’

The move to tie rent increases in designated rent-pressure zones to inflation since July is backfiring as inflation is soaring. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Change to cap on rent increases and tax cut on rent income may halt exodus of landlords

Boris Johnson on Tuesday with Joe Biden who did not reject a past suggestion made by former US president Barack Obama that the UK would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a post-Brexit trade deal. Photograph: Bloomberg

British proposal is not on the trade agenda within US political circles, says congressman

The positivity rate in the zero to 14-year-old age group has fallen from 13 per cent, when schools reopened, to 4.4 per cent, which reflects the surge in the volume of testing. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

HSE reports another surge in testing as 70,000 children were swabbed last week

A passenger at Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney last week, when Singapore Airlines reduced its flights into Australia due to passenger arrival caps. Photograph:  James D. Morgan/Getty Images

A new Crosscare report assesses the effects of the pandemic on Irish people abroad

Afghan refugee arrives in Ireland at same time as war photo exhibition he helped create

Eugene Drennan, Irish Road Haulage Association president, at Government Buildings in January. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

State facing a ‘national crisis’ in supplies with shortage of 3,000 to 4,000 lorry drivers

Maureen Irvine, of Malin, Inishowen with brothers Ali, Hugh and John Farren, of Malinhead, Co Donegal (L-R), protesting outside Leinster House, in support of an improved  mica redress scheme. Photograph: Conor Ó Mearain/Collins

Campaigners from Donegal and Mayo call for 100% compensation scheme

Sláintecare: a 10-year plan to overhaul the health service

Meeting between pair looked at ‘various elements of the ongoing reform’

The increased number of cases among unvaccinated primary school students since schools have reopened is resulting in about 1,200 children being forced to restrict their movements every day as close contacts of Covid-19 cases.   Photograph: Getty Images

Some 2,418 children test positive as number seeking tests more than doubles

Proposed Foothills development at Killinarden in Tallaght: The deal involves the sale of almost 16 hectares for €14 million in exchange for the development of almost 500 social and affordable homes.

Party abstained despite policy of opposing sale of public lands for private housing

 Holyhead in Wales.  Cormac Healy, chief executive of Meat Industry Ireland, said the UK’s deferral of the post-Brexit import controls would buy businesses more time to prepare for the changes.

Food exporters to benefit as they are still dealing with supply chain issues

Industry sources in the logistics and customs sector have also said the government’s infrastructure was not ready to impose full checks. Photograph: iStock

Move gives Irish exporters to Britain more time to prepare to comply with new regulations

Thousands of families in the country  are dealing with a Covid-19 case involving a younger, unvaccinated member of the household since schools reopened. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

‘We followed the rules. It is so unexpected for it to be our children who get it at this stage’

The recommendation comes as chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan gave the go-ahead for booster shots for nursing home residents and older people in the community. Photograph: Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP

Lack of need for boosters due to high level of vaccine efficacy, even against delta variant

The HSE test and trace service deals with about 120 primary and 80 secondary schools every day. File photograph: Getty

School reopening behind 17% spike in tests for virus conducted over weekend, says HSE

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said he was ‘very sad to lose people of the calibre of people that we have’. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

HSE chief unaware Magahy and Keane were unhappy with progress until they resigned

HSE chief executive Paul Reid: ‘It hasn’t stalled anything on it . . . It has merely been a point-in-time feedback with the process.’ Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Health service raised issues about board make-up of new hospital, says Reid

HSE’s  chief executive Paul Reid said  the first time he became aware of the extent of their unhappiness was when they resigned last week. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Executive director and chairman of the programme resigned last week

The positivity rate has been coming down from the low-teens to 7 per cent in the zero to 18-year-old age group. Photograph: iStock

HSE chief says health rule for close contacts of Covid-19 cases must be ‘proportionate’

HSE  figures show there were about 100 calls to the helpline on Friday, down from the 301 calls from principals the previous day. Photograph: iStock

More than 3,000 children and teenagers tested positive for virus in the past 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

More than 10,000 schoolchildren are estimated to be isolating at home. File photograph: The Irish Times

In just one week 32,000 walk-in and self-referral tests carried out on children

Children make up the highest proportion of tests among the 145,000 carried out over the past week. Photograph: iStock

1,292 new cases reported in the State with 331 patients in hospital

Maura McHugh of Kilcolgan, Co Galway, whose sister Anne died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Maura McHugh recalls her fun-loving sister who was killed in the September 11th attacks

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

The HSE has said that up to 12,000 children are staying home from school and restricting their movements after being identified as close contacts just days into the new academic year. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Carlow principal calls for helpline to run 24 hours a day to help schools cope with cases

Noeline Blackwell, chief executive of DRCC, says the pandemic had a ‘very damaging’ effect on the survivors of sexual violence. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Unprecedented levels of stress seen among survivors of sexual violence amid pandemic

There is additional pressure on third-level places with 84,817 CAO applicants this year – an increase of 8 per cent on 2020. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Points for high-demand courses set to surge on record-breaking results during pandemic

Share of applications from Northern Ireland and Britain holds steady at 70%

In total, 412 different nursing homes or community long-stay units recorded outbreaks of the virus. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Figures show 11 nursing homes were hit with several outbreaks during a single wave

Thousands of people attended walk-in Covid-19 vaccination centres across the country on Saturday, with a high uptake for vaccines seen among older teenagers. Photograph: Collins

Nphet expected to provide fresh advice to Government on easing of remaining restrictions

Veteran war correspondent John Simpson: Fiction is a very convenient way of just being able to lift off the carapace of straightforward, decent reporting and express what you are thinking.

Veteran BBC journalist says writing novels is ‘very liberating’ in way journalism can’t be

Britain is now considered ‘a third country’ by the EU since Brexit and EU rules ban any chilled meat imports such as sausages, chicken nuggets, pies and mince that are not frozen from these countries. Photograph: iStock

Tensions rose after Brexit and Northern Ireland protocol led to ban on chilled meat imports

Lorries queue at the port of Rosslare Harbour in January , 2021. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Limited direct EU ferry sailings and higher costs push exporters through Britain again

Tourists on  Skellig Michael: the island has opened to visitors for the first time since the autumn of 2019

Monastic tourist attraction off Co Kerry coast hosts first daytripping visitors since 2019

Freight movement figures for the first six months of Brexit show that the vast majority of trucks transited without checks or delays. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

More than 186,500 freight vehicle movements at Dublin and Rosslare ports since Brexit

Dublin Airport:  airports have carried out preparations for the operation of the EU digital Covid certificate. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Labs and pharmacies will verify Covid-19 tests for EU digital cert, travel industry told

David Coghlan of Coghlan’s Bakery in Naas, Co Kildare, has sourced alternative supplies from Andrews in Belfast. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

British flour exports to the Republic slide by 25% since January in wake of EU departure

A decision is expected to be announced after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, which has been moved forward amid repeated calls for clarity from hospitality groups. File photograph: iStock

Unease in Cabinet that increase in Delta variant could jeopardise any revised date

Prof Paul Moynagh says the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines should be offered to younger people, at least with the first dose and then a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna for ‘the strongest immune response’. File photograph: Alan Betson

Immunology professor says Government should not delay reopening indoor dining

 Dr Tony Holohan: he estimated last week that the more transmissible Delta variant accounted for 20%  of cases reported in the previous seven days

Public health director says new PCR test will allow ‘more actions’ to prevent spread

Some 97 per cent of the consignments were processed by inspectors at Dublin Port.  In most cases where consignments were rejected, the product was destroyed. Photograph: Alan Betson

Some 24,481 consignments of animal food, plants and live animals processed this year

The ban on spectators at horse racing was lifted on Saturday with a limited number allowed at the Curragh for  the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA Wire

Ireland ‘should not have been so lax on travel from the UK’, says public health expert

Heidi Steffen of Iona Health Food Shop in Holywood, Co Down: ‘Now every item [from Britain] needs a customs declaration.’ Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Early economic figures show emerging shift from east-west to north-south dealings

Experts believe that if adequate supplies of vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are available then they are preferable to the AstraZeneca one, pictured above.

Preference among some scientists is to stick with mRNA vaccines if they are available

A Covid-19 test centre outside Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photograph: Collins

Offaly posts highest rate in country, but still unclear whether Delta variant to blame

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said there was a delay of at least three months in starting an investigation into an allegation of abuse at Community Residential Service Limerick Group H

Health service regulator finds non-compliance with regulations in 17 care homes

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that it was ‘very welcome’ that agreement on the fund was reached ‘so swiftly’ with the European Parliament.

Paschal Donohoe welcomes swift agreement on allocation from €5.34bn fund

Locals say James Joseph Daly is often seen on the side of the road chatting on his mobile phone. Photograph: Street View

Locals surprised at the size of tax debt for a car dealer without a vehicle showroom

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