British prime minister Boris Johnson: ‘To have the insurance we need, we need to proceed with a legislative solution at the same time.’ Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Johnson insists post-Brexit deal will not be scrapped but ‘fixed’ after visit to North

 Sinn Féin Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill, President of the partyŽin the Republic Mary Lou McDonald and Conor Murphy speak to the media after meeting Boris Johnson at Hillsborough Castle. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Nbody satisfied with Northern Ireland protocol and it must change, says British PM

 Officials said last night that Taoiseach Micheál Martin would visit Northern Ireland next Friday for meetings with the party leaders, including Sir Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Evidence is growing of beneficial impact of Northern Ireland protocol, says Micheál Martin

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has accused the DUP of ‘punishing the public’ and ‘holding society to ransom’:  ‘The DUP have failed on day one.’ Photograph: Paul Faith

British PM and Taoiseach to try break logjam while EU angry over London protocol threat

Boris Johnson says   he might scrap the protocol to preserve the Belfast Agreement; the truth is that nobody in Dublin believes he cares a fig for the agreement. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/PA Wire

Boris Johnson trying to exploit North’s peace process for his own political purposes

Michelle O’Neill  and Mary Lou McDonald during a Sinn Féin press conference at Parliament Buildings in  Belfast after Sinn Féin  became the  largest party  at Stormont. Photograph:  Liam McBurney/PA Wire

The goal of two Sinn Féiners leading two governments on the island now seems closer

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: ‘Don’t forget this treaty was designed and ratified and agreed by the British government under this prime minister.’ Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA

Britain over-riding NI protocol would be ‘anti-democratic’, Simon Coveney says

 Boris Johnson  speaks with Team England track and field team leader Kelly Sotherton  during a visit to the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on Thursday. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Martin says ‘unilateralism flies in face’ of approach that delivered peace process

British prime minister Boris Johnson speaking during the first day of a debate on the queen’s speech, in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/AFP via Getty Images

Individuals will have to co-operate with commission for reconciliation and information

Prince Charles delivered the queen’s speech on Tuesday because Queen Elizabeth was experiencing ‘episodic mobility problems’. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Boris Johnson spoke to Taoiseach in advance of the speech in a call that featured disagreements

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson holds a press conference following talks with NI Secretary of State Brandon Lewis at Stormont on Monday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

With elections done, negotiations are set to crank up, but there is little trust in Johnson

 The North’s first minister in waiting  Michelle O’Neill arrives at Stormont buildings with her Sinn Féin party members on Monday.  Photograph: Mark Marlow/EPA

Sinn Féin leader warns UK against using North as bargaining chip in talks with EU

Taoiseach Micheál Martin described the transition as ‘an important moment to demonstrate that in a fragmented political system we can have continuity in Government’. Photograph: Alan Betson

The big changeover in the Taoiseach’s office later this year may bring more uncertainty

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson speaks to the media after being elected for the Lagan Valley constituency. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

View from Dublin: Period of wound-licking might occur before DUP re-enters Executive

Northern Secretary Brandon Lewis: ‘The protocol is causing problems in civic society, it’s causing problems with the Good Friday [Belfast] Agreement. Our duty to the people of Northern Ireland is to resolve those issues.’

Downing Street claims Northern Ireland protocol is damaging Belfast Agreement

New National Maternity Hospital planned for   the  St Vincent’s hospital campus, at Elm Park. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Ministers intend to use two-week delay to reassure concerned TDs, sources say

Donegal TD Joe McHugh has announced he will retire when the current Dáil is dissolved. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Donegal TD indicates intention to retire from politics when current Dáil is dissolved

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Martin says Belfast Agreement might have to be reworked ‘in fullness of time’

Cost of fertiliser has rocketed as a result of the war in Ukraine. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ministers to be asked to approve €55m scheme for farmers who grow silage

The creation of more than 5,000 new higher education places in the past two years led to a drop of about 30 per cent in the number of school-leavers opting for PLC courses. Photograph: iStock

Proposal for extra third level funding and fee cuts to be considered by Cabinet

Taoiseach Micheál Martin:   said that there is ‘an emerging generation that wants politics to work for them’ in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson

Micheál Martin also criticises Sinn Féin for sloganeering and ‘lack of substance’

One respondent said  ‘if Covid-positive patients did not want to move to the Covid ward they were left in their own rooms on non-Covid wards’.   Photograph: Getty Images

‘Betrayed’ healthcare staff forced to share equipment such as goggles

The Citgywest Hotel and conference centre. It  is already being used as a reception centre. File photograph: The Irish Times

Refurbished council homes will be given to people already waiting on social housing lists

Guy Verhofstadt said MEPs must ‘fight hard’ to ensure that the proposals be turned into the ‘reforms that the EU needs’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Conference on the Future of Europe’s 325 recommendations will now go to EU leaders

‘The days of burning turf – in significant quantities at least – are numbered; everyone knows it.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Political system only beginning to grasp scale of changes decarbonising economy and society entail

 Green Party leader Eamon Ryan fronts up for the Government today, with turf again expected to take centre stage at Leaders’ Questions. Photograph: Alan Betson

Inside Politics: Turf continues to dominate exchanges in Leinster House

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

NUJ secretary says defamation action could have ‘chilling effect on press freedom’

David Frost said he was surprised the EU was resisting British demands to thoroughly renegotiate the protocol. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty

Former Brexit negotiator for UK says Belfast Agreement under threat as a result

A spokesman for Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said ‘the EU remains fully committed to working with the UK . . . following the chaos caused by Brexit.’

Minister to discuss NI protocol after British signals of law to shelve parts of mechanism

Eamon Ryan met with angry backbenchers from both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Inside Politics: Inevitable that Government will water down proposals – but won’t set aside completely

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Political opponents and many in media perceive an attempt to muzzle criticism of party

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has taken legal action against RTÉ.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Action part of growing trend by Sinn Féin to use courts against claims they say are false

The Dáil resumes today for the long summer term, which will see TDs at Leinster House until mid-to-late July. Photograph: Alan Betson

Inside Politics: Government must assess whether it is making progress on key issues

 Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar: it is one thing for him  to be disqualified from office as a result of being charged with a criminal offence; it would be quite another for him to be disqualified because the DPP cannot deliver a decision in time.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

If no DPP decision by end summer then Varadkar issue will become live political matter

Asked if they agreed that the Government ‘should further cut taxes on electricity and fuel to help people deal with cost-of-living increases’, 93 per cent said they agreed

Vast majority say they are affected by rising costs, Irish Times/Ipsos poll finds

Among workers currently working remotely some or all of the time, most expect to continue to work from home some of the time, the poll found. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Pandemic has changed working habits permanently, Irish Times/Ipsos poll indicates

Younger voters are much more likely to oppose restrictions, older voters are more likely to be worried about Covid. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Bloomberg

Irish Times/Ipsos poll finds 80% of voters believe Government handled pandemic well

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen: Her victory would shatter  brittle western unity on Ukraine, and put an ally and admirer of Vladimir Putin at the head of a nuclear power and key member of Nato. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP

If Macron loses French presidency, the effect on the bloc and Ireland will be catastrophe

The Government will almost certainly argue that upgrading Ireland’s military defences, especially naval and air defences,  is about self-defence, not taking part in a military alliance. Photograph: Getty Images

Majority of public wants to remain neutral despite wide support for Ukraine, poll shows

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba walking with Ukranian special forces and Garda ERU to lay flowers at a memorial wall in Kyiv on Thursday. Photograph: Department of Foreign Affairs

Two-thirds of voters do not want to see any change, Irish Times/Ipsos poll finds

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will  discuss support for tougher EU sanctions against Russia with the Ukrainian government.  Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Minister for Foreign Affairs arrives in Ukraine in UN Security Council first

The State of the Parties: Sinn Féin, 33 per cent (down two); Fianna Fáil, 23 per cent (up three); Fine Gael, 22 per cent (up two); Green Party, 3 per cent (down two); Labour, 4 per cent (no change); and Independents/others, 15 per cent (no change).

Extended period of decline for FG in polls since formation of Coalition has abated

As well as seeing Fianna Fáil gain by three points to 23 per cent, Taoiseach Micheál Martin enjoys an eight-point jump in his satisfaction ratings to 51 per cent.

Analysis: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will be encouraged by slip in support for high-flying Sinn Féin

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told reporters on Tuesday that any move to alleviate cost increases based on borrowing now might require additional taxation in the future. File photograph: Dominic McGrath/PA Wire

Additional measures on inflation set to be approved by Cabinet

‘ I find the entire situation that we are in regrettable,’ Taoiseach Micheal Martin said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

‘There should have been more transparency about this from the outset,’ Martin says

A child arrives on a train from Odesa in Ukraine in Przemysl, Poland. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Large halls with camp beds may have to be used as hotel and B&B space dries up

 Secretary general of the Department of Health Robert Watt is due to present his report to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Senior civil servant’s report expected to say Donnelly was aware of proposed secondment

Taoiseach Micheál Martin  after placing a wreath at the graves of the executed leaders at the Fianna Fáil Easter Rising 1916 Commemoration,  at Arbour Hill, on Sunday. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Martin says State should work with other countries to ensure its security

Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaks at The annual Fianna Fáil Easter Rising 1916 Commemoration will take place at Arbour Hill. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Micheál Martin says he has full confidence in Department of Health secretary general Robert Watt

Prime minister of Finland Sanna Marin and Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Kimmo Brandt/EPA

Ireland needs to decide whether it will play a greater role in the defence of Europe

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath,   and  the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe,  during a press conference on the publication of exchequer returns this week at the Department of Finance. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

Unclear whether talks will focus on new pact or extension to current deal

Food prices are rising more slowly, but there is concern these increases will continue for some time. File photograph: Getty

Ministers fear fresh package of supports would soon be overtaken by price increases

 John Callinan faces huge challenges in the international environment, unrest in the North, Dublin’s relationship with London and the legacy of Covid, along with domestic housing and health.

Diplomacy, decency and fairness will help Fraser replacement tackle challenges ahead

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has asked local authorities to identify sites that could be used for temporary or permanent housing as part of efforts to provide accommodation for potentially tens of thousands of people fleeing the Russian attack on Ukraine. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Ministers told average of 580 people a day fleeing to Ireland daily due to Russian invasion

John Callinan photographed with then taoiseach Bertie Ahern in May 2008. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The dual role makes him the most powerful civil servant in the country

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath: Each additional 1 per cent on the public pay bill costs about €250 million in a full year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inflation puts unions and members under pressure as conference season looms

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for  Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath: their calls for caution may go unheeded as leaders throw more money at inflation. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

As costs escalate, political pressure is building on a beleaguered Government

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan: Electricity companies may be required to offer their lowest rates to all customers. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Government scrambles to alleviate impact of fuel prices and rampant inflation

Minister for Culture and Media Catherine Martin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Plans were discussed by Minister for Media Catherine Martin and Fianna Fáil senators

Minister for the Environment and Transport Eamon  Ryan pictured at the  SEAI Energy Show at the RDS on Thursday.

Proposals around time-of-day-pricing, fuel allowance and ‘helping families with children’

Minister for Culture and Media Catherine Martin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Culture and Media discusses proposal with Fianna Fáil senators

Refugees fleeing Ukraine earlier in the month. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Taoiseach signals ‘targeted approach’ to increasing vaccine take-up among refugees

People who have fled the war in Ukraine in Przemysl in Poland: Irish officials say 14,611 refugees had arrived by Tuesday, with three-quarters needing accommodation. Ireland could have 30,000 arrivals by the end of April. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Bill for refugee accommodation, health and education may hit €1.7bn for 2022

Ukrainian refugees  on a bus after it crossed  the Ukrainian border into Poland at the Medyka border crossing.  Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP

Cost is expected to ‘ramp up significantly’ this year as more arrivals follow the initial cohort of 10,000 refugees

Cork will lose out on hosting the America’s Cup, which is the most high-profile yachting race in the world. File photograph: iStock

Simon Coveney championed the bid for the most high-profile yachting race in the world

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald at the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, US, on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: PA Wire

McDonald and co are presenting a united Ireland as imminent despite the evidence

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, addresses lawmakers via video link at the Bundestag in Berlin. Photograph: Liesa Koppitz-Johanssen/Bloomberg

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba says ‘Ireland is at the forefront within the EU’

Us president Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, in Brussels. Photograph: Doug Mills/ The New York Times

Journalists return to vast atrium of Lipsius building for first time in over two years

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaking online at a meeting of the European Council. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Move by Ireland on international crimes is welcomed Ukrainian minister

US president Joe Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron and British prime minister Boris Johnson at Nato headquarters in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Calls from Kyiv for intervention rebuffed but West vows more aid for Ukrainian resistance

Taoiseach Michael Martin: ‘There can be no moral equivalence around this war. Certain countries need to get off the fence on that.’  Photograph: PA Wire

Martin says Ireland open to further sanctions as he criticises India’s stance

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Tánaiste says he expcts 5th package of sanctions against Russia

Hospitals have been advised to cancel elective procedures and focus on critical work, such as cancer care and emergency departments. Photograph: Alan Betson

Health advice unchanged but calls for public to consider behaviour with regard to masks

Screengrab from video issued by The White House of the  meeting between Micheál Martin and US president Joe Biden, which took place via videolink last week after the Taoiseach tested positive for Covid. Photograph: The White House/PA Wire

Taoiseach has two successive negative Covid tests ahead of departure from the US

Inflation in the Irish economy is expected to surge to 8.5% or even higher in the coming months. File photograph: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

ESRI says price squeeze will see real incomes fall and lower than expected growth

Ukrainian refugees Ivan and Maria Matvichuk who arrived from Nikolaev  on Saturday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Current supply of accommodation for those fleeing Russian invasion may soon run short

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: he participated in Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting remotely. Photograph: Getty Images

Micheál Martin remains in Washington after his positive Covid test last week, and is said to be ‘symptom-free and feeling well’

A young Ukrainian refugee boy, who fled the Russian invasion, at the Dublin Airport reception facility. The centre will act as a one-stop shop with services such as the processing of social protection numbers and help with finding accommodation. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni

Officials evaluating potential sites and facilities throughout the country

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: ‘We’re not sure if the funding or the distraction of hosting Euro 2028 is really going to benefit grassroots football.’ Photograph: iStock

Cabinet backs Irish and UK effort to host event but costs and benefits will be evalutated

A woman reads a book to Ukrainian children in a playground at a summer camp, turned into a refugee center in the tiny resort town of Kiten, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. Photograph:  Nikolay Doychinov/AFP via Getty Images

Government identifies 500 buildings to house those fleeing the war

US president Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Oval Office of the White House on March 17th  in Washington, DC. Photograph: Erin Scott-Pool/Getty

No Oval Office meeting, but Martin used trip to clearly position Ireland with the West

Handout screengrab from video issued by The White House of the bilateral meeting between Taoiseach Micheal Martin and US President Joe Biden via videolink. Photograph: The White House/PA Wire

Micheál Martin had been having the week of his life until disaster struck

US President Joe Biden meets virtually with Micheál Martin in the Oval Office on Thursday. Photograph: by Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images

Leaders speak of Ukraine and North during St Patrick’s Day event held virtually

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: spoke to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy by telephone  on Wednesday. Photograph:  Oliver Contreras/PA Wire

Call for foreign fighters to assist in war against Russia taken up by 20 Irish men

 US  president Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Oval Office of the White House on March 17th, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photograph: Erin Scott-Pool/Getty

Martin was due to meet Biden in Oval Office for traditional Shamrock ceremony

Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking at a press conference, during his visit to the US for St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Oliver Contreras/PA Wire

Donohoe warns wage demands in pay talks could add to inflationary pressures

There were 1,081 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Wednesday morning. File photograph: The Irish Times

More than 4,000 healthcare workers off due to Covid amid unprecedented hospital demand

Due to rising numbers of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland, ‘significant pressure on accommodation in the coming days’ is likely. File photograph:

‘There is a capacity point,’ says one Minister, noting growing concern about what to do next

Taoiseach Micheál Martin  said:  ‘It’s a new reality, a reality brought about by war in Europe.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Martin says people cannot be shielded from the full impact of the war in Ukraine

Sinn Féin’s Claire Kerrane: ‘We are now in a very, very, very different situation in relation to the conflict that’s there in Ukraine.’ Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Martin alleges party deleted material from website to avoid review of position on Russia

‘Defence and security are about to become one of the basic pillars of the EU,’ according to a top European Union politicial source.

If we decline to join an enhanced EU security and defence pact Coalition Ministers fear isolation

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said EU countries close to Russia are concerned about where Russian president Vladimir Putin might go after Ukraine.

Leaders likely to discuss additional security co-operation at formal summit in Brussels

Even before the Russian invasion Macron had signalled his intention to progress the idea of a common EU defence; since the attack on Ukraine the momentum behind the idea has been turbo-charged. Photograph: Getty Images

Few in Government are willing to consider out loud a referendum on neutral status

Fuel prices displayed at a Circle K service station on Glasnevin Avenue in Dublin. A  cut in the excise duty on fuel has been announced by the  Government.  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Dáil votes for excise duty cut but Opposition TDs say reductions are not enough

A cut of 20c per litre on petrol and 15c on diesel from midnight has been agreed. Photograph: iStock

Threat to food production and consumer prices described as severe as excise duty set to be cut

The Government is likely to sign-off on a cut in excise duty on Wednesday in an attempt to counteract sharp rises in the price of fuel. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Motorists facing costs of €2 a litre for petrol, diesel on some forecourts amid Ukraine crisis

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has suggested that a citizens’ assembly should be convened to discuss the future of Irish neutrality. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Martin tells Dáil Ireland not ‘politically neutral’ as Opposition TD criticises Nato

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