Taoiseach Micheál Martin at Government Buildings on Friday, where he announced that Dublin will move to Level 3 of the Government’s plan to deal with Covid-19. Photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

NPHET members felt Government would not support more dramatic restrictions for city

Jim O’Callaghan: he knows that the voters would not look kindly on an old-style Fianna Fáil heave three months after the party returned to government

Rival Jim O’Callaghan is not stupid enough to think that a heave could be undertaken now

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: he  is also travelling to Brussels next week for meetings with EU foreign ministers

Strong feeling in Brussels that Brexit has taken up too much of EU’s attention in recent years

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressing the nation at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: PA

Taoiseach says there is a very real threat that Dublin could return to the early days of virus

Members of the public enjoying the good weather in Merrion Square in Dublin on Thursday. Under additional restrictions for dining, restaurants and pubs which serve food will only be permitted to open if they have outdoor facilities, or for takeaway services.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Restaurants Association 'shocked' indoor dining to close in Dublin for weeks

The Restaurants Association of Ireland said it was ‘shocked by the decision of NPHET to recommend to Cabinet that all indoor dining close in Dublin for the next few weeks. Photograph: iStock

NPHET advises Government to move Dublin to Level 3 with new restrictions likely to be introduced Friday night

Tuesday’s launch of the  new plan for managing the pandemic for the next six months was widely acknowledged to be a disaster inside and outside Government. Photograph: Julien Behal

Blame game in full swing but most important thing is that new Covid-19 measures work

The Vat House pub in Dublin’s city centre, which is boarded upduring the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Capital could be moved to Level 3 after NPHET expresses serious concerns

Covid-19 press conference in Dublin Castle:  Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking, Leo Varadkar, left, Stephen Donnelly, right.  Photograph: Julian Behal

Reopening phase has seen Covid-19 become a point of political dispute, not agreement

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly at the announcement of the Government’s blueprint for living with Covid-19. The Department of Health confirmed that the Minister’s test for Covid-19 had come back negative. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Launch overshadowed by announcement Cabinet members were ‘self-isolating’

 Former Fianna Fáil deputy leader Éamon Ó Cuív: opposed the  deal with Fine Gael and the Green Party and said it should talk to Sinn Féin about a coalition.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Party veteran says low poll figures show organisation facing ‘existential crisis’

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly speaking in Dublin at the unveiling of the Government’s blueprint for living with Covid-19. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Cabinet colleagues no longer required to restrict movements, Government spokeswoman confirms

A woman wears a face mask in a coffee shop in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Living with Covid strategy to outline system of restrictions with five levels of severity

UK prime minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty

Simon Coveney says UK is damaging its reputation with ‘bogus claims’ and ‘spin’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney on the Andrew Marr show on BBC 1 on Sunday: ‘Both the British and Irish economies are going to be damaged significantly and that will be a significant failure of politics not anything else.’

Taoiseach says no-deal Brexit would be ‘ruinous’ to British economy

British prime minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Government here must now gain new understanding of UK counterparts

The confirmation that the British government intended to tear up a legally binding international treaty  made headlines around the world. Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau WPA Pool/Getty Images

London’s latest move has dealt the biggest blow to relations between the UK and the EU, and Ireland, since the referendum to leave(...)

Micheál Martin, taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil, in his office at Government Buildings. Photograph: Bryan O Brien

The Government’s Shared Island Unit wants to build relationships in a way that has nothing to do with constitutional question

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: Irish officials are playing down the prospects of taking legal action against Britain under a treaty its government will have already undermined. Photograph: Julien Behal

Mary Robinson warns UK of need to respect international law and not jeopardise peace

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic leaves Europe House in London after an emergency Brexit meeting.  Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Brussels wants London to reverse plan that would tear up Brexit guarantees on North

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald: ‘We can change Ireland. How exciting is that?’ File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Would we have to invest to unite our island? Yes...the wisest money we would ever spend’

British prime minister Boris Johnson attends a virtual press conference at Downing Street in London, England, on Wednesday. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau- WPA Pool/Getty Images

EU leaders voice concerns over legislation that will violate withdrawal deal

Simon  Coveney: “The British government has decided to cause chaos.”  Photograph: Getty Images

The Government expects its British counterpart to in the end act rationally in line with its own interests

If you’re going to rattle your sabre, there’s no point in giving it a minor tinkle; you may as well make a bit of noise with it. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Mad scramble for agreement as talks head for decisive stage has been characteristic of the process

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Britain’s threat to would breach the Brexit treaty was “not an acceptable way to conduct negotiations”. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Martin raises absence of bilateral engagement and serious implications for Northern Ireland

The Long Hall on South Great George’s Street: Irish pubs have experienced the longest lockdown in Europe and publicans have been lobbying fiercely to be allowed reopen.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Cabinet expected to sign off on date amid Covid-19 fears for Dublin and Limerick

Talks between Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier resume in London on Tuesday. File photograph: Getty

Irish Government downplays reports as ‘sabre rattling’ ahead of resumed Brexit talks

British prime minister Boris Johnson: Northern Ireland will not be allowed to stand in the way of concluding his  Brexit ambitions.  Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Mystery is how UK can renege on deal with Ireland when keen to strike others globally

There is surprise and anger on both sides of the Irish border and in Brussels at a reported British plan to potentially undermine the withdrawal pact. Photograph: Getty

Von der Leyen says North protocol ‘essential to protect peace and stability on the island’

A former customs guard hut on the Border, near Newry. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Government’s shared island initiative owes more to Lemass than De Valera

Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness has emerged as the clear favourite to become Ireland’s next European commissioner. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Varadkar says he’s glad Coveney ‘hasn’t allowed’ his name to go forward

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at Fire restaurant in Dublin’s city centre on Thursday, at the launch of the Stay and Spend scheme designed to boost tourism in the off-season. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Tough challenges ahead as coalition prepares budget and new plan for pandemic

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “The Government has no interest in knowing what people are eating.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach denies new law requiring pubs and restaurants to retain details of food consumption has been a communications calamity

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Brussels will basically pick Ireland’s next European commissioner, which is a complete reversal of established precedent. File photograph: Fran Veale

Commission’s focus on gender balance may aid Fine Gael MEP, but process not over yet

The Government is facing a furious backlash from publicans and restaurants over new regulations. File photograph: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

Ministers also urged by NPHET subgroup not to ‘stigmatise’ people who contract Covid-19

Other EU countries exclude additional categories of workers including MEPs from needing to observe certain Covid-19 restrictions when travelling due to their work. File photograph: AP

Request comes in wake of resignation of former European commissioner Phil Hogan

Maireád McGuinness appears likely to be nominated for the commissioner role. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Move likely to clear way for MEP Maireád McGuinness to be nominated for role

MEP  Mairead McGuinness, MEP Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney at an event in Wexford in 2019. File photograph: Barbara Lindberg

Delay underlines difficulties that remain at the centre of Government

 Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue hails from a farming background in Donegal and served as the party’s agriculture spokesman

Donegal TD replaces Dara Calleary following resignation

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: with Mairead McGuinness and Frances Fitzgerald, he is one of three potential candidates for the role of EU commissioner. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Two names expected to be forwarded with portfolio depending on ‘competences’

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has requested Ireland nominate a man and a woman for commissioner. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/Reuters

Simon Coveney, Mairead McGuinness and Frances Fitzgerald are in the race to succeed Phil Hogan

MEP Mairead McGuinness: Sources in Brussels said Ms McGuinness is highly thought-of by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government has not yet been decided whether to submit one or two names

Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness. File photographL: Nick Bradshaw

Simon Coveney, Maireád McGuinness and Frances Fitzgerald comment on EU Commissioner role

Phil Hogan at Leinster House in 2011 for coalition talks between Fine Gael and Labour. ‘He was one of the few Irish politicians who have translated their undoubted abilities on the local and national stage to success on the European milieu.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Many wonder how politician of proven ability could fail so badly to understand national mood

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen: allocation of commission cabinet jobs is at her discretion. Photograph:  Kenzo Tribouillard

Party leaders’ discussion favours replacing Hogan with politician not former official

The Station House Hotel in Clifden, Co Galway, where The Oireachtas Golf Society event was held. You can detest everything about the affair, but you can’t say that the miscreants did not pay a price. Photograph: Hany Marzouk/PA Wire

Fallout over Clifden gathering of old guard proves accountability is possible in Irish politics

Former European commissioner Phil Hogan. Photograph: Collins

Demise of the Irish heavyweight will cause shock not just in Dublin but across Europe

Phil Hogan departed after conversations with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen yesterday, though he insisted the decision was his own. File photograph Nick Bradshaw

Commissioner insists decision to quit was his own after talks with Von der Leyen

European trade commissioner Phil Hogan: replacement sought. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Replacing former Fine Gael minister could prove a headache for the Government

There have been further contacts between Phil Hogan and Ursula von der Leyen since he submitted his report on his movements. File photograph: Bloomberg

Former FG minister under scrutiny over alleged breaches of coronavirus restrictions

A Department of Education spokesman said Tusla would take the new public-health guidelines into account when supporting children and their parents. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

ASTI directs members not to take part in any large gatherings of students and staff

 EU commissioner Phil Hogan’s future is being considered by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Photograph: Collins

Coalition leaders say ‘concerns remain’ over commissioner’s movements after arriving in Ireland

More than 30% of parents reported boredom, irritability, increased worrying, feelings of loneliness and restlessness in children. File photograph: Getty

Review to show that younger school children most likely to be adversely affected by closure

Phil Hogan has been  under pressure since attending  an Oireachtas Golf Society event in Co Galway. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Ryan: EU Commissioner should have limited movements for 14 days

 European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan  and European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen in  January. Photograph: Epa/Stephanie Lecocq

If Ursula von der Leyen accepts his report, Government will not seek his resignation

The Government faces a huge decision on the future of European Commissioner Phil Hogan. File photograph: Getty

Analysis: Varadkar hints at possible escape but some Ministers are sceptical Hogan can keep job

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste have asked Phil Hogan to consider his position. Photograph: Maxwells

Move comes as Taoiseach and Tánaiste ask Phil Hogan to ‘consider his position’

EU Commissioner and former Fine Gael TD Phil Hogan was among the attendees at the Oireachtas Golf Society event. File image: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

EU Commissioner says he won’t resign over golf dinner but makes ‘full’ apology

Long before the storm: File photo from February 2019 of  Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and  deputy leader and now former minister for agriculture Dara Calleary. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Politicians would be unwise to underestimate level of public anger about revelations

This is not a Government that has been operating efficiently, effectively or coherently, and things got significantly worse this week. Photograph: Getty Images

Government’s destiny depends on how it manages the return to school

FF Duo

Sinn Féin leader says event, attended by more than 80 people, was ‘the last straw’

‘It would be difficult to think of a more irresponsible act on the part of those who attended’ this dinner. Among those in attendance was Dara Calleary who has now resigned. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Analysis: the revelations have undermined - and perhaps destroyed - public trust

EU commissioner Phil Hogan attended the golf event in Co Galway with about 80 other people during Covid-19 restrictions. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

EU commissioner says he did not come from Kildare to event with more than 80 people

 Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary apologised on Thursday night for attending the function. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Oireachtas Golf Society event was attended by politicians including Phil Hogan and Jerry Buttimer

It is understood that leaders of the three Government parties and other senior figures discussed the prospect of returning to lockdown over the weekend but agreed that this could not happen, and made this clear to public health experts.

Experts warn that country may have to return to strict Covid-19 rules if cases continue rising

The new Government is struggling to find a plan for getting children back to school and reopening the economy

Analysis: Growing public dissatisfaction with management of crisis now mirrored in Cabinet

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the post-Cabinet press briefing at Government Buildings in Dublin on Tuesday night. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Covid-19 restrictions tightened as Varadkar expresses concern at the way Taoiseach is ‘doing business’

Aaron Brady: convicted of the capital murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson

Organisation of the Troubles era is gone, but its inevitable echoes and legacies remain

Divisions emerged between Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at a Cabinet meeting on Covid-19 on Tuesday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Sporting events to revert to ‘behind closed doors’ and public transport should be avoided where possible

Sinn Féin and the Labour Party urged Minister for Education Norma Foley to explain how the Irish system would not mean the same level of grades being marked down. File photograph: Getty

Opposition parties call for review of plan after British government U-turn on results

 Belarus opposition activists hold a flag with portrait of Main opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya during a protest rally in front of the entrance of the Belarus National television and radio company in Minsk. Photograph: EPA

Coveney says Ireland does not accept the result of disputed presidential election

Appointment of John Carroll (above) as Fine Gael general secretary will strengthen Leo Varadkar’s hold on the party.

John Carroll was closely involved in negotiations on the programme for government


Extra teachers, enhanced cleaning regimes and curriculum changes form centrepiece of package

If the Government can get children back to school in relatively normal circumstances it will communicate a degree of competence and coherence that will impress people. Photograph: Getty Images

If it fails it establishes a narrative of failure, and the public will lose confidence in its ability to govern

 Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan at Dublin Castle, Thursday.  Photograph:  Julien Behal Photography/PA

€7bn package is the largest government-sourced stimulus ever applied to Irish economy

Minister for Education Norma Foley. Photograph: Alan Betson

Major financial package includes money for new layouts, cleaning and substitute cover

Catherine Martin, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, arrives to a Dáil sitting at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Catherine Martin says she is saddened some younger members are leaving the party

Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach  Micheál Martin.  Combined with in excess of €2 billion in loan guarantees, the total stimulus package amounts to some €7.4 billion, officials said. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Taoiseach says 50 measures will ‘address every significant area of economic activity’

Covid unemployment payment to be extended until April 2021 but closed to new applicants

Saoirse McHugh   announced her move saying it would “turn my stomach” to remain in the Green Party. File photograph: Collins

Former election candidate says ‘only way forward is climate justice’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: The centrepiece of the Government stimulus plan will be  new employment supports based on a German scheme. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Plan will include new employment scheme to support wages of those temporarily put on short-time working

Taoiseach Micheál Martin arrives at Dublin Castle for meeting of the Cabinet meeting. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Analysis: Fledgling Government needs to quickly start doing better or circumstances will tear it apart

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘The agreement reached is unprecedented in terms of the European Union collectively borrowing for the first time ever to respond to a global pandemic of this scale.’ Photograph: Francisco Seco

State in line for large share of €5bn Brexit fund in ‘unprecedented’ joint borrowing plan

Independent TD Mattie McGrath: he said  Ireland “is set to become fifth highest net contributor to the fund behind Germany, France, Holland and Sweden”

Sinn Féin says new budget represents 10% cut in CAP, and accuses Taoiseach of failing to protect Irish farmers

Passengers at Dublin Airport. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Government says ‘safest thing to do is not to travel’ but quarantine not needed for those arriving from selected locations

NUI Galway Professor Alan Ahearne is to join Taoieach Micheál Martin’s team as economic adviser.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Alan Ahearne joins Taoiseach’s team, Donal Geoghegan named Ryan’s joint chief of staff

Siptu said the decision of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform not to permit employers pay their staff as per their roster if they were put on Covid-19 related leave “resulted in significant financial disadvantage being incurred”. File photograph: Getty

Culture of staff working when ill contributed to larger outbreaks, says IMO as State’s chief medic warns workplaces are ‘new front(...)

Concerns about the dangers of overseas visitors bringing further infections to Ireland have grown as the lockdown has eased and tourism has restarted.  Photograph: Getty Images

Pressure from tourism industry to reopen quicker, and from health experts to slow down

Attorney General Paul Gallagher has advised  that the legal underpinning for the rent freeze and the eviction ban –  in place since the pandemic hit – is uncertain and could be open to challenge in the courts.

Attorney General says the measures - set to lapse today - could be open to legal challenge

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has plenty of enemies behind him. But he has far greater problems facing him. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

FF leader faces three significant issues: second Covid-19 wave, US presidential election and Brexit

 Barry Cowen with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin outside Leinster House. File photograph: Collins

Government and Fianna Fáil have suffered political damage from Barry Cowen sacking

Taoiseach Micheál Martin arriving at the Convention Centre to take Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil. Few incoming taoisigh have faced such a daunting in-tray. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ballooning budget deficit lurks in background of every decision facing Government

Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna, Spain’s Minister for economic affairs Nadia Calvino and Ireland’s Minister for Finance  Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Javier Soriano,Emmanuel Dunand, Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Spanish said to be seething as small nations choose Irishman over ‘favourite’ candidate

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: Perhaps he will never be forgiven by his own party for showing it how it had to change to regain power. Photograph:  Maxwells

Unless party pulls itself together, it will fail to withstand challenges of government

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and president of the Eurogroup:  “What I will do is continue to find the balance between . . . what is right for Europe and for Ireland overall.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister will lead euro-zone finance team in funding cost of pandemic and recovery

First Minister Arlene Foster announced the planned trip to Northern Ireland of Taoiseach Micheál Martin at a press conference on Thursday. Photograph: Cate McCurry/PA Wire

First Minister ‘very much looking forward’ to welcoming Taoiseach to Northern Ireland

Contenders for the post of president of the Eurogroup: (from left) Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna, Spain’s minister for economic affairs Nadia Calviño  and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Finance seeks election in contest with Luxembourg and Spanish counterparts

Taoiseach Micheál Martin acknowledged that the structures of the party should be improved. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Parliamentary party meeting hears Taoiseach acknowledge many were disappointed with his selection of ministers

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