Science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) courses were trumped as the most lauded area of study, but that acronym has evolved further to Steam, which includes the arts.

Many school leavers opt for an arts degree before specialising in another area

Springboard + is funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund. Photograph: Getty

Springboard+ offers 392 free, part-time conversion courses in higher education

Photograph: iStock

Former MBA students discuss their experiences in business school

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced a strategy aimed at tackling and preventing obesity. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Strategy will include community-based programmes and health interventions

Gardaí said investigations are ongoing. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Men detained after gardaí carry out number of searches in Portarlington area

The cannabis and cash seized by gardaí in Ballinteer on Tuesday. Photograph: An Garda Síochána gardai

Drugs €2,000 in cash found at property in Ballinteer after gardaí stop vehicle

Some 8 per cent of the adult population in Ireland have a “significant” hearing loss, according to the HSE’s 2011 audiology review. File image: iStock

Charity calls for ‘universal ear care’ with 8% of population having ‘significant’ hearing loss

Men were more likely to report that they would take the vaccine next week, with 92.5 per cent of male respondents saying yes, compared with 81.6 per cent of female respondents. Photograph: EPA/BioNTech SE/Handout

CSO data shows women are four times more likely to decline the jab than men

More than one in four respondents (25.8 per cent) reported they will not take a holiday in 2021, compared with one in nine (11.2 per cent) that would normally not take a holiday in a typical year before the onset of Covid-19. Photograph: iStock

Overseas arrivals in January decreased by 34.3% when compared to December

A total of 11,736 tonnes of electrical waste were recycled in local authority centres in 2020, compared with 10,635 in the previous year, according to data from WEEE Ireland. Photograph: iStock

Groups urges public not to dispose of batteries and electrical products in landfill

A HSE report found Extern Ireland issued “emergency hardship loans” of up to €2,500 to staff in “exceptional circumstances”. Illustration: Extern Ireland website

Extern Ireland criticised in HSE audit for manner in which public funding was used

A staff member dons  PPE before working in the Covid Emergency Department at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin. File Photograph: Alan Betson

Concerns raised over way deliveries were measured at a Dublin warehouse

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan by the casket of his wife, Dr Emer Feely, as it arrives for her funeral Mass at St Pius X Church, Terenure, Dublin. Photograph: Damien Storan/PA Wire

Chief medical officer says his wife was ‘loving, caring, warm, witty and sunny person’

 Bobby Lee (11). Photograph: Supplied by family

Bobby Lee (11) became ill to the point where hospital feared he would need ICU transfer

About 20% of meat plant workers in the Republic have contracted Covid-19, with three outbreaks in recent weeks.  Photograph: Getty Images

Three cases of Brazilian variant P1 have been detected in the Republic

Gardaí stop vehicles at a Covid-19 checkpoint near the Border between Emyvale, Co Monaghan, and Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Northern Ireland records four further deaths and 263 new coronavirus cases

Foxes, badgers, pigeons, gulls and buzzards are some of the most common animal species the hospital will treat. Photograph: Getty

Facility set up as ‘emergency response’ amid thousands of calls over injured animals

Jennifer Gibney:“I honestly didn’t think we would get confirmation this early.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Many candidates plan to sit exams and take calculated grades this year

Anzhela Kotsinian and her husband Ilabek Avetian in Dublin before the accident, which left Mr Avetian with life-changing injuries

Minister announces new measures to help gardaí clamp down on quads and scramblers

GPs and practice nurses receive their second dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at St Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, over the weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

McGrath says businesses supports can’t run indefinitely but will only be withdrawn as health situation allows

Organist Fergal Caulfield rehearsing on stage at National Concert Hall for a special performance of Faure’s Requiem dedicated to victims of Covid-19. Photograph: Mark Stedman

Live-streaming and a more local outlook are among the changes the pandemic has forced

Jay Bobinac, who was homeless but is now helping other homeless people with the charity Tiglin in Dublin city. Photograph: Laura Hutton

The cold weather was the worst part about living on the streets, homeless worker says

The number of ICU admissions also continued to decrease, with 12 admissions last week, down from a peak of 124 in January.  File photograph: The Irish Times

ICU admissions fall significantly while number of new confirmed cases down 27%

Cork couple Andy and Eileen Casey with their restored BSA A50 motorbike at Blarney square, where they first met in 1964. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

‘I think she fell in love with the bike more than me, you know’

Dating app Bumble has reported an increase in ‘new dawn daters’. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dating services report increase in users in their 30s and 40s amid Covid-19 worries

 Bonnie Lawrence (4) and Emmie Mills (10) sled down a hill in the Wicklow mountains as Met Eireann has  issued fresh status  snow and ice warnings. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Up to 5cm of snow expected on Thursday in certain areas

Neesha is carried off Wicklow mountains after being rescued at the weekend.

Golden retriever Neesha rescued by doctors after bolting after a deer during a family hike

Det Insp Michelle Boyd said carrying out attacks like this during a pandemic is ‘particularly repugnant’

Two men injured in Creggan area as detectives appeal for witnesses to ‘savage attacks’

 Archbishop Dermot Farrell (Right) at the Holy Spirit Church, Ballymun preparing for his his first mass since being appointed as Archbishop of Dublin, alongside Fr Ciaran Enright, Co PP and Fr Declan Blake. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Dermot Farrell says country ‘desensitised’ to knife violence and resulting deaths ‘which are far, far too numerous’

Lynsey Bennett outside the High Court on Wednesday Photograph: Collins Courts

Lynsey Bennett settled High Court action over alleged misinterpretation of cervical smear slides

Infection control nurse Colin Clarke looking out from a Covid-19 recovery ward at Craigavon Area Hospital in Co Armagh last year.  File photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Number of weekly fatalities in North fell by 25% last week, according to statistics agency

Plans for 853 homes at the Santry site, one of the largest owned by the council, collapsed last November following the refusal of councillors to approve a deal with developer Glenveagh Homes. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Development of 853 homes on Oscar Traynor Road site collapsed last November

Between January 19th and February 1st, 235 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney area, which has a population of 21,436. PPhotograph: Magnaparte

Co Monaghan has three of the 10 most infected communities in the State

 Storyteller Joe Brennan from Wexford town, storytelling over the phone. Photograph:  Patrick Browne

Public can call up for 20-minute story in council effort to combat loneliness among elderly

Gardaí dancing to the viral African hit Jerusalema. Image: Twitter

Garda video shows members of force dancing to Jerusalema around Ireland in response to Swiss police callout

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys says she is “pleased” that people are returning to work, despite Level 5 restrictions. File photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Numbers ‘starting to plateau again’, says Minister Humphreys

Prof Anthony Staines, professor in health systems at Dublin City University is one member of the group calling for the adaption of a zero Covid policy.

Scientists, academics launch campaign calling on Government to introduce strategy

The scene is preserved pending a technical examination and investigations are ongoing, a Garda spokesman said.

Man (30s) arrested at scene in Baldoyle and is being held at Clontarf Garda station

“In a normal year about 75%  of the revenue for the tourism economy actually comes from the international tourists.” Photograph: Getty Images

Representatives say domestic travel not enough to sustain tourism sector, and viability of many businesses could be in doubt

The Government on Tuesday extended the current lockdown measures until March 5th and announced additional restrictions on international travel. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Experts are concerned about travel due to new, more transmissible variants of virus

The rescue crew were ‘very happy’ to reunite Archie the dog with his owners and that he was not injured from his fall. Photograph: RNLI

Rescuers say dog owners did the right thing calling Irish Coast Guard and not risking their safety

Covid-19 has impacted many aspects of their lives, including family access arrangements, education, mental health and accommodation options for young people leaving care.

Covid-19 pandemic has presented ‘significant challenges’ for young people in care

The US will also ban entry to most non-US citizens who have recently been in South Africa in response to the new Covid-19 strain there. File photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

Further 23 deaths and 1,378 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Republic on Sunday

 Dr Tony Holohan at a Covid-19 media briefing  at the Department of Health. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Nphet reports 77 more deaths as Martin warns of restrictions for six more months

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO general secretary, has called on the HSE to introduce urgent upgrades to safety measures for hospital staff including a national requirement that high-standard FFP2 masks be used in all healthcare settings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Upgraded hospital standards needed as infection is harming staff, says INMO

Taoiseach Micheál Martin during a session of Dáil Éireann at the Convention Centre in Dublin’s City Centre. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ireland facing Covid-19 restrictions for first six months of 2021 and vaccine delay for over-70s

Eddie Cadman’s son Nathan (12) is autistic and has regressed due to the closure of schools

Readers describe sadness, anxiety and frustration amid school closures during pandemic

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan: he  said the find-test-trace-isolate process was vital to controlling the spread of infections. Photograph:  Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Holohan urges people to contact their GP as soon as symptoms occur so contacts can be traced

Dr Ronan Glynn: The ‘key thing’ is to reduce the number of people coming into the country in the coming weeks. Photograph: Oireachtas TV

Nphet in favour of ‘any measure’ that could suppress the virus, says Deputy CMO

Adam Weldon (aged three) from Dublin getting ready for the  virtual parade. Photograph: St Patrick’s Day Festival

Ongoing pandemic prompts move to online festival with a special tv channel

‘We need to know why people who were ringing up for a bed were refused a bed.’

Some are refused entry to emergency accommodation because last known address not in Dubln

The number of residents with confirmed cases of the virus also increased in the first two weeks of the year from 15 to 61. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mental Health Commission expresses concern at ‘notable increase’ of Covid-19

Tessie Carroll for 60 years wheeled her pram full of clothes and bric a brac from her Hill Street home to her pitch at the flea market on  Cumberland Street North.

For 60 years, Tessie Carroll sold clothes and bric-a-brac on Cumberland Street North

Sisters and Waterford senior county footballers, Aoife and Emma Murray, play at the new Waterford LGFA site with Ellie O’Connor and Elsie May Shaw. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Site to include ‘state-of-the-art’ pitch, running track, spectator stand and car park

Soldiers will be deployed daily over the coming weeks to assist nursing home staff with non-clinical general duties. Photograph: iStock

Over 25 soldiers sent to facilities in Ballincollig and Douglas, Co Cork, and Ennis, Co Clare

More than 20,000 people have received alerts saying they have been in close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case through the Health Service Executive (HSE)’s Covid Tracker phone app since it was released in July. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

HSE unable to say home many of those notified of exposures later tested positive

A pharmacist holding   a phial of the undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19. Photograph: Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty

Health authorities now publishing vaccination numbers on Covid data hub

Cars  line up at the RocDoc rapid Covid test centre based  at Dublin Airport on Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Anyone who arrived into State from Brazil is urged to self-isolate and identify for testing

President Michael D Higgins: The State must bear primary responsibility for failing to provide appropriate supports for these tens of thousands of young women and their children. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Needs of survivors must be responded to generously and without delay, says President

‘Remote trauma counselling is here to stay as part of a new hybrid model of on- and off-clinical counselling,’ according to the Rape Crisis Network Ireland director. Photograph: iStock

Rape Crisis Network aims to improve remote treatment after rise in helpline contacts

The drugs seized by gardaí in Ballina, Co Mayo on Tuesday. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

Searches uncover €79,500 worth of suspected cocaine and €22,700 worth of cannabis

The scene of the rescue in Co Limerick. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

Two gardaí deserve ‘tremendous praise’ for quick actions at River Deel, says inspector

Ambulances outside the  Emergency Department at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hospital system under severe pressure as patients in Donegal treated in ambulances

Each tester completed eight tests a day pre-Covid. Photograph: Getty

Covid-19 has created a backlog and additional testers are needed to meet demand

Ambulances queue outside Letterkenny University Hospital on Sunday evening. Photograph: INMO

INMO calls for help as patients are assessed outside Donegal facility amid lack of capacity

Insp Sean Leahy, Ruby and her owners Bernard and Liz Ahern, Det Michelle Quinn and Supt Adrian Gamble. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

Ruby the springer spaniel was recovered after a woman in the UK saw her for sale

Social distancing sign. The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is 1291.2 nationally. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

1,452 people with Covid-19 in hospital on Sunday, with 125 in intensive care units

Ciara Jones and her son Gavin (11) at their home in Clonee, West Dublin. ‘A massive mistake was made. Any hope we had left is gone.’ Photograph: Laura Hutton

Government has scrapped plans for special education to resume on Monday due to Covid-19

Co-owner of Floral Art florists, Adrienne Eber, pictured at  the   Greystones branch after  it was announced that click and collect will no longer be allowed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Businesses to focus on online sales only as click and collect services ordered to halt

The Waterford Whisper News skit caused widespread offence when the former newsreader Aengus Mac Grianna read out a mock bulletin stating that God had been arrested on charges of sexual harassment.

‘Satire is an important part of the offering to our audience... but must adhere standards’

 Minister for Education Norma Foley speaking at a Government press briefing on Wednesday when the plan was initially announced. Photograph: Julien Behal

Remote learning to take place until February 1st after unions and principals voiced opposition

The Irish Dental Association said many members are concerned about operating due to increased prevalence of coronavirus in the community. File photograph: Getty

Mounting worry about operating due to increased prevalence of virus in community

Gardaí must be among the groups given high-priority for receiving the Covid-19 vaccine due to members of the force facing an ‘increased danger of exposure’ to the disease, a representative organisation has said. Photograph: Collins.

Garda HQ says members of force affected by disease but capacity to do its duties remains

Science broadcaster and biologist Liz Bonnin. Photograph: Andrew Hasson/BBC

Broadcaster laments ‘blatant misunderstanding of what it takes to contain the virus’

A man is due to appear in court over an alleged car-jacking in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

Understood that a woman was threatened at knife point at garage forecourt in East Wall

 Robert Buckley of Parkside Childcare, Rathfarnham, Dublin with staff members Denise Carroll (left) and Ann Marie Rush who all had to get a Covid test for work. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Robert Buckey’s daycare expected to care for less than half of normal numbers this week

The Government said it would “provide guidance to services on how to prioritise demand for places”. Photograph: iStock

Facilities call for greater clarity on who qualifies as ‘essential workers’

Prof Brian MacCraith, chair of the State’s Covid-19 taskforce, said the issue of increasing the gap between vaccine doses had been discussed by the group in recent days. Photograph: Adam Warzawa/EPA

Extending period between shots could maximise numbers vaccinated in rollout

Prof Brian MacCraith, chair of the State’s Covid-19 taskforce, said the issue of increasing the gap between vaccine doses had been discussed by the group in recent days. Photograph: Adam Warzawa/EPA

Extending period between shots could maximise numbers vaccinated in rollout

Shoppers in Dublin city centre on  New Year’s Eve. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Nphet warns 9,000 additional new cases will be reported in coming days

Prof Philip Nolan, cchair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group: ‘On the 28th of December there were 2,000 positive tests and the 29th of December there was almost 3,000.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Lag between test becoming positive and result being recorded in system over past three days

The Human Tissue Bill would  provide for a soft ‘opt-out’ organ donation systemFile photograph: Getty Images

Donnelly intends to bring Bill to Cabinet for ‘opt-out’ organ-donation system

After a meeting with the department on Friday early-learning representatives said the closure will also be extended to early childhood education and care facilities. File photograph: Getty

Latest move comes in bid to clip spread of Covid-19, according to Department of Children

Dr Tony Holohan: ‘This disease is now widespread in our communities and as a result we are asking everyone to behave as if they are a close contact.’ File photograph: Colin Keegan

Close contacts of confirmed cases no longer advised to get tested

A woman receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Dubai. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

More men than women say they will get the vaccine in Red C poll of 1,001 Irish adults

Wicklow Street, Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

‘We don’t know what we’re allowed to do,’ says one Next manager in quiet city centre

Between March 12th and December 12th, Childline recorded 53,722 web users, an increase of 34% on the same period last year. Photograph: iStock

Charity saw rise in web chat and text contacts as users did not want to be ‘overheard’

Eric O’Byrne, volunteer at Childline, says  the home can become an unsafe place for many children over Christmas. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rise in domestic abuse and impact of restrictions on children overlooked, say Childline workers

  Christmas Eve night could be quite frosty. File photograph: Getty Images

There may be sleet and snow on high ground on Sunday into Monday

Hair salons must close again on Christmas Eve following the announcement of further Covid-10 restrictions by the Government on Tuesday. File photograph: Getty Images

Dublin salon only found out about positive case when some staff alerted by Covid app

Irish Rail have said there will be no train service on Christmas Day or St Stephen’s Day. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Irish Rail to operate 50% capacity up to Christmas Eve and 25% from December 27th

In all cases of patronage, the Minister accepted the recommendations of the new schools establishment group. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Norma Foley announces patronage of schools which will cater for 2,700 students

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said advice on inter-county travel “may change” and a “long Cabinet meeting” will take place on Tuesday to discuss all data and information. Photograph: Filip Singer/EPA

Flights will not be accessible to those planning short trips to Ireland for Christmas, say Ministers

Tony Holohan said there had been ‘too much’ socialising over the last two weeks

In Dublin, Balbriggan recorded the highest incidence rate at 216.  The lowest incidence rate  was found in the  Ballyfermot/Drimnagh area at 43.4

Carndonagh in Donegal and Claremorris in Mayo have highest rates

Taoiseach Micheál Martin on RTÉ Six One News. Photograph: RTÉ

Varadkar confirms Government thinking about ‘essentially closing hospitality again’ as restaurateurs complain of ‘devastating econ(...)

David Owens with his piano on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Buskers not permitted to perform on Dublin’s streets due to public health guidelines

‘Hap limits are insufficient at meeting market rents, making it very difficult for low-income households to access private-rented accommodation,’ said St Vincent de Paul. File photograph: Getty

Oireachtas group hears Threshold and St Vincent de Paul call for review of scheme

A hardy walker passes the bear sculpture in Greystones in October. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Met Éireann issues alert for south and east while Cork braces for further overflows

Prof Helen Heneghan from the National Metabolic Surgery Centre at St Vincent’s hospital, said ‘on average patients also lost around a quarter of their bodyweight and the improvements persisted for at least four years’.  Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Two-thirds of participants not using insulin one year after procedures, study finds

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