The weekly figures reached a new high of almost 84,000 Covid-19 tests processed last week.  File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Move to create ‘surge capacity’ after demand for swabs approaches 15,000 daily limit

The weekly number of calls made by contact tracers over seven days has more than doubled in the past fortnight from  4,600 per week on September 4th to more than 10,500 as of last Friday.  Photograph: Getty Images

There are now 2,000 calls per day being made to close contacts of those who have contracted Covid-19

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien: ‘If somebody wants to go in and do work, that preservation order on the building is treated almost the same as a national monument.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Inflexible preservation orders a ‘disincentive’ to urban living, says Minister for Housing

A primary criticism is that Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is disconnected from his own parliamentarians, says one Leinster TD.  File photograph: Alan Betson

Majority in FF do not want leader’s removal, but many take issue with his operating style

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

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

Central market square in Wroclaw Poland. Photograph: iStock

Number of countries reduced to seven from 10 amid rising infection rates

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

Senator Lisa Chambers was among those who rowed in to offer strong support to the Taoiseach during the virtual meeting. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government Chief Whip’s report proposes giving backbench TDs more access to Ministers

Paschal Donohoe said anyone from Dublin considering a staycation elsewhere in the country should reschedule. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Covid-19 group chaired by Taoiseach to discuss the latest report from NPHET on Friday

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’

Covid-19 oversight group will be established. It will be chaired by Secretary to the Government Martin Fraser (above).

Senior civil servant to chair group to advise on strategic economic and social policy

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

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the publication of the Govenment’s mid-term  Covid-19 plan which  will set out ‘how we will live and how we will work with the virus’. Screenshot via RTE News

Cabinet publishes its medium-term ‘Living with Covid-19’ plan, scraps travel ‘green list’

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar speaks to the media during a tour of the K-Leisure facility in Naas, Co Kildare on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government may escalate alert level of Dublin above the rest of the State under its new plan

Use of public transport, visits to households and nursing homes, and sports events are among the activities governed by the Covid-19 safety rule system. Photograph: Alan Betson

Scale of activity, visiting numbers and freedom of movement to vary with specific status

Vicky Phelan is supporting a Bill to allow terminally ill patients decide the timing of their own death. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Phelan asks parties to allow free vote on assisted dying Bill brought by TD Gino Kenny

People wearing face masks on Dublin’s Grafton Street. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Keeping schools, colleges open the priority above pubs, aviation, sports

Friday’s figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) indicated that 121 of 211 new Covid-19 cases were in Dublin, with one new death.

Ministers to announce framework for living with Covid-19 in next six months

A border poll in the near future is an essential stepping stone for Sinn Féin. All other parties in the Republic are opposed to any plebiscite in the short term. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Political parties in the Republic point to consent as cornerstone of any future change

Rules on travel will change as the green list is being dispensed with. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Plan replaces reopening roadmap and is intended to run until the end of spring 2021

The National Public Health Emergency Team suggested it might be premature to reopen public houses in the capital from September 21st. Photograph: Alan Betson

Call for restrictions on households mixing but crowds could return to sporting events

‘I believe that we must now, with our schools re-opened, muster a fresh determination to give our efforts, as the late John B. Keane might put it, ‘our almighty best’,’  President Michael D Higgins said in a message on Covid-19. Photograph: Maxwells

Over-use of ‘Doomsday’ language in virus messaging unhelpful, President says

Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry advised the Taoiseach not to do any further joint press conference with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar because the Fine Gael leader was ‘running rings’ around him. File photograph: The Irish Times

Party leader criticised over dealings with the troops, where exchange leaves a lot to be desired

Live music events will have to adhere to social distancing rules when ‘wet pubs’ reopen on September 21st. This file imags shows a music session in a pub before the pandemic. File photograph: Frank Miller.

Measure proposed to deal with high number of community transmissions in capital

First Minister Arlene Foster (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill arrive for the media broadcast at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, in Belfast on Thursday. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Conferences suspended following controversy over republican Bobby Storey’s funeral

Total fatalities from the virus remains at 1,781. File photograph: The Irish Times

Taoiseach cautions adults in bid to guarantee schools stay open and people continue working

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: he said the message to people in Dublin and Limerick was to remain “very vigilant, socially distant, reduce your social contacts”. Photograph: Getty Images

Martin says there is concern about rising Covid case in Dublin and Limerick, but rules out local restrictions for the two counties

The number of infections among older people has almost doubled. File photograph: The Irish Times

Public health officials now warning people living in the capital city to limit family gatherings

Dual pricing is typified by insurers offering new customers better rates than those renewing their policies, who may end up paying a “loyalty premium”. Photograph: iStock

Central Bank warns against ‘unintended consequences’ as Government considers ban

A motorist is handed a test kit at a pop-up Covid-19 testing facility in Dublin amid a spike in cases in the city. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Coronavirus cases may prompt strict measures in two cities as pubs still set for reopening

A protest by members of the Licenced Vintners Association(LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) outside the  Dáil to protest over the delayed  reopening of pubs. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Ministers say fourth proposed opening date will not be subject to change or further delays

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

Cork publicans protest over pub closures outside Simon Coveney’s offices in Carrigaline, Co Cork. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Health officials and Ministers sound note of caution over infection rates in some regions

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’

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

Taoiseach Micheal Martin arriving for a visit to pharmaceutical and biotech research firm APC in Cherrywood. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach says aim of new regulation is to to deal with rogue operators

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (left) arriving for a visit to pharmaceutical and biotech research firm APC in Cherrywood, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

‘I think we are looking at a longer-term situation in living with Covid-19 and dealing with lives and livelihoods’

 Publican Hugh Hourican with a pint of Guinness and a receipt at The Boar’s Head Pub on Capel Street, Dublin. Publicans are annoyed with the suggestion that they have to retain sales receipts for 28 days. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘We are dealing with mistake after mistake,’ says Minister. ‘We need a comprehensive plan’

The Government is looking at how to reopen all pubs safely and will put in place a new road map on September 13th to guide people, the Minister for Justice said. File image: Laura Hutton/Irish Times

Helen McEntee said Ireland was an outlier in Europe for keeping pubs closed

Alan Kelly TD, Labour Party leader and Sen. Marie Sherlock, launch the party’s paid sick leave and parental leave bill at Leinster House. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fallout from Clifden dinner high on agenda for half-day sitting

The late Martin McGuinness  (centre) with former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Gerry Adams: In an RTÉ documentary, Mr Ahern praises Mr McGuinness as a negotiator and a politician. Photograph: Frank Miller

Documentary to be broadcast Wednesday examines life and legacy of late Sinn Féin politician

The Chinese ambassador to Ireland, He Xiangdong, at the Chinese embassy on Ailesbury Road, Dublin. Photograph:  Crispin Rodwell

Envoy questions if China source of Covid-19, claims reports of earlier external cases

Former US president Franklin D Roosevelt brought huge focus and energy to the terrible crisis he had been elected to resolve.

Fast governmental action mythologised in era of Roosevelt not always best way forward

Two phones with the Covid Tracker app installed on them. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Number likely to be higher as people opting for certain privacy settings are not included

Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed the new testing programmes following a two-hour meeting of the Cabinet committee on Covid-19 on Monday. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Testing extended to meat plant workers and asylum seekers

A briefing note for Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the €80m allocated for direct provision accommodation would have been spent by the end of June. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Department of Justice estimates €44m shortfall in funding for Garda payroll costs

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said changes in the planning laws introduced by former minister for housing Eoghan Murphy in 2018 had allowed developers build co-living forms of housing. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘No one should be expected to live in a 12 square metre space,’ says Ó Broin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: said  Ministers will outline which measures they intend to introduce later in the week.

Taoiseach pledges further economic supports for Kildare, Laois and Offaly

Sinn Féin member Paul Heffernan used fake profiles to abuse businessmen, politicians and celebrities on Twitter.

Eoin Ó Broin rejects suggestion there is a ‘Shinnerbot’ phenomenon with the party

The State’s incidence of Covid-19 appears set to surpass that of the UK for the first time since the pandemic started, new figures show. File photograph: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Government may draw up a new roadmap to deal with coronavirus contingencies

Almost 160,000 passengers arrived in Dublin Airport during July, most from non-green list countries. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Online passenger locator form being developed by HSE due to launch this month

Brendan Halligan was characterised as ‘an unrivalled political organiser’. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Party chief Alan Kelly pays tribute to leading light, while Taoiseach lauds ‘commitment’

The Kildare Chilling Company Meat Plant on the outskirts of Kildare Town, where there has been a significant outbreak of Covid-19 among employees. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Minister says it would not be appropriate for these factories to open during lockdown

Gardaí have said they will have a ‘visible presence’ in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly from today. File photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Glynn says there is no guarantee restrictions in these counties will be lifted after two weeks

Taoiseach Micheál Martin delivers a live address on the steps of Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal

Move criticised as ‘blunt instrument’ and ‘draconian’ by local TD Charlie Flanagan

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar arriving at  a Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In recent weeks there have been Government announcements, and then there have been Varadkar announcements

Former minster for justice Charlie Flanagan and current Laois TD says State aid needs to follow any restrictions. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

TDs criticise delayed response of State agencies to ‘obvious’ meat plant risks

Taoiseach Micheál Martin outlines the new restrictions that have been imposed on the residents of Kildare, Laois and Offaly in response to a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the midlands. Photograph: Julien Behal

Garda checkpoints to enforce new travel limits, cafes and pubs to close for two weeks

Taoiseach Micheál Martin in his office, with a portrait of Seán Lemass in the background. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Interview: Taoiseach defends Government’s less-than-ideal start and reopening strategy

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘We’re still the largest party in the Dáil which gets forgotten. And our people need to realise that.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Martin cautions on waiting times and diagnostics in addition to housing targets

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

TD Jackie Cahill seeks extraordinary meeting of Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members

Some Ministers have questioned the messaging coming from the Department of the Taoiseach. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty

Some Ministers privately voice concern at endangered pubs and handling of pandemic

With consumer activity severely restricted in April and May, VAT receipts were 22.7%  or €2.2bn  down on the same period last year. Photograph: Tom Honan

Government’s budget deficit soars as VAT receipts crash and spending rises

Closed pubs in Dublin’s Temple Bar. Publicans had hoped they would be able to reopen on August 10th. Photograph: Collins

Scally says alcohol is ‘best friend’ of Covid-19 and pubs must stay shut

Mulligan's

Taoiseach sympathises with publicans as phase four of reopening further delayed

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the media briefing that followed Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

GAA president urges patience and says games will continue to be played

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Dr Ronan Glynn during the post-Cabinet press briefing. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Green list shortened, restaurants to close at 11pm and face coverings mandatory in shops

Green Party TD Malcolm Noonan: ‘The storage of hares for prolonged periods in coursing parks would further add to the risk of spreading infection.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease means hare-coursing licences likely to stay suspended

Green Party leader Éamon Ryan, Minister of State Joe O’Brien and TD Neasa Hourigan. Photograph: Tom Honan

The party prides itself on doing things differently. Doing them right would be better

 Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

TD wants to remain as a Green parliamentarian after voting against Government Bill

Dara Calleary, Minister for Agriculture arriving  for his first Cabinet meeting in that role. Photograph: Alan Betson

Coalition has now lost two ministers, and reversed on policy positions and annoyed the public

Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking in the Dáil sitting in Dublin's Convention Centre. File photograph: Oireachtas TV screenshot

Abstention by Minister of State creates further drama for his party – and the Coalition

The former Skellig Star hotel in Co Kerry which has been operating as a direct provision centre. Image via Google Maps

More than 30 residents on hunger strike in protest at conditions in Cahersiveen centre

Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan who has resigned as party chief whip after voting against the Government. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Concern within Government circles after Minister of State fails to support legislation

Large clusters of parliamentarians are disaffected, for a variety of reasons, with Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

From Barry Cowen to ministerial pay, the Coalition has had more than a few wobbles

Norma Foley TD, Minister for Education. . Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Contents of Government plan broadly welcomed but unions say €375m allocated may prove insufficient

Norma Foley had her best moment as Minister for Education on Monday after a shaky July. Photograph: Alan Betson

With huge investment, complex logistics and guidelines, early indications are it just might work

Eamon Ryan: his supporters in the party said  “a win was a win”. Photograph: Getty Images

Leader’s victory over Catherine Martin by just 48 votes was much tighter than anybody had anticipated

Michael McGrath said the change was taken to ensure that all three super junior minsters  be “treated equally”. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Public Expenditure Minister says he has no knowledge of FF opposing such an increase in last Dáil

Paschal Donohoe said rationale of July stimulus is to sustain employment and give small companies ‘fighting chance’.   Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

€24 billion spent on coronavirus actions ‘unprecedeneted’, says Minister for Finance

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and deputy leader Catherine Martin: result raises questions about durability of Ryan’s leadership. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Ryan wins 51.2% of poll, while challenger Catherine Martin wins 48.8% of votes

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

Eamon Ryan, who retained his leadership of the Green Party by 994 votes to 946, and deputy leader Catherine Martin in a Dublin hotel after the leadership contest result was announced. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Analysis: Eamon Ryan retains leadership but Catherine Martin emerges in strong position

Taoiseach Micheál Martin was highly critical of Sinn Féin. Focusing on the party’s contribution in the Dáil. Photograph: Franciso Ceso/EPA / POOL

Members claimed Varadkar trying to have ownership of Green List announcement

Eamon  Ryan won 994 of the 1,950 votes cast with Catherine Martin winning 946.  File photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

‘Really close result’: Catherine Martin misses out by just 48 votes

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

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, innovation and Science. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Coronavirus: Minister to set out public health regulations for universities and colleges

Government sources  confirmed the green list would be reduced to a “very limited” number of countries when it is finalised at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. File photograph: Getty

Parties divided over publication of list of countries while advising public not to travel

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is  understood to be working on a scheme that will offer a tax rebate to encourage people to holiday in Ireland this year. File photograph: Getty

Huge financial package aimed at mitigating record 8.3% recession forecast across EU

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: A significant minority now favour an alternative path, and with it, an alternative leader. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Cowen affair may mean as many as one-third of party TDs no longer support the Taoiseach

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar arrives at the Convention Centre in Dublin for a Dáil session on Thursday.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste says that continuing the commercial rates waiver will also be considered

Former minister for agriculture Barry Cowen. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Some of party’s TDs say as many as a third of members sceptical of Martin’s leadership

Barry Cowen. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Micheál Martin had made up his mind the Minister had to go if he refused to make a second statement

Green Party leadership candidate Catherine Martin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Green Party leadership candidates spoke at final hustings of the campaign on Tuesday

Former minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen TD during a   Cabinet meeting at Dublin Castle earlier this month. File photograph: Collins

Vetting of proposed ministers ‘always carried out’, says former minister of state

 Barry Cowen was appointed a little over a fortnight ago as Minister for Agriculture by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach praised for acting ‘decisively’ as Barry Cowen is sacked as minister

 Former minister for agriculture  Barry Cowen: The Taoiseach had asked Mr Cowen to resign but the Offaly TD had refused. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Offaly TD also refused to make second public statement about drink-driving ban

 Former minister for agriculture  Barry Cowen: The Taoiseach had asked Mr Cowen to resign but the Offaly TD had refused. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

TD ‘surprised and disappointed’; move comes amid continuing controversy over drink driving ban

When contacted by The Irish Times on Monday, Barry Cowen said he had said all he was going to say about the matter and would make no further comment. Photograph: Alan Betson

Green Party leader says story ‘isn’t going away’ and there is need for further clarity

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