To qualify for the grant, barristers had to be earning less than €100,000 per annum. File photograph: Getty

Financial aid worth more than €5,000 part of Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme

Sources in the Law Library said the grant had been relied on by many junior barristers, often younger and less experienced, who had seen their incomes severely impacted by Covid-19. Photograph: iStock

Barristers told to refund €750,000 in approved claims after later being deemed ineligible

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said he had ‘concerns that the scale of the developments is moving away from the niche quantity of units the concept originally aimed for’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Eoghan Murphy says Darragh O’Brien is ‘right to act’ over such planning applications

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has told officials he is concerned about the potential of planned co-living developments to undermine Government housing policies and put upward pressure on land prices. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Darragh O’Brien concerned about location and volume of planned developments

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. Photograph: Alan Betson

New approach by Darragh O’Brien cuts across policy defended vigorously by FG

A person wearing a facemasks passes a closed Italian restaurant on O Connell Streetduring the Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic in Dublin’s city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach says Christmas will be a very different to previous years due to Covid-19

Justice Minister Helen McEntee wrote to the Dáil’s business committee on Thursday, committing to address the other issues during time set aside for oral parliamentary questions. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Opposition parties say addressing matter during oral PQs will constrain and curtail questioning

The Department of Justice has confirmed the Government  appointed five other judges apart from Mr Justice Woulfe since taking power. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Other Supreme Court vacancy likely to be filled in next few months

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Minister for Justice Helen McEntee had not specifically mentioned any of the three other judges who had expressed an interest. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Government accused of ‘further evasion’ after Minister asks for her next session of oral ministerial questions to be rescheduled

The Government has put various measures in to try and de-fang the Nphet suggestions before they come to Cabinet. File photograph of Nphet chairman Dr Tony Holohan: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Politicians’ aim to unlock society will not match public health advice with disease’s downward trajectory no longer in place

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan: urged people to ‘work together’ to defeat the virus. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Inside Politics: Senior officials and Dr Tony Holohan involved in row over how to exit lockdown and manage pandemic over Christmas

 Séamus Woulfe: attended Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in August.   Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Previous remarks could prevent a politician from taking part in impeachment committee

 Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan: “We are seeing a number of things which concern us. There are examples of small numbers of people congregating for social purposes and simply ignoring the important public health messages. They are putting our collective progress at risk.” Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Nphet 'media strategy' is criticised, as coronavirus-related deaths pass 2,000

Work on the site had halted due to a dispute centred on the costs of resuming work under Covid-19 restrictions, and only resumed following an intervention from Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Dispute arose over company’s refusal to resume work on site after restrictions eased

Mia Greally (1) with motherJodi Carroll-Greally enjoying the turning on of Christmas lights in Dublin on Tuesday night. Photograph Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil meeting hears recriminations over how party HQ ran election strategy

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Some coalition TDs think Minister for Justice should draw a line under controversy

The National Children’s Hospital building site in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

BAM has made more than 600 claims for extra costs, Oireachtas committee told

 Séamus Woulfe: It appears there is no obstacle, barring possible action by Opposition parties, to the judge beginning work despite controversy. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Constitutional protection of judiciary’ best served by no further Coalition steps

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister says she adhered to ‘a very clear process’ before bringing his name to cabinet

Mr Justice  Séamus Woulfe: facing pressure to resign. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach also rejects calls for Helen McEntee to address Dáil over appointment

People enjoy takeaway pints in Dublin’s Temple Bar. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

There was resistance from Greens and Fine Gael at Cabinet over the issue this morning

It is understood the regulations will not prevent pubs from serving takeaway drinks, but will instead prevent people from gathering outdoors to drink together in groups of two or more

Proposals to go before Cabinet as Nphet official warns of Christmas travel impact

Coillte chief executive Imelda Hurley will warn TDs and Senators on Tuesday that a backlog in  appeals for forestry felling licences has ‘seriously challenged the sector through this year’. File photograph: Getty Images.

TDs and Senators to be told timber supply at ‘critically low levels’ due to licence appeal backlog

Geraldine Feeney is a former Fianna Fáil senator. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Former Fianna Fáil Senator acted as a lobbyist for the National Association of General Practitioners

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Legal academics say Coalition’s concerns over such a Dáil session are overstated

 Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath says Government ‘relations are strong, and they will need to be, because we face huge challenges in the period ahead’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister warns ECB support will not last forever and says ruling out tax rises would be foolish

Chief Justice Frank Clarke listens to the then attorney general Séamus Woulfe at an event in Dublin. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Opposition leaders to seek independent legal advice and full documentation on controversy

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath: ‘We’re certainly not saying that there won’t be revenue-raising measures in the Government’s lifetime, because I think it is inevitable that there will be some.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Taoiseach suggests staged approach to exiting Level 5 at the start of December

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee considered expressions of interest from serving judges in Supreme Court vacancy before recommending Séamus Woulfe to Cabinet on July 15th. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

‘The less political involvement the better’ in judicial appointments - Micheál Martin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: Stepping back to Level 3 restrictions from December 1st was “a target”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Restaurants expected to reopen in December but pubs not serving food may stay closed

Taoiseach  told the Dáil  on Wednesday that he would like to get back to Level 3 restrictions for December 1st. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Families need clarity on Covid-19 restrictions ahead of Chrismas, party meetings told

 Chief Justice Mr Justice Frank Clarke (pictured) should not have ‘invented a sanction’ that did not exist, former district court judge Michael Patwell said. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Supreme Court has backed itself ‘into a corner’ over Woulfe, says former judge

A 2019 file photograph of then-attorney general Séamus  Woulfe and Chief Justice Frank Clarke. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

It will now fall on Micheál Martin and his colleagues to address this very real crisis

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:   “There’s enough there for people who believe the worst of Leo or Fine Gael,” one Opposition source said. “But there’s nothing that’s going to hang him tomorrow.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Some on Opposition benches sceptical about political impact of Sinn Féin move

 Village magazine’s statement claimed it had evidence of up to 10 meetings between Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail (pictured) and then taoiseach Leo Varadkar. However, on Monday, parties to the alleged meetings disputed much of the statement. Photograph: Conor Healy/Picture It Photography

Tánaiste claims magazine has got ‘its facts wrong’

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoegiving an update on the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme  in Government Buildings,Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Government’s Covid Restrictions Support Scheme launched by Minister for Finance

Leo Varadkar: Enmeshed in controversy over the leaking of a GP draft document. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Move follows controversy about Tánaiste’s leaking of new GPs’ contract last year

Christian Aid Ireland says that profit generated in Ghana, for example, is moved to Ireland, leaving the African nation with less money to spend on services for children. File photograph: Getty

Review to examine if possible tax abuse by firms affects rights of minors in other states

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney it would have been better if the situation had never happened. Photograph: Tom Honan

Minister hopes Government can ‘move on’ after Tánaiste survives Dáil grilling

 Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman: says legislation to give adopted people access to their birth records, which had faltered during the last Dáil, would be introduced in 2021. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Minister relied on officials’ advice on mother and baby home record access and GDPR

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: In the course of a two-hour question-and-answer session,  he admitted mistakes and said “I have tried to learn from them.”  Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil, Green Party sources say they believe crisis for Tánaiste and Government will pass

The positivity rate for tests carried out also continues to improve, down to 4.8 per cent today from a high of 7.3 per cent on October 20th.  File photograph: The Irish Times.

Positivity rate for tests falls to 4.8 per cent having reached 7.3 per cent on October 20th

Dr Tony Holohan appears before the Oireachtas transport committee. Image:

Chief medical officer is appearing before the Oireachtas transport committee

Leo Varadkar has denied he broke the law. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

The GP, the magazine and the entrepreneur linked to the Tánaiste’s pay-deal leak

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: has strenuously denied  he broke any laws when he passed the document to the National Association of General Practitioners in April 2019.   Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Martin backs Tánaiste amid fears of fresh revelations and complaint to ethics body

Pharma giant Pfizer has announced a €300 million investment in Ireland which will see jobs added at three of its plants here. Photograph:  Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images

Ringaskiddy plant will manufacture early-stage drugs for clinical trials

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar issued a lengthy statement on Saturday evening in which he rejected the magazine’s claims that he may have broken the law. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Harris was not told by Tánaiste that he was sharing copy of GP contract

The number of healthcare workers absent due to Covid-19 stood at 1,697 on October 21st, the same day Level 5 restrictions were introduced. Photograph: Getty Images

HSE report shows almost 1,700 workers were absent when second lockdown introduced

Leo Varadkar’s leak ‘not a mortal sin but certainly a venal one’. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

‘Game-playing he constantly engages in has to end,’ says senior Fianna Fáil figure

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar issued a statement in which he rejected Village magazine’s claims that he may have broken the law. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

FG figures rally to leader’s defence despite Government unease over controversy

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: sent a document relating to a €210 million deal between the State and a GP group to a doctor representing a rival group.   Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Statement by Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail matches elements of version of events outlined by Tánaiste

Former minister and Fianna Fail TD  Barry Cowen said Leo Varadkar appeared to have made an ‘an inadvertent mistake he should learn from and move on’.

Sinn Féin claims the Tánaiste is hiding behind ‘lame excuses’ over controversy

The Green Party has  called on the Tánaiste to give a full and detailed account to the Dáil on the controversy and to   allow  time for questioning. Photograph: Getty

Tánaiste rejects article allegations that he acted unlawfully in sharing draft GP contract

A statement on behalf of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said  the decision to send a copy of the draft  agreement was ‘honouring a political commitment previously made by the Government.’ Photograph: PA

Tánaiste says sharing draft pay deal with IMO with NAGP in 2019 was ‘not best practice’

 Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan speaks during a  press briefing at the  Department of Health, Dublin, on Friday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

While latest figures show ‘positive indications’ health advisers warn against complacency

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he had met on Friday morning with groups involved in the mother-and-baby homes issue. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Report from commission received by Minister for Children on Friday

The HSE said that while evidence is emerging of Level 3 and Level 5 measures beginning to have an impact, a need for caution remains. File photograph: The Irish Times

Public health emergency team reports 772 further infections and six additional deaths

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, in Co Galway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government has temporarily limited damage but will have to tackle a range of issues

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

There will be fallout for departments found to have been at fault, Ministers told

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “In relation to any dark chapter from our past, I want openness, I want transparency, and I want honesty – and I want to shed a light on that.” Photograph: Getty Images

Government wants to introduce legislation to offer children held in Mother and Babies Homes greater rights to adoption records

HSE document said sanction ‘is critical to ensure continued availability of PPE stock to meet current needs and have the necessary buffer stocks in place to the end of 2020’.  Photograph: iStock

PPE sourcing ‘remains stable’ with ‘relatively secure supply lines’, report says

 In French president Emmanuel Macron’s televised address to the nation, he said: ‘The virus is circulating in France at a speed that even the most pessimistic had not anticipated.’ Photograph:  Philippe Lopez/ AFP via Getty

France in national lockdown, and Germany shuts bars and restaurants as Covid cases surge

The contact tracing call centre in UCD. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

How close are we to the goal of 80% of contacts quarantined within four days of symptoms?

Dr Kevin Kelleher, assistant national director of the HSE said contact callers can get ‘a fair degree of abuse’ on occasion, and he has witnessed tracers ‘visibly wilting’ as a result.

Committee told contact tracers can get ‘a fair degree of abuse’ from some people they call

Minister for Arts and Culture Catherine Martin. Funding for the 2020 music industry stimulus package is being increased from €1m to €1.7m. Photograph: Alan Betson

Cabinet to approve Future of Media Commission members and survey of costs

The new recruits were asked in a letter to bring their own laptops due to a delay on HSE equipment. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Health service says new staff will not use tracing software on personal computers

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said that while it was good to see fewer cases being reported each day this week than in recent weeks, he would “stop short of saying it’s any kind of a trend” Photograph: Collins Photos

A further five deaths and 720 new cases reported by Nphet

In September of this year, the IAA managed 38,172 flight movements, a decrease of 64.8 per cent on 2019, the committee was told. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Irish Aviation Authority calls for quarantine to be replaced with pre-travel testing regime

 Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman:  apologised for his approach and his “haste to fix a legal problem”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

GDPR rights can override domestic legislation, data protection watchdog claims

Phil Hogan:  there could be a role for the EU in guiding the recovery from Covid-19 and managing resilience across sectors.   Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

MacGill Summer School: Former commissioner critical of EU co-ordination on travel

File photograph: Getty

UCD lab to suspend Covid-19 testing over next two weekends due to staff issues

The HSE has said that it will send a text message on Wednesday to between 2,000 and 2,500 people, who have already been informed by text of their infection, asking them to tell their own close contacts to contact their GPs immediately to seek a  test. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government fears health officials will seek another lockdown after Christmas

Brian Hayes said the Oireachtas golf dinner “caused a huge amount of angst in the country and I fully recognise that”. File photograph: Alan Betson

‘I apologise unreservedly, unreservedly and sincerely for attending the dinner’

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and, left, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Annual cost of Covid supports estimated to be about €16bn

A Garda checkpoint mounted as part of Operation Fanacht on the M4 between Leixlip and Maynooth  this month.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

TD says if Government is going to ‘roll over’ any regulations they need to be debated

Customers wearing face masks  socially distance as they queue to enter a clothes shop in Dublin city centre on Monday, before Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions were announced. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

Government sources privately fear teachers' unions will not co-operate with new plan

Leo Varadkar said that Ireland is the first country in Europe to go back into a national lockdown, but that a “preemptive strike” was needed against the virus “before it is too late”. Photograph: Tom Honan/Julien Behal

Tánaiste tells business leaders they had done ‘nothing wrong’ in recent months

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly was told that the rate of growth in the country was 5-6 per cent, meaning new cases would double every 12-14 days. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos Dublin

Government warned failure to impose lockdown would see around 1,000 cases a day

A private meeting was arranged between Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the two men responsible for guiding the State’s response to the pandemic, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, and his deputy, Dr Ronan Glynn. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

This time the stakes are much higher with billions borrowed and spent, the public has grown weary

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addresses the  nation at Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday night. Photograph: Julien Behal/Pool/AFP via Getty

Public to stay within 5km of home but social bubbles for some and two households allowed to meet outdoors

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister admits Level 3 has not worked and says Government will act tomorrow

A masked Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney pictured arriving for a meeting of EU General Affairs ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg earlier this week. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AFP via Getty Images

Minister attended Cabinet after testing negative and has been told by HSE he is not considered a close contact

Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland general secretary Kieran Christie said schools had reopened when the number of coronavirus cases were a lot lower than they are now. Photograph: iStock

Union says safety and welfare of teachers and students is paramount

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan and Professor Philip Nolan, head of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Group, will present to senior Government figures today. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Growing expectation among some Ministers that country will move to higher level of alert in coming days, but that it will fall sho(...)

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan will meet around lunchtime today to discuss the implications of the public health advice. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ministers divided over how to respond to latest Nphet recommendation on Covid-19

Ministers  question whether the public will accept weeks of lockdown and they ask what the metrics of success are. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Pressure beginning to show on hospital system and disease in the community is growing

‘Right now, we need everyone to cut their social contacts to an absolute minimum,’ chief medical officer  Dr Tony Holohan said on Friday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Record high of almost 1,300 Covid-19 cases recorded in Northern Ireland on Friday

A woman walks past a cafe on Main street, Co Cavan, as counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan prepare to move to Level 4  from midnight tonight. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

If current trends continue there could be 1,800-2,500 daily cases by October 31st, says Nphet

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar  speaking at a media briefing in Government Buildings. Photograph: Julien Behal

Border counties move to Level 4 as extra restrictions imposed nationwide

 Chief Medical Office  Dr Tony Holohan. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Cork University Hospital has become ‘congested’ due to the impact of Covid-19

Micheal Martin during a media briefing.”It will pass. We will make it through this pandemic,” he said. PhotographTom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

‘We know that a lot if not most Covid transmission is happening in private homes,’ Tánaiste says

 Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar: ‘There is so much unbelievable uncertainty facing Irish citizens and companies because of Brexit and Covid.’ Photograph: Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Varadkar insists contingency funds needed as ‘we don’t know what’s going to happen’

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said the State would use the Stability Programme Update next April to ‘set out a more medium term fiscal framework and a pathway to a more sustainable budgetary position.’ Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Pandemic has brought about ‘hugely significant increase’, says Michael McGrath

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the CRSS was introduced as an alternative to the practice of topping up restart grants, which has been the approach for impacted sectors so far. Photograph: Tom Honan/Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Scheme will provide up to €5,000 a week to businesses forced to close due to restrictions

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said even a limited free trade agreement would mean Irish products will still be on the shelves of British supermarkets. Photograph: Julien Behal

Tánaiste stresses VAT reduction for hospitality sector a ‘temporary measure’

‘Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on arts, cultural and sporting activities,’ Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said. File image: Getty

Industry groups welcome pledged €50m increase in Arts Council funding to €130m

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe:  Ministers agreed that the Christmas bonus would be paid to all social welfare recipients, with the eligibility criteria widened to allow some recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment to receive the bonus. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cash for businesses forced to close and funding for public services among priorities

Budget package set to increase the number of doctors, nurses, gardaí and teachers

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will complete the final details of the Budget on Monday evening. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Extra payment to be made to those on the scheme for four months

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