Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: “In a world in which investment, wealth and talent are increasingly mobile, we will have to consider how to retain and attract talented people who, more and more, will be able to choose where they base themselves.” Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Ireland must adapt as Facebook allows Irish staff work abroad, Tánaiste says

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Green Party  leader Eamon Ryan. All three Government parties and Sinn Féin have admitted conducting private polling on voter intentions using members or activists who purported to be working for companies that didn’t exist.  File photograph: Julien Behal

Controversy erupts around parties’ historical approach to private polling of voters

‘I apologise for the approach I took and judged against today’s standards it was inappropriate,’  Ciarán Cuffe said on Friday.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Green Party member asked volunteers to give ballot paper to households days before 2002 election

A Fine Gael spokesperson said on Thursday evening that all polling from 2016 onwards had been carried out by research companies and independent contractors. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Polling firms express concern about how they are seen by the public after revelations about parties

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says he does not known if his party’s polling activity had been against the law.

Green Party says activists may have pretended to be market researchers in ‘isolated incidents’

 Labour Senator Ivana Bacik launches her Dublin Bay South byelection campaing on  Wilton Terrace in Dublin. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Labour Senator officially launches campaign to take seat vacated by Eoghan Murphy

Under the timeline set out for Cabinet by the Tánaiste on Wednesday, the benefits of the sick pay scheme will build up over a number of years. File photograph Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Tánaiste suggests some employers may also have to pay workers more post pandemic

Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail have said party activists posed as markt researchers to conduct polling, Fine Gael says they did ‘similar’. File photograph: iStock

FF and SF activists posed as market researchers for polling, FG did ‘similar’

Under measures in place now, people in receipt of a Covid-related payment who are at risk of homelessness or in arrears are shielded from rent increases or eviction. File photograph: iStock

Upfront charges to be limited to two months’ rent under plans to be brought to Cabinet

Under proposals being brought to Cabinet, employers will told to guarantee a minimum number of paid sick days annually from 2022. Photograph: iStock

Statutory regime may not be fully in place for years as employers given time to adjust

Portobello, Dublin: “The council is failing in its most important duty . . . to the people of the city it is supposed to represent.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Public urination and drug use sparked local ire but council reaction ‘lazy and myopic’

Portobello Plaza: Just reopened after being closed by Dublin City Council due to what local residents said was “hellish” and “extreme” behaviour. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Council closed canalside Dublin plaza for period due to ‘disgusting’ behaviour

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Anxiety at spiralling bill as Clare and Sligo look to join Donegal and Mayo in scheme

While the virus is more prevalent in Limerick city than county, it was present in multiple different areas and settings, and among those aged 45 and under. Photograph: iStock

Interval between doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to be reduced on a phased basis

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: “Any serious publication, which the Lancet is, that raises the possibility of vaccine escape has to be taken very seriously.” Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Minister envisages reduced role for mandatory hotel quarantine from July 19th

The Fianna Fáil Seanad motion would mandate the State to insert wording in the Constitution to recognise and vindicate the right of all persons to adequate housing, and, through legislative and other measures, provide for the realisation of this right through its available resources. File photograph: Frank Miller

Group puts motion before Seanad seeking to enshrine right to home in Constitution

Health officials held talks with Limerick politicians on Friday following a recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the county which the HSE chief executive said has created a volatile situation. Photograph: iStock.

Holohan rules out local lockdown as incidence of cases in county causes concerns

An appearance by a member of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby at an Oxford University event has ‘added insult to injury’ for survivors with questions about its final report, a Minister has said. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Minister says member’s appearance at UK event ‘added insult to injury’ for survivors

The ESRI has recommended a major borrowing binge to double the existing level of capital investment on housing

There are misgivings among some over breakdown in fiscal discipline among the Coalition leaders

Irish Cancer Society chief executive Averil Power said the health system is under ‘intolerable strain’.

Oireachtas health committee hears services suffered ‘hammer blow after hammer blow’

Homes built since 2013 will now be subject to the local property change. File Image: The Irish Times

Property tax net to include buyers of new-build homes in coming years

Members of gardaí enforcing coronavirus restrictions last Sunday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Stephen’s Green bandstand fenced off as authorities deal with backlash to crowds

Despite the relatively low Covid ebb, managing the pandemic and a host of adjacent issues are still the biggest risk the Government faces over the summer

Inside Politics: Managing pandemic and adjacent issues are biggest risks the Government faces over summer

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that from November of this year all homes would be revalued. File photograph: iStock

Cabinet to cut rate and broaden bands, but 33% of homeowners to see increase in charges

From the PUP to property tax and retraining, here are the pandemic supports explained

It is estimated the property tax change will raise €560 million annually.  File image: Frank Miller

A third of existing property tax payers face higher rate while 11 per cent face reductions

The Opposition will seek to ram home key messages that the Coalition is uninterested in fairness, the welfare of vulnerable groups, and is unnecessarily opening up people to economic hardship. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Opposition will see phasing out of supports as opportunity to attack

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the plan shortly after noon on Tuesday outside Government Buildings with the other Coalition party leaders. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

PUP rate cut, 50,000 new training places and 9% VAT rate extended under €3.6bn stimulus package

People enjoying the sunny weather and eased Covid-19 restrictions at the beach in Greystones on Sunday. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Covid support schemes to be wound down gradually with payments cut in three stages

Some employers have reiterated warnings that enhanced welfare rates available through the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) are providing a disincentive for some people to return to work.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Bosses repeat warnings about enhanced rates via pandemic unemployment payment

Under plans being considered, those on the highest rate, €350 per week, will be cut to €300. File photograph: iStock

Reduction of PUP rates will be staggered across three phases

While Leo Varadkar says he didn’t like to see the large gatherings at the weekend, ‘we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact we are actually encouraging people to be outdoors, outdoors is much safer than indoors’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Reform needed as pandemic shows limited illness benefit for many frontline workers, Varadkar says

The HSE has not been able to say if weaknesses identified in internal audits, flagged in 2018 by its own IT teams, were a factor in last week’s cyber attacks

Health system had been tackling weaknesses in IT security but cyber criminals got there first

HSE offices in Dublin. The State’s Cyber Security Incident Response Team, IT teams from the HSE and FireEye, the State’s security contractor, are to work through the weekend. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Publication of data on darknet as threatened by gang appears inevitable, gardaí say

The Taoiseach said an announcement would be made next week in relation to overseas travel, as well as the entertainment sector and live events. File image: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

‘We will be trying to give a sense to people in those key sectors what will be possible,’ says Taoiseach

Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly said he found it ‘very distasteful’ that lawyers were advertising over potential litigation relating to the hack.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Law Society calls it a ‘blatant attempt to insult the integrity of an entire profession’

The Oireachtas has voted in favour of Government plans to introduce a 10 per cent stamp duty on house purchases of 10 units or more. File photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Ministers meet for key briefing to sign off on housing reforms

Housing plan Q&A: Will new reforms help the current crisis? File Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Reforms will probably prove to be narrowly effective but fundamental problems on housing remain

A file image of Green party MEP Ciarán Cuffe who said he had hoped the property reforms would not make a distinction between houses and apartments. Photograph: The Irish Times

‘I understand several of my parliamentary colleagues in the Oireachtas are of a similar view’

Twitter is challenging the Government’s legislation on online safety

Social media giant is appearing before an Oireachtas committee

In its opening statement to a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Twitter will argue that several of the sanctions, as envisaged, would set a “global benchmark” that will have a chilling effect in other regions of the world.

Social network’s statement sure to put it on collision course with Oireachtas committee members

Sinn Féin criticised the Government proposals, saying the administration is merely giving the pretence that it is addressing the housing problem. Photograph: Bloomberg

If tax and planning changes fail then extra budget measures will be added, says Minister

 Willie Walsh is to appear before the Oireachtas transport committee. File photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Ex-IAG boss to call for ‘clear pathway’ for aviation at Oireachtas committee appearance

New planning guidelines will state that all houses and duplexes should be available for sale to individual non-commercial purchasers for at least two years after they are built. File photograph: Alan Betson

Green Ministers reportedly query exemption of apartments from the measure

Proposals from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, pictured above) were criticised by opposition parties a ‘shambles’ and ‘totally laughable’

Concern is expressed that ownership will be concentrated in suburbs

A US healthcare worker draws a dose of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine.   Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Niac issues new advice on the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca jabs

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will bring a memo setting out the new rules around bulk buying in a planning circular. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

All owner-occupiers eligible to buy reserved sections of housing estates under proposals

Niac made recommendations about the accines  to chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan over the weekend. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Strict conditions will apply following advice from National Immunisation Advisory Committee

The ransomware attack on the HSE on Friday morning caused major disruption as it required a shutdown of all IT systems. Photograph: Getty Images

No effort spared to resume medical services and restore HSE’s system, statement says

The Garda and National Cyber Security Centre is liaising with Europol on the nature of the ransomware recently used against the HSE. File photograph: iStock

Much of information is administrative and not related to procedures and conditions

 Dr  Colm Henry,  the Health Service Executive’s chief clinical officer, says information on when people in their 40s will be vaccinated will be announced later this week. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Immunisation body believed to support use of the shots in principle for 40-49 age group

The new rules on density are likely to be issued via a circular to local authorities and will restrict bulk sales in less densely populated areas such as commuter belts.  Photograph: Getty Images

Latest move is in an effort to curtail the purchase of homes by institutional investors

 Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is set to propose in a new plan that density be used as a key determinant for allowing the bulk purchase of units in estates or other housing developments. Photograph: Damien Eagers / The Irish Times

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is set to bring the plans to Cabinet on Tuesday

The offices of the Department of Health on Lower Baggot Street in Dubliny. File photograph: Bryan James Brophy/The Irish Times.

Gardaí strongly suspect the same criminal gang is involved in both ransomware attacks

The HSE confirmed a cyber attack hit all hospital IT systems, with appointments at the Rotunda cancelled on Friday as a result. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

Minister says group responsible has been identified by the State’s cybersecurity apparatus

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “We’re very clear we will not be paying any ransom.” Photograph: Daragh McSweeney

Disruption set to persist into next week as Taoiseach vows ransom will not be paid

Darragh O’Brien said he and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will be working on proposals over the weekend.  Photograph: Tom Honan

Inhibiting housing associations, local authorities has to be guarded against, Minister says

Liz Canavan: the number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment continues to fall. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Liz Canavan says number of people receiving Pandemic Unemployment Payment continues to fall

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said it would take some days to assess the impact of the attack. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taoiseach insists vaccination programme continues uninterrupted despite serious cybercrime incident

Taoiseach Micheál Martin   told the Dáil politicians are entitled to comment on planning issues. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Martin urges An Taisce to withdraw appeal against €140m Kilkenny cheese factory

CSO data analysed by the HSE suggests that another 230,000 people would become eligible to receive the vaccines if the eligibility was lowered to 45. Photograph: Samsul Said/Bloomberg

HSE to shortly begin sending J&J vaccine to centres for use in currently approved cohorts

An Taisce is  set to appeal in the courts against planning permission granted for a €140 million Glanbia cheese plant in Co Kilkenny. A Glanbia plant in Idaho, US, is pictured above.

Planned appeal over €140 million cheese plant labelled ‘treasonous’ by one TD

If an intervention on stamp duty applying to multiple unit sales was pursued, sources said it would have to be carefully designed as not to impact buyers such as approved housing bodies and local authorities. File photograph: iStock

Local authorities may be blocked from agreeing long-term leases with investment funds

Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre Conroy will seek the party’s nomination for the Dublin Bay South byelection

Councillor Claire O’Connor is tipped to also contest party’s ticket for seat vacated by Fine Gael’s Eoghan Murphy

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton: proposes   State bodies and NGOs in addition to the Garda will have a role in identifying victims of human trafficking and referring them for help. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Proposals for consideration include rights of adopted, healthy society and Moore Street site

Prof Karina Butler, Chair of National Immunisation Advisory Committee. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Committee’s advice has caused frustration and concerns it ‘operates in isolation’

The Irish Fish Producers Organisation will argue the Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Bill ‘repeats the mistakes’ of earlier legislation introduced by the last government. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Committee to hear EU ruling that catches must be weighed at landing ‘unworkable’

Late last month Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Dáil ‘the target is still the target’. File photograph: The Irish Times

Just under 3.1m will be needed to hit that target – so, another 1.77m first doses required

Nursing homes have been one of the settings hardest hit by Covid-19 infection and mortality during the pandemic, with more than 1,500 related deaths. File photograph: Getty

Move comes amid optimism in Government ahead of easing of restrictions on Monday

The Covid-19 vaccination centre in Citywest, Dublin. Some 220,000 to 240,000 people are expected to be vaccinated across the country this week, according to chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Over a third of the eligible population has now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine

A crowded Croke Park in July - 2019 -  GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

Groups of up to six being permitted for indoor dining in July, parliamentary party meetings told

Investment fund SFO Capital have bought 135 of 170 houses at the new-build Mullen Park estate in Maynooth in Co Kildare. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ministers fear they are politically exposed on housing issue as pandemic recedes

A meeting of Fianna Fáil senators and TDs was told by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien that the purchase of large swathes of housing schemes by investment funds is “unacceptable”. File photograph: iStock

Parliamentary party meeting hears calls for buyers to be limited to one property each

Robert Watt, secretary general of the Department of Health, appearing before an Oireachtas committee

Robert Watt claims broadcaster did not offer opportunity to respond to allegations

Department of Health Secretary General Robert Watt  appears before an Oireachtas Committee

Secretary General Robert Watt appears before an Oireachtas Committee

Over 90 per cent of frontline healthcare workers have taken up the offer of vaccination, says the HSE

No plans by HSE to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for health workers

Confronted by the prospect of hundreds of thousands of vaccines going to waste, the decision was taken to recommend sticking with an age-based rollout. File photograph: Sao Paulo State Government/AFP via Getty Images

Decision to recommend an age-based rollout may mask a bolder play to avoid wastage

Donnelly to consult with Niac over proposed changes in Covid-19 vaccine plan. Photograph: Liselotte Sabroe/EPA

HSE proposed plan envisages AZ and J&J vaccines being offered to under 50s

Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Health, set up a team in the department to examine the issues raised by the programme, which was supported by three independent barristers.  File photograph: Collins Photos

Department of Health Secretary General Robert Watt to speak at Oireachtas Committee

Tayto Park reopens to the public: Five-month-old Anna with her mum, Claire Monaghan, from Duleek, Co Meath, say hello to the tiger as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions allowed the park to welcome visitors back on Friday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Nphet letter came ahead of Cabinet decision to approve easing of restrictions

In its latest advice to Government, Nphet has set out various scenarios but made it clear that the success of the vaccination rollout out will be  key to keeping case numbers down if the reopening of society is to continue through the summer.   Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Analysis: Decisions made based on risks and advice outlined by Nphet in letter to Cabinet

A range of scenarios have been presented to Government by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) lead by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

Scenarios presented to Government suggest close indoor contact high risk for eight weeks

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said it had been a “very tough and unprecedented year”. Photograph: RTÉ

Travel outside county, larger outdoor meet-ups, hairdressing, sports training and religious services to be permitted in two weeks

 Customers sit outdoors at a restaurant after reopening in Turin, Italy. Photograph: Alessandro Di Marco/EPA

Planned split of restart dates is designed to help the hotel and wider accommodation sector reopen

Helen McEntee  pictured before going on maternity leave. Photograph: Tom Honan

TD stood aside as Minister for Justice but remains a member of Government

The general expectation had been that May would see more incremental reopening

Inside Politics: expectation had been that May would see more incremental unwinding

Grafton Street, Dublin in December following the re-opening. Non-essentail retail set to reopen in May. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

May will see intercounty travel ban lifted while hairdressers and retail will reopen

It is understood public health officials agreed reopening outdoor activity in May and June would be low risk

Move follows lengthy talks between health chiefs and leaders of the coalition parties

Visitors to Doheny and Nesbitt pub on Baggott Street Lower in Dublin in October 2020. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Hotels will open doors on June 2nd with outdoor hospitality at restaurants and pubs due back June 7th

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan will brief Ministers. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Inside Politics: Government may surprise people with an unexpected tweak to rules

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that while there will be a reduction in a coming shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, he is still expecting further large deliveries to come in May and June.   Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Cabinet also adopting Niac advice to offer mRNA vaccines to all pregnant women

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee: “It’s really important women see other women in roles and positions being able to take maternity leave, being able to return to their jobs . . .” Photograph:  Tom Honan

Minister for Justice signals need for legislative change in addition to policing reforms

People arriving on bus from Dublin Airport to Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, the State’s first hotel quarantine centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Travellers arriving into State from countries on list must spend at least 12 days in hotel

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Nphet says ‘level of uncertainty’ remains despite ‘improving’ Covid situation

‘Those aged under 50 years and who are not immunocompromised and who have had a Covid-19 infection in the previous six months should receive a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine,’ Government says. File photograph: iStock

Pregnant women to be offered faster access to vaccines after Cabinet decision

Eoghan Murphy has resigned his Dáil seat. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Fine Gael will pick candidate who is ‘most likely to win’ byelection – Varadkar

A file photograph of  Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Janssen vaccine boxes. Photograph: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

Inside Politics: J&J vaccine use is approved and AstraZeneca restrictions are eased

While Ministers will be told that operating cashflow is still healthy, the company is facing fundamental challenges caused by licensing backlog. File photograph: Getty Images.

Understood Cabinet will be told borrowing increased from zero to €28m last year

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has approved the use of  the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen)  vaccine and relaxed its restrictions on the AstraZeneca shot. Photograph: EPA

Allowing J&J for over 50s, along with change in AstraZeneca guidelines, to accelerate vaccinations

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