Fr Malachy Conlon brings the Blessed Sacrament to parishioners in Co Louth while churches close and services are cancelled. Photograph: Peter Larkin/Ciara Wilkinson

Senior officials working on plans for ‘phased’ exit from lockdown next month

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Ireland will have to “figure it out as we go along using the best advice and watching what’s happening in other countries”.    Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Phased exit from travel and social restrictions will involve ‘different terrain’

Nurse Jackie Kayes who tends to Covid-19 patients in Northern Ireland where four more deaths occured today. Photograph: Reuters

‘Within 20 days from now we would have had a peak of 100,000 cases per day,’ says expert

Cross border travel will be monitored by gardaí and the PSNI ahead of the bank holiday weekend to ensure that travel restrictions because of coronavirus are being adhered to. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Further 200 beds secured to protect residents in direct provision centres

Nurse Jackie Kayes who tends to Covid-19 patients in Northern Ireland where four more deaths occurred today. Photograph: Reuters

‘Work to be done on testing,’ says FF leader Micheál Martin as over 50,000 waiting

In a recent online survey, 49 per cent of Leaving Cert students were in favour of cancelling the June exams and using their coursework to decide their final grades. Photograph: Eric Luke

Government considers options as Covid-19 restrictions unlikely to be lifted by June 3rd

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan: he   indicated to  colleagues  he was in support of the measures for the Garda

Taoiseach was reluctant to grant new powers, but Kehoe, Madigan and Flanagan were in favour

One proposal under consideration is that results would be awarded based on predicted grades which could also take into account past-exam performance. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Senior officials have been meeting in recent weeks to examine contingency measures

A Covid-19-related Garda checkpoint in the Phoenix Park. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Latest regulations to enforce travel restrictions, social distancing will lapse at end of bank holiday weekend, briefing told

The ramped up Garda powers come as the National Public Health Emergency Team issued an appeal to the public not to engage in unnecessary travel over Easter. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/ The Irish Times

Legislation needed to allow gardaí arrest people who flout Government restrictions

Denis Naughten: the Regional Independent group is only interested in “forming a government that can last five years”. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘Four legs’ and stable majority needed, says Regional Independent group Denis Naughten

 Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar pictured with members of the Irish Defence Forces when he visited the Defence Forces Joint Task Force on Monday. Photograph: Leon Farrell/EPA

Taoiseach signals inward bound travellers may be checked to ensure they are abiding by quarantine

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris and chief medical officer Tony Holohan at a Covid-19 press briefing. Photograph: Steve Humphreys/PA Wire

Changes include a more dominant civil service and the idea of ‘designated survivors’

A live video link has been made available to the campaign teams of Alan Kelly (right) and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Two TDs were vying replace Brendan Howlin after party dropped to six seats in General Election

Liz Canavan, assistant secretary for social policy for the Taoiseach, said many of the 1,000 Irish citizens overseas are in  small groups ‘but there are some larger numbers in Australia and a couple of hundred in New Zealand’. Photograph: PA

‘Fast moving and volatile’ situation sees entire regions closed off at short notice

“We are facing a public health emergency which in turn is leading to an economic recession.” Mr Varadkar said. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Economic picture ‘very bad’ and Ireland is facing into a recession, Taoiseach says

One nursing home in Ireland has to date seen 70 staff members and 19 residents test positive for coronavirus, the Dáil has heard. File photograph: Getty

Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly says situation is ‘very serious’ as four residents die

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, pictured on Thursday evening at the daily press conference on coronavirus. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Varadkar says plan is for Leaving and Junior Cert exams to go ahead

The HSE says it could take until the end of next week to get equipment and reagent from Ireland’s pharma companies into the Covid-19 testing system. Photograp: Getty Images

Inability to secure sufficient supplies of reagent has led to reduced testing of samples

It had been assumed that Micheál Martin would be taoiseach first but some in Fine Gael now think Leo Varadkar should remain in place to deal with Covid-19. Photograph: Niall Carson/AFP via Getty Images

FF and FG agree position should rotate between leaders and on equal split of ministerial jobs

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, pictured on Wednesday evening at the coronavirus press conference at the Department of Health. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Eight of the 14 patients who died were reported as having underlying health conditions

Alan Kelly expressed a view that was in line with the ‘thrust’ of the general attitude of the meeting, according to a source. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Results of Alan Kelly-Aodhán Ó Ríordáin leadership vote to be announced on Friday

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said he believed he had a “strong campaign” and that there was momentum behind his campaign before it was halted by the Covid-19 crisis. Photograph: Frank Miller

Party has received postal ballots from about 70 per cent of eligible voters

A woman wearing a mask at a bus stop in Dublin which displays a message “Thank you to all of Ireland’s retail workers.” Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Extra coronavirus checks on citizens returning to Ireland mooted but confirmation that Ireland will not close its borders

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: he  said the move did not represent the nationalisation of private hospitals. Photograph. Steve Humphreys/Reuters

Government reaches deal with private hospitals to take them over during crisis

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, said  that while lots of companies were now using the income support scheme, many more were likely to apply in the days ahead given the additional restrictions put in place by the Government at the weekend. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Up to 389,000 apply for €350 Covid-19 benefit, equivalent to a 19-month claim load

Joan O’Sullivan, a crèche owner in Swords, Co Dublin, is among those who have had to shut their business following the closure of all schools and childcare facilities. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

One proposal would see certain crèches look after children of doctors, nurses and gardaí

A public information booklet being launched at Government Buildings on Wednesday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

There have now been a total of 1,819 cases in the State and 19 fatalities

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: party argues  Fine Gael politicians – from Leo Varadkar to Simon Harris – should retain their key roles during the Covid-19 crisis. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Eamon Ryan keen to enter Cabinet but radical new recruits must be appeased

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil  accept they need to agree a programme for government. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

‘Working majority’ needed, says Varadkar as FG and FF edge closer to accord

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: expressed concern over government formation delay in light of imminent Seanad election. Photograph: Steve Humphreys/Reuters/File Photo

FF, FG to consider programme for government as negotiations enter new phase

File photo: Fianna Fáil health spokesperson said the flight containing the supply of personal protective equipment is due to land from China this coming Sunday. Photograph: iStock

Flight from China en route with 11 million masks, one million goggles, 500,000 gowns

 Richard Quinlan, chief ambulance officer for north Leinster, demonstrating how the test for coronavirus infection is performed. Photograph: Alan Betson

Public anxiety ‘goes way beyond risk of infection’, Social Democrats co-leader says

 Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan: he is talking to his Northern  counterpart Michael McBride five times daily.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

‘The coronavirus has no political consideration. It is neither British nor Irish, unionist or nationalist’

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is set to announce a series of measures to help tenants during the worst of the economic disruption caused by coronavirus. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Landlord group says it is ‘grossly unfair’ to assume owners would evict hard-up tenants

Simon Harris says it is right to resume talks and a choice will have to be made about the appropriate time to transition to a new government given the ongoing pandemic. Photograph: Alan Betson

Stable government must be formed to deal with Covid-19 crisis, says Simon Harris

Government Buildings, illuminated in green for St Patrick’s Day, during the Taoiseach’s address to the nation. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Covid-19 disruption to everyday life could last into the summer, Varadkar warns

Simon Harris: said it is highly unlikely that the more drastic measures, such as detaining a personal suspecting of coronavirus, will need to be used.  Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Cabinet agree on a range of regulations designed to prevent and limit the spread of Covid-19

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar address the nation on coronavirus emergency on RTÉ1 television tonight. Screengrab: RTÉ1

Taoiseach makes rare televised address to the nation on St Patrick’s Day holiday

The Government has asked John Concannon to coordinate communications related to the coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

John Concannon denied that SCU favoured Fine Gael candidates before it was closed down

A further 69 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the State, bringing the total number to 292. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

Number of deaths related to outbreak in Ireland remains at two

The State could activate powers to detain and isolate people suspected of having coronavirus on public health grounds. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

The coming weeks could see the Cabinet use dramatic enforcement powers

Two women wearing protective face masks walk along Grafton Street in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Irish residents advised not to leave country as exponential leap in cases expected

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Cabinet colleagues at a media briefing. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Coronavirus cases to rise 30% daily and may reach 15,000 in fortnight, warns Varadkar

Eamon Ryan: “There is a difficult road ahead of us, but we can get through it if we work together.” Photograph: Getty Images

Eamon Ryan urges suspension of FG-FF government formation talks

A Dublin City Council playground in Palmerston Park in Rathmines  closed because of coronavirus. Photograph: Bryan O Brien

Cabinet committee meeting on Monday to discuss instructions for restaurants and cafés

A healthcare worker at  Shamrock Rovers’ Tallaght Stadium in Dublin which is being used as a testing centre for Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Photograph: Collins

Rise in cases cannot be stopped’ as restrictions set to be extended beyond March 29th

Garda public order unit in Temple Bar as pubs in that area of Dublin close in interest of public health on Sunday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Covid-19 pandemic causing ‘existential crisis’ for the industry, say vintners

Pubs across the country have been instructed to close. Photograph:  Pádraig O’Reilly

Closures affect 7,000 pubs and 50,000 staff; people urged not to hold house parties

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: ‘In moments like this you just have to step up to the plate.’ Photograph: Fran Veale

Fianna Fáil leader emphasises need to ramp up negotiations to form a stable government

All pubs and nightclubs in Temple Bar in Dublin will close their premises with immediate effect ‘in the interest of public health’ and following advice from the Garda and health authorities. Photograph: iStock

Officials announce new measures to ensure payment of workers if businesses cease trading

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: “Ireland is coming at this challenge from a position of strength . . . Everything that can be done will be done.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

No ‘red alert’ over coronavirus, say Government and Defence Forces

A sign in the National Gallery of Ireland announcing closures due to the coronavirus. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

HSE proposes people wait in car for prescriptions, designated area for consultations

Green party  leader Eamon Ryan. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

All parties urged to suspend discussions on forming a majority government

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien has sought a meeting with the Land Development Agency  without Department of Housing officials present. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Move would dilute ability of councillors to block sale of council land for housing

Left-leaning TDs Paul Murphy, Richard Boyd Barrett and Bríd Smith held discussions with Sinn Féin on housing and finance on Friday morning. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Labour likely to be asked to alter stance on staying outside fray of building administration

Fianna Fáil negotiations steering group: Anne Rabbitte, Thomas Byrne, Dara Calleary, Jack Chambers and Darragh O’Brien. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Green Party opposes a promised €6bn investment in major roads as part of the project

A Fianna Fáil ardfheis would have to approve any programme for government with the Greens and Fine Gael.

Green Party and Fianna Fáil talks focus on revision of the national development plan

Independent TDs Michael and Danny Healy-Rae will be hoping to influence government policy should an administration be formed. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Various demands and views set to complicate government formation talks

 Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil, with Thomas Byrne TD speaking to the media at Leinster House after the Fine Gael meeting. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Taoiseach says ‘Fine Gael continues to prepare for opposition’

Former Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Timmy Dooley will contest the upcoming Seanad election. Photograph: James Forde

Former Fianna Fáil TD joins growing number of outgoing TDs in the mix for Seanad seats

Aodhán Ó Ríordán at his Labour leadership campaign launch in the  St Laurence O’Toole Recreation Centre in  Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Leadership candidate eager to win back younger voters who looked elsewhere in election

Micheál Martin, outside  Leinster House, outlined, once again, his opposition to working with Sinn Féin. Photograph: Stephen Collins/ Collins Photos

Mary Lou McDonald brands Fianna Fáil ‘arrogant, dismissive, self-righteous’

Newly re-elected Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl in the Dáil on Thursday. Photograph: Oireachtas TV

Profile: The well-liked former Fianna Fáil chief whip relentlessly pursued a Dáil seat

Seán Ó Fearghaíl highlighted some of the achievements of the last Dáil including the establishment of a budget office to cost proposals, to emulate the congressional office on Capital Hill in the US.

Micheál Martin to ask Varadkar to engage in government formation talks in coming days

Micheál Martin: ‘This will not be an easy process, but it is a hugely important one.’ Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Sinn Féin meets with small parties but is keeping Fianna Fáil option open

 Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar, Mary Lou McDonald and Eamon Ryan are all expected to put their names forward for Taoiseach when the new Dáil meets for the first time on Thursday. File photograph: Alan Betson

As 33rd Dáil set to meet, Fianna Fáil leader tells party negotiations could take months

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty with Eoin Ó Broin (left) speaking to media at Leinster House on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Pearse Doherty: What is important is Réada Cronin apology and that remarks were withdrawn'

 Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin:   noted an increase in support among the over 50s. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Idea of ‘youthquake’ in general election dismissed

Leo Varadkar: ‘We are willing to consider participating in a government but only as a last resort, and only if we are wanted and needed.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Leo Varadkar has insisted the party will only enter government as a ‘last resort’

Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator Pearse Doherty will seek to begin meetings with smaller parties and Independents on Wednesday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Feeling abounds that ‘numbers aren’t there’ for government without FF or FG

The Dublin Bay South constituency has reverted to an all-male line-up after high-profile Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell lost her seat. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Number elected narrowly beats previous record but disappoints equality advocates

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty speaks to the media alongside Sinn Féin’s , Matt Carthy,Eoin Ó Broin and Louise O’ReillyPhotographed: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

Some Independents say they are willing to enter government

John Curran:  said his main concern now was the practicalities of taking down posters and completing post election duties. Photograph: Eric Luke

‘I’m just after losing my seat. I have not really thought beyond that’ – John Curran

Gary Gannon

Dublin Central – Elected 9th count

Neasa Hourigan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dublin Central candidate elected on ninth count

Dublin North-West – Elected 4th count

In Wexford, Johnny Mythen was elected with 19,000 votes, becoming the party’s first TD in the county in 100 years

Patricia Ryan during campaign in Kildare South went on holiday but still topped poll

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin: “It did not matter if it was a council estate or a settled residential area.  Housing was, if not the major issue, one of the top two major issues in the campaign.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘There is an entire generation for whom housing was their number-one concern’

 Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald speaks to the press at a count centre in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Gerry Adams compares party’s election performance to vote for first Dáil in 1918

Fine Gael’s Paschal Donohoe, Green Party’s Neasa Hourigan and Social Democrats’ Gary Gannon, all elected on the final count for Dublin Central. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Green Party’s Neasa Hourigan and Social Democrats’ Gary Gannon win last seats

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald: claimed the establishment was counting on young, working-class and lower-income people staying at home and not voting on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

McDonald not allowed to voice support by ‘cabal in West Belfast’, Jim O’Callaghan says

Stephen and Breege Quinn at the graveside of their murdered son Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna, Co Armagh. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Breege Quinn says minister Conor Murphy must clarify his comments on her son

 Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Peadar Tóibín would look to ‘revisit’ legislation when it comes up for review next year

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, during a press conference at the Institute of Technology Carlow. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil says Fine Gael ran ‘most negative campaign in modern Irish history’

Stephen and Breege Quinn at the graveside of their murdered son Paul Quinn at St Patrick’s Church Cullyhanna Co. Armagh. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Breege Quinn: Minister must unequivocally state that Paul Quinn was not a criminal

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin  canvassing in the Greenfort area of Clondalkin, Dublin.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Housing spokesman says: ‘The very least you can do is know the subject’

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald speaking to media outside the party’s head office on Parnell Square, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Sinn Féin finance minister Conor Murphy apologised for comments he made about murder victim Paul Quinn

From left, Fine Gael candidates Vicki Casserly, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Emer Higgins at St Joseph’s College Lucan, Co Dublin. Photograph: Douglas O’Connor

Varadkar says gender pay gap is ‘not fair’ and he wants to see a female taoiseach

Sinn Féin’s Northern justice  minister   Conor Murphy, party president Mary Lou McDonald and Northern party leader Michelle O’Neill. File image: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Party’s finance minister in North says he ‘unreservedly’ withdraws remarks about murdered 21-year-old

The mother of Paul Quinn has called on Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald to remove Conor Murphy from his post as finance minister in the North. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Conor Murphy criticised after Mary Lou McDonald quizzed during debate appearance

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin canvassing in the Greenfort area of Clondalkin, Dublin, on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Coveney accuses Sinn Féin of ‘feeding and encouraging undercurrents of anger in society’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney speaks to media at Dublin Port. File Photograph: Aoife Moore/PA Wire

Coveney accuses both parties of populist policies ‘with disregard for future consequence’

Richard Boyd Barrett and Bríd Smith in front of the James Connolly memorial statue as People Before Profit launched its workers’ rights charter. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Richard Boyd Barrett calls increase a ‘ruse’ as party launches charter of workers’ rights

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald: ‘No responsible incoming government can continue to bury its head in the sand.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Sinn Féin leader says ‘preparations need to start’ during wide-ranging RTÉ interview

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary: ‘I love this place. I love this town,’ he declares. ‘I love this county. I am so lucky to be living here.’ File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Interview: FF deputy leader 'not being complacent', but tipped to top Mayo poll

Joint leaders of the Social Democrats Róisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Party says it would implement ‘pay as you go’ programme, and transform public transport

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