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

Vicky Phelan: said “the Minister should not have signed the order last week allowing the tribunal to be established”, adding that it is “not fit for purpose”. Photograph: Collins

Tribunal established despite Department of Health announcing it would be paused

Cllr Lorna Bogue   said she had pointed out the need for institutional change in the party.

Party has failed to engage ‘on this issue with a full understanding of its seriousness’

A fobbing-in system which records politician’s attendance at Leinster House was suspended between March and July during the first period of Covid-19 restrictions. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pandemic saw fobbing-in facility for recording attendance of Senators and TDs halted

Senior Government sources confirmed that beds in hospitals in the Republic may be needed to facilitate any further increase in coronavirus cases in the North. File photograph: Getty

Non-coronavirus care in hospitals could fall by wayside if beds are needed for NI patients

 Vicky Phelan:  she has said  the CervicalCheck tribunal is “not fit for purpose”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government source says ‘we hope that most if not all issues can be addressed to allow all women to partake in the tribunal’

Illegal to sell PPE as an excuse to keep businesses open says Varadkar. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Confusion over shops selling facemasks alongside non-essential items

Minister for Children Roderic O Gorman said on Sunday that he believes the Oireachtas can move ‘very quickly’ to address the concerns of survivors about the records. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman says Oireachtas can move ‘quickly’ on survivors’ concerns

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the  Department of Health, on Sunday urged people to stay at home, unless for essential reasons or for exercise. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says range of key indicators on spread of disease starting to ‘level off’ but it is ‘early days’

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. The party  argues it has forced the Government to “row back” on PUP cuts, to reintroduce protections for renters, and  continues to demand mortgage breaks for borrowers affected by the pandemic

‘They approach the pandemic in the same way they approach every other issue, thinking how they can make a political gain’

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: There is really nowhere else to go beyond a Level 5. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Tánaiste tells FG meeting the HSE had ‘dumped’ Covid tracing workload on GPs

A woman wearing a protective face covering walks past a boarded-up bar in Dublin. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus restrictions introduced for six weeks are among the most severe in Europe

Government published a Bill which would allow gardaí to issue escalating fines to those found breaching Covid-19 regulations.

Cavan has by far the highest coronavirus incidence rate at 1,013, followed by Meath at 652

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is understood to have told the meeting that he believes it was “unfair” to “dump this all on the GPs”. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Contentious issue dominates both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meetings tonight

Government has said that it intends to enact the new law ‘as soon as possible.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Those found organising a party or gathering could face a fine of up to €1,000

Some rapid tests under development promise to  give results at a similar speed of a pregnancy test. Photograph: Money Sharma/AFP via Getty Images

Hiqa says cheaper tests should be considered but none could be recommended as yet

It is understood there will now be penal provisions attached to travelling outside a 5km radius except in certain circumstances. Photograph: Collins

On-the-spot fines for breaching Government's Covid-19 restrictions will be up to €500 according to legislation going to the Oireac(...)

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

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

Labour leader Alan Kelly says an antigen test kit  costs €5-€10. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Rapid testing kits could potentially be approved by the end of the year

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

Leo Varadkar told party colleagues  that in order for the State to go to Level 4 or Level 5, he would need to be convinced it was the right thing to do. Photograph:  Tom Honan/ Julien Behal Photography

People will demand exit strategy if Ireland goes to Level 5, Tánaiste says

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly TD said all of his colleagues ‘never took so many phone calls from people who are confused’ following the Government’s latest restrictions announcement. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Alan Kelly calls on Government to stick to 5-level plan with no ‘interval stages’

A total of 1,095 new cases and five further deaths were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team

Inside Politics: Nationwide ban on visitors to homes and gardens to come into effect

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Analysis: Noticeable that the party did not charge into Leaders’ Questions with usual budgetary critique

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the additional beds would represent a 25 per cent increase in critical care capacity in a single year. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

HSE indicates 650 beds would open by end of year along with 37 extra critical care beds

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

Shoppers  amid the  pandemic on Monday on Grafton Street, Dublin. “We can’t conclude we have turned the corner in Dublin even if we can see the growth rate is different to what it was,”  chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Announcement on moving Border counties up to Level 4 expected by Thursday

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

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, Department of Health, pictured at a press conference at the department on Monday evening. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

‘We can’t have children and families moving from house to house’ at Halloween

 Members fo the public out shopping and wearing face masks on Dublin’s Grafton Street. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Extending mid-term breaks discussed by sources now talking idea down

The entire State this week joined Donegal and Dublin and entered Level 3 on the Government’s five-level coronavirus alert system. File photograph: Douglas Magno/ AFP

Failure to wear face coverings and making non-essential journeys will attract penalty

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said his party would provide 1,100 additional hospital beds and 100 more intensive care (ICU) beds at a cost of some €449.7 million. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Party would spend €5.3bn more than Government plans to, partly funded by new tax measures

Ireland’s schools may have a longer mid-term break to halt the spread of coronavirus. File photograph.

Unions call for full consultation on any decisions about potential disruption of schools

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan during a media briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Next 10 days to tell whether current public measures are reducing spread of infections

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, whose Dying with Dignity Bill faces  faces significant resistance from members of the medical profession.  ‘It is not going to be straightforward and it is difficult to know where it will go.’ Photograph: Sam Boal/

Cabinet divided on legislation which has been moved to Oireachtas Committee on Justice

Taoiseach, Micheál Martin arrives for a meeting with President of the European Council, Charles Michel at Farmleigh House, Dublin. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Situation in Northern Ireland is ‘very worrying’, Micheál Martin tells prime minister

From left, Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist and HSE Integrated Care Lead, Prof Philip Nolan, Chair of the Nphet Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer and Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Office. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Ten days needed to see if current restrictions are dampening down number of cases

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health during a briefing at the Department of Health in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Holohan criticises leak of Nphet recommendation that entire State go to Level 5 lockdown

Fine Gael Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan said: “I am not saying close down the off licences”. File photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Fears about potential increases in house parties during Level 3 restrictions prompts call

Gardaí have set up checkpoints on motorways in conjunction with coronavirus regulations. Photograph: An Garda Síochána/Twitter

People planning to avoid measures ‘will be left very disappointed’, say gardaí

Dublin Bus passengers wearing face coverings at St Stephen’s Green on Tuesday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Tony Holohan met secretary general of Department of Taoiseach Martin Fraser on Tuesday

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar leaving Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Inside Politics: After recent events, a new way of managing big decisions may seem sensible

 Drew Harris at Garda Headquarters: The Garda Commissioner  said  travelling around the country would ‘feel very different’ as  Level 3 restrictions come into force countrywide. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Garda hope traffic delays discourage people leaving their home counties

Government believed chief medical officer Tony Holohan was trying to bounce it into a lockdown, and they weren’t having it. Photograph: PA Wire

Relationship between politicians and public health experts has been badly damaged

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar addressed a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday night. File photograph: Julien Behal Photography.

432 more cases confirmed as Holohan calls for renewed public effort

The Climate Action Bill will set in law the principle of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Ministers approve Climate Action Bill which will set annual carbon emissions targets

 Chairman of Fine Gael parliamentary party Richard Bruton: "I think people did perceive the party as not being ‘on your side’ and that is one of the most difficult challenges if a party comes to be perceived as being sort of detached."  Photograph: Laura Hutton

Having essentially lost the election, party determined not to repeat mistakes

Coronavirus: ‘The reproduction number is estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.4’

Restrictions are tightened across State following NPHET advice amid fear over worsening Covid-19 case numbers

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is not realistic to continue locking down the economy until Covid-19 is eradicated. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Taoiseach says there is ‘always an ongoing tension’ between economy and public health

Dr Nabarro explained the recent rise in cases was a result of people moving around. Photograph: iStock

NPHET says there should be maximum of six people from one household rather than three

Almost half of the expected vaccine doses have now been received and all doses are expected by mid-October. Photograph: iStock

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to bring amendments to existing legislation

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Ministers have been warned there will be very little room for manoeuvre in this year’s budget because of Brexit, the pandemic and climate change priorities. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister will tell TDs economic backdrop to Budget 2021 ‘exceptionally difficult’

Minister for Education Norma Foley speaking at a press conference on the coding errors found in the Leaving Cert calculated grades system. Photograph: Maxwells

Number affected by coding mistake in grade calculations will not be known for days

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris. Photograph: Julian Behal

Minister of State Josepha Madigan said she only became aware of issue on Wednesday

A GAA fan seeks help finding a ticket for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final. New laws seek   to ban the resale of tickets to live events, matches and concerts in designated venues at a price above face value. File photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Tánaiste says touting and resale websites ‘ruin gigs and matches’ by driving up prices

HSE chief Paul Reid issued a ‘call to arms’ to the public on Sunday, saying 110 patients were in hospital with coronavirus, including 18 in intensive care. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Health workers who used holidays to look after children set to be given leave back

The financial impact of Covid-19 on passenger numbers has placed so much pressure on funding that the State’s 2020 allocation ran out in June.   Photograph: Paul Faith

Covid-19 impact on passenger numbers costly with uncertainty over ‘mega-projects’

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has also called for a reversal of a decision to cut the PUP payment to € 300 for those previously eligible for up to € 350. File photograph: Crispin Rodwell

McDonald also calls on Minister for Finance to reverse cut to payment

Partners of pregnant women in the NMH and the Coombe are not permitted to attend the 20 week anomaly scan. Photograph: iStock

Partners of pregnant women in these hospitals not permitted to attend certain scans

The new inquiries would highlight potential sources of infection, and help to identify people at risk because of the locations in which they are moving about in the community. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP

Extra information to be gathered about cases labelled ‘community transmission’ up to now

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris  speaking to the media at Government Buildings. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Ireland faces ‘critical two weeks’ in fight against virus, Minister says

The scheme is expected to cost approximately €2.2 billion to the end of March 2021

Revenue has paid out €12.1m in ‘sweepback payments’ in last week under EWSS

The HSE will examine if it is possible to have a telelink with a pregnant woman’s partner via a smartphone or camera.

Health executive will examine possible telelink for partners via smartphone or camera

Government sources confirmed the move to The Irish Times and ministers are likely to approve the measure in an incorporeal Cabinet meeting this afternoon. Photograph: iStock

Measures in place until October 16th as wet pubs with outdoor service allowed to remain open

Under the winter plan, to be published today, the HSE will also employ hundreds of extra staff and seek to ensure 1.5 million people receive the flu vaccine in the weeks ahead. File photograph:  Caroline Blumberg/EPA

Officials warn Covid infections across country ‘a week or two’ behind Dublin

Prof Alan Ahearne. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach’s economic adviser says €9bn public investment for 2021 is an opportunity

Sweden’s former chief epidemiologist Dr Johan Giesecke speaking by  online connection to the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee. Photograph: Oireachtas TV

Swedish epidemiologist advises against pinning hopes on imminent advent of vaccine

Taoiseach Micheál Martin defended reducing the pandemic payment on budgetary grounds. Photograph: Tom Honan/PA

Aides on up to € 101,114 for work with senior Ministers and up to €78,816 with Ministers of State

A file image of a Dublin Fire Brigade demonstration last year of the dangers of fireworks to fingers and hands.

McEntee says source of fireworks being used now, particularly in Dublin, is being investigated

Josepha Madigan is one of the Ministers of State. She is at the Department of Education with responsibility for special needs and inclusion. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Ministers of State told in summer they would have to share a pool of staff

The Bull and Castle on Christchurch Place,  Dublin  remains closed due to Level 3 restrictions, introduced by the Government to tackle the spread of Covid-19 in the capital. Photograph: Collins

'Worrying trends': Waiting game in play as officials monitor situation

Sinn Féin’s Eoin O’Broin: said the party will support the Bill moving to the next stage in the Dáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Legislation would let people who are terminally ill decide time of their own death

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting chief medical officer said people should try to meet ‘half as many people this week as you did last week’. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

‘Possibility’ other counties will have status elevated to Level 3, says Eamon Ryan

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

The travel green list is  unlikely to be changed until the new long-term plan for living alongside Covid-19 is published on September 14th. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Travellers are confused and ‘need some direction’ says Labour Party leader

The Government is facing a furious backlash from publicans and restaurants over new regulations. File photograph: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

Ministers also urged by NPHET subgroup not to ‘stigmatise’ people who contract Covid-19

The scheme comes into effect on October 1st, but accommodation and food businesses can now register with the Revenue commissioners to participate.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Stay and spend scheme requires registration for both businesses and individuals claiming

The new rules oblige pubs and restaurants to keep a record of what substantial meals customers have ordered for 28 days. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hospitality industry frustrated by ‘lack of communication’ around updated guidelines

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said  the Government is ‘quite entitled to deliberate’ on its nominations for the job of EU commissioner. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

‘No strain’ on relationship with EU Commission president - Micheál Martin

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: ‘Even at this point I will have to see another month’s worth of tax collection.’ Photograph: The Irish Times

September comprises ‘final piece of the jigsaw’ before a call made about tax collection

  Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn at a Covid-19 update media briefing at the Department of Health, Dublin, on Wednesday. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

People should ‘assume at all times that someone in their company has Covid’, Dr Ronan Glynn says

Sources now believe so-called ‘wet pubs’ could reopen in early October. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Sources now believe pubs not serving food could be back open in early October

Maireád McGuinness appears likely to be nominated for the commissioner role. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Move likely to clear way for MEP Maireád McGuinness to be nominated for role

Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue leaving the Convention Centre  after Taoiseach Micheál Martin appointed him as the next Minister for Agriculture. Photograph: Alan Betson

Born in 1977, he was elected TD for Donegal North East in 2011

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar  is also understood to have told TDs that 2020 has been the most disruptive year in Irish politics.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Varadkar points out Commission wants ‘a woman and a man, not a man and a woman’

No new Covid-19 deaths have been reported for the past fortnight and just four occurred in the month of August. File photograph: The Irish Times

Modest extra effort can derail ‘slowly growing epidemic’, says public health team expert

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

Publicans who reopen their premises during an enforced closure could face a fine of €5,000 or one year in jail. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Bill bestows powers on Garda to inspect licensed premises

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Currently the commissioner is accountable to the Minister for Justice and reports to the Government through the secretary general of the Department of Justice. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The new group will identify risks in Garda early ‘so controversies are forestalled’

The crowd for Bonnie Tyler who played on the Throwback stage at Electric Picnic in August last year. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Ministers to meet campaigners to examine which events can be further reopened

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is thought to be the frontrunner to be nominated by the Government for the EU trade commissioner role. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Government said to be increasingly likely to submit just one nominee despite request

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the Cabinet felt a ‘penal provision’ could be viewed as extreme. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Cabinet decides making large parties criminal offences would be too ‘extreme’ a measure

The Cabinet decided on Friday that ‘wet’ pubs – ones which do not serve meals – will not be permitted to open next week. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Vintners’ groups say Government’s support package is a 'slap in the face'.

Workers in premises that serve drink and food will be obliged to wear masks under new regulations being considered by the Government.

Tánaiste casts doubt on pub reopenings this year as vintners bemoan ‘crumbs’ for industry

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