Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, a mother and baby home operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from 1930 to 1970. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Pat Leahy: Attorney General Paul Gallagher understood to believe a referendum can be avoided

The Regina Coeli home on Morningstar Avenue off North Brunswick Street in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Determining level of redress for mother and baby homes survivors will be difficult

Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Tipperary, which was a mother and baby home operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from 1930 to 1970. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Roderic O’Gorman seeks meeting with Catholic and Church of Ireland leaders amid report

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman: ‘We’re engaging with the Attorney General regarding how an approach based on the GDPR can achieve the goal of providing access to birth certificates and early life information.’ Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Legislation based on GDPR being devised to help survivors of mother and baby homes

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: he  divided his response to the recommendations of the report into four broad headings: recognition, remembrance, records, and restorative recognition

There are two issues to be considered around compensation: what level should be paid to whom, and who should foot the bill for it?

A file photograph of shoes left by Mother and Baby Homes protesters at Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

Inside Politics: Government is likely to be pressed on how it intends to persuade religious orders to contribute to compensation f(...)

Catherine Corless watches Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking during the live feed of the report into the mother and baby homes, at her home near Tuam on Tuesday.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Investigation tells of cruelty, emotional abuse and soaring infant death rates

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin during a briefing of the Mother and Baby Homes report at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: PA Wire

Taoiseach says report presents ‘all of Irish society with profound questions’

A handwritten note on the site of a mass grave of up to 800 children at the former Mother and Baby home in Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/ EPA

Taoiseach condemns ‘dark, difficult and shameful chapter of recent Irish history’

The Taoiseach will brief mother and baby home survivors on the report. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Micheál Martin is to make formal State apology to former residents in the Dáil

Both Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar defended the Government’s decisions in separate radio interviews. Photographs: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Martin says ‘perfect storm’ of Christmas socialising and the UK variant prompted surge

The private view of one senior health expert is that socialisation got us to 1,000 cases a day; the new variant did the rest. Photograph: Getty Images

If the health service is overwhelmed the lasting scars will forever remind people of a Government that lost its grip on the situat(...)

There are 400 ICU beds in the State, but access to 1,800 ventilators. File photograph: Getty Images

Three cases of South African coronavirus variant detected in Ireland, says Holohan

A patient with Covid-19 breaths in oxygen in the Covid-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, outside Cape Town. South Africa has been hit by a new variant of the coronavirus which is believed to be more contagious than previous forms. Photograph: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

New daily record of 8,248 cases recorded, along with 20 further deaths

Paramedics and ambulances at the Mater hospital in Dublin as public health chiefs released the latest daily number of new Covid-19 cases – just shy of 8,000. Photograph:   Brian Lawless/PA

It will be a hammer blow to the Coalition’s authority if hospitals are overrun

Students use a one-way system along the corridors while socially distancing. Photograph: Alan Betson

Teachers, publicans respond as Government approves harshest lockdown since March

Robert Watt, the secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Builders had lobbied for shared equity plan as it ‘would drive up house prices’, official said

Micheál Martin: It would be hard to overestimate the importance of vaccine delivery for the Government. It will be the most important thing the Coalition does in 2021.   Photograph: Julien Behal/PA

Brexit, Ceta and housing will all require Coalition’s careful attention in the coming months

Unlike many senior civil servants, Robert Watt has experience in the private sector. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Current head of the Department of Public Expenditure is one of country’s best-known civil servants

 The first wave also froze the economy and created a host of social problems, which we are now faced with once again. Photograph: Tom Honan

Sharp rise in infections stuns Ministers and sparks fears they will be blamed

The HSE is looking at a range of options to ensure hospitals can operate safely amid the rise in transmission, its chief executive Paul Reid said. Photograph: iStock

Schools may also remain closed next week due to rapidly deteriorating situation

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it was the ‘firm intention of the Government to open the schools’. Photograph: Julien Behal

Tánaiste refuses to rule out further curbs as Ryan suggests travel limit could drop to 2km

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘I intend to lead Fianna Fáil into the next election, yes’.   File photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Senior TD Barry Cowen says Martin should step down as party leader before next vote

A resident of a retirement home n Loos, in northern France, receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine. Photograph: Francois Lo Presti/AFP via Getty Images

Last year was difficult but brought overwhelmingly positive developments

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald during the final TV leaders’ debate at the RTÉ studios on February 4th, 2020 in Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland. Photograph:  Niall Carson/Getty Images

2020 in review: A momentous year in politics will keep the historians of the future busy

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘We have . . . to be very vigilant and observe guidance in relation to personal behaviour.’ Photograph: PA

Rollout of coronavirus vaccine will bring ‘tentative return’ to normality, says Martin

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe launching the 2020 North East Inner City (NEIC) progress report at St Mary’s Mansions on Seán MacDermott Street, Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

State can learn from its failures in tackling social disadvantage and deprivation

Taoiseach Micheal Martin stressed that schools would open as planned in January Photograph:, Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Number of new Coronavirus cases expected to surpass 1,000 tonight

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue was tested yesterday. File photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach tests negative on Wednesday night as other Ministers’ results not yet known

Taoiseach Micheal Martin on television in a city centre pub during an address to the nation about imminent increased restrictions. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Stricter measures being imposed from Christmas Eve in response to soaring cases

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘I would like to see it happening before Christmas, it could go beyond Christmas Day.’ Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Government still planning for no-deal scenario as EU negotiators make ‘final push’

The truth is that the Government remains in reactive mode – reacting to the progress of the virus, and sometimes to its own public health experts. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Rapid action tells us politicians expect infection numbers to be much worse this time

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘It will probably be towards the end of February or early March before a critical mass of the population is vaccinated and I think we need to operate on the basis that these restrictions will be in place until then.’  Photograph: Julien Behal

Tánaiste believes curbs will be needed until critical mass vaccinated in early spring

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressing the nation at Government Buildings, Dublin.

Restaurants and pubs to close on Christmas Eve with home visits banned in new year

Christmas shoppers on Grafton Street in Dublin over the weekend. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Non-essential retail to remain open with strict guidelines on the numbers in store

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan says  ‘the country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week.’ Above,   shoppers on Grafton Street  in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government expected to reject Nphet advice which calls for new measures from December 28th

Mary Lou McDonald: She and her party have changed Irish politics. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The rise of Sinn Féin led to opposing parties coming together after nearly a century

The Government’s intention is to prevent ‘superspreader’ events taking place on New Year’s Eve. Photograph: iStock

Early Cabinet meeting unlikely but Government message already very clear

The period of relaxed restrictions – which begins on Friday – may be shortened after warnings from the National Public Health Emergency Team and a meeting with  chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photograph: Colin Keegan

Pubs and restaurants could close by December 28th as Nphet notes outbreaks in workplaces, Christmas parties and funerals

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin  with French president Emmanuel Macron  at an  EU summit in Brussels last week. Photograph: Oliver Hoslet/EPA

French president understood to have been a coronavirus contagion risk as of Monday

The 27-point incremental scale for teachers runs from €38,000 a year when they begin their career to €71,000, excluding additional allowances. Photograph: iStock

Report expects public servants’ pay to rise by 3.5% a year

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the coronavirus vaccine roll out will take time.  Photograph: Laura Hutton / The Irish Times.

Inside Politics: It’s the end of the road for Trump and Leinster House winds down for the year

The huge figure covers the total cost of pensions accrued by about 320,000 public servants currently in employment and about 170,000 retired public servants who are in receipt of pensions. Photograph: iStock

The bill will be paid over several decades, but is also expected to rise during that time

 The disruption new border checks at ports will cause to the transport industry will be “immense” and have “the capacity to bring the licensed haulage industry to a standstill”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Next four weeks to be ‘period of unprecedented disruption’ for imports and exports

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen: “Despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations . . . we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.” Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

Johnson’s hard line on talks seen by some as a sign that he is preparing to do a deal

EU briefings to the Irish Government suggested that progress was being made “inch by inch”. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

News that EU-UK talks on a post-Brexit trade deal were to continue was greeted with relief and caution in Dublin

Abbey will host Theatre for One - comprised of six five-minute plays by leading Irish playwrights. File photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Events to take place later in December, says Minister for Arts and Culture

Minister for Foreign Affairs  Simon Coveney  speaking in  Berlin. “I know there is a growing pessimism across the EU and coming out of London,” he said, “but I still believe there are enough realists involved in this process to understand the consequences of no deal, regardless of what is being said publicly.” Photograph:  Fabrizio Bensch/Getty Images

Government preparing special measures to support Irish food exporters

Medical staff in St Vincent’s hospital.  This week’s announcements of pay rises for judges and pension top-ups for the very best paid pensioners was less an example of profligacy than of the administration’s aptitude for scoring own goals, coming as it did when Ministers were being flayed by everyone, their own TDs included, for not paying student nurses. Photograph: Alan Betson

Boris Johnson not the only one who wants to have his cake and eat it

Taoiseach Micheál Martin  at the EU summit in Brussels on Friday. Photograph:AFP via Getty Image

There is still an opening for an EU-UK trade deal, but it is closing fast

Lorries queuing to access the Port of Dover in Kent on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Despite pessimism, Irish Government sources believe agreement is still possible

Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson leaves after a Brexit talks working dinner in Brussels. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty

No-deal Brexit contingency papers may be ‘on table in next 24 hours’ to avoid January chaos

Mary Lou McDonald: “I would say to our unionist friends ‘be part of this conversation’.”

Party leader calls on unionists to become involved in discussions on a united Ireland

Boris Johnson  and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, ahead of a dinner meeting at the Berlaymont building in Brussels. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Media/Bloomberg

Teams to continue talks on post-Brexit trade deal and ‘we will come to a decision by the end of the weekend’, says EC President

The EU and UK have indicated an agreement on ‘all issues’ regarding how to practically implement arrangements for Northern Ireland designed to avoid a hard border.  Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

European Commission chief and British PM to meet as both sides struggle to avert failure

 Simon Coveney warned the Cabinet  that the coming and going of recent days was not ‘choreography’. Photograph by Crispin Rodwell for the Irish Times

Simon Coveney warns that even with a deal Brexit will act as a drag on economic performance

British prime minister Boris Johnson departs from a weekly meeting of cabinet ministers before heading to Brussels  for urgent talks with European Commission president Ursula von der Leye. Photograph: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

UK and EU reach agreement on Northern Ireland protocol as Taoiseach warns of possible no deal

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that many EU foreign ministers were becoming resigned to a no-deal scenario. Photograph: Oireachtas TV/PA Wire

Talks need ‘political intervention from the very top’ to break deadlock, says Minister

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen gives a statement at the European Commission in Brussels. Photograph: Julien Warnand/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Johnson and von der Leyen accept ‘significant differences’ remain on future trade deal

The two chief negotiators, Michel Barnier and David Frost, issued a joint statement in which they said it was clear no deal could be found at present. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Two sides split over three issues that have long prevented a breakthrough

Mary Lou McDonald speaks at a graveside commemoration in Glasnevin to mark 150 years since the birth of Constance Markievicz. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Is Brian Stanley’s tweet part of a concerted Sinn Féin effort to rewrite the Troubles?

Shoppers on Grafton Street:  The idea many have of Ireland as a uniquely badly governed and unsuccessful country is one that our peers would not recognise. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Despite perception, State is not right-wing but exemplary in being socially democratic

Minister for Health Steohen Donnelly told the Oireachtas health committee that securing vaccines will cost the State € 117.6 million. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Recipients first recipients likely to include elderly, high-risk groups, health staff and nursing home residents

Independent TD Carol Nolan campaigned for a no vote in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment in2018. File photograph:  Tom Honan

Group calls for pain relief to be given to foetuses with fatal abnormalities

The Cabinet has given the go-ahead for the Department of Health to purchase the Moderna vaccine.  Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP

Taoiseach will give ‘some consideration’ for a dedicated Minister over roll-out strategy

Many in Government  are nervous about their very public departure from the advice from Nphet. File photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins

Many in Government are nervous about public departure from Nphet advice in plan for Christmas

Stacey Leyland and her nine-year-old daughter Kerys Swaine in Dublin city centre on the eve of reopening. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

‘Now is not the time to be socialising with friends,’ says expert, as Level 5 restrictions end

Holohan warns that restrictions may <QA0>
need to be reimposed during December

Martin: State going as far as possible to achieve best balance in easing Covid-19 restrictions

It is now clear that the second wave of the virus is considerably less dangerous than the first. Photograph: Getty Images

Lockdown costs €1 billion a month – there was no choice but to reopen the economy

Taoiseach Micheál Martin addresses the nation on Friday night.

Country will move to Level 3 restrictions with some modifications as people urged to wear masks outdoors

 Minister for Justice Helen McEntee  arrives at the Convention Centre to face questions over the appointment of Supreme Court judge Séamus Woulfe. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Minister for Justice says Varadkar told her former AG would make ‘a good judge’

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee: The most significant piece of new information McEntee conveyed during the two-hour session was about the role of her party leader, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, in the events leading up his her proposing Séamus Woulfe for the job. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Justice under pressure in Dáil over appointment but no killer blows landed

In a letter to the Government, the Nphet recommendedthat the hospitality sector should be allowed offer takeaway only services throughout December. Photograph: PA

Cabinet sub-committee meets ahead of ‘polite showdown’ with public health experts

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee will finally take questions from Opposition TDs today on the Séamus Woulfe appointment . Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Minister for Justice will finally take questions from Opposition TDs today on the appointment of Séamus Woulfe to(...)

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee  bows to pressure and will take Opposition questions in the Dáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Minister for Justice is a skilled politician, but questions remain over Woulfe appointment

 Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last night introduced a new issue into the discussions when he raised the question of travel across the Border during the Christmas period. Photograph:  PA Photo

Restaurants and pubs that serve food are likely to be allowed open in December

 Grafton Street in Dublin on Tuesday, with Christmas lights overhead. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government looking at limited reopening of social and economic life

An almost empty  Grafton Street in Dublin  during the Covid-19 restrictions. Though no decisions have been taken yet, there is an expectation in and outside Government that a lot of retail businesses will be allowed to open up next week. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Concern that easing too many restrictions could see cases spike before Christmas

Margaret Costelloe of Costelloe+Costelloe arranging festive Christmas masks at her shop in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Irish task force will aim to inoculate population ‘urgently and comprehensively’

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee will bring the proposed amendments to a Bill originally proposed by the Labour Party to Cabinet on Tuesday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

If images are shared with intent to harm, penalty could be up to seven years in prison

Paul Murphy: he said he believed  Mr Justice Woulfe “undermined the public health effort to stop the spread of infection” in attending the dinner in Clifden in August, and in his response to the controversy over the matter. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Little prospect of motion being passed in Dáil where there is little appetite for a judicial impeachment process

Tony Holohan is central to the team’s operation and that’s why the Government pushback has been personally directed at him. File photograph: Collins

‘Big scrap’ looms ahead of reopening in wake of briefings by public health team members

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

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar leaves Dublin Castle following the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Annoyance at Varadkar but acceptance that toughing it out is the best solution

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

 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

Danny McCoy of Ibec: accused Nphet of ‘limiting the choice for Government’ by making regular interventions in the media. Photograph: Eric Luke

Difficulty of charting a route out of Level 5 clear as business lobby criticises Nphet

People within the National Public Health Emergency Team believe that had they not been chivvying the Government towards tighter restraints there would have been many more cases, hospital admissions and deaths. Photograph: The Irish Times

Health experts continue to urge caution, while politicians fret over Christmas and travel

Stephen Donnelly will propose tightening restrictions on the outdoor consumption of alcohol purchased from pubs on a takeaway basis

Inside Politics: Stephen Donnelly will propose tightening restrictions on the outdoor consumption of alcohol bought from pubs

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

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly plans to bring proposals to Cabinet on Tuesday to ban takeaway sales from pubs for the remainder of the Level 5 lockdown. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Concerns raised after footage showed crowds gathering with drinks bought from pubs

 Dr Ronan Glynn, the State’s deputy chief medical officer, is pictured at a briefing given by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Monday evening. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins.

Dr Ronan Glynn criticises ‘selfish minority’ for gathering to drink alcohol on city streets

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald during a  leaders’ debate earlier this year. The divide between their parties is now the principal cleavage in Irish politics. Photograph:  Niall Carson/AFP via Getty Images

Sinn Féin and Fine Gael creating more polarised discourse and boxing out Fianna Fáil

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee confirmed she considered expressions of interest from serving judges for the Supreme Court position. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

At least three judges wrote to Government seeking job taken by former attorney general

During Leaders’ Questions  Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he did not know Geraldine Feeney had been a lobbyist for the now defunct group. Photograph: The Irish Times

NAGP the group to which Tánaiste controversially leaked copy of GP contract last year

Controversy around Mr Justice Séamus Woulfe’s attendance at the Oireachtas golf dinner in August has led to a crisis in the State’s highest court. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Impeachment process motion deemed inevitable but some TDs lack enthusiasm for idea

Taoiseach Micheál Martin leaving a Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle. Mr Martin is to seek all-party consensus in dealing   with the crisis in the Supreme Court. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach to meet Opposition leaders in bid for consensus on dealing with crisis

The Chief Justice, Mr Justice Frank Clarke (left) has now repeatedly told Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Seamus Woulfe that he should resign. File Photograph: Laura Hutton

Little appetite in Government or Opposition for protracted process to remove Woulfe

President-elect Joe Biden arrives at The Queens theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photograph: Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

Micheál Martin says he congratulated Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris

More articles