Donna Ostojic, from Donegal, and her colleagues at Paddy Travel outside the firm’s premises in Medjugorje.

Founder of Bosnian-based Paddy Travel says there are no government supports for them

Fr Martin Noone, director of Dublin Diocesan Pilgrimages, with a group photograph from one of their many trips. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Estimated 80,000 pilgrims a year travel to Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje and Holy Land

Pre-Covid some 27,000 students attended Irish colleges in the Gaeltacht each summer. Photograph: iStock.

Coláistí fear accommodation may go to Airbnb and ‘bean an tí’ tradition will end

Michelle O’Riain

Gardaí had issued appeal for Michelle O’Riain (36 ) who had not been seen in over a week

Michael McDonnell  of Viking Tours, during filming for World’s Most Scenic River Journeys – Shannon River, at Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly last year.

Hopes that British TV show with large audience will attract visitors

The force is keen to  stress the wider implications of the mobile devices beyond roads units. File photograph: Collins

Technology being rolled out among community gardaí, regular units and immigration officers

The cool, dry conditions, while cold, also brought above average sunshine: Ian Kearney golfing at sunrise at Dromoland Castle Golf Club, Co Clare, as golfers returned to the fairways in April. File photograph: Brian Arthur

Wexford experienced its driest April in more than 80 years, says Met Éireann

Waiting times for a driving test, which were at 25 weeks late last year, will continue to grow, reaching a peak by the end of the year or early in 2022.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Tests to reopen to non-essential workers, with pandemic backlog of 180,000 applicants

“Strange” and “unusual” weather for this time of year is forecast for the coming week with the potential frost for frost on the way. File Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Met Éireann warns of temperatures of minus three overnight as gardeners fear frost

Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson of Dublin: ‘We particularly welcome the increase in numbers permitted to attend funerals as this will bring enormous comfort to those grieving the loss of loved ones.’ File photograph: iStock

Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin to seek clarity on ‘pods’ of 50 at funerals in large churches

Dublin’s M50 is set to become a ‘dynamic motorway’ with variable speed limits determined by computer algorithms. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

New system can close lanes and reduce speeds in the event of a crash or bad weather

Shane Gorman among the first to tee off at Tullamore Golf Club this morning. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Lifting of restrictions and bright weather create ideal conditions for play

Walkers on Sandymount Strand, Dublin.  File photograph: Alan Betson

Hazel Chu asks public to respect Portobello area following complaints from residents

Catalytic converters contain valuable metals. File photograph: Reuter Raymond/Sygma via Getty Images

Hybrid vehicles are particularly at risk from crime that has surged in recent years

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. File photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Walk-in centres show positivity rate of 3% as vaccine portal opens for 60-64 year olds

 Dublin City Council has issued a tender for public toilets. File photograph: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Local authority wants the lavatories to be established within new retail units

The new Purple Route would see traffic between Dublin and Wexford divert into the tunnel under some 20 local houses. File photograph: Eric Luke

Consultants looking at ‘complex solutions’ due to environmental sensitivity

The best of the weather over the coming days is likely to be before the weekend, according to Met Éireann.  File photograph: Alan Betson

Met Éireann says conditions are set to change after Friday, but improve again next week

M50 staff work to get a lorry that overturned on the M50 northbound  back on its wheels. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Vehicle spills rubble across northbound lanes near Red Cow interchange

The winning Lotto numbers were: 04, 14, 20, 23, 27, 37 and the bonus number is 39.

Winning ticket holder yet to make contact, as National Lottery withholds name of shop

A man died when a motorcycle and car collided at the Northwest Business Park. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Motorcycle and car collided at Northwest Business Park, Ballycoolin

Heavy traffic on Capel Street on Monday in Dublin’s City Centre.Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

CSO index shows Dubliners moving most in advance of rules easing

The Oireachtas health committee has  heard the Health Service Executive imposed unilateral cuts to the dental treatment scheme in 2010, during the  economic crash. Photograph:  Rui Vieira/PA

Oireachtas hears free service for 1.5 million hit by cost-cutting and dentists withdrawing

An aerial view of the Sallins bypass in Co Kildare, which is to open to traffic on Friday. The road includes a junction, J9A, with the M7 motorway near Naas. Photograph: Kevin McFeely

Scheme includes M7 road widening, Osberstown interchange and Sallins access road

One GP says he is suspending the vaccination programme at his surgery after receiving abuse from some patients. Photograph: Gent Shkullaku/AFP via Getty Images

Medics hopeful delivery problems will be ironed out and supplies will rise from next week

Drugs seized by gardaí. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

Man arrested after gardaí seize cocaine and cannabis herb after search of address

The gardaí’s account of catching the perpetrators attracted more than 3,200 reactions in the first 24 hours on Facebook, with many people adding words of congratulations to the gardaí – and condemnation for the dumpers. Photograph: Garda Siochana Wicklow/Facebook

Officers also issue penalties for breaching 5km restriction to car occupants

The proposed scheme includes 96 houses and 136 apartments distributed between two four-storey apartment blocks and five three-storey duplex blocks. File photograph: Getty

Delgany locals raise more than €40,000 in weeks ‘such is strength of feeling’ over scheme

People arrive by bus at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, the State’s first hotel quarantine centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Department of Foreign Affairs says 21 ‘certificates of deferral’ have been issued

President Michael D Higgins leads the Easter Sunday commemoration in the grounds of Áras An Uachtaráin. Photograph: Tony Maxwell/Maxwell’s

Wreath laid as all those who have died during this past year remembered by President and Taoiseach

The number of vehicles on the roads are significantly below pre-Covid levels, with seven-day averages for the first three months of 2021 of about 450,000 vehicles, compared to a weekly average of about 700,000 vehicles in the first three months of 2019.  File photograph: Bryan O Brien

Data tracking vehicles on State’s main roads ‘like a heart monitor’ matching lockdowns

Almost 180,000 people are queuing for a driving test, including 80,000 awaiting a theory test. File photograph: iStock

Essential workers eligible for driving tests during Covid rules, but cannot get lessons

A woman who was swimming at the Forty Foot in Sandycove on Tuesday got into difficulties and was rescued by Dún Laoghaire RNLI. File photograph: iStock

Public also urged to pay attention to sea temperatures as crowds flock to beaches

Two litters of puppies were seized at Dublin Port. Photograph: DSPCA

Two litters of puppies found in crates at ferry believed to be destined for sale in UK

Kite surfers at Shellybanks, Dublin Bay, on Sunday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Easter may be cold and unsettled with frost at night and some some wintry showers

A child plays in  the port of Paquitequete. Sailing boats are expected to arrive with people displaced from the coasts of Palma and Afungi after suffering attacks by armed groups since last March 24. Photograph: Alfredo Zuniga/AFP via Getty Images

Convoy evacuating besieged hotel ambushed, with many people still missing

The Garda said house parties put at risk not only those attending, but everyone they come into contact with afterwards. File photograph: iStock

Almost 17,000 fines imposed for breaching restrictions since start of Covid-19 pandemic

President Michael D Higgins: ‘Now is the time for us all to commit to building a more sustainable society and economy as we look ahead to a brighter post-Covid existence on our shared, vulnerable planet.’ Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Movement ‘to highlight importance of protecting our vulnerable planet’, President says

Wintry showers in Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Met Éireann issues two marine warnings for small craft and wind on coastal waters

Robert Crilly’s Midlands Cycle Hub at Cloondara offers one-day and multi-day tours of traffic-free cycling along the Royal Canal Greenway. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tourism businesses hope for a ‘canal dividend’ on Ireland’s longest greenway

Hospitality industry says supports must continue but ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ terms must end. Photograph: The Irish Times

Hospitality industry says supports must continue but ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ terms must end

The report co-author said ‘not a week seems to go by’ without the emergence of further contributions to the discussion.

Report author cites RTÉ TV discussion on Monday night as evidence of desire to engage

Protesters marched from the Wellington Monument in Dublin’s Phoenix Park to the GPO on O’Connell Street. Photograph: Alan Betson

Protesters claim ‘vaccines are gene therapy’ and people being ‘tricked into a global scam’

A picture of the suspected benzodiazepine  and cocaine seized by gardaí  on Friday night. Photograph: An Garda

Drugs comprised suspected benzodiazepine valued at €62,000 and cocaine valued at €12,200

The numbers on driving test waiting lists had reached 98,414 while about 50,000 people were waiting for a theory test.

Oireachtas Committee hears calls for measures to deal with pent up demand for lessons

Conor Faughnan is stepping down from his role as director of consumer affairs  at  AA Ireland.  File photograph: Eric Luke

Charity, golf and new challenges on Faughnan’s agenda for the future

The first blue crab sighting in Ireland on February 15th 2021 on Dollymount Strand, Dublin. Picture: Ruth McManus/ National Biodiversity Data Centre

The National Biodiversity Data Centre believes it may have been released into the wild

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Emergencies to be handled by combination of SAR helicopter services and ‘existing’ units

Irish Rail currently has 43 standard or ‘slow’ charging points at station car parks across its network. Photograph: iStock

Company says successful tender must be able to scale up in response to targets

Gardai attending the scene on Humbert Way Castlebar, Co Mayo where a pedestrian was struck and later died. Photograph: Conor McKeown

Separate crash in Co Donegal leaves driver in his 30 in critical condition

Dangerous drivers are to be targeted by a new “average speed” system being introduced by the Garda and road operators Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). Photograph: Getty Images

New detection scheme measuring ‘average speed’ to be trialed on M7 in Co Tipperary

Wesley Atkinson, regional manager of the NPWS, Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage, and Hugh McLindon, conservation ranger with the NPWS, at the site of the fire on  Scar mountain near Lough Dan in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Malcolm Noonan says wildlife crimes unit being set up, but convictions difficult to get

The LDA is a key part of the Government’s plan to use State lands to fast-track the development of social and affordable homes. File photograph: iStock

Government urged to halt Bill as council organises campaign of opposition

Investigators believe the gang was on the way to threaten the businessman or someone close to him in the hope of extracting money from him. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Balaclavas, firearms and ammunition seized by gardaí following searches of four cars

The funding is aimed at creating jobs in the heritage sector while rejuvenating town centres, protecting wildlife and preserving ancient monuments. Photograph: iStock

Grants will cover archaeological, built and natural heritage as well as biodiversity aids

Flames are seen on the slopes of Scar Mountain near Lough Dan in Co Wicklow on Sunday night. Photograph: Wicklow Fire Service/Twitter

Parks and Wildlife Service, park staff and multiple fire units battle blaze at Lough Dan

 Kerrygold: one of the Irish products affected by the Trump-inspired US-EU trade dispute

US-EU trade dispute affected some €422m of Irish exports, attracting €105m in tariffs

Met Éireann meteorologists said the shift of the North Atlantic jet stream south had brought cooler than average temperatures for the majority of the winter. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Kerry had highest rainfall of season and last day of February brought highest sunshine hours to Dublin

Standalone Stand up paddleboarders out in Dublin Bay last month.Photograph : Laura Hutton

The month’s highest temperature was 14.6 degrees at Phoenix Park, on Tuesday 23rd

Essential workers allowed a driving test – but not the necessary lessons

Essential workers allowed driving test – but not necessary lessons, Transport Committee hears

Boat hire along the River Shannon at Termonbarry, Co. Roscommon.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Tourism strategy to play major role in bringing tourists to ‘Hidden Heartlands’

The Road Safety Authority has told Insurance Ireland and the Garda about the new arrangements for licences. File photograph: Getty

Insurance companies confirm no penalty for those whose permits could not be renewed

Late 2019 image of  Fitzwilliam Street Lower, Dublin: No 29 is one of 11 Georgian buildings planned for conversion, eight for residential use, in the company’s redevelopment of its headquarters. File photograph: Google Street View

Plan ‘would set an undesirable precedent for loss of cultural facilities’ – Dublin City Council

Ulster Bank branch, in the heart of Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan. The street sign at left shows Oldcastle (Co Meath) at 11km away. ‘If [the bank] closes, the nearest would be Cavan or Oldcastle.’ File photograph: Google Street View

Ballyjamesduff residents fear closure of town’s only bank will affect local business

Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin and other archbishops held a virtual meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Friday. File photograph: Tom Honan

Micheál Martin met four Catholic Archbishops to discuss Holy Week observance amid Covid-19 restrictions

Tenerife: It is believed the dental bookings were being made to avoid potential fines on  return to the State for travelling abroad without a reasonable excuse.

At least 50 people based in Ireland had requested appointments, clinic says

Belmond Grand Hibernian: the service will not resume in 2021

Covid-19 blamed for end of Belmond Grand Hibernian, which will move to mainland Europe

Chief executive of Irish Rail Jim Meade says the company wants to increase frequency to 15-minute commuter trains on the Cork to Midleton line. File photograph: Irish Rail

Company outlines plans for regional cities including ‘horseshoe’ track around Limerick

Abigail Doyle walking in the stormy weather on Dún Laoghaire Pier on Sunday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Outlook is for sunshine, blustery wind, some showers but rain mostly confined to nights

Working  in Dublin city centre in the Oak Bar, Síle Maguire (37),  says she had enjoyed the buzz of “meeting new people and having fun with them when they come into the bar”.

Pandemic results in job losses and limited options to engage with further education

Michael Ingle, member of the Docklands Oversight and Consultative Forum, pictued at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, in 2019. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Canals body draws up plans to dispose of site in Dublin on the open market

The unidentified man dressed in An Post uniform escaped along Windmill Road, in the direction of the Kildare Road, Crumlin. Photograph: Google Street View

Assailant strikes as cash box being delivered at local post office, then escapes on bicycle

Gardaí are investigating a suspected shooting in Ballymun, in north Dublin. File Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Man in his 40s killed in gun attack in Belclare housing estate

An adult whooper swan. File photograph: Simon Stirrup

Bewick’s swan numbers dropping as birds stop coming to Ireland due to climate change

Bus Éireann has told staff it expects to make losses of up to €20m over the next three years. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Company outlines move to hybrid vehicles and plans for hydrogen-fuelled buses

President Michael D Higgins encourages everyone to read either a book, a poem, a magazine or a comic “whatever the eye might fall upon” as part of the campaign. File photograph: Frank Miller

President Higgins supports campaign offering personalised book recommendations and access to e-books

The recall affects 1.5 litre bottles of Ecover Zero Non Bio Laundry Liquid

Contact with the Ecover product could result in harm including skin burns or eye damage

It was a cold and wet January everywhere, with lower than average temperatures and higher than usual amounts of rain. File photograph: iStock

Total of 29 rainy days in Belmullet Co Mayo compared with 15 at Roche’s Point Co Cork, Met Éireann found

More than €17 million has been  approved by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien for major new urban area.

Shanganagh development is State’s largest social and affordable scheme with planning permission

Naas canal walkway:  it has seen up to 10,000 people walking on it on Sundays during the pandemic. Photograph: Ben Kelly

Local councillor says council is using lockdown to advance planning for all its active travel routes

Members of the Shannonside Cycle Club on the Athlone Cycle Greenway. Photograph: Alan Betson

Previous route selection process stalled in 2015, after ‘vociferous’ landowner objections

  The main threat to air quality comes in the form of minute particles in air which are known as PM2.5. Photograph: iStock

Air pollution thought to be responsible for 1,300 premature deaths in Ireland in 2019

The Carrowbeg river flowing white past Westport House on Saturday.  Photograph: Inland Fisheries Ireland

No major fish kills reported but fisheries body appeals to public to take extra care

At the time of the Oireachtas Golf Society in Clifden in  August last year,  indoor gatherings of more than 50 people were banned. Photograph: Collins

Controversy over Clifden golf outing resulted in resignations of high profile politicians

Snow has been forecast for the Wicklow hills. File photograph: iStock

Met Éireann says new cold snap will be in place until at least Sunday

Joe Armstrong: “Religion demands the submission of the mind, heart, will and body to man-made rules and a man-made god […] but submission is the opposite of personal adult maturity, thinking and deciding for oneself.”Photograph: Alan Betson

Book review: A former Irish Times columnist’s memoir of wrestling with faith as a boy and seminarian

A cyclist using the cycleway on Seapoint Avenue, Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

Draft development plan envisages urban expansion and Dart station at Woodbrook

 Traffic on the M50 in Dublin in April, 2020. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Figures show decline in number of cars on the roads since last week

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to either crash to come forward. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Man and woman killed in collisions at Bansha and Lawlor’s Cross

Irish Water said recent freezing temperatures and subsequent thaw led to higher demand. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Irish Water says burst pipes after cold weather have triggered surge in demand

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘One of the things that really hit me is the extent to which this was an enormous societal failure. an enormous societal shame.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Cabinet to meet on Tuesday to before the Taoiseach meets groups of survivors

Northern Ireland is still treated as being within the EU Customs Territory. Photograph: iStock

Since transition period ended on January 1st the UK is now deemed a ‘third country’ by the EU

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted the continuing risk of new pandemics, warning that while the impact of coronavirus has been very severe, it is “not necessarily the big one”

Global study shows sewage surveillance quickly identifies viruses in community

The number of cars on the State’s main roads has dropped significantly since the recent move to a Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions. File photograph: The Irish Times

Limerick’s Southern Ring Road sees this lockdown’s sharpest drop in car figures

Most of the snow – falls of about two to three centimetres – will be in Connacht and Ulster, making for hazardous driving conditions. File photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Connacht and Ulster to bear brunt of cold but ‘dusting of snow’ possible in parts of Dublin

The AA said icy conditions were lingering on roads in some areas and advised drivers to take care on all routes. Photograph: iStock

Coldest temperatures this winter forecast over coming days with lows of -6 degrees

The increase in road deaths in 2020 amounted to 6 per cent. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/File

‘Stark reminder’ of need for action if Ireland is to achieve 50% reduction in next decade

The National Transport Authority accepts many commuters are continuing to pay for their cards through automatic salary deductions while working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Holders of annual tax-saver tickets have until December 31st to apply for their money back

Noel Meade has sent generations of winners to Leopardstown from his stables at Castletown Kilpatrick, near Kells in Co Meath. File photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Four-day Christmas festival closed to physical visitors, but virtual ones are welcome

Researchers are currently sampling Ringsend and Shanganagh waste water treatment plants in south Dublin and Enniskerry waste water plant in north Co Wicklow.  Photograph: iStock

UCD professor developing early warning system for new waves publishes results

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