Mary Butler

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar insisted earlier this year that the funding for the Fair Deal scheme had not run out. File photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

The number of people waiting for a nursing home place under the State’s Fair Deal scheme has jumped by a sixth in just three weeks, according to figur(...)

The largest number of patient delays occurred at St James’s Hospital in Dublin, above,  with 59 followed by the Mater where 52 patients stayed in hospital longer than necessary. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Almost 600 patients were delayed in being discharged from public and voluntary hospitals in June, resulting in the loss of close to 19,000 bed days, a(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was scheduled to meet church leaders the day after comparing Micheál Martin to a “secretly sinning priest”. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/ARP/Getty Images

Fortunately for Leo Varadkar, the timing of his latest faux pas was not quite as ominous as it might have been for former taoisigh. As a thing to be f(...)

Trinity College emeritus professor of political science Michael Marsh: ‘a big health warning’ on turnout figures for this year’s local and European elections. File image: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Election turnout figures are a “work of fiction” based on an inaccurate and unreliable register of electors, a leading academic has claimed. Figure(...)

 Minister for Health Simon Harris   acknowledged the need for a review and for “questions to be answered on how the mortuary operates and to ensure best practice is in place”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A review of the operation of the mortuary at Waterford University Hospital is to take place, the Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed. The (...)

Billy Kelleher (above) said  Dáil had to find a mechanism to provide Ian Drennan with ‘some form of immunity’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A mechanism should be found to release through the Dáil an undisclosed report into why the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick (...)

Minister for Health Simon Harris wore his usual pale and pinched worried expression. Photograph: James Forde

Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris settled into their front bench seats as TDs trickled into the chamber for the big debate. Sinn Féin had moved a motion(...)

The only one who seemed well-prepared and asked a succession of erudite, intelligent questions – and who seemed genuinely interested in the answers – was Sinn Féin senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (pictured, with microphone, in 2017). Photograph: Alan Betson

Business journalists don’t get out that much. We tend to be kept locked in the basement to crunch numbers and write about profits and bonds. If we’re (...)

The Minister said  last year the IDA delivered 113 regional investments, “which is the equivalent of 56 per cent of new jobs created outside Dublin”

The IDA cannot “force or cajole” companies investing in Ireland to locate their businesses outside Dublin or other cities, Minister of State for Enter(...)

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. It is widely expected he  will offer to open negotiations on an extension to the arrangement underpinning the minority government, possibly for another year

At times Fianna Fáil TDs are left to judge the political direction of their party by the mood of their leader rather than by anything he says. On the(...)

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