Cabinet meeting

  • The Cabinet has approved a draft bill to hold a referendum on the 8th amendment.

    The Health Minister Simon Harris can now finalise the bill, which the Government is expected to approve in two weeks time.

    The Taoiseach has said he's confident the timeline of holding a referendum on the 8th amendment at the end of May can still be met.

  • The Cabinet is expected to agree to a reopening date for pubs when it meets later today.

    According to the Irish Times, the Government is likely to announce next Monday week September 21st as the date they can reopen.

    It comes after strict new guidelines for pubs that don't serve food to open safely were published.

    Irish pubs have experienced the longest lockdown in Europe with publicans lobbying fiercely to get back to business.

  • The Health Minister says further restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 will be announced this afternoon.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team met this morning and has made a series of recommendations.

    Cabinet Ministers are currently meeting to discuss the advice, which is likely to impact on travel and social activity.

    Speaking on the way into Government Buildings, Minister Simon Harris says there will also be an update on existing measures, including schools.

  • A Cabinet meeting has been underway since about 4.30 to decide whether or not to move to the next phase of the roadmap for reopening the country from next Monday.

    Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has given a strong indication that the reopening of pubs will once again be postponed.

    Speaking before the Cabinet meeting got underway, Mr Varadkar highlighted the recent spike in new Covid-19 cases in Ireland and across Europe and said the Government’s priority is reopening schools and colleges.

    The Tanaiste said the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommended a cautious approach in the coming weeks.

    Mr Varadker said this will be come as a “further blow to some sectors that have not been reopened but added that “we can’t risk going backwards or risk the schools reopening”.

    However, there is growing anger among publicans who have been forced to keep their pubs closed for almost five months while other sectors of society have reopened.

    Mayo publican Marie Mellett, of Mellett's Emporium in Swinford, says pubs should open from next week, regardless of whether they serve food or not:

  • The cabinet will get an update on the Coronavirus later today, when it meets to discuss Ireland's preparation for an outbreak of COVID-19.

    Government Ministers will also discuss the impact of severe flooding in parts of the country over the past few weeks as the clean-up operation continues in parts of the Midlands and the West of the country.

    Elsewhere the slow process of government formation continues.

    Fine Gael and the Green Party will meet for a second day in a row to discuss policy points.

    Sinn Féin also have a meeting with the Social Democrats to discuss their priorities for entering government.

    Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are due to meet this week as well - likely ahead of the Dáil sitting for the second time on Thursday.

     

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    A group has protested outside the gates of IT Sligo yesterday ahead of a Cabinet meeting to voice their concern over any proposed closure of Easkey Post Office.

    The postmaster there is due to retire and the future of Easkey Post Office is now under review by An Post and could close by the end of March.

    The local community have strongly opposed any moves to close the post office and recently held a public meeting on the matter.

    A group protested outside the gates of IT Sligo yesterday where the Cabinet met ahead of the announcement of the National Planning Framework.

  • The Government will decide this evening whether or not to move to phase four of the easing of Coronavirus restrictions.

     

    Moving to phase four would see the re-opening of all pubs, nightclubs and casinos and an increase in public gatherings, with 100 people able to meet indoors and 500 outdoors.

    It's due to happen from Monday, but first will require cabinet approval this evening.

    Last night the National Public Health Emergency team expressed concern about moving to what would be the final phase of the re-opening of the economy.

    Much of the concern relates to the number of young people getting the virus and an increase in the reproductive rate.

    Many pubs that were due to reopen are still awaiting advice on whether or not they can.

    Cabinet is also due to discuss air travel today.

    There've been calls for stricter rules around who is allowed into the country after anecdotal reports of tourists not respecting the self-isolation guidelines.

    Ministers have said they don't plan to ban any flights from coming into the country, but will be stepping up how they track people who do arrive to make sure they are self isolating.

    While Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has pointed out people who lie on the passenger locator forms can be subject to criminal sanction already, if they're caught.

     

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    A special Cabinet meeting will take place in Sligo this Friday.

    The Cabinet meeting will get underway at 11am at IT Sligo, and will be followed by the launch by Taoiseach Leo Varadker of Project Ireland 2040 – the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.

    The President of IT Sligo Dr Brendan McCormack says the institute is honoured to host the historic Cabinet meeting – the first ever held on an IT campus.

    He says the event is a vote of confidence in Sligo, the Northwest region, its young people and its future.

    Dr McCormack says he believes the plans being announced on Friday will have a transformative impact on the economic well-being of the north-west region, and will provide a much-needed boost for the region.

  • Members of the People Before Profit Party in Sligo protested outside the gates of IT Sligo on Friday ahead of the special Cabinet meeting to rubberstamp the Ireland 2040 plan.

    The group were there to protest for a number of reasons. Local Cllr Gino O’Boyle was there to highlight the lack of social and affordable housing in Sligo. There are 1,100 people on the waiting list, with only 65-85 houses available.

    While Nigel Gallagher from the party was there as part of the Still Waiting campaign, which is calling for a one-tier health system.

  • The review of the bidding process for the National Broadband Plan was not discussed at this morning's Cabinet meeting.

    The report by Peter Smyth was received last evening by the Communications Minister Richard Bruton, with a view to it being presented to Ministers this morning.

    However, that's now expected to happen at next week's Cabinet meeting instead. 

    The report examines whether contacts between the former Communications Minister Denis Naughten and David McCourt, the businessman leading the only consortium left bidding for the contract, have undermined the plan.

    The reivew was requested by the Taoiseach last month after Roscommon's Denis Naughten resigned when it emerged that he had met Mr McCourt a number of times while the procurement process was continuing.

    Mr McCourt is the founder and chairman of Granahan McCourt, the only remaining bidder for the contract that would see the rollout of broadband across rural Ireland.

     

  • Government Ministers have been confronted today by farmers who want a Brexit support package.

    An IFA protest is taking place outside a special Cabinet meeting in Cork City Hall.

    Ministers are discussing a number of issues including new laws to criminalise revenge pornography.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was faced with angry farmers as he arrived to the meeting earlier: