covid-19 pandemic

  • An action plan has been launched to deal with the community response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Minister for Rural and Community Development,  Michael Ring launched an action plan to support the community response.

    There were three key initiatives, Letting people know how and where they can volunteer, providing community supports for older people and launching a help desk to assist smaller community groups.

    Helping the most vulnerable in society from a safe distance was one of the key messages.

    Minister Ring says there are many ways for people to volunteer in these difficult times and is urging everyone in society to play their part during this crisis.

  • All healthcare workers now have to wear face-masks when providing close care to  patients.

    It applies to nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants in both public and private settings, treating all patients whether they have Covid 19 or not.

    The INMO says it's something they have been pushing for.


    Another sports club in Ballina has had to issue a warning to people to stay off their grounds.

    Ballina Town FC say that reports had been received of people using the pitches at their facility in Belleek.

    Issuing an 'urgent reminder' that the pitches are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the club said on their Facebook page “We have heard reports of people entering on club grounds and using the pitches recently.

    This is entirely without permission and must cease. The area will be monitored more regularly by gardaí over the coming weekend, so you have been warned.”

    It follows on from a call yesterday from Ballina Rugby Club that people were also using their grounds as well despite being off limits.

  • The Chief Medical Officer says the next 7 to 10 days will be "crucial" for knowing when the coronavirus will be at its peak in Ireland.

    Another 424 new cases were confirmed last night, bringing the total to 4,273.

    A further 22 people with the virus have died, with the death toll now standing at 120.

    18 of them were in the east, 3 in the south and 1 in the west of the country.

    The number of cases in Mayo has increased to 55.

    The number of confirmed cases in Galway is 98, there are 26 in Sligo and 13 in Roscommon.

    Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, says next week will be key for tracking the growth of Covid 19:

  • No more than three asylum-seekers will share a room in a direct-provision centre from now on - even when the Covid-19 crisis is over.

    The Department of Justice has made the commitment, amid fears of overcrowding and a lack of social-distancing.

    The Ombudsman claims housing three or more residents from different families in a single room is 'inappropriate'.

  • A clearer picture will be known later today on how rapidly Covid-19 is spreading across the country.

    Fresh modelling is to be released by the National Public Health Emergency Team, which will assess how the virus is reproducing, and the impact of the current restrictions in place.

    The death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 769, after 49 more people with the virus died yesterday, while the number of confirmed cases stands at 16,671.

    The median age of confirmed patients is 48 years, while 15% of those with the virus required hospitalisation.

    There are 302 clusters in residential care settings - 179 of these in nursing homes.

    The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mayo has risen once again, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 339.

    The number of cases in Galway is now 309, with 91 cases in Roscommon, and 97 in Sligo.

  • The Department of Health's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan will return to his post next week.

    Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says he's looking forward to working with Dr Holohan, who stepped back from his role in July as his wife was receiving palliative care.

    Dr Holohan had become a well-known figure during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, as he recommended strict measures to tackle the virus, including the national lockdown.


  • Eight more people with Covid-19 have passed away in the Republic.

    The death toll from the disease since the beginning of the outbreak stands at 1,703.

    Eight new cases have also been detected, bringing the total to 25,248.

  • The exchequer's deficit reached €6.1 billion in May, as pressure on the government's finances continues with the Covid-19 pandemic.

    However latest figures show tax revenues are up 1.3 per cent on May last year, due to an unexpected increase in the amount of corporation tax collected.

    Spending is up 19 per cent on what was planned, largely due to health and income supports like the € 350 weekly Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

    Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says while the signs are positive, it's too early to say how the economy is coping with Covid-19.

  • The FAI have joined a working group looking at plans for the future of the League of Ireland.

    The group was initially formed by the then 20 league clubs last year without the association's involvement.

    Interim Deputy FAI CEO Niall Quinn says they'll now work collectively for the best future possible for our League and its players.

    Shamrock Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche has thanked the club's squad and management for agreeing to wage cuts.

    25 per cent cuts have been made across the club who say they cannot sustain their budget without matchday income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    There have been no SSE Airtricity League games since the first week in March.

    The FAI and the clubs have provisionally agreed to restart the SSE Airtricity League action on 19 June, subject to the approval of the government and HSE.

  • While traffic volumes are down on Mayo roads due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Mayo's Road Safety Officer says "fewer people on the roads doesn't mean we should be any less careful".

    Roads across the county are generally quieter since the lockdown began on 27th March, although there's an increase in the number of people out cycling, while many people are out walking during the good weather.

    Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council Noel Gibbons says they're witnessing an increase in speed, as drivers are travelling on quieter than usual roads, but he warns that such actions can have fatal consequences.

    50 people have lost their lives on Ireland's roads to date this year, while many more road users are seriously injured each year - most of whom require hospital treatment, putting added pressure on health care workers.

    Noel Gibbons says it's important that HSE staff and the emergency services are able to concentrate all their efforts on coronavirus, so it's crucial that we take care when using the roads.

    He says the "Share the Road" campaign urges all road users to only travel when absolutely necessary, always drive at an appropriate speed, take extra care in housing estates where children are playing,  always wear a seatbelt, never use a mobile phone behind the wheel, never drive under the influence of drink or drugs, and be aware that the roads are still open to vehicles.

  • Five more people with Covid-19 have passed away in the Republic.

    It brings the death toll to 1,664 since the outbreak began.

    There have been 38 new cases detected with the total now standing at 25,142.

  • The GAA's management committee and county board chairs are to meet remotely today to discuss options around the All Ireland Championship during the pandemic.

    There is the possibility there may be no All-Ireland finals played in 2020.

    The Government had suggested a potential return date of 20 July for "sport team leagues", including Gaelic games, but there is the possibility there may be no championship played this year.

    Yesterday, Connacht GAA president Gerry McGovern, a member of the GAA's Management Committee, said the risks of a return to playing action in 2020 are too high, and instead he urged the Association to focus completely on the 2021 Championships.

  • The GAA will take the next steps towards emerging from the lockdown on Friday.

    It's expected that the Association’s 'Return to Play’ roadmap will be agreed upon by the specially-formed Covid-19 Advisory Group before being ratified by GAA Management.

    RTE Sport is reporting that the Association may yet wait until Monday to make public its template, but it’s understood that their announcement will be in line with the Government’s latest restrictions update which has been pencilled in for June 8th.

    The GAA’s plan will incorporate a gradual unrolling of restrictions and will be entirely dependent on Government advice and the reproduction rate of infection remaining low.

    The roadmap will also give clubs and counties a chance to get used to the practicalities and implications involved.

    While Phase 2 won’t see much movement and will essentially centre around the opening of GAA walking tracks for groups of four people who live nearby, Phase 3 will see a significant progression.

    At this stage it’s likely that Covid-19 supervisors or officers will have been appointed by GAA clubs who will prepare to see their pitches open on 29 June.

  • Nearly half a million euro was spent on Covid-19 information booklets, according to freedom of information files.

    The Department of Health sent copies to every home in the country recently - two million in English and two million in Irish.

    An Post delivered the English version for free, but postage for the Irish edition cost nearly 100,000 euro.

    Galway West TD Eamon Ó Cuiv's has criticised the Department of Health on this matter.

  • There's been an 18% rise in the number of domestic violence-related calls to Gardaí so far this year, compared with 2019.

    Gardai are today starting another phase of Operation Faoiseamh  - which will see Gardai prioritise people who are vulnerable to, and victims of, domestic abuse.

    This will see Gardai making contact with previous victims, along with a renewed focus on enforcing court orders and prosecuting offenders.

    While Ireland is currently in level 5 Covid-19 restrictions, Gardai say the 5k travel restrictions do not apply in the case of domestic violence, or to escape the risk of harm.

    Gardaí say they remain dedicated to the support of victims of domestic violence.



  • The Health Minister has signed regulations giving Gardaí emergency powers to enforce restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

    People found not following health advice will be forced to return home.

    Yesterday saw the largest daily rise in the number of deaths here since the outbreak began - 36 people died, bringing the total to 210 - none of the latest deaths were in the West of Ireland.

    345 new cases of Covid-19 were also announced, with the total number now standing at 5,709.

    The latest county breakdown shows 126 confirmed cases in Co Mayo, 128 in Galway, 28 in Sligo and 22 in Roscommon.

    Mayo FG TD Alan Dillon has welcomed the emergency powers granted to Gardai in advance of Easter weekend.

    He says Gardai across the region will continue their high-profile patrols, but now with additional powers to force people to return to their homes if they're out within a valid reason.

    Deputy Dillon is urging the people of Co Mayo to continue following the advice of health experts in the fight against Covid-19 and not to become complacent in the days and weeks ahead.


  • The country is in a "precarious" situation, and how Covid-19 will spread over the next week is now uncertain.

    That's according to public health officials, who are warning the cases which will be reported over the next 7 days have already been seeded.

    21 further cases have been recorded, bringing the total to 25,698, while the death toll now stands at 1,749.

    Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronan Glynn, is appealing to people to redouble their efforts over the next week.

    In this region the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases remains at 573 in Mayo.

    There are 489 confirmed cases in Galway, 346 in Roscommon and 148 in Sligo while there are 82 confirmed cases in Leitrim.

  • Cancer Care West have made available their 33-bedroom lodge at University Hospital Galway to the Saolta hospital group, as the battle against Covid-10 continues.

    The Inis Aoibhinn residence is located in the hospital grounds, and is usually used by patients who are undergoing radiotherapy treatment at UHG.

    In response to an urgent request from Saolta, Cancer Care West has now made the unit available to the hospital, and alternative accommodation is being offered to patients in the Harbour Hotel in Galway City.

    The charity started relocating patients to the 3rd floor of the hotel yesterday, and will arrange the necessary transport for patients to and from the hospital as required.

    The Saolta Group says the addition of a facility with 33 private bedrooms on the grounds of the hospital provides them with additional capacity as they continue to build their capability to respond to the pandemic.

    The exact use of the Inis Aoibhinn residence will be determined over the coming days, as the hospital continues to deal with the spread of the virus.

  • A professor in infectious diseases says health officials need to be in schools now, to prepare for re-opening.

    Dr Jack Lambert says offering school principals a sheet of guidelines and instructions is not enough.

    14 more cases of Covid-19 were reported in the Republic yesterday, and no new deaths.

    Dr Lambert, from the Mater Hospital, says health officials need to get started immediately ahead of the new term.

    The total number of cases of Covid-19 around the world has passed 17 million.

    It comes as the World Health Organisation prepares to review the status of the 'global health emergency'.

    It's exactly six months since it upgraded the pandemic to that level.

    The WHO's Covid-19 technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, says some countries have the virus under control - but others haven't.