Tanaiste Leo Varadker

  • The Tánaiste insists Covid-19 is 'in retreat' across Ireland and the country is on the right track.

    575 new cases were confirmed here yesterday, along with 45 additional deaths.

    218 of the cases are in Dublin, while the second highest number- 38 new cases - are in Galway.

    Elsewhere across the West, there are 15 new cases in Mayo, 10 in Roscommon, 7 in Sligo and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    The 14 day incidence rate of the disease is now 240 per 100,000 of the population. 

    13 counties - including Galway and Mayo - have rates above the national average.

    Galway's 14-day rate is now 330 and Mayo's is 255 per 100,000 people.

    The  number of Covid patients in public hospitals has fallen to 642 - the lowest in over seven weeks - while 151 of these patients are in ICU.

    Tanaiste Leo Varadkar says the country is winning the battle against the disease...

  • 60 new jobs have been announced for the Co Galway town of Ballinasloe over the next 5 years.

    Chanelle Pharma is to create the new jobs as the company extends its distribution and manufacturing operations in Ireland.

    Chanelle Pharma  - which manufactures generic medicines for human and animal health - already employs 570 people at its headquarters in Loughrea and also has offices and warehouses in Oranmore.

    Initially the company will relocate its Chanelle Pet distribution business from Loughrea to the IDA Business Park in Ballinasloe.

    The €5 million investment by Chanelle Pharma will see the company invest in warehousing and new manufacturing operations in Ballinasloe, and will convert the existing Chanelle Pet premises in Loughrea to a new manufacturing facility.

    That's according to Senator Eugene Murphy, who says it's a great vote of confidence in Ballinasloe.

    The company, privately owned by founder Michael Burke, currently exports to 96 countries, and supplies some of the top human generic and animal health multinational companies globally.

    Tanaiste and Minister for Business Leo Varadker also says it's great news for the Co Galway town....

  • Every person who wants a Covid-19 vaccine could be offered one by the end of June, according to the Tanaiste.

    Leo Varadkar told the FG parliamentary party last night it's possible, based on international evidence that 10 to 15 percent refuse the jab.

    However he said the official target is still to offer 82 percent a first dose by the end of next month.

  • It looks like it will be the end of April or early May before non-essential shops or hairdressers have a chance of reopening.

    The Tanaiste says the easing of restrictions next month will be quite limited.

    The relaxing of the 5km rule, some outdoor activities and construction are set to be the only areas to change.

    Leo Varadkar says restrictions will ease on a slow and phased basis...

  • The Tánaiste says he can't promise that this lockdown will be the last, due to the continued emergence of variants.

    Leo Varadkar says most people think the cautious approach the Government is taking in the latest Living with Covid plan is the right one.

    Level 5 restrictions have been extended until April 5th while schools and childcare will begin reopening next week.

    The Tánaiste says Covid-19 cases are still too high for a further easing of restrictions...

  • The Tánaiste has said there won't be time limits on tables for outdoor dining and drinking once it returns in June.

    The 9 euro substantial meal has also been scrapped, as has the limit on the number of people on a premises.

    Restaurants and pubs are still waiting on the formal advice from Fáilte Ireland.

    But Tánaiste Leo Varadkar explains how it will work.....


    Meanwhile, the Tanaiste says the prospect of a return to indoor dining and drinking will be evaluated in late June, with a view to returning in July.

    The factors which need to be favourable if indoor hospitality is to return include case numbers and the R number, hospitalisations, the rollout of the vaccine programme, and variants of the virus.


  • Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said there is “lots to be positive about” as the country is on track to ease Covid-19 restrictions further on May 4. 

    The Tanaiste says that, despite bumps in the vaccine roll-out plan, Ireland is still on track to meet its targets. 

    Mr Varadkar posted a video on social media last night to “reassure” the public after it was announced that the AstraZeneca vaccine is being restricted to those aged between 60 and 69 and the Johnson and Johnson jab has been paused. 

    He said we should not lose sight of the bigger picture, as for the first time this year, there are now  less than 200 people in hospital this week with Covid, less than 50 people in ICU, cases are falling, and the R number is below one. 

    He continued by saying “This week, all the schools went back, the 5km rule ended and we started building homes again, so lots of things to be positive about.”

    Mr Varadker noted that amendments will have to be made to the vaccine programme, but insisted it's still on track, and said we are also on track to ease restrictions on 4th May.