Taoiseach Micheal Martin

  • NPHET has delayed a key meeting on easing restrictions next month.

    The public health body was due to meet tomorrow but will now wait until Monday.

    It's in a bid to gather as much data as possible before making a decision on whether any restrictions can ease from April 5th.

    In the Dáil this afternoon Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the full picture needs to be taken into account.

  • 5 further deaths and 1,095 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed yesterday evening - a record daily figure.

    This includes 50 additional cases in Co Galway, 13 in Mayo, 14 in Sligo, 8 in Roscommon and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    The 14-day incidence rate nationally is now at 190 per 100,000 people - Sligo is currently at 207,  Roscommon 189, Galway 174, Leitrim 146 and Mayo is 89 per 100,000 population - the 5th lowest rate in the 26 counties.

    The Taoiseach has warned that "things may get worse before they get better" in relation to Covid-19, but said the country can get through this, if people work together and adhere to the rules.

    He was speaking last night, after the Cabinet agreed to move the three border counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal to level 4 restrictions from midnight for 4 weeks.

    It means all non-essential retail will close, only key workers should travel to work, while gyms and hairdressers will close.

     

    The entire country has also been placed on an enhanced level three, where all visits to homes or gardens are banned with some essential exemptions.

  • The Taoiseach has warned Brexit talks are on a knife-edge ahead of a crunch meeting this evening.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will try to end the current impasse over dinner in Brussels.

    Earlier Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that the EU is making unacceptable demands.

  • The Taoiseach says people should expect tight Covid 19 restrictions to continue until at least early April.

    Micheál Martin says some classrooms and construction will reopen over the next few weeks.

    But he's warning case numbers are still too high for the majority of restrictions to ease.

    The current covid measures were due to end on the 5th of March.

    But the Taoiseach says people can assume most of them will continue until Easter..

  • The Taoiseach says a decision on exiting Level 5 restrictions will be made next week.

    Micheál Martin told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last night that he wants people to have a 'wholesome and enjoyable' Christmas.

    A Dáil debate on exiting Level 5 in early December will take place on Tuesday, however the ultimate decision will be taken by cabinet later in the week.

    It comes as the death toll associated with Covid-19 here has now passed 2,000, after a further 12 deaths were reported yesterday along with 379 new cases.

    This includes 17 new cases in Galway, 10 in Mayo, 6 in Sligo, 5 in Roscommon and less than 5 in Leitrim.

    Roscommon is currently the only Connacht county with a 14-day incidence rate higher than the national average.

    The average 14-day rate nationally is now just under 120 cases per 100,000 people - in Roscommon, it's 158 and is now the 5th highest county in the country.

    Meanwhile, Galway now has the 3rd lowest 14-day rate.

    The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet today amid concerns that the progress in tackling Covid-19 has slowed significantly over the past week.

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    The Government is planning to increase the 500 euro fine for going on holidays abroad to 2,000 euro.

    It would mean a couple travelling abroad on an unnecessary journey could face a 4,000 euro add on bill if stopped on the way to the airport.

    Around 4,500 people arriving at Dublin Airport last week had been on holiday.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin has asked the Health Minister to increase the fines....

  • The Taoiseach is warning the full reopening of pubs could be delayed.

    Micheál Martin is hitting out at the scenes over the weekend, where hundreds of people gathered to drink in some locations.

    Pubs are due to fully reopen on July 20th.

    But speaking on Red FM today, the Fianna Fáil leader said that may not now go ahead.

  • The Taoiseach says plans for a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions from May will be announced in the coming days.

    It's expected restrictions on inter-county travel will be lifted at some point in June, and hotels and guesthouses could reopen.

    While there's increasing confidence in Government that non-essential retail could return next month.

    Micheal Martin says Cabinet will set out a plan in the next few days.

  • The government advice against all non-essential foreign travel has been extended until July 20th.

    A potential 'green list' of countries people can travel to safely is due to be published in two weeks' time.

    However, that list will be reviewed every two weeks and will likely change if the health situation in one of those countries escalates.

     

  • New restrictions have been announced by the Government this evening, to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

    Following today's cabinet meeting, the number of people that can visit a home is being reduced to 6 people, from no more than 3 households, and outdoor events will be limited to 15 people -until at least September 13th.

    Over 70's are being asked to limit their contacts and to shop at designated times, while all sports events are to take place without spectators.

    People are being advised to avoid public transport and to continue to work from home. 

    Legislation is also being considered to give Gardai greater powers to enforce the measures.

    Taoiseach Michael Martin says we have to redouble our efforts to tackle the virus.

  • Pubs will notbe allowed to reopen next Monday amid concern at the increased rate of spread of Covid-18.

    The government has agreed to delay the move to Phase 4 of the reopening  of the country as the case numbers continue to rise.

    Taoiseach Micheal Martin says he knows the decision comes as a disappointment to many businesses, but says it's vital we continue to take a cautious approach.

    It means pub and hotel bars not serving food, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed - the decision will be reviewed in three weeks.

    The Taoiseach also said the size of crowds gathering will remain at 200 outdoors and 50 indoors.

    Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and shopping centres from next Monday 10th August.

    Meanwhile, the 'green list' of countries for foreign travel has been reduced from 15 to 10 due to the spread of the virus.

    Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltor, Monaco and San Marino have been dropped from the list of countries deemed safe to travel to.

  • From next Monday week, people will be allowed to travel within their own counties - or 20km from their home if crossing county boundaries.

    Social meet-ups will also be allowed outdoors with one other household from April 12th - but not in private gardens.

    Residential construction will also resume on that date, after a 13-week shutdown.

    Golf courses, tennis courts and visitor attractions are all set to open from April 26th, while underage sports training will also resume on that date, and the number of people attending funerals will increase to 25.

    The Government last evening announced the roadmap out of some Covid-19 restrictions over the next month.

    A vaccine bonus will also kick in, with two people or households that are fully vaccinated allowed to meet indoors from today.

    The measures will be reviewed in the last week of April ahead of a May 4th date for further re-opening - hairdressers, retail, places of worship and the rest of the construction sector will be considered in May.

    Looking further ahead, hotels and B&Bs are likely to reopen in June and domestic travel is set to resume in July.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin says people will be able to enjoy much greater freedoms this summer...

  • From next Monday week 12th April, people will be allowed to travel within their own county.

    Taoiseach Mícheal Martin has this evening outlined plans of a roadmap for lifting level 5 restrictions.

    From 12th April, all schools will be fully reopened, people can travel within their county and construction of homes and childcare facilities can resume.

    Two households will also be allowed to meet outdoors.

    From 19th April, inter-county GAA training can resume, along with high performance training for some athletes approved by Sport Ireland.

    26th April will see the resumption of sports training for children, while golf and tennis will also be permitted from that date.

    Zoos and wildlife parks will also reopen from that date, two households who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to meet indoors, and the number of people attending funerals will be extended to 25.

    The Taoiseach outlined targets for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

    He said people will not be able to celebrate Easter this year in the way they would like, but they should reflect on the sacrifices they have made over the past year, and look forward with hope.

     

     

  • The Taoiseach has made a formal state apology to the victims and survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.

    Micheál Martin told the Dáil that basic kindness was not shown to vulnerable women by either church or state.

    The Taoiseach described the treatment of these women as a flagrant breach of human rights.

    He said an apology is not enough and committed to responding to the recommendations of the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes' report.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin made a formal apology on behalf of the state in the last hour.

  • The Taoiseach has appealed to the public to avoid gathering with others on St Patrick's Day tomorrow.

    In a statement this evening, Micheál Martin said the opportunity to celebrate Ireland's national holiday will come again.

    Meanwhile, the Justice Minister is urging the public to avoid Dublin city centre tomorrow, due to a planned number of protests.

    Helen McEntee says Gardai will respond with a graduated policing response if there are any breaches of the law.

  • An extension of school holidays after Christmas is being suggested to decrease the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

    The European Centre for Disease Control is warning of an increased risk of infection during the festive season.

    In a new report, it says the risk for vulnerable people is "very high".

    It comes as restaurants and pubs that serve food were allowed to reopen here yesterday.

    Taoiseach Micheal Martin says he believes people will stick to the guidelines over Christmas.

  • Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said Covid-19 vaccines will be free to people across the country, as Ireland prepares to start vaccinations next month.

    Speaking at a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last night, the Taoiseach said vaccines would be rolled out in a sequence with healthcare workers, the elderly and nursing homes receiving them as as a priority.

    It is expected that Covid-19 vaccines will be rolled out in Ireland and Europe from next month, with European regulators expected to decide on one application for approval “within weeks” and another shortly afterwards.

    Mr Martin said last night as many as 10 vaccines could ultimately be available to Ireland as "part of the EU consortium".

  • The Taoiseach has confirmed the Government will take no action against Supreme Court Judge Seamus Woulfe.

    The Cabinet has decided not to pursue articles of impeachment against Justice Woulfe over his attendance at the Golfgate dinner in Clifden in August.

    Opposition parties are demanding Justice Minister Helen McEntee come before the Dáil to address the issue of the appointment of Mr Justice Woulfe by cabinet.

    The Government is resisting - and Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said they won't be seeking to take any action against the Supreme Court Judge:

  • The Taoiseach is defending the locations of the new Covid-19 vaccination centres.

    37 are to be rolled out nationwide, with at least one in every county.

    However, some local TDs are raising concerns that people will have to travel some distance for their vaccination centre.

    Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon has called for a second Mayo vaccination centre, to be located in the north of the county, while Sinn Fein's Louis O'Hara is concerned that only one centre is planned for Co Galway, based at Galway Racecourse.

    H says people from East Galway and Connemara will have to travel for an hour or longer to make their way to the centre, and is calling for another centre in the county.

    There have been also been complaints that there's no vaccination centre in Drogheda in Co Louth, but two in Wicklow which is the Health Minister's constituency.

    Speaking on his way into Cabinet this morning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the centres will be reviewed as needed...

     

     

     

  • The Taoiseach has said he wants the country to go back to level three at the start of December.

    But Micheál Martin says he will look at certain sectors that may be given individual licence to open.

    This could include bars and restaurants which would be outdoor dining only under level three.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin says they want to progress some opening of the economy in December.