Gavan Reilly Profile picture
Political correspondent @virginmedianews • presenter #OnTheRecordNT, Sundays 11-1 @newstalkfm • columnist @meathchronicle • author ‘Enda the Road' • views mine
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29 Apr
Post-speech press conference is now underway...
Tánaiste says his two major themes for this evening are "hope" and "caution";
Varadkar says he has a sense of deja vu - it was the May bank holiday weekend last year when he announced plans for the reopening of the country - but the difference now is vaccines.

He finishes quoting Einstein: "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
Read 4 tweets
29 Apr
❌ Literally in the last few minutes, the cinema reopening has been deleted from Gov.ie again
Govt online advice does say one of the next steps is "preparation for the safe reopening of cinemas and theatres in June subject to public health advice"
Read 4 tweets
29 Apr
Taoiseach's speech live now on Virgin Media One
"The good news is that the strategy is working. Because of you hard work and sacrifices, we are now in a better place."
"By tonight, more than 1. 5 million vaccine doses will have been administered. That means close to 30% of everyone over 16 has received one dose of a vaccine."
Read 14 tweets
29 Apr
🚨 Government approves plans for gradual lifting of #COVID19Ireland restrictions.

The plan in emoji:
@VirginMediaNews
MAY 4:
🚧 Construction

MAY 10:
🏡 Outdoor visits (2 households)
👥 Outdoor gatherings (15)
🚙 Domestic travel
🚉 Bus/rail at 50% pax
🛍 Collection
💇🏼‍♂️ Personal services
⛪️ Churches (50)
🎨 Museums/galleries
🏐 Adult training
💍 Weddings (50 ceremony; 6 indoor afters; 15 outdoor)
MAY 17
🛍 Shops reopen

JUNE 2
🏨 Hotels, B&Bs (indoor dining for residents only)

To be considered from JUNE 7, pending epidemiological situation:

🏡 Indoor visits (1 household)
🍷 Outdoor hospitality
🏋️‍♀️ Gyms, pools
⚾️ Adult sports games, no fans
💍 25 at wedding receptions
Read 5 tweets
28 Apr
MAY 10
🚗 Intercounty travel
🏡 Household visits, 3 households - indoors only if vaxxed
💈 Personal services
⛪️ 50 at worship
🛍 Click & collect (full reopening later in May)
⚽️ Adult training

JUNE 2
🏨 Hotels, B&Bs

JUNE 7
🍷 Outdoor hospitality
🏋️‍♀️ Gyms, pools

@VirginMediaNews
With the caveat that Cabinet isn’t meeting until the afternoon, and these could still change - these are the other *proposals* going for approval today:
ALSO MAY 10:
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Outdoor gatherings of 15
🏛 Museums, galleries
👰🏻 50 guests at wedding ceremony
(6 at indoor reception, 15 outdoor)
🚎 Public transport 50% capacity

JUNE 7:
👰🏻 25 at receptions
🏨 Hotel bars and restaurants (residents only)
🏠 Indoor visits from one household
Read 6 tweets
28 Apr
Taoiseach doesn't tell Dáil whether Ireland will support a vote to invoke the '#TRIPSwaiver' - effectively suspending intellectual property rights on the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines - at a meeting of the World Trade Organisation this Friday
Taoiseach said the idea would have to be examined "in some detail" - but seems to cast doubt on whether the pharma industry's co-ordinated response to Covid-19 (in contrast to SARS in 2003) would happen again in future if IP rights were suspended or waived - then his time elapsed
He was replying to a series of opposition TDs who wanted Ireland to back a waiver at this Friday's meeting of the WTO Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

They see it as necessary to help southern hemisphere countries increase vaccine production.
Read 4 tweets
28 Apr
Leaders' Questions: Alan Kelly points out challenge of meeting 82%-by-June vaccine target when much of the J&J inventory will not arrive until late June, and can now only be used for older population. Also points out that rollout must now hit 450k doses per week by end-June
Taoiseach tells Dáil that Ireland's highest delivery of Pfizer doses has arrived earlier today, containing 191,800 doses. @VirginMediaNews
Kelly suggests "the projections don't work out that way" - citing @Mark_Coughlan's sums on #rtept last night - and says the only way to meet 82% target would be to skip those between 50-60 for now, and come back to them when future larger J&J shipments come in
Read 4 tweets
28 Apr
Leaders' Questions: Mary Lou McDonald demands assurances that income supports will continue as society reopens. She says there can't be one rule for those on PUP and another for former taoisigh, or senior civil servants, who are having previous cuts undone
Not for the first time, the Taoiseach says there will be "no cliff edge for supports" but also links them to economic revival which in turn is linked to suppression of virus.

"We are in a much better position than was anticipated, or was modelled, and that's good"
McDonald acknowledges that fewer will be dependant on PUP as society reopens, but wants assurance that for as long as some people are out of work because of public health advice for their sectors, those sectors "retain the full level of support that has been afforded to them"
Read 4 tweets
24 Apr
The Citizens' Assembly on Gender Equality has issued a whole raft of recommendations, including… [thread]

• Insert a new explicit clause into Article 40 on gender equality and non-discrimination
• Replace the text of Article 41.2 (woman in home) with wider clause on carers
• Amend Article 41 to protect private and family (incl non-marital) life
• Maternity leave for all elected reps
• Extend gender quotas for party candidates to local, Seanad and European Elections by the end of 2023
• Make funding to public bodies contingent on reaching a 40% gender balance quota by 2025.
• Require private companies to have at least 40% gender balance on their boards.
• Make public funding to cultural, sports, arts, media organisations contingent on a quota of 30% by '25
Read 10 tweets
22 Apr
🦠 #COVID19ireland
10 deaths; 617 cases

⏪ Thursdays:
15/04: 309
08/04: 400

📈 5d avg: 416
📈 7d avg: 417
(Last wk: 389)

📆 14d incidence: 119/100k
(Last wk: 123)

🏥 In hospital: 179
(Last wk: 184)

In ICU: 48
(Last wk: 51)

Vaccines:
💉 878,823
💉💉 362,142
@VirginMediaNews ImageImage
@VirginMediaNews Of the 10 deaths reported today, 7 occured in April, 1 in March, 1 in February and 1 in January
Of the 617 cases reported today; half are under 33 and 70% are under 45.

236 of the cases are in Dublin, 84 in Donegal, 37 in Kildare, 34 in Tipperary, 30 in Offaly.
Read 4 tweets
22 Apr
Bit of a cri de coeur from Stephen Donnelly, after @MickBarryTD urges the Government not to reopen too soon and to risk another wave of hospitals being overwhelmed…
"We need to be very careful right now. We’re in a sightly risky position, in that all fo the indicators are very positive, but we are not through this…
"Too many of us believe we are though this; that we don’t need to be as careful, that we can have as many social interactions, that we can meet friends in houses, because Ireland is doing well. But the reason that Ireland is doing well is because we’ve kept to the measures…
Read 8 tweets
22 Apr
Stephen Donnelly tells the Dáil that 83% of people aged 65-69 have now registered for a #covid19ireland vaccine, and the portal will expand to take bookings from 60-64s from tomorrow
NEW: Donnelly confirms to Dáil he expects a recommendation "early next week" on use of J&J vaccine
[This means any decision to space out the Pfizer/Moderna doses will be pushed further back, as NIAC's view on increasing the interval is partly dependant on the portfolio of other vaccines available]
Read 12 tweets
29 Mar
It’s… 🥁 Speculation Day!

Ahead of tomorrow’s formal announcements on April 5 restrictions, today NPHET and the Cabinet sub-committee meet to discuss what might be feasible.

Thread:
@VirginMediaNews
🏋️ The 5km Exercise Limit

The easiest one to lift: outdoor activity generally carries much less risk, and if a family is doing so alone then the risk of transmission is virtually zero.

Some want it 10k to keep some structure, others want county-wide - some even think, scrap it.
👷 Construction

Currently only ‘essential’ and local authority building is allowed - whether to allow more? The lobby is vocal and the housing shortage is acute but the sector is so large that mass-mobilisation of hundreds of thousands may bring workers too close together.
Read 8 tweets
27 Mar
🕐 Ireland used to have its own time zone, ‘Dublin Mean Time’, 25’21” behind Britain (the distance in latitude between Greenwich and Dunsink).

Britain introduced summer time in May 1916 as a wartime efficiency, and forced Ireland into synchronicity when it ended that October.
Also, as we yet again dither on whether to scrap summer time and/or diverge from Northern Ireland: we’ve diverted before.

The UK observed ‘double summer time’ in 1940-45 (another wartime efficiency), and again in 1947; Belfast was an hour ahead of Dublin during this time.
This has really taken off! I should add: before 1880 it was common for towns to have their own local mean time (‘Cork Mean Time’ etc.) defined by its longitude relative to Greenwich.

But railways were becoming A Thing in the second half of the century and needed harmonisation.
Read 5 tweets
26 Mar
Ireland has today made the final repayment on the £3.23bn bilateral loan offered by the UK as part of the EU-IMF bailout package in 2010.

Similar bilateral loans from Denmark and Sweden were refinanced and repaid early, which was not pursued in UK case because of a break clause.
This now Ireland has now fully repaid all three bilateral loans, and all of its IMF funding, out of the bailout loans.

About €41bn (out of €67.5bn) is still owed to two EU bailout funds.
The last of those €41bn in loans is currently scheduled to be repaid sometime between 2041 and 2045.

Separately about €7bn in bonds relating to the liquidation of Anglo Irish Bank are due for repayment in 2051-53, but will likely be refinanced elsewhere this year or next.
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
“It must feel for many people like this pandemic will never end,” Stephen Donnelly tells the Dáil, “but pandemics do end, and this pandemic will end too. The end of this pandemic is in sight.”
Questioned by @davidcullinane, Donnelly says Ireland now expects to have received 1.1m doses by end of Q1; this is 100k lower than expected from AZ; “as of right now, AZ have not committed to the EC that it will fulfil its obligations”

Cullinane notes we once expected 1.4m doses
Donnelly says vaccine rollout will not increase “incrementally” from April, but will rather be a “step-change” because of how many vaccine deliveries are expected to arrive in the coming days
Read 9 tweets
23 Mar
🏨 The arrangements for mandatory hotel quarantine have been finalised and the booking website is now open. Applied to all arrivals into Ireland who have been within 33 ‘high risk’ countries within the previous fortnight. €1875 per adult for 12-day stay, €360 per child sharing.
Seems to take effect from this Friday, based on the availability listed on the booking website. gov.ie/quarantine
Govt statement confirms it takes effect from 4am Friday morning; Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel in Santry will be the first facility used Image
Read 4 tweets
28 Jan
Alan Kelly tells Dáil that Stephen Donnelly has given wrong info to the Dáil this morning - Donnelly said there had been around 40,000 Pfizer doses last week (which in practice is 48k) but @craighughes points HSE figures which say it's quite a bit less
Kelly says he doesn't like the phrase 'Zero-Covid' himself but that "the public are ahead of us" in wanting aggressive suppression of virus. Says #rtept on Tuesday, with talk of Irish in Lanzarote, is "the straw that broke the camel's back" for many
Leo Varadkar says nobody should enter any debate while ruling out any strategies or suggestions. Says the Govt's policy is to get numbers as low as possible by March 5 so as to allow contact tracing and testing do its job again
Read 4 tweets
27 Jan
Marc MacSharry tells FF PP the border with Northern Ireland should be closed, and wants Ireland to approach Russia seeking to buy its Sputnik vaccine for COVID-19.

“If the Ku Klux Klan is selling a vaccine, we should buy it,” he says.
ℹ️ Marc MacSharry apologises:

💬 “As someone who conversationally uses extreme analogies at times, those who know me know precisely where I am coming from. However the reference to that organisation was wrong and I unequivocally withdrew it and apologised to all present…” (1/3)
“… and wish to do the same to all who learned of this grievous error through media leaks from the meeting. There is no excuse for the use of such an analogy …” (2/3)
Read 4 tweets
27 Jan
Leaders' Questions: Mary Lou McDonald criticises yesterday's travel measures. "It is not a system of mandatory quarantine, it is in fact one of voluntary self-isolation." Says household isolation may mean people sharing accommodation with others who had not travelled
💬 Taoiseach: "There will be no half-measures from me, as Taoiseach, or from Government in ensuring a prolonged suppression of this virus. We will do whatever it takes to keep the numbers down, once we get the numbers down. And we are achieving that."
Taoiseach with a warning to lobbyists and his own backbenchers: 'I don't really want people coming tome again after the 5th of March pleading for one sector or another… we've simply had too much of that'
Read 7 tweets
26 Jan
Anyway welcome back to our continuing coverage of 2020+1. Image
Here we go. Taoiseach says lockdown is working but hospitals remain under too much pressure, need to bring numbers down further.

The emergence of new variants represents a dangerous and new development, to which we cannot give any space Image
Taoiseach: "The message for the next six weeks is very simple. Stay at home. Do not travel, Do not make any journeys outside of your 5km unless you absolutely have to."
Read 27 tweets