Leo Varadkar

  • 60 thousand people have been laid off in the last week due to Level 3 of coronavirus restrictions.

    The extra measures were brought in across the country to deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases.

    It led to a ban on indoor dining with only businesses doing takeaway or with outdoor seating allowed to stay open.

    Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has confirmed it's led to a surge in the number of people on the pandemic unemployment payment.

  • The new Bishop of Cork and Ross says Leo Varadkar needs to learn from comments he made about Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin.

    During a Dáil debate this week, the Taoiseach said the opposition leader reminds him of a priest who preaches then sins behind the altar.

    Leo Varadkar subsequently apologised for the remarks.

    Bishop Fintan Gavin says the Taoiseach needs to be respectful of victims of abuse who were also offended by his comments.

  • Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone has blamed tiredness from campaigning for her description of Leo Varadkar as "autistic".

    The Dublin Bay North candidate was widely criticised for the comments, which she made while canvassing this week.

    The Sunday Independent reports she's apologised to some supporters for the "throw-away comment".

    The Claremorris native says the "only possible explanation" is that she was tired from campaigning and hopes the controversy is "already passing over".

  • The Taoiseach says digging at the site of the mother-and-baby home in Tuam won't start until the end of next year, as legislation is needed before work can begin.

    In October, cabinet approved proposals by Children's Minister Katherine Zappone to excavate the site, after the work of historian, Catherine Corless, uncovered that 7-hundred-and-96 babies were buried there in an unmarked grave.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that measures need to be put in place to allow the government excavate the property.

  • The Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil leaders will meet again this morning to discuss policy issues.

    It comes amid speculation government formation talks may start sooner than expected because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin met for more than an hour last night to discuss policy face to face after their teams held talks last week.

    Another meeting was put in the books for this morning with the pace suggesting that formal programme for government negotiations may not be far behind.

  • The government has announced a significant speeding up of the lockdown restrictions with the plan reduced from five phases to four.

    All retail shops will open from Monday - while pubs with restaurant licences, hotels and the wider hospitality sector will be allowed to open from June 29th.

    From Monday people will be allowed to travel anywhere in their county - with all restrictions on movement being lifted at the end of this month.

    Playgrounds and outdoor summer camps can re-open next week - while groups of up to 6 people can meet indoors or outdoors with social distancing.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the final phase will now start on July 20th - not in August as previously planned.

  • The Government has asked health officials to consider speeding up the exit plan for the Coronavirus lockdown.

    The Taoiseach says Ministers have asked to move some of the phase 3 measures up to phase 2, which is due to start on Monday.

    Cabinet will make a decision tomorrow on whether to go ahead with that after medical advice from NPHET.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said they are looking to move parts of the roadmap up.

  • Leo Varadkar seems to be bearing the brunt of the recent controversies over the nurses' strike and the costings row for the National Children's Hospital.

    A Sunday Times Behaviour and Attitudes Poll out today shows his personal satisfaction rating below 40 percent for a second month in a row, behind Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin on 43.

    The paper's Political Editor Stephen O'Brien says it's not a good result for the Taoiseach.

  • People are being told not to leave their homes for the next 2 weeks - except for a small number of circumstances.

    They are to buy food or household goods, go to medical appointments or essential work and for vital family reasons.

    Brief exercise is also allowed within 2 kilometres of someone's home.

    People over 70 are also being told to "cocoon" themselves by staying indoors.

    The measures are in place until Easter Sunday as part of government efforts to tackle Covid 19.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar doesn't believe there are many more restrictions that could be put in place in the future.

  • Phase one of the easing of Coronavirus restrictions will begin next week.

    Cabinet has signed off on the move which will see construction sites, DIY and hardware stores open from Monday.

    People will also be allowed to play golf or tennis and meet in groups of up to 4 people outdoors.

    The government has recommended people wear face coverings on public transport and in shops.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said this is the first step in getting the economy going again.

  • Planning is underway for a potential second wave of the Coronavirus this autumn that could coincide with flu season.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the virus has been effectively suppressed in the community and the current data is positive.

    A decision on whether or not to move to phase two of the plan to ease restrictions will be made on June 5th.

    However, Leo Varadkar has warned there is the possibility of a second surge of the virus.

  • Leo Vardakar's popularity as well as satisfaction with the Government has fallen according to the latest opinion polls.

    The Irish Times Ipsos MRBI poll has found that satisfaction with the Taoiseach now stands 36%, the lowest level since he took office in two years ago.

    According to the poll, Government's popularity now stands at 38 per cent, a drop of seven points since March.  

    Fine Gael's approval ratings also fell, by a point, while Fianna Fail is up by two points.

    Sinn Féin's popularity dropped five points to 16 per cent, Labour is up one to seven per cent, while Independents/others have jumped three points to 22 per cent.

  • Leo Varadkar will face a no confidence motion in the Dáil next week.

    Sinn Féin has called for the vote, saying they don't believe the Tánaiste has given a credible account of why he shared a confidential doctors' contract with a friend.

    Most around Leinster House expected the controversy had run out of steam - but today Sinn Féin announced a motion of no confidence in the Tánaiste, to be debated next week.

    Meanwhile, a Sligo Fianna Fail backbench TD's re-iterated his criticism of his party leader's approach to the document leaking controversy.

    Speaking earlier, Deputy Marc MacSharry says Michael Martin's attitude has damaged the party.

  • The Taoiseach, and UK Prime Minister discussed Brexit and the ongoing political impasse in the North at a private dinner in Farmleigh in Dublin.

    Leo Varadkar and Theresa May met last night, as Britain looks for an alternative to the current plans for the border in the Withdrawal Agreement.

    The meeting was described as taking place in a 'warm' atmosphere.

    The Taoiseach  though insisted the working dinner was not a formal negotiation. 

  • The Taoiseach has warned Coronavirus restrictions will not be eased if people are flouting the current rules.

    Leo Varadkar said he didn't want to wave a big stick at people, but that their behaviour is directly linked to what will happen over the coming weeks.

    A mixture of public persuasion and Garda enforcement will be used to make sure people comply with the rules.

    However, Leo Varadkar has said people need to understand the impact their behaviour is having.

  • The Taoiseach says he's disgusted that some details of a report into the cervical cancer controversy have leaked.

    It's reported Dr Gabriel Scally doesn't believe a full commission of inquiry into the scandal is needed.

    A meeting with some of those affected has now been brought forward to this evening as a result of the leaks.

    Vicky Phelan has taken to Twitter to call it a 'whitewash'.

    Leo Varadkar says he's appalled some reporters saw the details before those affected.

  • Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has pledged his support to the Strategic Development Zone being developed at Ireland West Airport Knock, and will ensure the assistance of State agencies to help attract investment and jobs to the region.

    That's according to the airport's managing director Joe Gilmore, who says that during the Taoiseach's recent visit to the airport to officially open the newly-overlaid runway, Mr Varadker was also shown plans for the SDZ and said he would support the development.

    Councillors in the Claremorris & Swinford Municipal Districts held their monthly meeting at Ireland West Airport Knock this week to view the new infrastructural developments at the facility, and to hear plans for the Strategic Development Zone.

  • The Taoiseach says a positive vote in the House of Commons tonight will remove the dark cloud of Brexit from over Ireland.

    British MPs will vote on the withdrawal agreement once again this evening after Theresa May secured legally binding assurances to the backstop.

    It provides confirmation to the UK that the EU cannot try to trap it in the backstop indefinitely.

    The assurances will need to be enough to persuade pro-Brexit Conservatives and the DUP in order to get the deal over the line.

    Leo Varadkar says he hopes and trusts it will be passed by MPs this evening.

  • The Taoiseach says he's not ruling out the possibility of an election in 2019.

    That's despite Fine Gael and Fianna Fail agreeing to extend the confidence and supply arrangement for another budget.

    The leaders of both parties have said an extension was agreed due to the uncertainty posed by Brexit.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says it's one of the biggest challenges facing the confidence and supply agreement.

  • The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is in county Mayo today for a number of engagements.

     Earlier today the Taoiseach visited The Town Hall Theatre in Westport where the government hosted a special forum on “Creating Stronger Rural economies and Communities”, part of the Project Ireland 2040 programme.

    On his way in to the building the Taoiseach was greeted by placards calling for a public water supply between Westport and Louisburgh.

    Following the launch of the Rural Strand of Project Ireland 2040, the Taoiseach will visit Castlebar at  3.30pm.

     He is expected to take a brief walkabout before going to Coady’s Bar, on Linenhall Street in the town.

    Later in the afternoon the Taoiseach will travel to Ireland West Airport Knock where he will meet the board to discuss further state support and investment in the airport.

    The Taoiseach told Midwest News this afternoon that the Government doesn't want rural Ireland to survive it wants it to thrive.