Simon Coveney no-confidence motion
Simon Coveney was “acting in good faith” when he deleted text messages relating to official business, the Taoiseach has claimed.
Micheál Martin defended a decision by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to clear conversations he had with the Tánaiste and a former government minister from his phone.
However, Mr Martin also said that any records, including text messages, that relate to government business should not be deleted.
Speaking in the Dáil as TDs returned to Leinster House following the summer break, Mr Martin said that was clear to his government colleagues.
Mr Coveney faces a no-confidence vote this evening after Sinn Féin tabled a motion of no-confidence in the minister over the controversy.
Baby John investigation
Gardaí have exhumed the remains of ‘Baby John’, also known as Kerry Baby, as part of an investigation into his death in 1984.
This morning, the remains of Baby John were exhumed by gardaí at Holy Cross Cemetery, Caherciveen, Co Kerry and taken to the morgue at University Hospital Kerry, Tralee, for examination as part of the ongoing investigation.
The exhumation commenced at first light and was conducted on foot of a ministerial order granted in accordance with the Coroners Act 1962 as amended.
The exhumation was conducted by gardaí from Killarney District, assisted by gardaí from the Garda Technical Bureau, a Forensic Anthropologist and relevant personnel from Kerry County Council and the Health Service Executive.
The Coroner for South Kerry has been kept advised.
The remains of Baby John have been reinterred at Holy Cross Cemetery this afternoon.
“Investigating gardaí continue to believe that there are members of the public who have information in relation to the death of Baby John in April 1984, and we are appealing to those people to come forward and help us,” said a Garda spokesperson.
Investigating gardaí continue to appeal for any information in relation to this ongoing investigation and can be contacted at Killarney Garda Station on 064 6631222, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.
Covid: Ireland may be past peak of Delta wave
Ireland may be past the peak of its fourth wave of Covid-19 driven by the Delta variant, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).
Professor Philip Nolan, who chairs the Nphet Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said the country is slightly ahead of Nphet’s optimistic assumption of how the disease would progress.
It was “not unreasonable” to believe that the country was “just past the peak of infection” and case numbers should decline “from here on in”, he said.
The chief medical officer (CMO) meanwhile said he does not believe significant restrictions will be reimposed based on current health data.
Dr Tony Holohan said he is “optimistic” about the trajectory of the disease, and said the country is on course to meet criteria that will allow the vast majority of restrictions to be lifted next month.
Government to donate one million Covid vaccines
The Government is to donate at least one million vaccines to low-income countries, it has been confirmed.
The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that Ireland will donate the doses to the Covax programme.
It comes as the European Union said it will donate another 200 million Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries.
Mr Donnelly said that universal and fair access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments is a priority for Ireland and for the EU.