The top four things you need to know – Tuesday August 31st

The majority of Covid-19 restrictions will end on October 22nd according to plans before Cabinet this afternoon.

Cabinet will meet this lunchtime to sign-off on the roadmap, which’s due to kick-in from September 6th.

From that date, larger crowds will be allowed at events such as concerts and outdoor sports matches, while communions and confirmations will also resume.

Workers will begin returning to offices from September 20th, while mask-wearing will remain a must in certain settings.


A Cork TD has launched a new bill to regulate voluntary school contributions.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has called on the government to support the bill, because he says the payments place unfair financial pressure on families.

Saint Vincent de Paul says calls for help with school costs are up 10% compared to the previous year.


The Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney will face questions on his appointment of Katherine Zappone as UN Special Envoy when he appears before an Oireachtas Committee later.

The former Children’s Minister was offered the role on freedom of opinion and expression last month without it being publicly advertised.

But she turned it down following controversy over her hosting of an outdoor event for 50 people at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin.


The last American troops and diplomats have been flown out of Kabul airport, almost 20 years after it invaded the country.

It marks the end of a chaotic withdrawal which has seen the biggest air evacuation in history.

More than 120,000 people have been flown out of Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover.

The United Nations says future evacuees must be given free passage.


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