Video: Delta variant latest, new jobs, cyberattack progress

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Cyberattack progress

The overall cost to the HSE following the recent cyberattack could amount to half a billion euro, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

Chief executive Paul Reid also warned that he can “never be confident” that the HSE has seen the worst of the cyberattack, as he warned of the “human costs” of the attack.

Earlier today, the HSE confirmed around three quarters of the health service's IT systems have been unlocked following a cyberattack last month.

The majority of the systems are now back online and available for use once again.

Bank of Ireland sale

The Government will begin to sell down part of its 13.9 per cent shareholding in Bank of Ireland over the next six months Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has confirmed, marking the State's first sale of any bank shares since 2017.

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After receiving a €4.8 billion bailout in 2009, Bank of Ireland remains the only Irish lender to repay its bill to date, returning approximately €6 billion to the State.

Mr Donohoe said the announcement marked the start of a phased exit from the country's largest bank by assets.

Delta variant latest

Senior officials are concerned that an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases associated with the Delta variant may delay the next easing of restrictions.

While there are currently no plans to delay reopening, senior public health sources said the chances of advising to go ahead with the plans for July 5th are "50-50" — depending on if Delta case numbers continue to rise.

The Minister for Health has warned “we are now surrounded by the Delta variant”, which is more contagious than other types of the virus and accounts for one in five new cases detected in the last seven days.

An immunologist has also warned that Ireland is not “far ahead enough” in its Covid-19 vaccine rollout to absorb the impact that the variant could have on the population.

The Cabinet is to decide next Thursday, July 1st, if it will give the green light for the reopening of indoor hospitality, following a meeting with the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

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Publicans have said that three days is not enough notice for pubs to know if they can reopen their doors on July 5th, as they call for the Government to make a decision on the reopening this week.

National Maternity Hospital

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has called on St Vincent’s Healthcare Group to show “more respect” for the people of Ireland.

The company, which owns the site on which the National Maternity Hospital is set to built, has rejected calls to sell it.

The Government has said it will re-engage with St Vincent’s and the Religious Sisters of Charity about buying the land for the new hospital, insisting it must be publicly-owned and free from religious ethos.

Mr Donnelly said he believed women in Ireland “are sick of being told what is in their best interests when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health.”

Ahead of a Dáil motion on Wednesday, calling for the new facility to be built on land owned by the State, St Vincent’s issued a statement saying it “must retain ownership of the site”.

New jobs

Professional services company Accenture has announced it will create 500 new jobs over the next three years, adding to its existing Irish workforce which currently totals over 5,000 employees.

The majority of the roles will be based in Cork and the wider Munster region, supporting the company's work in the life sciences sector and will focus on areas such as technology, cloud, security, strategy, creative and design.

Accenture also plan to expand its innovation capability at their Accenture Labs in Dublin, specifically in the area of quantum computing.

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