Video: End to mask-wearing rules, Taoiseach says Ukraine may not be able to join EU immediately

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Ukraine may not be able to join EU immediately, says Taoiseach

The Taoiseach has cast doubt on the idea that Ukraine may be able to join the EU with immediate effect.

The Ukrainian president has indicated that he would like his country to join the European Union as soon as possible.


But, speaking in Dublin, Micheál Martin said: “I don’t know whether it can be done immediately.

“But I certainly would be a proponent and supporter of accelerating it and making it very clear that they can become members of the European Union.

“I’ve always favoured the acceleration of the European perspective for countries in our neighbourhood.”

The Taoiseach also said the Irish decision to fund items such as PPE, medical equipment and supplies for Ukraine, as part of a wider EU package, does not undermine Ireland’s longstanding military neutrality.


Seven people killed after clashes in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv

At least 44 people have been wounded in fighting in Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv, and seven of them died in hospitals, Ukrainian authorities said.

It was not clear if the casualties, which covered the past 24 hours, were all civilians.

The state emergencies agency said the casualties could be higher because the damage from Monday’s shelling of residential areas is still being assessed.

Covid: 5,919 new cases on ‘milestone’ day as mask-wearing rules end

The vast majority of Covid-19 restrictions lifted at midnight in a move hailed as a “milestone” for the country.


The changes come as 5,919 new cases of the virus were reported to the Department of Health on Monday.

A statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) said 2,277 cases had been confirmed by PCR tests, while a further 3,642 cases were uploaded to the HSE's antigen result portal. The statement also included case numbers for the weekend, which totalled 6,783 (3,635 PCR-confirmed) and 5,157 (2,338 PCR-confirmed) on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

As of 8am on Monday, there were 610 patients in hospital with the virus, 47 of whom were in ICU.

The Government decided last week, following advice from health officials, that from February 28th there will be no legal requirement to wear a mask in any setting.


Tribunal into alleged Garda 'systems failure' due to finish module in coming days

The tribunal investigating alleged ‘systems failure’ within the Garda surrounding the murder of a young mother in Dublin in 2006 is due to finish its current module in the coming days.

The court is enquiring into claims by whistleblower and former Sergeant William (Liam) Hughes concerning the internal handling of events related to the shooting dead of Baiba Saulite (28).

Barristers for the Garda have rejected all of Sgt Hughes’ allegations, including his complaint that he was deliberately targeted, bullied and intimidated by senior members of the force following the murder.

On Tuesday, the tribunal will hear evidence from the former assistant chief medical officer for the Garda, Dr Richard Quigley.

The tribunal was deferred on Monday due to the unavailability of witnesses.

Dr Quigley is the final witness to appear before this module, and once his evidence is completed by mid-week, the tribunal will break until April or May.

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