Video: Unions criticise back to school decision, Electric Picnic hopes dashed, Scott Medals awarded

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Union kickback

Three teachers' unions have criticised Minister for Education Norma Foley following a decision that unvaccinated pregnant teachers cannot work from home.

Earlier, Ms Foley said sick leave was available for any teachers who were not yet 14 weeks pregnant and unable to be vaccinated and defended her department's decision not to offer options for teachers to work remotely.

The ASTI, INTO and TUI condemned the failure of the Department of Education to put alternative work arrangements in place, saying: "To cause a group of pregnant workers to endure weeks of anxiety and fear is unconscionable".

Nphet recommendations

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) met earlier today to finalise their recommendations for the Government ahead of the publication of an updated Covid-19 roadmap next week.

The roadmap will detail how remaining Covid restrictions may ease over the coming months, including the reopening of the live events and entertainment sectors.


The recommendations will be given to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly before a Cabinet meeting on Friday. An announcement on the updated roadmap is expected early next week.

Electric Picnic

Laois County Council has said it cannot reverse a decision to deny Electric Picnic a licence for this year's festival.

On August 4th, the council confirmed the licence had not been granted due to HSE guidance and public health guidelines surrounding outdoor events. However, on Tuesday chief medical office Dr Tony Holohan said he did not see any major public health concerns for a festival going ahead with only fully vaccinated attendees.

Organisers of the annual Stradbally event, Festival Republic and MCD, urged the council to review their decision in light of Dr Holohan's comments, but the council said there is no provision to allow them to reverse the decision, adding it is too late for a new application to be lodged in time for the festival to go ahead on schedule between September 24th-26th.

Garda awards

Thirteen gardaí were awarded the Scott Medal at an outdoor ceremony in Dublin Castle earlier today.

Some officers attended the ceremony, while others were honoured posthumously.

Among those to receive the Gold Scott Medal posthumously were Detective Sergeant Patrick McKeown, Detective Garda Michael Brady and Detective Garda Richard Hyland, all of whom were involved in a search of an IRA training headquarters in Dublin in August 1940.

The Scott Medal is the highest decoration for bravery in the Gardaí.

Covid: 2,051 new cases

A further 2,051 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the State today.

As of 8 am today, 323 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 56 are in ICU.

There has been a total of 5,092 deaths related to the virus notified in Ireland.

Emmanuel Macron visit

French president Emmanuel Macron is to make his first official visit to Ireland on Thursday.

Mr Macron is to undertake a one-day tour of Dublin, and will meet with President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin, as well as visiting Trinity College and the Guinness Enterprise Centre.

It fulfils part of an election pledge by Mr Macron to visit all 27 EU member states, with Ireland one of only four countries yet to be crossed off his list.

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