A build to rent development has been approved in Cabra in north Dublin and a children's hospital group has moved most of its pediatric services from one hospital to make space for coronavirus patients.
Independent.ie reporters are bringing you the latest coronavirus stories you may have missed today.
Shawn Pogatchnik reports
The planning board has approved a 485-unit residential development on the Carnlough Road in Cabra, Dublin 7, on lands originally purchased from CIÉ 16 years ago.
The build-to-rent scheme by UK firm Tristan Capital Partners - which acquired the site last year from Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group for a reported €39m - includes nine blocks up to eight storeys tall.
In its newly published decision, An Bord Pleanála approved the plans subject to several conditions, including provisions for adequate traffic flow and a parking management plan. These stipulate the development should have a maximum of 403 car parking spaces and a minimum of 529 spaces for bicycles.
It said an environmental impact report would not be required.
The design includes a neighbourhood centre with space for a café, a convenience store, a gym and child care facilities, while one block will be devoted to community space, including co-working areas, meeting rooms and a cinema.
Eilish O'Regan reports
People who were referred by their GP on or before Tuesday to provide a swab test for the coronavirus will not be tested if their appointment falls tomorrow
Previously they were told to turn up at the testing centre tomorrow although testing criteria has been tightened and only applies to certain priority groups.
They should self isolate for fourteen days and household members restrict their movements.
Gabija Gataveckaite reports
Children’s Health Ireland is temporarily relocating children’s services from its Tallaght hospital to Crumlin and Temple St hospitals, as well as its urgent care centre in Blanchardstown.
Most children’s health services, including inpatients, day cases and the paediatric emergency department in Tallaght will close from midnight on Friday March 27.
The outpatients department will stay open, as well as virtual clinics and specialist out patient services to support patients who attend with chronic needs.
This will make space in the hospital for coronavirus patients and an “unprecedented demand on acute services, especially adult healthcare”.
The relocations are a part of contingency plans in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis and will see Tallaght University Hospital used for additional bed capacity, staff and emergency facilities in dealing with sick adults.
Other CHI hospitals in Crumlin and Temple St will also remain fully open, as well as the urgent care centre in Blanchardstown.
Gráinne Sexton writes
It has been two weeks since college closed and it is therefore not revelatory to admit that I miss the way things were. I miss my friends and the plans we had made for the months of March and April. I miss my part-time job and the co-worker I spent every Friday furtively chatting with. I miss sitting in seminars and engaging in impassioned debates with fellow students about the merits and failings of various literary texts.
Hit by a sudden wave of loneliness, I began this week feeling adrift and detached. Unlike the impulsive messages I am used to sending over Facebook or random tweets drafted to Twitter followers, I realised that meeting up with friends online doesn't just 'happen'. Similar to the low-level planning involved in organising coffee dates or casual pints, virtual interactions require a degree of organisation that, up until now, had eluded me.
The app of the moment is Houseparty. At a time when we are all seeking distraction from isolation and uncertainty, I have found it to be a godsend. My friends and I can chat over video call while also playing card games. We can invite other friends who are online to join - in the same way we'd invite a person to sit at our table in the pub. It's a strange feeling to be sitting in my pyjamas at home, roaring with laughter at a virtual version of Cards Against Humanity and staring at my friends through a screen. This is our new reality, however, and there is a common relief amongst us that at least we have this - some thread which is keeping us safely tied together.