EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.
1. #ABORTION: Ireland’s Catholic bishops have described the draft abortion bill published this week as a “dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law” and urged members of the public to lobby politicians against passing it. The bishops said the legislation would legalise the “direct and intentional killing of unborn children” and raised concerns that the legislation would cause ethical difficulties for hospitals which hold a Catholic ethos.
2. #NOT GUILTY: A man accused of killing two British soldiers outside the Massereene army base in Antrim in 2009 has been found not guilty by a court in Belfast. Brian Shivers had originally been convicted of the murders last year and ordered to serve at least 25 years in jail, but the judgement was quashed by a court of appeal in January. The judge in the retrial today questioned why hardened dissidents would choose to work with Shivers, who has cystic fibrosis, and said that he was an “unlikely associate for this hardened gang to rely on”.
3. #ECONOMY: The European Commission has affirmed its expectation that the Irish economy will grow at a slightly slower pace than the forecasts issued by the Government. A report published this morning shows that Brussels expects the Irish economy to grow by 1.1 per cent this year, slightly lower than the Government’s current prediction of 1.3 per cent.
4. #PRISONS: Ireland’s prison officers have said that there are severe problems at St Patrick’s Institution and that staff need extra specialised training to deal with juvenile offenders. The head of the Prison Officers Association said St Patrick’s is not fit for the purpose of housing minors and said prison officers are “not trained in the sensitive and complex area of childcare”.
5. #PALESTINE: Google has changed the wording on the homepage of its Palestinian version from ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’. The company said it was following the lead of the UN and other international organisations – but Israel has questioned Google’s decision.