EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you up to speed just as you’re heading for the door…
1. #COUNCILS: Phil Hogan has announced the largest shake-up of local councils since the foundation of the State. Town councils will be merged into county council under the new plans, with councillors elected to ‘municipal areas’ which will join together at county level. The total number of councils will go from 114 to just 31.
2. #COURTS: Joe O’Reilly has applied for legal aid to bring a new appeal against his conviction for murdering his wife Rachel in 2004. Meanwhile, the Court of Criminal Appeal has quashed the murder conviction of a man who was convicted of murdering his brother two years ago, and ordered a retrial.
3. #UNITED IRELAND: Enda Kenny has resisted calls from Gerry Adams to hold a poll in border areas on whether Ireland should be reunited. Kenny told the Dáil that economic matters took precedence over looking to have the North reunited with the Republic.
4. #ABORTION: The operators of Ireland’s first private abortion clinic, set to open in Belfast on Thursday, has urged people not to organise counter-demonstrations outside its premises. Marie Stopes International says it’s been working with police to ensure safe access to the premises amid pro-life protests, and asks that pro-choice groups not inflame the situation by holding any rallies of their own.
5. #PAINTINGS: Seven paintings, each worth millions, have been stolen from a Dutch museum in one of the largest art robberies in modern history. Masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Lucian Freud, Paul Gauguin, and Meyer de Haan were taken from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam overnight.