EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.
1. #CHILD BENEFIT: An expert group report into child benefit has recommended a new two-tier system which would see the payment remain universal but with top-up cash for poorer parents. The group rejected proposals for child benefit to be taxed and said adoption of the new two-tier system could save around €200 million a year.
2. #MAGDALENES: The redress scheme which is being set up for survivors of Magdalene Laundries may be widened to include women held in two other notorious institutions. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the inclusion of Bethany House in Dublin and the Summerhill Training Centre in Wexford is under consideration. A spokesperson for a survivors group said the “horrific” conditions at the Bethany House care home “tick all the boxes” for redress.
3. #MARRIAGE: Kerry County Council has become the latest local authority to back same-sex marriage. A motion put forward by Labour councillor Gillian Wharton-Slattery passed by 18 votes to 7, making Kerry the fourteenth local authority to back marriage equality.
4. #OSCAR PISTORIUS: Oscar Pistorius’s application for bail is to stretch into its third day tomorrow when the athlete will find out if he will be granted bail under “exceptional circumstances”. The court hearings today heard that Pistorius, who stands accused of the pre-meditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, may be considered a flight risk.
5. #ANIMAL CRUELTY: An animal welfare group has said the death of a dog who was hacked to death with an axe by its owner in Wexford on Valentine’s Day was one of the most brutal cases of violence against an animal the group has ever encountered. The man told inspectors he was trying to put the dog down.