EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know as you head out the door.
1. #PROMISSORY NOTES: The annual promissory note payments are gone, according to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Announcing the news in the Dáil this afternoon, he said that government bonds would take their place, the first of which is not due to be paid until 2038. Opposition parties have been reacting, with Fianna Fáil giving a “qualified welcome” to the news.
The announcement followed a morning of confusion about how the ECB would react to the government’s decision to liquidate IBRC. This was not helped by the President of the ECB, Mario Draghi, who was tight-lipped when asked about the government’s decision, saying only that the ECB “took note” of it.
For the latest happenings, a joint press conference by Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin is being live-blogged here.
2. #PROMNIGHT: Today’s promissory note drama followed an all-nighter in the Dáil and Senate, which led to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill 2013 being signed into law. If you’re still trying to make sense of everything that has happened over the last 24-hours, this explainer should help answer all your questions.
3. #RELOCATION: Dublin’s Mater Hospital is to close temporarily for 18 hours on 17 February. The closure is to enable its relocation to the new Whitty Building which will be opened to patients from 10pm that night.
4. #FIREFIGHTERS: Retained firefighters have today decided to ballot for industrial action, in a move which mirrors the decision taken by their full-time counterparts yesterday. SIPTU have said that the proposals contained in the ‘Keeping Communities Safe’ policy document would “increase the risk to fire fighters and the general public.”
5. #TROIKA: The Troika have completed their ninth review of Ireland’s implementation of its bailout conditions. While the 2012 fiscal targets were “comfortably met”, the review noted that unemployment remained “stubbornly high” and that its reduction needed to remain a top priority for government.