EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #AUSTRALIA: Two Irish men remain in a critical condition after being attacked by a man wielding a hammer in an Australian boarding house. The two remain in Melbourne’s Alfred hospital, while the 31-year-old suspect is also in the hospital for treatment.
2. #EL PRESIDENTE: The internet’s latest viral sensation, President Michael D Higgins, is preparing for a trip to South America in two months by attending a summer school in Spain to brush up on his Spanish. Course organisers say the President and his wife Sabina have just finished a three-week course, which was kept under wraps until now at the President’s request.
3. #MENTAL HEALTH: Ireland’s economic downturn is taking its toll on the mental health of its children. A conference next month will be told that the number of Irish children suffering from depression, social dysfunction and other mental health issues has risen by as much as 30 per cent in just two years.
4. #TALL SHIPS: Organisers say a record of 1.15 million people turned out to see the Dublin Tall Ships festival, which forced them to curtail some events due to crowd congestion. Here’s what it was like on board one boat as it left the capital.
5. #DONATIONS: Two political donations stories in the papers today. The Irish Daily Mail reports that Fine Gael are under investigation by the public ethics watchdog – after the paper showed that FG’s website allowed people to donate more than the legal limit. The Irish Examiner, meanwhile, says the body is close to completing an investigation into Sinn Féin’s system of having TDs donate wages to the party – which may also be above the legal limits.
6. #OFF THE HOOK?: Mick Wallace may escape a formal legal investigation over his building company’s VAT under-declaration. The Irish Independent leads with the news that Paul Appleby, the outgoing Director of Corporate Enforcement, is not going to investigate M&J Wallace’s affairs. With Revenue having already made a settlement, that would leave Wallace free from any prosecution.
7. #ISAAC: A hurricane warning has been issued for the US’s Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Isaac creeps closer. The timing is less than welcome for New Orleans: Isaac is expected to make landfall on Tuesday, just one day short of the seven-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
8. #SYRIA: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has condemned a foreign “conspiracy” against his country, and asserted that the rebels – who he says are proxy representatives of other countries – will be defeated. Speaking in Iran, he said Syrians “will not allow this conspiracy to achieve its objectives” and would defeat it “at any price”.
9. #IF YOU GOT IT: Two dozen women held a novel protest seeking to underline gender inequality in New York at the weekend. What’s unusual about that? They went topless. Reuters says the women were drawing attention to the fact that men are allowed to go topless while women can’t. Their point was proven by the presence of male topless protestors who evaded police attention.