EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. BLAZE: Two students are unaccounted for after a major fire at a residence beside an Irish college in Leuven, Belgium. Eight students were rescued, of whom several were Irish.
2. APOLOGY: The HSE has released a statement of apology, in the wake of the RTÉ Prime Time investigation into the deaths of four babies at the Midlands Regional Hospital. It said: “The HSE and the hospital accept that there were serious shortcomings in these cases.”
3. #ANGLO: Jury selection for the trial of Sean Fitzpatrick and two other Anglo executives begins today. The Courts Service expects about 500 men and women to attend the Criminal Courts of Justice for jury service today.
4. #INCOMING: The Road Safety Authority’s issued a warning to drivers, in advance of a storm expected to hit the West tonight. Winds of up to 130km are forecast, and there’s a warning of “extremely high waves”.
5. #CARS: The amount of money lost on terminated penalty points could have paid for 300 extra squad cars, the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee was told yesterday — according to the Irish Examiner. A serving garda spoke before the panel yesterday afternoon behind closed doors.
6. #NUCLEAR: Staff at Sellafield in the UK have been asked not to report to work today because of elevated radiation levels. The operator of the nuclear plant is describing it as a “conservative and prudent decision”.
7. #MOUNT CARMEL: The hospital in south Dublin will deliver its final baby today. Staff were informed yesterday that about 200 of them will be working their final day today with the remainder of the total workforce expected to remain in place for another week or two.
8. #LOOK OUT: There are wild boar roaming the countryside in the north Clare/south Galway area, according to the Irish Independent. The animals, which are bulkier and stronger than farmyard pigs, are believed to have been reintroduced for hunting.
9. #HORSING AROUND: Finally, we’re saying ‘goodbye’ to the snake and ‘hello’ to the horse (‘howya horse’ for Dubliners). Chinese people, as well as others of Southeast Asian descent, are today celebrating the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the ‘Year of the Horse’.