EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #ROADS: Three people have died on the country’s roads in the last 24 hours. Two men aged 22 and 20 died when the car they were travelling in left the road in Co Sligo last night. A third man is seriously injured in hospital. Meanwhile, a girl aged just 21 months died after being struck by a car at Ardmore Walk, a residential area just outside Tallaght.
2. #TIGHT AT THE TOP: A new opinion poll out this morning shows very little room between Ireland’s three most popular political parties. The Millward Brown poll for the Sunday Independent keeps Fine Gael at the top, with 24 per cent of the potential vote – ahead of Fianna Fáil on 23 per cent and Sinn Féin close behind on 21. Labour are back on 11pc, with independents and others on 22. The poll has a 3pc margin of error.
3. #DIGGING IN: Speaking of the next election: Gerry Adams insists he’ll be leading Sinn Féin into it. He told TheJournal.ie that the likes of Martin McGuinness and himself wanted to continue to lead Sinn Féin through the ‘transition period’ which has brought them to power in the North and a significant political force in the south. He also again denied ever being in the IRA – but said he would never disassociate himself from it.
4. #CROKE PARK: The government is considering a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to encouraging unions to sign up to the Croke Park 2 pay deal – including up to €130 million in incentives. The Sunday Business Post says the government’s planned savings of €1 billion over three years could be slightly watered down if unions sign up, but the full €1 billion would be sought through legislation if workers don’t back the proposals.
5. #CUTBACKS: Cutbacks in the Garda budget mean fewer drivers are now permitted to drive with sirens or blue flashing lights. The Sunday World says falling budgets mean officers can’t be sent on the usual three-week driving course that qualifies them to use sirens and flashing lights – and have to make do with a single one-day course instead. It also means the Gardaí concerned have to abide by road traffic laws – and can’t break speed limits like other colleagues.
6. #HORSE FAIR: The Smithfield Horse Fair takes place today – the first time it will have done so under new by-laws adopted by Dublin City Council. The new laws mean the fair can only be held twice a year, and bans horses from trotting or galloping. They also forbid any horses which are not being sold at the fair from being in attendance.
7. #SINKHOLE: Investigators have given up hope of finding the man who was sucked into a sinkhole in his house in Florida on Thursday night. Authorities says it’s now too difficult to continue the search for Jeff Bush, 37, without endangering the lives of rescue workers.
8. #ALGERIA: The Islamist militant who is thought to have been behind the siege at a gas plant in Algeria last year has been killed in Mali. Mohktar Belmokhtar, a former Al-Qaeda leader who ordered the siege in which 37 hostages were killed, was killed by the Chad army in Mali, according to Chadian state TV.
9. #HARLEM SHAKE: The US’s aviation regulator is looking into the filming of a ‘Harlem Shake’ video on a passenger plane last month – believing the dance may have posed a major safety risk. A frisbee team from Colorado College filmed a ‘Harlem Shake’ video on a Frontier Airlines flight last month. The airline has defended allowing the dance, saying it had been done with the full support and supervision of the flight crew.