EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #WARNING: The Irish Coast Guard is warning people to stay away from exposed coasts — 130km winds are forecast to combine with high seas this afternoon, leading to an increased flooding risk.
2. #BLAZE: The massive fire in Ballymount, west Dublin, is still burning this morning. Five fire units are at the scene, amid warnings the area may not be declared safe for several days.
3. #QUANGO: The Department of the Environment has so far spent €5.7 million on a ‘mini quango’ established to help set up Irish Water, The Irish Mail on Sunday reports. The ‘Water Services Transition Office’ has set up two new offices — one in Dublin, and another in Waterford.
4. #MIXED FORTUNES: Two new opinion polls give contrasting takes on the ‘state of the parties’ this weekend — a survey in the Sunday Independent shows support for the coalition parties up by six points, while a one in the Sunday Business Post shows a downturn in the Government’s fortunes.
5. #PERFORMANCE: Teachers not performing in their roles will soon face “fitness-to-teach” hearings, The Sunday Times reports this morning. It’s part of a drive by the Government to improve standards in the profession, and new legislation is currently being prepared by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn.
6. #CHECKS: Social welfare inspectors have paid home visits to over 1,000 widows and widowers in the past year to check it they’ve remarried, according to The Sunday Business Post. The paper reports that it’s the first ever crackdown of its kind.
7. #UKRAINE: Protesters in Kiev have seized a building that was being used as a base by police. The move comes after Ukrainian opposition leaders rejected a deal seen as the Goverment’s most serious bid yet to end the continuing crisis.
8. #CLASHES: At least 49 people have been killed in violence across Egypt, as the country marks the third anniversary of the uprising against the government of Hosni Mubarak, the BBC is reporting. Dozens more were wounded.
9. #KIBERD: Why was Ariel Sharon’s funeral such a lonely affair, TheJournal.ie columnist Damien Kiberd asks: “The great and the good, who fought for front row seats at Mandela’s protracted funeral, decided a ‘no show’ was the wisest course of action”.