EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #IT’S HERE: We’ll know exactly what’s in the Budget in just a few hours time. Plenty of leaks around this morning — pensioners are to lose their phone allowance, and there’ll be a big increase in prescription charges, according to the Irish Times. The Irish Independent reports there’ll also be cuts to medical cards, and that the death benefit will be scrapped.
2. #CRASH: A young man aged 21 has been killed in a single vehicle crash in Co Meath. Five passengers in the car were injured in the collision, which happened on the R147 Dunshaughlin to Dunboyne Road at around 12.30am.
3. #GILLIGAN: A small crowd of locals and reporters have gathered outside Portlaoise Prison, where crime boss John Gilligan is due to be freed this morning. The brother of Veronica Guerin has said he’s “saddened” that the criminal is walking free from jail so early.
4. #INVESTIGATION: Gardaí have launched an inquiry after a woman’s body was found in a house in Meath. A man in his 30s has been taken to hospital with injuries. Forensic tests are being carried out at the scene today.
5. #SHUTDOWN: US senators are upbeat after negotiations on raising the federal debt ceiling overnight. Congressional sources also reported progress on a deal to end the government shutdown, now in its third week, according to the BBC.
6. #FORCE: Gardaí are ”expecting trouble” following this afternoon’s Budget announcement. Extra units are being deployed outside Leinster House. One garda source said the situation was “almost as bad as the dying days of the Fianna Fáil-Greens government”.
7. #LICENCES: The Department of Social Protection is reducing by €5 million the amount it pays out each year on behalf of recipients of free TV licences. However, it’s emerged the cut will not be shouldered by current recipients of free licences – but by RTÉ.
8. #LOVE/HATE: Kieran O’Reilly, the real life garda detective who plays one in Love/Hate, is facing a disciplinary enquiry over his appearance in the crime drama, according to this morning’s Irish Independent. O’Reilly has worked for the last six years in the Garda National Drugs Unit.
9. #DARTS: Full DART services are back running as normal this morning, after major problems yesterday at rush hour when much shorter trains ran in Dublin due to a dispute with drivers. Talks on the issue are planned for later today.