EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning cup of coffee…
1. #ROAD DEATH: Police in England are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding a road crash in Devon which has left an Irish couple in a critical condition. The couple lost their two-year-old son and their unborn baby in the crash which also killed another man whose car collided with the couple’s Irish registered vehicle.
2. #ULSTER BANK: Following a major systems problem, the majority of customer accounts are now up-to-date as far as last Wednesday, Ulster Bank has said this morning as 12 branches in the Republic open today from 10am to 1pm. The bank has been working through account transactions since the technical failure last month with customers experiencing a number of problems accessing their money.
3. #GAY MARRIAGE: Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes is the latest government minister to come out in support of gay marriage. The Fine Gael TD told TheJournal.ie that he has always been in favour of same-sex couples being allowed to marry but has defended the Taoiseach’s silence on the issue so far.
4. #REMEMBERING: Ceremonies to remember the men and women lost in past wars or while serving with the United Nations are to be held around the country today. The President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny are to attend a ceremony at the Collins Barracks in Dublin while there will be other remembrance ceremonies in Kilkenny, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Cork and Waterford. Full details are here.
5. #TAX AVOIDANCE: The Revenue Commissioners is investigating an offshore tax avoidance scheme that is being used by around 188 individuals in Ireland, the Sunday Business Post reports. The paper’s Ian Kehoe reports that the scheme was put together by a major Irish accountancy firm and is being scrutinised at a time when concerns are being raised by authorities worldwide about legal tax avoidance schemes. The British government recently criticised one being used by the British comedian Jimmy Carr.
6. #ABORTION: The report of the expert group examining Ireland’s abortion legislation was due to be published this week but now looks set to be delayed until late August or even September, the Sunday Business Post reports. Susan Mitchell’s story says that the group’s report is not likely to recommend substantial liberalisation of Ireland’s abortion laws which could create a rift in the coalition government.
7. #JEAN MCCONVILLE: Interviews given by a former IRA member Dolours Price can be handed over to police in Northern Ireland, a court in Boston has ruled. BBC News reports that interviews Price gave to the Boston College Belfast Project can be handed to officers investigating the death of Jean McConville. Those who carried out the project including journalist Ed Moloney argued the release of the tapes could harm the peace process.
8. #BRIAN COWEN: Former taoiseach Brian Cowen is taking a course at Stanford University in California, the Mail on Sunday reports. The paper says that Cowen is a student in the Executive Education Programme and is taking a six week course at a cost of around €47,000. Family members told the paper that the course is offering a respite from the “terrible abuse” he gets on the street and in pubs since he left office and have not ruled out the Fianna Fáil man returning to public life.
9. #FLOWERGATE: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is set to challenge the Taoisech Enda Kenny next week to outline the full circumstances of an incident which led the government to complain to TV3 about its political editor Ursula Halligan’s questioning of Kenny over gay marriage. The Sunday Independent reports that controversy erupted last week when the Taoiseach almost fell over a flowerpot as he was being questioned with claims made to TV3 later that the actions of Halligan were “tantamount to assault”.