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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 25 July, 2014

The 9 at 9: Saturday

It’s Saturday and there are only four more sleeps ’til Santa. Here’s everything you need to know as you wrap, or buy, the last of your presents.

Image: schmaelterphoto via Shutterstock

EVERY MORNING,TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.

1.#NAMA 1: 92 staff at the National Assets Management Agency earned over €100,000 last year, while four earned in excess of €200,000. The two top earners at the agency earn between €300,000 and €400,000. When combined with numbers from the National Treasury Management Agency, a total of 15 staff members are paid over €200,000.

2.#ROBBERY: Gardaí in Monaghan are investigating a robbery in Castleblayney yesterday in which a “large sum” of money was stolen. Two men entered a bank in the town using a white van and made off with the cash just after 5pm.

3.#WELFARE: New figures have shown that over 141,000 applications for social welfare have been rejected by the Department of Social Protection this year. The highest figure for rejections were for Illness Benefit and Treatment Benefit.

4.#NAMA 2: In further revelations about the under-fire National Assets Management Agency, it has been revealed that €143 million has been paid to consultants in the four years since NAMA’s inception. The majority of the fees are paid out to consultants valuing loans or managing portfolios.

5.#CLAMPING: In good news for anyone who has ever had their car clamped, a new law will be published in early 2014. The Vehicle Immobilisation Bill will set out requirements for signage, maximum fees and release periods.

6.#WINTER: Crowds gathered this morning in the ancient passage tomb at Newgrange to mark the Winter Solstice. On a cloud-free day, the tomb is illuminated by the rising sun as winter officially begins. Even Google have marked the start of winter with a seasonal doodle.

7.#POOLBEG: The site for the proposed Poolbeg incinerator is now worth just €6 million. The site was bought for €10 million, but has had about €50 million spent on it by Dublin City Council. The overall cost of the stalled project is nearing €100 million.

8.#SHOPPING: The last weekend before Christmas will see about half a billion euro spent in shops, the Irish Daily Mail reports. The Irish Examiner carries a similar story, saying that the retail trade is pinning its hopes on this crucial weekend.

9.#HARD NECKS: Being a TD comes with a certain amount of negative feedback. But, how is it dealt with? In the week of the anniversary of the death of Minister Shane McEntee, TheJournal.ie spoke to a number of TDs about the abuse, the hassle and the threats they have received.

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