EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #QUINN: The man who was once Ireland’s richest, Seán Quinn, as well as his son Seán junior and his nephew Peter Quinn could face prison sentences today if the High Court finds that they have not complied with a court order to reverse steps they took to put international assets out of the reach of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. The trio were found in contempt of court last month and had until midnight last night to comply with the order.
2. #DEBT DEAL: There are concerns about the possibility of a deal on Ireland’s bank debt needing the approval of a number of national parliaments which could be sceptical of an extension of European aid to Ireland. The Irish Times reports that German, Finnish or Dutch MPs could dispute a deal to reduce the burden of Ireland’s bank debt which would likely involve issuing around €30 billion in bonds from the European bailout fund which would replace expensive promissory notes to the former Anglo Irish Bank.
3. #SHINE: There is more trouble for Health Minister James Reilly today who has been accused of scuppering compensation payouts for the alleged victims of the doctor Michael Shine. Reilly has not consented to finalisation of compensation payments according to support group Dignity 4 Patients but a spokesperson for the Minister said that necessary due diligence checks were being carried out. Shine was previously acquitted of indecently assaulting teenage boys while working at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda but was been struck off the medical register.
4. #WELFARE: Social Justice Ireland has come out strongly against the International Monetary Fund’s suggestion that means-testing child benefit should be examined saying that that IMF is effectively proposing that Ireland’s children should pay for the gambling losses of bankers and developers. There has been strong criticism of the idea to means-test child benefit as well as examine other welfare payments with the government seeking to play down the significance of the IMF’s remarks.
5. #AMBULANCE: The National Ambulance Service has defended its actions in the treatment of a 19-year-old girl who died during a two hour journey to a hospital in Galway when she had been 15 minutes away from Roscommon Hospital where the emergency department was shut last year. In a statement, the HSE’s ambulance service said that while Elaine Curley’s loss was “tragic and untimely” the chances of her surviving from the type of injuries she sustained were “approximately zero”.
6. #SYRIA: Rebels from the Free Syrian Army have reportedly captured a number of border crossings with Iraq and Turkey as the pressure mounts on the embattled regime of Bashar Assad. It is reported that all the crossings on Syria’s eastern frontier, which borders Iraq, have been seized a day after three members of Assad’s inner circle died in a suicide bombing in Damascus. While diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council continue to flounder, rebels appear to have made significant gains in recent days in a conflict which has left thousands dead.
7. #SPAIN: Eurozone finance ministers are set to approve a bailout of Spain’s banking system later today following approval in the German parliament yesterday. It’s estimated that the total amount of the bailout could run to €100 billion. The decision will come in the aftermath of huge protests across Spain last night following €65 billion of austerity measures introduced by the government last week.
8. #ROYAL TOAST: A piece of toast that was served to Prince Charles on the morning of his wedding to Princess Diana in 1981 has been sold at auction for around €300. AFP reports that the mother of a former servant at Buckingham Palace kept the toast in a cup on a shelf in her home until last year she was inspired by the wedding of Charles and Di’s son William to Kate Middleton to see if there was any interest in the piece of toast. We’re not quite sure how it didn’t go mouldy.
9. #BATMAN: The Dark Knight Rises rose early this morning or at least those who went to watch it at 5am did. A number of cinemas around the country opened their doors for an early morning screening of the eagerly anticipated final film in the Christopher Nolan trilogy and the early morning verdict was good from at least one of you: