Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning coffee.
1. #COALITION: Fine Gael and Labour will now definitely enter power on Wednesday, after the two parties voted to approve a programme for government. The deal sees proposals on political reform including the scrapping of the Seanad, and splitting the Department of Finance into two ministries with Labour tipped to take a Public Sector Reform brief.
Economic policy will remain largely unchanged for now, with the first two years of the Four Year Plan being abided by – though the parties have pledged to seek a lower interest rate on the bailout.
2. #OPPOSITION: With the agreement on the new government comes confirmation of who’ll be sitting on the opposition benches. Fianna Fáil’s Niall Collins said the deal continued many of the policies laid down by the outgoing government, while Sinn Féin and the United Left Alliance both said the deal was a disappointment to those who had voted for change.
3. #SMITHFIELD: Two men are being treated for gunshot wounds following a shooting incident at yesterday’s Smithfield horse fair, while a third sustained slash-hook injuries. This morning the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen, called for the new government to outlaw the fair – as Gardaí said policing the event used up nine times the usual level of resources. One man remains in Garda custody.
4. #PAPAL VISIT: Following in the footsteps of the Queen – who is set to visit in May – and potentially Barack Obama, who could stop by Ireland on his way to the UK the same month, it’s now reported that Pope Benedict XVI could be set for an Irish visit. He is tipped to celebrate Mass at the International Eucharistic Congress in June 2012, the Irish Independent believes.
5. #PADDY POWER: Recession? What recession? The bookmaker has announced impressive financial results for 2010, with its operating profit up by 56 per cent to €103.8m. Three-quarters of its income now comes from bets made online, while two-thirds comes from outside Ireland.
6. #BIG FREEZE: Just when you thought it was safe to turn off the electric heater… Met Éireann expects a new cold snap to hit this week, the Star reports, with temperatures set to hit lows of -5°C or -6°C – bringing with it some more snow, the Star reports.
7. #PADDY HATS: It’s believed that Jackie Healy-Rae may be about to make a quick return to politics… by taking a seat on Kerry County Council being vacated by his son. Michael Healy-Rae, who has just been elected a TD, has been elected to the Dáil, taking the seat held by his dad Jackie for 13 years – and now Jackie, 80, may be set to fill in for his son on the county council.
8. #FRANCE: As thoughts turn to next year’s presidential elections, when Nicolas Sarkozy is set to seek a second stint in the Élysée Palace, a new opinion poll has shown that Marine Le Pen, the daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, commands a surprise lead in public popularity. Her 23 per cent support beats Sarkozy’s 21 per cent, the poll found.
9. #CHEATING: A new study has shown that although women find deeper male voices more attractive, they also believe that men with deeper voices are more likely to cheat on them. The study, published in the Evolutionary Psychology journal, reported that women “attributed high infidelity risk to masculinised men’s voices at significantly higher rates” than men themselves did.