EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.
1. #FISCAL COMPACT: Minister Phil Hogan is to sign the referendum order today, making this the first official day of campaigning about the Fiscal Compact treaty vote. Here’s what we should expect over the next 30 days.
2. #JOBS: The International Labour Organisation has issued a warning about the impact global austerity measures is having on the world’s job markets. In its 2012 work report, the UN body said that unemployment has reach alarming levels and no recovery is in sight.
However, there has been some good news on the jobs front with RTÉ reporting that Cisco is to create 100 jobs in Galway. Enda Kenny is expected to make the announcement at the company’s Irish facility later today.
3. #SYRIA: The head of the United Nations observer mission, Major General Robert Mood, has arrived in Syria and has urged all sides to implement the promised cease-fire. His words seem to have been ignored with both President Bashar Assad’s troops and opposition activists reporting deaths in Damascus this morning as a result of violence.
4. #PRIORY HALL: The evacuated residents of the substandard Priory Hall apartment complex in north Dublin have expressed their disappointment at the apparent decision of their mortgage lenders to not participate in a consultation process proposed by the Supreme Court.
5. #FINE GAEL: Cork deputy Jerry Buttimer has told the Irish Examiner that he is “a TD who just happens to be gay”, making him the first Fine Gael TD to come out publicly. Speaking after the launch of a party group which aims to promote gay and equality issues, he said it was the appropriate time to speak about his private life.
6. #STATESIDE: President Michael D Higgins is in New York today as his first official visit to the US kicks off with a reception for the Irish community at the Consulate General of Ireland in the city. While in the Big Apple, he will meet with Mayor Bloomberg, visit the 9/11 memorial and take in a performance of Once.
7. #BURMA: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was in Burma today to give a rare and historic address to the once-isolated Burmese parliament. Meanwhile, Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she will attend a session on Wednesday as the dispute over the wording of the legislative oath was resolved.
8. #BIONIC EAR: A three-year-old Cork boy Calum Geary is to have his bionic ear activated in Manchester University Hospital later this week. The profoundly deaf twin underwent the pioneering auditory brainstem implant procedure in February, according to the Irish Times, but the device still needs to be switched on.
9. #FULL IRISH: Irish rugby fans are this morning planning a takeover of Twickenham on Heineken Cup final day after Ulster and Leinster both overcame their weekend opposition to qualify for the an All-Ireland affair on 19 May. Leinster boss Joe Schmidt has revealed that Jonny Sexton – once again – set the positive tone in the dressing room at half-time, despite trailing Clermont Auvergne by six points. Relive the highlights (including that sweet drop goal by man-of-the-match Rob Kearney):