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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018

The 9 at 9: Saturday

Nine things you really, really need to know by 9am: the Vatican was “offended” at the Murphy Inquiries, the bailout is back in doubt, and the Old Enemy could still be coming to Dublin.

Image: jonnyfromthephone via Flickr

Every morning, brings you nine things you really, really need to know by 9am.

1. #WIKILEAKS: It’s the treasure trove that keeps on giving – and Ireland is back at the top of the agenda. The latest leaked documents from WikiLeaks – this time cables sent from the US’s Holy See ambassador – show that many in Rome were “offended” when the government tried to summon Catholic seniors to take part in the Murphy Inquiry, apparently disrespecting the Vatican’s sovereignty.

2. #BAILOUT: Is Ireland’s €85bn back in doubt? The International Monetary Fund has confirmed that it will hold off on giving Ireland the first instalment of its loans pending the outcome of next Wednesday’s Dáil vote on the bailout, after Fianna Fáil agreed to put the controversial loan on the agenda.

3. #GOOD NEIGHBOURS: The FAI has admitted that it is in talks with the English FA to arrange a friendly match for the Aviva Stadium, but says reports it could take place in June of next year are wide of the mark.

4. #GAA: Senior Croke Park officials say the leak of the personal details of every GAA in a data protection breach does not pose a risk of identity theft. Former president Nickey Brennan, who chairs the association’s IT committee, said members “don’t have anything to worry about” but stressed that the GAA was following due process by first reporting the breach to the authorities.

5. #CHINA: Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – but was not in Oslo to accept it, instead remaining in a Chinese prison. The laureate’s absence was embodied by a single empty chair, beside that of the Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland. Jagland was given a standing ovation himself as he called for Liu’s release from his 11-year jail term.

6. #E-BONDS: The prospect of a common European bond issue seems off the table for the near future, with France and Germany saying Europe’s nations must work to harmonise their budgets  and economies before Europe can start borrowing as a single unit.

7. #X FACTOR: Rejoice, non-fans, for it is nearly over. Tonight sees the first stage of the The X Factor’s grand final with Ireland represented by Niall Horan, of boy band One Direction, facing off against Rebecca Ferguson, Cher Lloyd and red-hot favourite Matt Cardle. One act is to be eliminated tonight, with Lloyd favourite to get the first boot.

8. #HEINEKEN CUP: Europe’s premier rugby competition resumes this weekend, with Ulster at home to Bath later today before Leinster and Munster face big challenges against Clermont Auvergne and the Ospreys tomorrow. Last night reigning champions Toulouse beat Glasgow 28-16 in a thriller.

9. #DECEMBRRRR: The thaw might finally be coming – as Met Éireann’s various weather stations nationwide all recorded positive overnight temperatures. Transport networks are almost fully operational with the Luas, Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann all operating full services, and with just one Dublin Bus route – the 54a, which is diverted – remaining affected.

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