EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you should know with your morning coffee.
1. #CLERICAL ABUSE: A huge report into clerical sexual abuse in the Netherlands has confirmed that up to 20,000 children were abused there by more than 800 Catholic priests and lay workers since 1945. Associated Press says the commission of inquiry also criticised Catholic Church officials for failing to tackle the abuse.
2. #FISHING QUOTAS: Some good news for the Irish fishing industry. The Irish sea prawn fishery – which had been closed since mid-October – will be reopened with immediate effect after negotiations took place in Europe overnight. Other fish quotas for Irish trawlers are also being increased according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney.
3. #HOUSEHOLD CHARGE: Homeowners thinking of not paying the new €100 household charge might do well to listen to Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty who last night told TheJournal.ie that he doesn’t want people to get into legal trouble for boycotting it. According to the Irish Times and the Irish Examiner, the Fines Act 2010 could lead to the €100 – and extra fines – being taken from people’s wages or benefits instead. The Government this morning confirmed to TheJournal.ie that this could be the case.
4. #RECESSION NUA? Dan O’Brien and Paul Cullen have suggested on the front of today’s Irish Times that Ireland is heading for a “new recession”. Yesterday’s grim figures from the Central Statistics Office showed the Irish economy shrank in Q3 of 2011. This morning, the London Independent says that the Irish contraction discredits the usefulness of austerity measures but the Wall Street Journal yesterday counselled that the figures “should certainly not be read as a sign that Ireland is sliding back” into recession.
5. #ALCOHOL: Is Ireland turning teetotal? Not quite – but figures from the Revenue Commissioners show that the tax take from alcohol sales between 2007 and 2010 dropped by a whopping one-third.
6. #FEMALE ASSASSIN? The woman arrested yesterday morning in relation to the fatal shooting of David Darcy in Ballyfermot, Dublin two weeks ago may have been the person who pulled the trigger, according to Michael O’Toole in the Irish Daily Star. He quotes a Garda source as saying detectives found she had a hit list of potential targets.
7. #EARLY CHRISTMAS SALES: Retail Excellence Ireland has declared that the “Christmas rush” will start today but, according to this trading statement, several retailers are “considering entering sale mid next week”, ie, BEFORE Christmas Day to get our purses and wallets open.
8. #CHEERS: The last remaining independent whiskey-maker in Ireland, Cooley Distillery, is to be bought by spirits company BEAM according to the Wall Street Journal. BEAM will pay €72.8m for the company. The drinks are on Cooley then…
9. #BLACK ICE: Be careful out there this morning – some readers of TheJournal.ie have been reporting black ice in areas as widespread as Cavan, Donegal, Derry, Kildare, Dublin and Kerry. What you DON’T want is to see a runaway truck trailer coming at you as this driver did in this phenomenally scary video (it’s okay – he had a lucky escape):