EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know with your morning coffee.
1.#EUROPE: The government plans to ratify the European fiscal treaty this year – even if it has to go to a referendum to endorse it. The Irish Times reports that the Cabinet has not yet determined whether a public vote will be needed on the pact.
2. #TIT BONHOMME: More than 200 divers have joined the search for the two remaining fishermen from the Tit Bonhomme this morning after the wife of one of the men appealed for more help. RTE reports that the search and rescue volunteers are due in west Cork to take part in the search operation, which is now in its 14th day.
3. #UNLOCK NAMA: A protest group has taken over a NAMA-owned building in Dublin city centre today and will open it to the public. The Unlock Nama group, which aims to use NAMA buildings for social and community purposes, will reveal which building they have taken over at 9.30 this morning.
4. #CONTRABAND: More than 15,000 contraband items were seized from Ireland’s prisons in the past 24 months, the Department of Justice has revealed. A total of 2,787 weapons and 3,156 controlled drugs were found in cells or about to be given to prisoners. Other contraband items smuggled in to Irish jails include mobile phones, alcohol, SIM cards, cash, and improvised weapons.
5. #EXPLOSIVES: Gardaí are investing the discovering of firearms ammunition and explosive material at an apartment complex in Dublin. The Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team made safe a grenade at the complex on Distillery Road on Dublin’s northside yesterday afternoon.
6. #MILLIONAIRES: Almost half of Ireland’s millionaires pay less than 30 per cent income tax, according to new figures. The Irish Times reports that just 42 per cent of the country’s 620 millionaires paid more than 30 per cent income tax in 2009, the most recent year for which figure are available.
7. #COURTS: Two brothers have been charged in connection with the murder of a man in Limerick last week. Sean and Ian Flanaghan, both in their 20s, appeared at Limerick District Court yesterday over the death of Ger McMahon, who was found with multiple stab wounds on 18 January.
8. #FACEBOOK: Facebook looks set to make its debut on the stock markets in a few months in one of the most eagerly-awaited flotations in recent times. It is expected that the site will be worth between $75 billion and $100 billion when it launches – and will make an instant billionaire out of its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
9. #GAZA: Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has called on Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip. Gilmore made his comments during a four day trip to the Middle East.