EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #BELFAST Last night saw the fifth consecutive night of rioting in Belfast over a controversial decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag at the City Hall. Police say that around 400 people gathered for a largely peaceful demonstration but a crowd of about 250 returned to east Belfast and threw missiles. A water cannon was deployed and four people were arrested for riot and public order offences.
2. #GARDAÍ The Garda payroll will be cut by €35million by the Department of Justice. RTÉ reports that the force is to be reduced by over 1,400 members as a result of the cut. The news has been criticised by the Garda Representative Association, says RTÉ.
3. #ABORTION Three days of Oireachtas committee hearings on proposed abortion legislation and regulation in Ireland will begin today. Our explainer talks you through why the hearings are taking place, as well as who you can expect to hear speak at them.
4. #ANIMAL WELFARE Two animal welfare charities are to benefit from a windfall after a mix-up. The Examiner reports that the late Elizabeth Burke of Dublin 4 left a donation in her will to the Limerick branch of the Royal Society of Cruelty to Animals – but as that does not exist, it was decided that the €500k should be split between Limerick Animal Welfare and Limerick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
5. #OMAGH A man is to appear before a court in Omagh this morning in connection with the murder of Aloysius Hackett, who was found dead on Friday night, the Irish News reports. The 18-year-old is charged with Hackett’s murder. Hackett, a former GAA club chairman, is to be buried tomorrow.
6. #INDIA A popular Indian spiritual guru has sparked a backlash after saying that a student could have averted a gang-rape by begging for mercy from her attackers. Asharam said that the “error was not committed by just one side”, leading one Hindu newspaper to say it is “a disgrace when a man of religion stoops so low”.
7. #TRIBUNALS The cost of the legal fees for witnesses to the Mahon and Moriarty tribunals will reach €400 million in total, documents obtained by the Irish Times show. That cost will be borne by the taxpayer and may exceed original estimates made before the tribunals took place.
8. #INVESTIGATION The Daily Mail reports this morning that gardaí are investigating whether a young teenage girl suffered a miscarriage after being given an ‘abortion potion’ by ‘a witch doctor’ last year. It is believed the foetus is to undergo a post-mortem examination.
9. #BOWIE After a 10-year gap, and on his birthday no less, David Bowie has surprised us all by releasing a brand new song, Where Are We Now, from his forthcoming album The Next Day. Let us know what do you think of it.