EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning coffee.
1. #JUNIOR CERT: It’s a big day for almost 60,000 secondary school students, who will today get the results of their Junior Certificate exams. Some worrying trends are continuing – with grades in maths and science poorer than would be hoped – though the pupils who took the new Project Maths syllabus did better than others, so there’s some cause for optimism too.
2. #CABINET: The cabinet meets this morning to hold its final discussions on which state assets it may sell off, trying to build up €2bn in cash to be put towards bridging the budget deficit. Energy companies and Aer Lingus could be some of the assets up for sale.
3. #INSURANCE: The Department of Finance has unveiled a new Insurance Bill – which will impose a 2 per cent levy on almost all insurance policies, apparently to cover the €700m of losses at Quinn Insurance. The Irish Daily Mail quotes a number of business groups who are disgusted at the move, who say it’s yet another burden on companies that are already struggling.
4. #HIT-AND-RUN: A 61-year-old cyclist has been killed in a hit-and-run accident in Carbury, Co Kildare. The man was hit on the Kinnegad to Edenderry Road shortly before 9pm last night, but the driver failed to remain at the scene as the cyclist died from his injuries. Gardaí have appealed for witnesses.
5. #SPECIAL NEEDS: Parents, teachers and others are to gather at Leinster House for the first day of the new Dáil term today – hoping to force the government into a backtrack over plans to cut the numbers of Special Needs Assistants in Irish classrooms. Inside, the new term will begin with the first ever session of ‘topical issues’, while discussions are expected to be dominated by the Budget.
6. #COST OF LIVING: Ireland is one of the most expensive European countries in which to live, despite the ongoing economic difficulties. Data from the Central Statistics Office show that Ireland is 18 per cent more expensive than its EU counterparts, even though inflation has been relatively low for the last few years.
7. #THE HAGUE: Two groups of US victims of clerical sexual abuse has gone to the International Criminal Court demanding that the Catholic Church, and the Pope, be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. It’s thought unlikely, however, that the case will actually be accepted.
8. #RWC2011: Declan Kidney has named his Ireland side to face Australia in the Rugby World Cup crunch tie on Saturday. Eoin Reddan gets the nod at scrum-half over Conor Murray, while big names like Rob Kearney, Seán O’Brien and Cian Healy also return to the first XV – but Jonny Sexton keeps the spot at fly-half. TheScore.ie has all that, and more on the Rugby World Cup’s overnight games.
9. #HOLLIERS: Irish people are more likely to exaggerate about their holidays than people in several other European countries, according to a survey by travel website Lastminute.com. 29 per cent of Irish tourists would brag or tell fibs about how good their holiday was – compared to 17 per cent of British people, and just 13 per cent of the French.