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The 5 at 5 5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock…

EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.

1. #GAY MARRIAGE The Tánaiste has said that there should be a referendum on same-sex marriage, and that he does not believe “we should postpone what is a human right”. This morning he said he had spoken to the Taoiseach about the issue, but did not say what his opinion on it was.

2. #DELAYED An Oireachtas committee is to probe the giant backlog in student grant applications, as it emerged that around 48,000 students are still waiting for their grant applications to be processed. Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said today that the delay was “not satisfactory”.

3. #SCOTT MEDALS Seven members of the Gardaí were awarded medals for bravery today. Medals were given to four gardaí who tackled and disarmed armed men, two gardaí who saved a woman and her two children from a burning house, and a retired superintendent who pursued and arrested an IRA escapee.

4. #MONEY Irish people are saving less money at the end of the month, the latest Nationwide/ESRI savings index shows. It said that 42 per cent of people surveyed were not putting any money aside, up from 36 per cent in 2011. The proportion of people saving regularly is 34 per cent, down from 40 per cent in 2010.

5. #ELMO The man behind Elmo, Kevin Clash, has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teenage boy. In a statement, Sesame Street said that it has investigated the allegation thoroughly and that it was found to be unsubstantiated. However, it revealed Kevin exercised poor judgement. He has been disciplined as a result.

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