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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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The 5 at 5: Thursday

5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock…

Image: Beach access sign via Shutterstock

EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door on this particularly sunny day…

1. #SEANAD: The government has published the long-awaited full text of its Bill to abolish the Seanad as the initial arguments over whether or not to keep the upper house of parliament kicked off today. Former Tánaiste Michael McDowell has already begun campaigning against its abolition, while the Irish Times reports Labour TD and chief whip Emmet Stagg has said that he plans to vote against the proposal. Meanwhile, you can read our comprehensive explainer here about what exactly will be different if we vote to get rid of the Seanad.

2. #SURROGACY: The State is to appeal to the Supreme Court over a landmark decision earlier this year which allowed for the genetic mother of twins born through surrogacy to be named on their birth certificates. RTE News reports that hundreds of families who would have been affected by the ruling, which recognised the genetic mother as the legal mother, will have to wait to find out their legal status due to the huge backlog of cases at the Supreme Court.

3. #SOCIAL WELFARE: New figures show there were 700 fewer people on the Live Register in May, bringing the total number of people on the register to 426,100. Separately, the annual report of the Department of Social Protection has said that half the population – some 2.3 million people – benefited from a weekly social welfare payment last year.

4. #PHONE RECORDS: The US administration has defended itself against an investigation which found that intelligence agencies are collecting people’s telephone records. A senior official in Barack Obama’s administration said phone records are a critical tool to fight terrorism. The story was broken by The Guardian this morning.

5. #SEXUAL ABUSE: A report by the ESRI has found that physical and sexual abuse, and issues with parents who had alcohol or drug problems, were some of the main reasons listed by older emigrants who were asked why they had left Ireland.  The study looked at more than 8,000 people aged 50 and over who had left Ireland. A total of 16 per cent of male emigrants who left for up to ten years had experienced physical or sexual abuse as children.

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