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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. #ULSTER BANK: An ‘under-collection’ error involving will mean about 1,300 Ulster Bank mortgage customers face a bill of €41 million. The error arose from First Active mortgage holders who were given a ‘holiday’ on capital repayments for the first years of their mortgages – but in some cases the capital repayments were delayed. The average affected household will see a bill for about €31,500.

2. #LABOUR FORCE: There were more people working in Ireland at the end of 2012 than there were in 2011 – the first time in four-and-a-half years that the annual number of people employed here has risen. However, the rise was modest – with only 1,200 more workers in December 2012 than in 2011 – while unemployment fell by over 19,000, with over half of the fall attributed to emigration. Ireland’s unemployment rate now stands at 14.1 per cent.

3. #MOBILITY ALLOWANCE: Taoiseach Enda Kenny has accused opposition parties of making a “political football” of the scrapping of two disability transport payments. Kenny told the Dáil that the existing scheme surrounding the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant were operating illegally – and said the previous Fianna Fáil-Green Party government had actually planned to scrap the payments by March 2011. Junior minister Kathleen Lynch had earlier said every possible option for reforming the grant was either unaffordable or illegal.

4. #ARRIVEDERCI: Pope Benedict XVI had bid his final farewell to the world’s Catholics, at an open-air audience in Rome. The 85-year-old pontiff spoke of the reasons he was stepping down, admitting he had neither the physical or intellectual energy to fulfil his role as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Benedict’s long goodbye formally ends tomorrow evening at 7pm Irish time, when the papacy becomes vacant.

5. #HORSE MEAT: IKEA has withdrawn its Wiener sausages from stores around the UK and Ireland as a “precautionary measure”. The sausages were manufactured by the same Swedish supplier as IKEA’s meatballs, which earlier this week were withdrawn from sale after trace amounts of horse DNA were found there.

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