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The 5 at 5: Wednesday

Five minutes, five stories, five o’clock…

Image: Alona Rjab

EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, The Journal brings you five of the biggest stories of the day.

1. #NORDSTREAM The EU has said that leaks from two Russia-Germany undersea gas pipelines appeared to be “a deliberate act”, as Moscow said it would call for a UN Security Council meeting over the incident.

The three outflows from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines have sent natural gas prices soaring, exacerbating an energy crunch in Europe as it stands on the threshold to winter and fanning geopolitical tensions.

Methane gas from the leaks are bubbling to the surface of the Baltic Sea close to Denmark and Sweden in discharges expected to last for a week, until depletion of the gas in the pipelines.

2. #THIRD LEVEL The University of Maynooth has announced that construction on a new Student Centre project has been terminated, much to the dismay of the Students’ Union. 

Students at the campus have been charged a special €150 levy every year since 2015 to fund the centre. 

In its own statement, Maynooth University said it “shares the disappointment of our students” regarding the centre.

“MU, working in partnership with Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU), remains committed to providing students with additional spaces for informal learning and gathering that are so important for a vibrant campus experience.

3. #COST OF LIVING Tánaiste Leo Vardakar has said the government has set aside €2 billion in the ‘rainy day’ fund that could be used to help soften the impact of the rising cost of living.

Speaking in the aftermath of the announcement of Budget 2023, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment today said the situation will be examined in January or February but noted that he does not envisage a mini-budget being implemented next year.

Varadkar – who is set to become Taoiseach again in December– said Budget 2023 is being front-loaded with most of the one-off payments coming before Christmas, while increases in payments, pensions and welfare will come into effect in January 2023.

4. #BREXIT The EU’s former negotiator has said the bloc “must not and will not back down” on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Michel Barnier said that Brexit was “a unilateral decision by one party with negative impacts for itself, first of all, and for the 27 other member states”.

“Since 2016, the EU has worked to look for technical solutions to the problem created by Brexit,” Barnier said during a speech at Iveagh House in Dublin today.

5.# HUTCH-KINAHAN A former Sinn Féin councillor and his father have pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016 as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

Last April, Jonathan Dowdall (44), with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 was charged at the non-jury court with the murder of Mr Byrne at the hotel.

He is listed to go on trial for that alleged offence alongside other co-accused men, who are all charged in connection with the murder of Byrne (34), from Crumlin, at the three-judge Special Criminal Court on Monday, 3 October, 2022.

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