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The 9 at 9: Tuesday

Your stories of Ireland’s rental crisis, fire at Glenisk factory and Mica redress scheme
Sep 28th 2021, 7:46 AM 7,904 2

Updated Sep 28th 2021, 8:50 AM

GOOD MORNING.

Here’s all the news that you need to know as you start your day.

Rental stories

1. Debate about Ireland’s rental crisis is raging on as the government comes under pressure to implement a ‘real’ rental freeze and to help provide some level of security to tenants.

A recent government reform linking rent increases with the rate of inflation has already been deemed ineffective after inflation rose to 3%. Now the Department of Housing is considering fresh changes that would cap inflation-linked increases once they hit a certain level.

After a call-out to readers, over the last number of days The Journal has received dozens of stories from renters and some landlords about their experience of Ireland’s rental crisis, Michelle Hennessy writes in today’s lead story.

Glenisk fire

2. All workers were safely evacuated following a serious fire at the Glenisk factory in Killeigh, Offaly.

Several units of the fire brigade, ambulances and gardaí attended the scene of the incident. Significant damage was done to the entire facility, but no serious injuries were reported.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Joe McCarron

3. Several people were were asked to leave a Donegal church during the funeral of a man who died from Covid because they were not wearing facemasks.

Joe McCarron, 67, died from the virus and was buried on Sunday following his funeral mass at St Crona’s Church in Dungloe.

However, at least five people were asked to leave the church because they were not wearing facemasks in line with government guidelines.

At least two of the five people were members of the so-called Common Law Movement. All five sat together in a row on the same seat despite signs asking people to stay two metres apart.

Mica redress scheme

4. Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has said that no decision has yet been made on how much a mica redress scheme could cover.

Speaking to reporters in Donabate in Co Dublin, O’Brien said: “I inherited the previous scheme that came in and we’re looking to improve that.”

He said that he would be meeting mica-affected homeowners again on Wednesday. Echoing comments made by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on Friday, he said: “Nothing is off the table.”

Berlin housing referendum

5. The solution to Ireland’s housing and rental crisis “isn’t necessarily expropriation” of large, corporate landlords, Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said.

The Dublin Mid-West TD was speaking following the success of a referendum campaign in the German state of Berlin aimed at forcing major private landlords — defined in Berlin as those with 3,000 or more properties — to hand over a large number of apartments to the state government for public housing.

The companies should be paid “well below market value” for these properties, many of which were once state-owned but sold off to private investors since the 1990s, according to the grassroots campaign behind the referendum push.

Covid bonus

6. An extra bank holiday and tax credits are among the measures under consideration as part of a “Covid bonus”, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.

The government is discussing a number of options to reward workers on the front line for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Varadkar said he expects the bonus would be paid to Irish citizens before the end of the year, with speculation that a decision could be made on Budget day.

Fuel supply issues

7. British army tanker drivers will be put on a state of readiness in preparation for deployment to ease the chaos on fuel supply chains, the UK Government has announced in the face of mounting pressure.

Military drivers will now get specialised training in preparation for their possible deployment, ministers have announced.

An extension to ADR driver licences permitting drivers to maximise their available capacity instead of being taken out of circulation for refresher training purposes was also announced.

North Korea

8. Nuclear-armed North Korea fired what appeared to be a short-range missile into the sea early this morning, the South’s military said, as Pyongyang’s UN ambassador insisted it had an undeniable right to test its weapons.

The projectile was fired from the northern province of Jagang into waters off the east coast, according to the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Japanese defence ministry spokesman said it “appears to be a ballistic missile”.

Less than an hour later, Pyongyang’s United Nations ambassador Kim Song told the UN General Assembly in New York: “Nobody can deny the right to self-defence for the DPRK”, the North’s official name.

Weather

9. And finally, the weather. Met Éireann says there will be scattered showers this morning; it will be cloudier over parts of the south and east with more frequent showers or longer spells of rain for a time.

Good sunny spells will develop in all areas through the morning, but some showers will be heavy and thundery with a risk of spot flooding. Highest temperatures will range from 12 to 15 degrees Celsius.

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Órla Ryan

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