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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Taskforce to tackle scam calls, warning to seafarers about Russian military exercises and ‘shocking’ report into CAMHS

Image: Shutterstock/mikeledray

Updated Jan 27th 2022, 8:52 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Scam calls

1. Ireland’s telecoms regulator has established a taskforce to tackle the increase in scam calls and texts being sent to members of the public seeking their personal details.

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) convened the taskforce last month amid fears about the perceived trustworthiness and integrity of electronic communications in Ireland, Stephen McDermott writes in today’s lead story.

The taskforce has appointed an independent chairperson and secretariat who will meet monthly with representatives of telecoms operators who are currently licensed to provide voice calls and SMS services in the State.

Marine notice

2. The Department of Transport has issued a marine notice advising all seafarers that the Russian Navy will carry out manoeuvres off the southwest coast of Ireland from 3 to 8 February.

The Irish Government has received a warning of a major exercise by the Russian navy and air force in the Atlantic Ocean, as reported by The Journal last Saturday.

The Department notice to seafarers states: “Given the nature of the planned exercises and the presence of naval forces, vessels and crew are advised of serious safety risks in the operational area. Masters should navigate their vessel to ensure safety at all times.”

Russian military exercises

3. The Russian ambassador to Ireland will today meet with a fishermen group to discuss concerns over the planned Russian military exercises off the Irish coast.

Fishermen at the South and West Fish Producers Organisation based in Cork said they are planning a “peaceful protest” to try and disrupt these military exercises scheduled to take place in the first week of February.

CEO Patrick Murphy said the group is concerned about potential disruption to the migratory path and breeding season of fish and the “untold damage” to marine wildlife.

CAMHS

4. Taoiseach Michéal Martin has said details in the report into the care of more than 1,300 children who attended the HSE-run South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are “shocking” and a “damning indictment” of the service.

Following the publication of the report, there will now be a full audit nationwide of compliance of CAMHS.

The report found that 46 of the children suffered “significant harm” while attending the service.

It also found that 227 children being treated by a non-consultant doctor employed at the service were exposed to the risk of significant harm due to the doctor’s diagnosis and treatment of them.

Ukraine

5. The United States has rejected Russia’s key demand to bar Ukraine from Nato and said it believed Moscow was ready to invade but offered what it called a new “diplomatic path” out of the crisis.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he would speak again in the coming days to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as a separate initiative by France brought a promise by Moscow at least to keep talking to Ukraine’s government.

Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Minister told Blinken that Russia’s “reasonable security concerns should be taken seriously and resolved”.

Gas prices

6. The political tension between Russia and Ukraine could put more pressure on Irish gas and energy prices, experts and politicians have warned.

Russia is a major source of natural gas for the European Union, but if the situation in Ukraine escalates, that supply could be interrupted for several reasons.

The country might threaten to hold back the resource to use the EU’s dependence on it for gas to its advantage, or the EU may enforce stringent trade sanctions.

Carlow

7. Gardaí have arrested two men after the body of an man was brought to a post office in Co Carlow in an alleged attempt to claim his pension.

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Peadar Doyle (66) was brought to a post office on the Staplestown Road last Friday by two men. It was later discovered that the man had died, with the exact cause of his death yet to be determined.

Gardaí confirmed that two men, aged in their 30s, were arrested in Carlow yesterday.

Prince Andrew

8. Prince Andrew has demanded a trial by jury in the civil sex case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre.

Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, alleges that the son of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth sexually assaulted her in three different locations between 2000 and 2002 while she was a teenager.

Prince Andrew submitted 11 reasons why the case should be dismissed, including that Giuffre’s claims are “barred by the doctrine of consent” and by “her own wrongful conduct”.

In the court document which communicated his reasons for requesting a dismissal of the case, his lawyers concluded: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the Complaint.”

Forecast

9. And finally, the weather.

Overnight mist and drizzle will clear, leading to a mostly dry day with bright spells of winter sunshine developing with just a few isolated showers, according to Met Éireann.

However, dull and damp conditions may linger for a time in the south. Top temperatures will range from eight to 11 degrees.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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