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The 9 at 9: Monday

Warning about unregulated crisis pregnancy services, Coveney orders foreign affairs gathering investigation and Lisa Smith.

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Updated Jan 17th 2022, 8:55 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

1. Unregulated crisis pregnancy services

In our main story this morning, Órla Ryan reports that the HSE has issued a warning about unregulated crisis pregnancy services which present themselves as unbiased but have an anti-abortion stance.

A number of these services have profiles on social media and also advertise with stickers and posters in Dublin and other locations.

When asked about the prevalence of these services, a spokesperson for the HSE told The Journal the executive is “aware and monitoring the situation in relation to disingenuous agencies operating in Ireland”.

“These organisations may not be upfront about their intentions and may try to influence a person’s decision with regard to their pregnancy.”

2. Simon Coveney

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has ordered an investigation into a gathering of his officials in June 2020.

The news follows weeks of controversy over the gathering of Department of Foreign Affairs staff, held in the aftermath of Ireland winning a seat on the UN Security Council.

Simon Coveney has denied attending the bash at Iveagh House, which was held while strict lockdown measures were still in place.

3. Texas 

In the US, the man who held four people hostage at a Texas synagogue was identified by authorities as a British citizen yesterday while UK police later arrested two teenagers over an attack that President Joe Biden called an “act of terror.”

The captor, who died in the 10-hour siege in the small town of Colleyville on Saturday, was named by the FBI as 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram.

Hours later, Britain’s counter terrorism police arrested two people and were questioning them in connection with the incident.

4. Ashling Murphy 

Back in Ireland, vigils in memory of Ashling Murphy took place for a fourth evening yesterday as the investigation into the murder of the 23-year-old teacher continues.

Gardaí spoke with a person of interest over the weekend as part of the investigation into Ashling’s killing which sent shockwaves through the country.

Tens of thousands of people attended vigils and memorials in recent days to remember Ashling, with hundreds gathering around the country and world again yesterday.

5. Lisa Smith 

The Special Criminal Court are today set to hear a bid from former Defence Forces member Lisa Smith to have terror-related charges against her dropped.

Smith, 39, from Co Louth, is accused of being a member of the so-called Islamic State (IS) and financing terrorism.

6. Cork City

A motorcyclist is in a critical condition in hospital following a serious single-vehicle road collision that occurred in Cork yesterday.

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The incident occurred at around 5pm on the M8 near the Dunkettle Interchange in Cork City yesterday evening.

7. Tonga

New Zealand and Australia have been able to send military surveillance flights to Tonga to assess the damage a huge undersea volcanic eruption left in the Pacific island nation.

A towering ash cloud since Saturday’s eruption had prevented flights from leaving earlier than today. New Zealand hopes to send essential supplies, including much-needed drinking water, on a military transport plane on Tuesday.

8. Defence Forces

A recommendation is to be made for a permanent base for a small special forces detachment from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) to be based in Cork to work in tandem with the Naval Service.

Sources have said that the move is expected to be included in the upcoming Commission on the Defence Forces report and will see a major step forward for the unit’s maritime anti-terror capabilities.

9. Dublin Castle

Taoiseach Micheál Martin led a commemoration ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the handover of Dublin Castle yesterday.

President Michael D Higgins, including military leaders as well as former Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Enda Kenny and Presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese also attended.

About the author:

Jane Moore

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