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Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 9°C
The 9 at 9 Energy challenges, another police officer suspended over Tyre Nichols killing and new figures on electric car purchases.

LAST UPDATE | Jan 31st 2023, 8:52 AM


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

Nursing home charges

1. The government has confirmed the existence of a legal strategy for limiting payouts to residents over controversial nursing home charges.

It said the strategy was “pursued by successive governments” prior to Fine Gael entering office in 2011, but argued that coverage of the plan has been “misrepresented” and related to residents in private nursing homes rather all public residents.

The government has now asked the Attorney General to provide advice on the issue. 


2. Last year was among the “most challenging” years for the energy sector, the utilities watchdog is set to tell TDs and Senators.

Expect energy security and supply, the impact of high energy prices and data centres to dominate discussion when the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) appears before the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment and Climate Action this morning to be quizzed on its work. 


3. A seventh officer has been suspended over the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, a young Black man whose death shocked the United States and has seen five officers charged with murder.

The city’s fire department also said it had terminated three firefighters who arrived at the scene but failed to provide adequate medical assistance to Nichols.

Officer Preston Hemphill is the latest to be “relieved of duty,” the Memphis Police Department said in a statement. Hemphill, who joined the force in 2018 and who is white, is suspended “pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation,” police said. 

Biden rejects offering F-16s

4. US President Joe Biden has said the United States will not provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, as Kyiv expands the list of weaponry it needs to be better able to drive Russian forces from occupied territories.

The US has provided high-end tanks, a departure from a previous position that tanks were considered a step too far in their support for Ukraine, but Biden has appeared to draw the line on supplying American fighter jets to Ukraine.

“No,” he said when asked by reporters yesterday at the White House if he was in favor of sending F-16s or others.

Mosque blast

5. More than 80 people have been killed in a mosque blast at a police headquarters in northwestern Pakistan, with a further 150 and more wounded.

The attack happened during afternoon prayers yesterday in the provincial capital Peshawar, close to areas along the Afghan border where militancy has been steadily rising.

Overnight, at least nine bodies were recovered as rescuers sifted through the rubble of the mosque’s blown out wall and collapsed roof for survivors.

Good Friday plans 

6. The government will be updated today on plans to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement this year, amid speculation of a visit by US president Joe Biden.

As co-guarantor of the agreement, the Irish Government is planning a series of events to mark the anniversary, both on the island of Ireland and abroad.

Cabinet will be told today that rather than focusing on a single date, events will take place throughout the year to reflect the vital role played by the United States and the European Union in supporting the peace process, it is understood.

Inner city Dublin fire 

7. Gardaí are investigating a possible arson attack at a property on Sherrard Street in Dublin’s north city centre after emergency services were alerted to the blaze at 5:40pm.

Videos circulating on social media show large groups of people near Rawlton House, a vacant building yesterday evening. 

“Gardaí are investigating a suspected criminal damage by fire incident that occurred at approximately 5:40pm at a vacant dwelling in the Sherrard Street area of Dublin 1,” a Garda statement said.

Electric car purchases  

8. As many as 70% of Irish consumers are contemplating buying an electric vehicle, according to research from Donedeal and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

A survey of 1,000 car buyers on the country’s largest car website also found that 2022 was the first year ever in which an electric vehicle, the Volkswagen ID.4, was the most in-demand new car on Donedeal. 

However, concerns about the range of electric vehicles continues to be a hurdle for almost a quarter of people. 

Island nation

9. In the latest in its look at Ireland’s offshore islands, Noteworthy examines how fishing is struggling as a way to make a living.

Islanders say authorities are failing to give support needed to save this traditional way of life. 

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