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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 9 December 2021

The 9 at 9: Thursday

Erosion of railway lines, the NI centenary event and remains found in search for Brian Laundrie.

Image: Shutterstock/HappyTime19

Updated Oct 21st 2021, 8:54 AM


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

Railway erosion 

1. In our main story today, Lauren Boland reports that measures to protect railway lines that are at risk from coastal erosion and flooding are on track as climate scientists warn of changes to Irish coasts.

Projects to safeguard Irish railways from climate change are at early design stages, with Iarnród Éireann identifying which sections of track are most vulnerable to climate change.

However, it could be up to 10 years before the key measures being worked on are fully implemented.

NI centenary event

2. The ‘Service of Reflection and Hope’ to mark the centenary of partition and the creation of Northern Ireland is due to take place later this morning. 

The church service, which is being jointly organised by the main Christian churches on the island of Ireland, will not have the heads of state of either Ireland or the UK in attendance. 

Yesterday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth would not be embarking on a planned trip to Northern Ireland after she accepted medical advice to rest for a number of days. The event was expected to be among her engagements during the visit. 

Hospitality reopening

3. Over to Covid-19 news, talks are to reconvene today on hospitality guidelines for nightclubs, pubs, live events and restaurants. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told a meeting of his party last night that the guidance due to be issued today for venues reopening on Friday would be practical and that common sense will apply.

It follows days of confusion in the hospitality sector over what measures will be put in place following Tuesday’s announcement on the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions. 


4. Professor Philip Nolan has said the latest wave of virus cases was triggered by a combination of factors, among them a change in people’s behaviour last month.

The growth rate in Covid-19 cases is currently between 2-3% per day, while the growth rate and the number of people in the hospital are also increasing between 2-3% per day.

Maternity restrictions

5. Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital is to relax restrictions for antenatal appointments from 1 November.

However, only one nominated companion or partner is allowed to visit the hospital with the pregnant woman or person.

The current visiting rules for those who are giving birth, in labour or undergoing an induction will remain the same. 

EU Summit

6. Internationally, an explosive EU row with Poland over its rejection of some of the bloc’s laws is set to overshadow a two-day summit of European Union leaders starting today.

The issue will eclipse the original theme for the Brussels gathering: examining how Europe can cope with the global energy crunch while sticking by ambitious green policies it will brandish at the COP26 climate summit in two weeks’ time.

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Gabby Petito

7. The FBI has said potential human remains have been found along with items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie, whose girlfriend Gabby Petito was murdered.

Laundrie, 23, is a person of interest in the killing of Petito, who was reported missing 11 September by her parents while the young couple was on a cross-country trip in the west of the US.

Trump media

8. Former US President Donald Trump is launching a new media company with its own social media platform.

The announcement came nine months after he was expelled from many social media channels for his role in inciting a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol.

Trump says his goal in launching the Trump Media & Technology Group and its TRUTH Social app is to create a rival to the Big Tech companies that have shut him out and denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his national rise.

Frederick Douglass

9. Back in Ireland, Dublin City Council is to honour anti-slavery leader Frederick Douglass with a commemorative plaque.

The plaque will be unveiled today by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland at the Irish Film Institute (IFI), Eustace Street, Temple Bar, formerly the location of the Friends’ Meeting House.

Douglass was born into slavery in 1818 and went on to escape in 1838. He later published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself in 1845 and visited Dublin the same year.

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