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The 9 at 9 Simon Harris to become Taoiseach, senior army officer slams government’s defence plan and new truce proposal for Gaza.



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

New Taoiseach

1. This afternoon, Simon Harris will become Ireland’s 15th Taoiseach after Leo Varadkar tendered his resignation yesterday. 

It’s set to be a jam-packed day for the Taoiseach-in-waiting. Here’s all you need to know about how the day is going to play out here.

National security

2. In our main story this morning, Niall O’Connor reports that a senior military officer has said the Government’s plan for defence is “inadequate” and will not deliver the required capability for the State to defend itself.

Lieutenant Colonel Conor King, writing for Irish security think tank Azure Forum, has launched a scathing assessment of the Government’s strategy to transform the Irish Defence Forces into a modern force.


3. Hamas has said it is considering a new framework for a truce in Gaza proposed during the latest round of negotiations in Cairo.

The three-part proposal would halt fighting for six weeks to facilitate an exchange of hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Rain rain go away

4. Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said that farmers are facing huge challenges and are under massive pressure as result of the wet weather in Ireland. 

The National Fodder and Food Security Committee (NFFSC), the group within Teagasc which is tasked with preparing an industry response to such challenges, will discuss mitigation measures later this afternoon.


5. In the US, an appeals court judge has rejected former US president Donald Trump’s request to delay his 15 April hush-money criminal trial while he fights to move the case out of Manhattan.

Trump’s lawyers had argued at an emergency hearing that the trial should be postponed while they seek a change of venue to move it out of heavily Democratic Manhattan.

Fianna Fáil tensions

6. Back home, Tánaiste Micheál Martin has criticised a member of his own party stating that the public want the country’s needs put before that of any political party.

Writing in the Sunday Independent over the weekend, Limerick City TD Willie O’Dea said allowing Fine Gael to have two-weeks to “reset” while expecting the other parties to remain static, “is the antithesis of partnership – an antithesis the leaderships of those partner parties seem willing to not just tolerate, but to facilitate”.

Global warming

7. Last month was the hottest March of modern records – the tenth month in a row to reach historic levels of heat for the respective time in the year, according to the EU’s climate monitoring service.

The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service’s (C3S) latest monthly report details above average heat on land and at sea in March 2024 and points to the need for humans to significantly and quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat inside the atmosphere.

Paris 2024

8. The Irish Olympic team have revealed what its athletes will be wearing at the Opening Ceremony in Paris, France in July.

The uniform, created by New York-based Irish designer Laura Weber, through her brand LW Pearl, was created to reflect a balance between tradition and contemporary trends, to mark the 100th anniversary of Ireland at the Olympics.

Hello darkness, my old friend

9. Millions of spectators in the US, Mexico and Canada gathered to view a total solar eclipse last night. 

It was thought to be North America’s biggest eclipse crowd ever, thanks to the densely populated path. You can see some of the photos here.