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GOOD MORNING

The 9 at 9 State apology for Stardust families, Tánaiste at Rafah, farmland prices and the GRA.

LAST UPDATE | 23 Apr

GOOD MORNING.

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

State apology for Stardust families

1. The families of victims of the 1981 Stardust tragedy will attend Dáil Éireann today where Taoiseach Simon Harris will deliver a long-awaited State apology at 2pm.

The details of today’s State apology are being kept under wraps by the Department of An Taoiseach and it is unclear how extensive the apology will be and what will be included in it. 

Measures to ease backlog of asylum applications

2. A new accelerated process for seeking international protection in Ireland will be put in place, under plans set to be brought forward to Cabinet today by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

McEntee will introduce proposals to introduce further measures which the government hopes will slowdown an increase in people seeking seeking international protection.

Tánaiste to highlight ‘Israeli restrictions’ on aid at Rafah border

3. Micheál Martin is in Cairo today where he is expected to highlight “Israeli restrictions” on aid when he visits the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza later today.

The Tánaiste is in Egypt meeting the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and will later meet with Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman.

Video of protest at O’Gorman’s home ‘sensationalise’ situation

4. A Garda who appeared in a video which appeared to show a group of men protesting outside the home of Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman has said the footage circulating online of the protest “qualify as disinformation” and that gardaí’s interactions with protesters have been “sensationalised” by online actors

Detective Garda Mark Ferris, who was one of the Gardaí who dealt with protesters outside the O’Gorman’s home last Friday, said: “I want to be clear here, the video footage is being sensationalised on social media and qualifies as disinformation, in that it only shows a part of what happened, not the full timeline of events.”

Prices of farmland increased by 11%

5. The price of non-residential farmland increased by 11% last year, according to research by the SCSI. Auctioneers believe sale prices will continue to increase this year, but at a much slower rate as a result of lower returns and higher interest rates.

Prices in the farmland rental market also increased last year by 5%, which are expected to increase by another 4% this year.

President to be given honorary doctorate

6. President Michael D Higgins is to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Manchester to recognise his contributions to literature and public life later today.

President Higgins will then deliver the first of a series of lectures at the University, where a large number of influential speakers have been invited to the hall for the next five years.

10 killed after two helicopters collide in Malaysia

7. Two helicopters have collided and crashed during a training session in Malaysia, killing all 10 crew onboard, the country’s rescue agency has said.

Footage shared online showed several helicopters flying low in a formation over the Lumut naval stadium in a flypast rehearsal ahead of the navy fleet’s open day celebrations in May.

UHL was ‘akin to a warzone’ the night Aoife died

8. A retired nurse manager at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) told Aoife Johnston’s inquest today that the hospital was akin to a “war-zone” and “unsafe” for patients on the night the 16-year old Co Clare teenager presented there, before she eventually died of sepsis after waiting on a chair for 12 hours.

The teenager died in 2022 while her parents pleaded with staff for help, the inquest heard yesterday.

US probing mass grave found in Gaza

9. The United States is inquiring with Israel about reports from Gaza’s Civil Defence agency yesterday said that health workers had uncovered around 200 bodies over the past three days of people killed and buried by Israeli forces at a hospital in Khan Yunis.

Speaking to reporters, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said he has seen the reports and that the US is “inquiring about it with the Government of Israel”. 

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