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The 9 at 9 Here’s all the news you need to know as you start your day.


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

Jeffrey Donaldson steps down

1. Jeffrey Donaldson stepped down as the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party yesterday as he faces charges for historical offences.

Donaldson, who has sat as an MP in the House of Commons for Lagan Valley since 1997, took over from Edwin Poots as party leader in 2021.

The DUP has said appointed Gavin Robinson MP as the Interim Party Leader.

Road safety, what went wrong?

2. In today’s morning lead, Valerie Flynn looks at what went wrong to Ireland’s road safety success story, as 55 people had been killed on Irish roads by the middle of this week, 13 more than in the same period of 2023.

For Frank O’Connell, coroner for South Cork, it’s a question with a simple answer: “Number one: speed.”

New Schengen members tomorrow

3. Romania and Bulgaria are set to join the European Union’s visa-free ‘Schengen’ zone tomorrow as some of their own border restrictions will expire.

The decision to allow the two EU member states to join the Schengen, which Ireland has opted-out of since its was established, was approved by the European Commission towards the end of last year.

Rental crisis impacting Gardaí

4. Rental costs in Dublin are so high that young gardaí are faced with commuting for hours to work and some choose to sleep in cars rather than travel home after a 12-hour shift, a senior garda has said. 

During their training student gardaí are on €305 per week – newly qualified gardaí leave Templemore Garda College after 36 weeks on a wage of €36,000. Average rents in Dublin are €2,344 – this was compiled by the most recent Daft Report.

Tech regulation

5. In this morning’s Voices section, Online Safety Co-ordinator at The Children’s Rights Alliance Noeline Blackwell writes on the troubles with self-regulation by tech platforms in Ireland.

Blackwell writes on the potential for abuse and the need for greater protection.

Louis Gossett Jr

6. Louis Gossett Jr, the first black man to win a supporting actor Oscar and an Emmy winner for his role in the seminal TV series Roots, has died aged 87.

Gossett’s nephew told The Associated Press that the actor died on Thursday night in Santa Monica, California. No cause of death was revealed.

Who’s taking the Gardaí to France? Themselves, maybe.

7. Gardaí are considering a French request to head for Paris to assist in the security operation for the Paris Olympics, sources have confirmed.

The Journal has learned from diplomatic and law enforcement sources that the request came earlier this year and will see gardaí head to Paris to act as liaisons with Irish fans and teams.

No new car parking spaces for Dublin Airport

8. The operators of Dublin Airport has said it will not appeal a decision by the competition watchdog to block its purchase of a privately-owned car park.

DAA, formerly Dublin Airport Authority, sought to acquire the QuickPark facility in Santry but the move was blocked by the CCPC last week. 

Pope skips Good Friday event

9. There are concerns over Pope Francis’ health after he skipped traditional Good Friday processions at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy last night.

In a last-minute announcement, the Vatican announced that Francis was following the event from his apartment in the city instead.

“To conserve his health in view of the vigil tomorrow and Mass on Easter Sunday, Pope Francis will follow the Via Crucis at the Colosseum this evening from the Casa Santa Marta,” a statement from the press office said.