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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 6°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things to know on this rainy Friday morning…

EVERY DAY, brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.

1. #AOIFE PHELAN: A 24-year-old man will appear in court later today, expected to be charged in connection with the murder of Aoife Phelan. The 30-year-old au pair, who was four months pregnant, went missing on 25 October. Gardaí discovered her body on Wednesday morning.

2. #REFERENDUM: A vote on children’s constitutional rights in Ireland will go ahead tomorrow despite a decision by the Supreme Court that a Government website and booklet was not impartial or fair. Minister Frances Fitzgerald has insisted that her department had acted “in good faith” when putting the contents together and had “the best intention to ensure compliance”.

3. #CONFLICT: Syria’s embattled president Basar Assad has told Russia Today that he is not a ‘Western puppet’. In a video interview, he said he has to live and die in his own country. He warned that “the price of foreign invasion” would be “more than the whole world can afford”.

4. #CATHOLIC CHURCH: An inquiry into claims there was a cover-up of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church in New South Wales, Australia will be established. A senior police official has gone public with evidence that the church’s hierarchy “covers up, silences victims, hinders police investigations, alerts offenders, destroys evidence and moves priests to protect the good name of the church”.

5. #ARSON PSNI officers are investigating reports of an arson attack at an electrical substation on a Quinn Group wind farm in Derrylin. They believe the fire, which caused substantial damage to the business, was started deliberately.

6. #COURTS: A 14-year-old girl and a 58-year-old woman were jailed for contempt yesterday after a judge blamed them for leading a “full scale riot” in court. The teen’s brother and the woman’s son had been found guilty of sexual assault, attempted rape and oral rape. RTÉ reports that the girl was sentenced to four days in prison, while the woman was imprisoned for seven days.

7. #TESTS: Fertility clinics in Cork and Dublin are to begin screening for genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, according to the Irish Examiner. The Irish Medicines Board has granted a license for embryo biopsy but the Cork Fertility Centre said it will not test for Down’s syndrome.

8. #DISTRAUGHT: Next month’s distressed property auction will seen an entire street go under the hammer. Market Place in Clonmel consists of 18 units and building and the reserve price for the whole lot is €900,000.

9. #@BENEDICT: The Pope is preparing to join Twitter with his own personal handle, it was revealed yesterday. Who will his first spat be with?

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