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The 9 at 9 Good morning. Here are nine things to know as you start your day.

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you need to know as you kick off your day.

1. #NICOLA FURLONG: The former girlfriend of Richard Hinds, the man accused of killing Nicola Furlong, has given evidence at his trial. RTÉ News is reporting that Alayna Rodgers said that Hinds “wouldn’t hurt a fly”. Hinds is due to take the stand next Monday. 21-year-old Furlong was killed last year in Tokyo.

2. #DEBT CRISIS: Finance Minister Michael Noonan has criticised Irish banks for not dealing with the personal debt crisis “more promptly”. He also said that government were committed to accelerating the amount of settlements with people, and that different solutions would be sought depending on the individual’s situation.

3. #SHOOTING: Investigations are continuing into last night’s shooting in Clondalkin in west Dublin. No arrests have been made so far. The 20-year-old man that was shot is believed to be in a serious condition in hospital.

4. #M50: €3.3 million in unpaid M50 tolls was written off in 2012. RTÉ News is reporting that 15,000 legal letters and 6,000 civil summonses were issued by solicitors acting on behalf of the National Roads Authority last year.

5. #SINN FÉIN: Francie Molloy has won the mid-Ulster by-election, polling 46.93 per cent of the vote. The Sinn Féin candidate took the House of Commons seat left vacant by Martin McGuinness when he resigned at the end of last year.

6. #LEGARDE: IMF chief Christine Lagarde is set to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in Dublin today. The head of the IMF will make an address at the Institute of European Affairs and will also visit the Central Bank.

7. #FLAG PROTESTS: The PSNI’s policing of the Union Flag protests has cost over £20 million to date. The Irish News is reporting that the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggott, described the outlay as a waste of resources that could instead have been spent on community policing.

8. #EMIGRATION: A study by UCC has shown that 46 per cent of people who are considering leaving Ireland already have full-time jobs. 73 per cent of those surveyed said that they were thinking of leaving in order to gain job experience.

9. #VENEZUELA: The state funeral of Hugo Chavez is to take place today. It has been announced that his body will be embalmed and forever displayed inside a glass tomb at a military museum. The Venezuelan president died last Tuesday, aged 58.

  • Over on Why are Justin Bieber and Kelly Osbourne in hospital? What’s the craic with the new Hangover trailer? And a movie Ronan Keating? Really? Go on, just click on The Dredge>

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