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The 9 at 9: Saturday

Extra Garda patrols for politicians, nightclubs have reopened and a rainy Bank Holiday weekend.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

GOOD MORNING.

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

Extra Garda patrols

1. In our main story today, Niall O’Connor reports that gardaí have issued a nationwide order for local units to carry out extra patrols at the homes of politicians and State officials they believe will be targeted by protestors.

Sources said the direction was drawn up having received detailed intelligence on the activities of anti-vaccine activists.

It follows protests by small groups of people recently outside the homes of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan.

Nightclubs reopening

2. Well, the day finally arrived and nightclubs reopened for the first time last night since before the pandemic began. 

Stakeholders in the sector, however, have strongly criticised newly published guidelines that state anyone attending a nightclub will need to have purchased a ticket.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), and the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) have all said that they rejected the proposed ticketing requirement in meetings with Government officials.

A spokesperson for the Department of Tourism said it was decided that ticketing for nightclubs and venues should be a mandatory requirement given the “ongoing deterioration of the epidemiological situation”. 

Outdoor dining

3. Sticking with Covid news, the legislation that allows for the sale and consumption of alcohol in seated outdoor areas has been extended until May 2022.

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys moved to clarify the operation of outdoor seating areas as licensed premises return to full trading hours from yesterday.

Earlier this year, the minister brought in legislation to allow for outdoor seating areas to operate lawfully, after a number of pubs in Galway were warned by gardaí that alcohol could not be served outside their premises.

Alec Baldwin

4. Over in the US, court documents have shown that an assistant director unwittingly handed Alec Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer.

“Cold gun”, the assistant director announced, according to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe, Arizona court.

Instead, the gun was loaded with live rounds and when Baldwin pulled the trigger on the set of a Western he killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

US drone strike

5. A senior Al-Qaeda leader has been killed in a US drone strike in Syria, according to the Pentagon.

The strike comes two days after a base in southern Syria, used by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, was assaulted.

Rail disruptions

6. Back in Ireland, Irish Rail passengers will face significant disruptions for services this bank holiday weekend as major works in Dublin, Louth, Limerick, Clare, and Cork get underway.

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Starting today, revised timetables are in place with bus transfers serving lines that have been closed.

Christmas shopping

7. Irish book lovers have been warned not to wait until December to buy their Christmas reads amid a “perfect storm” of problems impacting supplies within the industry.

Several supply chain issues have affected businesses around the world this year, with shortages of freight containers and booming global consumer demand already impacting on supplies of certain products.

But booksellers are now reporting that Brexit-related shortages of warehouse staff and delivery drivers in the UK, where the vast majority of Irish-sold books come from, are leading to unpredictable delivery times for many titles.

Missing person

8. Gardaí have renewed their appeal for information from the public in relation to  the disappearance of Philip Cairns who went missing on his way back to school 35 years ago.

On 23 October 1986, Philip came home for lunch from Coláiste Éanna school in Rathfarnham at 12.45pm. 

The 13-year-old schoolboy left his home on the Ballyroan Road at about 1.30pm to go back to the school. He was never seen again.

Rainfall warning

9. And lastly, it’s set to be a wet and dull Bank Holiday weekend in some parts of the country. 

Met Éireann has issued a Status Yellow rainfall warning for Cork and Kerry. This kicks in at midday today and will remain in place until midnight. 

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