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Dublin: 19°C Monday 16 May 2022

The 9 at 9: Sunday

Covid-sceptic ads sold by Facebook, Djokovic set to be deported from Australia and vigils continue for Ashling Murphy.

Image: Shutterstock


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

1. Covid-sceptic Facebook ads

In our main story this morning, Stephen McDermott reports that dozens of ads targeting Irish Facebook users with products and services containing Covid-sceptic and anti-vaccine messages have been sold by the social media giant in recent months.

A search of Facebook’s ad library this week found that the company has shown sponsored posts to Irish users which feature misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, slogans used by anti-vaccine groups and claims that the pandemic is a hoax.

Almost 40 of these ads have run between September and this week and have targeted Irish users on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger despite apparently violating the company’s advertising policies.

2. Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic set to be deported from Australia after losing a Federal Court appeal against the cancellation of his visa.

The tennis world number one now faces a three-year ban from entering the country.

The verdict comes just a day before he was set to face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in what would have been the first round of his Australian Open title defense.

3. Ashling Murphy

People across the island of Ireland paused in memory of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy yesterday, with further vigils organised following the murder of the Co Offaly woman.

Gardaí are continuing to hunt for the killer of young teacher, who was found dead after going for a run on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Communities came out across the island, from Cork to Mullingar to continue the vigils today. Hundreds gathered in Inchicore and Drimnagh in Dublin at sunrise today, holding candles and playing traditional music.

4. Boris Johnson

In the UK, Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing to oust members of his inner circle over the partygate affair as another Conservative MP called for him to resign.

The British Prime Minister is devising a policy announcement blitz and a cull of his top team as he looks to survive the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into lockdown-busting parties in No 10, The Sunday Times reported.

5. 100 years on

Back in Ireland, Taoiseach Micheál Martin will today lead a commemoration ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the handover of Dublin Castle.

On 16 January 1922 at 1.45pm, the last Lord Lieutenant, or Viceroy, of Ireland formally handed over power and Dublin Castle itself, to the new Provisional Government.

The ceremony was concluded within a brief 45 minutes.

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6. RIP

It was announced yesterday that veteran RTÉ broadcaster Jim Fahy had died at the age of 75 following a short illness.

Fahy, known as “the voice of the West”, was the broadcaster’s longest-serving regional correspondent when he retired in 2011 according to RTÉ.

7. Covid-19

There were 14,555 positive PCR cases of Covid-19 reported in Ireland yesterday.

There were also 5,406 positive antigen tests registered through the HSE website on Friday.

8. Tsunami 

The tsunami threat around the Pacific from a huge undersea volcanic eruption has begun to recede, while the extent of the damage to Tonga remains unclear.

Satellite images showed the spectacular eruption that took place on Saturday evening, with a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom above the blue Pacific waters.

9. Was it you?

The National Lottery has confirmed there was one winning ticket of the €19.06 million rollover jackpot after it was finally won last night.

The prize amount was capped on 2 October at €19.06 million having not been won since June. Since then the top prize has remained unclaimed in a record number of consecutive draws.

About the author:

Jane Moore

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