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GOOD MORNING

The 9 at 9 FactChecking the Taoiseach, emergency legislation to come before Cabinet and the conflict in Gaza.

GOOD MORNING. 

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

FactCheck

1. In our main story this morning, Jane Matthews and Shane Raymond factcheck a claim made by Taoiseach Simon Harris in the Dáil last week, when he accused Sinn Féin of proposing to spend €500m less on health than the Government did in the Budget.

The opposition party quickly hit back, claiming it had actually proposed €1 billion more than the Government did in the Budget for health.

So whose claim is correct?

Michael Pidgeon

2. As part of The Journal‘s Policy Matters series, Jane Matthews sat down with Green Party councillor for Dublin’s South West Inner City Michael Pidgeon to discuss transport in Dublin City.

He told The Journal that it annoys him when he hears politicians talk about making public transport free, not because he is opposed to the idea, but because he believes the infrastructure isn’t there yet for it to work properly in Ireland.

“It’s an attempt to come up with an idea that is simple and sexy, but it’s a total misdiagnosis of public transport problems,” he said.

Cabinet

3. The Minister for Justice is to bring emergency legislation before Cabinet on Tuesday that would enable the Government to send International Protection applicants back to the UK. 

It comes after Helen McEntee confirmed at an Oireachtas Committee last week that over 80% of people seeking asylum in the Republic are arriving here via the border with Northern Ireland.

It also follows comments made by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said claims that his country’s controversial Rwanda Bill is causing migrants who fear being deported to cross the border into the Republic shows that it is having the desired deterrent effect.

Roast

4. In the US, President Joe Biden poked fun at himself but took sharp aim at his election rival Donald Trump last night at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, as protesters outside demonstrated against the conflict in Gaza.

“Of course, the 2024 election is in full swing, and yes, age is an issue,” Biden quipped. “I am a grown man, running against a six-year-old.”

Gaza

5. Saudi Arabia has called for regional “stability”, warning of the effects of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict on global economic sentiment at the start of a summit attended by a host of Gaza mediators.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Palestinian leaders and high-ranking officials from other countries trying to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are on the guest list for the summit in Riyadh, capital of the world’s biggest crude oil exporter.

Explainer

6. Voters go to the polls on 7 June to cast their ballots on who they would like to fill Ireland’s 14 MEP seats in the next European Parliament.

A large number of candidates have declared their status in recent weeks, as we inch closer to polling day. In this piece, we’ve listed all the candidates so far.

IPO

7. Activists at the makeshift migrant camp on Mount Street in Dublin city criticised the Government for its approach to housing asylum seekers on Saturday.

At a protest organised at the tents, located next to the International Protection Office (IPO) where people apply for asylum, speakers criticised the government for divisive actions.

Russia

8. A Moscow court detained another suspect as an accomplice in the attack by gunmen on a suburban Moscow concert hall that killed 144 people in March, the Moscow City Courts Telegram channel said on Saturday.

Dzhumokhon Kurbonov, a citizen of Tajikistan, is accused of providing the attackers with means of communication and financing.

Six Nations

9. Dannah O’Brien’s penalty six minutes from time gave Ireland a 15-12 win over Scotland in Belfast on Saturday afternoon – securing third place in the Women’s Six Nations, and with it, qualification for the 2025 Rugby World Cup.

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