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The 9 at 9 Here’s everything you need to know as they day gets started.

GOOD MORNING. HERE’S everything you need to know as Sunday gets started.

1. Local election results

Over 150 seats have been filled so far in the local elections. Counting is set to resume this morning at 9am to start filling the rest of the 949 seats. 

2. Coalition bullish

While there is still a lot more to come, some of the early takeaways of this election are a slump for Sinn Féin and better then expected results for the coalition parties. 

Yesterday evening, party figures from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens were bullish about their future prospects, saying that predictions about the inevitability a SF-led Government have been “shattered”.

3. Sinn Féin slump

Speaking of that slump, Sinn Féin did not have a good day at the polls, and many believe that the party fielded too many candidates. Meanwhile, Independents have surged and a number of far-right candidates look set to be elected.

4. Gaza

Israel has announced that its forces rescued four hostages yesterday from a Gaza refugee camp in an operation which the Hamas-run government media office said left 210 Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded.

The Israeli military said the four, who were in “good medical condition”, had been kidnapped from the Nova music festival during Hamas’s 7 October attack that sparked war, now in its ninth month.

5. European elections

Today is the big day for most of Europe as the majority of countries go to the polls, including France and Germany. Counting will begin in Ireland for the European elections this morning, but the first result won’t be broadcast until later this evening. 

Slovakia and Italy voted yesterday.

6. Sex offender

Gardaí said that they deported a convicted sex offender to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Chico Makamda was serving a custodial sentence in the Midlands Prison for failing to notify a change in his details, as is required by the Sex Offenders Act 2001.

He has 19 previous convictions for sex offences, false imprisonment and theft in Ireland.

The 39-year-old was sentenced in 2019 to seven and a half years with the final two and a half years suspended on condition that he leave the country upon his release.

7. Cyber attack

A cyber attack attempted to take down a number of government websites overnight, The Journal understands. 

Pro-Russian hacking groups are believed to have mounted the coordinated attack, security sources have said.

Four different groups have been identified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as having carried out what has been described by sources as a “simple” attack whereby government websites are continually reloaded until they crash. 

8. Heroin

Gardaí discovered blocks of uncut heroin hidden under a child’s paddling pool and in a toy room during a €305k drug seizure at a house in Dublin, a court has heard.

Unemployed Clive McCowan, 44, of Millrace Park, Saggart, was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis, cocaine, and mainly heroin (diamorphine) and having the drugs for sale or supply at his home address on Thursday night.

9. Weather

It will be a dry start to the day, with some sunny spells in Munster or Leinster, according to Met Éireann

Dull or cloudy elsewhere with scattered outbreaks of rain and drizzle with some mist too. 

Cool enough overall, with highs of 10 to 16 degrees in a mostly moderate northwesterly wind.

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