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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Public transport safety issues, Covid-19 case numbers grow and the latest on the NI Protocol.
Oct 14th 2021, 7:46 AM 7,751 1

Updated Oct 14th 2021, 8:56 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Public transport 

1. After a recent incident where a group of young male passengers reportedly chanted “let’s rape her” in relation to a woman who had disembarked from the Dart, The Journal asked people to share their experiences of safety on public transport. 

In our main story this morning, Gráinne Ní Aodha reports on the stories members of the public have shared with us in recent weeks. 

Hospital figures

2. Government is seeking detailed data from health officials on the breakdown and make up of the increasing Covid-19 case numbers and hospitalisations ahead of next week’s meeting on the final easing of restrictions.

Yesterday, 2,066 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, with 408 patients in hospital testing positive for Covid-19, of which 69 are in ICU.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that although there has been a good uptake of Covid-19 vaccines in recent months, those who had not been vaccinated were having a “disproportionate” impact on the health service.

Northern Ireland Protocol

3. Brussels is reportedly “preparing for the worst” as it awaits the UK’s response to a series of steps it proposed to cut trade red tape across the Irish Sea.

The European Union Commission has laid out measures to slash 80% of regulatory checks and dramatically cut customs processes on the movement of goods between Britain and the island of Ireland.

The UK Government welcomed the announcement last night, signalling that it wanted “intensive talks” to follow the EU’s proposals.

However, the EU is now reportedly “preparing for the worst” from the UK in response to its proposals and fear Boris Johnson will reject the plan, according to The Guardian and The Independent newspapers.

Covid-19 restrictions

4. Sticking with Northern Ireland, political leaders have urged caution as the latest relaxations to the coronavirus regulations come into effect.

From today, up to 30 people will be permitted in private dwellings and the requirement for audience members to be seated when watching performances in indoor venues will be removed.

However large house parties and raves will still not be permitted.

Irish Water

5. The Environment Protection Agency is to tell an Oireachtas committee that incidents at water plants which led to 52 people falling ill, were an “abject failure of managerial oversight, operational control and responsiveness” by Irish Water and the local authorities overseeing the sites. 

The EPA said it was also a failure by the bodies to fulfill their roles “to deliver safe and secure drinking water” for their local areas. 

Aviation

6. Senior management in the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) have accused air traffic controllers of seeking to undermine and “sabotage” the company. 

In an unprecedented move, the IAA has issued a stinging attack on members of its own workforce in an internal memo.

The letter from the IAA, issued to staff on Monday and seen by The Journal, said that some of the workforce were seeking to destroy the reputation of the Irish Aviation Authority by going public with their internal work issues. 

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Deirdre Jacobs

7. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he hopes “justice is arrived at” following the search of a woodland area as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Deirdre Jacob.

The search concluded yesterday after a third day of a major search operation in a remote wooded area of Co Kildare.

Norway

8. Internationally, a man armed with a bow and arrows killed several people and wounded others near the Norwegian capital of Oslo before he was arrested yesterday. 

The police chief in the town of Kongsberg said there was “a confrontation” between officers and the assailant, but he did not elaborate.

He said there were several deaths but offered no details.

Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported that at least four people were dead.

Brazil

9. And finally, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed he will not get vaccinated against Covid-19, having previously said he would be the “last Brazilian” to do so.

The far-right leader has generated controversy over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and for initially downplaying the seriousness of the virus, despite catching it himself.

“I’ve decided not to get vaccinated. I’m looking at new studies, I already have the highest immunisation, why would I get vaccinated?” the 66-year-old said in an interview with Jovem Pan radio this week.

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Hayley Halpin

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