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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 9 December 2021

The 9 at 9: Tuesday

Decrease in fireworks on Irish streets, Cabinet to discuss easing of restrictions and Dennis Hutchings death

Image: Shutterstock/DronG

Updated Oct 19th 2021, 8:46 AM


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


1. In our main story today, Niall O’Connor reports that gardaí have seen a marked decrease in the amount of illegal fireworks on Irish streets this year while Customs have increased the number of seizures.

The Halloween season normally sees large quantities of fireworks going off across Irish towns and cities from September onwards. 

However supply chain issues in the UK due to Brexit and the global supply crunch means that stocks there are down by as much as 70%, which has led to fewer being made available for purchase in Ireland illegally. 

Easing of restrictions

2. The government has been advised by health experts that there is some scope to easing the final restrictions on Friday but only if there is rigid enforcement, it is understood.

Cabinet will meet today to discuss the latest advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Government sources have indicated this evening that the advice gives some space to ease more restrictions, but only if the enforcement of vaccine passes, social distancing and mask-wearing remains in place. 

Covid figures

3. Sticking with Covid news, public health officials confirmed 1,578 new cases of the virus in Ireland yesterday. 

As of 8am yesterday, 484  Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 73 are in ICU.

Dennis Hutchings

4. Former British Soldier Dennis Hutchings, who was on trial for the attempted murder of John Pat Cunningham during the Troubles, has died of Covid.

His trial had officially been adjourned earlier yesterday due to the news he had developed Covid.

However, his death was confirmed yesterday evening.

Fatal collision

5. In non-Covid news, a man has died after the car he was driving struck a parked truck in Co Meath yesterday evening. 

The incident happened on the R147 in Carnaross, Kells shortly before 9.30pm.

The R147 is road is currently closed between Kells and Virginia as garda forensic collision investigators carry out a technical examination of the scene. Local diversions are in place. 

Sexual harassment 

6. A new online tool that will allow higher education students and staff to anonymously report sexual harassment and sexual violence has been launched today

The tool, entitled Speak Out, is an online platform that can be used to report incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour or control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.

It will be rolled out across 18 higher education institutions this academic year.

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North Korea

7. Internationally, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the sea in a continuation of its recent weapons tests, the South Korean and Japanese militaries have said.

It came hours after the US reaffirmed its offer to resume diplomacy on the North’s nuclear weapons programme.

The South’s joint chiefs of staff did not immediately say what kind of ballistic missile was fired or how far it flew.

Capitol riot files

8. Donald Trump is suing to block the release of White House records related to the 6 January insurrection that he was impeached for inciting, according to newly released court documents.

The former president is claiming “executive privilege” to stop former aides giving evidence to Congress, in an escalation of his efforts to stonewall investigators looking into the deadly Capitol assault.

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol nine months ago in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory.

New Zealand

9. New Zealand recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic today as a Delta-variant outbreak that dashed the nation’s “Covid Zero” hopes showed no signs of easing.

Health authorities announced 94 new virus cases, exceeding the previous daily record of 89 set in April last year during the first wave of Covid-19 infections.

While case numbers remain low by most international standards, they have been steadily growing since the highly transmissible Delta variant was first found in New Zealand in mid-August.

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