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The 9 at 9 ‘Blindsided’ events industry, Storm Barra rages and high housing deposits.

LAST UPDATE | 7 Dec 2021


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

Events industry

1. In our lead story today, senior reporter Michelle Hennessy speaks to theatres, music venues and promoters who say they were “blindsided” by new Covid-19 restrictions on the industry.

Organisers were given only a few days to rearrange plans for events that had already sold tickets for higher than 50% capacity before the new rules were announced.

Some have chosen to cancel or reschedule while others are scrambling to add additional performances or ask customers to move to a different date. 

Storm Barra

2. Met Éireann has issued warnings around the country, including Status Red for three counties, as strong winds blow in this morning.

Schools and colleges are closed in more than ten counties today with some flights being cancelled and delayed.

Follow along with our liveblog for all the latest updates here.  


3. Thousands of homes are without electricity after the storm made landfall earlier this morning.

ESB Networks has recorded faults in in Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Carlow, Dublin, Offaly, Cavan and Monaghan. 

One of the worst hit areas is Ardnagappary in Donegal, where a fault affected more than 14,000 customers. 

Ghislaine Maxwell

4. A second accuser has testified in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial, saying she coordinated sexual encounters with Jeffrey Epstein.

The woman testifying, going by “Kate”, said Maxwell would invite her over and escort her to massage rooms to meet Epstein from when she was 17-years-0ld.

Maxwell, who has pleaded not guilty to six counts of enticing and transporting minors for sex, is accused of grooming underage girls to be exploited by Epstein.


5. First-time buyers paid an average deposit of almost €52,100 in the first half of 2o21.

Nearly 42% of first-time buyers used gifts as part of their deposits during the first half of the year, the latest Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) housing market monitor shows.

For mover-purchasers, deposits were an average of €135,000.

Emmett Till

6. The US Justice Department is ending its investigation into the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till.

The teenager was abducted, tortured and killed at age 14 after witnesses said he whistled at a white woman.

The Justice Department reopened the investigation after a 2017 book quoted Donham as saying she lied when she claimed that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances, but relatives have denied that she recanted her allegations. 


7. Public health officials confirmed 2,950 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland yesterday.

536 people were in hospital with Covid-19, including 110 in ICU.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that “during these winter months it is vital that if any of us experience symptoms of Covid-19, we isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test”. 


8. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is reopening today for people who lose their jobs as a result of the latest restrictions imposed by the government.

Five rates ranging from €150 to €350 per week will be paid depending on a person’s previous income.

“This is not where any of us wanted to be, however, reopening PUP for those directly impacted will provide vital support during these difficult times,” Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said. 


9. Abroad, the United States has announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on human rights grounds.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the country would send no diplomatic or official representation because of China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses”.

Athletes on Team USA are still due to compete at the Games.

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