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The 9 at 9 Hospital waiting lists, drug use at League of Ireland matches and the World Potato Congress.


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

Four-and-a-half years on hospital waiting list

1. A woman whose teenage daughter was put on a 249-week outpatient waiting list for Midland Regional Hospital at Tullamore has said that it “won’t be easy” if she now has to be seen privately. 

Toni, who lives in Kildare, said that her daughter will be an adult by the time she is scheduled to attend the appointment in over four-and-a-half years time.

She contacted the hospital and asked if the figure was a typo, but she was informed that it was correct.

Drug use at League of Ireland matches

2. Undercover gardaí as well as uniformed officers are clamping down on ‘rampant’ drug use at League of Ireland football matchesThe Journal has learned. 

Officers attached to drug and public order units have been carrying out operations targeting drug use at games. Dublin-based clubs as well as those in Louth are understood to be among those being patrolled and monitored. 

War in Ukraine will cause starvation in Africa

3. In an opinion piece this morning, Dualta Roughneen –Head of Programmes at Plan International Ireland – writes that people already starving are feeling the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine.

“African countries are heavily dependent on food imports from both Ukraine and Russia. The war – as well as sanctions on Russia – are impacting the availability of key foodstuffs such as wheat, sunflower oil and even fertiliser, meaning less food is available, pushing prices up and people into hunger,” Roughneen says.

Trump rejects gun control

4. Former US President Donald Trump rejected calls for tightened gun controls following the Texas school massacre, saying decent Americans should be allowed the firearms they need to defend themselves against “evil.”

“The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens… The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” he told members of the National Rifle Association.

Trump’s remarks came as he headlined an NRA event in Houston, three days after a gun massacre at a Texas elementary school reignited the tinderbox debate about US gun control.

Orange Order parade

5. An Orange Order event will mark the centenary of Northern Ireland in Belfast today.

The event to mark the creation of Northern Ireland in 1921, organised by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, comes after the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the celebrations planned last year.

Partygate rumbles on

6. The drip-feed of no confidence letters being submitted over Boris Johnson’s leadership has continued as pressure grows on the UK Prime Minister following publication of the partygate report.

Since senior civil servant Sue Gray published her investigation into coronavirus lockdown-busting gatherings in Downing Street on Wednesday, there has been a steady trickle of Conservative MPs announcing they want a vote on Johnson’s future as UK leader.

Russian invasion

7. Russia backed seperatists claimed they captured a railway hub city in eastern Ukraine as Moscow’s forces pushed to gain more ground by pounding another Ukrainian-held area where authorities say 1,500 people have died since the start of the war.

With Russia’s offensive in Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region showing incremental progress, Ukrainian officials characterised the battle as grave and renewed their appeals for more sophisticated Western-supplied weaponry.

World Potato Congress

8. The World Potato Congress, which is being held in Ireland next week, will hear that the sector needs to better promote itself, particularly among younger age groups, as sales have dipped after a surge during Covid lockdowns.

Champions Cup final

9. Leinster’s Tadgh Furlong and James Lowe were both passed fit to start today’s Heineken Champions Cup final clash with La Rochelle in Marseille.

Kick-off is at 4.45 Irish time and the match will be broadcast on Virgin Media 2/BT Sport 2/Channel 4.

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