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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
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Here's What Happened Today: Saturday

Here’s what made headlines today…

NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.

Ireland

sinn-fein-ard-fheis-2019 Merchanise at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis. Source: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

  • An Irish unity referendum should be held within the next five years, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald is expected to tell members of the Ard Fheis this evening in Derry. 
  • Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill has been re-elected as the party’s vice-president. She defeated MLA for Upper Bann John O’Dowd. 
  • Two men were arrested in what gardaí have described as an intervention in a “potential threat to life incident”. It’s understood that the operation relates to gardaí’s ongoing investigations into the Hutch-Kinahan feud. 
  • Two men have appeared in court after Gardaí seized cocaine worth an estimated €72,000. 
  • A golden ring once given as a present by Oscar Wilde has been recovered by a Dutch “art detective” nearly 20 years after it was stolen from Britain’s Oxford University.
  • A group protesting against plans to house asylum seekers in an apartment complex in Co Leitrim have stood down their protest with immediate effect.
  • An air ambulance service based in Cork is set to provide assistance four days a month from a new base in Roscommon to act as cover, after the Department of Defence said it would withdraw its Athlone-based air ambulance for 16 days between now and February 2020. Minister Paul Kehoe said the suspension of the Athlone service “will not put lives at risk”. 

International 

italy-venice-flood People wade through the floods in Venice. Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

#FRANCE: Tear gas and water cannon were used in Paris today as police sought to disperse yellow vest protesters marking the first anniversary of the movement. 

#VENICE: St Mark’s Square in Venice re-opened a day after it was closed due to exceptionally high tidal waters that swept through most of the city’s already-devastated centre.

#BREXIT: UK police are assessing two allegations of electoral fraud after claims the Tories offered peerages – titles which would in effect give them seats on the House of Lords – to senior Brexit Party figures to persuade them to stand down in the general election.

Parting shot

Or should we say parting sod? Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers descended on Cork today to dress up in hi-visibility jackets, announce new houses and do a little bit of pre-by-election campaigning. 

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