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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 21 October 2021

The 9 at 9: Friday

Charges in the Lyra McKee murder investigation, concerns about Covid-19 discharges from hospital and school conditions.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo


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

Lyra McKee

1. PSNI Detectives ave charged two men with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

The pair, aged 21 and 33, have also been charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life, riot, possession of petrol bombs, throwing petrol bombs and arson. The 33-year-old has also been charged with robbery.

A third man, aged 20, has been charged with riot, possession of petrol bombs and throwing petrol bombs.

‘Gravely concerned’

2. A hospital group said it is gravely concerned about Covid-19 patients discharging themselves prematurely.

At least two such incidents – discharges or attempted discharges against medical advice – have occurred at Irish hospitals in recent days.

A video of a man being encouraged to leave Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) by an anti-Covid campaigner went viral this week, as we reported earlier.

School condition

3. Parents at a school in North Dublin have expressed “horror” at the conditions inside a number of classrooms after photos emerged on social media yesterday. 

Photographs from inside prefabs at Gaelscholáiste Reachrann in Donaghmede show damaged walls and ceilings as well as clogged toilets, with parents at the school saying children have seen cats chasing rats in their classrooms. 

Covid-19 test cost

4. The HSE ha spent over €480 million on Covid-19 tests and testing centres throughout the pandemic.

Additionally, the health service has purchased two million “I got my Covid-19 vaccine” badges at a cost of €320,000.

Since March 2020, the State has provided free PCR tests to individuals to identify cases of the virus.


5. Multiple forest fires are threatening groves of gigantic sequoias in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains that are home to some of the world’s largest trees.

Flames are likely to reach the famous Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park, where two fires have been burning since lightning ignited them on September 9, according to a briefing for fire crews.

Covid pass

6. Italian workers in both the public and private sector will have to display a health pass to access their workplaces from 15 October under a decree issued by Premier Mario Draghi’s coalition government.

The measures are the first by a major European economy to require proof of vaccination, a recent negative virus test or recovery from Covid-19 in the previous six months for all categories of workers.

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Culture Night

7. Culture Night returns for its 15th year tonight – and unlike last year, people will get to enjoy in-person events across Ireland.

For those who can’t or aren’t able to take to the streets however, there is also a large range of online cultural events to enjoy. 

Culture Night is the night of the year where arts and culture practitioners and venues throw open their doors to people for free.


8. Putting time limits on the length of time an employer can put a worker on probation is to be considered by government, according to  Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar.

He has also confirmed that he wants to ensure more reasonable periods of notice are given to employees when their work is unpredictable in nature.  

As part of the review, the minister is seeking views on new rights to improve terms and conditions for workers.


9. A man in his 60s has been charged in relation to an ongoing investigation by gardaí into an animal welfare incident in Ashtown, Dublin.

The man was arrested on Tuesday and has since been charged, gardaí confirmed this morning.

The man has been charged with a number of offences relating to the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

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