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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 21 October 2021

The 9 at 9: Tuesday

Rat scammers, EU warning on endangered species, an RTE board resignation and the Taoiseach in New York.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo


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

Rat scam

1. Gardaí in Dublin carried out additional patrols of estates in the Raheny area of the city over the weekend after receiving reports of an apparent scam involving door-to-door callers and a dead rat.

Officers are urging householders in the area to be on the alert for suspicious callers. The suspected scammers attempted to carry out the con at a number of addresses in the area, it’s believed. 

In one instance, the attempted scam took place over two days last week at an established estate in the north Dublin suburb. 

Endangered species

2. The European Commission has claimed that Ireland is failing to manage its network of protected nature sites in line with EU law in proceedings lodged before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). 

Last year, the European Commission started infringement procedures against Ireland for failure to fulfil its obligations under EU environmental law to designate 217 ‘Sites of Community Interest’ (SCIs) as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) within a strict six-year time period. 

In records just published, the Commission claims that Ireland “generally and persistently failed to comply with [the Habitats Directive] by establishing conservation measures.

RTE resignation

3. The CEO of a production company has resigned from the RTÉ board just two months into his term.

Larry Bass said he issued his resignation to the Arts and Culture Minister Catherine Martin after he attended his first RTÉ board meeting last Thursday.

“In the interests of my business and that of RTÉ I decided to resign. I have tendered my resignation to the Minister,” Bass said. 

Where’s Wally

4. Wally the walrus, who has been all over Europe, is believed to be journeying home to the Arctic after being seen in Iceland on Sunday

The Arctic Walrus was originally spotted lounging on rocks at Valentia Island back in March, before being seen off the coast of several other European countries, including England, France and Spain over the course of several months.

The most recent sighting occurred around Courtmacsherry and Clonakilty Bay in West Cork about 22 days ago.

Canadian elections

5. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party will win the most seats in the country’s election.

Trudeau gambled on an early election in a bid to win a majority of seats in Parliament, but it was not clear if he would do so.

The 49-year-old channelled the star power of his father, the Liberal icon and late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, when he first won election in 2015 and now appears to have led his party to the top finish in two elections since.

Russian mercenaries

6. France’s Defence minister has warned Mali that hiring paramilitaries from Russian private-security firm Wagner would isolate the country internationally, during a visit to the Sahel state.

Florence Parly told reporters yesterday that if Mali hired the firm, at a time when international partners fighting jihadism in the Sahel “had never been so numerous, such a choice would be that of isolation”.

Parly’s meeting with her Malian counterpart Colonel Sadio Camara follows a previous warning to Bamako from its former colonial power last week, after reports that Mali’s army-dominated government was close to hiring 1,000 Wagner paramilitaries.

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7. An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead for a €235 million 590 unit build-to-rent apartment scheme for a site at Charlestown and St Margaret’s Road in north Dublin.

The grant of permission to the Puddenhill Property Ltd scheme south of the Charlestown shopping centre is one of two Dublin-based Strategic Housing Development (SHD) schemes to secure planning permission on Monday. 

Taoiseach visits New York

8. Taoiseach Micheál Martin visited the 9/11 memorial site in New York yesterday evening.

The 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan, as well as on the Pentagon and on board United Airlines Flight 93, saw 2,977 people lose their lives – including six Irish citizens.

After meeting yesterday with the Governor of New York Kathy Hochul, the Taoiseach walked around the north and south pools of the site, where the names of each victim are inscribed.

AstraZeneca build

9. AstraZeneca has announced plans to build an advanced manufacturing facility in Blanchardstown, Dublin, creating up to 100 jobs.

At a cost of over €300 million, the biopharmaceutical company behind the Covid-19 vaccine will establish a next-generation active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility for small molecules at the Alexion Campus in College Park.

The British-Swedish pharmaceutical outfit said the new plant will “transform the development and commercialisation of new medicines” and create about 100 highly skilled jobs in science and engineering.

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