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Thursday 1 June 2023 Dublin: 14°C
The 5 at 5 Five things you need to know: an unforeseen increase in mortgage defaults, an unforeseeable increase in forest fires, but no planned flattening of Liberty Hall for now.

Every afternoon, brings you five things you really need to know at 5 o’clock.

1. #MORTGAGES: Defaults among Irish mortgage holders have more than doubled in the past year, according to ratings agency Moody’s, which said that 1.65 of mortgages had been unpaid for over a year as of last December – compared to 0.7 per cent in the year before.

2. #LIBYA: At least 24 protesters were killed, with many others wounded, by Libyan security forces on what has been dubbed the country’s ‘Day of Rage’. Demonstrators had been seeking political reforms and an end to corruption, but the country’s government – led by Colonel Muanmar Gaffadi – says the country’s people enjoy a fully-functional democracy.

3. #LIBERTY HALL: SIPTU has decided to withdraw a planning application to demolish its current Liberty Hall complex and replace it with a new environmentally-friendly 20-storey building, after the application ran into “detailed design issues”.

The union said it had tried to resolve the matters in time, but that “time simply ran out on us” – causing the application to be withdrawn, with the intention of submitting it again in the coming months.

4. #FIRE: There was a “dramatic increase” in the number of land and forest fires in Ireland last year, according to Coillte. Around 780 hectares of forestry land was destroyed last year, it said, causing around €3.5m in damage – a significant increase on the levels in previous years.

On the plus side, however, the ongoing firefighting at the Kerdiffstown landfill site in Co Kildare has now ended, though fire services are to keep watch on the site for the next seven days.

5. #TWEETSEATS: A quirky new ‘pop-up chicken restaurant’ in Dublin will allow customers to book seats using their Twitter account – and will offer every booking made through the site with a free chicken dish per person.

The ‘Crackbird’ restaurant in Temple Bar will open for twelve weeks and is being run by Joe Macken, proprietor of the popular Jo’Burger in Rathmines, who said it was time to “get off our asses” and do something positive. Bookings can be made by using the #tweetseats hashtag in tweets to @CrackBIRDdublin.