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The 5 at 5 5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock.

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

1. #GE11: While announcing the transferral of cabinet portfolios from resigning to current ministers this afternoon, Cowen also announced the election will be held on 11 March. Five Fianna Fáil ministers will now be doubling up on departments. John Gormley has confirmed the Green Party will stay in government and is committed to seeing the Finance Bill through.

However, the day’s drama may not be over yet, as a Fianna Fáil source tells that backbenchers may be planning a renewed heave against Cowen.

2. #LIMERICK: A man in his 30s hijacked a car from outside a shopping centre in Limerick today, while three children were sitting inside. After ordering two children out, the man drove off with a three-year-old boy still in the backseat. After later releasing this child, the man was pursued by gardaí, shot at, and arrested.

3. #MAURITIUS: A South African businesswoman has come forward to claim she was beaten and raped at a luxury hotel in Mauritius while staying there in June 2009. She says she could not identify her alleged attacker, but wants to warn female tourists about security on the island.

4. #SWINE FLU: The number of swine flu-related deaths in Northern Ireland has reached 21 since November, according to Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency. It says 18 of those had underlying health problems.

5. #CORRIB PIPELINE: An Bord Pleanála has approved an application for the final section of the controversial Corrib pipeline running through the project’s north Mayo site.

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