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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

Take 5: Thursday

5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock.

Image: islandjoe via Creative Commons

EVERY WEEKDAY evening, brings you the five things you should know by 5pm.

1. #ÁRAS11: Labour’s Michael D Higgins is holding a 12-point lead in the race to become Irelands’ next president, according to the RedC poll commissioned by Paddy Power. Higgins is currently enjoying a 36 per cent share of the first preference votes – with Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell coming in second, on 24 per cent.

2. #OOPS: The campaign teams of presidential hopefuls Gay Mitchell and Mary Davis will have some explaining to do tonight – after it appears that both sides have managed to come up with exactly the same campaign slogan. Both Davis and Mitchell have decided to tout the phrase: “Pride at home, respect abroad” – although it’s not yet clear who came up with it first.

3. #BLOOD BAN: Ireland will not lift its ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) – despite Britain making a move to do so.

In the 1980s, both jurisdictions banned the donation of blood from MSM in order to reduce the risk of donated blood containing HIV. Today, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service said that its decision was “not based on sexuality or orientation” but that MSM were still considered to be among those who have “a particularly high risk of carrying blood-borne viruses”.

4. # ECB: The President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, has shared his belief that Ireland is on the road to economic recovery – saying the country is “gaining credibility regularly (and) increasing its creditworthiness”.

5. #BLAA BLAA BLAA: After suffering hundreds more job losses, with the announcement of the upcoming closure of the Talk Talk call centre, Waterford city needs a little good news. Well, this might raise a smile or two: one of the region’s most unique delicacies - the blaa – is being considered for a special EU designation.

If the humble, floury bap gains the status European Protected Geographical Integrity, it will mean no foodstuff made outside the city can bear the same name. Up the Deise!

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