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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C

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

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

1. #ATHLONE: The centre of Athlone town has been evacuated this evening following a suspected gas explosion in the town. Two buildings – a pub and an auctioneers – in the St Mary’s Square area of the town remain on fire and traffic diversions are in place.

2. #BANK CHARGES: Consumer groups have criticised Bank of Ireland’s plans to introduce new charges on current accounts from next February. BOI announced today that customers must have at least €1,000 going into their accounts every month, and current account holders who do not make at least nine payments every three months will have to pay fees.

3. #ROADS: Ireland’s network of motorways linking regional cities to Dublin has now been fully completed, following this afternoon’s opening of the final stretch of the M7 between Borris-in-Ossory.

Workers on the final stretch of road had threatened to tear up their work if they were not given their final wage packets, claiming they had not been paid since November 1.

4. #BRRR: Dublin Airport is slowly working through its backlog of curtailed flights after the east coast escaped any fresh snowfall today. Ryanair has commissioned 14 extra flights to and from Dublin Airport tomorrow in attempts to get stranded passengers home in time for Christmas.

5. #AN POST: Some Christmas parcels – and last minute eBay purchases – may not make it to their intended recipients in time for Christmas, after An Post warned that the bad weather could delay deliveries.