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

EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, brings you five things you need to know before 5 o’clock…

1. #JOBS Ulster Bank is to cut 600 jobs in the Republic and 350 in Northern Ireland as part of cost cutting operations. The bank currently employs over 6,000 people on both sides of the border. The biggest union at the company has said it is alarmed by the scale of the cuts.

2. #ENDA KENNY: The Taoiseach has held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London today and expressed his disappointment that Britain opted out of the EU fiscal compact in December. Kenny also gave a speech saying that Ireland faces huge challenges – but he believes that Irish people will be able to overcome them. Read the speech here.

3. #CALLELY: Taxpayers could be left footing the bill for almost €500,000 in legal fees over a case in which former Fianna Fáil politician Ivor Callely appealed to the High Court over his suspension from the Seanad in 2010.

4. #FLOODING: Less than 800 claims totalling €357,000 have been made to a €10 million emergency assistance fund set up by the government after heavy floods struck parts of the east coast in October. Two people died and serious damage was caused by the unexpected flooding which struck on 24 October last year. The total cost of insurance claims has hit €127 million, the Irish Insurance Federation has said.

5. #LONELY PLANET: The latest edition of travel guidebook Lonely Planet has said Ireland is a good place to visit – but that Irish people are “fatalistic and pessimistic to the core”. Ouch. Are they wrong? Our poll results suggest a lot of readers agree with the claim…

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