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The 9 at 9: Friday

Ireland’s French ambassador on Russia’s military exercise, PPSN backlog, and a famous turkey hits out at RTÉ.

Image: Shutterstock/DUSAN ZIDAR

Updated Jan 28th 2022, 9:00 AM


It is Friday, so well done to everyone on that.

1. Ireland ambassador on Russia tensions

The French ambassador to Dublin has said the Russian naval tests off Ireland are “unhelpful, not welcome” and offered his country’s support to Ireland.

Vincent Guérend spoke to The Journal about the security concerns of the French Government around the Irish coast.

2. CAMHS scandal

The CEO of the HSE Paul Reid has told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that there were failings of clinical governance and oversight, as well as organisational issues, in relation to the inappropriate prescribing and treatment of children who required mental health treatment in the Kerry area.

When asked if those in charge of oversight of CAMHS Kerry services will be disciplined, Reid said that the report did not recommend what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken in relation to those involved.

3. PPSN backlog

The Department of Social Protection has said it will put extra resources in place to deal with a backlog of nearly 5,000 applications for Personal Public Service Numbers.

4. 300 new jobs for Limerick

A leading US healthcare and bio pharmaceutical firm employing 2,300 people in Cork, has announced it will create an additional 800 jobs developing a €400m manufacturing facility in Limerick, subject to planning permission.

5. Devastation by Storm Ana

The death toll from a storm that struck three southern African countries rose to 77 yesterday as emergency teams battled to repair damaged infrastructure and help tens of thousands of victims. Tropical Storm Ana made landfall on Monday in Madagascar before ploughing into Mozambique and Malawi.

6. Boris Johnson and partygate

Boris Johnson’s wait for the findings of an official inquiry into lockdown-busting parties in No 10 and Whitehall continues, with the UK Prime Minister insisting he was not responsible for any delay to the report.

The announcement of a Scotland Yard investigation into some of the alleged parties – based in part on the evidence uncovered in the civil servant Sue Gray inquiry – has complicated the process, with police and officials wrangling over anything which could prejudice a criminal case.

The Prime Minister travelled to North Wales rather than wait in No 10 for Gray’s report.

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7. The Brexit latest

Business groups in Northern Ireland said they are “hopeful” that a deal between the UK and the EU can be reached on the NI Protocol, following a meeting with Liz Truss.

8. Rescue effort called off in Florida

The United States Coast Guard ended its search for over 30 missing people yesterday after a boat capsized off the Florida coast last weekend in a suspected human smuggling tragedy.

One man who was rescued after being found clinging to a capsized vessel said they had left the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas on Saturday with 39 others, none of whom were wearing lifejackets.

9. The Den

Two former stars of RTÉ’s children’s programme The Den have criticised the fact that the show ended and was not brought back. Presenter Ray D’Arcy said on his afternoon radio show yesterday that he’s still “perplexed” that the hugely popular show did not continue.

Dustin the Turkey, D’Arcy’s former The Den co-star, didn’t hold back either. The Sun has reported him as saying: “I’ve always said this, there’s only three things RTÉ can’t do, right: ­television, radio and orchestras.

“It’s one of those things, ‘Do they really need The Den?’ They’ve got Nationwide, the Angelus and Daithí Ó Sé. So I don’t know if RTE need a show that rated out of the sky, that everyone loved, that was absolutely brilliant.”

It comes after Brendan Griffin questioned RTÉ director general Dee Forbes at an Oireachtas Committee yesterday about why The Den hasn’t returned, and why the New Year’s Eve countdown was late.

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