We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


The 9 at 9 Strikes bring the North to a standstill, lone parents to benefit from reforms, and the US launches more strikes on Yemen.



Here is all the news you need to know to start your day on this very cold Sunday morning.


1. In our lead story, Diarmuid Pepper reports that Northern Ireland could be brought to a standstill today due to a major public sector strike.

Unions in the North have been involved in long-running pay disputes, in some cases lasting for several years.

Workers are demanding that pay awards made to counterparts elsewhere in the UK are introduced in Northern Ireland.

Red Sea attacks

2. American forces targeted 14 missiles that were ready to launch in Yemen, the US military has said, after Washington re-designated the Iran-backed Huthi rebels as a “terrorist” entity for their attacks on merchant vessels.

The Huthis – who have already faced multiple rounds of air strikes in response to their targeting of international shipping – struck a US-owned bulk cargo carrier in the wake of the designation announcement, and vowed to continue attacks they say are in support of Palestinians in Gaza.

Community hotel

3. The government is considering purchasing a disused venue in Roscrea so locals can establish a “community-owned hotel”, after protesters there said that losing their only open hotel was a factor in their opposition to asylum seekers moving into the area. 

Some at the protest, which saw scuffles break out on the day that women and children seeking asylum were entering Racket Hall hotel, told The Journal that Roscrea depended on the hotel for local functions, events, and to attract tourists. 

If the Government plans to establish a community-owned hotel in the area go ahead, it could see the start of a new model of venue ownership that could help regenerate rural Irish towns and villages. 

Eimer McAuley looks at whether the community-owned hotel could actually work.

Lone parents

4. More than 16,000 lone parents are to benefit from what government are calling “landmark reforms” to the state’s child maintenance system.

The reforms will mean a single parent will no longer be required to go to court to seek child maintenance and the payments will be excluded from the social welfare means test.

Frosty weather

5. Met Éireann has warned that it will be another chilly day, with ice, frost and snow slow to fade.

A dry and sunny day is forecast for much of the country, but scattered showers of rain, sleet and snow in the northwest will spread across Ulster and north Connacht through the afternoon and evening.

Temperatures will reach highs of just 1 to 5 degrees in a light northwest breeze.


6. Pakistan has said it had carried out strikes against militant targets in Iran, after Tehran launched attacks on Pakistani territory earlier this week.

Iranian state media reported three women and four children were killed in explosions in the country’s southeast.


7. Ireland defender Andrew Omobamidele marked his long-awaited Nottingham Forest debut with an early goal as the Premier League side beat Blackpool 3-2 after extra time to avoid an FA Cup shock.

UK deportation plans

8. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has successfully won the backing of the House of Commons for his bill that seeks to deport migrants from the United Kingdom to Rwanda.

The vote, which passed on its third attempt this evening, had 320 votes in favour and 276 against.

More than 60 rebellious Conservative Party members had previously voted against the bill – protesting that the bill was too weak and floating the idea to ignore European emergency injunctions.

Fear of AI

9. The Taoiseach is taking part in a panel discussion on the ‘hard power of artificial intelligence’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today. 

Leo Varadkar arrived in Davos yesterday and his visit will extend to tomorrow. He has said that he will take advantage of the nexus of business and global leaders attending the event to promote Ireland’s economic interests, and also to engage on the need for a ceasefire in war torn Gaza. 

The Davos conference has already featured some controversy. Yesterday Argentina’s new libertarian President Javier Milei slammed socialism as a “threat” to the West in a fiery speech to political and business elites. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel