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The 9 at 9 Irish flee Sudan, Bord Gáis cuts prices, and a “dog’s dinner” communication strategy.



Here’s all the news you need to know as you start your day.


1. In our lead story this morning, Niall O’Connor reports that more than 350 Irish people and their dependents have had to leave Sudan as the ongoing war has become chaotic, with more than 9,000 people dead so far in the conflict. 

One security expert for an Irish aid agency has warned that violence against women and tribal attacks are now taking place at a greater scale than they were, particularly in the west of the country. 

Paul Westbury, who is based in Africa and is working on Sudan for GOAL, said it has become significantly difficult for aid agencies to move around the country as road networks have become unsafe and critical infrastructure has collapsed. 


2. Bord Gáis Energy has announced a price cut for residential electricity and gas customers, with bills set to reduce by 10% for electricity and 9.5% for gas from 29 February. 

This will be the second price cut from the biggest electricity supplier in four months.

It also comes after SSE Airtricity dropped its prices in December and Electric Ireland announced earlier this week it is to drop its prices in March. 

Energy poverty

3. Meanwhile, calls for help with energy poverty to St. Vincent de Paul increased by 68% between 2021 and 2023.

SVP and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland will later address the Social Protection Committee on energy poverty, specifically in reference to the retrofitting of homes and the suitability of the fuel allowance to meet people’s needs.

Chilling Effect

4. TDs and Senators will hear at a committee meeting today that costly defamation proceedings bring major risks for news publications in Ireland.

The Oireachtas Committee on Culture and Media is meeting this afternoon to discuss conflict resolution mechanisms outside of the courts system for handling media-related complaints.

It follows years of concerns raised by democracy and media experts who say that defamation proceedings in Ireland have a chilling effect on the media.


5. The government’s communications strategy on migration has been described as a “dog’s dinner” at Fine Gael’s first parliamentary party meeting of the new year.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar came under pressure from a number of TDs and senators in his own party today who raised the issue of migration, with some criticising the lack of a government plan for sourcing accommodation for asylum seekers across the country.


Deliveries of medicines for Israeli hostages and Palestinian civilians are expected to start arriving in Gaza today under a deal mediated by Qatar and France, after a night of deadly bombardments in the territory’s south.


7. A number of opposition parties are to table amendments to the wording of the upcoming referendums on care and family. 

Legislation to approve the referendums is due to be debated in the Dáil today and in the Seanad next week. 


8. Chiedozie Ogbene fired Luton Town into the fourth round of the FA Cup and an all-Premier League clash with either Everton or Crystal Palace.


9. Lawyers for former US President Donald Trump have foreshadowed elements of their defence in the criminal case which charges him with illegally retaining classified documents.

The lawyers said in a motion filed that they will dispute prosecutors’ allegations that the estate where the records were stored was not secure.

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