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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020
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The 9 at 9: Friday

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.

Image: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day:

1. #REFERENDUM: Well, today’s the day – as count staff around the country prepare to open, sort and count the votes of up to 3.13 million voters in the Fiscal Compact referendum. There won’t be nearly that many ballot papers though – there are wide reports of a slow turn-out, which could struggle to hit 50 per cent, and that itself could be the deciding factor. (This morning we’re also asking: How did you vote?)

2. #DRUGS: Three men will appear in court this morning charged in relation to yesterday’s drug seizures in West Dublin and Meath. Cannabis plants worth an estimated €100,000 were recovered in the raid. Two others arrested yesterday remain in Garda custody.

3. #QUANGO: The government has confirmed its plan to scrap the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, the body largely responsible for the purchase of the former Irish Glass Bottle Factory site in Ringsend. The announcement from Phil Hogan came after the state spending watchdog found that the DDDA had received government backing to make a €220m bid – but ended up buying it for €412m.

4. #BANKS: ECB president Mario Draghi has added his voice to calls for the proposed new permanent bailout fund, the ESM, to be able to lend directly to banks – an argument previously made by Enda Kenny and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy.

5. #MORTGAGES: Staying with the ECB – at least one bank reckons there could be good news for mortgage holders next week. The Irish Independent points to research from Danske Bank, which says the ECB’s key interest rate could be cut to 0.75 per cent – meaning an immediate cut for anyone in a tracker mortgage.

6. #VISITATION: The Cardinal who led the Apostolic Visitation to Ireland last year has been accused of clearing payments to abusive priests as an incentive for them to leave the priesthood. The New York Times says Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, approved the payments in a previous post in Milwaukee. Dolan has declined to comment.

7. #TO WHOM IT CONCERNS: The world’s longest-running chat show celebrates its 50th birthday this evening, with Gay Byrne and Pat Kenny on hand to join Ryan Tubridy in marking The Late Late Show’s half-century. Here’s our collection of six memorable moments from its history.

8. #ROADS:  Gardaí have urged drivers to take extra care on the roads this weekend, saying there is still a “considerable level” of non-compliance of traffic laws. For example, 3,266 people were prosecuted for drink-driving in the first three months of this year alone.

9. #SCORCHIO: You might not think it given this morning’s miserable weather, but Repak reckons Ireland will plough through no fewer than 75,000 disposable barbecues this summer. The Bank Holiday-timed estimate comes as the campaign asks people to recycle their unused ones – warning that two tonnes of aluminium is set for landfill otherwise.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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