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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things you need to know by 9am: Fine Gael experiences a surge in support; son of Libyan leader warns the country is on the brink of a civil war in which thousands could die; and the separated husband of the Irishwoman who won €17 million on the New York lotto is to sue her for his share.

Every morning, brings you nine things you really need to know with your bowl of porridge.

1. #GE11: As campaigning enters its final days, support for Fine Gael has surged – it’s enjoying twice as much support as its nearest rival, Labour, according to the latest IPSOS/MRBI poll for the Irish Times. Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil’s slide in support has halted, and the party is up by one point to 16 per cent. Enda Kenny was last night forced to give up his €100,000 teaching pension pay off – including contributions he made to to the pension pot, the Irish Independent reports – after he was accused by Micheal Martin of ‘rank hypocrisy’. However, Pat Carey and Mary Hanafin have both said they won’t be giving up their teaching pensions.

2. #LIBYA: At least 200 people have now been killed as the military viciously cracked down on protesters in Libya over the weekend. Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Sayf al-Islam, has warned that the country is on the verge of civil war in which thousands could die. However, he also admitted that the military had overreacted, and said he’d be prepared to agree on a new flag or anthem. Libyan people in Ireland are to hand in a letter to the department of foreign affairs today calling on the Irish government to clearly and absolutely condemn the Libyan government.

3. #CLERICAL ABUSE: The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and the Catholic Archbishop of Boston, Sean O’Malley yesterday washed the feet of a number of victims of abuse at the hands of the clergy in an “act of humble service” at the Pro-Cathedral, the Irish Times reports. Readings including excerpts from the Murphy and Ryan reports, and were read by victims and relatives, the Independent adds. At the service, Archbishop Martin said he “apologised “in my own name” for “the insensitivity and even hurtful and nasty reactions that you have encountered. I appeal to you to continue to speak out. There is still a long path to journey in honesty before we can truly merit forgiveness.”

4. #ASSAULT: Gardaí investigating an alleged assault on a hospital porter are preparing a file for the DPP on a senior Munster rugby player. Porter Aidan Lanigan had his thumb broken during the incident. Doug Howlett was arrested at the scene on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and cautioned – but the file being prepared for the DPP does not relate to him, the Independent reports.

5. #CRUSHED: Sean Fitzpatrick’s beamer is set to be crushed on Friday after an anonymous individual paid €3,150 for the right to push the button to destroy the vehicle, the Examiner reports.

6. #ENERGY DRINKS: A paper in the journal Pediatrics has warned over the long-term health effects of energy drinks like Red Bull. The authors say doctors should be aware of the safety issues surrounding energy drinks, particularly for children and teenagers with heart problems, diabetes and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and say that the potential problems include heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and even sudden death.  Meanwhile, the Examiner reports that a consultant doctor in emergency medicine has warned about the dangers of combing Red Bull with alcohol, especially Jagermeister, after so-called Jagerbombs have been banned in Australia. “If it fuels anything, it is the overcrowding in our A&E,” he said. However, a spokesperson for Red Bull said “The EU’s food safety authorities spent 10 years thoroughly examining energy drinks and concluded that the key ingredients [taurine and glucuronolactone] are of no concern.”

7. #ESTONIA: A fire has swept through a home for disabled children in Western Estonia, killing ten, the BBC reports.

8. #MUMBAI: The Mumbai high court has upheld the death penalty for the sole surviving gunman of the deadly 2008 assault on the city.

9. #LOTTO: Jamie Eisel, the separated husband of the Irish woman, Patricia Daley Eisel, who won €17 million on the New York lottery, is set to sue her for his share, because their divorce was not finalised before her win. Ironworker Jamie left Patricia, with whom he has three children, and is living with a new girlfriend. One waitress told The New York Post after her win: “They had a contentious relationship. I bet [Jamie's] sorry now. She looks better than she ever did. She looks like she’s glowing.”

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