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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things you should know this morning…

EVERY DAY, brings you nine things we think you really ought to know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #VATICAN: Victims’ groups have dismissed the Vatican’s long-awaited response to the Cloyne report as “pure spin”. Campaigner Andrew Madden told the Irish Examiner the Holy See’s statement was a “very legalistic, technical” attempt to escape responsibility for covering up clerical child abuse. His words come after Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore both rejected elements of the Vatican statement.

2. #WELFARE: The upcoming Budget will include cuts in welfare spending, Eamon Gilmore has told the Irish Times – despite pledging earlier in the year that there would be no such reductions. Gilmore told the paper his earlier commitment had been “misinterpreted”, as he was simply repeating the contents of the programme for government.

3. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS: A campaign to have Independent Senator David Norris re-enter the presidential race will step up a gear this week, with members of We Want Norris hitting streets in Irish cities to gather public signatures on a petition. The campaign’s website has already collected 6,500 names. Senator Norris was forced to withdraw from the race when it emerged he had appealed for clemency for his former partner, who was convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy.

4. #SCHOOLS: Education minister Ruairí Quinn has urged parents to stand for election to school boards to combat the “historical legacy” of dominance by the Catholic Church. However, he insisted to the Irish Daily Mail that his call, which comes before 22,000 school board positions are voted on next month, was not an attempt at “subversive takeover” of the school system.

5. #WATERFORD: A 39-year-old woman found fatally injured by the side of a road in Waterford may jumped from a moving car – with post mortem results showing she could have sustained the injuries by hitting the road at speed, the Irish Times reports. A 29-year-old man who was being held in connection with the death on Saturday night has been released, according to RTÉ.

6. #COLLEGES: Irish universities have fallen in the influential QS world rankings. Trinity dropped 13 places to 65th in the world, with UCD down 20 at 134 and NUI Galway falling more than 60 places to 298th. However, UCC bucked the trend – climbing to 181 and becoming Ireland’s first “five-star” university.

7. #RED LIGHTS: Drivers in Dublin will soon have to contend with Ireland’s first traffic light enforcement camera – designed to catch and fine motorists who run red lights, Cian Ginty reports in the Irish Independent. The camera will be tried out on two junctions where roads cross the Luas tracks after a number of collisions between cars and trams.

8. #LIBYA: Rebels have surrounded the town of Bani Walid, one of Muammar Gaddafi loyalists’ last remaining strongholds in Libya, and are poised to launch an assault after talks broke down last night. David Smith reports for the Guardian that there is a growing humanitarian crisis in the blockaded town, which is suffering water shortages and has had no electricity for a week. A rebel spokesperson has suggested that Gaddafi’s sons Saif and Saadi could among trapped loyalist forces.

9. #FAKE TWEETS: Two people in Mexico are facing 30-year jail sentences on terrorism charges after tweeting that gunmen were abducting children from schools in Veracruz state. The tweets – which were false – sparked widespread panic, causing 26 car accidents and leading some parents to abandon cars in the middle of the road in the rush to rescue their kids, local police told the Associated Press.

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