The 9 at 9 Nine things to know by 9am: Reports that dole could be cut, Mayo Garda station in firebomb attack, Robbie helps Galaxy to MLS glory, and the anniversary we’d rather forget

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you need to know before 9am…

1. #BUDGET 2012: The government may be on the verge of backing out of its pledge not to cut social welfare rates – with the Irish Independent this morning reporting that the dole could be cut by €8 per week. The report follows yesterday’s suggestions that child benefit was also set to be cut. On RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, junior minister Jan O’Sullivan explained that child benefit was not a ‘basic’ social welfare payment and was therefore not covered by the government’s pledge.

2. #FIREBOMB: A 25-year-old man is to appear in court this morning charged with an arson attack on a Co Mayo garda station over the weekend. A man entered the lobby of Castlebar station at around 4am on Sunday morning and threw a flaming object at the two staff on duty, who were unharmed.

3. #CHRISTMAS: New research from the Irish League of Credit Unions has found that some families will take seven months to pay off their extra Christmas spending. The league has urged people not to turn to moneylenders if they are short over the festive season – hoping that Santa will be the only one in the red this Christmas.

4. #FOG: The travel plans of thousands are in chaos this morning as London’s airports remain affected by heavy fog. Flights to and from Irish airports are among those affected, and passengers are advised to get in touch with their airlines before heading for the airport.

5. #SPAIN: The Popular Party has lived up to its name – winning an absolute majority in the Spanish parliamentary elections, and kicking out the socialist government of former prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The centre-right party topped the poll by some 16 per cent and makes Mariano Rajoy the new premier. Spain now follows Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Italy in changing its government as a result of the European debt  crisis.

6. #UCD: Not the UCD in Dublin, but the one in Davis, California… students have demanded the resignation of school chancellor Linda Katehi after an Occupy protest was broken up by police who sprayed military-grade pepper spray on peaceful demonstrators. It is thought that Katehi had approved the use of force to break up the protest, but that she has apologised for the action.

7. #BAILOUT: It’s the anniversary we’d rather forget: it was a year ago today that Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan sat down in the government press centre and told the country that we were being bailed out by the EU and IMF. To mark the ignominious birthday we’ve put together a selection of quotes – charting the bailout from denial to deal – and a gallery of how those dramatic weeks played out.

8. #DREAM COME TRUE: We can all be harsh on Robbie Keane sometimes, but he’s had a pretty good year this year. Not only did he captain Ireland to the 2011 Carling Nations Cup and to Euro 2012 qualification, he’s now gone one better and won the MLS title with his new club LA Galaxy. The so-called ‘holy trinity’ of Keane, Landon Donovan and David Beckham – who was playing what could be his last game for the side – were all involved in setting up the only goal of the game:

Video from  on YouTube

9. #GINGERS: Janet Devlin’s made it through to the last five in this year’s X Factor… and perhaps this is why: a new survey commissioned by Garnier has found that ‘fiery red’ is Ireland’s favourite hair colour – with Irish men viewing red-haired ladies as the fiercest, most spontaneous and the best in bed. They also believe gingers to be the least honest and genuine, however – with many thinking of redhead women as ‘short-term girlfriends’.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    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.