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The 9 at 9 Nine things to know by 9am…

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you should know with your morning coffee…

1. #BANKERS: Thousands of staff at bailed-out AIB are having their gym and golf club memberships paid for by the bank up to a maximum of €2,500 a year each, can reveal. The banks said the payment is a part of the employees’ contracts which cannot now be removed.

2. #REFERENDUM: Enda Kenny has said the upcoming fiscal treaty will be a decision on Ireland’s membership in the euro currency and the EU, according to the Irish Times. However, the IMF has made encouraging signals that Ireland could win a reduction on bank debt ahead of the ballot.

3. #FIANNA FÁIL: The Fianna Fáil ard fheis continues at Dublin’s RDS today, with a keynote address by party leader Micheál Martin tonight and debates on education and the economy. Last night Martin outlined key reforms for the party including “swift” action on the Mahon tribunal.

4. #STORMS: At least 28 people have been killed as violent storms hit towns in the US, flattening rows of homes and tossing vehicles into buildings. We’ve got a full report and video of the devastation here.

5. #CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: The troubled children’s hospital project could be relocated to a site near the existing Coombe Maternity Hospital in Dublin, according to a new proposal. The Irish Independent reports that the project could also be funded initially by governments in the Middle East and Asia.

6. #EMIGRATION: A town councillor from New Ross, Co Wexford has been allowed to retain his seat – despite having moved to Australia. According to the Irish Daily Star, Kevin Dwyer moved to Australia in September where he will retain his €4,000 annual stipend.

7. #SYRIA: Syrian regime forces are torturing, jailing and executing citizens in the city of Homs after rebels fled following a weeks-long siege, according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Ban has urged president Bashar al-Assad to allow aid workers in, Reuters reports.

8. #RING FORT: A farmer has been fined €25,000 for demolishing a 1,000-year-old ring fort on his land in Kerry. John O’Mahony, 64, hired workers to destroy the monument in 2008 two months after buying the land, according to RTÉ.

9. #PHONE JAMMER: Ever feel annoyed at someone on the bus yapping on their mobile? One Philadelphia man took action into his own hands, buying a phone signal jammer online and blocking people’s conversations around him. NBC News has an undercover video – and explains how he did it.

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