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The 9 at 9 Further delays to overhaul of mental health legislation, a county council targets mayoral expenses, and a murder charge in Northern Ireland.



Here’s all the news you need to know as you start your day.

The Morning Lead

1. A vital overhaul of Ireland’s mental health legislation may not happen before the next general election, the head of the national coalition for mental health has warned.

Fiona Coyle, CEO of Mental Health Reform, tells The Journal that the protracted delay in publishing the Mental Health Amendment Bill is “completely unacceptable”, adding that the Government has been drafting the legislation “since 2016″.

The long-awaited legislation would update the Mental Health Act 2001.

Mayoral expenses

2. A county council has been told by a State auditor that it should consider targeting its deputy mayor’s expenses to help it recoup some of the €739,000 in costs arising from clearing a toxic waste dump operated by the politician’s company.

It follows criticism of the council by the auditor, from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, for allegedly not pursuing Councillor Declan Doocey over the site owned by his company in west Waterford.

UN tensions

3. UN Chief Antonio Guterres has pleaded for donor states to “guarantee the continuity” of the body’s Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) after several halted funding over accusations of staff involvement in Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.

“While I understand their concerns – I was myself horrified by these accusations – I strongly appeal to the governments that have suspended their contributions to, at least, guarantee the continuity of UNRWA’s operations,” Guterres said.

Murder charge

4. A man has been charged in connection with the murder of Kevin Conway, who was shot in Co Antrim earlier this month.

The 27-year-old man will appear before Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Yesterday police in Northern Ireland arrested another man, a 53-year-old, and he remains in custody. A third man who was arrested is on bail.

Fatal crash

5. A man has died after a single vehicle crash in Co Roscommon.

Shortly before 2pm yesterday, gardaí and emergency services responded to a collision on a local road in Frenchpark.

he driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, a man in his late 70s, was taken by ambulance to Sligo University Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.


6. Monaghan beat Dublin 3-19 to 1-14 yesterday, while Derry overpowered Kerry by just one point, 0-15 to 2-8.

Finish election

7. Finns are heading to the polls today to elect a new president, an office whose importance has grown on increased tensions with neighbouring Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

Two top politicians lead the pack of nine candidates: former conservative prime minister Alexander Stubb, and ex-foreign minister Pekka Haavisto of the Green Party who is running as an independent.

Delayed inquiry

8. A patient group and opposition TDs have expressed disappointment at the delay in appointing a chairperson to lead the inquiry into the historical use of sodium valproate, prescribed as an anti-epilepsy drug to women while pregnant.

The inquiry into the historical licensing and use of the drug in Ireland was approved by Cabinet in July 2023, almost three years after Health Minister Stephen Donnelly committed to holding an inquiry into the drug.

Without a chairperson, however, the inquiry cannot begin. 


9. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza has said that at least 26,422 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since the war with Israel broke out on 7 October, AFP reports.

A ministry statement said at least 165 people were killed over the previous 24 hours, while another 65,087 have been wounded since the fighting began.

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