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

EVERY DAY, brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS Fine Gael and Labour will put their focus on presidential candidate Séan Gallagher in their effort to get Michael D Higgins into the Áras. That’s according to today’s Sunday Independent, which says the strategy is happening behind the scenes and comes after Fine Gael candidate Gay Mitchell failed to connect with voters. The paper says the parties are to focus attention on Gallagher’s past association with Fianna Fail.

2. #FRANCE France’s Socialists will take to the polls today for the first round of voting to determine which of six possible candidates will take on President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s presidential elections. Polls show former Socialist party leader Francois Hollande with a clear lead, with the party’s current head Martine Aubry in second. In a first for France, primary voting is open to all registered voters, not just Socialist party members.

3. #WASHINGTON PROTEST The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, USA, was closed yesterday after anti-war demonstrators swarmed the building to protest a drone exhibit and security guards used pepper spray to repel them. Between 100 to 200 people tried to enter the National Mall museum. When a security guard stopped them from entering, saying they could not bring in signs, he was apparently held by demonstrators. A second guard who arrived used pepper spray on at least one person and the crowd dispersed.

4. #ROSCOMMON FIRE The woman who was questioned over the fire in Boyle, Co Roscommon last week has been released. She was questioned over the fire in which a young girl, Mari Connolly, died six days ago. The Sunday World says another person, the suspected arsonist, is well known to the gardaí and set the fire in revenge for  a love tryst that the Connolly family were not involved in.

5. #DEATH THREAT A death threat was made against Sunday Independent columnist Eoghan Harris, Niamh Horan reports in today’s edition of that paper. She writes that a caller to Independent News and Media, purporting to be a supporter of Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, referred to an article Mr Harris wrote entitled ‘Ten Reasons not to vote for Martin McGuinness’ and said Harris “should be shot” for what he is writing about the presidential candidate. The call was reported to the gardaí.

6. #RACHEL O’REILLY Joe O’Reilly, the convicted killer of his wife Rachel, could launch a legal bid for freedom from his life sentence, today’s Sunday World reports. The claim centres on a ‘legal twist’ that involves an investigation into a book of evidence left in the jury room during O’Reilly’s trial.

7. #WALLACE ACC bank is to launch new legal proceedings against TD and property developer Mick Wallace, today’s Sunday Business Post says. It reports the judgements against Wallace and his company, M&J Wallace, are over debts of almost €20 million owed to the bank. Wallace told the paper there is “no money in it” for the bank but he’ll have to wait and see.

8. #REVENUE The Revenue Commissioners are investigating whether tax should be paid on allowances paid by gardaí every year. The Sunday Business Post reports that almost €1 billion has been paid in allowances to gardaí since 2007. Rent allowance for gardaí costs the state almost €60 million every year.

9. #MACCA WEDDING Today’s the day – when Beatle Paul McCartney weds for the third time. He will tie the knot with heiress American Nancy Shevell at a registry office in Westminster, London today. Today’s Irish Daily Mail says that McCartney will pay tribute to his late first wife Linda – but that there will be no mention of his second wife, Heather Mills. The couple divorced in 2008. Together, Shevell and McCartney have a combined fortune of €820m, according to the Daily Mail.

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