Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

The 9 at 9: Tuesday

Nine things you need to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you should know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #WEATHER WARNING As many people return to work following the Christmas break, Met Éireann has issued a weather warning this morning with winds gusting up to 140 kilometres per hour. Parts of the north and northwest are worst effected but heavy rain will give way to showers later this morning. Motorists are being urged to be careful of displaced objects such as bins or fallen trees on the road.

2. #FALLING Property prices continued to fall in the last quarter of 2011 according to new figures out this morning. and reported annual rates of decline of 13 per cent and 18 per cent respectively in 2011 overall. House prices are down by around half since the third quarter of 2006 when they hit their peak.

3. #FAILING In more bad economic news, new figures show that nearly 170 companies failed every month in 2011. That’s around five every day, according to Vision-net which reports that between January and December, 1,930 companies failed, a 20 per cent rise on 2010. Liquidations accounted for 73 per cent of the collapses.

4. #IOWA CAUCUS In the first test for the Republicans hoping to be their party’s US presidential nominee, the Iowa caucus gets underway tonight. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who failed to win the nomination in 2008, is the favourite but there has been a late surge from former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum with Texas congressman Ron Paul also polling strongly in the race to face Barack Obama in the autumn.

5. #MIDDLE EAST Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will meet in Jordan today in a bid to get negotiations between the two countries back underway although officials on both sides are playing down any prospect of talks resuming soon, BBC News reports. Peace deal negotiations reached an impasse in 2010 after Israel refused to freeze settlement building in the West Bank which it had done for ten months beforehand.

6. #REFERENDUM? The government is to revisit the possibility of running the referendum on expanding the investigative powers of the Oireachtas in the coming year, the Irish Examiner reports. Brendan Howlin has said that mistakes of the last referendum – narrowly defeated last October – would have to be learned from and that the issue would probably be looked at again later in the year.

7. #AUSTERITY Ireland is facing years of austerity beyond 2015, the ESRI think-tank has warned. Joe Durkan this morning backed-up the assessment of Richard Tol, who is leaving the body, saying that austerity budgets would not end after the bailout deal with the troika is due to finish three years from now.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

8. #KEANO RETURNS? Robbie Keane will gear up to lead the Boys in Green at Euro 2012 by togging out for Aston Villa as part of a two-month loan deal with the English side, the Irish Daily Star reports exclusively this morning. The striker moved to LA Galaxy last season but the paper reports that Ireland’s record goalscorer feels the move during the off-season in the US would be beneficial ahead of June’s finals in Poland and Ukraine.

9. #R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aretha Franklin has become engaged t0 her long-term friend Willie Wilkerson. The 69-year-old legendary soul singer said she was hoping to marry over the summer and joked: “No, I’m not pregnant, LOL!,” in a statement to AP. While there are no details of how the engagement came about, we reckon Franklin asked Wilkerson to Share Your Love With Me:

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next: