February 01: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Gardaí investigate alleged assault at migrant camp in Ashtown
Gardaí have opened a criminal investigation into an alleged assault at a migrant camp in Ashtown, Dublin over the weekend. It follows an incident in which a group of men arrived at the encampment, which comprised about 15 tents on the banks of the Tolka River just before 1pm on Saturday shouting to the migrants to “pack up and get out now”. The Irish Times had just left the camp having interviewed the residents – most of them EU nationals – about the camp and homelessness, and returned on seeing the group arrive. When asked why they were at the camp, the men – all of whom were Irish – alleged the residents had been involved in an assault locally. A number of the men who arrived had dogs, including a German shepherd and a pitbull terrier. One wore a black balaclava, while another carried a baseball bat and allegedly used it to assault a young Polish man who has been camping at the site since last year. The young man’s injuries were treated in the Mater hospital over the weekend. In a statement on Tuesday, a Garda spokesman said: “Gardaí are investigating an alleged assault that occurred in the River Road, Ashtown, Dublin 15 on Saturday, January 28th, 2023. No arrests have been made. Investigations are ongoing.”
The Irish Times
Ireland three years past deadline to send long-term climate strategy to European Union
Ireland has failed again to publish a long-term climate strategy planning out the country’s approach to the climate crisis, three years after an EU deadline to do so. The Department of Environment plans to submit a draft strategy to the European Commission in the first quarter of this year, The Journal has learned. However, the government has repeatedly fallen short of previous promises to get the strategy finished, including a commitment in November to complete the process by the end of 2022. Additionally, it does not expect to submit the final version of the strategy to the Commission until the last quarter of 2023.
Up to 12,000 vulnerable people denied disability payment by State
The State denied up to 12,000 vulnerable people their disability allowance payments, RTÉ Investigates has learned. And if those vulnerable citizens sued the State for the payments, the legal advice was that their cases were likely to succeed. A secret memo prepared for the Cabinet in 2009 reveals that the State was told it could be facing up to €700 million in claims for maintenance payments from people with disabilities. The memo, which was obtained by RTÉ Investigates, also advised the State against conducting a trawl of HSE records to determine how many people were affected. It said that such an exercise would likely garner media attention and “could generate further claims which otherwise would not have been made”.
Enoch Burke fines reach €3,500 as he continues to show up at school after being dismissed
Enoch Burke has now racked up €3,500 in fines after arriving at the Westmeath school he was dismissed from for a sixth day in a row. Last Thursday he was informed by a judge that he would be fined €700 a day if he continued to disobey a court order to stay away from Wilson’s Hospital School in Multyfarnham. He was given a deadline of 2pm on Friday to obey the order. Mr Burke has continued to show up at the school since his suspension last August in a row over his refusal to agree to call a trans student by their preferred name and pronouns.
‘Green comet’ to be visible across Irish skies tonight
Stargazers will get a rare opportunity later on tonight, as a ‘green comet’ is set to be visible over earth for the first time since the stone age. The comet, officially known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF), was discovered by astronomers in March 2022 at the Zwicky Transient Facility in California. The glow being expelled from its head has led to the ‘green’ nickname, with the comet believed to have originated from the Oort cloud. Comets are ‘cosmic snowballs’ of frozen gases, rock, and dust that orbit the sun. It is set to be most visible over Ireland both tonight and tomorrow evening, with the comet set to streak across the skies for the first time in 50,000 years.
UK strikes: No 10 admits ‘very difficult’ day ahead as hundreds of thousands of workers walk out
Hundreds of thousands of workers are going on strike, in what will be the biggest day of industrial action for more than a decade. Teachers in England and Wales who are members of the National Education Union are set to stage walkouts – affecting 23,000 schools. Estimates from the NEU suggest 85% of schools across both nations will be fully or partially closed today, leaving some parents with no choice but to take leave from work or arrange childcare. Train drivers from the RMT and Aslef unions are also staging another strike as a long-running dispute over pay and conditions rumbles on – with university lecturers and bus drivers taking action too. About 123 government departments are set to be disrupted by industrial action as well. Protests are due to be held across the country against the government’s controversial plans for a new law on minimum service levels during strikes.
Today will be wet and blustery over much of Ulster with persistent rain. clearing northwards this evening. Mainly dry elsewhere with just some patchy light rain or drizzle. The best of any bright intervals will be in the south. Highest temperatures of 7 to 10 degrees in fresh gusty westerly winds, moderating during the evening. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with patchy light rain or drizzle and some hill fog. Lowest temperatures of 4 to 9 degrees, coldest in the southeast with mostly moderate to fresh west to southwest winds.