January 04: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Consultant warns hospitals working above 100% capacity is not safe and says 5,000 new beds are needed across the country
Ireland is experiencing “major overcrowding” which can lead to preventable death, according to a consultant in emergency medicine. Dr Peadar Gilligan from Beaumont Hospital said there are 34 patients in the emergency department this morning who have been admitted and are awaiting a hospital bed. The number of people waiting on a hospital bed hit a record high yesterday, with 931 patients across the country lying on trolleys.
Charlie Bird in ‘much worse situation’ as he provides health update
harlie Bird has said that his health is in a “much worse situation” as he continues to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND). The former RTÉ broadcaster was diagnosed towards the end of 2021, using his platform and profile since then to raise awareness and millions in fundraising for charity. Celebrating one year since he started planning the Climb With Charlie initiative, which saw him scale Croagh Patrick in Mayo, Charlie took to social media on Tuesday with his latest health update. He explained that while he is “not giving up the fight”, his health has deteriorated.
The Irish Examiner
‘Cool off’ in housing demand predicted as prices fall in final quarter of 2022
The latest report from property website Daft.ie found a ‘modest’ fall in house prices in the final quarter of last year. The average listed price nationwide in Q4 stood at €309,941, which represents a 0.4% fall from the previous quarter. It is also 16% below the Celtic Tiger peak. The data reveals a 6.1% rise in prices during 2022, down from 8.1% in 2021 and 7.7% in 2020. Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the report, said: “2022 started with a continuation of the significant upward pressure on prices seen during the second half of 2020 and in 2021. However, the year ends with prices falling, albeit modestly, in the final quarter. While supply has increased, availability is still tight, indicating that the change in market conditions is more likely driven by a change in the strength of demand.” With a fall in prices in Q4, and largely static prices in Q3, this would represent the first time since the second half of 2019 that prices have recorded such a dip.
Russia blames missile attack on soldiers’ mobile phone use
Russia has said a New Year’s Day missile attack which killed at least 89 Russian soldiers happened because troops were using their mobile phones. Use of banned phones allowed the enemy to locate its target, officials said. An investigation has already begun. Ukraine says 400 soldiers were killed – and another 300 wounded – in the attack on a college for conscripts in Makiivka, in the occupied Donetsk area. It is the largest number of deaths Russia has acknowledged in the war. Russia said that at 00:01 local time on New Year’s Day, six rockets were fired from a US-made Himars rocket system at a vocational college, two of which were shot down. The deputy commander of the regiment, Lt Col Bachurin, was among those killed, the ministry of defence said in a statement on Wednesday. A commission is investigating the circumstances of the incident, the statement said. But it is “already obvious” that the main cause of the attack was the presence and “mass use” of mobile phones by troops in range of Ukrainian weapons, despite this being banned, it added.
Up to 20 men involved in Kerry hotel incident, court told
Up to 20 men were involved in an incident of violent disorder at a hotel in Killarney being used as a temporary direct provision centre on 1 January, a court was told today. Killarney District Court heard that the incident involved a group of Georgian men and a group of Algerian men. Eight accused, four Algerian men and four Georgian men, appeared before the court charged with violent disorder. The court was told that instructions from the DPP were awaited, but that the State objected to bail in the case of one Algerian man alleged to have wielded a knife in the course of the dispute, allegedly inflicting stab wounds on a number others. The seven other men were granted bail on condition they leave Killarney to reside at garda-approved addresses in Meelick, Co Clare, and Clonakilty, Co Cork, in the case of three Algerians; while the four Georgian men are to reside in Co Louth and Co Laois.
State faces shortfall of more than 14,000 refugee beds by end of March, Minister warned
The State is facing a shortfall of more than 14,000 beds for refugees before the end of March, with Government briefing documents starkly warning that the current accommodation system is “unsustainable”. Papers drawn up last month by the Department of Integration show “projected shortfalls in the immediate short term” and warn that a “significant acceleration in cross-Government efforts” will be needed to source more accommodation. Without it, they note, “it is inevitable that there will be shortages of available accommodation” and internal modelling shows “gaps in provision of accommodation emerging”. Briefing documents drawn up for Minister of State Joe O’Brien, who is taking up new responsibilities in the Department of Integration, warn that the “present provision model is also unsustainable as oversight of accommodation at this scale and pace entails many challenges”.
The Irish Times
Transgender Missouri inmate executed for fatal stabbing
A Missouri inmate has been put to death for a 2003 killing, becoming what is believed to be the first transgender woman executed in the US. Amber McLaughlin was put to death on Tuesday night, hours after the Republican governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, declined a clemency request. McLaughlin was convicted in 2006 of killing a former girlfriend in suburban St Louis in 2003. A makeshift memorial for victims of a 2017 terrorist attack along a bike path in lower Manhattan, New York. Prosecutors hope to apply the death penalty to the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov. The clemency request had focused on several issues, including McLaughlin’s severely traumatic childhood and serious mental health issues, which the jury never heard during her trial. Two Missouri members of Congress, Democrats Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver, had been campaigning for McLaughlin’s sentence to be commuted and last week wrote to Parson urging him to scrap the execution.
Breezy today with bright spells and scattered showers, some heavy in the west and north. Maximum temperatures of 9 to 12 degrees in fresh and gusty southwest winds. Mostly dry early on tonight and chilly for a time with lowest temperatures of 4 to 8 degrees. Turning milder later as outbreaks of rain and drizzle spread gradually from the southwest. Moderate south to southwest breezes will increase fresh and gusty towards dawn on Thursday.