March 29: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
TDs to vote on Labour no-confidence motion over eviction ban today after Taoiseach warns defeat could trigger election
An election could be called this evening if the Government loses a no-confidence vote today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned. Several independent TDs are still deciding whether to vote with the Government ahead of the Labour Party motion on the eviction ban today. Last week, Dublin Central TD Neasa Hourigan was suspended from the Green Party after failing to support the Government on a Sinn Féin motion on the same issue. If the Labour Party motion were to pass then TDs would be quickly on the election trail. It would mean an election in April, Leo Varadkar said yesterday, ratcheting up the stakes in a political poker game.
Economy facing risk of overheating this year – ESRI
The economy is set to grow more strongly this year than had been expected and may even overheat, according to the latest quarterly bulletin from the Economic and Social Research Institute. It expects the domestic economy to grow by 3.8% this year while inflation will moderate to 4.5%. Record levels of employment could stretch the capacity of the economy to overheat this year, hampering attempts to build more houses and other infrastructural projects. The ESRI says while output in the computer services sector has declined, the number of new jobs in the sector is still close to replacing the numbers being lost in the current slowdown. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical sector which accounts for 57% of goods exports, continues to grow. Only in the accommodation and food services is employment below 2019 levels.
House prices see biggest Q1 fall in a decade — but supply still far too low
House prices saw their biggest first-quarter fall in more than a decade during the first three months of this year, but the number of available properties is still a fraction of what it was pre-pandemic. The continued dearth of available homes comes as the Government will this morning face a no-confidence motion over its decision to end the ban on evictions from March 31. According to the latest Daft.ie report, house prices nationally fell by an average of 0.3% in the first quarter of this year. That is the biggest drop since the first three months of 2012. The only region not to see prices fall in the latest analysis was Munster, where they actually rose by 0.6% in the three months to March. The average listed home price nationally is now €308,497, according to Daft.ie. That is 2.7% higher than a year previously, the slowest inflationary increase since mid-2020.
The Irish Examiner
Review calls for abortion rules to be relaxed
A new review of the State’s abortion law is set to recommend a loosening of existing rules which could involve the removal of the three-day wait to access medication. Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly earlier this month received a report compiled by barrister Marie O’Shea which examines the operation of the abortion law. She was appointed by Government to chair the review last year. Two senior political sources said that the review recommends a “loosening” of the current law, including the potential removal of the three-day wait to access termination medication. A number of politicians have called for the removal of the waiting period, including People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith, Soc Dems leader Holly Cairns and Labour leader Ivana Bacik.
The Irish Times
‘Sadistic violence’ in DF: Soldiers put in barrels with animal remains or chemicals for ‘hazing’
‘Sadistic violence’ and ‘predatory behaviour’ are just two terms used in the report into bullying and abuse in the Defence Forces published yesterday. ‘Tubbing’ is one of the hazing methods within the Defence Forces described in the Independent Review Group’s report. The long-awaited report into bullying and abuse in the Irish Defence Forces detailed a raft of structural failures in the organisation in its treatment of female members and in how it responds to allegations of bullying, harassment and abuse. ‘Tubbing’ refers to the placing of an individual in a barrel, which may contain any combination of chemicals, oil, airplane fuel, deceased animal carcasses, or other substances, for the purposes of hazing or punishment, according to the report. Some examples of ‘tubbing’ were given to the review group, as well as ’mobbing’ which is another form of abuse used against officers.
Nashville school shooter hid guns in parents’ house
The shooter who killed six people at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday bought seven guns legally and hid them at home, police say. Investigators say the suspect’s parents felt the 28-year-old should not own weapons, and did not realise the guns had been concealed in their house. Six people, including three children age nine, were killed in the attack at the Covenant School. The suspect was under “doctor’s care for an emotional disorder”, police say. Tennessee has no laws that allow police to seize guns from violent suspects. Despite the absence of such so-called red-flag laws, police said they would still have sought to have the weapons confiscated if authorities had had any warning that the suspect could have posed a threat.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter had never seen her so ‘shaken’ after ski crash, court he
Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter had never seen her mother “shaken up like that” and was “concerned” following her ski crash, a US court has heard. Apple Martin, 18, who was around 11 at the time of the incident, said her mother had been “frantic” and “in a state of shock” following the collision in 2016. The Oscar-winning actress has claimed that retired optometrist Terry Sanderson collided with her at the Deer Valley resort in Utah, which resulted in her losing “half a day of skiing” with her family. Mr Sanderson has accused the actress of crashing into him, and says he sustained several broken ribs and severe head injuries. On Tuesday the court heard parts of statements given by Ms Paltrow’s children, Apple and Moses Martin, who had been skiing with her on the day of the collision. In her statement, read out by the legal teams, Apple said she had heard a “commotion” on the slope before skiing down for lunch, where her mother had been “visibly upset”. Ms Paltrow had stopped skiing for the rest of the day and gone for a massage, the court heard.
Dull, damp and breezy this morning with patches of mist and drizzle – some coastal fog too, especially in the southeast. A band of more persistent rain will move up from the southwest during the morning. While sunny spells will develop in the afternoon, some thundery downpours will follow, with spot flooding and isolated thunderstorms. Blustery too, in fresh and gusty southwest winds, strong at times in the west. Another mild day with highest temperatures of 13 to 16 degrees. Becoming mostly dry and clear early tonight as any remaining showers clear into the Irish Sea, though further scattered heavy showers will feed into Atlantic coastal counties later. Lowest temperatures of 7 to 10 degrees in moderating south to southwest winds.