May 25: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Pension, carer and disability allowances
A €10 increase for pensioners and those on carer’s and disability allowances is expected as part of a social welfare package in the budget. Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has confirmed that she will be seeking increases to the three payments and has not ruled out improvements to other welfare supports.
Simon Coveney denies tension in coalition
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney has denied any tensions within the coalition and that no one was being bullied. Responding to a question about an article in which three Fine Gael Ministers called for tax breaks of €1,000 for the average family in the next Budget, Mr Coveney said the article had been an opinion piece which reflected Fine Gael policy which he supported.
HSE cannot fulfil Minister’s proposal
The HSE has said it cannot fulfil a proposal from Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte to use agency staff to reopen ten respite beds for children with disabilities in Co Cork, because the agency staff are not available to do so. There are currently only around 15 respite beds available for children with disabilities in Cork and according to the HSE, there are currently no further resources available from agency staff services to reopen those beds.
Madeleine McCann investigation
Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have cleared a large swathe of undergrowth as they extend the search at a reservoir in the Algarve. Teams of sniffer dogs were led across the peninsula, believed to have been the “little paradise” of Christian Brueckner, the prime suspect, where he stayed during regular visits to the country. German police are understood to have found numerous pictures that Brueckner took of himself by the waterside of Barragem do Arade, suggesting he regularly visited the area.
Mountjoy rape counselling
Specialised rape crisis counselling has not been in place since the August 2022 retirement of the sole therapist providing the service at the Dóchas Centre, with efforts to hire a new practitioner failing. The situation has caused alarm for those working in the sector, as the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IRPT) has pointed to international research suggesting that between 50-60% of women in prison have experienced physical or sexual abuse. It said women in prison in Ireland are “among the most marginalised women in the State” and that the supports need to be reinstated.