Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Marc MacSharry resigns from Fianna Fáil
Marc MacSharry has resigned from Fianna Fáil following a row over the handling of a bullying complaint against him. The member for Sligo-Leitrim issued a statement this morning confirming the move and said he will continue to work as an independent TD. Mr MacSharry, who has long been an outspoken critic of Taoiseach Micheál Martin, is unhappy at how a complaint by a local Fianna Fáil councillor, Donal Gilroy, has been dealt with by the party leader. The complaint relates to comments made in a private WhatsApp group setup by Mr MacSharry to communicate with Fianna Fáil councillors in his constituency.
Education spend rises significantly due to build costs, Ukraine crisis, Cabinet to be warned
The Department of Education is to warn the Cabinet of significant spending pressures driven by construction inflation of 21 per cent and the impact of expanding services for special needs education and children fleeing the war in Ukraine. Minister for Education Norma Foley is to tell Cabinet colleagues on Wednesday that expenditure at the end of September was €314 million ahead of where it was expected to be – accounting for an overspend of 4.7 per cent. The information is contained in a quarterly expenditure report being brought to Cabinet on Wednesday morning, which warns that the spending excess covers both current items like wages and capital projects such as new school construction. Ministers will be told that the department’s basic building costs, based on tender outcomes, grew by 21 per cent in the year to June 2022. This is occurring while more building is underway to support a large cohort of special needs children, Cabinet will be told. Ms Foley will say the department is also facing a pressing requirement to handle the significant numbers of children unexpectedly coming from Ukraine and elsewhere.
The Irish Times
A record 27,000 patients in a three-month period left A&Es without getting treatment
More than 27,000 people left Ireland’s emergency departments (ED) before being treated during a three-month period this year. The latest data suggests an increasing trend of people leaving hospitals before treatment, with figures confirming that 27,129 exited emergency departments between July and September before being seen by a doctor — an average of 9,043 early leavers each month. By contrast, in 2021, nearly 76,000 people left emergency departments before being treated — just over 6,300 a month. HSE figures show the issue is affecting hospitals all across the country, but Dublin’s Mater Hospital had the highest number of early leavers from July to September this year.
The Irish Examiner
Government expects to hit housing targets as Cabinet to receive Housing for All update
The government expects to hit its housing targets for 2022, it is understood. Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien are set to provide an update on the Housing for All plan to Cabinet later today. Alongside the Housing for All quarterly update, the Government is expected to sign off on plans for the COP27 climate conference in Egypt later this month. Under the housing plan, there are to be over 24,600 new build homes constructed across Ireland by the end of the year.
Netanyahu On Track To Return As Israel’s Prime Minister, Exit Polls Suggest
Longtime former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the verge of a political comeback, according to exit polls that show his right-wing coalition leading in Tuesday’s legislative elections, less than a year-and-a-half after he was ousted from office.
North and South Korea fire missiles off each other’s coasts for first time
North and South Korea have both fired missiles landing in waters off each other’s coasts for the first time. Seoul retaliated on Wednesday three hours after Pyongyang launched a missile that landed less than 60km (37mi) off the South’s city of Sokcho. The South’s military said this was an “unacceptable” breach of its territory. It fired three air-to-ground missiles in response, which officials said landed a similar distance past the Northern Limit Line (NLL). The demarcation line marks the rough midway-point in the sea between North and South Korea, but the North has never accepted the boundary. On Tuesday North Korea warned that South Korea and the US would pay “the most horrible price in history” if they continued joint military drills, seen as a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons. The North is expected to resume nuclear weapons testing soon after a five-year break, with US and South Korean intelligence saying Pyongyang has completed all the necessary preparations.
Julie Powell, food writer and blogger behind Julie & Julia, dies aged 49
Julie Powell, the food blogger best known for her cooking memoir, Julie & Julia, which inspired a film starring Meryl Streep, has died at the age of 49. Her husband, Eric Powell, confirmed to the New York Times that she died of cardiac arrest caused by heart arrhythmia at their home in Olivebridge in upstate New York on 26 October. Powell rose to prominence in 2002 when, approaching her 30th birthday as “a secretary who lives with her husband, three cats and a python above a diner on a barren street in Long Island City”, she set herself a year-long quest to recreate all 524 recipes from her mother’s copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, a 1961 classic by Julia Child, a TV chef and the doyenne of French cookery in the US. As a cook with no training, Powell documented her struggles in the kitchen via the popular, witty and self-deprecating food blog Julie/Julia Project in Salon.com.
Very windy or locally stormy today with heavy, squally rain with embedded thunderstorms tracking eastwards bringing flooding to places. Southerly winds, veering southwesterly, will be very strong and gusty with severe and damaging gusts possible, especially near south and west coasts. Rain will clear eastern counties in the early afternoon with sunny spells and thundery showers of rain or hail following. Highest temperatures of 11°C to 14°C. Windy for a time early tonight with some further severe gusts, especially in the northwest. Clear spells and scattered heavy showers will set in. Most of the showers will affect Atlantic counties with more general rain moving into the west and southwest later. Turning rather cold with lowest temperatures of 2°C to 6°C. Strong and gusty southwest winds will moderate overnight. However, towards morning winds will pick up along southwest areas.