Video: Tributes to Irish soldier who died in parachuting accident; Rent price increase

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Tributes to Irish soldier who died in parachuting accident

A member of the Defence Forces who died in a parachuting accident in Spain has been described as an outstanding soldier and leader.

Acting Sergeant Major Declan O’Connell (54), from Co Kildare, was killed in the incident on Sunday.


The soldier, who had served with the Defence Forces for 33 years, was off duty and taking part in a civilian parachute instructors’ course in a private capacity.

Acting Sgt Maj O’Connell, who joined the Defence Forces in February 1990, worked at the Cadet School at the Military College in the Defence Forces Training Centre in the Curragh Camp.

He had trained officer cadets in the Cadet School for more than 20 years.

The long-serving soldier was stationed overseas on nine occasions, including Lebanon, Kosovo, Mali and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Rent price increase

Market rents in the final quarter of 2022 were an average of 13.7 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier, as availability of rental homes remained near an all-time low, according to the latest rental report by

The average market rent nationwide between October and December was €1,733 per month, up 2.7 per cent compared to the third quarter of the year and 126 per cent above the low of €765 per month seen in late 2011.

While there are regional differences, all parts of the country are experiencing substantial year-on-year increases in open market rents.

In the year to December, the rate of inflation in Dublin was 13.1 per cent while in Cork city, it was 14.9 per cent. The rate of inflation in the three other principal cities – Galway, Limerick and Waterford – was higher again, ranging from 18.9 per cent in Limerick to 20.2 per cent in Waterford.


Novelist and broadcaster Deirdre Purcell dies

The author and broadcaster Deirdre Purcell has died aged 77.

The former journalist wrote over 20 popular books, including Falling For a Dancer.

She also worked for RTÉ and was the first female anchor of the Nine O’Clock news. She presented the 'What it says in the papers' segment on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

Ms Purcell was born in Dublin in 1945 and attended school in Co Mayo.


Prior to working in television, Ms Purcell was heavily involved in Irish theatre.

Enoch Burke physically removed from High Court by gardaí

Enoch Burke has been physically removed from the High Court by gardaí for a second time after trying to raise a matter with a judge.

Mr Justice Brian O'Moore directed members of An Garda Síochána to physically remove Mr Burke, who was accompanied in Court 3 in the Four Courts by his parents Martina and Seán, and his sister Ammi, after the teacher interrupted Monday's call over of the chancery list.

The gardaí were called on to take action after the judge refused to allow Mr Burke to raise an issue in part of his ongoing legal battle with Wilson's Hospital School, which suspended and dismissed him from his job.


It was the second time in as many sittings of the court that the judge has asked the gardaí to intervene.

Charity boss calls for more targeted cost-of-living supports

The Government has been urged to be more targeted with upcoming cost-of-living supports.

Ministers will meet later this week as to decide what more can be done to ease the burden on households.

Another electricity credit, double payments for some welfare recipients, and extra child benefit payments are being considered.

CEO of Barnardos Suzanne Connolly said while that would be welcome, money might be better spent elsewhere.

Ms Connolly told Newstalk: "We think the universality of child benefit is a really good thing because of that.

"However, what we need to think about is that when we double universal payments or when we extend universal payments across the country... then you're reducing the income that's available to give to people who really need it and that's the key thing that the Government needs to think about."

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