Video: Ballyfermot shooting, mandatory vaccines considered, hospital numbers

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Father shot dead in Ballyfermot had no known involvement in crime

A man shot dead outside his Dublin home in the early hours of Sunday morning had no known involvement in crime and there was no information to suggest his life was in danger.

The man has been named as 49-year-old Michael Tormey, according to The Irish Times. The married father-of-two was found just after 5am on Sunday outside his home on Thomond Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10.

He had been out socialising on Saturday night with members of his family and others, and in the period after returning to his house he was shot dead. He was shot several times in an attack that appears to have taken place outside his house as his wife and children slept inside.

Detectives in Ballyfermot are still trying to determine a firm motive for the murder, and to piece together Mr Tormey’s final movements.

Nphet considering mandatory vaccination

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Mandatory Covid-19 vaccination is to be considered by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), while Government Ministers are understood to be anxious to ease current restrictions for the hospitality sector.

Meeting minutes from December 16th reveal the State’s public health team will consider mandatory vaccination, The Irish Times reports, with a new paper being prepared by the Department of Health on the legal and ethical aspects of such a move.

“It was noted that the Nphet will discuss the issue of mandatory vaccination at a later date and this discussion will be facilitated by a forthcoming paper from the Department of Health on the relevant ethical and legal considerations pertaining to this topic,” the minutes said.

The discussion comes after the Taoiseach said more than half of Covid patients in intensive care come from the five per cent of adults in Ireland who are unvaccinated.

Mandatory vaccination could be “necessary for the overall good”, one of Ireland’s leading immunisation experts has said.

Professor Karina Butler, chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac), said the controversial measure would have to be given “careful consideration.”

Omicron wave pushes Covid hospitalisations past 1,000-patient mark

More than 1,000 people are currently in hospital with Covid-19 in Ireland, as the country heads towards the expected peak of a surge driven by the Omicron variant.

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There are 1,063 patients hospitalised as of Monday morning, an increase of 79 since Sunday, in the highest figure recorded since February of last year.

83 people are in intensive care with the virus, the same number as the day before.

Chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, said that despite indications that Omicron causes less severe illness, “there is no one in hospital with a mild illness”.

“One good positive thing – we’re not seeing the same level of patients needing advanced respiratory supports,” he told Newstalk radio.

One million people at risk of poverty

Almost one fifth (19 per cent) of the population is living below the poverty line when housing costs are factored in, according to latest research from Social Justice Ireland (SJI).

The research also found an extra 300,000 people were forced into poverty in the past year.

Housing and Poverty 2022 analysed the impact of housing costs on the poverty rates of various household types.

SJI found that one million people are now at risk of living in poverty when their housing costs are factored in.

Solidarity People Before Profit's Paul Murphy said it was an “indictment of Government policy”, while Duncan Smith of Labour said the findings of the study "can't help but shock you".

SJI said its research highlights that government housing subsidies are driving greater numbers into the poverty trap, rather than helping the situation.

Death of son of Sinéad O’Connor referred for investigation by NRP

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The death of the teenage son of singer Sinéad O’Connor and musician Donal Lunny is to be referred to the National Review Panel (NRP) for investigation.

Shane O’Connor (17) died a day after he left Tallaght hospital, with his body found in the Bray/Shankill area of Dublin on Friday.

He is understood to have been admitted to hospital following a number of incidents of serious self-harm, according to The Irish Times, and to have been known to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

In a series of social media posts, Ms O’Connor said she had identified her son’s remains and questioned how he had been able to leave the hospital on Thursday.

The NRP was set up in 2010 following the Ryan Report to review serious incidents, including the deaths, of children in care and/or known to the child protection system.

Christmas grocery sales surpass €3 billion

Irish grocery sales were worth €3.1 billion during the 12 weeks to December 26th, according to the latest figures from Kantar.

The market grew by 10.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2019, though year-on-year it was down by 5.2 per cent, as people enjoyed more freedom to spend money in restaurants and bars.

With household mixing allowed this year, the Irish public geared up for a larger Christmas celebrating with friends and family, €1.1 billion went through tills during December alone, just 0.6 per cent lower than 2020’s record-breaking figure, and an increase of €141 million compared with 2019, equivalent to an extra €65 per household.

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