Video: Cancelled 999 calls, 'point of unease' in Covid fight, David Barry jailed

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Garda Commissioner apologises for cancelled 999 calls

Gardaí did not provide the required standard of service to victims of domestic abuse, Commissioner Drew Harris has told a meeting of the Policing Authority.

It follows an internal inquiry by an assistant commissioner into failures by gardaí to properly respond to 999 emergency calls in 2019 and 2020.

The ongoing inquiry has focused on domestic abuse calls, with 3,120 cases identified where such calls had a final status of “cancelled”.

Of that figure, 10 per cent of cases — 312 — who may have been affected have been contacted by gardaí.

The inquiry has yet to identify any victim who experienced adverse outcomes as a result of their 999 call not being properly responded to.

Ireland at 'point of unease' in Covid fight

reland is at a point of “unease and apprehension” in its fight against Covid-19, the chief executive of the health service has said.

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Paul Reid said there is “no certainty” when trying to predict what might happen with the coronavirus and its variants.

However, he said the latest data shows the incidence of the virus and case numbers are continuing to decline.

Speaking at the weekly HSE briefing, Mr Reid said there had been a 22 per cent reduction in the total number of cases in the past 14 days.

Some 84 per cent of the cases were confirmed in people under the age of 45, which Mr Reid said demonstrated the continued and strong benefits of the vaccination programme.

The 14-day incidence rate in the country remains below 100 per 100,000 population. On Thursday afternoon, there were 47 people in hospital with the virus, 13 of whom were in intensive care.

Former Scout leader David Barry jailed for five years for abusing boy scouts

A former scout leader in his 70s who installed bunk beds in his home where he abused boys who stayed overnight has been jailed for five years.

Retired Cork businessman and photographer David Barry (72) had a bar in place and gave underage boys from 13 to 17 alcohol following scouting activities.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Mr Barry of Montrose, Firgrove Gardens in Bishopstown, Cork used his social standing in the community as a respected businessman, scout leader and peace commissioner as a cover.

The well known retired photographer, who often helped out at a Santa's Grotto at Christmas, used his position with the scouts to abuse boys.

He pleaded guilty to 29 charges of sexually abusing boy scouts over two decades. The offences involved 28 charges of indecent or sexual assault and one of attempted sexual assault.

Financial barriers remain to effective contraception in Ireland, study says

The Government’s delay in providing free contraception means financial barriers still exist in Ireland today that limit access to effective contraception, according to a new study.

The study in this month’s Irish Medical Journal (IMJ) found that “students often use unreliable and user-dependent contraceptive methods to protect themselves against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and pregnancy”.

In a paper entitled "Influence of Cost on Contraceptive Choices Amongst University Students", three authors from University College Cork (UCC)'s department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology concluded that “with prevention of unplanned pregnancies remaining a public health concern in Ireland, removing the costs associated with contraceptives may help to increase their uptake amongst students”.

The report found that over a third of all females surveyed said they would definitely change contraception method if cost was removed.

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