Video: Christmas with Covid, house prices and courts latest

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Christmas with Covid

The Seanad has heard calls to shut primary schools early on Friday ahead of Christmas in the interest of public health. Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer called on Education Minister Norma Foley to close schools this weekend, saying “Covid is running riot” amongst students and teachers.

On Tuesday, the Department of Education said it had no plans to alter the Christmas school break or to close early, citing "no evidence to suggest that extending school holidays has a public health rationale."


Meanwhile, a leading GP has said doctors could double the number of booster vaccinations carried out in a day if the 15-minute wait time following each dose was eliminated, as the Government plans an overhaul of the rollout in an effort to tackle a potential wave of Omicron infections.

The Omicron variant currently accounts for 14 per cent of Covid-19 cases in the State. The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is due to meet on Thursday morning to consider the situation.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he expects the Omicron variant to become dominant as early as next week, and that further Covid-19 recommendations from Nphet around socialisation and travel are also anticipated.

Today in the courts

In the courts on Wednesday, a man who sexually assaulted his daughter’s best friend while the child was staying in their family home has been jailed for two years.


Meanwhile, judgment has been reserved in an action taken by a suspended Co Roscommon solicitor seeking to block an inquiry into a company’s allegations of professional misconduct against him.

Separately, Alan Wilson, who was named in court as a member of the Kinahan crime gang, has been jailed for 10 years for his role in a plot to murder three men outside the Player's Lounge pub in 2010.

Finally, the High Court has ordered a fresh consideration of a man's application for international protection over his claim of fear of persecution due to his LGBTQ orientation if returned to his native Georgia.

House prices

Residential property prices have jumped by 13.5 per cent according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Prices rose by 12.3 per cent in Dublin, while areas outside the capital experienced increased of 14.6 per cent.

Despite price increases, the number of residential properties sold in October of this year was 4,335, which is a 12.7 per cent increase on October 2020 figures.

The median price of a dwelling purchased in the 12 months to October 2021 was €275,000. The lowest median price for a house was €129,000 in Longford, while the highest median price was €580,000 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

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