Video: Coalition leaders discuss agriculture emissions, economic outlook turns gloomy

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Agriculture emissions

Talks have resumed between the three Coalition leaders on emission reduction targets for the agriculture sector.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan held lengthy discussions late into Wednesday night on how to assign emission reduction targets across key sectors of the economy, in particular the agriculture sector.

It comes after the Government failed on Wednesday to come to an agreement on the matter during the last scheduled Cabinet meeting before the summer recess.

Economy worries

The Irish economy is at a turning point as changes in the global environment are "reshaping the global economy from the one we have recognised over the past decade", Ibec has warned.

The business representative group's latest quarterly economic outlook said the era of low interest rates and low inflation that followed the last economic crash is being overturned, with Irish businesses already noting a changing landscape through the tightening of capital markets and an increased focus on costs.

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Ibec predicts higher prices, particularly for energy, are likely to last for some time, which may lead to an "ongoing adjustment in Irish living standards".

Defective buildings

A report on defective apartments built during the boom years has not recommended a levy on the construction sector to help the State meet the bill for repairs.

While an industry levy has been considered, the report of the working group on defects in housing states “it is not feasible retrospectively to impose a penalty on the individual firms that were responsible for the defects”.

The report, commissioned by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, says a general industry levy would target those who did not cause the issue and such a levy would face legal issues.

It would also have knock-on impacts on the current construction costs.

Court figures

The number of trials for murder and serious sexual offences held in Irish courts increased by 57 per cent last year, figures show.

The Central Criminal Court held trials in relation to 25 murder and attempted murder cases, and 423 trials in relation to rape and attempted rape charges, according to the 2021 annual report of the Courts Service.

This is an increase from 20 murder and attempted murder cases and 265 trials in relation to rape and attempted rape charges in 2020.

It is a 57 per cent increase in the numbers of murder and serious sexual offence trials held.

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