Video: Community 'devastated' by crash, bonus for healthcare workers, courts latest

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Kenneth Fox

Man jailed for sexual assault

A man who sexually assaulted two women in Dublin City centre and bit one of them as she tried to fight him off has been jailed for four years.

Jambasambuu Ekhtur (25) assaulted both women on separate occasions several months apart, attacking the women while they were walking on their own at night in the city.

Ekhtur, with an address at Talbot Hall, Talbot Street, Dublin city centre, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and assault causing harm of a woman at Mount Street Lower, Dublin City centre, on July 14th, 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a second woman at Talbot Street, Dublin City centre, on October 11th, 2019. He has no previous convictions in this jurisdiction.

Haitian president assassinated

Gunmen assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moise and wounded his wife in their home, inflicting more chaos on the unstable Caribbean country that was already enduring an escalation of gang violence, anti-government protests and a recent surge in coronavirus infections.

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Claude Joseph, the interim prime minister, confirmed the killing and said the police and military were in control of security in Haiti, where a history of dictatorship and political upheaval have long stymied the consolidation of democratic rule.

While the streets of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, were quiet Wednesday morning, some people ransacked businesses in one area. Authorities closed the international airport and declared a “state of siege”.

Cuckoo funds

The Minister for Housing has accused the opposition of “scaremongering” over controversial legislative changes to allow “cuckoo funds” that lease properties back to the state to avoid stamp duty.

Darragh O’Brien said the measures would protect the delivery of social housing for 2,500 families by the end of the year.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will bring forward an amendment on Wednesday to exempt so-called cuckoo funds that lease properties back to local authorities from a 10 per cent stamp duty on bulk purchases of 10 or more properties.

'Devastated' community

A teenage driver has died and a passenger has been seriously injured in a road crash in Killarney, Co Kerry.

Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae, a relative of the deceased, told the Irish Examiner: “I am devastated for the lad and his poor family.”

"He was a lovely boy, and he comes from a lovely family. I know his parents very well and the lad's grandparents,” he added.

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The scene remained closed on Wednesday morning to allow for a technical examination.

Bonus for healthcare workers

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has indicated that healthcare workers will be rewarded with a Covid bonus for their hard work and sacrifice during the pandemic.

The Taoiseach has said the Government is giving “active consideration” to an extra payment or additional leave for frontline workers in hospitals and other healthcare settings, the Irish Examiner reports.

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said healthcare workers deserve “special recognition”. He added that a “lack of flexibility and indeed humility” has been shown to these staff as they have not yet received extra payment or additional leave.

He said he proposed a €1,000 pandemic payment for healthcare workers in April of last year.

Former priest jailed

Former “singing” priest Tony Walsh has been jailed for two years for repeatedly indecently assaulting a child 45 years ago.

Walsh (67) was a trainee priest when he sexually abused the child victim on six occasions inside a church in the 1970s.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Walsh has 39 previous convictions, 34 of which are for previous offences of indecent assault.

The court heard he was most recently sentenced for indecent assault in 2018 to a term of imprisonment of five years with the final 18 months suspended.

Prior to sentencing on Wednesday, Walsh had a release date of July 9th, 2021.

Children's hospital delay

Officials have refused to disclose the updated cost of building the new National Children’s Hospital, as it emerged that the opening date has been pushed back to the second half of 2024.

David Gunning, chief officer of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB), said that even a hypothetical discussion on costs would prejudice the existing contract with construction company BAM.

The hospital, which is being built on the site of St James’s Hospital in Dublin, has been beset by spiralling costs that have escalated to €1.433 billion.

Travel cert

The new EU Covid travel cert should not be used for domestic reasons to enable those who’ve been vaccinated to enjoy indoor dining and drinking, according to Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher.

People in Ireland — who have been fully vaccinated — should begin to receive the digital Covid certificates from Monday. The certs will make it much easier for vaccinated travellers to move freely around the EU.

However, Mr Kelleher is opposing suggestions that the certs could also be used by the hospitality sector in Ireland to screen diners and drinkers to serve them inside their premises.

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