Dowdall cross-examination continues
Ex-Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall, a former co-accused of Gerard 'The Monk' Hutch who has turned State's witness, has claimed that he was "set up" for the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne by being connected to a room at the Regency Hotel used by one of the raiders.
Under cross-examination for a second day by Mr Hutch's barrister Brendan Grehan SC, Dowdall said he did not know who was to stay in the hotel room but that it had been "tied" to him and his family.
The key witness in the Regency Hotel murder trial who has pleaded guilty to facilitating Mr Byrne's murder said a "massive amount of pressure" was put on him after he was granted bail and that Gerard Hutch "put demands" on him. "I was to make myself available to his solicitor 24/7, he told me to contact his son, within a week when I didn't go to his solicitor, he sent people to my home, sent letters in my door," he said.
Strains on hospitals 'unacceptable'
A minister has said that emergency departments (EDs) which are under “unprecedented strain” is not acceptable to the Government nor the HSE, admitting that it needs to do better.
Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath was reacting to a new report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa), which revealed that patients in EDs have been forced to wait 80 to 90 hours to get a bed.
The health watchdog warned that overcrowding continues to pose a risk to the health and safety of patients.
It said that patients’ dignity, privacy and right to confidentiality was being compromised.
Alleged sexual assault investigated
A teenager convicted of orally raping a minor is being investigated for sexual assault against a teenage girl in a Mayo town, a court has heard.
The Central Criminal Court heard on Wednesday morning that the 18-year-old has had 12 interactions with gardaí in the town since moving there, including a number of incidents involving vulnerable teenage girls.
Detective Inspector Kieran Hanley from the Mayo Divisional Protective Service Unit, which deals with sexual crimes and child protection, told Justice Paul McDermott that the offender's behaviour was “of great concern”.
Carbon emissions on the rise
Ireland's production of energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 5.4 per cent in 2021, new figures show.
Analysis from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) show that emissions are returning to pre-Covid levels, with further increases — around 6 per cent — anticipated in 2022. SEAI is the state's national energy authority, tasked with overseeing Ireland's "transition to a clean energy future".
SEAI said that a rebound in car use as the economy returned following multiple lockdowns — as well as a general increase in the use of coal and oil —was a significant driver in the increase in emissions.