Video: Dowdall says family got death threats; Cabinet readies for reshuffle

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Dowdall says his mother and children got death threats

Former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall has told the Special Criminal Court that his 62-year-old mother and his children have received death threats since he decided to turn State's witness and give evidence against his former co-accused Gerard 'The Monk' Hutch.

"This is why nobody comes in and gives evidence," Dowdall told the Regency Hotel murder trial on Friday.


Under cross-examination for a fourth day, Dowdall told Brendan Grehan SC, defending Mr Hutch, that "in all the time" since he was accused of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne's murder "nobody" had "interfered" with his wife and children but "as soon as I decided to come out and give evidence the level of intimidation has increased".

The ex-politician went on to say: "My mother is being rang by people who she was kind to when kids, telling a 62-year-old woman she's dead, that my children are dead. This is a whole different level and this is why nobody comes in and gives evidence".

Varadkar to become Taoiseach, minimal changes expected in Cabinet reshuffle

The Taoiseach has refused to give away any of his plans for Saturday's Cabinet reshuffle.

Minimal changes are expected at the Cabinet table when Leo Varadkar takes over the top job on Saturday.


Taoiseach Micheál Martin attended the European Council summit with Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne, who like almost all junior ministers, has no idea whether he will still be in his role next week.

Mr Martin was tight-lipped on his reshuffle plans - and whether, as speculated, he is going to take the Foreign Affairs portfolio.

It is expected changes at the top table will be minimal.

Leo Varadkar's move into the Department of the Taoiseach means someone must be displaced to make room for Mr Martin. It is believed The Fianna Fáil leader will take Simon Coveney's place, who is tipped to take Mr Varadkar's Enterprise portfolio.


Battalion commander pays tribute to Private Seán Rooney

The battalion commander of Private Seán Rooney, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Coakley has paid tribute to the soldier killed in Lebanon and his family.

Lt Col Coakley told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the soldier and his family were rooted in the military through the 27th Infantry Battalion. Three of Private Rooney’s uncles serve in the same battalion based in Dundalk.

Private Rooney had undertaken many courses in his three years in the armed forces including advanced driving skills as drivers were greatly needed, added Lt Col Coakley.

This was Private Rooney’s second tour in Lebanon. “We all want to go overseas, to represent our country. We are all proud to wear the flag in our UN role,” he said.


The army was a close-knit family and would provide every support to the family of Private Rooney.

Vicky Phelan's lawyer estimates at least 30 women have died following CervicalCheck scandal

The lawyer who represented the late Vicky Phelan in the pivotal High Court case concerning the CervicalCheck scandal said he acts or has acted for 17 women or their families who have died “from the gross negligence in the operation and management of CervicalCheck”.

On Friday, solicitor Cian O’Carroll said that overall he “would be quite confident in saying that to date, at least 30 women have died from these shameful and avoidable errors”.

Mr O’Carroll said: "The human cost of these failings cannot yet be counted as cancers continue to be diagnosed that should have been detected by CervicalCheck’s labs."


In a new written Dáil reply to co-leader of the Social Democrats Catherine Murphy TD on the issue, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the State Claims Agency (SCA) has received 378 CervicalCheck claims, including psychological claims brought by family members.

Pauw denies allegations of misconduct made against her in US report

Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw has responded to allegations made against her in a report published by the National Women's Soccer League in the US.

The allegations in the report, which was published on Wednesday, against Pauw relate to her time in charge of Texas-based club Houston Dash.

The report alleges Pauw attempted to "exert excessive control" over players eating habits while at the club.

Houston Dash later issued an apology to players affected by the alleged misconduct of Pauw and another former manager.

However, Pauw issued a statement via Twitter on Friday afternoon in which she strenuously denied the allegations.


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