Video: Government emissions deal criticised; AIB admits cashless plan was 'wrong'

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Emissions deal criticised

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has denied farmers are “getting off lightly” in comparison to other sectors when it comes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

A deal was reached on Thursday to reduce emissions in key sectors of the Irish economy, with a compromise cut of 25 per cent for agriculture. A cut of 75 per cent was set for the electricity sector and 50 per cent for the transport sector.

Tim Cullinan, president of the IFA, this morning denied farmers had secured an easy deal.

His members will engage in the process, he told Newstalk Breakfast, but there was a lot of worry on the ground. Food production needed to be considered, he added.

“Will we have enough by the end of the year? We have to ensure there is adequate supply, that we don’t have a humanitarian crisis on our doorstep.”

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Mr Cullinan said farmers were working very hard to tackle emissions, but there needed to be a recognition that this was a huge challenge.

Both the Ministers for Agriculture and Climate had mentioned funding, but there had been no mention of that on Thursday, he said.

AIB chief says bank will not revisit cashless plans

The chief executive of AIB has confirmed the bank will not revisit controversial plans to make 70 of its branches cashless.

Colin Hunt added that the bank’s 170 branches will remain as they are for as long as he is chief executive.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr Hunt said he was not in the business of trying to spread blame or dodge responsibility. “We got it wrong.”

“This was a proposal that the bank had developed and we made a mistake, we had very strong negative feedback from our customers, they contacted us through email, through mail, by telephones, in branches, made it clear that they did not want this to happen," he said.

“We heard the feedback, we listened to it, we acted on it, we reversed that plan, we've withdrawn that proposal, it's off the agenda and branch services will continue as they exist today.”

Aviva Stadium used as temporary shelter for 100 Ukrainian refugees

About 100 Ukrainian refugees have been temporarily housed at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this week as the State struggles to find enough emergency beds for those fleeing the war.

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It is understood the refugees were put up on camp beds at the stadium for one week and will be moving to alternative accommodation on Friday.

There are no plans for the arrangement at the Aviva to be extended, but it is believed similar arena-style sporting facilities will be considered for emergency shelter use in the coming months.

It emerged earlier this month that Ireland had run out of state accommodation for arriving Ukrainian refugees – resulting in Ukrainians being temporarily housed in tents at the Gormanston military camp in Co Meath.

Call to protect emergency services this bank holiday weekend

The public is being urged to protect emergency services this bank holiday weekend for those who need urgent care.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) made the call, asking the public to stay safe and to consider all care options before attending Emergency Departments (EDs).

Hospitals have reported record numbers of patients presenting at EDs for care and treatment this year.

Covid-19 also continues to strain the healthcare system, with the latest figures showing 513 people hospitalised with the virus.

National Ambulance Service clinical director, Professor Cathal O'Donnell, said there are other services people can call on if needed.

“If people do need medical attention, we’d like people to consider all the options available to them and to pick the best option for their particular health need,” he said.

“That might be a local injury unit, might be a GP out-of-hours co-op, might be a community pharmacy which can be fantastic for advice.”

Personal injuries awards drop in value by €118 million in two years

There was a €118 million drop in value of personal injuries awards in last two years, according to a Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) annual report.

The report shows PIAB dealt with 21,410 new personal injuries claims and awarded total compensation to accident victims of over €157 million in 2021.

They said the impact of PIAB services as an impartial, independent body to resolve claims and act as an alternative to litigation, resulted in more than €50 million in legal and other costs being avoided in 2021.

This mean direct savings to the cost of claims in Ireland, with opportunities for PIAB to generate many more millions in savings.

There were also major cuts in overall claims costs as a result of a reduction of 18 per cent in the number of personal injuries claims made to PIAB last year.

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