Video: Graham Dwyer EU case, Wage subsidy extended, close contact rules

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Kenneth Fox

Siptu protest

Siptu staged a protest outside the Fine Gael think-in, accusing the Government of privatising local employment offices.

The trade union protest took place on Monday, as the Fine Gael parliamentary party gathered in Trim in Co Meath for a think-in.

A crowd gathered outside the hotel where the think-in is taking place.

Adrian Kane, a Siptu organiser, told the PA news agency that the Government was not listening to their concerns.

Afghan women's rights

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have contradicted public promises on rights, including ordering women to stay at home, blocking teenage girls from school and holding house-to-house searches for former foes, a United Nations official said on Monday.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Afghanistan was in a "new and perilous phase" since the militant Islamist group seized power last month, with many women and members of ethnic and religious communities deeply worried.


"In contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women's rights, over the past three weeks, women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere," she told the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Graham Dwyer phone data

The EU Court of Justice is to hear submissions from up to 10 EU countries later today in the State's appeal over a challenge regarding Ireland's phone data retention law.

The successful challenge was made by Graham Dwyer, who in 2015 was convicted for the murder of Elaine O'Hara with the help of mobile phone records.

According to The Irish Times, the European courts decision, which is expected later this year, could have implications on Dwyer's separate appeal against his conviction, but also on EU member states and their data retention systems targetting serious crime.

Dwyer's claim that Section 6 of the Telecommunications (Retention of Data) Act, 2011 breached EU law was previously upheld by the High Court in Ireland, before a State appeal to the Supreme Court.

Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will continue into 2022, the Tánaiste has signalled.

Leo Varadkar said on Monday that the scheme, introduced at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be phased out slowly and extend into next year.

The scheme, which Mr Varadkar said is currently costing the Government €400 million a month, helps businesses hit hard by the pandemic to pay the wages of staff.


He said the Government is currently working out the exact date to which the scheme will be extended.

Close contact rules

Changes to the rules for close contacts in schools would put children at unnecessary risk of Long Covid, according to an infectious disease expert.

Figures from last week show almost half of the people tested for Covid-19 were aged between 0-18, prompting concern as to the number of children who are absent from school due to the need to isolate after being identified as a close contact.

Over the weekend, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the current rule for close contacts in schools, stating children must stay home and isolate for 14 days when named as a close contact, was “probably unnecessary”.

Yellow rain warning

A status yellow rain warning is in place for Cork and Waterford.

Met Éireann issued the alert on Sunday, taking effect at 10am that day, lasting until 4pm on Monday.

The forecaster warned rain will be “persistent for a time”, with heavier downpours in the morning bringing a risk of spot flooding.

Elsewhere, a largely cloudy day is expected, with rain and drizzle on the way for coastal areas. Maximum temperatures will be in the region of 16-19 degrees.

Housing for All plan

The Government's Housing for All plan does not address family and child homelessness, according to a new report from St Vincent de Paul.

The charity says they welcome the increased ambition regarding the States role in the provision of social and affordable housing and the commitment to work to eradicate homelessness by 2030.

However, they are concerned about the lack of emphasis on measures to address family and child homelessness and the need to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

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