Video: Harrington gets hero’s welcome, Donohoe defends Varadkar over Merrion Hotel

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Harrington heads home

Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington has said “it is so nice to finally be home” and is “delighted to be bringing the gold back to the north inner city!”

The Dubliner arrived home with fellow boxing medallist, Aidan Walsh, who claimed bronze in Tokyo, and the remaining Team Ireland members following the close of the 2020 Games.

She was welcomed back to her family home on Portland Row after being transported through the streets of the north inner city on an open-top bus.

Local residents lined footpaths along the route while cheering support for the Olympic champion.

Merrion Hotel controversy

Paschal Donohoe has said that his party leader Leo Varadkar has his full backing, following on from the Merrion Hotel controversy.

Speaking at Government Buildings on Tuesday, the Minister for Finance said he “unequivocally and absolutely” supports the Tánaiste in the work he is doing.

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Last week, Mr Varadkar apologised for attending the controversial event hosted by former minister Katherine Zappone.

He said he regretted going to the private reception, but insisted that it was not in breach of Government guidelines.

Vaccine registration for 12- to 15-year-olds

The HSE has made slots available at vaccination centres this weekend for 12- to 15-year-olds.

Registration for this cohort will open on Thursday with the first vaccines to be administered at the weekend.

There will also be evening clinics along with appointments through a limited number of GPs and pharmacies to allow parents to accompany their children.

It is anticipated that most of this cohort will have received their second doses by the end of September.

Dublin rape charges

Two men have been refused bail after they were accused of a raping a young man who was filmed while forced to perform sex acts on them beside the GPO in Dublin.

The victim was incapable of consenting and had been pushed into an alley and was allegedly attacked just 25 metres from O’Connell Street, Dublin District Court heard.

The men, aged 23 and 26, from eastern Europe, were charged with raping the man, who is also in his 20s, at Prince’s Street, Dublin 1, in the early hours of Monday.

Eviction ban

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A ban on evicting tenants to sell houses is needed to combat a new wave of family homelessness, Sinn Féin has said.

The party’s housing spokesman, Eoin Ó Broin, also repeated calls for a three-year rent freeze and said the Government must invest millions to deliver thousands of cost-rental accommodation units.

It comes after a Daft.ie report showed that rents have risen 5.6 per cent in a year, while there are fewer than 800 homes available for rent outside Dublin, by far the lowest figure on record.

In Dublin, rents are just 0.5 per cent above the level seen a year ago, but other cities have seen much larger increases – rents in Cork, Galway and Limerick cities are between 9 per cent and 10 per cent higher than a year ago while in Waterford they are nearly 12 per cent higher.

Climate crisis

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Mary Robinson: Ireland no longer a ‘laggard’ on cl...
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Former president Mary Robinson has said it is time for Ireland to set out its “actual plan” to tackle climate change.

A landmark report on the catastrophic impact of global warming, published by the UN on Monday, said the world will reach or exceed temperature rises of 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next two decades.

Ms Robinson, the chairwoman of international non-governmental organisation The Elders, said that the country is no longer a “laggard” when it comes to climate change, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

“Now we need to see the actual plan, the steps, and that does need not just the Government’s leadership but Government and opposition leadership,” she said.

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