Video: Housing legislation plan, Taoiseach concerned by new variant, courts latest

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Kenneth Fox

Short-term letting legislation

The Minister for Housing said he will bring in additional legislation to target short-term lettings in the coming weeks.

Darragh O’Brien said the legislation will further restrict the short-term letting of houses and apartments.

Mr O’Brien said the amended law will go further that issuing on-the-spot fines, describing the move as “significant”.

Covid concern

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has expressed concern about the new BA.4 variant and asked people who are eligible for a booster vaccine to get the jab as soon as possible.

Speaking during a visit to the Merck plant in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, Mr Martin described the detection of two cases of BA.4 in Ireland earlier this month as a worrying development.

"We are always concerned about new variants and their potential to disrupt the situation," he said.

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Mr Martin said the Omicron variant could still disrupt normal life and business activities despite not being as virulent as earlier Covid variants.

Russian soldier jailed

A Ukrainian court has sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for killing a Ukrainian civilian – following the first war crimes trial since Russia’s invasion.

Sgt Vadim Shishimarin was accused of shooting the civilian in the head in a village in the north-eastern Sumy region in the early days of the conflict, which started on February 24th.

He pleaded guilty and said he was following orders when he shot the man.

He told the court an officer insisted the victim, who was speaking on his mobile phone, could pinpoint their location to Ukrainian forces.

Sentenced adjourned

The sentencing of a former RTÉ journalist for sexual assaulting a woman while she was sleeping in his bed has been adjourned.

Mícheál Ó Leidhin (38), of Sunnyside, Malahide Road, Artane, was convicted last April of sexual assault at his former home in south Dublin in the early hours of the morning of May 13th, 2018.

Ó Leidhin, a native of Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry, had denied the offence, but his lawyers told a sentence hearing earlier this month at the Central Criminal Court that he now accepts the verdict of the jury.

Pensioner robbed

A Sinn Féin election worker has been given a nine-month prison sentence for robbing a chronically ill pensioner while hanging campaign posters in Dublin.

Sean Fitzgerald (34), of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, was carrying Mary Lou McDonald posters when he got into a row with motorist William Ryan (78) at Cromwellsfort Road, Walkinstown, on January 29th, 2020.

Dublin District Court heard he hit Mr Ryan’s car with his stepladder, sat into the pensioner’s front passenger seat, filmed him and tried to stop him calling gardaí.

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