Video: Indoor dining limited to vaccinated, mortgage approvals rise, courts latest

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Kenneth Fox

Taoiseach confirms reopening delay

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that indoor dining will not reopen next week as planned.

He said he was advised by health experts in “stark terms” that proceeding with reopening next Monday will lead to a great increase in the spread of the virus, increase hospital admissions, illness and death.

Mr Martin said that the safest way to proceed with a return to hospitality is to limit access to those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have recovered from Covid-19.

“Over the course of the coming weeks, Government will work urgently with the relevant sectors to agree a practical and workable approach,” he added.

Mortgage approvals

There was a sharp increase in both the volume and value of approved mortgages in May when compared with the same period last year, according to figures from the Banking and Payments Federation (BPFI).

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The figures show there were 4,683 mortgage approvals, valued at €1.2 billion.

Mortgage approval activity increased in volume terms by 149.2 per cent year-on-year and increased in value terms by 162.5 per cent over the same period.

The increase can be explained by a significant drop-off in mortgage activity last year while the State was in the grip of the Covid-19 crisis.

Man jailed over abuse

A Dublin man who orally raped and sexually abused his daughter has been jailed for seven years.

Paul Hamilton (55) first abused his daughter when she was eight years old.

The Central Criminal Court heard the abuse came to an end after two years and that the accused man was forced to leave the family home by the victim's mother after she was told by her daughter about the abuse.

The court heard the mother went to a Garda station after the abuse was uncovered in 2002, but was told her child would have to make a complaint. The matter was investigated in 2019 after the now adult victim made a complaint to gardaí.

Npeht letter to Government

In a letter to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly dated June 28th, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan put forward the group's recommendation to delay the reopening of indoor hospitality, detailing four scenarios which could arise if the planned easing of restrictions went ahead coupled with the Delta variant's increased transmissibility.

In the letter, Dr Holohan said Nphet's projections were based on two "fundamental types of assumption" on indoor social mixing and transmission advantage.

These assumptions were that if the reopening were to go ahead on July 5th, indoor social mixing would increase to a 'moderate level' (similar to late July-early August 2020), or a 'higher level' (similar to late August-early September 2020).

Court of Appeal ruling

A judge of the Court of Appeal has “put down a marker” that barristers must provide evidence of anything they want to rely on during sentence hearings.

Mr Justice John Edwards said the practice of barristers giving evidence on a hearsay basis without calling witnesses or providing medical or other evidence to back up what they say “has to stop”.

He said it is “happening all the time” that barristers at sentence hearings make pleas in mitigation that are not backed up by anything.

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