Video: Irish in Kabul, Macron visit, back-to-school costs

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Irish people told to avoid Kabul airport, deaths reported in blast

Irish citizens in Afghanistan have been advised against coming to or remaining at Kabul airport due to the “change in security status”.

It comes as other Western nations urged their citizens to leave the area amid a terror threat.


Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: “Irish diplomats and members of the Army Ranger Wing have aided a number of Irish citizens and residents to evacuate from Afghanistan.

“Those evacuation flights are ongoing today and for security and operational reasons, we will not give detail on numbers until the Ecat [emergency consular assistance team] has left Kabul.

“Given the change in security status at Kabul Airport, remaining Irish citizens and residents in Kabul and beyond have been advised against coming to or remaining at the airport as gates are no longer open.”

There were at least two explosions near Kabul's airport amid a huge and chaotic evacuation effort from Afghanistan on Thursday, the US Pentagon said, with civilians and US service members among the casualties of what was described as a "complex attack."


A Taliban official said at least 13 people were killed in the blast, including children, and many Taliban guards were wounded.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said one blast occurred near the airport's Abbey Gate and the other close to the nearby Baron Hotel. Two US officials said at least one of the explosions appeared to be from a suicide bombing.

“We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties,” Mr Kirby said on Twitter. “We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.”

Emmanuel Macron visit

French president Emmanuel Macron has been welcomed to Ireland by President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.


Writing in the guestbook, Mr Macron said Ireland “occupies a precious place in the heart of the European dream”.

He said France will “remain a faithful friend” to Ireland in future.

Back-to-school costs

An anti-poverty charity took almost 300 calls every day last week from parents struggling with back-to-school costs, with calls on the issue up 10 per cent compared to previous years.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) said the level of demand underlines the need for much greater investment in the education system.


The charity said many of the calls received relate to requests for financial help with parental contributions, schoolbooks, digital equipment and help with the cost of school uniforms.

It comes as the latest Irish League of Credit Unions survey on back-to-school costs showed the overall spend on school items is up for both primary and secondary schools.

The cost of sending a child to primary school this year is €1,186, up €63 on last year. Parents of secondary school children can expect to pay an average of €1,491, up from €1,467 last year.

Stephen Kenny names 25-man Ireland squad for World Cup qualifiers

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has named a 25-man squad for the upcoming Fifa 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Portugal, Azerbaijan and Serbia.


Ireland travel to Faro to take on Portugal at the Estádio Algarve on Wednesday, September 1st before returning to Ireland to take on Azerbaijan on Saturday, September 4th and Serbia on Tuesday, September 7th at the Aviva Stadium.

Enda Stevens, Callum O'Dowda, Jason Knight and Chiedozie Ogbene have all been ruled out through injury while West Brom striker Callum Robinson tested positive for Covid-19 this week, and is currently in isolation.

Burnley defender Nathan Collins receives his first call-up to the senior squad whilst Jamie McGrath and Andrew Omobamidele keep their place in the squad after impressing in the summer camp in Andorra and Hungary.

Brighton striker Aaron Connolly and Newcastle United midfielder Jeff Hendrick return to the squad having missed the summer international friendlies, with the squad set to fly out to Portugal on Sunday.

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