Irish soldier killed in Lebanon named
A member of Óglaigh na hÉireann, the Irish Defence Forces, has been killed while carrying out UN peacekeeping duties in Lebanon.
Private Seán Rooney (23), from Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal, was involved in a "serious incident" at approximately 9:15pm Irish time, when two-vehicle convoy carrying members of the 121st Infantry Battalion — United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, or UNIFIL — came under "small arms fire" in al-Aqbieh, southern Lebanon.
Private Rooney joined Óglaigh na hÉireann in March 2019. He previously served overseas with the 119th Infantry Battalion UNIFIL.
Following the incident, Private Rooney, along with three other soldiers, were brought to a hospital near Sidon. The young peacekeeper was pronounced dead on arrival.
Another soldier, named as Private Shane Kearney (22), remains in a "serious condition" having undergone surgery,
A native of Killeagh, Co Cork, he joined the Defence Forces in October 2018.
Man arrested after woman dies following suspected assault in Laois
A woman in her 30s has died in a suspected assault in Laois, and a man, aged in his 30s, has been arrested in relation to the incident.
The woman was discovered with serious injuries at a home in Mountmellick at about 4.45pm on Wednesday, and later pronounced dead at the scene.
A man in his 30s has since been arrested in relation to the incident and is being held at Portlaoise Garda Station.
The woman's body remains at the scene, which is currently preserved for technical examination, and the State Pathologist has been notified.
Gardaí said the results of the postmortem will determine the course of their investigation.
Gardaí are appealing to anyone who has any information that can assist with their investigation to contact Portlaoise Garda Station on 057 8674100, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.
Gardaí discover man's body while investigating alleged assault in Newbridge
Gardaí discovered a man's body while investigating an alleged assault in Co Kildare on Wednesday.
Gardaí in Kildare received a report of an alleged assault, when a woman presented herself at Newbridge Garda Station in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The woman, aged in her 30s, was later taken to Naas General hospital to receive treatment for her injuries. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
Subsequently, gardaí attended a residence in the Newbridge area of Kildare, the same location of the alleged assault, and discovered the body of a man, aged in his 40s.
His body has since been removed from the scene and taken to the Mortuary at Naas General Hospital. A postmortem has been scheduled for Thursday morning.
The outcome of the postmortem will determine the course of the investigation.
Man arrested as gardaí seize 480 cannabis plants
Gardaí have arrested a man following the seizure of approximately €384,000 worth of cannabis plants (analysis pending) as part of Operation Tara in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.
On Wednesday, gardaí conducted a search of a property in Castleblayney and discovered 480 cannabis plants at different stages of growth.
A man in his 20s was arrested in connection with this seizure and was taken to Castleblayney Garda Station where he was later charged. He is due to appear before Cavan District Court on Thursday morning.
Government on course to 'significantly miss' waiting list reduction targets - IHCA
The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) has expressed "dismay that the Government is on course to miss waiting list reduction targets for 2022 by a significant margin".
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly launched the €350 million Waiting List Action Plan for 2022 in February, which committed to reducing active waiting lists for acute scheduled care by 18 per cent (more than 132,00) by the end of this year.
However, figures show that by the end of November the numbers of those waiting for treatment will have only dropped by 1.6 per cent (fewer than 11,500).
The latest National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures confirm that the number of people on the three main waiting lists decreased from 720,056 at the start of 2022 to 708,590 at the end of November, "nowhere near the planned 18 per cent reduction".
Surrogacy legislation welcomed
Government approval of proposals that would allow Irish families to have international surrogacy arrangements recognised has been welcomed as meaning "everything" to families by a spokesperson for Irish Families Through Surrogacy (IFTS).
Sara Byrne of IFTS was one of those who met with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman, and Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys following the announcement on Tuesday.
Ms Byrne told BreakingNews.ie: "We're just delighted. Our Christmas miracle has come true, it couldn't be better timing just before Christmas to know this time next year we won't have to spend another Christmas not being recognised as our children's mothers. It's really special, a great day."