Video: Laughter in Dáil as McDonald introduced as Taoiseach; Irish mortgage rates fall

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Dáil returns

The Dáil saw an eventful return to business after the summer break – shifting from a solemn minute’s silence held for the late Queen Elizabeth, to laughter at the accidental promotion of the Sinn Féin leader, to frayed exchanges on the cost-of-living crisis.

In the Dáíl’s first course of action after the summer break, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

After the minute’s silence the Ceann Comhairle, Séan Ó Fearghaíl, called on the Taoiseach to kick off Leaders’ Questions, despite the fact that it begins with questions from the main opposition party.

There were smiles, laughter and applause as Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald rose to her feet and Mr Ó Fearghaíl realised his mistake, including wry grins from the Government benches.

Minimum wage

Trade unions have criticised Government plans to increase the minimum wage by 80 cent to €11.30 an hour, saying it does not go far enough in working towards a living wage.

Unite called on the Government to set aside the Low Pay Commission report which recommends an increase in the hourly minimum wage of just 80 cent to €11.30.

Unite said that the proposed 80 cent increase means that the Government has effectively "ripped up" its commitment to move to a living wage by the end of its term in office.

Dublin flat death

A man whose body was found in a Dublin city flat, a week after he died, has been named.

The body of 28-year-old Tony Dempsey was discovered in a ground floor flat at Kevin Barry House on Coleraine Street in the north inner city shortly before 6.30pm on Monday evening.

It is believed his body was left on the floor for over a week after he suffered a violent assault.

Mortgage rates

The average interest rate on a new mortgage in Ireland has fallen for the fourth month in a row.

The interest rate in July stood at 2.63 per cent, down from 2.68 per cent in June.

Ireland, along with Malta and Greece, were the only countries in the euro zone to see a fall in mortgage rates. All other countries saw a rise in average rates.

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