Video: Leaving Cert plans criticised, Garda manhunt after Kilkenny attack

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Garda manhunt under way after teenage girl attacked in Kilkenny

A Garda manhunt is under way after a 17-year-old girl was attacked while out walking in rural Kilkenny, in what gardaí believe may have been an attempted abduction.

Gardaí are continuing to search for a lone male who allegedly attacked the girl as she exercised in the rural area of north Kilkenny near Ballyspellan on Monday.

The girl, who lives locally, was last night being treated in St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny for shock and minor injuries, according to the Irish Examiner.

The teenager was approached by the man who was a stranger to her at on a rural road, known locally as Cullinane’s Lane, located about one kilometre from Johnstown village, shortly after midday.

She struggled with the man and screamed for help, at which point he fled, gardaí have been told.

Leaving Cert 2022 plans slammed as ‘wrong decision’


Plans to proceed with a traditional Leaving Certificate this year have been slammed as the “wrong decision” and a “huge retrograde step” by Opposition politicians.

Students will sit a traditional Leaving Cert with "some elements of choice" under new plans to be approved by Cabinet today, with the Government set to ignore demands from students for a hybrid model.

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty described the plans as “absolutely the wrong decision.” “It should be reversed immediately,” he said.

Some students were suffering with mental health issues and the pandemic had caused great disruption to their academic life, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, and they were now being asked to sit a very high-stress exam.

The fact that students had not been listened to was a “huge retrograde step,” Mr Doherty said. He hoped the Minister for Education “would see sense” and listen to students.

Revised guidance for visiting nursing homes

Revised guidance around visiting nursing homes has been welcomed following the recent easing of Covid-19 restrictions by the Government.

Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) said the revised guidance will normalise nursing home visitations once again.

According to the new guidance issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), vaccination certificates will no longer be needed for visiting nursing homes.


Furthermore, visitors may visit residents in multi-occupancy rooms in their rooms, and, even if there is a Covid-19 outbreak, a minimum level of visitation must be facilitated.

The new guidance comes into effect from February 8th.

“We hope the easing of visitor restrictions will represent a hugely important milestone for residents and broader society as we look to move on from Covid-19,” said Tadhg Daly, CEO of NHI.

An Post announces price hike for stamps

An Post has announced a price hike for national and international stamps, with it to cost an extra 15 cent to send a letter anywhere in Ireland from next month.

From March 1st, the price of a national stamp will increase to €1.25, while an international stamp will cost €2.20.

The cost of a national 10-stamp booklet will remain at the current price of €11.

Anna McHugh from An Post said that despite the increase, Irish stamp prices remain lower than many European countries.

“The increases when they come in will still be less than the average across Europe by quite a bit. The average across Europe for the domestic standard letter is €1.58, and it will be €1.25 in Ireland,” she said.

“Similarly on the international prices as well, and that’s important to us, but we have to keep pace with costs – otherwise we jeopardise the overall service.”

Minister dismisses call for independent inquiry into champagne event

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has dismissed a Sinn Féin call for an independent inquiry into events involving champagne at Iveagh House during which Covid-19 protocols were breached.

A report has found there was a “serious breach” of Covid-19 social distancing rules at the June 2020 celebration at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The controversy came to light after a photo of around 20 staff, seen drinking Moet Champagne, was tweeted by the former secretary general Niall Burgess, before being quickly deleted.

The report found “no evidence” that any breach took place while Minister Simon Coveney was present, or that the event had been planned in advance.

Mr Coveney told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland: “I don’t see what else there is to know here.”

“Clearly this shouldn’t have happened, it was a moment of celebration. That was careless,” he said.

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