Video: Limerick lockdown, bank holiday prep and three million vaccines

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Limerick lockdown ruled out

A further 529 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic this evening.

The Chief Medical Officer has said the easing of restrictions will go ahead in Limerick, in line with the rest of the country.

CMO Dr Tony Holohan and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly met virtually with Limerick-based TDs and Senators this afternoon over the recent rise of cases in the county.

Speaking later to Clare FM, Dr Holohan ruled out a local lockdown at present. He said public health officials are monitoring case numbers closely and urged the public to adhere to guidelines.

People dropping their guard combined with the reopening of the economy has led to a surge of Covid-19 in Limerick, according to Minister of State Niall Collins.

Three million vaccines

The HSE says it expects to administer Ireland's three millionth Covid-19 vaccine this weekend.

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The rollout is continuing to progress, with Friday seeing those aged 42 register for the jab.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has meanwhile approved the reduction of the interval between AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses from 12 weeks to eight.

Courts

A man who denies assisting Kevin Lunney's abductors by buying bleach and providing the site where he was imprisoned and beaten, told gardaí "I have nothing to hide," when they arrived at his house with a search warrant, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Separately, a 75-year-old man has been jailed for two years for the production, distribution and possession of child pornography. Frederick Hunt told gardaí that boredom at work and curiosity about the internet led to the offending involving hundreds of graphic images and videos of child abuse.

Meanwhile, a spectator at a golf tournament who sued after he was hit on the head by a golf ball and knocked unconscious has lost his High Court action.

Finally, Lidl has failed to get a High Court injunction preventing the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) from re-publishing advertisements which the supermarket chain says are misleading and defamatory.

Bank holiday preparations

Dublin City Council is installing 150 portaloo toilets, 54 large eurobins and 80 barrel bins across the city from this weekend.

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It comes after large crowds gathered on the streets of Dublin, Cork and Galway last weekend amid sunny weather.

There is concern the upcoming June bank holiday weekend could see a repeat of the scenes amid the continued closure of the hospitality sector until outdoor dining resumes on Monday.

This bank holiday weekend is expected to be dry and sunny for most of the country, according to Met Éireann.

The national forecaster says temperatures could hit as high as 20 degrees in parts over the next three to four days, with next week expected to be even warmer.

Monday reopening

The co-founder of a Dublin craft brewery has said there is great excitement in the industry ahead of the reopening of bars next week.

From Monday, bars and restaurants in Ireland will be allowed to serve outdoors as part of a phased reopening over the summer following Covid restrictions.

Ireland's deputy chief medical officer has called on young people to avoid indoor meetings this bank holiday weekend.

Dr Ronan Glynn said that if people wanted to meet up, to do so out of doors, in small groups of no more than six people.

There were still hundreds of cases every week and the vast majority were now in the under-45 age group, Dr Glynn said. While they were less likely to end up being hospitalised, “you can’t be sure of any one outcome.”

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