Video: Lisa Smith sentenced to 15 months in prison, AIB reverses cashless decision

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Lisa Smith sentenced to 15 months in prison

Former Irish soldier Lisa Smith, who was found guilty of being a member of the so-called Islamic State group, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison at the Special Criminal Court.

Ex-Defence Forces member Lisa Smith, 40, was found guilty in May of membership of the IS terror group but was acquitted of a separate charge of financing terrorism after a nine-week trial at Dublin’s non-jury Special Criminal Court.

Smith, a convert to Islam, went to Syria in 2015 after terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on Muslims to travel to the country.

The Co Louth woman had pleaded not guilty to charges of membership of IS and providing funds to benefit the group.

AIB reverses cashless decision

AIB has decided not to proceed with plans to turn 70 branches into cashless outlets.

In a statement, the bank says it recognises "the customer and public unease that this has caused".

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It says it will retain its 170-branch network in its entirety.

Close to 300,000 Irish households to be impacted by ECB hike

Around 300,000 households on tracker mortgages are likely to face cost increases of over €3,000 this year after the European Central Bank on Thursday started to raise its official rates for the first time in over a decade.

ECB president Christine Lagarde said a hefty half-point hike was justified as the shockwaves of energy and food inflation since the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent price pressures “spreading across more and more sectors”.

As the Irish Examiner reports, experts are now predicting that the ECB will hike official rates by a further 1.25 per cent before the end of the year.

That means there will be no escape for most households from rate hikes coming down the line before Christmas.

There are a total of 730,000 mortgaged households in Ireland, but there was no escape from yesterday’s half-point rise for the 300,000 households on trackers because these rates are directly tied to any ECB rate moves.

Heckling as Northern Ireland Protocol Bill introduced to House of Lords

A controversial move to rip up parts of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland has been heckled as it was introduced in the UK House of Lords in an indication of the rocky ride ahead.

There was laughter as a number of members were heard to observe “they’ll be lucky”, as the unelected chamber’s agreement to the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill was formally requested by the Commons, following its approval by MPs.

Some peers also shouted “not content” for the Bill’s first reading, at which point proposed legislation is usually waved through ahead of a future comprehensive debate.

It forced the deputy speaker to stop and repeat the question seeking approval for the initial parliamentary stage of the Bill and allow its progress.

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