Video: Ministers meet over refugee housing, child dies from hepatitis

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Ministers meet over refugee housing

Plans to increase housing options for people fleeing the war in Ukraine will be discussed by senior members of Government today.

A cabinet subcommittee is expected to recommend a €400 monthly payment to encourage people to open up their homes to refugees.

There are concerns that pledges made by householders in the early weeks of the war may not come to pass, while hotels housing thousands of Ukrainians will not be available when the tourist season kicks off in June.

The subcommittee will also discuss plans to provide schooling for child refugees.

Rental market 'crisis point'

The latest increases in rent across the country indicate a "crisis point" for the housing market, according to national housing charity Threshold.

The latest rental report by Daft.ie shows market rents in the first quarter of 2022 were an average of 11.7 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.

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The average market rent nationwide between January and March was €1,567 per month, up 2.8 per cent on the last three months of 2021 and more than double the low of €765 per month seen in late 2011.

Nationwide, there were just 851 homes available to rent on May 1st, down from over 3,600 a year ago and another new all-time low in a series that extends back over 15 years to 2006.

Ballymun murder investigation continues

Gardaí investigating the murder of Lisa Thompson have said she may have been dead for several days before she was found.

Ms Thompson, a mother-of-two, was stabbed to death in her Dublin home.

Garda Superintendent Darren McCarthy said the 52-year-old had been the subject of “a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries” before gardaí discovered her body at a house in Sandyhill Gardens in Ballymun on Tuesday afternoon.

He told reporters at Ballymun Garda station on Wednesday that gardaí are examining all lines of enquiry and are retaining an open mind as to the motive for the attack in the north Dublin suburb at this time.

Child dies from hepatitis

A child has died from a case of hepatitis in Ireland believed to be linked to an increase in unexplained cases of infections across several countries in recent weeks.

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The HSE confirmed while six probable cases of children with hepatitis of an unknown cause had been identified, one of the children had died from the infection. Another child had required a liver transplant.

The six children were aged between one and 12 years old and all were hospitalised, a HSE spokeswoman said.

The increase in unexplained child hepatitis cases, which causes an inflammation of the liver, was first identified in the UK and has since seen 450 suspected cases reported worldwide.

A public health expert has said with "absolute certainty" that there is no link between the Covid-19 vaccine and the cases.

New delay urged over NMH move

The Government is set to defy calls from a leading Dáil committee to delay the Cabinet decision to approve the National Maternity Hospital's move to St Vincent's Hospital.

The Oireachtas Health Committee has written to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly urging him to put off next week's Cabinet decision on the controversial project to allow members time to hear from a wider range of legal and medical experts.

Committee members held a private meeting after hearing from the minister and a number of medical and legal experts yesterday afternoon and agreed they now need "some extra time" to fully examine issues around ownership and governance which have been raised as concerns.

However, Government sources last night indicated that ministers will not defer the sign-off on the NMH and it will be brought to Cabinet as intended next week.

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