Video: Phone scams, Covid hospitalisations dip below 600, body discovered in Sligo

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Cost of living

The Government is continuing to consider its options to tackle the rising cost of living.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said an increased energy bill credit and more welfare benefits and tax reliefs are among the measures being discussed.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar are also understood to have meet with workers groups to examine how best to ease the financial pressures for workers and those on lower incomes.

Garda warning

Online and phone fraud crime soared by a massive 370 per cent last year, according to the latest figures from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

The findings have prompted warnings over the increased prevalence of vishing (fraudulent phone calls), smishing (fraudulent texts) and phishing (fraudulent emails).

Gardaí are asking members of the public to be wary of unsolicited phone calls, emails and texts, reminding people not to click on any links contained in the correspondence.



The State logged a further 12,336 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, according to the Department of Health.

There were 6,697 cases confirmed by PCR test, while 5,639 positive antigen test results were uploaded to the HSE portal.

There were 597 patients hospitalised with the virus as of 8am on Friday, down from 610 on Thursday, with 66 people in intensive care, up three over the same period.

Northern Ireland

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has warned the party would have difficulty reforming a Stormont Executive after the upcoming Assembly election if issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol are not resolved.

Stormont has formally been shorn of governing powers after DUP First Minister Paul Givan quit the administration, automatically removing Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill from the role of Deputy First Minister.

Sinn Féin labelled Mr Givan's resignation a "ruse", however, Mr Donaldson said his party was patient when it came to negotiations between the EU and the UK over the protocol, but said their January 31st deadline had passed with no progress.

Elsewhere, the High Court in the North has issued an interim order suspending a decision by the North's Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots (DUP) to direct a stop to Brexit agri-food checks at ports in the North.

Remains discovered in Sligo

An investigation is under way after the body of a woman in her late teens was found in Co Sligo.

The discovery was made at Ballinode, Co Sligo on Thursday.

The woman’s body has since been removed from the scene and a post-mortem will take place in due course.

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