Video: Sinn Féin no-confidence motion, €5.5m CAB seizure, Covid surge

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Sinn Féin no-confidence motion

Main Opposition party Sinn Féin will table a motion of no confidence in the Government next week.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the motion would be lodged this morning after a meeting of TDs.

It comes after the coalition Government lost its Dáil majority on Wednesday night, when Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh resigned the party whip over the mica redress scheme.

Mr McHugh’s defection means that the number of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Greens TDs currently under their party whips no longer forms a majority in the Dáil.

However, the Government tends to win votes comfortably with the support of several Independents and Coalition TDs who have temporarily lost their party whips.

Mrs McDonald told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that while the Government could “cobble together” support for votes one at a time, the point was that the Government had lost its majority.

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Sinn Féin “want to be as disruptive as possible” with the tabling of a no-confidence motion in the Government, a Minister has claimed.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney expressed confidence that the Government will defeat the no-confidence vote because of relationships built with Independents.

While he was not surprised by the move by Sinn Féin, it was unhelpful given the issues facing the country, he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.

“They will want to be as disruptive as possible,” he said.

This was unfortunate at a time when the Government was going to spend the summer preparing for one of the most important Budgets in years, he added.

He said it was a shame that the Dáil would be spending the last week of the current session debating the no-confidence motion at a time when there was a range of issues that should be the object of focus.

Wayne Cooney jailed for life for murder of Jordan Davis

"Extremely dangerous individual" Wayne Cooney (31), who shot a man dead while he pushed his four-month-old son in a pram, has been jailed for life for murder.

Before the trial of drug dealer Cooney, who was this week convicted of the murder of 22-year-old Jordan Davis, his lawyers argued that CCTV evidence that was vital in securing his conviction should be excluded from the evidence.

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During Cooney's sentencing hearing on Friday, Mr Justice Tony Hunt called for the higher courts to put an end to "spurious" legal arguments which he said are causing a "shocking waste of public money".

He said the arguments regarding CCTV, which are made in "trial after trial", are "the most spurious arguments devised by man or beast".

CAB returned more than €5.5m to exchequer after seizures

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) returned more than €5.5 million to the exchequer last year following the seizure of assets and cash from drug dealers and criminal gangs.

The CAB continued to target assets from a variety of suspected criminal conduct including drug trafficking, environmental crime, fraud, theft, burglary, diesel laundering, money laundering and human trafficking.

Its annual report for 2021 found the CAB returned in excess of €5.4 million to six people identified in a Sim swapping fraud and cryptocurrency theft.

The report revealed that CAB returned in excess of €5.5 million to the exchequer, which comprised of €4.4 million in Revenue settlements, €1.14 million in proceeds of crime and €0.364 million in social welfare recoveries.

Covid: Unvaccinated and unboosted ‘disproportionally’ represented in hospitals

The HSE’s chief clinical officer has repeated a call for anyone eligible for a booster Covid-19 vaccine to get it, as the number of people in hospital with the virus increases.

People who were not vaccinated or had not yet been boosted were “disproportionally” represented in hospital figures, Dr Colm Henry told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

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His comments came as there were 905 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospitals around the country as of this morning.

Dr Henry said that while half of the people in hospital with Covid-19 had been admitted with other conditions and subsequently tested positive for the virus, the same preventative measures had to be put in place to stop its spread to the vulnerable.

It was important for people to return to basic public health measures, he urged. This including isolating if they experienced any symptoms, and getting the vaccine or booster.

Northern Ireland sees 20 more Covid-linked deaths in weekly update

Northern Ireland has recorded 20 more deaths linked to Covid-19 in the latest weekly update.

The fatalities, in the week ending July 1st, take the total number of coronavirus-linked deaths recorded by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) to 4,684.

The figure is drawn from different data sources and is always higher than the Department of Health’s total as it provides a broader picture of the impact of Covid-19.

Man dies following road crash in west Belfast

A man has died following a road crash in west Belfast.

One vehicle was involved in the incident on Divis Street at around 10.20pm on Thursday.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Officers, along with colleagues from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, received and responded to a report of a collision in the Divis Street area shortly after 10.20pm.

“The road remained closed for some time but has now reopened.

“Our inquiries are continuing and the Collision Investigation Unit is appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the collision or who has dashcam footage or any other information to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1925 of 07/07/22.”

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