Video: Son found not guilty of mother's murder; Tories scramble for new leader

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Patrick Dunne verdict

An autistic man who bludgeoned his mother to death with a hatchet after an argument over an iPhone has been found not guilty of her murder by reason of insanity.

At the Central Criminal Court on Friday morning, a jury of seven women and five men returned the special verdict to Ms Justice Ellen Ring at 11.10am after deliberating for three-and-a-half hours in the case of Patrick Dunne, who had pleaded not guilty to murdering his mother, Susan Dunne, in Co Kerry in 2013.

Expert psychiatrists had told the court that Mr Dunne, who admitted killing his mother but denied it was murder, was incapable of understanding or controlling his actions on the night and was suffering with a mental disorder at the time.

Ms Dunne died after suffering six hatchet wounds to the head as she lay in her bed.

EU energy discussions

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European Union leaders ended another debate on the bloc's response to the energy crunch without agreement on whether to cap gas prices, deciding in the early hours of Friday morning to keep examining options to put a ceiling on costs.

The EU is grappling with high energy prices driving inflation and raising the prospect of recession across the continent, a situation aggravated by Russia slashing gas flows following its February invasion of Ukraine.

The 27 EU members states have already agreed to fill gas storages and claw back revenues from energy firms to spend on helping consumers with crippling bills.

At a summit in Brussels on Thursday which ran late into the night, EU leaders eventually backed proposals made by the European Commission this week to launch an alternative price benchmark for liquefied natural gas and voluntary joint gas buying, although laws to make this happen will need to be negotiated over the coming weeks.

Refugee accommodation

Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman has admitted that he “could not rule out” that some international protection applicants could end up sleeping on the streets as the Citywest processing centre in Dublin is at capacity.

Mr O'Gorman said that women and children will be prioritised, adding his department will work with NGOs about supporting other arrivals.

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The Ukrainian embassy has been contacted, the Minister said, so people could be advised to stay in other EU states as State accommodation could not be guaranteed.

The State is now accommodating more than 58,000 refugees or asylum seekers – around 42,000 Ukrainian nationals and 16,000 international protection applicants.

Dublin drugs arrests

Two people have been arrested after gardaí seized cocaine and heroin worth more than €1 million in south Dublin.

Gardaí carried out a raid at a home in Sandyford shortly before 7.30pm on Thursday evening.

Officers uncovered €560,000 worth of heroin and cocaine valued at €490,000 during the search conducted as part of Operation Tara, which aims to disrupt, dismantle and prosecute drug trafficking networks.

Possible BoJo return

Supporters of Boris Johnson are backing the former British prime minister to make an extraordinary political comeback following the dramatic resignation of Liz Truss.

Just six weeks after he left office for the final time, forced out by his own Conservative lawmakers after one scandal too many, allies are urging him to run again for a second shot at the Tory crown.

If he does, he is likely to find himself up against Rishi Sunak – the former finance minister who is blamed by Mr Johnson’s supporters for bringing him down – and the Leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt.

Such a move would be highly divisive within the Conservative Party, with reports some MPs could resign the whip and sit as independents rather than serve under Mr Johnson.

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