Irish soldier killed in Lebanon named as Private Seán Rooney (23)
A member of Óglaigh na hÉireann, the Irish Defence Forces, was killed while carrying out UN peacekeeping duties in Lebanon on Wednesday night.
Private Seán Rooney (23), from Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal, was involved in a "serious incident" at approximately 9.15pm Irish time, when two-vehicle convoy carrying members of the 121st Infantry Battalion — United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, or UNIFIL — came under "small arms fire" in al-Aqbieh, southern Lebanon.
Private Rooney joined Óglaigh na hÉireann in March 2019. He previously served overseas with the 119th Infantry Battalion UNIFIL.
Following the incident, Private Rooney, along with three other soldiers, were brought to a hospital near Sidon. The young peacekeeper was pronounced dead on arrival.
Another soldier, named as Private Shane Kearney (22), remains in a "serious condition" having undergone surgery.
Aaron Connolly guilty of murder of student Cameron Reilly in Co Louth
A 23-year-old man has been found guilty of the murder of Cameron Reilly, the teenager who was found dead in a field in Dunleer, County Louth in May 2018.
The Central Criminal Court jury of seven women and five men returned a unanimous verdict on Thursday afternoon on what was their third day of deliberations in the case.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt thanked the jury for their hard work telling them they had put in a “very hard and long shift”.
“These are terribly difficult matters,” he added.
The jury had been deliberating for a total of 10 hours and 39 minutes.
Aaron Connolly, Willistown, Drumcar had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Reilly (18) at Shamrock Hill, Dunleer on May 26th, 2018.
Further weather warning issued ahead of -5 lows overnight
Severe low temperatures are expected overnight on Thursday as Met Éireann issued a new warning.
The orange alert for low temperatures and ice will cover 16 counties from 6pm on Thursday until midday on Friday.
Roscommon, Galway, Clare, Cork, Limerick and Tipperary are all included in the alert, as well as Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly, Cavan and Monaghan.
Young mother found with Tesco bag containing €240,000 in drugs again avoids jail
A young mother who admitted having a shopping bag containing over €240,000 in drugs has again avoided jail, even after the Court of Appeal found that her original fully-suspended sentence was too lenient.
Kirsty Cummins was a teenager when she was found with a Tesco bag containing over €240,000 worth of cocaine and heroin and received a fully suspended four-year sentence in June 2021 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Cummins (20) was observed by gardaí entering a Dublin flat and emerging carrying a bag which was later found to contain approximately €70,000 worth of cocaine and approximately €172,000 worth of heroin.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the accused, who had recently turned 18 at the time of the offence, was highly unlikely to have any “proprietary interest” in the drugs. The court heard she was pregnant at the time of her hearing.
Sunak to visit Northern Ireland amid political crisis
British prime minister Rishi Sunak is to visit Northern Ireland on Thursday to meet with politicians, Stormont leaders have said.
The development came after the parties met with Britain's Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris as the British government continues to press for a return to powersharing.
However, Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O’Neill said any meeting with Mr Sunak had to have a political outcome, and that she did not want “tea and sympathy”.
Devolution has been in flux since February when the DUP withdrew its first minister from the ministerial executive in protest over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Another issue that featured in the cross-party discussions in Belfast on Thursday was the continued uncertainty over when £600 UK treasury-funded energy support payments will be rolled out to householders in Northern Ireland.