Video: 'Universal' cost of living plans, men in court over attacks on young women

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'Universal' cost of living plans

New plans to tackle the rising cost of living will not be reserved for the unemployed and those on low incomes as those on higher salaries are also facing difficulties, according to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Speaking at the announcement of a new €90 million fund for start-ups, Mr Varadkar indicated that a new package of measures is likely to be revealed on Thursday and will include a "universal element".

Mr Varadkar said the package, which is expected to include the previously announced electricity credit, has yet to be finalised. A number of Government departments are still weighing which charges could be reduced to help households.

Man in court over Ashling Murphy killing

A man accused of killing Ashling Murphy has appeared in court, where it was heard that a Garda investigation file on the incident will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 10 days.

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Jozef Puska, 31, with an address of Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co Offaly, is accused of killing the 23-year-old primary school teacher who was attacked while out running along the Grand Canal near Tullamore on January 12th.

The Slovakian national faced his third hearing at Cloverhill District Court on Wednesday, appearing before Judge Patricia Cronin via video link. He spoke only to give his name and to confirm he could see and hear the court proceedings.

Man in court over Fermoy assault

A 34-year-old man has been charged with the sexual assault of a teenage girl in Fermoy, Co Cork which occurred at lunchtime on Monday at Chapel Hill, near the town centre.

Kamil Szymczak appeared before Mallow District Court charged with the sexual assault of a girl contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law Rape Amendment Act 1990.

Det Garda David Forsythe told Judge Alec Gabbett that Mr Szymczak, who is a Polish national, made no reply when the charge was put to him under caution. The garda objected to bail being granted in the case given the seriousness and nature of the charge.

Today in the courts

The trial of former solicitor Michael Lynn, accused of multi-million euro thefts, has opened before a jury.

Elsewhere, a pensioner who claimed she injured her ankle when she was allegedly lifted into the air when a Ryanair flight hit turbulence settled her High Court action.

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At Limerick Circuit Court, a 20-year-old woman is to be sentenced after pleading guilty to causing injury and endangering lives by driving a high-powered car into a crowd of people in Limerick city.

Finally, a woman who told a senior male colleague she claims bullied her to "shove his job up his ass” has resolved her High Court action aimed at stopping her employer from terminating her employment.

Defence Forces weaknesses

Ireland's Defence Forces cannot adequately protect from an attack on the nation should one happen, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney has said.

The Minister was speaking after the publication of a high-level report from the Commission on the Defence Forces, which said there is a growing risk of Ireland’s land, sea and air being used by belligerent powers to attack its nearest neighbours.

Mr Coveney said he accepted “virtually everything” in the report. It was “probably the most significant report” into the Defence Forces in the last 50 years and it was going to be “hugely challenging” for the Government to respond, he said.

Rents and mortgages worsen cost of living

Rent increases and the highest mortgage rates in the Eurozone are worsening a cost-of-living crisis in Ireland, new figures showed on Wednesday.

Market rents in the final quarter of 2021 were 10.3 per cent higher than the same period in 2020, according to figures from Daft.ie. With just under 1,400 rental properties available across the State, low availability of stock has continued to push rent increases.

Ireland also once again has the highest mortgage rates in the Eurozone despite rates being at record lows in the country, new data from the Central Bank of Ireland shows, adding thousands in a year to the cost of living.

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