Video: Walk-in vaccine centres open, mother charged with murder, Team Ireland update

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Kenneth Fox

Afghans evacuate to US

The first flight evacuating Afghans who worked alongside Americans in Afghanistan has landed in the US.

More than 200 people, including children and babies, resettling in America were welcomed “home” by US President Joe Biden.

The evacuation flights, bringing out former interpreters and others who fear retaliation from Afghanistan’s Taliban for having worked with American service personnel and civilians, highlight US uncertainty about how Afghanistan’s government and military will fare after the last American troops leave the country in the coming weeks.

Off-duty garda assaulted

A man who assaulted his garda wife by holding her down on the kitchen floor and strangling her in front of their child has been jailed for one year.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the victim, Meihan Meng, believed she was going to die during the attack and had to tap her fingers on the floor to let her husband know she couldn't breathe.

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Kai Zhu (39) of Sandymount Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his wife at their home on Sandymount Ave on May 13th, 2020. He also pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage on the same date.

IRA man loses appeal

A Dublin man has lost an appeal against his conviction for IRA membership following a threat to shoot an accident victim if he did not withdraw an insurance claim against his former employer.

The Court of Appeal dismissed all grounds of the appeal by Ciaran Maguire (32), who was jailed for four years and 11 months after he and his co-accused Kevin Braney (46) were convicted of IRA membership by the Special Criminal Court in May 2018.

Maguire, of Kippure Park in Finglas and Braney, of Glenshane Crescent in Tallaght had denied membership of an unlawful organisation, styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on August 2nd, 2017.

Charlene Masterson campaign

The woman who suffered years of abuse at the hands of her father who was jailed last week has told of how she plans to campaign for greater awareness and support for individuals suffering abuse.

Charlene Masterson said she waived her anonymity in a bid to highlight the difficulties she faced.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne, Ms Masterson said she did not what could have happened without the intervention of her friend, who was training to be a social worker at the time.

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Since the court case, during which she delivered a devastating victim impact statement, Ms Masterson has been doing online courses on domestic violence awareness. Such information should be freely available here, she said, but not a lot of what was available was relevant to Irish law.

Vaccine centres

The first of Ireland's walk-in vaccination centres opened to the public on Friday morning, with more set to deliver jabs over the bank holiday weekend.

Clinics are open to anyone aged 16 and over who has yet to receive a first dose, with the first walk-in clinic opening at the Clonguish GAA Club in Co Longford at 8am on Friday.

The Midlands Park Hotel in Co Laois opened at 9am on Friday for walk-in vaccinations, as did the Clonmel Park Hotel in Tipperary.

More vaccination centres will welcome walk-ins over the course of the weekend and anyone attending will receive the first dose of the Pfizer jab.

Mother charged

The mother of a baby boy has been remanded in custody charged with his murder.

Raluca Ioana Tagani (29) appeared before a judge in Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning.

She is accused of murdering her son Liam O’Keefe in a house in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast on Tuesday evening.

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Tagani, who is originally from Romania, is also accused of the attempted murder of another young child in the same stabbing incident at the property on Brompton Park.

Covid boosters

The HSE should begin planning for a Covid vaccine booster programme so that it can start immediately following approval from the European Medicines Agency, a professor of immunology has said.

Professor Christine Loscher was speaking on Newstalk radio about the booster campaign for the over-60s, which will go ahead in Israel this weekend for people who received their second dose five months ago.

Israel had made the decision following an increase in cases in the vulnerable cohort in recent days, she explained.

Team Ireland update

Boxer Aidan Walsh secured at least a Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics after beating Merven Clair from Mauritius in his quarter-final bout.

The Belfast man now looks ahead to a familiar foe in the semi-final, number one seed, Pat McCormack, of Great Britain.

Earlier on in the day, Kellie Harrington made her Olympic debut in dominant fashion, as she overcame Rebecca Nicoli of Italy by unanimous decision to advance to the quarter-final stages of the Women’s Light.

In golf, Team Ireland has made their move up the leader board with Rory McIlroy 4-under for his round through 13 holes and Shane Lowry one shot further back after 12.

After a delay, both players resumed with birdies on the 13th and 14th holes respectively. Beginning the day tied for 20th McIlroy – now 8-under par in total – has moved into a tie for 2nd while Lowry – on 7-under through 16, sits tied for 5th.

Mexican Carlos Ortiz leads the field on 9-under par, one shot ahead of Mito Pereira (Chile), Alex Noren (Sweden) and McIlroy.

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