Video: Ashling Murphy funeral, easing of Covid restrictions and champagne gathering

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Ashling Murphy funeral

The funeral of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy is under way in Co Offaly, with the service being livestreamed.

Huge crowds have gathered for the funeral in the village of Mountbolus, and outside St Brigid’s Church, where the funeral mass is being held.

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin are among those in attendance.

It comes as gardaí waiting to interview a man about Ms Murphy's murder plan to arrest him and question him under caution when he is deemed mentally and physically well enough.

The man presented for treatment last Thursday and remains in a Dublin hospital with severe wounds.

Gardaí are also seeking information on a man wearing a black tracksuit on the day the 23-year-old schoolteacher was attacked in Tullamore.

Covid restrictions to ease

A major easing of Covid-19 restrictions is expected to be announced this week, amid growing optimism that a surge in infections driven by the Omicron variant has peaked.

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The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will meet on Thursday, with Government Ministers expecting the public health officials to issue advice on the rolling back of restrictions.

Senior Government sources have said it is their expectation that Nphet will approve a new closing time of midnight for all licensed premises.

It is also expected that full capacity will be permitted at outdoor sporting events, along with a relaxation on limited numbers allowed to attend indoor entertainment and sporting events.

It comes as more than 10,000 cases of Covid-19 were reported in Ireland on Monday, with 6,329 confirmed by PCR test while 4,810 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal.

Ireland has the second-highest percentage uptake of Covid vaccine boosters, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Champagne gathering

The Foreign Affairs Minister is expected to be called to appear before an Oireachtas committee today over a controversial champagne party.

The gathering of his department's officials took place in June 2020, during a Covid lockdown.

Minister Simon Coveney has told his secretary-general to compile a report into the incident.

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