Video: Ashling Murphy remembered, Cabinet on Covid and Tuesday's courts

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Ashling Murphy remembered

The partner of Ashling Murphy has described her as a “shining light” who was always willing to help others and put herself last. Ryan Casey paid tribute to his girlfriend, saying she was an “incredibly loving and beautiful” person.

Mourners at Ms Murphy's funeral were told that a “depraved act of violence,” which deprived her of her life, has united the country in grief and support. Bishop of Meath Tom Deenihan said the murder of the 23-year-old woman has asked questions of “ourselves and of society”.

Huge crowds gathered for the funeral in the village of Mountbolus and outside St Brigid’s Church where the mass was held. President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin were among those in attendance.

Hours after the funeral, gardaí investigating Ms Murphy's death confirmed that a man has been arrested in connection with the murder investigation. The man was previously being treated for injuries in a Dublin hospital.

Cabinet on Covid

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The Cabinet may meet as early as Friday to approve the lifting of Covid restrictions, which could begin next week.

While no meeting has been formally scheduled yet, it is understood that arrangements will be put in place quickly if advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Thursday is favourable to a quick reopening.

The easing of restrictions is likely to occur on a phased basis with hospitality opening hours extended from next week, with the possibility of cultural and sporting events being expanded from February.

Senior Government sources have said it is their expectation that Nphet will approve a new closing time of midnight for all licensed premises, along with full capacity at outdoor sporting events and increased numbers at indoor entertainment and sporting events.

It comes after a recent survey found the majority of Irish adults are comfortable sharing their Covid-19 vaccination status to access services.

Tuesday's courts

In the courts on Tuesday, a Munster father and mother who engaged in the “most awful” sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and wilful neglect of their children were jailed for 15 years and nine years respectively.

Meanwhile, an order preserving the anonymity of one of the men convicted of kidnapping and inflicting serious injuries on businessman Kevin Lunney was lifted by the High Court.

Separately, a man with paranoid schizophrenia who fatally stabbed a woman with whom he was having an affair was jailed for 12 years, with an American tourist describing her encounter with the blood-covered victim as being "like the movie Carrie".

Champagne gathering

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has been invited to appear before an Oireachtas committee 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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