Video: Coveney evacuated from Belfast, Zelenskiy criticises Ireland, Daffodil Day returns

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Kenneth Fox

Russian missiles

Russian precision-guided missiles are failing up to 60 per cent of the time in Ukraine, three US officials with knowledge of intelligence on the issue told Reuters, a possible explanation for the poor progress of Russia's invasion.

Since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, Russia has failed to achieve basic objectives such as neutralising Ukraine's air force despite a vastly larger armed forces.


The US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information, did not provide evidence to support the assessment and did not disclose what precisely was driving high Russian missile failure rates. Reuters was unable to independently verify the figures.

Double back holiday

The recent double bank holiday weekend led to a surge in both domestic travel and socialising, according to analysis from Bank of Ireland.

The analysis included the period from March 14th to March 19th.

Transactions on the country’s toll roads and bridges rose by 119 per cent while spending in pubs and restaurants rose by 39 per cent and 14 per cent respectively when compared to the same period the previous week. Fast food outlets also recorded a bank holiday spending spike of 12 per cent.


Coveney evacuated

An event in Belfast, at which Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney was making an address, has been evacuated following a security alert.

Event organisers said a suspect device was discovered in a hijacked van in the carpark of the Houban Centre in North Belfast where Mr Coveney was due to give the keynote address at the Building Common Ground event hosted by the John & Pat Hume Foundation.

The van driver was ordered at gunpoint to drive to the venue, one of the event's organisers told Reuters.

Zelenskiy criticism

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has directly referenced Ireland as not offering the same level of support to Ukraine as other EU member states.


In a speech given to a meeting of the European Council, he individually thanked EU nations that "stands for us". When it came to Ireland he said: "Ireland - well, almost", according to a translation of his speech published on the Ukrainian government website.

It is believed to be a reference to Ireland's decision not to send military aid to Ukraine. However, the Government has sent medical and humanitarian supplies and waived visas for Ukranians before the EU.

Ireland is also part of an EU group calling for Ukraine to be formally named in an EU membership candidate.

Varadkar tests positive

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has tested positive for Covid-19. He is self-isolating after a positive antigen test.


His spokesperson says he has some mild intermittent symptoms but is otherwise well and intends to carry out any functions that he can virtually.

He had tested negative yesterday while in Brussels.

Janssen expansion

Janssen Science Ireland has announced it plans to invest €150 million in its biopharmaceutical supply chain facility in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

The company, which is part of the Johnson & Johnson group, said the plans have the potential to create 180 new, full-time jobs in the area, with construction on the expansion having already started earlier this year.

Up to 300 people will be employed during the construction stage which is expected to take around two years.

Daffodil day

The Irish Cancer Society is urging members of the public to get out and support people affected by cancer as Daffodil Day returns after two years of Covid disruptions.

The annual appeal is the charity's largest fundraiser of the year, making it vital for the provision of services for patients, survivors and their families.

Daffodil Day was forced online in both 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, however, volunteers around the country will be back in force today, selling daffodils, hosting events, and raising awareness of the Irish Cancer Society's vital work.

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