Video: Life sentence for Poole murderer, brides and grooms getting older

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Jennifer Poole murder

A 30-year-old has received a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend Jennifer Poole in her home in Dublin in April 2021.

Gavin Murphy, of Coultry Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9, had earlier pleaded guilty to the murder of the mother of two in what the trial judge described as "yet another case of a violent attack upon a young mother by a male partner".

Ms Poole was stabbed to death at her first floor apartment in Melville Drive, Finglas, north Dublin, at around 2pm on April 17th, 2021.

Marriages

The number of marriages celebrated last year jumped by 81 per cent compared with 2020, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

However, despite the increase to 17,217 marriages, the number of couples tying the knot remained 15 per cent lower than pre-pandemic 2019 rates.

It figures also revealed that brides and grooms are getting older, with the average age for opposite-sex marriages being 35.4 for women and 37.4 years for men, while both men and women in same-sex marriages had an average age of 40.1

Cobblestone appeal

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An appeal against An Bord Pleanála's decision to refuse planning permission for a hotel on the site of the Cobblestone pub in Smithfield, Dublin has been withdrawn.

Deputy lord mayor of Dublin, Councillor Joe Costello tweeted on Friday: "Great news in this morning's post!" with an image of a letter from An Bord Pleanála confirming the appeal had been withdrawn.

It is understood the appeal had been launched by the developers behind the hotel plans, Marron Estates Ltd.

Banks

AIB has entered into exclusive discussions with NatWest Group for the acquisition of about €6 billion of Ulster Bank performing tracker and linked mortgages.

The news came after the bank received a receipt of clearance on Thursday from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) for the acquisition of €3.7 billion Ulster Bank performing corporate and commercial loans.

Meanwhile, KBC has announced it is to extend the notice period for customers to close their current accounts to six months as the bank seeks to exit the Irish market. Previously, KBC said it would give customers 90 days to switch.

Mortgages

The average home purchase mortgage for first-time buyers has increased by €20,000 over the past year and now stands at €250,137, according to new figures from the banking industry.

It is the second-highest level ever recorded and just €1,700 less than the peak in the first quarter of 2008.

The latest report from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) said there was solid growth in mortgage activity in the first three months of 2021, driven mainly by first-time buyers and re-mortgaging/switching.

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