Video: Mica scheme unveiled, face masks for kids and today in the courts

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Mica redress scheme unveiled

The Government has agreed a revised mica redress scheme which will be capped at €420,000 per home.

It is estimated that 7,500 homes will benefit from the revised scheme, after defective building blocks containing excessive deposits of the mineral mica have seen thousands of properties start to crumble across the country.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said the Government agreed to finance the €2.2 billion scheme, which will take inflation into account and be reviewed every year.

Mr O’Brien said that homeowners who have to move out of their homes during renovation works are entitled to a maximum of €15,000 to pay for accommodation. There will also be storage costs of up to €5,000.

Covid tests for travel

All arrivals into the State – whether vaccinated or not – will need a clear Covid test result from Friday onwards.

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Those travelling with an antigen test result will need to have obtained it within 48 hours of departure, and it will have to be professionally administered. No self-administered tests will be accepted, under rules agreed by Cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Those with a PCR test result will have a longer pre-travel window of 72 hours.

These rules will apply to people travelling from all overseas jurisdictions, including Britain.

Face masks for kids

The Cabinet also on Tuesday endorsed National Public Health Emergency Team recommendations that children aged 9 and over wear masks in school and reduce indoor socialising.

The Government will not make these legal requirements, instead leaving them as recommendation to schools and parents, while asking them to curtail their children’s contacts.

Amid the proposals, the ombudsman for children has cautioned that children should not bear more of the brunt of Covid-19 restrictions.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly earlier expressed relief at the latest coronavirus figures, which indicate that the efforts of the public have made a difference in stabilising infections.

However, the emergence of the new Omicron variant continues to prompt concern worldwide, with a total 22 cases now confirmed in Britain.

Today in the courts

A British man who denies murdering Irish boxing champion Kevin Sheehy "thundered" a jeep into the 20-year-old before driving over him twice at speed, a prosecution barrister told a murder trial on Tuesday.

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Meanwhile, a former probationary Garda launched a High Court challenge aimed at overturning the Garda Commissioner's decision to dismiss him.

Separately, a man who claimed he was exposed to a toxic and noxious chemical while working on a refurbishment job at the Intel Ireland plant has settled a High Court action.

Also on Tuesday, a bank was directed by the High Court to disclose some details of an account alleged to have defrauded the operating company of Limerick’s Adare Manor Hotel and an association of vintage car enthusiasts based in Belgium.

Finally, a temporary stay was placed by the High Court on an ongoing investigation being conducted by Kerry Co Council into a complaint made against one of its elected members.

Munster Covid cases

A further nine cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by Munster Rugby in South Africa, bringing the total number of positive cases among the touring party of 48 players and staff to 10.

The group of nine with newly positive tests will move to the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town to join the first player who tested positive on Sunday.

The remaining 38 members of the touring party have all returned negative results and will continue to individually isolate in their rooms where they have been based since Sunday night, Munster Rugby said.

Although those who have received negative test results still have clearance to travel home, they have undergone another round of PCR testing this morning and will wait on these results “ahead of next steps”.

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