Author: Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

Fiachra Ó Cionnaith is a journalist working for RTÉ, covering mainly local news from Ireland and developing stories.

As the drama surrounding RTÉ funding reaches its climax, all eyes are on the upcoming Cabinet meeting for a resolution. The Government has been under pressure to secure the future of RTÉ before the summer break, and it seems a compromise plan is in the works. The proposed hybrid model will retain the TV licence fee while introducing a multi-annual Exchequer funding stream to ensure financial stability. This plan, spearheaded by Minister for Media Catherine Martin, aims to address the decline in fee payments and concerns over editorial independence. However, details of the funding plan are still under wraps, leaving…

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Tánaiste Micheál Martin is pushing for a Covid inquiry plan to be published and officials appointed before the Dáil reconvenes in September. During a State visit to Kenya, the Fianna Fáil leader emphasized the importance of introducing these measures “before the autumn restart” of the Dáil in mid-September. He stressed the need for the inquiry to be established before the current Government concludes its term, aiming to have a proposal published, people appointed, and an independent panel in place by October. Martin also highlighted the difference in approach compared to the adversarial style of the British inquiry, stating the importance…

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Exciting news for RTÉ as a new funding model is set to secure its future, combining the existing TV licence fee with a “multi-annual” State payment. With details discussed by government officials, Taoiseach Simon Harris sees a “middle way” solution on the horizon. Government sources reveal that the €160 TV licence fee will remain, alongside a new stream of funding from the exchequer. Minister for Media Catherine Martin’s push for multi-annual funding ensures RTÉ’s financial security for years to come. The Cabinet has been divided on funding options, but the planned model aims to avoid compromising RTÉ’s independence. The unique…

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President Michael D Higgins has called for a rare Council of State meeting to assess the constitutionality of the controversial Defence (Amendment) Bill 2024. The bill has sparked criticism for potentially restricting Defense Forces personnel from engaging in political discourse. The meeting, scheduled for Monday at Áras An Uachtaráin, will be only the fourth of its kind in the last decade. Opposition members like Independent TD Cathal Berry and Independent Senator Michael McDowell have condemned the bill as draconian. The specific concerns revolve around Section 11 of the Bill, which prohibits defense personnel from commenting on political issues, Government policy,…

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Today, survivors of the thalidomide morning sickness drug are gathering to address the recent Government statement regarding the support for those affected by the drug in the 1950s and 1960s. The coalition leaders expressed sympathy and outlined various supports including free travel passes and enhanced health care for the survivors and their families. However, the Irish Thalidomide Association, representing a majority of survivors, did not formally respond to the statement. They are disappointed with the lack of an apology and are calling for a formal apology, enhanced supports, a fair compensation scheme, and recognition for 12 survivors not currently acknowledged…

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The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) has criticized the government’s Budget 2025 plans, warning of potential economic overheating and inflation risks. However, Minister for Finance Jack Chambers and Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe have defended their approach, arguing that a balanced spending plan is necessary for public services and to fulfill public pay deals. Chambers emphasized the importance of considering the wider public service needs, while Donohoe highlighted the government’s decision to set aside €6 billion for a rainy day fund as evidence that they are not pursuing an “everything now” strategy. Both ministers pointed out that the 5%…

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Waterways Ireland has allocated €145,000 towards the removal of tents along canals and the installation of fences in affected areas. This initiative was discussed at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage, where the group’s operations controller, Éanna Rowe, provided updates. Since May 9th, 360 tents have been removed from encampments on the Grand Canal in Dublin, with 30 tents removed today alone. Waterways Ireland is working with Dublin City Council to enhance the canal areas, potentially adding more trees, street seating, and increasing public use to deter encampments. Regarding the recent tragic deaths of…

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Roderic O’Gorman has successfully secured his position as the new leader of the Green Party, marking a significant shift in leadership for the party. Although the election process was challenging, with O’Gorman narrowly defeating Pippa Hackett, the new leader is now faced with the task of unifying the party and addressing key issues. One pressing concern is the perception of party division following the close leadership race. O’Gorman remains optimistic about the party’s unity, emphasizing the quality of both candidates and the need for collaboration moving forward. As leader, O’Gorman aims to prioritize social issues alongside traditional environmental policies to…

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Roderic O’Gorman has been elected as the new leader of the Green Party, taking over from Eamon Ryan. The announcement was made at a media event in Dublin, where O’Gorman received 984 votes from the Party membership. He immediately replaced Ryan and will attend meetings with the Coalition leaders. O’Gorman expressed his commitment to working with the Government and opposition on important issues like the budget, climate change, and social equality. He outlined his policy priorities, including the need to focus on climate issues and everyday problems affecting people. Despite facing challenges in his ministerial role, O’Gorman remains passionate about…

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The Green Party leadership contest has reached its climax with the announcement of Eamon Ryan’s successor taking place in Dublin today. Roderic O’Gorman and Pippa Hackett have been engaged in a tough battle for the leadership position, with much at stake for the party leading up to the next general election. The leadership change will also influence the party’s stance within the coalition, adding further interest to the outcome. Both candidates have their strengths and weaknesses, with Senator Hackett’s farming background playing in her favor, while Minister O’Gorman’s long-standing commitment to social justice and equality is a strong point. Both…

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