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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

The 9 at 9 Howlin believes Labour and Social Democrats should reunite, booster advices misses target, and Trump legal woes continues.

LAST UPDATE | 48 minutes ago


Here’s everything you need to know as you start your day.

Howlin: Labour and Social Democrats should reunite

1. The Labour Party and the Social Democrats need to merge, former Labour leader and Wexford TD Brendan Howlin has said. 

Speaking to The Journal, Howlin said there is no ideological difference between the two parties and although the Social Democrats are opposed to the idea currently, he believes “the day will come”.

Howlin, currently a TD for Wexford, was leader of the Labour Party from 2016 to 2020. 

HSE advice causes Covid-19 booster confusion 

2. An immunologist has said the HSE missed an opportunity to get more people in the habit of receiving winter vaccinations.

This is because the current advice does not encourage millions to get a Covid booster, despite being eligible.

The autumn-winter booster is currently only being offered to select groups: people age 50 or older, age 5 or older with a weak immune system, age 5 to 49 with a condition that puts them at high risk of serious illness, and healthcare workers.

Court clears path for lawsuits against Donald Trump

3. Lawsuits against Donald Trump over the US Capitol riot can move forward, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

The decision marks a rejection of the former president’s bid to dismiss the cases accusing him of inciting the violent mob on 6 January, 2021.

The US Court of Appeals for the Washington DC Circuit court knocked down Trump’s sweeping claims that presidential immunity shields him from liability in the lawsuits brought by Democratic law makers and police officers.

But the three-judge panel said the 2024 Republican presidential primary frontrunner can continue to fight, as the cases proceed, to try to prove that his actions were taken in his official capacity as president.

Waterford Airport

4. Seven years after its last commercial flight, Waterford Airport has received a €12 million funding boost in its bid to resume business.

The airport has received the investment from the Comer Group, run by billionaire brothers Luke and Brian Comer, with the money going towards developing a runway extension.

However, inflation costs means the cost of the expansion has doubled and now amounts to €25 million.

Blast off for Irish satellite 

5. Ireland’s first ever satellite has been launched into space.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying EIRSAT-1 lifted off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California shortly before 7pm Irish time.

EIRSAT-1 (Educational Irish Research Satellite 1) has been designed, built, and tested by students at University College Dublin.

Limerick Hurler guilty

6. The judge in the trial of five-time All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler Kyle Hayes warned that he is facing the prospect of a custodial sentence after Hayes was today convicted by a jury of two counts of violent disorder. 

Judge Dermot Sheehan said Hayes’s use or threatened use of violence on the dancefloor of the Icon nightclub, Limerick City, on 28 October, 2019, was “extremely dangerous” to the large numbers of people who were attending the club on the night.

The judge said Hayes conviction for “serious matters” meant his “status” before the courts had “changed” and he “can expect a custodial sentence”.


Firefighters tells of harrowing Stardust scene

7. The first emergency responder on the scene of the fatal Stardust blaze has told how he found a group of victims “huddled together” in a circle on the dancefloor as he searched the building in the aftermath of the fire.  

“They were caught out by the speed of events,” Dermot Dowdall told the inquest into the fire which claimed the lives of 48 young people in the early hours of 14 February, 1981. 

“They grabbed each other, got their heads down and didn’t know much more after that.”

Sinn Féin: Tasers a band-aid solution

8. Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Justice has said that Garda Commissioner Drew Harris’ plans to equip public order gardaí with tasers in future riot type situations is a “quick fix, band-aid solution to a systemic problem”. 

Speaking to The Journal, Daly said that although he thinks there is a use for tasers within “specialised, highly trained garda units,” he believes that it should not be the case that any garda “on the beat is armed with a taser”. 

’240 killed’ in latest bombardment by Israel

9. The Hamas Government in the Gaza Strip said Saturday that 240 people had been killed in the Palestinian territory since a pause in the fighting expired yesterday.

Another 650 people had been injured in “hundreds of air strikes, artillery and navy bombardments, everywhere in the Gaza Strip”, it said in a statement, adding that Israeli forces had “particularly targeted Khan Yunis, where dozens of houses were destroyed with their inhabitants inside”.