Mica redress

The Taoiseach has said a decision will be made on the details of a mica compensation scheme in “the next number of weeks”.

Speaking at Rosslare Port on Friday, Micheál Martin told reporters the Government will continue considering the issue of a revised compensation scheme for homeowners and a decision will be made shortly.

A draft report, compiled by a working group set up by the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, did not recommend 100 per cent redress, as demanded by campaigners.

Campaigners want full redress for homeowners whose properties were built using defective bricks containing excessive amounts of the mineral mica.

The report, shared with homeowners late on Thursday night, suggests a revised scheme will not cover 100 per cent of the cost when a mica-affected property needs to be demolished and rebuilt.

Croke Park concerts

A representative of the Croke Park Area Residents Association has explained why they are opposed to more than three concerts per year in the GAA stadium.

Colm Stephens, PRO for the Clonliffe & Croke Park Area Residents Association told Newstalk Breakfast that they were prepared to “bend over backwards” and compromise with the GAA for three concerts, but not for any more.

The residents association has called on Dublin City Council to reject any further applications for additional concerts in Croke Park in 2022 and voiced their opposition at a meeting with the GAA last night.

Mr Stephens pointed out that Croke Park was “a huge building” set in the middle of a residential area. There was no traffic infrastructure in place to deal with the crowds attending such events.

“It’s like having a nightclub for 80,000 people in the middle of a residential area.”

Ireland will not face lorry driver shortages — Taoiseach

Ireland will not see the same problems with shortages of lorry drivers being witnessed in the UK, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin said preparations made by the government in advance of Brexit had worked and that the UK had failed to make similar plans.

Amid warnings from hauliers that Ireland is facing a shortage of between 3,000 and 4,000 lorry drivers, the Taoiseach insisted: “We’re steady as she goes.”

Speaking from the Europort in Rosslare, Co Wexford, Mr Martin said: “Suffice to say from my briefings over in the port and here that the preparations that Ireland put in advance of Brexit have worked.

“And it was done against a fairly tight timeline.

“Now there are wider issues, more than just Brexit afoot, within the UK.

“I’m not so sure the same preparations have occurred in the United Kingdom.

“I think the migration issue within the UK, the decision to, for example, create obstacles and barriers to people coming from Europe to work in the UK is a factor across the board. We don’t have that here.”

Coveney vows to ‘fix’ conversation with Britain

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has vowed to find a way of “fixing” the conversation with Britain as he officially opened the Consulate General of Ireland for the North of England.

Mr Coveney was presented with a Manchester United jersey by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham before he officially opened the diplomatic mission in Manchester.

Speaking at a reception at Manchester Art Gallery, the Minister said the countries had entered a “new phase” of their relationship following the UK’s departure from the European Union and the consulate would make a significant contribution to building a new partnership.

Covid cases

A further 1,059 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the State today.

Meanwhile, no Covid-19 deaths have been recorded among vaccinated people under 50 in Ireland, according to new figures.

The findings from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) come as the Department of Health confirmed 1,059 new Covid cases on Friday. As of 8am, there are 308 people with the virus in hospital, 59 of whom are being treated in ICU.

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