Ireland

Return of live gigs, polling controversy, Biden’s UK visit

Live gigs return

The first concert with a live audience since the start of the pandemic will take place in Dublin on Thursday night.

James Vincent McMorrow and Sorcha Richardson will perform for 500 people in Iveagh Gardens from 7pm.

Organised by the National Concert Hall (NCH), the gig is the first of many test events to take place outdoors this summer.

Polling controversy

The main political parties are dealing with the fall-out of reports that party activists posed as market researchers ahead of polling.

The practice was first reported relating to Sinn Féin, but Fianna Fáil later confirmed party members had also done so, prior to 2007, and Leo Varadkar said Fine Gael had engaged in “similar” practices before 2016.

On Thursday, a statement from the Green Party also said there may have been “isolated incidents” where it used party volunteers to carry out polling using a false company name.

Rail crossings

Irish Rail have released footage to highlight the danger posed by drivers failing to observe rail crossing warnings.

They said there has been 31 incidents at level crossings so far this year, urging for drivers to be vigilant.

The number of incidents has not increased compared to previous years, however, Irish Rail noted this may be due to reduced traffic volumes due to Covid-19.

Coercive control

A serving member of An Garda Síochána was due to appear before the courts in Dublin on Thursday morning after his arrest over alleged coercive control.

The man, who is in his 40s, was arrested in Dublin on Wednesday and questioned by gardaí. He has since been charged and suspended from duty pending the outcome of the criminal process now underway.

Biden UK visit

US president Joe Biden is meeting with UK prime minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.

Issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol, climate change and the countries’ ‘special relationship’ are due to be on the agenda.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Mr Biden’s intervention in the disagreement between Britain and the EU regarding the protocol is a significant development.

Mr Martin said it was very clear from the US president’s remarks that peace on the island of Ireland was an “absolute imperative”.

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