Evening top 5: Apology in Kerry Babies case; US children found chained and Patrick's Day trips revealed

The top stories this Tuesday night

Gardaí apologise to woman over 'stress and pain' caused by Kerry Babies case

Gardaí have apologised to Joanne Hayes for their treatment of her in the Kerry Babies case.

She was arrested and confessed to the baby’s murder but later withdrew it.

Gardaí have now confirmed a viable DNA profile has conclusively stated Ms Hayes is not Baby John's mother.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent Flor Murphy offered an apology for the ‘awful stress and pain’ Joanne Hayes has been put through as a result of the investigation into the case.

US police say girl who alerted them to captive siblings escaped through a window

A 17-year-old girl in the US who alerted police to her siblings' captivity escaped through a window and called 911 from a deactivated mobile phone.

Riverside County Sheriff's Office police chief Gregory Fellows said it was important to "acknowledge the courage" of the teenager, who alerted officials to "get the help they so needed".

"The conditions were horrific," he said.

Three of the siblings were found chained to furniture, he said. Six of the children are minors, while the other seven are over 18.

Demand for Irish passports in Britain surpasses Northern Ireland for first time ever

The number of people in Britain applying for Irish passports has exceeded the number of applications received from Northern Ireland for the first time ever.

Statistics show there were 81,287 applications from Britain and 80,964 from the North.

The figures cover the period from January to December 10th 2017.

Government reveals where ministers are going for St Patrick's Day

The Government has revealed its plan to send ministers abroad this St Patrick's Day.

It says during their trips they will "reinforce key messages" on Brexit, Northern Ireland, Ireland's campaign to become a member of the UN Security Council and the Irish economy.

It will see the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, ministers and the Chief Whip taking part in programmes in almost 40 countries across the globe for March 17th.

EU announces plans for all plastic packaging to be 'recyclable or reusable' by 2030

The EU has unveiled plans for all plastic packaging used in Europe to be recyclable or reusable by 2030.

It comes as part of a new Europe-wide strategy on plastics, which was launched today.

Widespread plastic pollution is considered one of the most significant environmental issues facing the planet, due to plastic's slow degradation.