Evening top 5: Dáil debates abortion referendum bill; former RTÉ producer Kieran Creaven jailed for 18 months

The top stories this Friday evening...

Dáil debates bill which will allow abortion referendum

The Dáil today began debating the proposed abortion referendum, with the vast majority of speakers calling for a repeal of the 8th amendment.

The Department of Health has also published a policy paper, outlining what new laws the Government will try to bring in if the amendment is repealed.

The policy paper is largely as expected.

It outlines access to abortion without restriction for up to 12 weeks, with terminations to be allowed after that in cases of fatal foetal abnormality - and when there is a risk to the life, health or mental health of the mother.

Former RTÉ producer Kieran Creaven jailed for 18 months for sex offences

Kieran Creaven arriving at Leeds Crown Court. Picture by: Peter Powell/PA Wire/PA Images

Former RTÉ producer Kieran Creaven has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for child sex offences.

The 55-year-old from Dublin pleaded guilty to two offences at Leeds Crown Court last December.

He admitted attempting to meet a child following grooming for a sexual purpose, and attempting to cause a child to engage in kissing and cuddling.

Trump hails 'great progress' ahead of meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un

US President Donald Trump has hailed the "great progress" made with North Korea, after agreeing to meet with Kim Jong Un by May this year.

In an extraordinary turn of events, he confirmed on Twitter that a meeting was being planned - despite the two leaders trading insults for months and economic sanctions on North Korea being ramped up in response to its nuclear weapons programme.

'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli sentenced to seven years in US prison

Martin Shkreli. Picture by: Seth Wenig/AP/Press Association Images

Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding investors in two botched hedge funds.

The former drug company executive - dubbed "Pharma Bro" and vilified for increasing the prices of a life-saving drug - was also fined $75,000 (€61,000) by a court in New York.

Shkreli cried as he apologised to investors and told the judge he had made mistakes.

Child dies of suspected meningitis in Co Meath

A young child who was being treated for suspected meningitis in Navan, County Meath has died.

The HSE says it was made aware earlier today that two children under the age of 12 presented with symptoms and were hospitalised - one of whom subsequently died.

Medical teams are now working with their relatives and the children's primary school to ensure everyone that was in contact with them is safe.