Evening top 5: border deal "very close"; Children's Minister backs abortion on request; Dáil votes to join EU military cooperative

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com

Officials "very close" to deal on Irish border

It appears an agreement on the Irish border could be within touching distance.

A government official told an event in Brussels that an agreement is "very close" with a deal possible within hours.

The official said border talks were "moving quite quickly," adding that the Government was "going to work over the next couple of hours with the UK government to close this off."

Irish, European and British officials are reportedly examining a new draft of text on the agreement reached earlier this week.

Children's Minister calls for abortion on request

The Minister for Children has called for abortion without restriction up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

In a speech this evening, Katherine Zappone said women should not have to justify their decision to anyone.

She said the 8th Amendment should be repealed - and not replaced with any other text in the constitution.

She said Irish abortion laws should be designed to enable women to make free decisions about their reproductive lives and empower medics to “help women rather than making them into guardians of the state’s interest in the continuation of pregnancy."

Dáil votes to join new EU military cooperative structure

The Dáil has voted join a new EU framework agreement that will see greater military cooperation between member states.

The decision to join the Permanent Structure Co-operation (PESCO) was passed this evening by a margin of 75 votes to 42.

The pact is seen by many as the first step towards the establishment an EU army.

A number of TDs have voiced concerns the agreement will undermine Ireland’s neutrality – while People Before Profit has warned it is considering mounting a constitutional challenge to the decision.

Israeli military opens fire as protests erupt across Palestinian territories

At least 31 people have reportedly been wounded by Israeli army gunfire as protests against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital erupt across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Around 11 protesters were hit by live fire while over 20 others were hit by rubber bullets.

Protesters gathered near the border fence with Israel had thrown rocks at soldiers on the other side.

Reporters on the ground have described the situation as “extremely volatile” – while the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas calling for a third intifada – the Arab term for uprising.

Three people in custody after Garda and teenager shot in Dublin

Three people are still being questioned after a garda and a teenager were shot in North Dublin.

It happened this morning during a planned drugs raid in Ballymun.

Armed gardaí moved in on a house on Barnewall Drive before 7.00am and began ramming down the doors. 

Shots were fired at the gardaí and officers returned fire.