Morning top 5: Separatists retain majority in Catalonia; investigation after fire at Haulbowline naval base

The top stories this Friday morning...

Catalans who support breaking away from Spain have retained their majority after elections there.

Although the anti-separatist Citizens Party won the most seats with 37, the pro-independence bloc of parties won a larger number combined.

Disputed leader Carles Puigdemont has declared the result a victory for the 'Catalan republic'.

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An investigation is due to get underway following a fire at the Haulbowline Island Naval Base in Cork last night.

The blaze broke out in a disused building near the officers' mess shortly after 8.30pm.

There were no injuries and the fire was contained to the old operations building.

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The Taoiseach admits relations with the UK are strained, but says they are still not bad.

Brexit negotiations have devolved into a war of words in the media during parts of the talks.

But Leo Varadkar says things are still cordial between himself and Theresa May.

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Ryanair pilots in Germany are taking strike action this morning affecting 16 flights between 5am and 9am.

The move comes as negotiations between the airline and pilots' unions there ended without agreement.

The airline has told German customers that it intends to operate all flights as normal.

Here, the strike threat receded yesterday after the company wrote to IMPACT confirming union recognition.

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The Capuchin Day Centre for homeless people in Dublin is handing out over 2,500 Christmas Hampers this morning.

There are at least 19 items in each one, including groceries and meat.

Volunteers at the centre have been handing out tickets for the hampers to guarantee enough will be packed when those in need turn up today.