Morning top 5: "Unprecedented" flooding in Laois; Buncrana inquest verdict due; RTB moves to close rent 'loophole'

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com

Heavy rain has caused 'unprecedented' flooding in Co Laois.

Dozens of families were forced out of their homes in Mountmellick overnight after three local rivers burst their banks.

Clean-up efforts are beginning today with fire and emergency services staff from throughout the midlands

The Minister of State for Flood Relief Kevin Boxer Moran is expected in the town today to see the damage at first hand.

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A verdict is due today in the inquests into the deaths of five family members in Buncrana, County Donegal.

Yesterday the inquest heard the driver of the car was more than three times over the legal limit - though the pathologist involved couldn't say how it would have impaired his driving.

Concerns were raised over the level of algae on the slipway at the time, one witness describing it as slippy as ice.

The jury will come to a verdict later today and can make recommendations - though any recommendation will not be legally binding

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The Residential Tenancies Board has moved to close the loophole that allows landlords evict tenants during renovations.

In new guidelines published today, the RTB says maintenance or minor repairs do not qualify as “substantial refurbishment.”

The body has clarified that "substantial changes" to a property includes things like building an extension - but repairs and maintenance don't qualify.

Housing charity Threshold has previously warned that up to 12% of tenancies are ended by landlords misusing the “substantial refurbishment” clause.

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The Tánaiste is set to face further questions in the Dáil today over her handling of the garda whistleblower scandal.

Sinn Féin has warned that Frances Fitzgerald still has questions to answer regarding the timeline around an email sent to her in May 2015 – about a garda strategy to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

The party has said it will wait until this afternoon to decide whether to table a motion of no confidence in her.

Labour has said it will support the motion if it is brought forward.

However, all eyes will be on Fianna Fáil, as the party could put the Taoiseach in a very difficult position should it decide to support the Sinn Féin motion.

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Travelling by bike or public transport could be harming our hearing.

A Canadian study's found regular exposure to the sound of traffic or subway trains could cause hearing loss over time.

Researchers say nearly a fifth of noises on the underground are above a level which could cause damage.