Morning top 5: Máire Whelan criticism continues; Grenfell Tower gas; and employment highs

The top stories this Thursday morning

The Government has been accused of 'circumventing the law' on choosing judges to suit the appointment of the former Attorney-General.

But both the current and former justice ministers defended the nomination of Máire Whelan, in a late-night question-and-answer session.

Frances Fitzgerald and Charlie Flanagan said they were unable to answer many of the questions because of the rules on Cabinet confidentiality.

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A poisonous gas may have caused the deaths of some of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in west London.

Experts say the type of insulation foam used in the building produces hydrogen cyanide at high temperatures.

King's College Hospital has confirmed three patients treated there were given an antidote for it.

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Employment figures are on the rise, but our tax take is dropping.

New ESRI stats out today show a mixed picture on the economic front.

Falling unemployment rates should ensure good consumer spending over the next year, while inflation will cover moderate wage hikes.

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Homeless charity Focus Ireland is warning it has never helped as many people, as it prepares to launch its annual report today.

A record-breaking 13,500 looked for assistance last year.

The charity was able to move 380 families into secure accommodation and another 28 homes will be opened by the new housing minister in Dublin later.

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The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is preparing for his first meeting of EU heads of state and government in Brussels.

Security remains tight in the Belgian capital following an attempted terrorist attack yesterday.

It will be the first EU Council meeting for Mr Varadkar and French President Emmanuel Macron.