Morning top 5: Hurricane Irma kills six; human remains in Louth; and €300m boost for Irish firms

The top stories this Thursday morning

The most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded has killed at least six people as it sweeps across the Caribbean.

Officials say Irma has caused "unprecedented" damage to the island of Barbuda, and has left nearly 900,000 people in Puerto Rico without power.

The Category 5 hurricane is heading towards the southern US state of Florida.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN has sent a humanitarian team to the island of Barbados to work with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency to help hurricane victims.

Additional teams are on standby, he added.

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A house in Co Louth remains sealed off after skeletal remains were found at the rear of the property.

The discovery was made on Mary Street North in Dundalk yesterday while construction work was taking place.

A forensic anthropologist confirmed last night that the remains are human.

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An investigation is underway after a gun and silencer were found in a van in Dublin yesterday.

Armed gardaí fired a number of shots when the vehicle failed to stop in Inchicore shortly before 3.00pm.

Another vehicle - which is believed to have been involved - managed to escape.

A man in his 20s was arrested at the scene.

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is launching a €300m lending initiative for Irish companies.

It is the first scheme to operate here.

The EIB says it is committed to strengthening private sector lending in the wake of Brexit.

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Nearly 100 jobs are being created in Cavan and Dublin as a result of major expansions.

A new plant will open at Lakeland Dairies in Bailieboro today, hiring 85 people.

And PTC Therapeutics - which develops drugs for rare diseases - will welcome 10 new workers in the capital.