Morning top 5: More hospital cancellations, epic US storm and the homeless Louth travellers

The top stories this morning...

Beaumont Hospital in Dublin has postponed non-urgent procedures today because of an increase in the number of people presenting to its Emergency Department.

Yesterday, all non-urgent elective procedures at Cork University Hospital and the Mater in Dublin were also postponed.

St James hospital in Dublin has also been forced to reschedule some operations.

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Some of the traveller families who have been evicted from a halting site in Dundalk, Co Louth, say they were told to put their children into care, so they could secure accommodation.

Three mothers told The Irish Times that a Council official also suggested the women could go to a refuge and the men could stay in a hostel.

Louth County Council is looking into the claims.

Over 20 families have been evicted from the Woodland Park unofficial halting site after a fire safety inspection.

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The jurors in the trial of a woman accused of beating and neglecting her children for five years will resume their deliberations this morning.

They have been asked to consider if the defence of "reasonable chastisement" applies in relation to some of the allegations.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect her children’s identities, is facing over 40 charges of neglect and cruelty, which happened before social services took the children into care. 

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A woman (29) has been charged with the murder of a man in County Antrim earlier this week.

Eddie Girvan, who was 67, was found dead in his home on Station Road in Greenisland by police on Monday.

His hands were tied and he had a stab wound to his chest.

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Four states have declared emergencies as a winter storm bears down on the northeastern US.

Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are warning the blizzard will bring travel disruption and possible power cuts across the weekend.

Up to two feet of snow is expected.

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