Morning Top 5: Government talks takes on ‘a sense of urgency’; The U.S. hopes to salvage talks to end the Syrian civil war

The top stories this Sunday morning...

The Minister for Agriculture and Defence Simon Coveney says there is a sense of urgency in forming the next Government.

It comes as Fine Gael is due to meet with members of the six strong Independent Alliance this morning.

Enda Kenny needs the support of six more TD's to become Taoiseach

Yesterday Independent TD from Waterford John Halligan said he wouldn't be supporting a Fine Gael Minority Government if they didn't meet his demands for 24-hour cardiac care at Waterford hospital.

But at this stage Minister Coveney has said he is optimistic that a deal could be done by Thursday.


A leading social campaigner says there is no sense of urgency and no sense of priority in this country about dealing with the homelessness crisis.

Father Peter McVerry says that while the political parties have been trying to form a government, some 200 families and 200 individuals have lost their homes.

The Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness is due to meet tomorrow to work on producing a report on the issue for Government.

But Father McVerry says campaigners have been asking for a number of measures to be implemented for years.


The U.S. Secretary of State is hoping for Russia's help to salvage peace talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war.

Over 200 people have been killed in airstrikes and fighting in the last ten days alone in Syria according to monitoring groups.

John Kerry has held talks with United Nations officials and the Jordanian Foreign Minister in Geneva.

Afterwards, he called on Moscow to help reinforce a truce put in place in February.


The continuing improvement in the Irish jobs market will see salary increases of up to 10% this year for in-demand roles in the private sector.

That's among the findings of a major salary survey published by recruitment firm the Noel Group, this morning.

The survey examined salary levels across two and a half thousand roles and found that the average increase will be 2% this year.

However increases of up to 10% will be seen in specialised positions.


A freight train has derailed in Washington DC in the US, spilling hazardous liquids near a rail station.

Several cars came off the tracks near Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station yesterday.

Emergency services haven't said what chemicals were being carried by the train.