Morning top 5: State funeral for victims of Italian earthquake; Flanagan to meet Hickey family

The headlines this Saturday morning...

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has agreed to meet the family of Pat Hickey over concerns about his detention.

The family is said to be concerned about the manner of his arrest, his right to a fair hearing, his detention without charge and the effects of the arrest on his health.

Separately, the OCI has appointed accounting firm Grant Thornton to conduct an independent review into ticketing arrangements for the Olympic Games.

***

A state funeral will be held today for around 40 of the victims of the earthquake that left more than 281 people dead in central Italy.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella will attend a service in the town of Ascoli-Piceno for some of those who died in the mountain villages of Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto.

Flags will fly at half-mast as the country takes part in national mourning for the victims, the youngest of which was five and a half months old and the oldest in her mid-90s.

***

Police in Northern Ireland are appealing for information after a number of graves were damaged in West Belfast.

A group of young people targeted 13 graves at the city cemetery at around 3pm yesterday afternoon.

Local DUP MLA William Humphrey described the attack as a "most heinous hate crime" and "very sad day for Belfast".

***

The search for a man missing off the Donegal coast is now entering its fifth day.

The 28-year-old soldier got into difficulty while swimming with two colleagues off Tullan Strand, near Bundoran, on Tuesday evening.

Over a hundred members of the Defence Forces are taking part in the operation, which also involves the Malin Head Coastguard, Bundoran RNLI lifeboat and the Sligo 118 rescue helicopter.

***

Stargazers can expect a rare treat when darkness falls tonight as Jupiter lines up with Venus.

The two planets will appear low in the west after sunset and you won't be able to see them so close together again until 2065.

Astronomy Ireland is setting up powerful telescopes in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, to give people a good view of the night sky.