Morning top 5: Former Real IRA boss killed in Cork; new poll shows Fianna Fáil as most popular party

The top stories this Thursday morning...

An ex-boss of the Real IRA has been killed in Cork city.

The man named locally as Aidan O'Driscoll was shot repeatedly at around 5pm yesterday evening in the Blackpool area - and later pronounced dead in hospital.

It is thought the 37-year-old - nicknamed the Beast - may have been victim of a feud within dissident republicanism.

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Fianna Fáil is officially the most popular party in the country once more.

The latest Irish Times / MRBI poll claims Micheál Martin's party has 30% support - compared to just 27% for Fine Gael.

They have both improved since the last time voters were asked in October.

Labour has also gained in popularity.

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The timing of the poll coincides with the resurfacing of the Sinn Féin scandal surrounding the death of Brian Stack.

The Portlaoise prison officer was attacked by the IRA in 1983 and died 18 months later from his injuries.

Last night, two Sinn Féin deputies - Martin Ferris and Dessie Ellis - denied having any involvement in Mr Stack's death after being named under Dáil privilege.

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Cystic fibrosis campaigners say they are hopeful a deal can be done with the makers of a life-changing drug.

Last night Vertex said it would go back to talks with the HSE on the price of Orkambi.

CF sufferers who have undergone successful trials of the medication say it's significantly improved the quality of their lives - however up until now Vertex has asked for almost €160,000 per patient per year for the treatment.

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A former youth coach at Celtic football club is due to appear in a Belfast court today charged with a child sex offence.

Jim McCafferty was involved in football in Northern Ireland and Scotland from the 1980s.

The 71-year-old handed himself into a police station in Belfast yesterday.