Evening top 5: Kenny heading stateside; SAG awards and shared parenting

The top stories on Newstalk.com this evening

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he will accept an invitation from President Donald Trump to visit the United Stated on St Patrick's Day this year.

Explaining his reasoning for the decision at a press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr Kenny said the invitation "has been extended for many many years".

"I think it's really important that I be able to say face-to-face to the President the issues that are of importance to us", he said. "I don't want a situation where the 35 million Irish-Americans who sign on for connections with this country or the 50,000 undocumented Irish that are in the States are left without contact or connection.

Mr Kenny went on to say Ireland still has a "huge influence" on the US and said abandoning the visit meant Ireland risked becoming "isolationist".

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After claiming 14 nominations – tying the all-time record – when this year’s Academy Awards competitors were announced last week, La La Land looked like the one to beat, even more so when it claimed the big prize at Sunday night’s PGA Awards.

But now awards season is looking a little bit more ‘open season’, after Hidden Figures’ surprise win at the SAG awards.

Admittedly, La La Land couldn’t have claimed the prize anyway, having not been nominated for the ‘Best Ensemble’ prize, the Screen Actors Guild’s nearest equivalent to ‘Best Picture’. Damien Chazelle’s musical was most likely considered too much of a two-hander than an ensemble to qualify. But it is still a knock to La La Land, with 11 of the last 21 ‘Best Ensemble’ winners having gone on to claim the biggest prize on Oscar night, given that the actors voting bloc makes up the biggest in the Academy members.

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A new survey shows that 38% separated parents stated that the other parent does not contribute financially.

As part of Ireland's first national shared parenting survey, over 1,000 men and women shared their experiences of shared parenting.

62% of respondents of the One Family survey whose child lives with them most or all of the time stated that their child’s other parent contributes financially to their child’s costs, while 38% stated that the other parent does not contribute financially.

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President Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended new restrictive immigration policies. 

At his first press conference since the so-called 'travel ban' was introduced Mr Spicer said that for the Trump administration is committed to doing whatever it takes to protect American citizens.

He also blasted State Department staffers who are circulating a “dissent channel memo” against the president’s immigration executive order.

“These career bureaucrats have a problem with it?” he said. “I think they should either get with the program or they can go.”

"I think this [the executive order] has been blown way out of proportion and exaggerated," Mr Spicer said, apologisng to those who had been "mildly inconvenienced".

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Authorities charged a 27-year-old man with murder and attempted murder Monday following a deadly attack on a suburban Quebec City mosque.

The shooting, which was quickly labeled an act of terrorism, left six people dead and wounding numerous others.

Alexandre Bissonnette was charged with six counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder, according to officials.