Morning top 5: Dáil to discuss inquiry into Garda claims; US Senate confirms Trump's Attorney General pick

The top stories this Thursday morning...

The Garda Commissioner "refutes in the strongest terms" allegations that she engaged in a smear campaign against a whistleblower.

Nóirín O'Sullivan issued a statement yesterday evening denying claims made in the Dáil by Labour leader Brendan Howlin.

Meanwhile, the Dáil will today discuss a new Commission of Investigation into an alleged smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe

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Industrial action by nurses is set to close hospital beds next month.

35,000 members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation say they are planning a work to rule from March 7th, with rolling stoppages to follow if the dispute with the HSE is not involved.

Earlier this week it emerged that tens of thousands of patients are not included on official waiting lists.

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The cost of retail rents in Dublin is expected to rise by 8% this year.

That's according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland which has published its property review and outlook for the year ahead.

It shows a degree of uncertainty has entered the market in response to fears about Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency in the US.

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The US Senate has confirmed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, despite fierce debate about his civil rights record.

The Alabama senator's nomination was among President Trump's most controversial cabinet choices.

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Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court has slammed the president's attacks on the judiciary, saying they were "disheartening and demoralising". 

Judge Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by Mr Trump to the nation's highest court last week, made his comments after the president accused courts of appearing to be "so political".