Evening top 5: Latest poll shows surge in support for Fianna Fáil; Gerry Adams call for new general elections; Ireland thump Italy

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com

 

Latest poll shows surge in support for Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil has opened up a strong lead on Fine Gael as the country’s most popular political party according to the latest behaviour and attitudes poll.

It marks the end of a miserable week for the government following the fallout from the garda whistleblower controversy.

The Sunday Times poll was taken over a nine-day period leading up to Wednesday - just as the extent of the scandal was breaking.

The poll shows Fianna Fail up three points to 32% with Fine Gael dropping two points to 21%.

Sinn Féin have risen two points to 19%.

Adams calls for fresh elections over McCabe scandal

Sinn Féin has called for Fianna Fáil to withdraw its support for the government over the ongoing garda whistleblower controversy.

Speaking in Belfast this afternoon, the party’s president Gerry Adams said Fianna Fáil should “do the right” thing and force a new general election.

Deputy Adams said the government are “playing the public for fools” on the scandal adding that his party will decide this week whether to table a motion of no confidence in the government.

Medicinal cannabis plans "do not go far enough"

Campaigners have called for a widening of proposed legislation legalising cannabis for certain medical conditions.

The Minister for Health yesterday confirmed he intends to legalise the use of cannabis in a limited number of medical situations.

His announcement followed the release of a Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) report on the potential benefits of the drug to patients.

The government’s compassionate access programme will aim to make the drug available to help multiple sclerosis and epilepsy patients, as well as chemotherapy patients suffering nausea and vomiting.

Ireland beat Italy to get back on track

Ireland got their 2017 Six Nations campaign back on track in Rome with a comfortable 63-10 win over Italy.

Joe Schmidt's side had secured the try bonus point before half-time as they looked to take out the frustration of last week's loss to Scotland on Conor O'Shea's charges.

Ireland set down an early marker at scrum-time winning a penalty in the second minute. That led to a period of relentless pressure in the Italian 22 where Simon Zebo almost touched down in the corner. 

Trump may introduce "brand new" immigration executive order

US President Donald Trump has said he may sign a "brand new" executive order to revive his travel ban - a day after an appeals court ruled it should remain suspended.

In a tweet this afternoon, President Trump described America's legal system as “broken.” 

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Mr Trump said his administration has "a lot of options" to achieve its aim of restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

One of those options might involve rewriting the controversial executive order, or replacing it with a new one, to sidestep the legal issues which have caused the travel ban to become held up in the courts.