Morning top 5: Flanagan warns that Brexit is a 'proper mess'; Tony Blair to speak at conference in Wicklow

The top stories this Friday morning...

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has warned that Brexit is a 'proper mess'.

He has told the BBC that the UK's decision to leave the European Union is one of the greatest challenges facing Ireland since the Independence of the State.

Minister Flanagan will meet with the the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier later, with the pair set to travel north to visit border areas.

***

Tony Blair is due to address the conference of the European People's Party in Wicklow this morning.

The former British prime minister is set to speak about the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Mr Barnier will also address attendees at Druid's Glen.

***

Donald Trump is insisting there has been no collusion between him, his election campaign, and the Russians.

The US president has been defending his sacking of the FBI director - amid a bureau investigation into allegations of election meddling by Moscow.

During his NBC interview, President Trump also contradicted his own surrogates on how the decision was made to fire Mr Comey.

Mr Trump insisted that, whatever the opinion of the Attorney General and his deputy, he was "going to fire regardless of recommendation".

***

Hundreds of new jobs are being announced for Dublin this morning.

Aspire Technology, based in Sandyford, is creating 150 new positions, while Designer Group in Blanchardstown is recruiting for 100 new posts.

The roles include software developers, engineers and project managers.

***

Ireland has been been knocked out of the Eurovision song contest for another year.

20-year-old Brendan Murray from Galway took to the stage in Ukraine last night performing Dying to Try in the semi finals of the contest.

However he did not get enough points to make it through to the finals.