Evening top 5: Ireland 'vigilant' over Brexit; Britain First leader charged; final Census 2016 profile released

The top stories this Thursday night

Varadkar: Ireland has to be "very vigilant" over Brexit talks

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Ireland will have to remain vigilant in phase two of Brexit talks.

This is despite getting what he says is a strong agreement that there will be no hard border.

Mr Varadkar says the deal provides guarantees if no agreement can be reached on trade with Britain in future - known as a 'backstop' scenario.

"What we're saying here is that within this backstop scenario, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in particular, would maintain full alignment with the rules and regulations of the internal market and the customs union as a backstop arrangement - and that gives us a very strong assurance that there won't be a hard border on the island of Ireland.

"But we're not complacent, either - this is politics, we're going to need to stay very engaged in the months and years ahead - and very vigilant, too".

Britain First leader Paul Golding charged over Belfast rally speech

The leader of far-right group Britain First has been charged with using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour.

The charges against Paul Golding are in relation to a speech he made at a rally in Belfast in August, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said.

The 35-year-old was arrested on Thursday as he accompanied Jayda Fransen, the group's deputy leader, as she appeared in court accused of behaviour intended or likely to stir up hatred during the same rally.

Final profile from Census 2016 is published

The final profile from the 2016 Census has found that the number of people at work in Ireland has increased to just over two million since 2011.

The numbers of people looking after the home/family continued to decline, falling by 10.1% to 305,556 - while the numbers of retired persons increased to 545,407, up 88,013.

The 2,304,037 people in the labour force in April 2016 represented an increase of 71,834 on 2011.

"The time has come to allow Irish people to have their say" - Taoiseach on abortion referendum

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says it is time for the Irish people to have their say on the issue of abortion.

On Wednesday, the Oireachtas committee looking at the 8th amendment recommended abortions be allowed for any reason up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Speaking in Brussels on Thursday, Mr Varadkar said: "This is a decision really for the Irish people, and I believe the time has come to allow Irish people to have their say on this issue.

"But I'll be doing my best to make sure that the debate that we have is respectful and civilised - and I think that's really important".

Disney agrees €44bn deal to buy 21st Century Fox

Media firm 21st Century Fox has agreed to sell its entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co for US$52.4bn (€44.3bn).

The deal will bring together the 20th Century Fox film studio behind hits such as Avatar, X-Men and Ice Age together with Disney's film assets which include Pixar, Marvel and the Star Wars maker LucasFilm.

The pair are respectively the fourth and second biggest movie studios in Hollywood and the deal means the 'big six' that have dominated Hollywood for nearly a century will become a big five instead.