Evening top 5: Legal advice sought over Murphy comments; Financial statement reveals tightened “fiscal space”; FBI nominee backs Russia probe

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com

Legal advice sought on claims Paul Murphy abused Dáil privilege

The Dáil disciplinary committee is to seek legal advice on whether Solidarity TD Paul Murphy abused parliamentary privilege today.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy. Image: Oireachtas TV

It comes after a fresh war of words broke out in the Dáil over the Jobstown trial this afternoon.

Speaking under privilege in the Dáil, Deputy Murphy accused Gardaí of "co-ordinated perjury" during the course of the trial.

The matter was considered by the Dáil committee on procedures tonight, which is to seek legal advice on the issue.

Summer Economic Statement reveals reduced “fiscal space”

The Minister for Finance has released the first details of what can be expected in next year’s budget.

Announcing the statement this afternoon Minister Donohoe said the government is aiming to “balance the books” in 2018 by implementing budgetary policies aimed at “ensuring stability.”

The statement estimates the fiscal space at around €1.2bn – however just over half of that has already been committed to measures announced last year.

That leaves just €500m available - and a lot of that will already have to be set aside for the proposed new public sector pay deal.

Gardaí continuing to question woman in connection with fatal stabbing of toddler

A woman - in her early 40's - is continuing to be questioned by gardaí in connection with the fatal stabbing of a toddler in Dublin on Monday.

The body of the three-year-old boy was discovered at an apartment block at Poddle Park in Kimmage on Monday evening.

His mother was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Health Committee throws out medicinal cannabis bill

The Oireachtas Health Committee has thrown out a bill proposing to legalise cannabis for medicinal use. 

According to the committee report released today, the bill poses “major legal issues, unintended policy consequences and a lack of safeguards against harmful use of cannabis by patients.” 

The committee claimed the bill required too many amendments – insisting it could act as a Trojan horse on the road to the full legalisation of the drug. 

Health Committee member Kate O’Connell revealed the contents of the report on The Pat Kenny Show this morning.

Trump pick for FBI director pledges support for Russia probe

Donald Trump's pick to be the new head of the FBI has insisted he would refuse to pledge loyalty to the president if asked to do so.

FBI director nominee, Christopher Wray. Image: Christy Bowe/Globe/ZUMA Wire

Christopher Wray has been appearing before a Senate hearing after being nominated to succeed fired former FBI director, James Comey.

He has also disagreed with Mr Trump about the nature of the investigation into his administration's links with Russia – stating that he does not view it as a “witch hunt.”

Mr Wray, nominated by President Trump on June 7th, vowed he would quit the role if ever asked by the president to do anything unlawful.