Evening top 5: Medicinal cannabis bill passes second stage in Dáil; Pat Hickey reportedly granted loan to pay bail

The top stories this Thursday on Newstalk.com...

Medicinal cannabis bill passes second stage in the Dáil

Medicinal cannabis legislation has passed the second stage in Dáil and is on course to be legalised by Easter next year

It comes after the Government decided not to oppose the bill - put forward from People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny - which would allow doctors to prescribe the drug to people with serious illnesses.

Pat Hickey reportedly granted loan to pay bail

Image: RollingNews.ie

Pat Hickey has reportedly been granted a loan by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) to pay the bail required to get his passport back.

Earlier this month, a judge in Brazil said Mr Hickey - who has stepped aside from his role as president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) - will be allowed to return to Ireland for medical treatment.

It was on the condition that he pays bail of €410,000.

Tánaiste says special committee must decide if people who paid water charges should be refunded

The Tánaiste says the special Oireachtas committee on water charges must decide if people who are paid bills are to be repaid.

The Government says the decision will have to be made within three months.

It remains unclear if those who refused to pay before the charges were suspended will be prosecuted.

Francois Hollande announces he will not seek re-election as French president

France's President Francois Hollande (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool)

Francois Hollande has announced he will not seek a second term as French president.

He is the first sitting president in modern French history to not seek re-election.

It comes amid his low approval rating - recently dropping to a mere 4%.

Denis O'Brien received death threats after banking affairs revealed in the Dáil, court told

Denis O’Brien claims death threats were made against him and his family after details of his banking affairs with the IBRC were revealed in the Dáil.

The businessman was giving evidence during the third day of his legal action against the State, the clerk of the Dáil and the Dáil’s Committee on Procedure and Privileges (CPP).