Evening top 5: Taoiseach "misspoke" over planning inquiry; Harris pledges "compassionate" parking; Pence to visit Ireland

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com

Taoiseach claims he "misspoke" over planning inquiry on behalf of Donald Trump

The Taoiseach has said he never contacted Clare County Council about a proposed wind farm next to Donald Trump's hotel in Doonbeg.

Leo Varadkar said he misspoke yesterday when he told a Capitol Hill audience that he had “endeavoured to do what I could” on behalf of Donald Trump after the US businessman he told him he had “a problem” with the proposed wind farm.

He said it was actually Fáilte Ireland he contacted after receiving Mr Trump’s phone call four years ago.

Mr Varadkar has faced fierce criticism from across party lines following the comments.

"The Pence’s will be travelling to Ireland" - US Vice President plans State visit

US Vice President Mike Pence has confirmed he plans to make a State visit to Ireland.

Mr Pence hosted the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a St Patrick’s Day breakfast at the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC today.

Speaking ahead of the meal, the US Vice President said he had accepted a return invitation from the Taoiseach.

“As the President said yesterday, the relationship between Ireland and the United States has never been stronger and it’s only getting better,” he said.

Government warns addressing public-sector pay inequality will cost €200m

The Finance Minister has insisted Ireland’s public service has seen “significant recruitment” despite the two-tier payment system facing new recruits.

A new Government report is warning that it will cost the taxpayer some €200m to address pay inequality across the public sector.

The two-tier pay scale was introduced as an emergency measure following the financial crash.

Over 60,000 public sector workers hired after 2011 are on a different pay-scale to their colleagues hired before the cut-off.

Harris pledges to introduce "compassionate" hospital parking charges

The Minister for Health has pledged to introduce “compassionate” car parking solutions at Irish hospitals for people with chronic illnesses.

Minister Simon Harris has ordered a review of the cost of car parking on hospital campuses.

It comes following reports that HSE-run hospitals are raking in over €1m a month in patient and visitor parking charges.

Cancer patients in particular have faced mounting bills for parking during treatments such as chemotherapy.

Rescue 116 report recommends 'thorough review' of search & rescue operations

A report into the Rescue 116 crash off the Mayo coast has recommended a 'thorough review' of search & rescue operations in Ireland.

This week marked one year since the Irish Coastguard chopper went down near Blackrock Island, killing all four crew onboard.

The bodies of Dara Fitzpatrick and Mark Duffy were recovered shortly afterwards.

However, their colleagues Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby remain lost at sea.