Evening top 5: Varadkar demands written Brexit commitment; Walsh resigns position; passengers rescued from Galway big wheel

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com

'Ireland wants commitment to no Brexit border in writing', Taoiseach says

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Ireland wants a UK commitment to no border on the island of Ireland 'in writing'.

He has met British Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of an EU summit in Sweden.

Mr Varadkar is in Gothenburg, where he is attending the EU Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth.

He met Mrs May ahead of the summit to discuss Northern Ireland and Brexit.

Johnson under fire over apparent ignorance of Irish position on Brexit

Britain’s Foreign secretary has come under fire after he claimed he “wasn't aware” of Ireland’s position on Brexit negotiations.

Boris Johnson made the comment during a joint press conference with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin this morning.

The conference highlighted the gulf that remains between the two Governments on a number of issues – including what agreements are required before Brexit talks move on to the next stage.

Warning that a sense of “jumping into the dark” remains when it comes to Brexit, Minister Coveney again insisted that “very serious issues” need to be resolved regarding the Irish border, the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process.

Barry Walsh resigns from Fine Gael Executive Council amid controversy over tweets

Barry Walsh has resigned from Fine Gael's Executive Council, the party has confirmed.

The resignation takes effect immediately.

It comes after it emerged that Mr Walsh had sent tweets to female politicians, including those in his own party, using words such as 'bitch.'

He also labelled Sabina Higgins a 'vile woman.'

Fine Gael Dublin Bay South TD Kate O'Connell circulated screen-grabs of tweets at a meeting of TDs and Senators on Wednesday night.

McDonald slams rivals over rejection of potential Government partnership

Mary Lou McDonald has lashed out at Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over their insistence that they will not enter Government with Sinn Féin.

Deputy McDonald’s party kicked off its biggest ever Ard Fheis this evening with some 3000 members expected to attend.

Members will debate a range of issues, including housing and abortion – with party president Gerry Adams expected to address his own future tomorrow.

Previously the party has always insisted it will not go into government as a junior coalition partner, however the Ard Fheis will debate a motion that would remove that restriction.

Around 20 people rescued from Galway Christmas Market big wheel

Around 20 people have been rescued after the big wheel at the Galway Christmas Market stopped turning this evening.

Emergency services were called to the scene and began attempts to free passengers stuck high in cabins using cherry pickers.

The wheel stopped turning soon after the market officially opened in Eyre Square this evening.

Gardaí in Galway have said all the passengers are now down safely and, although it was a very cold night to be stuck in the air, there were no injuries.