Morning top 5: Budget fallout; Garda Commissioner to be quizzed; and Obama sets sights on Mars

The top stories this Wednesday morning

There is a warning this morning about the higher than expected spending increases in Budget 2017.

The head of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is warning that the Government is set to miss a key borrowing target for this year.

John McHale was speaking to the Irish Times, ahead of the council's official budget report - which is due to be released in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the public spending minister says there will be no problem filling the new public jobs announced yesterday.

Plans for 1,000 new nurses, 2,400 new teachers, and 800 new gardaí were unveiled at a time when nursing unions continue a campaign to secure better working conditions for new recruits.


The Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan is set to face questions from the Oireachtas Justice Committee later.

The official agenda for the meeting is to discuss the priorities for the force.

But members are also expected to quiz her about recent allegations of a smear campaign against whistleblowers.


One in four children in Ireland have been sexually abused.

That is according to support group One in Four, which provides professional help for people who have experienced sexual abuse during childhood.

The group is releasing a report today and say treatment for sex offenders and their families is the key to keeping children safe from sexual harm.


Barack Obama has vowed to help send people to Mars within the next two decades, saying he will work with private firms to achieve the goal.

The US President also says he is getting scientists, engineers and students together this week "to dream up ways to build on our progress and find the next frontiers".

But not all experts think his goal is achievable by the 2030s.


Samsung is counting the cost to its reputation after completely stopping production of its latest phone over safety concerns.

The Galaxy Note 7 has been dogged over complaints about handsets bursting into flames.

The firm has warned people to stop using them immediately.

Billions has been wiped off the value of the company.