Morning top 5: Calls for clarity over Varadkar planning phone call; four people killed in Florida bridge collapse

The top stories this Friday morning...

Opposition leaders are demanding clarity from the Taoiseach over his decision to contact planners in Clare County Council following a phone call from Donald Trump.

Mr Varadkar said that when he was Tourism Minister he got a call from Mr Trump, asking about proposals to build a wind farm near Doonbeg, where the billionaire owns a golf resort.

The Taoiseach says he has talked before about the matter, and that ministers often make enquiries about planning matters.

Clare County Council says no formal objection was logged from any public representative in relation to the wind turbines.


LGBT rights will be on the agenda as the Taoiseach meets with US Vice President at his home this morning.

Leo Varadkar has promised to raise the issue of gay rights with Mike Pence, who has been criticised for his stance in the past.

However, members of the media have been barred from hearing the remarks made, which Leo Varadkar insists wasn't his choice.

"It allows us maybe the have a frank conversation that's easier to have without the media present," he added.


A fire chief says four people have been killed after a pedestrian bridge collapsed in Florida.

Nine people were injured when the structure, which was only assembled at the weekend, fell to the ground on top of a road in Miami.


The Government's announced a review of parking charges at hospitals around the country.

Health Minister Simon Harris says he wants to establish clear national guidelines on the issue.

It follows ongoing complaints that people with seriously ill relatives are being hit with excessive parking fees while visiting loved ones.


The President has highlighted the significance of Irish people abroad and our cultural heritage in his St Patrick's Day message.

Michael D Higgins says tomorrow is a chance for the diaspora and those living here to come together.