Morning top 5: Crisis talks to continue today as election looms; Hogan issues warning to UK over Brexit; Charity calls for emergency homeless intervention

The top stories this morning on

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin are expected to engage again today in a bid to avert a Christmas General Election.

A Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence remains scheduled for debate in the Dáil on Tuesday. If it is passed, the party will be in breach of the confidence and supply agreement that is propping up the minority-led Fine Gael government – triggering a general election.

The party has continued its calls for the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald to resign her position over her handling of the garda whistleblower scandal – however Fine Gael remains firmly behind her, with the Taoiseach continually insisting she has done nothing wrong.

Last night, Fianna Fáil officials set about examining a batch of documents handed over by the Department of Justice following crisis talks between the party leaders.

The Taoiseach and Deputy Martin have both reported a "good exchange of views" in the talks so far – and have agreed to keep in contact across the weekend to try and find a way to avoid a snap election.


Meanwhile, a Red C poll in today's Sunday Business Post indicates there would be very little change if there is a snap election.

The poll was conducted last week during the current crisis and shows Fine Gael is down two points on 27% while Fianna Fail is up one to 26%.

The paper's Political Editor, Michael Brennan said we could be facing into months of campaigning and negotiations – only to return a similar administration to that already in place.

He said the poll is a warning to the main parties that another election will not “bring them anything new.”


Theresa May is being warned her hopes of an EU trade deal could be in ruins - unless she dramatically changes her plans over the border in the North.

It's one of the key obstacles preventing negotiations moving onto the next phase of Brexit talks.

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has said the issue could be solved by keeping the UK in the customs union and single market - or allowing Northern Ireland to do so.

In a statement, he warned the best possible trade deal available to the UK will fall far short of the benefits of “being in the single market.”


A voluntary group for the homeless says it is afraid more rough sleepers will die on the streets of Dublin this winter.

Inner City Helping Homeless has warned that there is a tsunami of rough sleepers camping out in freezing conditions - with stocks of sleeping bags running low.

A Status Yellow snow and ice weather warning is due to be lifted this morning following freezing conditions overnight.

ICCH chief executive Anthony Flynn is calling for emergency interventions to avoid further homeless deaths this Christmas.


Egyptian officials investigating the massacre of worshippers at a mosque say the attackers were carrying the flag of the Islamic State group.

More than 300 people died in the assault in the northern Sinai province on Friday.

Imam Mohammed Abdelfatah was preparing to deliver his Friday sermon at the mosque when dozens of attackers opened fire and threw grenades at the estimated 500 worshippers inside.

He has said the attackers were "shooting anyone who was breathing."