Morning top 5: Over 200 killed in major earthquake on Iraq-Iran border; Geldof to hand back freedom of city; Homeless groups call for extra winter beds

The top stories this morning on

Over 200 people have been killed and 1,600 injured in Iran after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck near the border between Iran and Iraq.

The earthquake was centred about 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja at about 6.20pm Irish time on Sunday.

It was just 15 miles deep and was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad and was also felt in Turkey, Kuwait and Israel.

Most of those killed were on the Iranian side and officials say more deaths are expected.


Homeless groups are calling on the Government for extra beds for rough sleepers.

It comes as temperatures dropped to two-degrees-below-zero overnight.

Inner City Helping Homeless CEO Anthony Flynn says all they could do was hand out sleeping bags because the beds simply are not available.

He said the cold weather has been a contributory factor in a number of deaths in the homeless community already this year.


The Government is investing almost €2m helping to improve outcomes for children in disadvantaged schools.

The School Excellence Fund teaches life skills alongside the usual subjects and tries to keep pupils in full time education for as long as possible.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said authorities are aiming to introduce a new approach to tackling inequality in education.

The scheme is being launched in 35 schools initially, before an expected roll-out across the country.

Education Minister Richard Bruton hopes it will benefit kids in disadvantaged schools.


Bob Geldof has announced that he is handing back his Freedom of the City of Dublin today in protest at Myanmar's controversial de-facto leader holding the same honour.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for the ethnic cleansing of the minority Rohingya Muslim community at the hands of her country’s military.

The crack-down has led to more than 600,000 people fleeing from Myanmar to Bangladesh and has been labelled “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by the UN.

In a statement, Mr Geldof says he is a "proud Dubliner" but that Suu Kyi’s association with the city "shames us all."


Four men are due in court later today, in connection with gangland crime in Dublin.

They were arrested a week ago after gardaí seized a firearm and silencer during an operation targeting a gangland feud in the north inner city.

They will appear at Dublin District Court this morning, charged in connection with the investigation.