Morning top 5: Rents hit new record high; Women facing cervical treatment delay; Natalia Karaczyn funeral to take place in Sligo

The top stories this morning

Rents nationwide have hit record levels again.

The latest Daft.ie rental report reveals that the average monthly rent nationwide is now at €1,261.

That's up 11.5% in the year to the end of March.

It marks the eight consecutive quarter that a new all-time high was recorded – with rises consistently above 10% annually.

Monthly rents are €232 more than they were at their pre-crisis peak in 2008.

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Women with abnormal smears are being told they could have to wait up to two months for treatment.

It is after efforts to reassure women that the Cervical Check programme is safe, and internationally regarded.

Opposition TDs have called for HSE boss Tony O'Brien to be sacked over the delayed diagnoses of cervical cancer.

In the Dáil yesterday, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he should remain with the HSE for now to help with the crisis, and said a deeper investigation needs to be launched.

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The funeral takes place in Sligo today of Natalia Karaczyn.

The mother-of-three's body was found in woodland outside Sligo Town on Tuesday.

Requiem mass for the 30-year-old takes place in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception this morning.

Her husband 32-year-old Rafal Karaczyn is due back in court today charged with her murder.

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A man will appear in court in the North today charged with bringing a gun into a polling station.

It is after an incident during voting in the West Tyrone by-election yesterday won by Sinn Féin's Orla Begley.

The man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or alarm.

The vote was triggered by the resignation of Barry McElduff who stood down after posting a controversial video which was seen to be mocking the Kingsmill massacre.

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The average Irish household is now wealthier than at the peak of the Celtic Tiger – despite having the highest levels of debt in Europe.

The Central Bank says the rise in 'household net worth' is largely due to increasing house prices.

Meanwhile Irish household debt levels have dropped to an average of just over €29,000 per person.