Morning top 5: Taoiseach in Davos; Varadkar's popularity; and Good Friday ban

The top stories this Thursday morning

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will re-affirm Ireland's commitment to the EU when he speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos later.

He will also try to promote Ireland as a business destination at the meeting of some of the world's most powerful leaders.

Among the other speakers are British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.


A new poll out today claims Leo Varadkar is now the most popular Taoiseach since Bertie Ahern.

The first Irish Times Ipsos/Mrbi opinion poll of the year shows Mr Varadkar's approval rating has gone up another seven points to 60%.

The last time an Irish leader was as popular was the height of the boom in 2007.

The head of Fianna Fáil is next with 42% support.


Donald Trump is set to be questioned under oath by the team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller is leading the investigation into alleged collusion between the US president's campaign and Russia.

It is thought Mr Mueller is hoping to interview the president in the coming weeks.


The European Court of Justice will decide later whether a class action lawsuit against Facebook can be taken for what is claimed are illegal violations of the privacy of users.

Austrian activist Max Schrems is looking for damages for each of the signatories to his lawsuit.

Facebook has rejected his assertions, which date back to 2014.


The ban on opening pubs on Good Friday could come to an end today.

The Dáil is due to debate the final stages of the bill that would remove the 90-year prohibition.

It would mean pubs could open on Good Friday from this year if it is passed.