Morning top 5: Violent clashes in Zimbabwe following election; strike by Dublin-based Ryanair pilots set to go ahead tomorrow

The top stories this Thursday morning...

Vicky Phelan says she will speak to the Health Minister Simon Harris later, to discuss the latest developments in the Cervical Check scandal.

The government has announced the appointment of retired judge Charles Meenan to examine alternative ways of compensating the affected women and their families.

Yesterday, Mrs Phelan met the Taoiseach, with Leo Varadkar saying alternative dispute resolution mechanisms "must be found" to court proceedings over the cervical screening scandal.

***

Three people have been killed in clashes between protesters and the army following Zimbabwe's general election.

Soldiers have been using guns and tear gas against demonstrators in the capital Harare.

Supporters of the opposition MDC are upset that early results gave the ruling Zanu-PF party a parliamentary majority, and have accused the ruling party of rigging the vote.

The country's Electoral Commission says it will announce the presidential election results later today, with the opposition already claiming it has won the 'popular vote'.

***

Ryanair says it expects tomorrow's planned strike by up to 100 pilots based in Dublin will go ahead.

The company has cancelled 20 flights, impacting the travel plans of 3,500 passengers.

Meanwhile, industrial relations problems at the airline continue across Europe - with Ryanair saying that pilots in Belgium, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands may coordinate strike action next Friday.

***

The cost of sending children back to school has risen again this year, according to children's charity Barnardos.

The first year of secondary comes in at €765 per pupil, compared to €360 for a senior infants pupil.

According to the study, more parents are going into debt as they are forced to borrow to cover school costs.

***

Gardaí targetting gangland crime in Limerick have charged two men in connection with a firearms seizure.

They were arrested on Monday after a number of Garda cars were rammed during a car chase in the Corbally area.

The car was later stopped and a semi-automatic Luger pistol loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition was found inside.

Two men - aged 25 and 29 - were arrested and they're due before Tralee District Court this morning.