Michael Staines
Michael Staines

22.13 14 May 2019


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Taoiseach warns National Broadband Plan may never go ahead if contract is not signed

The Taoiseach has warned that the National Broadband Plan may never go ahead if the current contract isn't signed.

The Government last week named the consortium led by Granahan McCourt as the preferred bidder to deliver the plan to bring broadband to every home in Ireland.

The plan - which aims to bring high-speed Internet to 540,000 homes and businesses - will cost the State around €3 billion over 25 years.

However, it was not initially revealed how much the consortium - which has set up a new entity named National Broadband Ireland (NBI) - would invest, leading to opposition calls for more details.

In a statement NBI said it will invest €220 million in initial funding for the project – and confirmed that this will come ahead of any state investment in the project.

It said its total contribution will be €2.4bn over the lifetime of the project.

Former Tusla chair to oversee in-depth study on familicide

The Government has approved an in-depth research study on familicide and the supports available for families affected.

Speaking outside Government buildings this afternoon, The Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said former Tusla Chairperson Norah Gibbons would oversee the new study.

Ms Gibbons was Director of Advocacy for Barnardos for over seven years and was a member of the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse which investigated the extent and effects of abuse on children in Ireland.

She was also a member of the Historical Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

EU opens antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland

The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland.

The probe will look at whether the conditions for accessing the group's data pooling system breach EU competition rules.

Insurance Ireland represents a majority of insurance companies operating here, and aims to "represent and enable the development of the insurance sector".

Its Insurance Link database is aimed at detecting any potential insurance fraud, as well as ensuring potential customers are provided with accurate information by insurance companies and agents.

WhatsApp users urged to update after spyware vulnerability identified

A major vulnerability in messaging app WhatsApp allowed attackers install spyware onto phones.

Facebook - which owns the messaging app - said the attack targeted a "select number" of users.

WhatsApp has urged all of its 1.5 billion users to update their apps as an added precaution.

According to the Financial Times, the vulnerability was developed by Israeli cyber intelligence firm NSO Group.

Light rail tram system proposed for Cork

A €3.5 billion transport plan for Cork has been unveiled.

It includes proposals for a €1 billion light rail tram system, which would travel from Ballincollig in the west to Mahon in the east via Cork city centre.

The draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy - which has been published online - includes a significant focus on sustainable transport.

It's hoped that over half of all journeys in the city in the morning will be by sustainable transport modes by 2040.


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