Newstalk
Newstalk

06.39 15 Jan 2020


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It's the first full day of the formal general election campaign, with parties setting out their stalls ahead of next month's vote.

Fine Gael launches its campaign this morning in Monaghan with a focus on Brexit, before the Taoiseach travels to canvass in Cavan.

Fianna Fáil's leadership, meanwhile, will launch its own campaign in Dublin just before lunchtime.

The leaders of all the other parties will also be campaigning, as the countdown to election day on February 8th begins in earnest.

***

About 400 tractors will drive into Dublin city centre this afternoon in a farming protest.

It's a two-day demonstration, as part of their ongoing campaign over beef prices, carbon tax and other issues.

It is being organised by the Individual Farmers of Ireland, but is not supported by the main farming organisations.

Gardaí are warning of major traffic disruption from 10 o'clock this morning, with some road closures in the city centre.

***

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will visit Ireland later today.

It is the former German defence minister's first official visit to the country since taking over the EU's top job late last year.

She will meet with the Taoiseach to discuss issues including Brexit, Northern Ireland and the new Common Agricultural Policy.

***

The former head of the Garda cold case unit believes whoever left body parts in a bag in north Dublin earlier this week did it to send out a message.

Two arms and two legs were found in a residential area in Coolock on Monday night.

Gardaí are in the process of identifying the remains, and they believe they could be those of a missing teenager involved in the drugs trade.

Former detective sergeant Alan Bailey said this type of killing is often seen among international gangs.

***

A massive explosion at a chemical factory in Spain has killed one person, left one missing, and seriously injured at least six others.

Civil protection officials in Tarragona warned people in parts of the city and nearby towns to stay inside immediately afterwards.

Emergency services say two of the injured are being treated for major burns.

Main image: A long line of Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar posters in Dublin on the day he announces he is to seek dissolution of the 32nd Dáil for a general election. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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