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06.37 18 Feb 2020


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Fine Gael has decided to preparing to go into opposition in the next Dáil after a long meeting of its parliamentary party.

A number of the party's TDs said they do not want to enter a grand coalition with Fianna Fáil, meaning Fine Gael will step back from government negotiations.

The Cabinet meets this evening for the first time since the election and will stay on in a caretaker role until a new government is formed.

Speaking after last night's meeting, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar didn't rule out a coalition with Fianna Fáil as a last resort - but insisted his party "will not be rushed into anything".

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Sinn Féin's justice spokesman, Martin Kenny, believes last night's decision by Fine Gael's parliamentary party does not change much.

He said he believes parties are currently setting out their initial positions for negotiations - but suggested those positions will change in the coming weeks.

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A group calling itself the New IRA is planning a bomb attack on a Sinn Féin member, police in Northern Ireland have told the party.

The PSNI said the dissident Republican group plans to attack a member using an under-car explosive device.

The party says they've been told the attack could happen anywhere in the north.

Sinn Féin's vice-president, Michelle O'Neill, says it's 'literally a threat against thousands of Sinn Féin members and their families'.

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Environmental officials in Cork will board and inspect a ship this morning that washed ashore in the county over the weekend.

The cargo vessel ran aground on Sunday at Ballycotton Bay after being adrift in the Atlantic since 2018.

The investigating team from Cork County Council will board at low tide and check for oil and other hazards that could threaten the surrounding area.

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495 children who are in state care have not been allocated a social worker.

According to new Tusla figures, there are 5,971 children in the care of the state across the country.

More than 8% haven't been given a social worker, including 81 kids in Dublin north.

Main image: Taoiseach and Leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar, speaks to the media after the PP’s meeting in Leinster House. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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