Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.55 20 Feb 2019


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The Dáil will debate a motion of no confidence in the Health Minister this evening.

Sinn Féin has submitted the motion over Simon Harris’ handling of cost overruns at the new National Children's Hospital.

The motion has the support of Labour the Green Party and a range of independents – including the chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee Dr Michael Harty.

It is expected he will survive the vote – as Fianna Fáil has indicated it will abstain.

***

The European Commission president has said he doesn't expect any breakthrough in Brexit talks with the UK Prime Minister later today.

Theresa May is travelling to Brussels for discussions with Jean-Claude Juncker.

Mrs May is trying to secure legal assurances on the Irish border backstop.

The EU has consistently warned that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement – including the backstop – is not open for re-negotiation.

***

Last night's Euromillions jackpot, worth €175m, was won by a single ticket bought in Ireland.

It hasn't been confirmed where the winning ticket was bought but whoever has it has become the biggest Irish lotto jackpot winner ever.

It makes them richer than Liam Neeson, Bob Geldof and Enya.

The winning numbers were 1, 8, 18, 19 and 39 - the lucky stars were 7 and 9.

***

An Oireachtas Committee will today consider a bill aimed at offering stronger protections for renters.

The Residential Tenancies Bill and Anti Evictions Bill would remove the sale or renovation of property as grounds for eviction.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry – one of the sponsors of the bill – said eviction from the private rental sector is “far-and-away the main source of homelessness in this country.”

He said the proposals can offer more security of tenure and rent transparency for tenants.

***

New laws aimed at protecting tips for hospitality workers will be debated in the Seanad later today.

The bill would make it illegal for employers to confiscate tips and require them to be transparent about their tipping policies.

The Protection of Employee Tips Bill has been tabled by Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan.

He said it is badly needed and is calling on politicians to support it.


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