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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 26 February, 2024

# the morning lead

Last week
18th February 2024 - 24th February 2024
Government urged to investigate soaring baby formula prices as families struggle
An official UK investigation found manufacturers have hiked prices more than their costs increased – and enjoyed high profit margins.
St Vincent de Paul has noted an increase in callers struggling with infant formula costs.
Families who use it spend hundreds of euro per year on formula, and prices have climbed 18-22% since 2021.
A new probe is underway into Britain's market, which like Ireland's is dominated by Nestlé and Danone.
'Watching in dismay': The letters sent by worried booksellers over the free books scheme
Person tried to get job at asylum seeker hostel to 'cause trouble and enact racial discrimination'
The individual was not hired after Dublin City Dorms carried out a background check.
A staff member at the centre raised security concerns with the International Protection Accommodation Services
Dublin City Dorms began operating as an accommodation centre in early 2023, having previously been a tourist hostel
The centre was among the buildings vandalised during the Dublin riots in November
‘Hiding from M-hunters’: TikTok accused of pushing managers into issuing low performance reviews
Fears over disqualified drivers behind the wheel as 76% ignore orders to surrender licences
It’s been suggested the figures indicate many disqualified drivers remain on the roads following conviction.
Thousands of banned drivers have ignored orders to surrender their licences in the past three years.
There have been recent cases before the courts of disqualified drivers who committed further offences.
Road safety campaigner Leo Lieghio, whose daughter Marsia was killed by a disqualified driver, called for cars to be impounded.
French Ambassador concerned over Russian disinformation operations ahead of EU elections
Vincent Guérend spoke to The Journal this week about the current security situation across Europe and ongoing disinformation activities by Russian agents.
This month
February 2024
Three weeks out, here's a roundup of where the politicians fall on the family and care referendums
We’re just three weeks out from the vote in March.
All the main political parties have launched their referendum campaigns, with Sinn Féin due to next week.
The Rural and Regional Independent groups do not have an agreed campaigning position on the issues, instead each TD will vote individually.
A number of other Independent senators and TDs are in the No camp or are undecided.
Ireland to spend thousands on air-con for Olympians after Paris bans A/C to meet climate goals
Paris organisers had said they would not provide air-conditioning as part of a pledge to make the 2024 games environmentally friendly.
'The wording doesn't go far enough': We asked carers how they'll vote in the care referendum
Some carers told us that they think the wording of Article 42B is insulting, while others are still unsure as to how they will vote on 8 March.
Giving birth in Gaza: 'I resorted to instructional videos on social media'
On the ground in Rafah, a reporter writing for The Journal speaks with pregnant women and new mothers.
Unicef has reported that Caesarean sections are being performed in Gaza without anaesthesia.
The Journal's reporter on the ground in Gaza tells the stories of women who have given birth in recent weeks as the bombardment continues around them.
Asylum-seeker support workers expected to act as interpreters without specialist training
Experts concerned that ‘cultural mediators’ being asked to provide “interpretation services” beyond their required skill set.
Cultural mediators were introduced to speed up the asylum application process
Advocates say the lack of clarity around role risks harming asylum seekers
UN body who trains them says mediators "not legally accountable" for applications
Homes at Sandyford ‘Mint’ site could be decade away despite land transfer approval
The Central Bank said it would take seven years for it to vacate the site off the M50.
St John of God services to be transferred to HSE unless extra funding is granted
The SJOG board is due to meet today to discuss its €32.5 million deficit.
SJOG is one of the biggest providers of intellectual disability and mental health services in the country
Staff have been informed that, unless extra funding is received, the process of transferring services will begin
The board said they are "doing all in our power to prevent this eventuality" but are running out of options
Welfare payments, immigration and throuples: The false claims being made about the March referendums
Voters will go to the polls in the two referendums a month from today.
False claims circulating include that a Yes vote will negatively affect mothers.
Misinformation has also been spread about polygamy, and about changes to child benefit.
Independent legal experts say the proposed changes are symbolic and will have little impact in law.
'A legal bomb waiting to go off': The delays at the Probate Office have reached a record high
Solicitors have called on the Probate Office to reinstate its face-to-face counter service.
Delays have steadily increased after a new way of working was introduced to accommodate remote working during the Covid pandemic.
Solicitors have called on the Probate Office to reinstate its face-to-face counter service.
One solicitor said the current arrangements are "absolutely shocking".
Greyhound stadiums criticised for promoting races to children and families
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said the ‘reality’ of the industry is being hidden from children.
Sex workers sent death threats after replying to text scam
Very few crimes against sex workers are reported to gardaí, an advocacy group said.
A number of people were threatened with physical or sexual violence
Foreign-national sex workers were targeted by the scam
"The texts and calls turned violent, people saying things like they were going to have a hitman kill them."
‘We need help’: Restaurant and cafe owners say they are struggling like never before
The Journal spoke to a number of restaurant, cafe and bar owners, with all of them reporting the same problems and suggesting similar solutions.
Council responding as 'matter of urgency' to concerns over sex offenders placed in hostel
Some residents are understood to have said they felt threatened over the placements.
'Concerning' delays for mammograms as Dublin hospitals struggle to recruit staff
Beaumont Hospital is considering outsourcing some appointments to deal with the backlog, one patient was told.
Patients are concerned it is taking months to get an appointment for certain scans, potentially delaying a cancer diagnosis
Extra consultants are due to start working in the coming months, but staffing levels remain an issue
"It is unacceptable that a person should wait too long before getting access to a vital diagnostic appointment," the CEO of the Irish Cancer Society said
CUH chief demanded employee at centre of racism allegations be 'removed' from hospital during investigation
The CEO told nursing management it was for them to decide if they were to be suspended or redeployed, pending the outcome of an investigation.
Investigations are ongoing at Cork University Hospital following complaints about an adaptation programme.
The CEO told nursing management it was for them to decide if the staff member was to be suspended or redeployed, pending the outcome of an investigation.
Eimer McAuley reports on the latest developments in the row.
Last month
January 2024
Integrity investigation finds 25% of Europe’s MEPs were involved in a scandal
In December 2022, police found €900,000 in alleged bribe cash stuffed in bags at the EU Parliament’s Vice President Eva Kaili’s home. How could corruption of such scale happen at the heart of the EU? Was this just one isolated incident or the tip of the iceberg?
Data collected by The Journal, Noteworthy and other European media partners reveals 3% of MEPs have been convicted by a court.
The months-long investigation unearthed 253 previously reported blemishes.
The most serious cases related to 45 corruption incidents and 44 events relating to fraud and theft.
Posts targeting migrants remained online during riots despite 5pm plea from online safety tsar
Niamh Hodnett was appointed last year to fight harmful content online.
Niamh Hodnett contacted major social media firms on evening of 23 November to warn about potential for violence.
Posts calling for migrants to be "killed" were shared on social platforms as riots unfolded.
Immigrant Council of Ireland warned about the proliferation of such posts and called for posters to be investigated.
Overhaul of mental health law which 'deprives people of liberty' may not happen before election
The long-awaited Mental Health Amendment Bill would bring about the largest overhaul of the State’s mental health laws in decades.
Mental Health Reform said the protracted delay in publishing the Mental Health Amendment Bill is "completely unacceptable"
The proposed legislation would strengthen regulation around people consenting to the type of treatment they receive
Fiona Anderson, a long-time activist, said patients like her need to have a greater say in their treatment
More than 5,000 applications for 535 cost-rental homes in Dublin and Kildare
The ICJ makes its initial ruling in the Israel genocide case today - what's likely to happen?
South Africa has accused Israel of violating the Genocide Convention during its military campaign in Gaza.
Bus and rail fare increases in Cavan, Wicklow, Kildare and Meath slammed by TDs
Anti-European populist parties predicted to top polls in 9 EU states ahead of elections
A new report predicts there will be a “surge” in support for far-right or right-leaning parties during the European Elections.
Homeowners warned more mortgage rate rises are likely to be on the way
Mortgage brokers have urged homeowners to consider switching to save money.
Tensions at 999 call centres as workers 'bid' for holidays 18 months in advance
'I'm really concerned': Red Sea conflict likely to cause disruption (again) for Irish businesses
Conflict near the Suez Canal is causing havoc for shipping companies.
Govt 'failure' for towns sheltering refugees 'feeds anti-migrant narrative', say locals
Roscommon TD Claire Kerrane said promises to resource towns and villages receiving asylum seekers have regularly not received any follow through.
'It's a real inequality': Educators call for teaching-through-Irish allowance to be reintroduced
The allowance was suspended in 2012 for any newly qualified teachers.
Northern Ireland at a standstill: 'The biggest day of strike action in a generation' today
Tens of thousands of workers across 16 unions are taking part in strike action later.
Forgotten war: More than 350 Irish citizens and their dependents have been forced to leave Sudan
The war in Sudan broke out in April of last year between two warring factions the Sudan Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces.
Garda sergeant charged with assaulting suspect and attempting to pervert the course of justice
The case was heard at Waterford District Court on Monday.
The case has been taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions on foot of a GSOC investigation.
The sergeant is accused of asking a more junior garda not to record an incident in which he allegedly assaulted a suspect.
36-year Garda veteran forced to sign on the dole on retirement due to bureaucratic anomaly
Donal Forrester says he believes the problem will soon affect hundreds of members as their time for retirement comes.
Lebanon was already in crisis - now it's dealing with thousands fleeing Israel-Hezbollah conflict
The conflict has made it unsafe for civilians on either side of the border to remain in their homes.
EU shuts legal case after Ireland finally submits years-late climate plan - but it's still unfinished
Armed gardaí on patrol in Corduff as tensions remain high after Christmas Eve shooting
The patrols, led by members of the Armed Support Unit, are focused on limiting the chances of further attacks.