JOAN Burton will use Labour's think-in this week to launch a counter-attack on the "Fine Gael spin'' that her department is not doing enough to resolve the unemployment crisis.
Pre-budgetary tensions have been growing between the Coalition parties over claims from Fine Gael sources that a concerned Taoiseach will be keeping a "close eye'' on Ms Burton's Department of Social Protection.
In an indication of ongoing Coalition tensions, a source close to the minister said: "FG are constantly complaining about Joan and unemployment, they seem to forget it is actually Richard Bruton's job to create new employment, Joan is in charge of welfare."
AUTUMN BREEZES IN WITH STRONG WINDS
Although we won't be experiencing a storm, showers and blustery conditions will prevail today and tomorrow as Autumn blows in.
"It will be a windy day – but the word 'storm' is too strong to describe it," Met Eireann John Eagleton said yesterday. "The weather won't be good – but we won't be experiencing the same conditions as in Northern Ireland."
Despite the mixed forecast, organisers of the FlightFest fly-past in Dublin City still hope to avoid the twin aviation enemies of low cloud and high winds when the 35 vintage aircraft fly up the Liffey between 2pm and 5pm.
IFA DEPUTY LAUNCHES PRESIDENTIAL BID
THE Irish Farmers' Association deputy president Eddie Downey has launched his bid to become the association's next president. Speaking at his campaign launch at Tayto Park in Co Meath, Mr Downey said: "The challenges facing farmers and Irish agriculture have never been greater.
"The overhang from the fodder crisis and inflexibility of our banking sector along with strong input price has led to tighter margins and reduced incomes.
"Budgetary cuts over the last three years and reduced EU funded schemes are having a detrimental effect on farm incomes. Supermarkets and multiples look to farmers and their suppliers to maintain their margins in a shrinking market place."
ONE WINNER OF €3M LOTTO JACKPOT
THERE was one winner of last night's €2,984,327 Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 5, 9, 15, 31, 35, 43 (bonus 23).
There was one Match 5+bonus winner who gets €25k; 38 Match 5s (€1,762); 119 Match 4+bonus (€141); 1,901 Match 4s (€54); 2,797 Match 3+bonus (€25); and 31,248 Match 3s (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 3, 14, 20, 28, 31, 38 (bonus 13) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 3, 6, 17, 25, 27, 30 (bonus 13).
And in the UK draw for an estimated Stg£6m prize, the numbers were 18, 20, 24, 30, 39, 48 (bonus 46).
HAVING A MASQUERADE BALL FOR CARERS
THE Carers Association, in conjunction with the HSE Mid West, Limerick City and County councils and Thomond Park, has launched the Limerick Masquerade Ball – a fundraiser to help raise vital funds for the 16,500 family carers across Limerick, North Tipperary and Clare.
Thomond Park will host businesses and voluntary agencies who will showcase their products and services on Friday, September 20, followed by the highlight of the weekend activities with the Limerick Masquerade Ball on September 21 to raise vital funds.
The event will be kindly sponsored by Rusal Aughinish, Lisheen Mines, Thomond Park, HSE Mid West and Limerick City and County Councils.
Visit carersireland.com for more information.
GEORGE BEST SOCCER SCHOOL OPENS
The George Best Foundation Academy, part of Belfast's Metropolitan College, will work with 60 players aged between 16 and 18 and focus on both athletic and academic development. The initiative, sponsored by the George Best Foundation, replaces the Belfast Met Football Academy, which was launched in 2011 as the first full-time football academy in Northern Ireland.
The opening was timed to coincide with an anniversary in Best's story. Fifty years ago yesterday, 17-year-old Best made his First Division debut for Man Utd against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford in a 1-0 victory.
NI RIADA IS NEW SINN FEIN EU CANDIDATE
SINN Fein chose its candidate for the southern region for next year's EU elections at a convention in Cahir, Co Tipperary, yesterday.
There were two candidates in the running for the nomination. Both were from Cork with Liadh Ni Riada winning out over Chris O'Leary.
EVERY DUB TO HAVE SAY ON MAYOR VOTE
DUBLIN's four local authorities are calling on Dubs to have their say on the proposal of having a directly elected mayor for Dublin.
To get this process under way, the Lord Mayor of Dublin City, the mayors of Fingal and South Dublin and the cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown are engaging in a public consultation from tomorrow asking Dubliners or those with an interest in Dublin to complete a survey or make a submission on the topic at their local library, council office or online at www.mayor4dublin.ie
INAUGURAL LALOR SUMMER SCHOOL BEGINS
TOP academics and politicians are scheduled to attend the first James Fintan Lalor summer school in Portlaoise this Friday and Saturday to discuss themes of 'A Country in Crisis, Politics and the Press and A Vision for Ireland'.
Those speaking and attending will include Sunday Independent columnist Ruth Dudley Edwards, and the newspaper's Political Editor John Drennan.
Historian Diarmaid Ferriter, Mary O'Rourke, RTE presenter Myles Dungan, FG chairperson Charlie Flanagan and Labour Senator John Whelan will also attend.