Unionist political leaders have unveiled proposals they hope will persuade loyalists to end their ongoing protests across the North over flying the Union flag.
First Minister and Democratic Unionist leader Peter Robinson and Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt are to set up a Stormont forum to focus on the flag issue and other areas of concern within loyalism. Representatives from within the loyalist community will be invited to attend and put their views across. The first meeting could be held before Christmas.
FoIs and the gardai
THE extension of the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) to include An Garda Siochana will be discussed at a conference examining 15 years of the legislation.
The event, entitled 'The Right to Know', will take place at the University of Limerick on February 11. Public Enterprise and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin will address the conference along with Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly.
Four homeless deaths
THE number of people sleeping rough is up by one-fifth with four homeless people found dead so far this winter. The Simon Communities of Ireland said this is despite extra shelter beds being opened. Spokesperson Niamh Randall said: "This winter so far, no fewer than four people who were homeless have been found dead in towns as far apart as Tralee and Bray. Every month more and more people find themselves at the edge of homelessness."
Ronan on air in Oz
POP star Ronan Keating has signed up to co-host a Sunday show on one of Australia's highest-profile radio stations. The 'Rollercoaster' singer is set to follow in the footsteps of superstars Michael Buble, Kylie Minogue and Lionel Richie by broadcasting for smoothfm, which went on the air this summer.
He is set to make his debut on Christmas Eve with a two-hour festive special.
Man's murder charge
A SECOND man has been charged with the murder of a stabbing victim whose body was found stuffed in a bag.
Christopher Jackson's body was discovered on September 8 in his flat at Prussia Street in Dublin. Anthony Locke (35), from Ramillies Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, faces a charge of murder after earlier lesser charges were dropped. Anthony Locke appeared yesterday at Cloverhill District Court in Dublin. He was remanded in custody and returned for trial to the next term of the Central Criminal Court.