The Week that was
Published 23/01/2016 | 02:30
A look back at the week's events.
Fianna Fáil's rivals are to step up efforts to "marginalise" the party and its leader, Micheál Martin, during the upcoming General Election campaign as they seek to portray him as increasingly irrelevant. Political opponents are preparing to seize on the perceived lack of direction from Mr Martin, presenting him as a leader who would prefer to remain in opposition.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has slapped down the scandal-ridden garda watchdog for snooping on the phone records of journalists. The stinging rebuke places immense pressure on the board of the embattled Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).
Detailed emergency plans involving Government and the security forces have been drafted following realistic exercises based on the Paris attacks. And garda officials have been travelling to Jordan, Lebanon and Greece to vet refugees coming to Ireland in a bid to weed out radicals.
Embattled Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has defended the snooping on personal phone records, claiming it is "justified" in thousands of cases each year. But the Data Protection Commissioner is poised to begin a fresh probe, following its previous concerns about the breach of controls surrounding garda access to phone data.
Homeowners are spending close to €10,000 on securing their houses as the fear of burglary escalates. The money is being spent on infrared CCTV cameras and burglar alarms.