The Pope's letter to Irish Catholics a year ago prompted more than 3,000 written submissions to the Irish bishops on how the church should be renewed. Today the bishops will announce a €10m fund for an expanded counselling service with longer opening hours for the next five years for survivors of abuse.
Copies of the bishops' pastoral response, 'Towards Healing and Renewal' are available in parishes. The document is a pastoral initiative and makes no proposals to change the structures of power in the Catholic Church.
In a statement launching the document, Cardinal Sean Brady said that: "Along with the grievous wrong of abuse, for many survivors their faith in God and in the church has been profoundly damaged. Many have expressed a hope that the damage to their faith can be addressed."
Legal quandary over fire at castle
A unique judicial quandary has arisen in Co Monaghan over a prosecution involving three juveniles, who face charges relating to a fire which caused more than €3.5m damage to Hope Castle at Castleblayney on November 4 last. The three girls were in the care of the HSE at the time of the blaze.
The 18th Century castle is owned by Monaghan County Council, but was leased to a local businessman, Chris Haren, who also lost substantial personal property, including some rare antiques valued at several thousand euro. The historic castle on the shores of Lough Muckno was the former residence of Lord Francis Hope, owner of the famous Hope Diamond, and earlier the seat of Lord Blaney, from which Castleblayney derived its name.
Judge Sean MacBride has ruled that a major bearing on the issue of having the case heard either in the District Court, or the higher Circuit Court will hinge on the question of insurance recoupment for the castle owners, and others who sustained losses as a result of the fire.
He has directed that a written undertaking from the owners of the property relating to the position of the insurance claim be presented at a further sitting of the District Court in Carrickmacross. Judge MacBride has adjourned the case pending clarification of the issue.
Apprentice sidekick defends coursing
Brian Purcell, adviser to Bill Cullen and a judge from TV3's The Apprentice, has defended hare coursing in a blood sports documentary.
"Since 1993 greyhounds have been muzzled so the hare always gets away. The hare has more stamina than a greyhound," the Apprentice judge says in Henry McKean's new documentary The Truth About Irish Blood Sports.
Mr Purcell says governments should look more towards rural economies to improve future employment and wealth. "There's a lot of money made from greyhounds. There's over 11,000 people employed in it," he said.
In Mr McKean's latest investigation, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports claims that hare coursing allows the animals to be "battered and mauled into the ground by the dogs" while others will "sustain injuries so severe that they will die on the coursing fields".
The documentary, a follow-on from the successful The Truth About Travellers, airs on Tuesday at 10pm on TV3.
McGuinness denies backing Gaddafi
Martin McGuinness has distanced himself from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. In an interview he has claimed that he was never a supporter of the colonel -- despite the IRA being supplied with hundreds of tonnes of weapons from Tripoli in the 1980s.
"I am not a supporter of Gaddafi. The only people I support are the people of Ireland and the only allegiance I give is to Sinn Fein. I was never a supporter of Gaddafi. I never met him. I never travelled to Libya," said the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland in a US interview.
He complained to officials in the Obama administration about being snubbed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has ended their 'open door' access to Downing Street and directed Mr McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson to deal with the office of the Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Patterson.
Quangos set to multiply under FG
IF the new Government has started as it means to go on, then Ireland's thousand-strong list of quangos may be safe after all, says Donegal independent TD Thomas Pringle.
He points out that Fine Gael pledged to abolish more than 140 non-governmental organisations. But before the ink has even dried on the Programme for Government, the Coalition is planning to create 14 new quangos.
These include a new Export Trade Council, a further Business Licensing and Inspection Authority and further Food Safety Monitoring Agency. The TD claims quangos are "littered throughout the document''.
No winner of €11.6m Lotto jackpot
THERE was no winner of last night's €11,684,969 Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 2, 12, 31, 37, 39, 45 (bonus 26). Wednesday's jackpot is now heading for €13m.
There were three Match 5+bonus winners who each receive €25,000; 72 Match 5s (€1,853); 186 Match 4+bonus (€180); 3,476 Match 4s (€59); 4,862 Match 3+bonus (€28); and 58,264 Match 3s (€5).
The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 5, 14, 29, 30, 39, 41 (bonus 23) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 4, 21, 23, 24, 30, 36 (bonus 38).
In the UK's stg£4.4m draw, the numbers were 10, 26, 28, 34, 35, 39 (bonus 17).
Rally over referendum on bailout
DEMANDS will be made today at a rally in Co Kilkenny for a referendum to be held on the IMF/EU bailout -- to "allow Irish people to have a say in their economic future".
Organisers said the rally will begin by asking people to "walk a mile for Ireland" -- through Kilmacow village from 2.30pm -- as a symbolic protest against the bailout and to demand a referendum.
Independent TD Tom Fleming from Kerry will be the main speaker. One of the organisers, Richard Behal, said many leading economists and independent TDs admit that a referendum on the deal is the only realistic way to avert economic disaster.
Daughter won't end fisherman search
THE daughter of a fisherman missing off the coast of Co Wexford for 26 days said the search for his body will continue until he is found.
John Ennis, 64, a father of four from Wexford, has been missing since his boat sank on February 18 in the Suir estuary. Hundreds of people have been taking part each day in the search for the missing fisherman.