Sunday 18 February 2018

What it says in the papers

Here are 7 stories in this morning's papers that you need to know about.

1. Tracking Irish jihadi fighters

Today's Irish Independent leads with an investigation into jihadi fighters using Ireland as a base while travelling in between conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. The individuals in questions are under surveillance by Gardai as part of EU-wide measures to track the group through Europe. Gardai have revised the current strategy to tackle international terrorism as it was felt it did not take account of what were described as 'lone wolf' terrorists' and fighters.

2. Further developments in the abortion case

Preliminary results of an inquiry into the care of a woman who says she was raped and having suicidal feelings and ho was denied an abortion by a medical board, will be published today. She is expected to also appear before the inquiry and initial results were released to parties concerned last night, according to the Irish Times.

3. GSOC, the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice

The Garda Ombudsman will only be permitted to investigate the Garda Commissioner if approved by the Minister for Justice, according to new legislation. After a number of gardai and justice system controversies in the last 18 months, a new bill was drafted to allow the Ombudsman more scope in their investigation. However, the full draft, as stated in the Irish Examiner, shows that it is at the discretion of the Minister.

4. Rail strike controversy

The boss of Irish Rail is currently on holiday on the island of Mauritius as unions prepare for mass rail strikes this weekend. David Franks flew to the island resort destination last week and will not return until Monday - during the middle of the second day of planned industrial action involving over 2,000 rail workers, as published in the Irish Independent. The company says Mr Franks is liaising from his Mauritius base.

5. Woman arrested in Alan Ryan murder

A woman has been arrested over the murder of slain terror boss Alan Ryan in 2012. The woman, from the Kilbarrack area of Dublin, is believed to be held on suspicion of withholding information and is the first female to be arrest in connection with the killing. She was arrested in Dublin yesterday for shoplifting and is the girlfriend of  a major player in the 'Mr Big' drugs gang, reports The Herald.

6. Sharon's ice bucket challenge

RTE news anchor Sharon ni Bheolain's ice bucket challenge is the talk of the town as her efforts have landed on several of today's front pages. She has raised over €2,500 for charity and nominated Oliver Callan to continue the trend. See the video here.

7. Irish teenager's captivity in Egypt

Details of Irish-Egyptian teenager Ibrahim Halawa's imprisonment in Cairo have been released as he marks one year of his jail sentence. He has been violently assaulted, beaten, stripped and whipped with a metal chain," according to a letter he wrote. He says the torture was a 'surprise party' to mark his one year imprisonment, according to The Herald.

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