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In Brief: Martin denies SF coalition

FIANNA Fail leader Michael Martin was forced to publicly rule out going into coalition with Sinn Fein.

His former deputy leader Eamon O Cuiv had suggested that Sinn Fein was a natural coalition partner for Fianna Fail because they were both republican parties.

But speaking after the annual Fianna Fail 1916 commemoration at Arbour Hill yesterday, Mr Martin said: "I think the economic platform that Sinn Fein have put forward and indeed the platform in relation to Europe is not one that would commend it to me or the Fianna Fail party at this stage."

Two in court over €84k cannabis

TWO men were due to appear in court today after gardai seized around €84,000 worth of cannabis herb.

The two men, aged 41 and 26, were due to appear before Navan District Court.

A third man arrested and detailed in Kells Garda Station over the weekend was released without charge.

The investigation is ongoing.

Drivers escape penalty points

ONE in six drivers caught driving dangerously so far this year have escaped getting penalty points on their licence.

New figures show that gardai have caught almost 56,000 drivers committing a range of offences in the first three months of 2012, but more than 9,000 escaped with no points on their driving record.

This is because they either held driving licences issued outside the State, gardai did not take down their licence details or they failed to produce their licence in court.

Grenades fired at Syrian bank

Attackers have fired rocket-propelled grenades at the Central Bank and a police patrol in the Syrian capital Damascus, the state news agency said.

Sana said four policemen were hurt and the bank building was slightly damaged.

Elsewhere, 10 people were injured in two bomb blasts in the north-western city of Idlib, an activist said. State media blamed the attacks on "armed terrorists", a term it uses to describe those trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.