• Greens the big winners as Sinn Féin slumps. The counting of votes in the local and European Parliament elections has confirmed the Green Party as the big winners, having recorded their best ever election results, and Sinn Féin as the big losers of the weekend. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said newly elected Green Party councillors will seek to form alliances with all other parties on local authorities in the coming weeks to agree action on climate change.
• Varadkar disappointed by Fine Gael’s lacklustre local election performance. Taoiseach acknowledges party performed below expectations. Speaking on RTE radio, Leo Varadkar said ‘it seems our vote is up slightly, maybe one, or one and a half per cent, and we will gain 10-15 seats, which is less than we had expected or hoped for, quite frankly’.
• Sinn Féin election post-mortem could be a pretty brutal affair. Party leader, Mary Lou McDonald faces some tough questions after her party suffers a bruising election.
• Referendum for changes to divorce passes easily. The constitutional referendum on divorce passed with 82.07 per cent support, one of the largest margins of victory in a referendum since the vote on the Belfast Agreement in 1998. There were 1,384,192 ballots cast in favour of the proposal, with 302,319 cast against (18 per cent). The total valid poll was 1,686,511, with 40,545 invalid ballots. Final turnout across the 31 constituencies was 50.89 per cent.
• Donohoe to ‘spell out’ budget impact of no-deal Brexit. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will ‘spell out’ how much money he will have for the October budget if Britain leaves the EU without a deal. The details will be published in mid-June as part of the Summer Economic Statement which will begin the process of laying out the last budget before the next general election.
• Concern mounting in Garda circles over surge in gun violence. Concern is mounting in Garda circles over the surge in gun violence linked to a criminal gang in north Dublin.
General News (continued)
• Taoiseach to discuss events with Bailey. TD under pressure to resign chairmanship of Oireachtas housing committee. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to meet with Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey to discuss the backlash over a personal injury claim which she has now withdrawn. Last Monday, Ms Bailey defended her decision to sue the Dean Hotel for injuries she received after she fell off a swing.
• Loss of personnel from Defence Forces escalating. The Defence Forces has had its largest loss of personnel in almost a decade despite efforts to recruit new entrants, new figures show. Some 731 personnel left last year while some 612 new recruits joined the Army, Navy and Air Corps. That net loss of 119 Defence Forces personnel in 2018 was the largest for almost a decade and came at a time when numbers in the Defence Forces had already fallen to a low.
• Jubilant Daly plans to ‘rattle cages in Europe’. Independents4Change TD Clare Daly elected to European Parliament.
• Former Rose takes surprise spot for Fine Gael. Former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh has caused an upset and won a surprise seat in the European Parliament. Ms Walsh will join Mairead McGuinness in Brussels taking a second seat for Fine Gael in Midlands-North-West. Ms Walsh was the first member of the LGBT community to be crowned Rose of Tralee. Independent MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan was also returned to the European Parliament.
Business and Economy
• Chimac, a new Korean-style restaurant has opened in Dublin. Chimac is located at 76 Aungier Street, D02 YH58. Check out their website: https://www.chimac.ie/
• Irish Rail to buy hundreds of electric carriages in €2bn plan. Irish Rail and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have begun plans to buy up to 600 electric-powered and electric-battery carriages over 10 years in the single biggest purchase of railway stock in the State’s history. In addition, the NTA and Irish Rail are planning to ensure that a system is in place to buy more carriages if, as expected, further passenger growth takes place. The tender is separate to the current order placed by Irish Rail for an additional 41 InterCity carriages which are being sourced from existing Korean supplier Hyundai.
Business and Economy (continued)
• Average weekly earnings up 4% to €770 as private sector surges. Average weekly earnings rose 3.9% in the year to March 2019, pushing earnings up to the highest level since 2008. According to figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) average weekly earnings stood at €769.98 as of the first quarter of 2019, up by 3.4 per cent on a year earlier.
• Ibec unveils €40bn blueprint for low carbon economy within 30 years. The transformation to a low-carbon economy will require €40 billion capital investment in the Republic over the next 30 years, according to a strategy document from employer’s group Ibec. Strategy includes more forests, cutting emissions and additional public transport. Ibec wants State to increase carbon tax until it hits €80 a tonne.
• Businessman sells seven-year old engineering company for €50m. Waterford-based businessman Eddie Walsh, who made €7.5 million from the sale of an engineering company 12 years ago, is set to make a multiple of that amount in his latest deal with a German buyer worth an estimated €50 million. Walsh agreed to sell his engineering company STS Group, whose clients include major pharmaceutical companies and data centres, to a German company called Dussmann Group.