Hospitals facing ‘very serious situation’
The Taoiseach has said the State’s hospitals are facing “a very serious situation” caused by an “unprecedented wave of illness” with three viruses circulating.
It comes as consultants warned up to 1,000 patients could be treated on trolleys on a single day in the weeks ahead as hospitals grapple with increasing pressures.
Capacity limits have hit record highs, with 931 people waiting on hospital trolleys on Tuesday, falling to 838 people today.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly acknowledged that people will die because of risks posed by overcrowding in emergency departments.
Meta fined again over privacy breaches
The State’s data watchdog has fined Facebook’s parent company Meta Ireland €390 million as a row erupted over whether further investigation of the use of people’s data is warranted.
Meta Ireland was fined €210 million for breaches of EU data privacy rules relating to Facebook, and €180 million for breaches on Instagram.
Meta said it was “disappointed” by the decision and intends to appeal against “both the substance of the rulings and the fines”.
The Republic recorded a budget surplus of around €5.2 billion in 2022, far in excess of the €1 billion projected just over three months ago, the Department of Finance has confirmed.
The turnaround from a deficit of 3 per cent of gross national income in 2021 reflected a fall in Covid-19 related spending and strong tax revenue growth.
Income tax and VAT grew by 15 per cent and 21 per cent year-on-year, while corporate tax receipts jumped by 48 per cent to a record €22.6 billion.
Mahamud Ilyas murder
Gardaí have made two further arrests in connection with the murder of a man in Co Meath last month.
The body of Mahamud Ilyas (22) was discovered wrapped in material on farmland at Belgree Lane in Kilbride, near Ashbourne, on December 10th.
The two men, both aged in their 20s, are currently detained at Blanchardstown Garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.