In short


More news in brief.

Labour Senator to run in Dublin by-election

Senator Alex White has been selected as the Labour Party candidate for the Dublin South by-election, writes Stephen Collins.

Mr White was the only candidate at the selection convention yesterday in Dundrum. Mr White was a candidate in the constituency at the last general election. After failing to get elected to the Dáil he was elected to the Seanad Éireann, where he is currently leader of the Labour group and the party spokesman on children.

No date has been set for the Dublin South by-election to fill the Dáil vacancy caused by the death of Séamus Brennan.

People trafficking highlighted

An awareness campaign has been launched to highlight the issue of the illegal trafficking of people into the State.

The campaign is designed to raise public awareness about the problem, which is most pronounced in the sex industry and in the low-wage economy.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy admitted at the launch yesterday that there were no prosecutions yet under the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, which was brought in earlier this year.His officers however were investigating a "small number" of non-Irish gangs believed to be involved in people-smuggling.

Call for Luas line to Phoenix Park

Dublin City Council's chief planner says a new cultural institution should be built in the Phoenix Park with a direct Luas transport link.

Dick Gleeson was addressing the Temple Bar Cultural Trust's Culture and the City conference in the National Gallery yesterday.

"If we are getting this light rail network, why not get it to run up to the Phoenix Park to a cultural facility?" he asked.

Mr Gleeson said he was suggesting a spur or cul-de- sac Luas line from the stop at Heuston station on the red line, which runs from Tallaght to Connolly.

Lack of PSNI training noted

Police officers in Northern Ireland may have used inappropriate force because they had not been properly trained, a report has found.

The Policing Board's Human Rights Annual Report linked this failing with a lack of knowledge of proper procedure among training officers. "Some trainers are not fully familiar with, or able to adequately communicate, the differing tests for the use of force," the report said.

Call to standardise Ulster Scots

A new report on Ulster Scots has found that spelling must be standardised to avoid confusion. Materials used to teach Ulster Scots should also be made more relevant to areas other than north Antrim, the report found.

It was commissioned by the North's Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure into the work of the curriculum development unit at Stranmillis University College in Belfast.

Bausch Lomb to forgo job cuts

Fears of further job losses in Waterford were calmed yesterday when it was confirmed that cost-reduction measures at the city's largest private sector employer would not include redundancies at this stage.

Management at the Bausch Lomb contact lens manufacturing plant, which employs 1,400 people at the city's IDA industrial park, met unions yesterday to outline the measures, which includes extending the Christmas shut-down by three days.

Luas green line suspended

Luas services were temporarily suspended last night between St Stephen's Green and Beechwood stations following a collision between a car and a tram on the Green Line to Sandyford.

Gardaí said there were no injuries.

Woman held in Bray fatal fire investigation

A woman in her 20s was arrested yesterday as part of the investigation into a fire in Bray, Co Wicklow last year that claimed the lives of two firemen.

The woman was arrested by gardaí from Bray Garda station yesterday morning and can be held for up to 24 hours.

Firemen Mark O'Shaughnessy (26) and Brian Murray (46), a father of 13, died when they became trapped inside a smoke-filled factory after its ceiling collapsed on September 26th, 2007.

O'Toole report to be raised in Dáil

A report by the Garda watchdog into the death of Derek O'Toole in March 2007 will be raised by Labour Party TDs Joanna Tuffy and Pat Rabbitte in the Dáil today, writes Pamela Newenham.

The report, which was published this week by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), found that a member or members of the Garda Síochána were the "most probable source" of false information about Mr O'Toole.

False information had been published in the media regarding Mr O'Toole's character and alleged criminal record, but the commission were unable to identify the garda or gardaí who supplied the information.