IrelandMorning Briefing

Your morning briefing: EU working on €20bn military aid package for Ukraine

Trinity debating society the world’s oldest, converting offices to housing, money saving tips and Jack Conan’s race to be fit for South Africa

Morning Briefing

EU raises plan for new €20bn military aid package for Ukraine

The European Union is working on a new €20 billion package of military support for Ukraine to run over five years, which has been raised informally in recent weeks, with the Irish Government and others.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said on Sunday he had alerted the Cabinet that this proposal was “coming down the tracks”. He said if it was agreed, Ireland would provide only non-lethal aid. Ireland has already given €122 million in non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine.

Mr Martin told The Irish Times in New York he would be announcing a further €23 million in Government aid to Ukraine at the United Nations in the coming days.

Top News Stories

  • Trinity debating society gets official recognition as oldest in the world: It has been banned, criticised and expelled from the university over the years. Today, however, the College Historical Society of Trinity College Dublin – better known as The Hist – is celebrating its official status as the world’s oldest college debating society.
  • Potential for State office space to be converted to residential use: An audit of almost 1 million sq m of State office space to establish if any can be converted for residential use has been sought by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.
  • Tony Holohan says he was unfairly treated during controversy over botched move to TCD: The State’s former chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan believes he was unfairly treated during the controversy over his botched move to Trinity College Dublin which led to his resignation.
  • How one Irish hospital has turned its performance around in quite a dramatic way: For this column to praise our public health system is something of a rarity. So I would like to say at the outset that it gives me great pleasure to report on how one Irish hospital has turned its performance around in quite a dramatic way, writes Dr Muiris Houston
  • Ireland’s weather today: After a wet weekend it is forecast to be dry, breezy and cooler in many places this morning with scattered showers and sunny spells. More frequent showers will spread from the west through the morning and afternoon, with some showers turning heavy at times. Highest temperatures of 13 to 16 degrees in moderate to fresh westerly winds, strong on Atlantic coasts.
  • Happening today: The Taoiseach will provide the keynote address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The event aims to reaffirm the UN’s strategic development goals, a set of proposals to protect the environment and improve people’s live across the globe.

News from around the World

The Big Read

  • ‘We want to live with dignity like every human being’: Saad Eddin Ismail left his home in Darfur, Sudan, six years ago, on a long quest to find safety. The 27-year-old comes from Geneina, a city in West Darfur. He remembers violence breaking out in 2003, in what was described as the first genocide of the 21st century. Afterwards, the violence never fully stopped. “We have too many problems in Darfur... The solution [is] only to go outside of Sudan.” He travelled to Chad, then Libya, where he tried to cross the sea towards Europe five times. Each time he was caught. Since 2017, the EU has been supporting the Libyan coastguard to intercept boats of refugees and migrants, with more than 122,000 caught on the Mediterranean Sea since then and forced back to Libya.

The best from Opinion

  • Mary Lou McDonald understands that vulnerability can be a strength: As summer turns to autumn, and politicians dust themselves off in preparation for returning to the Dáil and the Seanad, political messaging in advance of the general election is being honed, writes Una Mullally. For younger voters – those who moved the hands on the Irish political dial to the point where it now reads Sinn Féin O’Clock – the only memorable moment that emerged from the Fianna Fáil think-in was Tánaiste Micheál Martin saying Sinn Féin was “infecting a new generation of young people”.

Culture and Life&Style highlights

  • Culture Night Dublin 2023: An outsider’s insider guide to where to go on September 22nd: It’s a September evening in 2016, and I am running my first Culture Night event. That night hundreds of people move through a windowless subterranean room as performers sing, dance and act on a tiny stage. It is trial by fire, a chaotic, sweaty, anxiety-inducing experience, but one of the most rewarding and exciting events I have ever managed, and one I will never forget.
  • Ten cost-of-living changes that could save you €2,000 a year: Last week we ran a piece that was – by any measure – pretty grim. We totted up the cost of the cost-of-living crisis and reckoned there are many households and families that will be worse off by more than €7,000 over the next 12 months when compared with 2019.

Top Sports news

  • Jack Conan in race to be fit for Ireland’s Rugby World Cup showdown with South Africa: Not much happening next weekend then. Just the number one side in the world against the number two and reigning world champions. Given the potential prize at stake for winning Pool B – while Scotland are still in the mix – next Saturday’s huge meeting with South Africa in the Stade de France looks like being a defining week in Ireland’s 2023 World Cup campaign, and quite probably a make-or-break one for Jack Conan as well.
  • Rugby World Cup remains the Downton Abbey of sport - the elites rule: The Rugby World Cup has always been populated with teams who are over-matched and stretched beyond their means. Through the decades, one-sided games were the flour in the soup, added not for flavour or nutrition, but for volume. Everyone knew the score. It is such an intrinsic part of the tournament that it is never greeted with outrage or even exasperation. Imagine if the football World Cup was littered with 8-0 and 9-0 hammerings? For a start the sponsors and the television companies would be up in arms, putting the heart across the nabobs in Fifa, writes Denis Walsh.

Picture of the Day

Letters to the Editor

  • Garden cities and healthier living Sir, – The problem with using “street plans” to add to urban building densities (“‘Street plans” could deliver 14,000 new homes a year’, News, September 14th) is that there is an urgent need for green spaces, including gardens, rather than more concrete and traffic in our towns and cities. This paucity of greenery is not only ecologically unfriendly but creates an unhealthy and polluted environment. A better idea would be for the Government to invest some of its funds in several garden cities, which could not only house 30,000 to 50,000 each (comparing the populations of Letchworth and Welwyn garden cities in the UK) but would provide for healthier living and by definition would be self-sufficient in employment, transport, schools and hospitals. If built on some of the many currently barren fields of ryegrass, garden cities could actually increase biodiversity. Garden cities are now a global phenomenon that Ireland could well benefit from: it has the space!

– Yours, etc, TRICIA CUSACK, Greystones,


Highlights from Podcasts

Why not try one of our Crosswords & Puzzles?


‘I have sailed halfway around the world with my partner, living off rental income and remote freelance work’: Mushroom-like islands protrude out of the crystal-clear water that surrounds our boat. We are in Tonga. I sip a coffee and look into the sea; the fine white sand is punctuated by navy-blue star fish.In the distance a plume of breath is released high into the air where a couple of humpback whales rest below the surface.

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