IrelandMorning Briefing

Your morning briefing: Saudi investor interest in Dublin Airport lands; man arrested after boy (9) killed in hit and run

Ministers set to clash over budget spending, EPA warns of air pollution threat to public health, while Leona Maguire helps Europe retain the Solheim Cup

Your Morning Briefing

Ministers in budget clash over €1bn health overspend

Ministers are set to clash on Monday over a projected €1 billion overrun in the Department of Health which has complicated Budget 2024 talks as they enter a crucial phase.

A meeting of the Government’s Cabinet Committee on Health will take place this afternoon where Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will likely be asked to account for significant budgetary overruns in the HSE amid rising tension with the Department of Public Expenditure.

Last week, The Irish Times reported that senior officials believe a projected €1 billion overrun in the Department of Health will now limit Mr Donnelly’s room for manoeuvre in budgetary negotiations.

Top News Stories

  • Saudi investor interested in buying strategic lands at Dublin Airport, McEvaddys say: An unnamed Saudi investor is in the hunt for strategic lands at Dublin Airport, as bidders press for reassurance about access to the runways and the road network.
  • Man arrested after fatal hit-and-run incident in Bundoran: A man has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run incident in Bundoran, Co Donegal, which claimed the life of a nine-year-old boy.
  • EPA warns of air pollution threat to public health: Air quality in Ireland is generally good but there are persistent “concerning localised issues” threatening public health due to highly damaging fine particulate pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Former bank on College Green may be converted to social housing: Dublin City Council is considering buying one of the most prominent buildings on Dublin’s College Green, the former Ulster Bank, so it can be converted into social housing.
  • Deliveroo sought changes to Irish labour law amid claim students ‘desire’ platform work: Deliveroo told the Government over two years ago it was aware of a “significant desire” among international students to work on its platform despite legislation barring them from holding accounts.
  • Ireland’s weather today: Today will start breezy with sunny spells and showers, mainly in Ulster, Connacht and Munster. It will be drier in the east and southeast. Showers will become isolated by the afternoon. Highest temperatures of 16 to 18 degrees with moderate to fresh, gusty south to southwest winds. Rain will develop in the west around midnight and will spread eastwards overnight.
  • Happening today: The Central Statistics Office will publish Population and Migration Estimates 2023, while the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee is also scheduled to meet.

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Top Sports news

  • Memorable Ireland victory over South Africa built on splendid defence: In many ways, the Springboks made this incredible game, perhaps the best pool match ever, more their kind of contest. The initial exchanges were like the opening scenes in Gladiator, and so it continued for the entirety of the 80 minutes.
  • Leona Maguire a driving force as Europe retain the Solheim Cup: Leona Maguire lives and breathes the Solheim Cup. For the player from the lakes and drumlins of Cavan, the tournament has become part of her DNA, and once again, in the hills above the Costa del Sol, the 28 year old proved a driving force for Europe as the team made history in a drawn match by retaining the crystal trophy and lifting it for the third time in a row.

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Letters to the Editor

Sir, – While we wait to see how the €6.4 billion budgetary package is to be allocated, notwithstanding what’s known already about cost of living, tax changes and public spending amounts already announced, one other issue that touches upon all this is the intended establishment in Ireland for the first time of a sovereign wealth fund, an idea floated some time ago.


While the principal purpose of such a fund is to invest extra capital monies into markets or other investments, and to stabilise an economy to avoid potential future volatility, it’s important that we don’t forget to consider the public expenditure element of €5.2 billion of the current budgetary package at the same time as the Government considers how it may want to deal with an intended wealth fund, as the objectives of both might well be the same. The answer to this point may well come down to timing of the set-up of the fund.

Quite apart from questions of volatility, such as sudden rises in inflation, it would be interesting to hear what progress the Government has made in its thinking about a possible wealth fund, when it’s likely to be set up, and to what extent, if at all, the purposes to which that fund might be put relate to, or are connected in any way, with the Government’s intended €5.2 billion public spending plans. – Yours, etc, ALASTAIR CONAN, Coulsdon, London.

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