In short

 

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Spectacular meteor showers set to light up skies overnight

Skywatchers will be treated to what could be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of recent years tonight and in the early hours of the morning, writes RONAN MCGREEVY

Geminids peak in the middle of December and if skies are clear, it should be possible to see between 50 and 100 an hour after midnight. Geminids are so-called because they appear to radiate from the prominent constellation of Gemini. Meteor showers occur when the Earth’s orbit crosses the trail of a comet or asteroid that is also orbiting the sun. In the Geminids’ case it is the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The moon and Jupiter will be will be very close to each other at 8pm.

Astronomy Ireland’s Christmas public lecture tonight, by Dr Ian Corbett, general secretary of the International Astronomical Union, will ask why astronomy matters and how it has influenced mankind’s search for meaning.

Ex-priest charged over pornography

A defrocked priest has appeared before the courts to face charges in relation to thousands of images of child sex abuse that were allegedly found in his possession, writes CONOR LALLY

Oliver O’Grady (65) was arrested in Dublin on Friday morning and detained overnight under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

He appeared before a sitting of Dublin District Court on Saturday. Mr O’Grady, with an address at a hostel in Dublin’s south inner city, was charged with possession of child pornography. He is due in court again on Friday.

DPP set to study Anglo bank files

The Director of Public Prosecutions is expected to begin formally deliberating in coming days on possible criminal charges on past practices at Anglo Irish Bank, writes CONOR LALLY

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has already said the files would be before the DPP before the end of the year and that “key decisions” would be made within a short time frame. The DPP has assigned a number of barristers to advise the Garda investigation team on compiling the criminal files arising from their lengthy and complex investigations.

Army makes safe explosive device

Army bomb disposal experts have made safe a viable explosive device found under a car parked outside a nightclub in Swords, Co Dublin, early yesterday morning. The improvised explosive device had been planted under a blue Range Rover parked in the car park of Airside Retail Park and the discovery was made at 1.30am. The area was sealed off and the Army's bomb disposal team arrived at 3.15am. They examined the device and carried out a controlled explosion. Gardaí are investigating if the incident was drug related.