Five things you might have missed while the US election count was on

Schools to reopen, Garda vote of no confidence and ‘balls of fat’ appear on Mayo beach

A man walks past a deciduous tree in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

A man walks past a deciduous tree in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

 

1. Schools to reopen after ASTI agrees suspension of action

All second-level schools are set to open on Wednesday after the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) last night agreed to suspend industrial action at hundreds of schools.

The union and the Department of Education accepted an invitation from the chair of the Teachers’ Conciliation Council – an arbitration body – to attend talks on “matters of mutual concern”.

The ASTI said it had agreed to defer its directive to members not to carry out supervision and substitution duties – which had led to the closure of hundreds of schools earlier this week on health and safety grounds – as well as its separate strike action over lower pay for recently recruited teachers to facilitate the new process.

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2. Dún Laoghaire’s former ferry terminal available to rent

The former ferry terminal at St Michael’s Pier in Dún Laoghaire Harbour is on the letting market with agent Lisney quoting an indicative rent for its front section of €215 per sq m (€20 per sq ft) for a 10-year lease.

Built over 20 years ago, the terminal building covers 7,000sq m (75,000sq ft) and recently hosted the Endurance Exhibition which tells the story of Irish-born explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s trans-Antarctic expedition.

Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company’s decision to lease the building comes hot on the heels of An Bord Pleanála giving the green light last week for an €18 million cruise ship berth in the harbour which can accommodate liners of up to 250m (820ft) – or 80 per cent of the cruise ships which currently visit Dublin Bay.

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3. Rancid ‘balls of fat’ wash up on north Mayo coastline

Foul smelling globules resembling balls of fat on the north Mayo coast may be linked to a pollution incident at sea, says Coastwatch Europe.

The globules have washed up on the shoreline near Elly Bay and on Cross beach, west of Binghamstown on the Mullet peninsula in Erris, in recent weeks.

Glengad resident Diane Taylor says her dog became quite ill after trying to eat several of them.

“They are shaped oddly, about tennis-ball size, smell like diesel, and are hideously greasy,” said Ms Taylor.

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4. Garda group leader Pat Ennis faces vote of no confidence

The organisation representing rank-and-file gardaí is in turmoil as its leader faces a motion of no confidence amid a bitter split.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA), which represents about 10,500 rank-and-file gardaí, was beset with infighting in the lead-up to calling off its planned strike action last Friday.

Tensions have continued since then, with some members of the executive staging a walkout at the national executive meeting in Dublin on Monday. They were protesting at the refusal of the meeting to accept their motion of no confidence in general secretary Pat Ennis.

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5.Enda Kenny says his successor will just have to wait

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has again told his would-be successors as leader of Fine Gael to be patient, indicating that he will not be standing aside anytime soon.

Mr Kenny made the latest comments at a Fine Gael event at which Ministers Leo Varadkar and Frances Fitzgerald, two of the frontrunners to succeed him as party leader, were present.

The event, attended by 300 people, was held in the Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick, on November 4th in honour of former TDs Dan Neville and Michael Finucane.

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