Five things you need to know today

Garda strike latest; creche care; inquiries into violent deaths; public pay; teachers row

Richard Lynch at the launch of  University Concert Hall panto, Beauty and the Beast at King Johns Castle, Limerick. Photograph: Sean Curtin True Media.

Richard Lynch at the launch of University Concert Hall panto, Beauty and the Beast at King Johns Castle, Limerick. Photograph: Sean Curtin True Media.


Gardaí ordered not to participate in strike action

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has ordered all members of the force not to take part in planned strikes and warned that protests over pay could “irreparably compromise” the Garda’s authority to police the State.

In an unprecedented intervention in the dispute between gardaí and the Government over pay, Ms O’Sullivan urged those under her command to think of the long-term consequences for Ireland.

Children in creches ‘fare as well’ as those at home

Five-year-olds cared for in creches for the first three years of life are, overall, as emotionally and socially healthy as children looked after at home, according to a new report.

The study from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) finds that a range of other factors are of far greater importance for five-year-olds’ emotional and social wellbeing than whether they were cared for in a creche or at home. These include social class, mental health of parents, number of parents, children’s own health and their gender.

Investigations begin as four people die in violent incidents

Teams of gardaí in three counties were last night investigating the deaths of four people in violent incidents.

In Co Mayo, the remains of a murdered elderly couple were found in their home in Irishtown, near Claremorris, yesterday afternoon.

In a separate incident, a man was stabbed in the early hours of Tuesday in Clondalkin.

In Longford town, another man in his 30s, from eastern Europe, was stabbed on Greatwater Street at about 11.50am.

Public sector workers may get early pay restoration

Public sector workers could have their pay levels restored quicker than had been initially envisaged under the Lansdowne Road Agreement on public pay, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has indicated.

While Ministers have privately accepted the Lansdowne Road deal was unlikely to survive its full planned duration until September 2018, Mr Donohoe yesterday publicly raised the prospect of a successor deal kicking in before then.

ASTI accused of targeting students with posters

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has been accused of targeting pupils after it emerged that members have been asked to display posters highlighting the union’s opposition to junior cycle reform in “prominent positions” in classrooms.

The move has drawn sharp criticism from some secondary students and parents who say it is an attempt to make pupils part of the union’s dispute with the Government.

And finally. . . Gay cake case: Why the Ashers bakery ruling was correct

We very much concur with the former BBC legal correspondent, Joshua Rozenberg, who paraphrased the ruling, saying: “The correct comparison was not with a straight man who wanted a ‘gay’ cake, which Ashers would have refused. It was with a gay or straight person who ordered a cake celebrating traditional marriage – which the company would have supplied,” writes Terry Sanderson.