Five things you need to know today
Bad news Trump, Brexit, economy, a treasure in a skip and arsenic in the water
Lucy Heavey, a DSPCA rescue dog, attends the Dublin Flea Christmas Market. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
1. Majority think Trump presidency is bad for Ireland: A majority of voters believe the election of Donald Trump will be bad for Ireland but they still want Taoiseach Enda Kenny to meet the new US president on St Patrick’s Day, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.
In a phone call shortly after the US election, Mr Trump invited Mr Kenny to continue the practice of the Taoiseach visiting the White House on St Patrick’s Day. When asked if Mr Kenny should go ahead with that meeting next March, 67 per cent of voters said he should, 28 per cent said he should not and 5 per cent had no opinion.
2. British-Irish Brexit agreement proposed by UK peers: The British and Irish governments should negotiate a new bilateral agreement to minimise the impact of Brexit on British-Irish and North-South relations, according to a new report by the EU committee of the House of Lords.
The agreement, which would have to be approved by the European Union, “should guarantee open land borders and sea boundaries, support cross-Border trade, and preserve EU funding for cross-Border projects”, the report says.
3. Irish economic growth may fall below 3 per cent in 2017: Ireland’s economy will grow at its slowest pace in three years in 2017, according to the employers’ group Ibec.
In its latest quarterly outlook, the lobby group says it expects GDP (gross domestic product) to expand by just 2.8 per cent next year amid growing political and economic uncertainty abroad.
4. Arsenic detected in a small number of private wells: “Elevated” levels of naturally-occurring arsenic have been detected in a small number of groundwater sources for drinking water, according to a new national study.
Potential “hotspots” for contaminated groundwater have been identified in the northeast and the southwest, researchers at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute have found.
5. Historic papers found in a skip to be donated to the State: A chance discovery in a Dublin skip and a curious coincidence 40 years later have resulted in a significant historical find including grants of land bearing the royal seals of Elizabeth I, kings George I, James I and Charles 1 .
The collection of maps, grants, seals and royal letters of patent and containing the will of William “Speaker” Conolly is to be donated to the State on Thursday.