Five things you need to know today

McCabe scandal; St Patrick’s Day caution; hospital strike; Baftas; Irish gangs

1. McCabe scandal: Pressure mounts on Minister for Justice over knowledge of false claims

Pressure is mounting on Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald to clarify when she became aware of false allegations of child sexual assault against Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe which were contained in files of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

Serious differences emerged last night between Ms Fitzgerald and Fianna Fáil about her knowledge of false claims made against Sgt McCabe.

2. Ministers cautioned on perks of St Patrick’s Day


Government Ministers have been advised to avoid the use of limousines and stay in “modest” accommodation when they travel abroad for St Patrick’s Day.

The Cabinet considered the details of the annual programme at last week's meeting with Minister for Transport Shane Ross opting to stay at home.

3. Hospital support staff to strike on same day as nurses’ action

More than 10,000 support staff in hospitals will go on strike from March 7th if, as expected, a vote for industrial action is carried on Monday.

The first Tuesday in March is also the day that more than 30,000 nurses across the country are scheduled to commence a work-to-rule, leaving open the prospect of widespread disruption across the country’s acute hospitals.

4. Baftas 2017: La La Land wins best film on night of surprises

As expected, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a sunny Hollywood musical, won best film at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) movie awards on Sunday night.

Equally predictably, the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall was peppered with commentary on current politics. La La Land took the most gongs, converting five of its 11 nominations into wins. Chazelle won best director. Emma Stone, who stars opposite Ryan Gosling, won best actress.

5. Irish gangs recruit children as young as 11 into serious crime

Criminal gangs are recruiting and exploiting children as young as 11 using drugs, alcohol and the notion of status, according to new research on the impact of criminal networks on young people.

The findings are the result of a four-year study into criminal gangs and their impact on boys and young men, as well as their wider local community.