Five things you need to know today

Storm Doris, FG leadership race, Trump on transgender toilets, dead dogs in green bins

Mia McMahon, affectionately known as the farm manager, feeds four identical Charolais heifer calves born in Lahinch, Co Clare. Photograph: Brian Arthur

Mia McMahon, affectionately known as the farm manager, feeds four identical Charolais heifer calves born in Lahinch, Co Clare. Photograph: Brian Arthur

 

1. Storm Doris: Violent wind leaves 46,000 homes without powerStorm Doris has swept across the country on Thursday bringing violent gusts of wind which has resulted in power outages, cancelled flights and dangerous road conditions.

A status orange wind warning is in place for the east of the country, where gusts of up to 120km/h are expected.

A less serious status yellow wind warning is in place for the rest of the country, where gusts could reach up to 110km/h in exposed areas.

Met Éireann has warned of “gale force northwest winds and some severe and damaging squalls” in places.

2. Fine Gael leadership succession race under wayThe contest to succeed Enda Kenny as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael is effectively under way after Mr Kenny told his parliamentary party on Wednesday night he would deal “conclusively” with the leadership issue when he returns from the United States after St Patrick’s Day.

Mr Kenny’s remarks were accepted by Fine Gael TDs, some of whom had threatened a motion of no confidence in him, as a commitment to step aside in March, with a successor likely to be in place by the end of April at the latest.

Fine Gael TDs, Senators and MEPs met at Leinster House in anticipation of an announcement about his future by Mr Kenny. He gave a short speech lasting about eight minutes, reading from handwritten notes, and receiving a warm round of applause at the end.

3. Trump rescinds transgender toilet rules from Obama presidency

The Trump administration has rowed back on transgender protection measures introduced by his predecessor Barack Obama in a move that has outraged LGBT campaigners.

In a joint decision by the Department of Justice and Education, the administration said it fell to states to decide whether students who had undergone a sex change could use toilets correlating to their gender identity.

Last May the Obama administration issued guidance directing schools to allow students to use bathrooms that aligned with their gender identity. The move followed a decision by North Carolina to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice, a move that prompted dozens of companies to withdraw investment from the state.

4. Nappies, food and dead dogs: the rubbish found in green bins

A pilot scheme aimed at detecting people who persistently abuse free waste recycling by putting black bin rubbish, for which there is a charge, into their green bins is to be tested shortly on some 12,000 householders in Fingal, Co Dublin.

Cameras mounted inside refuse collection lorries will record what emerges from individual green bins when they are tipped into the vehicle. The household to which the bin is attached will already be known to the camera from the chip inside the bin which is read as it is tipped up.

A photograph of the rubbish will reveal if prohibited material, typically disposable nappies, and food waste, has been put into the recycling bin. The image will identify the household to which the bin was assigned and will also highlight the prohibited material.

5. Brexit drives registration of 100,000 UK firms in Ireland

British MPs have been told 100,000 firms in the UK have registered companies in Ireland since last year’s vote to leave the European Union.

Stephen Kelly, chief executive of campaigning organisation Manufacturing Northern Ireland, told a House of Commons committee that UK companies were registering in Ireland as hedges “against worst-case scenarios, if they develop”.

Speaking to the Commons’ Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, he said the numbers displayed the anxiety felt by UK companies about their future access to EU markets. Saying he had got his first phone call from a company looking for alternative manufacturing locations at 8am the day after the Brexit vote, he said he was aware others “are actively seeking relocations”.