Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

Good afternoon. Here’s all the news you need to know this lunchtime.

IRELAND

Former Labour leader Pat Rabbitte has added to growing consensus on when the election date will be by saying he believes it will take place on Friday February 26.

Gardaí in Cork have arrested a man after a woman was held at knifepoint during a carjacking incident this morning. It happened near Mallow when a woman stopped to see if a man standing on the side of the road needed help.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has launched his party’s digital ad campaign ahead of the election but put his rival, Enda Kenny, front and centre of the main message.

The Irish Cancer Society has partly reversed its decision to stop its hardship grants for cancer patients. It has now announced it will maintain the grants for the families of children suffering from the condition - a move which it has said will cost it around €200,000 a year.

Denis O’Brien has been named following his unsuccessful bid against a decision not to allow an appeal over a tax case be heard in the Circuit Court. Yesterday, the businessman’s lawyers argued he should not be identified, but the High Court heard today that he had no issue about being named.

The ESB has said levels in Lough Derg are finally going down after weeks of swelling. The drop means it is able to reduce the flow of water through the Parteen Weir.

A Cork school bus full of children had a near miss this morning when the bus they were travelling on slipped on black ice.

WORLD

Three homes used by suspects to prepare the deadly attacks in Paris in November have now been identified, Belgian investigators said. The Belgian prosecutor’s office said in a statement that two apartments and a house all rented under false names and paid for in cash were used by the suspects.

Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

European employees may find themselves under scrutiny during work hours following a recent ruling that allows companies to monitor workers online communications.

SPORT

Donal Lenihan feels the decline of Munster goes much deeper than coach Anthony Foley. Meanwhile, the head coach believes it would have been unprofessional to veto Andy Farrell’s appointment as a coaching consultant for the rest of the season.

Cork football manager Peadar Healy has made four changes to the side which was named for last Sunday’s postponed McGrath Cup fixture.

Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

Dubliner James McGee racked up a comfortable victory in the first round of qualifying for the Australian Open today and is now only two games away from a place at the tournament.

BUSINESS

The company behind popular Dublin club Copper Face Jacks, have officially topped €50 million.

Dublin ranks in the top three European cities for real estate investment for the last three years. It is behind Berlin and Hamburg.

ANALYSIS

Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

Micheál Martin has capacity to carry the conversation nationally and he is a man with a political past, a talent that is deeply shadowed, writes Gerard Howlin.

LIFESTYLE

It’s all about true crime this January as colleagues stumble into work like zombies having been up all night binge watching Making A Murderer. This latest Netflix must-see comes in the aftermath of stellar true crime shows, The Jinx and Serial. What is making true crime so hot, asks Ed Power

VIDEO

The recent icy conditions have proved to be hazardous and frustrating for road users. But imagine how one New York driver felt when they went to go to work to find their car completely frozen over.

VIRAL

The price of diesel in a Ballina, Co Mayo has just hit a milestone we’d all be happy to see. With falling oil prices helping consumers lately, the price of diesel on the forecourt at Gala in Ballina has dipped below the €1 per litre mark.

Could you ever see George Clooney trying (and failing) to get a word into a conversation? Or Antonio Banderas forgetting his password? Or even Liam Neeson on the phone struggling to deal with one of those automated voice system. Well now you can thanks to impressionist Ross Marquand.

TECHNOW

GAMING: Dying Light The Following is a major new expansion for the base game which adds an area that's the same size again

MOVIES: Star Leonardo DiCaprio and director Alejandro G. Iñárritu popped in to Charlie Rose to talk at length about their new film The Revenant.

TECH: A report filed with California's Department of Motor Vehicles reveals that Google’s self-driving cars have required drivers to take the wheel 341 times over the past 14 months.

SHOWBIZ

Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

Fans of Mrs. Brown’s Boys have been caught up in a fake online scamA Facebook page was set up that appeared to be promising viewers of the show a trip to see Mrs. Brown’s Boys Australian Tour.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

Donal Lenihan feels the decline of Munster goes much deeper than coach Anthony Foley. 


Lifestyle

It couldn't be easier to add life to soil, says Peter Dowdall.It’s good to get your hands dirty in the garden

Kya deLongchamps sees Lucite as a clear winner for collectors.Vintage View: Lucite a clear winner for collectors

Their passion for the adventures of JK Rowling’s famous wizard cast a love spell on Cork couple Triona Horgan and Eoin Cronin.Wedding of the Week: Passion for Harry Potter cast spell on Cork couple

After in-depth explainers on Watergate and the Clinton affair in seasons one and two, respectively, Slate podcast Slow Burn took a left turn in its third season, leaving behind politics to look at the Tupac-Notorious BIG murders in the mid-1990s.Podcast Corner: Notorious killings feature in Slow Burn

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