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.

ELECTION 2016 

LATEST... Fianna Fáil has committed to getting rid of Irish Water and scrapping water charges for five years, in its General Election manifesto which was unveiled today.

LATEST... The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has backed the Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton to retain her seat in Dublin West, by saying: "She's a fighter". A new poll suggests the Tánaiste is facing a battle to save her own seat in the constituency, but Ms Burton has questioned the accuracy of the poll's prediction for Dublin West.

LATEST... Councillor Danny Healy-Rae is to contest this year's General Election in Kerry. Just minutes ahead of the nomination deadline at noon, the Independent county councillor representing Killarney submitted his papers to contest the poll on February 26.

LATEST... Doctors say the next Government is facing an unprecedented crisis in the health service. Dr Ray Walley, the president of the Irish Medical Organisation, says fixing the health system is as big a challenge for the next Government as the financial meltdown that faced the last administration.

ANALYSIS... Victoria White writes that election promises continue the attack on families with just one income.

SOCIAL... As more and more politicians release election videos, the pressure is on to make them creative and stand out. Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon launched his offering last night - and it's safe to say we've never seen anything like it.

SOCIAL... There is little doubt that Twitter has become a key 'weapon' in #GE16 with all of the political parties and groupings availing of its unique potential. Keep track of the Twitter action from the parties, leaders and main players HERE

Visit our #GE16 SECTION for the latest General Election news, views and social content.

IRELAND 

The new armed response unit for Dublin, announced as part of a government package to fight gangland feuding, is not expected to be up and running for at least five to six months.

Tight security is expected to be in place ahead of the funerals of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch in Dublin. The funeral of David Byrne, who was shot dead at the Regency Hotel last Friday, is expected to take place in the coming days. Eye-witness footage of the scenes just moments after David Byrne was shot dead at the Regency Hotel last Friday have emerged

The AA is reminding motorists that new cars are still vulnerable to breakdowns after attending to over four a day in January alone.

A garda yesterday claimed before the High Court when he was off duty, he was rugby tackled to the ground by other gardaí, handcuffed, and arrested after querying the price of a taxi home.

WORLD 

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

The Nato Maritime Group is being ordered immediately into the Aegean Sea to help end smuggling of migrants between Turkey and Greece, the secretary general said.

Two alleged people-smugglers have gone on trial in Turkey accused of causing the death of three-year-old Syrian migrant boy Alan Kurdi and four other people.

SPORT

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

Joe Schmidt has made three changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with France. Simon Zebo has lost out and has not been included in the matchday squad. Meanwhile, France head coach Guy Noves has rebuilt his pack for the task of stopping Ireland after it proved a weak link in the nervy opening win against Italy.

A permanent haze shrouds the dividing line between heroism and stupidity – somewhere in that haze live generations of GAA referees.

BUSINESS

Oil prices should recover in the second half of this year and end 2016 at between $60 and $65 per barrel, Tullow Oil chief Aidan Heavey has said.

Around 6.8m UK customers are to benefit from cheaper energy bills after British Gas became the latest major supplier to announce a price cut.

VIEWPOINTS

Challenging the authority of the Church was not easy, but 50 years ago this week, Gay Byrne helped spark a cultural revolution with the ‘bishop and the nightie’ affair, writes Ryle Dwyer

LIFESTYLE

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

Being in love is one of the best feelings in the world but please tell me that true love really does exist says Paula Burns, a self-confessed diehard romantic

VIDEO

Disturbing eye-witness footage of the scenes just moments after David Byrne was shot dead at the Regency Hotel last Friday have emerged, showing the assassins making their getaway and what happened before gardai arrived.

VIRAL

Art fans can now spend a night inside one of the most famous scenes ever depicted – Vincent van Gogh’s The Bedroom.

The most talked about update in social media is here – Twitter’s reorganising of your timeline to ‘best tweets’ from chronology has gone live.

TECHNOW

GAMINGLeague of Legends developer Riot Games is retiring Dominion mode as so few people play it.

MOVIES: Young Russian filmmaker Ilya Naishuller gained some attention with his first person short video in 2013 with a title we can't repeat and now he's got a full feature.

TECH: Apple is to part ways with Samsung on the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7s with Taiwanese chip maker, TSMC, taking sole responsibility of manufacturing.

SHOWBIZ

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

It’s been reported that TV and radio presenter Terry Wogan was laid to rest on Tuesday in England.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

A garda yesterday claimed before the High Court when he was off duty, he was rugby tackled to the ground by other gardaí, handcuffed, and arrested after querying the price of a taxi home.


Lifestyle

Against popular wisdom and flying a plane made from bamboo, wire and bike handlebars, a Co Antrim woman blazed a sky trail for aviation and for the independence of women, writes Bette BrowneMagnificent Lilian Bland blazed a trail for independence of women in her plane of bamboo

The epic battle for the bridge at Arnhem, as depicted in the blockbuster 'A Bridge Too Far', saw the Allies aim to end the war by Christmas 1944, but failed as a huge airborne assault force failed to take the last bridge across the Rhine. In an extract from his latest book 'A Bloody Week', Dan Harvey tells the story of one of the hundreds of brave men from Ireland who gave their all to the Allied campaignThe bridge to war: Dan Harvey's new book looks at the Irish who went a bridge too far

More From The Irish Examiner