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

ELECTION 2016 

LATEST... Launching Sinn Féin's General Election manifesto in Dublin, Gerry Adams said that the all the party proposals have been fully costed over its plans to spend €10.6bn over the next five years.

LATEST... Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has today warned against Sinn Féin's proposal to abolish the Special Criminal Court, saying it has been a "vital factor" in jailing criminals.

LATEST... The Green Party said it will not attempt to stop an RTÉ leaders' debate from going ahead - regardless of the outcome of their legal action.

LATEST... Today is the last opportunity members of the public have to get on the electoral register for the General Election.

ANALYSIS... It was back to the classroom for Enda Kenny. The Taoiseach wanted to get into the minds of the gaggle of fifth- year students before him, writes Elaine Loughlin

SOCIAL... How engaged are the Irish abroad with the general election? Robert Mulhern asked emigrants in London of different generations and professional backgrounds what issues are important to them — or do they even care?

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 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said there has been a “new escalation” in gangland crime which cannot be tolerated. Reacting to last night’s murder which is believed to have been a gangland retaliation attack, Mr Kenny said the government are “100% behind” Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan and will be providing all the resources needed to the gardaí.

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has denounced as “despicable” the gangsters behind the bloody feud spilling on to the streets of Dublin.

Six days before the horrific attack at the Regency Hotel, it was reported that senior criminals had flown to Dublin to attend boxing events. Almost a week before David Byrne was shot dead in front of crowds attending the weigh-in, national media had been tipped off that members of the Kinahan gang had arrived in from Spain.

Gardaí are today carrying out a search at a landfill site in Wicklow in relation to the murder of Kenneth O’Brien. Gardaí entered the dump at Ballynagran, just off the M11, west of Wicklow town shortly after 9am.

Members of the Defence Forces attending 1916 ceremonial commemorations throughout the year may have to pay for dry-cleaning uniforms and polishing boots out of their own pockets.

WORLD 

A man has died after being found on fire outside Kensington Palace in the early hours of this morning, police said. Officers were called to the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after receiving reports a man was behaving suspiciously.

A train crash in Germany has seen 150 people injured, including 50 severely. Two trains crashed head-on into each other shortly before 7am on the single line that runs next to the Mangfall river in Bad Aibling, Bavaria – 40 miles south-east of Munich.

SPORT

The IRFU have announced that Ireland's talismanic leader Paul O'Connell has retired from rugby. Since the announcement, people from the rugby world and beyond have been paying tribute to O’Connell.

Former Munster Council chairman Noel Walsh has castigated Croke Park hierarchy over their “unjust” treatment of Longford GAA club Dromard. The Longford club has been slapped with a €2,000 fine for allowing the Jamie Carragher soccer school take place on their grounds last August. Dromard are the first club in the history of the GAA to be penalised for breaching Rule 5.1.

BUSINESS

Banking giant HSBC is reportedly set to announce plans to keep its headquarters in the UK after a high profile lengthy review.

Irish medical device company Mainstay Medical has identified Germany as the launch market, later this year, for its breakthrough treatment for chronic back pain.

VIEWPOINTS

Gerry Adams is one of Ireland’s most controversial figures, yet is utterly endearing and idiosyncratic on Twitter. What’s his secret, asks Carl Miller

LIFESTYLE

Irish banks are looking for business and are offering improved rates and a range of incentives to get it. Now is a good time to be in the market for a mortgage in Ireland, writes Gráinne McGuinness

VIDEO

13-year-old Limerick filmmaker/vlogger Luke Culhane has created a new video highlighting the need to #CreatNoHate on social media in a stand against cyber bullying.

VIRAL

There’s a video doing the rounds on Facebook of a mammy’s heroic efforts at getting her four kids, a set of triplets and a toddler, ready for bed.

The UCD Choral Scholars have released a new video showcasing their considerable talent. With Mark Waters on solo, their beautiful version of the old Irish standard ’Mo Ghille Mear’ (My Gallant Hero) is taken from their new debut album of Irish choral music called ’Invisible Stars’.

TECHNOW

GAMING: Far Cry Primal is a big and beautiful game, with a massive prehistoric world to explore and terrifying creatures to kill or submit to your will. But thankfully it wont take up much hard drive space, at least on the PS4.

MOVIES: Comedy sorts Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are about to unleash their first feature film, and it's called Keanu and features a very cute cat.

TECH: Stephen Colbert was up til all hours last night for a very special live broadcast of the Late Show, right after the excitement of the Superbowl. And he kicked things off by sending a football all over America and even into space.

SHOWBIZ

The Boss is back this summer with one Croke Park date confirmed, however it is now reported Bruce Springsteen is also Galway bound.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

The two men moving a couch down a hill in Drumquin, Co. Tyrone, have become a minor internet sensation over the weekend.

More in this section