Lunchtime briefing: Nigel Farage talks possibility of 'Ire-exit' on Irish radio. Catch up on the headlines

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

Lunchtime briefing: Nigel Farage talks possibility of 'Ire-exit' on Irish radio. Catch up on the headlines

IRELAND

UK Brexit campaigner, and advocate of the US President-elect Donald Trump, Nigel Farage took to Irish airwaves this morning to share his view on Ireland's future within the European Union.

The monthly unemployment rate fell slightly again last month, to 7.2%.

The INMO has said there are 602 people waiting on trolleys in the country's hospitals this morning. This follows yesterday record figure of 612.

A new poll claims Leo Varadkar could be Fine Gael's secret weapon when it comes to beating Fianna Fáil.

Transport Minister Shane Ross has said the spike in deaths on Irish roads last year was “calamitous”, and has said dramatic and tough new laws to stamp out drink driving are likely.

A stranded Irish sailor who is drifting alone in a de-masted yacht off New Zealand said he is focusing on survival and getting his stricken vessel to a safe port after being forced to withdraw from one of the world’s toughest ocean races.

The Irish Cancer Society has said its latest awareness campaign is designed to be provocative.

WORLD 

Turkey has warned that repeated ceasefire violations by Syria's government are threatening peace talks scheduled for later this month.

An Israeli military court has convicted a soldier of manslaughter over the fatal shooting of an incapacitated Palestinian attacker.

Police have detained five suspected Islamic State group militants believed to be linked to the deadly Istanbul nightclub attack.

On Tuesday night the British Geological Survey (BGS) picked up an earthquake of 3.8 magnitude in a somewhat unexpected place – just off the coast of Scarborough in North Yorkshire.

SPORT

Family, friends and work colleagues are today mourning the death of radio sports editor Kevin Casey, who worked for WLR FM in Waterford.

A semi-professional football club are to investigate apparent tweets from one of their players mocking Bournemouth's Harry Arter over his stillborn daughter.

Top seed Serena Williams was knocked out of the ASB Classic in Auckland in the second round by fellow American Madison Brengle on Wednesday.

Donal Linehan says in his column that Thomond Park has become a significant factor in the equation again and that it is vital if Munster are to challenge for top honour.

OPINION

The Government must progress the introduction of new laws to protect vulnerable adults with a much greater sense of urgency than it has shown in bringing this inquiry to life, writes Daniel McConnell, Political Editor

With the arrival of Donald Trump, and both major parties redefining themselves, the coming year may be remembered as a turning point in history, writes Joseph E Stiglitz

BUSINESS

The boss of high street giant Next warned that Brexit uncertainty would add to an "even tougher" year ahead as the chain sounded the alarm over sales and profits after a difficult Christmas.

The UK's construction output rose at its fastest pace for 10 months in December, but firms are still grappling with "intense cost pressures" caused by the Brexit-hit pound.

LIFESTYLE

If Caitlyn Jenner can pick her new name as an adult, why not us ordinary mortals too, asks Nuala Woulfe.

SHOWBIZ

Mariah Carey has admitted she was “mortified” by her botched New Year’s Eve show.

Singer Janet Jackson joins a league of older celebrity mothers by becoming a first-time parent at the age of 50.

EXAMVIRAL

A Donegal woman has won almost €8,000 in her local lotto by picking the numbers 1,2,3,4,5 and 6.

Last year may have been bleak in some respects, but in the world of well-being there was a shift towards cosy living (and a little Danish word you can’t pronounce) and pasta alternatives even more inventive than courgetti. Here’s our verdict on these 2016 trends and whether we should keep them this year.

VIDEO - OUR CHOICE

The first working day of the new year was one to remember at a frosty Mahon, as Ringmahon Rangers officially announced their partnership with Championship side Preston North End following almost of two years of planning for both clubs.

TECHNOW

GAMING: Overwatch has been appearing on plenty of end of year lists, mostly because it's an ever-fresh slice of multiplayer mayhem.

FILM & TV: McDonalds is pretty much the leading name in fast food today, but we're pretty sure you don't know how it all came about. It started with one man, Ray Kroc, and this is his story.

TECH: OnePlus has been doing some great work bringing high performance specs to the masses, and it's gone one further with its latest handsets.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

Britain's outgoing EU ambassador has hit out at the "ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking" of politicians in his shock resignation letter.

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