PCR testing issues, Balbriggan murder investigation, today’s courts

PCR testing issues

HSE boss Paul Reid has described the extreme challenges in dealing with the quantity of referrals for Covid-19 tests, as the system comes under harsh pressure.

Mr Reid said that while capacity for PCR tests have been increased to deal with the rising need, there is a limit to what the health service can cope with.

The HSE’s self-referral portal shows no availability in almost 20 counties.

Mr Reid said the high levels of transmission in the community is affecting the need for PCR testing.

Balbriggan murder investigation

The man whose body was discovered in “unexplained circumstances” on Wednesday afternoon in Dublin has been named by Gardaí and a murder investigation has been launched regarding his death.

The body of 65-year-old Christopher Hall was found at a domestic residence at Dun Saithne Green, Balbriggan shortly after 2pm on Wednesday.

Personnel from Dublin Fire Brigade and uniformed gardaí attended the scene where Mr Hall was found with “obvious meaningful head and upper body injuries”.

One-bedroom houses

Too many three-bed houses and not enough one-bedroom homes is one of the major problems facing the Irish housing market, Leo Varadkar has said.

The Tánaiste on Thursday defended the record of the Government on housing, while saying Ireland lacks enough one-bed apartments to cater for growing numbers of single young people.

The Fine Gael leader was responding to a question from Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns, who accused subsequent governments of overseeing a cost-of-living crisis in Ireland.

Kinahan member trial

A man on trial accused of the attempted murder of three men is a member of the Kinahan organised crime gang, a former head of the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) has told the Special Criminal Court.

Retired Detective Superintendent William Johnson told the three-estimate, non-jury court that on October 13th 2017, he authorised members of the NSU to put an audio listening device into a Volkswagen Caddy that he believed was being used by the accused, Alan Wilson, and others in their activities as members of the criminal gang.

He said Gardaí needed to monitor conversations taking place inside the van to prevent crimes which included risk to the lives of others.

Dublin Lotto winner

A Lotto player in Dalkey has scooped up a jackpot of €781,265 in last night’s draw.

The National Lottery are encouraging players in South County Dublin to check their tickets carefully.

Wednesday’s Lotto draw marked the sixteenth draw at which players had the chance to assistance from additional prize funds rolling down to the next highest tier with a winner from the capped €19.06 million jackpot.

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