Video: Junior ministries reshuffle confirmed; revised climate plan signed off

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Video: Junior ministries reshuffle confirmed; revised climate plan signed off

New junior minister line-up

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed the appointments to the Minister of State positions, following the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this week.

Mr Varadkar resumed the role of Taoiseach on Saturday, taking over from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, as per the agreed terms of the Coalition.

It had previously been confirmed that Fine Gael's Hildegarde Naughton would take over as Government Chief Whip, the role previously held by Fianna Fáil's Jack Chambers.

Ms Naughton will now also act as Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy.

Priest calls for peace

The parish priest of Rathkeale has appealed to groups involved in a violent feud in the town to step back and refrain from further violence, ahead of the Christmas period.

Fr Robert Coffey called for peace talks as the town swelled with an influx of visiting members of the Traveling Community.

Armed gardaí are patrolling the town to try to keep a lid on tensions which boiled over last Monday.

Several cars were destroyed and machetes allegedly produced when cars were attacked in violent ramming incidents in the town.

Revised climate plan signed off

The Government has set out a range of measures to slash emissions as it launched its updated Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2023.

The plan includes a target of producing enough renewable energy to power every home and business in the State by 2030, by which time it also aims for one out of every three cars to be electric.

Emission reduction targets were specified for six "vital, high-impact sectors" including: electricity (75 per cent reduction target), commercial/public buildings (45 per cent), residential buildings (40 per cent), transport (50 per cent), industry (35 per cent), and agriculture (25 per cent).

Other measures include a plan for 70 per cent of people in rural parts of the country to have access to buses that travel to the nearest town three times a day, as well as a target of retrofitting 500,000 homes.

Dowdall denies lying about meeting with Hutch

Former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall, a former co-accused of Gerard 'The Monk' Hutch who has turned State's witness, has denied that he was lying when he said Mr Hutch confessed to him in a park that he had shot Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne.

Under cross-examination for a seventh day, Mr Hutch's defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC put it to Dowdall that he dismissed his conversations with Gerard Hutch in the audio recording as "simply being talk" but yet it wasn't like two people "down the pub of a Friday night".

Dowdall, the key witness in the Regency Hotel murder trial who has pleaded guilty to facilitating Mr Byrne's murder, replied: "It's the same thing over and over again. You not talking about things that did happen, talking about things that never did happen and was never going to happen".

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