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Local news

The Luas website has been taken down this morning, after a hacker left a message for the transport system.

Before the page was removed from the web, when customers went to the website, the usual information didn't appear.

Instead a message showed up saying that if one bitcoin wasn't deposited within five days, their data would be released. 

The text read: "You are hacked. Some time ago I wrote that you have serious security holes."

"You didn't reply, the next time someone talks to you, press the reply button."

"You must pay 1 bitcoin in 5 days, otherwise I will publish all data and send emails to your users."

The hacker then left an address for the bitcoin to be deposited to. 

On Twitter, Luas have asked customers to call 1850 300 604 if they require any information or have queries.

They ask for passengers not to click onto the Luas website, and they are working to resolve the issue.

It's never a quiet moment on the Internet.

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Ah, budget day – generally, we wait with bated breath to hear if smokes or alcohol will be slapped with extra tax.

But changes are coming to how you buy these goods – yes, we are talking about your wages.

Here's everything you need to know, as the rate of unemployment hits its lowest level in 10 years. 

To kick us off, the minimum wage will be increased to €9.80 per hour.

And for those who are earning under €35,500, you won't pay the higher rate of income tax – happy days.

This has a knock-on effect for the top marginal rate on incomes up to €70,000. – If you're pulling in those digits, your rate will be reduced to 48.5 percent. – So you're buying drinks. 

Additionally, the Universal Social Charge (USC) rate of 4.75 percent will fall to 4.5 percent for those on incomes between €19,300 and €70,000.

There's more good news if you're working full time on minimum wage, you'll fall into the second band of USC rates, as it has been raised from €19,372 to €19,874. 

And finally, employer's PRSI will rise from €376 to €386. 

Now if you're a home carer, your tax credits will increase from €300 to €1,500.

If you're self-employed, there is also a change to your earned income tax credit, as it's going up from €200 to €1,500.

Oh, and by the way, bad news for smokers – a packet of 20 cigarettes will be slapped with an extra 50c.

To cheer you up, we've compiled our favourite reactions from Twitter to budget 2019. 

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Gardai in Galway have asked the public for their assistance following the hospitalisation of a young man in the early hours of Saturday morning.

According to reports, authorities are seeking witnesses after a man was discovered unconscious and injured at St. Bridget’s Place on Prospect Place at approximately 3am.

The man, who is believed to be in his 20s, was transferred to University Hospital Galway where he remains with serious injuries.

It is understood that the scene is being preserved for technical examination.

Gardai have appealed to anyone who may have been in the vicinity to come forward while taxi drivers with dash cameras are also asked to contact Gardaí.

If you have any information pertaining to the incident, you can contact Gardaiy on 091-538000, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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Gardaí are investigating a fatal road traffic collision involving a tractor and a female cyclist on the N28 Cork /Ringaskiddy Rd which occurred today at approximately 1.00 pm.

The cyclist, who is understood to be aged in her 60s, died when she was involved in a collision with a tractor.

The driver of the tractor was uninjured.

According to the Gardaí, the body of the woman has been removed to Cork University Hospital where a post mortem examination will take place

Traffic diversions are in place and forensic collision investigators are at the scene. Traffic approaching from Shannon Park roundabout is diverted to Carrigaline and traffic from Ringaskiddy is diverted to Rapheen.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Angelsea St. Garda Station on 021 4522000, The Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.

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According to emerging reports, the Gardaí are currently investigating claims that an 18-year-old woman was sexually assaulted on Pigeon House Road in Ringsend in Dublin in recent days.

It has been established that a 24-year-old man was arrested yesterday in connection with the alleged assault which reportedly took place last weekend.

A spokesperson for the Gardaí confirmed the investigation, saying: "Gardai at Irishtown are investigating an alleged incident of sexual assault and false imprisonment."

"The alleged incident occurred at a site on the Pigeon House Road in the Ringsend area of Dublin on the 15th and 16th of July.”

Various media outlets report that the alleged victim was subjected to a horrifying ordeal over the course of a number of hours by a man she met while socialising in the city centre.

According to the Irish Examiner, the 24-year-old, who is known to Gardaí, has been released without charge and a file is currently being prepared for the DPP.

The victim raised the alarm at the Donnybrook Garda Station the following day.

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According to emerging reports, the government is currently considering a measure which may see the introduction of tax breaks for publicans who bring their customers safely home after a night on their premises.

The potential measure comes amid controversy over Transport Minister Shane Ross's proposed bill which calls for an automatic three-month ban for drivers found with an alcohol limit of between 50-80mg per 100ml of blood.

The bill, which is expected to pass following Cabinet backing, ignited debate among some Fine Gael ministers as they attempted to highlight the impact this may have on rural communities.

Speaking to The Independent, Tourism Minister, Brendan Griffin,questioned: "What is the concern by people opposed to this bill?"

"The big concern is that it may have an adverse effect on rural publicans and rural pubs and rural dwellers who may not be able to get to and from the pub."

"So, the big gain is that it makes the roads safer and saves lives," he added.

However, the Kerry TD made clear that he was currently investigating a number of measures ahead of the Budget which include tax breaks for publicans and insurance cover for those availing of carpool systems.

Griffin, who is a junior minister in Mr Ross's department, said: "I want to spend the summer exploring what can we do from a budgetary point of view."

The drink-driving bill is expected to pass this autumn.

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A three-year-old boy has died after he was found with suspected stab wounds in a Dublin apartment yesterday evening.

Gardaí arrived at the scene at the apartment in the Poddle Park area of Kimmage at around 7:00pm, where the boy was announced dead.

His mother, a woman in her early 40s, was also found injured downstairs and was taken to St. James' Hospital, where she is reportedly undergoing surgery.

It is believed that she also received a number of knife injuries and Gardaí have described her condition as serious.

Both the child and his mother are said to be Iranian and it's thought she works in a Dublin hospital.

Gardaí have launched an inquiry into the incident and are describing it as a homicide investigation.

An incident room has been established at Crumlin Garda Station and officers are conducting door-to-door inquiries also.

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As London attempts to come to terms with Saturday's night abhorrent attack on innocent civilians, further information regarding the attackers' backgrounds is now coming to light.

And as the Irish public learns that one of the now deceased attackers recently spent time living in south Dublin, security analyst, Tom Clonan, has offered his perspective on Ireland's vulnerability in the current climate.

Speaking on Today with Sean O' Rourke, he acknowledged that the nation's status is ever-changing.

"The risk profile for the Republic has changed. This time last year, I would have said that an attack in Ireland was possible, in theory, but highly unlikely," he said.

"As of today, unfortunately, and very sadly, we have to consider that an attack in Ireland, whether a lone-wolf attack or a supported-network attack, is a distinct possibility.”

“The fact that we had an Irish resident on the street in the Borough markets, creating havoc, we cannot assume therefore that we are immune to such an attack," he added.

Using Sweden as a comparison, the security analyst explained that despite being seen as "a country with a very low threat assessment, a neutral country like Ireland, with a very well-integrated ethnic minority", the Swedish capital still came under attack when a hijacked truck targeted crowds in the country's capital.

However, despite his concerns, Mr Clonan was keen to assuage the public in light of his remarks, and reinforced the belief that Ireland's position varied greatly from Britain's while speaking positively about Ireland's Islamic community.

“The vast majority of Irish Muslims are extraordinarily well integrated. They play Gaelic games; they participate actively in all aspects of Irish life," he said.

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A 36-year-old man accused of raping a university student at Kilmashogue Lane, Rathfarnham, Co Dublin in September 2014 has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court.

According to a report in The Irish Times, the defendant told Gardai that he had 'fully consensual sex' with the woman he met through Tinder three years ago.

The court heard that upon his arrest, the accused asked Garda Ciaran Byrne: "Who am I supposed to have raped? Is this the girl from Tinder?”

The jury heard that the two individuals met three days after exchanging messages through the dating app, and began their date at a McDonalds restaurant.

The prosecutor told the court that the accused became angry when the complainant rebuffed his sexual advances before ordering her out of the car and driving off.

The court then heard that the accused returned and ordered the woman into the car before driving further into the mountains where the alleged rape took place.

Testifying in court, Dr Roz Quinn explained that the woman visited her practice on Camden Street the day after the alleged rape and was tested for sexually transmitted infections in addition to being prescribed the morning after pill.

Speaking to prosecutor, Alex Owens, Dr. Quinn provided the court with an overview of her meeting with the alleged victim.

"It was very much a non-verbal consultation, there were very little words spoken. She (the complainant) looked at the floor throughout. She was tear-stained and was wearing no make up, she didn’t look well at all.”

The trial continues, with Mr Justice Paul Butler presiding.

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It’s been 30 years since a young mother-of-two went missing following a night out in Dublin city centre, and as the anniversary of her death approaches, her two daughters are taking the opportunity to appeal to the public for information.

Antoinette Smith spent July 11 1987 at a David Bowie concert at Slane Castle before deciding to continue the festivities with a visit to La Mirage nightclub on Dublin’s Parnell Street later that night.

At approximately 02.15, the 27-year-old left the nightclub and wasn’t seen again.

She was considered a missing person until her remains were found on Glendoo Mountain almost a year after her disappearance.

Three decades on and the person or persons responsible for Antoinette's death have not been brought to justice – something which understandably weighs heavily on the mind of the two children she left behind.

Now 37 and 34, Lisa and Rachel admit that their mother’s brutal passing has cast a long shadow, but they remain hopeful that their appearance on tonight’s Crimecall will go some way towards solving the case.

“We had a stolen childhood, but, it’s like they’ve stolen some of our adulthood as well because for us it doesn’t go away,” Lisa said.

“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t struggle. We do. Everyday. Because it’s always there, it doesn’t go away. Because the person that did it is still out there."

"I’m 37 now and it’s like I’ve lived my life without her. It’s crazy to think I’ve had a lifetime without my Mam. It’s heartbreaking to think that two young kids who are now adults they still have no sense of closure. To me closure is catching the person,” she continued.

“It would mean a great deal to us because it would mean we can actually put her to rest, she can rest in peace. And it means we can move on,” Rachel added.

Gardaí are appealing directly to those who may know what happened to Antoinette. For further information on the case, tune into tonight’s Crimecall on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.

 

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It's been one week since a terrorist atrocity brought Manchester to a standstill, and as the city struggles to comes to terms with the death of dozens of its citizens, countless stories continue to emerge about the people who lost their lives last Monday night.

Tributes have poured in for the young and old who were killed as an Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena drew to a close, and one name which has been mentioned all over the world is Martyn Hett.

Remembered by Mariah Carey as a superfan and honoured by Nick Grimshaw as a 'character', the young man made a resounding impression on people far and wide through his creative, engaging and imaginative presence on social media.

And one Irish woman, who wanted to pay her own tribute, was much-loved illustrator, Holly Shortall.

'Paint me like one of your French girls' he said. I finally got around to it @martynhett you were one of a kind we will miss you forever," she wrote alongside her recent upload.

Three days after sharing a creation which epitomised his free spirit and the effect he had on this around him, Holly revealed she was overjoyed to learn that her illustration had been made into T-shirts.

"My heart is bursting that with his family and friends blessing, my tribute to our friend @martynhett will be made into tshirts by the wonderful @philipnormal with proceeds going to Martyn's family will update when they are available," Holly wrote alongside an image of the T-shirt.

Messages of support have flooded Holly's page since the news broke, with one follower writing: "This is amazing! Can't wait to purchase one. Great idea from a great person with a huge heart. He would be bursting with pride!"

"Such an amazing tribute, Holly! From what I've read, I'm so sorry I never got to know him, he seemed like an incredible human," added another.

You can purchase the T-shirts from the gofundme page which was established to honour Martyn's memory.

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Following nationwide outrage over the decision to give ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital to the Religious Sisters of Charity, the group have given up ownership of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group.

Further to this, they will have no involvement in the maternity hospital on its campus.

According to emerging reports this morning, the healthcare group confirm that the Religious Sisters of Charity have relinquished their share.

Releasing a statement on the matter, St Vincent's Healthcare Group, said: “The nature of the Sisters' involvement in their healthcare operations has altered significantly in recent decades, from predominantly unsalaried healthcare professionals to the situation today where they have no direct involvement in the provision of healthcare."

"Consequently, the Sisters have for many years been engaged in an on-going strategic review of their healthcare facilities, especially SVHG.

"This has involved finding the way forward that best perpetuates the vision and values of Mary Aikenhead, which are dignity, compassion, justice, quality and advocacy.”

"The outcome of the process is that the Religious Sisters of Charity believe the future continued success of SVHG, and perpetuating the vision and values of Mary Aikenhead, can best be ensured by relinquishing their shareholding in SVHG, and transferring ownership of the group to a newly formed company with charitable status to be called "St. Vincent's."

Confirming the news, the Religious Sisters of Charity explained their stance on the matter.

"We believe that the future continued success of SVHG can best be ensured by our transferring ownership of the group to a newly formed company with charitable status to be called 'St Vincent’s'.”

"We are confident that the board, management and staff of SVHG will continue to maintain a steadfast dedication to providing the best possible acute healthcare to patients and their families in line with the values espoused by Mary Aikenhead.”

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