Newsround: what Monday's papers say

Varadkar to meet Theresa May in London and help-to-buy scheme may be scrapped

19th June, 2017
Tuesday's papers

The top stories in Monday's newspapers:


- The paper reports that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will meet British prime minister Theresa May in London this afternoon and tell her Brexit must not adversely affect the "rights and freedoms" of Irish citizens. Varadkar's first visit to the UK as Taoiseach coincides with the commencement of negotiations in Brussels on its departure from the European Union.

- It also says that US president Donald Trump reported income of €11 million from his golf resort at Doonbeg in Co Clare in just 15 months. The businessman-turned-politician reported "golf-related revenue" of $12,498,172 from the resort from January 2016 to mid-April of this year in a voluntary personal financial disclosure.

- President Michael D Higgins will appoint former attorney general Máire Whelan a judge on the Court of Appeal this morning despite ongoing controversy over the issue as Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald yesterday defended recommending the "uniquely qualified" Whelan to Cabinet.

- The paper says that Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said he is concerned the help-to-buy scheme has not delivered an adequate supply of housing. The scheme, which is now expected to be scrapped, was launched in January by his predecessor Simon Coveney and has been criticised for causing inflation in the first-time buyer new-build market.


- Philip Hammond has launched his campaign to put business concerns at the heart of Brexit, warning that crashing out of the EU without a deal would be "a very, very bad outcome for Britain", the FT says. The chancellor, who will set out his views in detail tomorrow in a rescheduled Mansion House speech, said the country had to leave the EU "via a slope, not a cliff-edge".

- It also reports that French president Emmanuel Macron has won a solid majority in parliamentary elections, giving him considerable power as he embarks on reforms to reinvigorate the economy and restore French influence in Europe. Macron's party, La République en Marche, and its centrist ally Modem secured 355 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly, according to early estimates.

- Uber is losing ground in the US, its biggest market, to a rival once written off as a bit player, as the ride-hailing company grapples with a series of crises including the temporary absence of its chief executive, the paper says. A shift among consumers to San Francisco-based Lyft is taking its toll with Uber's US market share dropping to 77 per cent at the end of May from 84 per cent at the beginning of the year.

- Portugal is investigating the cause of a devastating forest fire that claimed scores of lives over the weekend as firefighters continue to battle wildfires across the country. António Costa, the prime minister, described the blaze that broke out in a densely-forested area near the small town of Pedrógao Grande, 200 kilometres northeast of Lisbon, as the country's "greatest human tragedy in living memory".


- "Varadkar gets away with his first stroke," the paper says, as it reports that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has brushed aside criticisms from all sides and moved to force through the appointment of the former attorney general Máire Whelan as a judge at the Court of Appeal.

- The paper says that Ireland has the fourth highest teen suicide rate in the EU/OECD region, according to new research from Unicef. It found that Ireland's suicide rate among adolescents aged 15 to 19 was higher than the international average at 10.3 per 100,000 population, well above an average of 6.1.

- The investigations at Grenfell Tower in London have led police to believe the number of people missing, but as yet unaccounted for, has risen from 58, the Metropolitan Police said. Releasing the first images from inside the burnt-out building, police said some of the victims may never be identified.

- In its business section, the paper says that the value of Irish mergers and acquisitions fell sharply in the first half of the year, plunging by 65 per cent as tougher rules in the US prevent big corporations from shifting their tax base to Ireland by buying smaller rivals, a process dubbed tax inversion.


- The paper also leads with the appointment of Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal, reporting that a defiant Leo Varadkar and his ministers are standing over it despite mounting threats by Fianna Fáil to force a snap general election. Cabinet members have called the opposition party's bluff and insist no law or rule was broken in Whelan's promotion to the €180,000 a year position.

- Irish companies may need to be subsidised to the tune of €300 million to €400 million a year in order to help them trade through the disruption caused by Brexit, business lobby group Ibec has warned, as talks on the UK's departure from the EU begin in Brussels today.

- Work is on track to introduce computer science in up to 40 secondary schools from September 2018 with full national rollout expected to be completed in two years, the paper says. A draft subject specification for Leaving Certificate computer science has been completed by a committee group of the National Council for Curriculum Assessment and will be subject to public consultation in the third quarter of this year.

- The paper also says that Leo Varadkar is set to make limited changes in his junior ministerial appointments this week but could create some roles and reward TDs who backed his Fine Gael leadership election campaign. Varadkar is facing pressure to keep existing junior ministers in their roles but will have an opportunity to make half a dozen new appointments.

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