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Ireland to bid for 2023 Rugby World Cup

Ireland celebrate a victory over Australia in Dublin last month. Credit: PA

An all-Ireland bid to stage the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be unveiled today.

Political leaders from the Northern Ireland Executive and Irish government will join senior officials from the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to outline their ambition to jointly host the sport's showpiece event.

Both administrations have been engaged in a preliminary assessment exercise over the last 10 months to weigh up the feasibility of submitting an official bid.

The all-Ireland bid is expected to be given the go-ahead at an event in Armagh this morning.

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More than 15,000 bottles of booze stolen in armed robbery

More than 15,000 bottles of whiskey and gin have been stolen in a violent armed robbery ahead of the Christmas party season.

Detectives are now warning the stolen booze is likely to appear on the black market in the run-up to the holidays.

More than 15,000 bottles of whiskey and gin were stolen in the raid Credit: PA

Two men wielding iron bars targeted an alcohol warehouse at the Parkwest Industrial Estate in west Dublin, forcing workers to open the loading bay doors before tying them up.

They were then joined by three others as they stacked the haul into two 40-foot lorries, before escaping towards the M50 and M7 motorways.

A total of 2,580 six-bottle cases of Jameson whiskey was taken in the raid on November 14, along with an unknown number of Jack Daniels and Bombay Sapphire gin.

Ireland confirm Henry brain injury

Ireland's Chris Henry during a press conference at Carton House Hotel just before the South Africa game. Credit: PA

Chris Henry suffered 'a temporary blockage of a small blood vessel in his brain' on the morning of Ireland's clash with the Springboks, team bosses have confirmed.

Ireland medics initially diagnosed a virus on the morning of the November 8 clash before suspecting a severe migraine, but specialists have since determined the Ulster flanker suffered a more unusual condition.

The 30-year-old missed Ireland's 29-15 Springboks victory and now 'needs further investigation and specialist opinion,' according to an Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) statement.

Chris Henry suffered some weakness on the morning of the South Africa game and a viral illness was suspected, he recovered quickly and the initial diagnosis was of severe migraine.

Further tests however have shown he suffered a temporary blockage of a small blood vessel in his brain.

He is at home now and is well but needs further investigation and specialist opinion.

– Irish Rugby Football Union statement.

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EU probe: Ireland 'gave unlawful state aid' to Apple

The European Commission said its preliminary findings suggest Ireland provided unlawful state aid to tech giant Apple for more than 20 years.

The European Commission has been investigating 'sweetheart' deals between Apple and Ireland. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In a letter published today, European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told Ireland it must provide details of the tax arrangements.

Almunia said any unlawful aid could be recoverable from Apple.

Five men arrested over cocaine drug bust at sea

Five men have been arrested in connected with a drug-smuggling operation aimed at bringing cocaine worth up to £100 million into the UK.

Three British men were arrested on a yacht that was carrying the drugs on Tuesday morning. It had been tracked by authorities in several countries since setting sail from Venezuela.

The 60-foot yacht, Makayabella, was stormed by the Irish Navy in the early hours of Tuesday

The crew, which included a 70-year-old man, was reportedly sitting on bales of cocaine when the vessel was intercepted by an elite Navy squad 200 nautical miles the Irish coast.

A further two men were subsequently arrested by the National Crime Agency in the Leeds area.

Read more on the ITV Calendar website

Britons questioned after '£62.5 million drug haul' found on yacht

Three British men are being questioned by Irish drugs squad officers after the yacht was intercepted with a suspected cargo of cocaine worth 80 million euro (£62.5 million).

The Irish Navy has only today released details of a huge drug haul which was discovered when they boarded a yacht yesterday.

Defence Forces Ireland of Irish Navy ship, LE Niamh, with yacht, Makayabella. Credit: Defence Forces Ireland/PA Wire

The 60ft Makayabella was stormed 200 nautical miles off Mizen Head, Ireland's most southerly point before being towed to Haulbowline naval base in Cork.

Customs officials aboard the yacht Makayabella. Credit: PA Wire

The cargo of drugs, believed to weigh about a tonne, remains on the vessel at the dock while the three suspects are being questioned by the Garda.

If the haul of cocaine could have an estimated street value of 80 million euro, it could be even higher depending on purity. If confirmed, it would be one of the biggest such drug seizures at sea in Europe this year.

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