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Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds dies aged 81

Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds has died at the age of 81, according to Irish media reports.
Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds has died at the age of 81, according to Irish media reports. Credit: PA

Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds has died at the age of 81, according to Irish media reports.

Reynolds served as Taoiseach (prime minister) for just under three years - one of the shortest ever terms - but is credited with making a significant contribution to pushing forward the peace process.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen, two sons and five daughters.

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Leader of Irish Catholic Church offers resignation

Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, has confirmed he has offered his resignation.

Amid much speculation that he was to stand down, the senior churchman said he wrote to Pope Francis last month asking if he could resign as Archbishop of Armagh.

Pope Francis is expected to accept the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady
Pope Francis is expected to accept the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady. Credit: PA

"I did so in anticipation of my seventy-fifth birthday which I will celebrate tomorrow," he said in a statement today.

Archbishop Eamon Martin will take over the role as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland as soon as Pope Francis accepts the resignation.

Read: Cardinal apology to abuse victim

Human leg found at Dublin recycling plant

An investigation is under way after a human leg was found at a recycling plant in Ireland.

The alarm was raised last night when the body part was discovered at the Thornton's plant in Ballyfermot in west Dublin.

Part of the recycling centre in Killeen Road has been closed down for forensic examinations to take place.

Garth Brooks rejects Dublin's five-gig compromise

A tense stand off between US country star Garth Brooks and Dublin City Council over its cancellation of his comeback gigs in the Irish capital has ended without compromise.

On Tuesday Aiken Promotions announced with "great regret" that the US singer's five sold-out gigs planned for later this month at Croke Park were cancelled after the council granted permission for only three.

Country star Garth Brooks has rejected a compromise over scuppered plans for his five night comeback extravaganza in Ireland.
Country star Garth Brooks has rejected a compromise over scuppered plans for his five night comeback extravaganza in Ireland. Credit: Reuters

Brooks said that he would play "all or none" and today rejected a compromise to play three night-time gigs and two matinees, instead of the intended run of all evening performances.

The controversy even saw Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny intervene, with RTE quoting him as saying that he hoped the offer of three evening shows and two matinees "would be a potential solution".

But the 'If Tomorrow Never Comes' star said that playing to 400,000 people over three days "cannot possibly compare" to five separate night concerts.

His publicist Nancy Seltzer said: "To treat 160,000 people differently than all the rest who will be seeing the show the way it was meant and created is wrong."

"He does not understand why it is once again put upon him to treat people less than they deserve to be treated and he still returns to why did they allow five shows to be sold and all these people to be disappointed.

"It is not his decision; it is, with the greatest of respect, the city council's."

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Irish government and police apologise to Roma families

The Irish Government and police have apologised to two Roma families whose children were put into foster care over unfounded fears the youngsters had been abducted.

Read: Blonde child returned to Roma family after DNA tests

A girl aged seven and a boy aged two were taken from their parents over two days last October over concerns that the children, both with pale skin and blue eyes, had been abducted.

A review into the cases found that police had acted on unsubstantiated claims, based on an "explicitly prejudices and racist email" from a member of the public to a journalist.

Apple: We pay all the tax we owe

Apple has said it pays all the tax it owes amid an investigation into its operations in Ireland.

Success and growth come from the hard work of our Irish employees, not from any special tax deal with the Irish Government.

We have received no selective treatment from Irish officials. Apple is subject to the same tax laws as scores of other international companies doing business in Ireland.

Apple pays every euro of every tax that we owe. Since the iPhone launched in 2007, our taxes in Ireland have increased tenfold.

– Apple spokesperson

Ireland confident of passing tax tests amid Apple probe

The Irish government has brushed off questions about its tax laws.
The Irish government has brushed off questions about its tax laws. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Irish Government has said it will pass any test on tax laws after European chiefs launched investigations into tax breaks allowing Apple to save hundreds of millions.

In response to the state aid inquiry by Brussels, finance chiefs in Dublin have stressed that the global brand did not get a special deal or selective treatment before setting up in Ireland.

The Apple case is one of three being examined by the European Commission - the others are the tax arrangements of coffee giant Starbucks in the Netherlands and Fiat Finance and Trade in Luxembourg.

The Commission said it has concerns that tax calculations by finance chiefs amounted to a sweetheart deal by underestimating taxable profit on its products like iPhones and iPads, creating an unfair advantage and lower tax bills.

Apple 'formally investigated' over tax in Ireland

Technology giants Apple Inc are to be formally investigated over its tax arrangements in Ireland, the European Commission has said.

Last year it was revealed the company had cut billions from its tax by declaring companies in Cork and not tax resident in any other country.

The EU's competition authority has been looking into corporate tax arrangements in several member states.

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