Updated: 16/07/12 : 08:02:56
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National News Briefs

Ulster Bank hoping for normal service today

Ulster Bank has said it hopes to have services back to normal from today a month after being hit by the same glitch as RBS.

The problems at the bank's parent company mean some customers have been unable to access money.

Ulster Bank has promised to reimburse customers who faced bank charges as a result of the technical issue and to carry out a full independent inquiry.

At least a third of Ulster Bank's 1.8m customers across the island of Ireland are thought to have been affected by the computer breakdown.

IFA hoping for payment advance due to bad weather

The Irish Farmers Association is calling on the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to impress on Europe how badly the wet weather is affecting their industry.

Mr Coveney is to attend a meeting of the Farm Council in Brussels, and the Irish Farmer's Association wants him to appeal to Europe for an exceptional handout.

The IFA is hoping for a 70% advance on the Single Farm Payment, due on October 16.

There is precedent when the European Commission made a similar move in 2009, one of the worst summers of recent years.

IFA President John Bryan has said this summer is shaping up to be even worse.

'Disappointing' summer for hotels outside main cities

Hotels and guesthouses outside of the main cities have had a disappointing start to the summer according to the Irish Hotels Federation.

It found that over half of hoteliers are seeing an increase in business but that is largely confined to the urban centres of Dublin, Cork and Galway and it is largely concentrated around business and event tourism.

The anticipiated rebound in the rest of the country has largely failed to materialise.

The IHF points out that they are working off a low base with visitor numbers down 30% since the peak in 2007.

Man dies off Co Waterford coast

A man who was airlifted from the sea off Co Waterford yesterday subsequently died, according to the Coast Guard.

The man, aged in his 30s had been snorkelling with friends near Goat Island in Whiting Bay near Ardmore.

He got into difficulties shortly after 2.30pm.

140 more homes in rebuilt Ballymun affected by pyrite

UP TO 500 people may have to move out of their newly built homes in Ballymun in north Dublin because of damage caused by the defective building material pyrite.

The presence of pyrite is suspected in up to 140 houses and apartments in two new estates built to rehouse residents of the former 1960s high-rise flat complex.

Preliminary tests carried out on stone samples in the houses in Owensilla and part of the Carton estate came back 50 per cent positive for pyrite – a sufficient level for 140 occupied homes to need a full assessment.

Armed robbers target pub used in 'The Snapper'

A PUB that featured in Roddy Doyle's 'The Snapper' has become the latest to be targeted by armed robbers as a crime spree swept Dublin in the last few days.

A sum of money was taken during a raid by three armed and masked men at the Cedar Lounge in Raheny in the early hours yesterday.

It is the sixth armed robbery in the Dublin region in the last few days, following gun attacks in Walkinstown, Crumlin, Thomas Street, Bray and Bluebell.

In the latest robbery, three men in their late 20s, who were wearing balaclavas, entered the pub in Raheny. It is understood that two barmen and a lounge boy had closed up and were bringing down the shutters at the pub when the gang pounced.

Garda Commissioner responsible for allocating gardaí - Shatter

The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter will meet the Garda Commissioner this week to discuss a number of issues, including public safety and armed robberies.

It follows a number of stabbings at a concert in the Phoenix Park in Dublin earlier this month and six armed robberies in the past week.

In a statement this morning, Minister Shatter said the allocation of resources, including personnel, is a matter for the Commissioner, Martin Callinan, and he has no direct function in the matter.

Report reveals cost deterring women from GP visits

The cost of doctors appointments is continuing to put women off visiting their doctor, with many resorting to the internet for prescription drugs.

The Dublin Well Woman Clinic, which releases its annual report today, said the number of those requesting prescriptions for the pill has dropped dramatically.

They have also reported that some women are choosing to purchase cheaper drugs online.

Chief Executive of the Dublin Well Woman Centres Alison Begas has said it is a "worrying development".