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Your morning briefing: McDonald clear choice for taoiseach, poll finds; Colombian cartel suspected of supplying cocaine seized on ship off Cork

Your Morning Briefing

Your Friday morning briefing: Almost a third of voters want Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald as the next taoiseach, a new Irish Times/Ipsos poll has found.

Mary Lou McDonald most popular choice for Taoiseach, Irish Times poll finds

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald is now the most popular choice to be the next Taoiseach, the latest Irish Times/Ipsos opinion poll has found.

When voters were asked who they would prefer to see as Taoiseach after the next election, almost a third (32 per cent) opted for Ms McDonald. The Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar were both the choice of 18 per cent each, while 20 per cent of respondents chose none of the three main party leaders.

The poll also finds that just over a quarter of voters (27 per cent) favour a continuation of the present Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael-Green Coalition after the next election, but more than four in 10 voters want to see Sinn Féin as part of the next government.

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MV Matthew moored in Cork which is being searched after a "significant quantity" of suspected drugs were found onboard. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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  • Dublin homeless numbers reported inaccurately for several months: The number of homeless people in Dublin has been inaccurately reported for several months and possibly longer, The Irish Times has learned.
  • Garda Commissioner Drew Harris insists he is ‘willing to compromise’ in rosters dispute: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said he is “willing to compromise” in the dispute with the Garda Representative Association (GRA) after it set out a planned schedule of industrial action and accused the commissioner of being “disrespectful” and having a “dogged single-minded approach”.
  • Ireland’s weather today: Friday will be sunny with well-scattered showers. Highest temperatures of 14 to 17 degrees, in a mostly light to moderate west to southwest wind, fresher at times in the north and northwest.
  • Happening today: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will attend the opening of Intel’s €17 billion Fab 34 at its Leixlip campus in Co Kildare. Work on the facility started in 2019 and led to the creation of 1,600 permanent new roles. It will produce the company’s Intel 4 products. Today will also see the publication of new homelessness figures, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, and the funeral of Sarah Mescall (14) who allegedly died following an online challenge.

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The shooting sent patients and medics fleeing the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. Photograph: AP

  • Rotterdam: Student gunman kills three, including girl (14): A lone gunman in a bulletproof vest opened fire in an apartment and a hospital in the Netherlands on Thursday, killing three people including a 14-year-old girl, police have said.
  • Biden warns a second Trump presidency will threaten democracy: Joe Biden raised the ante in the forthcoming United States presidential election campaign after he said the country’s character and future was threatened by the authoritarian values of Donald Trump, his likely opponent.
  • Beijing not taking any chances with gambling capital of world: At the top of Macau’s narrow Rua de Sao Paulo, lined with shops selling almond biscuits, custard tarts and beef jerky, near the Church of St Anthony of Lisbon a small doorway leads into a shady grove. Past a little chapel on the left, a few steps lead down into a walled graveyard known as the Old Protestant Cemetery with just 166 graves, the first of which was that of Mary Morrison from Dublin, writes Denis Staunton in Beijing.

The Big Read

poll 2023

Sinn Féin is maintaining a strong lead in the polls, according to latest Irish Times/Ipsos data

Sinn Féin will have compromise if McDonald is to make history: If yesterday’s findings of the latest Irish Times/Ipsos opinion poll confirmed that Sinn Féin is maintaining a strong lead in the polls, then today’s data shows that while large numbers of voters have reservations about the party being in power, greater numbers want to see them leading the next government, writes Political Editor Pat Leahy.

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Letters to the Editor

The state of Dublin

Sir, – Michael McDowell is entirely correct that Dublin City Council bears a significant responsibility for the dereliction and appalling urban design that, to speak frankly, make Dublin an often ugly and unattractive city compared to its European counterparts (Opinion & Analysis, September 27).

It is embarrassing to explain to friends who have moved here that, despite living in one of the most expensive places on the planet, they should not expect action on dereliction and undeveloped sites. This is as true in the suburbs as the centre; with the exception of some postcodes, most of us live in a sprawling mess of housing estates that lack the amenities commonplace elsewhere.

However, discontent with how the council approaches design, architecture, and planning is nothing new; generations of Dubliners have battled with elected and unelected officials hostile to the idea that Dublin should have buildings, plazas, and streetscapes as beautiful as other cities. Therefore, while the call for urgent and significant change in how our capital is run and developed is laudable, the idea that such change will occur any time soon is fanciful.

As with our woeful public transport, our politicians and public service can seem defeated by complex problems and so opt instead for rhetoric and reports over meaningful action. – Yours, etc, ANDREW QUINN,

Clongriffin, Dublin 13.

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