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11th Oct 2021

School Run News: Free GP care for kids up to 7 and charges dropped in Prince Andrew case

Laura Cunningham

The top stories trending in Ireland, this morning.

Budget 2022 to ease family health costs with free GP care for children up to age seven

Free GP care for children up to the age of seven is set to be announced in tomorrow’s Budget.

Other healthcare updates will include a lowering of the threshold for the Drug Refund Scheme from €114 to a flat €100, which will save people €168 a year.

According to the Irish Independent, there will also be a package for disability, mental health and older people, and home supports and care hours will be increased.

New Facebook controls introduced for young people

Facebook will be introducing several features including prompting teenagers to take a break when using Instagram, and “nudging” teens if they are repeatedly looking at the same content that is “not conducive to their well-being.”

News of the new controls came after whistle-blower Frances Haugen, a former data scientist with Facebook, appeared before Congress last week accusing the social media giant of failing to make changes to Instagram after internal research showed apparent harm to some teenagers and dishonesty around its public fight against hate and misinformation.

Gardaí begin dig at Kildare site in missing Deirdre Jacob case

Deirdre Jacob was last seen on the 28th July 1998 near her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare. She is one of at least six women who disappeared in the east of Ireland in the 1990s.

Her disappearance was upgraded to a murder investigation in 2018. The file and previous statements were examined by detectives leading to two witnesses being re-interviewed.

“Credible information” was developed and that has led Gardaí to woodland in Usk Little on the Wicklow and Kildare border.

Jo Jo Dullard’s disappearance took place just ten minutes from where Deirdre Jacob was last seen. Her case was also upgraded to murder earlier this year.

New €17m fund announced for struggling third-level students

The fund will assist students who can’t meet costs, with mental health funding also announced.

A new Student Assistance Fund will help full- or part-time students pay for books, class materials, rent and utility bills, food, essential travel, childcare and medical costs, it’s been announced.

Students in difficulty can apply for assistance through their college’s student welfare offices.

“No further action”: UK police drop Prince Andrew investigation

The Met Police has dropped its investigation into claims Virginia Roberts was sex-trafficked into London by Jeffrey Epstein when she was 17 and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew.

After officers spoke with Virginia Roberts, the force took the decision to end the investigation a f also to take no further action over claims that billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein groomed and abused other young women in the UK.

A Met spokesman said last night: “As a matter of procedure, MPS officers reviewed a document released in August 2021 as part of a US civil action. This review has concluded and we are taking no further action.”