first_imgOver on Mel B is talking Spice Girls threesomes. It’s The Dredge. EVERY DAY, brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.1. #GROWING UP: The vast majority of Irish children live in warm loving homes but almost half are part of families struggling with financial pressures according to a major survey of 19,500 children.2. #CHARGED A woman has been charged with the murder of three-year-old Brendan Owens in Co. Antrim. Another man questioned has been released.3. #SYRIA: The civil war in Syria has reached a stalemate and the government may look for a ceasefire according to the country’s deputy prime minister. [Guardian]4. #SMOKING BAN: Prisoners in the UK are set to be banned from smoking in an effort to prevent compensation claims from prison staff.5. #JUNIOR DOCTORS: Talks will resume at the Labour Relations Commission today as next week’s strike by junior doctors approaches.6. #OVER TO EU?: Education Minister Ruairí Quinn hasn’t ruled out becoming Ireland’s EU Commissioner next year.7. #SHOOTING: Twelve people including a three-year-old have been injured in a shooting at a Chicago basketball court.8. #GO KATIE: Frustrated by a lack of opportunities since her Olympic win last year, Katie Taylor is “definitely thinking about turning pro.”9. IT’S FRIDAY: Looking to start off your weekend in style? Check out our guide to what’s going on around the country for Culture Night.last_img read more

first_imgGARDAÍ ARE APPEALING for any witnesses who may seen a serious assault take place last night on Cuffe Street, Dublin 2 at 7.45pm.A fight broke out between a number of men on Aungier Street and moved on to Cuffe Street.Stab woundsOne man received stab wounds to the upper leg and was taken to St. James’ Hospital. The male in his late teens is described as being in a serious condition.Gardaí at appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact them at Pearse Street Garda station on 01 666 9000.last_img read more

first_imgLIFEBOATS ACROSS THE country were launched 571 times this summer, a 43 per cent increase on last year.From 1 June to August 31, the RNLI launched boats from around the coast, as well as three lakes.The busiest station was Dún Laoghaire, which launched bots 34 times.This was followed by Portrush in Antrim, who launched 26 times and Crosshaven in Cork, whose volunteer crew were out 25 times over the summer.Some lifeboat stations showed a large increase in their call outs on the same period last year with Skerries, Wicklow, and Fenit lifeboat crews, which launched 17 times each, doubling their launches from last year.Courtown in Wexford went from launching once last summer to 13 times.Gareth Morrison, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager said that the increase is down to the warmer weather.“With more people travelling to the coast over the summer months RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews were busy keeping people safe.The commitment shown by our lifesavers that launched at all hours of the day and night in various conditions was outstanding. Not every lifeboat launch ends in a rescue and sadly some of our dedicated volunteer crews dealt with some difficult and challenging callouts. Their professionalism and determination in bringing loved ones home when they get in trouble on the water is to be commended.Dramatic rescues, tragic lossesRNLI volunteer lifeboat crews in Ireland have been involved in a number of dramatic rescues this summer.In July, 30 people were rescued by Kinsale and Courtmacsherry lifeboat crews when the tall ship Astrid was blown onto rocks and was taking on water off the south coast.Dun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat and Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat rescued six people on Dublin Bay in August after their boat capsized and they were clinging to the upturned hull.Sadly, the summer also saw some tragedies on Irish waters and lifeboat crew at Dunmore East were involved with the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 in bringing home the three brothers who drowned while out were fishing off Dunmore East in June.Read: Young woman who fell into cave is rescued in Co MayoRead: Man airlifted to hospital after boat runs agroundlast_img read more

first_imgTHE GOVERNMENT HAS announced an additional €1.6 million in funding for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.Junior Minister at the Department for Foreign Affairs Joe Costello today announced the extra funding, which will channelled through NGOs working in the region.The money will be spent on shelter, food, water and health services to the 13 million people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.It comes in addition to €1 million in funding pledged last week and €500,000 of emergency supplies airlifted to the region from the Irish aid depot in Dubai.Two members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps have also deployed to the Philippines to assist UN relief teams there. Further deployments and additional airlifts are anticipated.Costello said that despite the Irish response, more must be done. Ireland acted quickly to respond to Typhoon Haiyan, but as the magnitude of this disaster has become clear, it is all too apparent that further assistance is required. The situation is critical.Costello stressed the importance of improved coordination amongst donors to ensure that the aid which has already been delivered reaches the most needy as quickly as possible.“The international community has learned many lessons from previous crises, such as the 2004 Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.“Ireland has supported subsequent efforts by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to establish clear systems to allow the most effective, efficient and rapid delivery of aid possible. Ireland will continue to make every effort to ensure our response is timely and effective, and meets the most critical, immediate needs’Read: The heartbreaking tale of the babies of Typhoon HaiyanRead: In the wake of the storm: Before and after photos of Irish bar show extent of Philippines devastationlast_img read more

first_imgDETECTIVES IN CASTLEREAGH are appealing for information after a woman in her 80s was distracted, then robbed at her home.At around 2.40pm yesterday, it was reported that a man approached a house in the Gransha Road area asking if the woman who owns the property saw a boomerang in her back garden. The man went with the woman to check the garden and it is alleged that two other unknown men entered the front of the property and left with a sum of money. The woman was not injured during the incident.At this stage, police are investigating a link between this and a similar incident which took place in the Gilnahirk Park area of Tullycarnet on Friday, 15 November.Police would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area or anyone who has any information to contact them at Castlereagh CID on 0845 600 8000.last_img read more

first_imgRob Kearney – 8Couldn’t have dreamed for a gift like he received from Israel Dagg before racing in for his first-half try, but showed his pace to finish the chance.Perhaps his most important moment was late in the half chasing Dagg’s kick. Then he did superbly well to watch the bounce take hold of the pill and turn through on-coming tacklers to buy time take a little more wind out of the All Black sails.Tommy Bowe – 6Failed to keep tabs on Savea’s brilliant run for the try, but made up for that with a velcro-like intercept in the third quarter. A relatively quiet afternoon by his standards, but enough of an assured presence to retain his place as number one winger.Brian O’Driscoll – 7A stray pass put Dave Kearney in trouble in his own 22, but played like a man taking on the biggest challenge in the game for the last time. Led the charge and ensured the backline never lost its shape before he as forced off after 53 minutes after a typically selfless tackle on Brodie Retallick…One more year?Gordon D’Arcy – 8A controversial selection, but from early on he showed the superb footwork in possession that makes him a valuable ball carrier. Led a crucial defensive period to take Ireland off their own line.Dave Kearney – 8A full debut and a full performance to match. The younger Kearney set the tone with an early chase into the All Black 22 which forced a knock-on. Less emphatic in the second half, but equally effective when taking down Richie McCaw which forced a turnover.Jonathan Sexton  – 8Turns out the hamstring never strained, he just felt like it was about to go. Gives Ireland that extra dimension in attack, seemed to pick the right pass every time in that first half, varying the line of his chosen ball-carrier to keep the tourists guessing. Missed kick in final quarter meant Ireland were left to hang on in a game he made winnableConor Murray – 8Precious little possession to work with in the second half, but along with Sexton made for the thrilling opening period with instant recycling and constantly varying the attack. One or two kicks were questionable, but seemed to be handed the role of game management when Sexton went off and he performed that role very, very well.Cian Healy – 9 He hates the haka, and now those in the haka must hate him right back. An enormous effort in the loose, absolutely blasted Richie McCaw when the flanker made the mistake of going a tad high. Showed his 69th minute replacement Jack McGrath how high the bar has been set.Rory Best – 6Backed himself brilliant to claim the game’s second try. Unfortunately day was cut short by an off the ball hit.Mike Ross – 8Asked to carry the ball about 100% more than he usually does for Ireland, but along with Healy made the scrum a solid platform that scarcely seemed believable eight days ago.Devin Toner – 7We’ve never seen Devin Toner play with this much intent. Every inch of his massive frame was hurled at black shirts, his elongated reach used several times to take passes delivered behind him and made one superb hit on Nonu to force a first half scrum on Ireland’s five metre line.Paul O’Connell – 9Unfortunately the phrase captain, leader, legend has already been taken up by a less-deserving sportsman. But O’Connell embodied everything that is required to beat the world champions. Literally led the charge with some big carries which immediately set the tone and put New Zealand on the back foot.Peter O’Mahony – 7A ferocious display of tackling as ever. Bounced back from last weekend in a big way, and showed he’s more than capable of competing with the likes of Read and McCaw.Sean O’Brien – 9The whole pack seemed to pick up the pace of their carry when McCaw was in the line of fire, but it was O’Brien who was tasked with going head to head in the tight areas and he held his own for long stretches. His huge offload in the lead-up to the opening try is one that will be on the show-reel for years to come.Jamie Heaslip – 7Tireless workrate and offered himself for more carries than against the Wallabies. One of the most willing when it came to the kick chase and earned Ireland some time with a turnover on halfway which should have led to Sexton giving Ireland an eight point lead.ReplacementsSean Cronin – 7An early replacement for the injured Best. Gave an extra touch of pace to our front row especially in the loose where he could be seen scampering onto loose balls. Missed a tackle in lead up to Julian Savea try, but otherwise sound.Luke Fitzgerald – 6 Replaced Brian O’Driscoll after 53 minutes and instantly looked right at home in Ireland’s biggest shoes. If he can stay fit, there will be competition for that jersey in February.Kevin McLaughlin – 5Replaced Peter O’Mahony shortly before the hour mark and was part of a brilliant spell of resistance which brought the home side agonisingly close to a famous win.Declan Fitzpatrick – 5Did all that was asked of him in the scrum, but not given much opportunity to excel as the World Champions piled on the pressureMike McCarthy – 4Didn’t put a foot wrong in a difficult situation, but will find it hard to dislodge his provincial teammate as O’Connell’s partner in the second row.Jack McGrath, Ian Madigan. Not on long enough to be rated.As it happened: Ireland v New Zealand, November Tests10 inevitable twitter reactions to Ireland’s game with New Zealandlast_img read more

first_imgA BALLOT OF Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Shannon Airport staff and Aer Lingus will commence this Saturday.SIPTU said it has decided to ballot for industrial action in a row over pensions, but said that no matter what the outcome of the ballots, no industrial action will commence until after the busy Christmas period.PensionsIn a statement, the union said that “despite determined efforts by the Aer Lingus, DAA and SAA Pension Committees to have your pension contributions withheld, the Employers continue to procrastinate as to whether this can or can’t be done”.They added that while the Pension Trustees have come up with a proposal for the Pension Board to consider, there are two significant problems with it – the independent pension advice strongly suggests that Trustees proposals are too risky to find favour with the Pensions Board and the Pensions Board has suspended assessing Pension Trustee proposals until a new law is passed – this could add a further 6 months to this crisis.BallotSIPTU added that there are many more reasons they are balloting but “in short it is to demand that all employers agree to providing, at a minimum, 100 per cent of their employee’s past accrued expected benefits and that any future pension arrangements are controlled by the employees directly”.They added that the entirety of this process should begin now in an “intensity and sincerity” that has not occurred in the past.This week, SIPTU expressed concern at the announcement of the separation of Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).SIPTU Organiser, Tony Carroll, said: “The business plan for the new Shannon entity is unrealistically ambitious given that it is based on a model which envisages increasing Shannon Airport passenger numbers by 50 per cent within a short time scale. This is against a backdrop of falling aviation numbers and a declining GNP in Ireland and elsewhere.”He said there had been no consultation with staff, or their representatives, to date. O’Carroll said staff have “genuine concerns around their job security and quality of employment and other related matters”. The speed with which the implementation of this decision is happening does not leave a lot of time for the necessary guarantees to be received, he said.SIPTU said they would be consulting with its members in Shannon Airport this week about its strategy to protect their livelihoods.READ: Further Pfizer jobs could be at risk in 2015>READ: SIPTU Dublin Bus drivers vote against industrial action>last_img read more

first_imgTHERE IS A priceless copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses in the New York Public Library. A first edition. Signed by Joyce to his friend James Stephens.The collision of book and place is sacred. The library is probably the finest in the world. So too, of course, is the book: the most acclaimed novel of the 20th century. So when I had a chance to see the copy in the winter of 2011, I immediately said yes. I got on the subway. Got off at 42nd Street. Walked along Fifth Avenue in the slush. Shook out my umbrella. Walked up the steps, past the famous lion statues, into the library. Up to the third floor. Into a rare book room where the curators greeted me warmly.The book was laid out on a piece of blue velvet, opened carefully and methodically. The curators wore gloves. They treated the book with proper awe. I was supervised every moment of the way. I didn’t even get to touch the pages. I leaned over the book, breathed the phrases in. The ineluctable modality of the visible.Part of the charm of books, of course, is that they disintegrate. Although the language lasts forever – in both a digital and imaginative sense – no book can be protected forever. There are simple laws of nature. Even if we sealed our books in hermetic tombs, some distant day entropy will gnaw at the pages. It’s called age – it’s the most democratic thing in the world and it happens to the best of us, even Joyce.So when the book was carefully closed and lifted to be put away, a tiny flake of page fell from inside onto the blue cloth beneath. This happens. That’s life. Books will flake. It was just a crumb, really. Slightly smaller than a thumbtack. It sat on the blue felt cloth. The library staff didn’t notice it. They took the book away. To be wrapped, protected, properly humidified. But the flake still lay there on the cloth. I stared at it. It would soon become dust.I got ready to leave. Unhooked my jacket from the back of the chair. Thought about it again. Looked down at the flake of Ulysses.And then I did what anyone with a fondness for Joyce would: I licked my thumb, picked up the crumb, and ate it. Or rather let it dissolve slowly.———————————————-The book that I return to, when I return to Ireland, is always Ulysses. I make no apology for this. I don’t find it pretentious. I don’t think it’s overwrought. Nor do I believe that it’s an impossible read. Sure, it is difficult, but all worthy things are, in their own way, difficult.It’s just a good book. I like it. It makes me laugh. It puzzles me. It confounds me. It frustrates me. It thrills me. I find it worth reading. That’s enough.And literature lives on in the most peculiar ways. The messy layers of human experience get ordered and reordered by what we take into our minds, our memories, our imaginations. Books can carry us to the furthest side of our desires. We can travel, we can remain, or we can hide in plain sight. And sometimes they mean so much more than just the physical or even the imaginative object.———————————————-Early in 2013 I lost my best friend. Brendan Bourke. A photographer, a filmmaker, a writer, a teacher. He had struggled with his health for many years, but somehow he had always managed to bring a spark to whatever life gathered around him, including his own.Brendan knew of my obsession with Ulysses and he promised that, one day, he would read it. I tried to encourage him to read the more salacious parts of Molly’s soliloquy, or to begin with Bloom at breakfast, or to sit for a while with the Citizen in Little Britain Street. He could even read the novel backwards if he wanted to. I was fairly sure he would enjoy it, once he got over its supposed difficulty. Bren was a Dubliner after all. And he was a good reader. And Ulysses – despite the aura that somehow gathers around it – was the perfect Dublin novel.He never read the book, however. He talked about it, but never read it. Life got in the way. There was always some new film project that overtook the task. Or a photograph to take. Or another surgical procedure to undergo. He was always just about to read it. Good puzzle to cross Dublin without passing a pub. We once sat in the Stag’s Head together and tried to figure out if there was a way. The novel was at the cusp for Brendan: he was always about to embark on it. After his brother Kyron gave him his kidney – and almost four more years of life – he said he was going to finally sit down and read it. It became one of his ambitions. That, and race a rally car. That, and finish a film of ours: As If There Were Trees. That, and bring his partner Liz on a journey to the States. That, and so many other things.Brendan died early in the New Year. His body failed him. He was young, or young enough, at 50, to make me think that it was entirely wrong. I flew home to Dublin from New York. The next day I talked with Liz. She was going through his things in preparation for the funeral. Brendan had, she said, purchased a copy of Ulysses just before Christmas. She knew because she had found it among his Christmas things, with a receipt from Hodges Figgis stuck inside. She could tell from the spine that he had not yet cracked the book open. It made her smile, though, to think about it. He had, at least, bought it. He was ready for it.The next day, she took the copy and placed it on Brendan’s chest in the open wicker coffin that he lay inside, in the funeral home in Fairview. It was her gesture to him to carry the story with him.I have never liked the idea of an open coffin, but later that evening I got the chance to sit in the funeral home before the viewing. Brendan was laid out in the open coffin, dressed in his favourite cowboy boots and a paisley shirt. The copy of Ulysses lay slap bang in the middle of his chest, just above his folded hands. Still uncracked, unopened.I had about a half hour to spend with him, alone, before others came in. I pulled up a chair and sat beside him.One of Brendan’s favourite lines from my own short stories: Well fuck it anyway, we really need some new blood in midfield.And so I did, again, what anyone would do. I picked up the book and began to read.———————————————-Death takes away a lot of things, but it can’t ever take away our stories. This is the beauty of literature. Stories don’t die with us. They live on on. Literature is, in a very pure sense, the place where we learn to remain alive.I do not know what page that solitary crumb fell from when I visited the New York Public Library. Who knows what chapter of Ulysses it came from? Who knows what might have become of it – thrown in the rubbish, or swept away, or maybe even kept in a plastic bag by one of the librarians to be cherished. It hardly matters. It is long gone. I ate it. Fair enough.And while I don’t know what might have happened to that flake of paper if I had left it there, I do know what I read to Brendan Bourke when I sat with him in the funeral home in Fairview, and perhaps part of it belonged to that flake. I leaned over the coffin and picked the book from off his chest. I opened it up and went straight to the What is a nation? section, where Bloom argues with the Citizen. Ireland, said Bloom, I was born here, Ireland.The time ticked away, as time does. But I wanted a little more for him, my pal. So I sat by Brendan’s coffin and flicked forward in the book and read to him the filthiest, naughtiest, dirtiest, most wonderful parts of Molly’s soliloquy. To give him a bit of a smile for the beyond. To send him off with a laugh.Just imagine that. To die with a laugh.Colum McCann is an award winning Irish writer, based in New York. Author profile by Brendan Bourke.This piece by Colm McCann is an extract of ‘The Gathering-Reflections on Ireland’, which is available in bookshops nationwide and online at our website, or it can be shipped anywhere in the world for free through Kennys online bookstore. Read: Look like Joyce? Well, get some Gorgonzola sandwiches and head to Dun LaoghaireRead: Literary history of Dublin brought to life with new Storymap applast_img read more

first_img Poll Results: I don’t know (1759) THE LIBERALISATON OF the taxi market 13 years ago may have increased the number of taxis on the streets but the Minister for Public Transport has said the deregulation of the industry led to a flood of new drivers, something Kelly says was handled in a “laissez faire” attitude.LicencesHe added the relaxation allowed some people drive taxis that should never have been granted licences in the first place.Speaking to, he said that deregulation allowed too many people get licences and the industry was opened up in way that ignored the fact that regulatory controls are still needed in a deregulated industry.In today’s poll, we want to know: Do you think taxi deregulation was a good idea? No (2702)center_img YesNoI don’t knowVote Yes (913)last_img read more

first_imgGARDAÍ DISCOVERED €56K worth of drugs when they searched a taxi in Dublin today.They said that as part of an investigation targeting the sale and supply of drugs, members of the Organised Crime Unit carried out a search operation in the Tallaght area this afternoon.Gardaí stopped and searched a taxi on the Greenhills Road and discovered cocaine with an estimated street value of €56,000.The occupants of the car, two males aged in their 30s and late teens, were arrested.The men are currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996, at Tallaght Garda Station.They can be held for up to seven days.last_img read more

first_img‘BLADE RUNNER’ OSCAR Pistorius, facing trial for having shot dead his girlfriend, hopes to secure bail today as prosecutors struggled to regain lost ground after the replacement of the lead officer in the investigation.South Africa’s police commissioner Riah Phiyega announced that lead officer Hilton Botha was being replaced after local media revealed he faced seven attempted murder charges for having opened fire on a minibus in 2009.Charges against Botha, initially brought in 2009 and later withdrawn, had now been reinstated, said police spokesman Neville Malila. They themselves had only been informed on Wednesday, he added.The development further embarrassed the prosecution, which has seen its evidence repeatedly picked apart during the bail hearing for Pistorius over the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29.BurglarProsecutors do not accept the sprinter’s explanation that he accidentally shot dead the model after mistaking her for a burglar. They have charged him with “premeditated murder” because of relationship problems.But as the bail hearings enter a fourth day today, some lawyers following the case say the state has failed to present a strong enough case to keep Pistorius behind bars.Botha’s removal from the case comes a day after Pistorius’ defence team went after him in the witness box.Summing up his case yesterday, defence lawyer Barry Roux told the court: “The poor quality of the evidence of investigating officer Botha further exposed … the disastrous shortcomings in the state’s case.”Roux had earlier cast doubt on key prosecution witness evidence suggesting the couple, who had been dating since late last year, had had an argument before the shooting.TestorsteroneProsecutors have also backtracked on allegations that police had found testosterone and needles in a dresser in Pistorius’s bedroom. They later said the substance was unknown.Steenkamp was found by medics in the early hours of Thursday last week at Pistorius’s luxury Pretoria home covered in bloodied towels, with bullet wounds to her head, elbow and hip. She died at the scene.In a statement read out in court earlier this week Pistorius said that he had fired at the door of the bathroom as he was “filled with horrible fear” that someone had sneaked in through an open window in the dead of night.The 26-year-old athlete has previously said he kept a gun in his bedroom because of fears of violent burglary.The Olympian and Paralympian sprinter, who has been in police custody for over a week, could face months or perhaps years in pre-trial detention if he does not win bail. © AFP, 2013 More as we get it.Read: Lead investigator taken off Reeva Steenkamp murder case >Read: Oscar Pistorius bail hearing adjourned again >last_img read more

first_imgThere was a lot of support for Barack Obama when he was elected, but I think that is fading now. Looking at the things that were promised, not many have been achieved. Guantanamo Bay is still in operation, Afghanistan and more people are killed by drone strikes now under Obama than there was under George Bush.There is a rise in socialism in the states, we have seen that just recently with a man with socialist ideals being elected in the Seattle area, where there is a real ambition to drive up minimum wage. There was always the Republicans and the Democrats, but it’s great to see the working class pushing forward. Being populist Other than Joe Higgins, left-wing politicians in Ireland that are doing good are the likes of Richard Boyd Barret, we don’t agree on everything, but it is good to have left-wing voices in the Dáil. How many member states are in the EU:28.Who is the head of the European Commission:Barroso.Who is head of the European Council:Herman van Rompuy.Who is the president of the European Parliament:Martin SchulzOther candidates currently in the running for the European elections in Dublin include independent Nessa Childers, Lynn Boylan for Sinn Féin, Brian Hayes for Fine Gael, Emer Costello for Labour, Paul Murphy for the Socialist Party, Eamon Ryan for the Green Party, and Mary Fitzpatrick for Fianna Fá intends to speak to all European Parliament candidates in the capital and elsewhere in the country before May’s elections.Read: ‘Let him give me his number one, that’ll be fine’: Mary Fitzpatrick on Bertie and FF’s recovery>Read: ‘I hate the viciousness of capitalism’: People Before Profit hopeful on the need for an alternative> THE SOCIALIST MEP Paul Murphy who is running in this year’s European elections in Dublin says that Labour deserves to be “slammed” for some of its policy issues and for “selling out” he said.The socialist activist who took the seat in the European Parliament after Joe Higgins was elected to the Dáil said he does not consider the Labour Party to be a “left” party.When asked about his recent criticism of Emer Costello, who is also running in the upcoming elections, he said that he had slammed the approach of Costello and the Social Democrats on the Troika reports in the European Parliament.In a speech made in the European Parliament he said:“Her speech could be summed up with the phrase “The Troika told us to do it”. Is that the best excuse that the Labour Party and others can come up with? Did the dog eat your election manifesto too?”LabourSpeaking to, he said, “I do not class Labour to be a left party. Labour deserve to be slammed for driving forward policies like JobBridge and Gateway,” he said, adding, “Joan Burton, a Labour Party member is behind these policies that are about the exploitation of workers”.He said that the message that is being delivered is that Ireland was in a crisis and now that crisis is over, he said, adding that this is all just “spin”. He said the mounting debt that Irish citizens is still there. “They are using spin saying that we are in recovery, and these schemes, JobBridge and Gateway, are being used to rebuild our economy with cheap labour”.He hit out against theses schemes stating that threatening to cut off someone social welfare for not partaking in these schemes was not acceptable and slammed Labour for putting their name to such policies.On government policies that he does support, there is one. “Same-sex marriage. That is a policy I support, but they haven’t done anything about it yet,” he said.Paul Murphy on…The EU I’m focusing on the European election now, it’s not something that I have really thought about. Look, I never thought that I would one day be an MEP, I always thought I would be socialist activist, and then the opportunity was there for me to be voice for people at a European level.If the party felt that I would be better suited somewhere else, or if they thought that someone else would be better where I am then perhaps it could be a possibility, but at the moment my focus is on the European elections. I will continue to use my platform to be a voice against austerity and the damaging policies that are being driven through by the parliament in Europe. I will continue in highlighting that the austerity agenda is undermining our democratic rights.Electing people won’t necessarily bring about change. I can’t promise that if I am elected, there won’t be any water charges brought in, but if we can take seats away from Labour and other parties, and if we can start to rally a campaign against paying water charges, then we can rattle the government.I want to continue my work for the people in looking at the measures that are being brought in that affect the Irish people but also carry on highlighting unjust issues taking place around the world, like that with me being involved in the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. On staying the five years in EuropePeople are making a lot promises, saying: ‘yes, I will definitely stay the five years’, but I am not going to do that. I may well stay the five years, but if the party sees someone else suited here in a couple of years then that would all have to be considered.What he hopes to achieve in Parliamentcenter_img The US There is no one here or in Europe representing the voices of the people. Irish politicians are telling Europe that we are getting back on track – but for me, I am there to use my platform, to show that actually, things aren’t all alright here. My role is about providing a platform and using it.When I raised the issue of homosexuality and Pantigate in Europe it was to discuss the issue of homophobia in Ireland. The important person in this debate is Rory O’Neill and the great speech he made in The Abbey.It was about me using my platform and my parliamentary privilege to drive the issue forward and that’s what I tried to do in my own small way. When I came into the European Parliament, I didn’t know what to expect. But, if anything, being in parliament has hardened my views rather than mellowed them as I have seen first-hand how it works and how it is becoming more and more undemocratic, pushing austerity policies that have no benefit to the working class people in Ireland or Europe.We are being told that we have gone through a crisis and now we are being told it is over and we are moving out of it. Yet they are still moving forward with the same policies that got us there and the same ones that were put in place to deal with the crisis. I want to highlight that these austerity policies are damaging peoples’ lives. Being a socialistBeing a socialist in Europe can be isolating in itself, and being a young socialist also. I hope to be a voice against austerity in Europe and I want to use the platform I have to speak out against the policies – be a voice for the people, where their message is, no, austerity is not working for us.Running in 2016 Left-wing parties Ireland standing up to EuropeIreland is a light touch when it comes to Europe. We are obsessed with being the poster child for being good and doing what we are told. They just love to hear praise and get a pat on the back from Barroso.last_img read more

first_img No (1075) I don’t own a television (822) I could, but only temporarily (1271) Yes, definitely (1118) Poll Results: Yes, definitelyI could, but only temporarilyNoI don’t own a televisionVoteRead: Just 5 per cent of people don’t own TVs – survey>Read: ComReg to launch its own online test for broadband speeds> A REPORT FROM the Communications Regulator (ComReg) has shown that 95 per cent of people in Ireland still own a television.Over half of the 1500 people surveyed have Sky for a TV service, 29 per cent use UPC and 9 per cent use Saorview.Though mobile phones are the most commonly used telecommunications services at 97 per cent, the telly box still appears to be popular in Irish households.However with the increase in the use of streaming websites and services like Netflix, many people are turning away from their televisions and watching their favourite shows and movies on computers.So we want to know: Could you live without your TV?last_img read more

first_imgTHE MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter has responded to claims made by Independent TD Mick Wallace that he is set to lodge a complaint against him following an appearance on RTÉ’s Prime Time.The two featured on the show to discuss the garda inquiry into alleged abuse of the penalty points deletion system.On Thursday night, the Justice Minister alleged that Wallace had himself been cautioned for driving while using a mobile phone, but was the benefit of garda discretion and avoided penalty points as a result.Wallace, who said he had no idea what Shatter was referring to, this evening insisted he was unaware of the incident, and said a fixed charge notice was never issued to him.However, in a statement this evening, Shatter upheld this view and said that Wallace was “making a pretence, for political purposes”.“Deputy Wallace was last night effectively asserting that discretionary consideration afforded to him by An Garda Síochána should not be extended to others. I do not believe such an approach to be either acceptable or credible,” added the Minister.Shatter added that Deputy Wallace along with “other Dáil colleagues was using confidential information to denigrate and attempt to damage the reputations of a number of private individuals as well as the entire garda force”.Earlier this evening the TD said he was in the process of lodging a formal complaint with the Standards in Public Office Commission, alleging that Shatter’s comments were in breach of the legally binding code of conduct for people elected to public office.He said he was also asking the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate “any possible breach of the Data Protection legislation, the basis for the Minister’s allegation, the circumstances surrounding the seeking and providing of any personal data to the Minister in preparation for the Prime Time debate”.Read: Wallace to lodge complaint against Shatter over penalty points allegation>last_img read more

first_img Source: Hugh O’Connell/Twitter The Social Protection Minister has confidence in Gilmore but in terms of discussing the leadership she said she was “not going to call anything like that until we get the results in”. What happens when those results do come in as they will over the next day or so?Those who speak of Burton as a possible Labour leader neglect the fact that she does not command sufficient support within its parliamentary ranks to mount a leadership challenge against Gilmore right now. There is no immediate and glaring alternative to Burton except perhaps for the likes of junior ministers Alex White or Alan Kelly.But before it does anything Labour must consider what impact, if any, a leadership change will have at this stage. Albeit in different circumstances, Fianna Fáil’s replacing of Brian Cowen with Micheál Martin before the general election in 2011 had little if any impact.Voters don’t care who is leading the party that’s implementing the policies, they care about the impact those policies are having on them.A new programme for government?So what else? There’s a long-mooted income tax cut but the coalition is still committed to a €2 billion budget adjustment in October which means that there will be more pain ahead. Could the political imperative see some sort of relaxing of that €2 billion cut?In a little-noticed press release this week, Labour’s chairman and failed Dublin West by-election candidate Loraine Mulligan talked about a “neutral budget” later this year where no money is taken out of the economy. It was probably a last ditch attempt at winning some votes, but might this idea gain traction as Labour debates its future in the coming days and weeks?This would be very much the political imperative taking over any economic need purely as a result of the “shellacking” Labour has taken in these elections. It’s unlikely Fine Gael would go as far as to accede to a scrapping €2 billion of proposed cuts.Perhaps than Labour may focus on a new programme for government. Eamon Gilmore ruled that out in an interview with us earlier this week. But yesterday, Labour minister Pat Rabbitte said that he wants the programme for government to be “renewed”.Does that mean renegotiation – which was ruled out by the Taoiseach this week? “It might be a matter of semantics – what’s the difference between renew and renegotiate?” Rabbitte responded.Renew or renegotiate, the semantics might not matter at all. It could be that the government has run out of options having realised too late just how angry the electorate are. Labour to renegotiate the PfG. Now where did I hear that one before? Take it from me, guys, it won’t work. It’s just going to get worse.— John Gormley (@JohnGormley) May 24, 2014 Leo Varadkar, never a minister who is lost for words, probably said it best: “They’ve sent the message that they’re hurting and that they’re not happy with a lot of the things the government has done.”What now?The question now is what can the government to do stop its support from falling further?For a start pulling out of government does nothing for a battered Labour Party which must deal with its own internal issues in the coming days and weeks.Chief among them is the future of party leader Eamon Gilmore who once again found himself the subject of a less than ringing endorsement from his deputy leader Joan Burton yesterday. DURING A TESTY interview with Newstalk late last night Taoiseach Enda Kenny repeatedly said that the government had heard the message of the electorate “loud and clear”.But why has it taken so long to hear that message given that many of the issues facing canvassers on doorsteps nationwide over the last few weeks have been well flagged for, in some cases, years?For example, TDs up and down the country have been hearing and telling the Dáil about some of the most awful cases of medical cards being taken from very sick children and adults for well over a year.Certain deputies have also been talking about homelessness and housing shortages across the country since 2011, a crisis that has taken root in the aftermath of the economic collapse despite the building boom during the Celtic Tiger years.Even the garda whistleblowers – whose mishandling by Alan Shatter had been an issue on the doorsteps – tried to get their voices heard for two years at least before the government finally took swift action in recent months.Yet despite all this, it’s only now that the government gets it, that voters are angry, real angry. It appears nothing does more to spring ministers into action than a wallop at the ballot box and in both Fine Gael and particularly Labour’s case that’s what’s happened this weekend.center_img Joan Burton says Labour has taken a shellacking— Hugh O’Connell (@oconnellhugh) May 24, 2014 Election 2014 Liveblog: Local and European results as they happenRead: Who is your new local councillor? Here’s a list of everyone elected so far Source: John Gormley/Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgA FEDERAL APPEALS court today backed the US government’s decision not to release photos and video taken of Osama Bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.The three-judge panel of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia turned down an appeal from Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the images.The Defense Department said it didn’t turn up anything pertinent to the FOI. The CIA had found 52 such records, but withheld all of them, citing exemptions for classified materials and information specifically exempted by other laws.In Tuesday’s ruling, the appeals court said that the CIA properly withheld publication of the images of the al-Qaida leader. The court concluded that the photos used to conduct facial recognition analysis of bin Laden could reveal classified intelligence methods, and that images of bin Laden’s burial at sea could trigger violence against American citizens.CIAJudicial Watch had argued that it was unlikely that images showing the preparation of bin Laden’s body for burial and the burial itself would cause any harm to U.S. national security. At oral arguments in January, the group’s lawyer suggested that graphic photos of bin Laden’s corpse should be distinguished from somber images of bin Laden’s burial at sea.“As the district court rightly concluded, however, the CIA’s declarations give reason to believe that releasing images of American military personnel burying the founder and leader of al-Qaida could cause exceptionally grave harm,” wrote the panel, made up of Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Judges Judith W. Rogers and Harry T. Edwards, all appointees of Democratic presidents. The decision affirms a district court judge’s ruling last year denying the group’s lawsuit over the FOIA.A CIA official had made a declaration in the case that many of the photos and video recordings are “quite graphic, as they depict the fatal bullet wound to and other similarly gruesome images of his corpse.”The court said that it was undisputed that the government wasn’t withholding the images to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment, but rather to prevent the killing of Americans and violence against U.S. interests.Read: Bin Laden son-in-law captured, faces terror charges in New York>More: Pentagon checking Bin Laden raid book for leaks>last_img read more

first_imgTeen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19) Read: ‘I stopped self-harming, the thoughts of suicide are gone and I don’t judge myself’>Read: Minister denies resource issue in area where 13 patients have died by suicide> Samaritans 116 123 or email  Console 1800 201 890 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement) MINISTER KATHLEEN LYNCH today launched a new online programme to help people dealing with depression.The iFightDepression tool is a multilingual internet-based guided self-management tool for individuals with mild to moderate depression. The website promotes greater knowledge of and awareness of depression with the aim of increasing recognition of depression and decreasing the associated stigma.The programme was recently developed, implemented and evaluated in give European regions, including Cork.Lynch said today the website will be “an invaluable resource” for those suffering with depression.The tool offers immediate access to a lower-intensity psychological intervention. It is free to use and comes in two versions – one for adolescents and young adults aged 17 -24 years and one for adults. It is implemented through healthcare professionals, who will maintain a recommended level of contact with the patient.“Because it is internet-based, the iFightDepression tool will empower patients by virtue of its accessibility, regardless of time of day, geographical location, and financial status. Its focus on self-management and its implementation through general practitioners and psychotherapists is innovative,” the minister said.Professor Ella Arensman, Director of Research with the National Suicide Research Foundation, said today that, since “we know very well the common risk factors for suicide and self-harm, such as depression, we now have to prioritise the care for people with depression through easily accessible interventions” like the tool launched today.Helplines:center_img Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety) Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email – (suicide, self-harm, bereavement) Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)last_img read more

first_imgPOPE FRANCIS HAS asked for forgiveness from survivors of clerical sex abuse who met with him today in the Vatican for the first time.In a homily delivered after meeting privately with six survivors – including two from Ireland – Pope Francis condemned the “execrable acts of abuse” committed by Catholic clergy.“Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness,” he said during a mass attended by abuse survivors, according to an official Vatican transcript.Addressing what he called the “life long scars” of abuse, the Pontiff acknowledged the despair, addiction, difficult relationships, and suicide brought on by the “more than despicable actions” of abusers.He thanked the survivors for speaking up and shedding light on “a terrible darkness in the life of the Church,” before condemning those culpable for the abuse, as well as those who “did not respond adequately to reports of abuse”. Some priests and bishops, by sexually abusing minors, violated their innocence and their own priestly vocation…They profane the very image of God in whose likeness we were created…All bishops must carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors, and they will be held accountable.The mass came after Pope Francis had earlier hosted, for the first time, an official meeting with six survivors of clerical sex abuse – two Irish, two British and two German.Marie Kane, from Bray, Co. Wicklow was joined by an Irish man – another abuse survivor – as well as Marie Collins, herself an abuse survivor and campaigner with One In Four, who was recently appointed to the Vatican’s commission for the protection of minors.Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’ Malley was also present at the meeting in the Pope’s private guesthouse.Abuse survivor Marie Collins added to Vatican commission to protect children>The Pope has excommunicated the mafia from the Catholic Church>last_img read more

first_imgEarlier this year, Amazon released Kindle for Web, but the service seemed almost impotently limited: it wasn’t good for much more than letting you preview small excerpts of Kindle e-books in your web browser. It was a promotional tool, and not much more.Needless to say, Google’s move into e-books has been a wake-up call to Bezos and Co, and Amazon’s engineers seem to have been working overtime over the last day or two to flesh out Kindle for Web’s feature set to remain competitive with Google Books’ in-browser feature set.AdChoices广告The update, which Amazon has just announced, brings the full Kindle experience to any browser, as well as to Google’s new Chrome Web Store, which will certainly help give Amazon a bit of a leg up when Chrome notebooks like the Cr-48 starts shipping.Amazon has just been so smart with their Kindle business. When iBooks first came out, everyone assumed Apple would simply destroy the Kindle marketplace, but by being available on every platform under the sun — and now, by allowing Kindle e-books to be read on any device with a web connection — Amazon has simply widened its lead. I doubt even Google can catch up with Kindle at this point.Read more at Kindle for the Web (via Gadget Lab)last_img read more

first_imgWe’ve heard a lot of rumors recently about the upcoming iPhone update, but today’s rumor concerns another, smaller Apple product: the iPod nano. Taiwanese blog posted a photo of the supposed upcoming nano. The big addition to the supposed iPod nano is the inclusion of a rear-facing camera, something it gained with the 5th generation model, but lost in the update to the 6th. And has a history of being right about leaked nano information.The article noted that the nano will have a 1.3-megapixel image sensor. Though it’s not that great, for the nano’s small screen, which currently is just 1.54 inches (diagonally), the 1.3-megapixel camera will probably be sufficient, especially for what will most likely be a 240×240 display.The camera is said to do both video and photo. However, the addition of the camera on the back of the iPod may mean we’ll be saying goodbye to the nano’s clip that was so convenient for using to attach to our jean pockets, shirts, etc. Perhaps Apple will produce a removable clip that can be used both on the front and the back of the nano so that you can attach the clip to the front while using the rear-facing camera, and switch it back when you’re not using it. Of course, this will obstruct the screen when attached to the front, but Apple seems to have a way of getting around problems like this.Another issue with the position of the camera is that many people use their iPod nano as a watch with an additional watchband accessory. New accessories may need to come out for easier nano removal, or perhaps we’ll be seeing new options, like nano necklaces.The 7th generation iPod nano will most likely be announced in September when Apple usually launches new iPods. Apple reported that its sales in iPods declined by 17 percent in Q2 of this year, compared to Q2 in 2010. Apple sold about 9 million iPods during the Q2 which just ended on March 26. Will a new line of iPod nanos with cameras help to increase the number of iPod sales?via Apple.prolast_img read more