Geneva Irish Pubs

Irish Owned, Irish Operated

Irish News

 

Irishexaminer.com

Join us for a refreshing take on the latest news and views from Ireland and around the world

Last feed update: Friday October 19th, 2018 02:17:59 AM

Student secures place at Army Cadet School after winning High Court action

Friday October 19th, 2018 12:28:00 PM
A student who went to court after being refused a place in the Army Cadet School to pursue his dream career can begin the course immediately after winning his High Court action. Ann O'LoughlinA student who went to court after being refused a place in the Army Cadet School to pursue his dream career can begin the course immediately after winning his High Court action.Mr Justice Michael McGrath ruled today that the application to Gavin Morrissey of changes introduced last April in rules for admission to the course and which adversely impacted on him was unfair and unreasonable because they were made without adequate and clear notice to him.Mr Morrissey (19) was relying on earlier terms allowing him to carry forward results from more than one Leaving Certificate to meet the minimum academic requirements for the course. Gavin Morrissey pictured leaving the Four Courts during his High Court action. Photo: Collins CourtsThe changed terms meant he could not do so.The Minister for Defence, “perhaps unwittingly and perhaps unaware of the impact on Mr Morrissey, had promulgated terms which had the effect of “changing the goalposts after the game had begun” and Mr Morrissey was entitled to succeed, the judge ruled.Following the decision, Patrick Leonard SC, for the Minister for Defence, said Mr Morrissey could start the course today.Outside court, Mr Morrissey said he was “very relieved” but did not wish to comment further.In his proceedings, Mr Morrissey, from Airmount Road, Slieve Rua, Co Kilkenny, claimed a “material” change last April in entry requirements prevented him starting the course this year and meant he could not do so unless he sits the Leaving Certificate a third time.Because the 2018/19 cadet course started late last month, his case was fast-tracked.[readmore]876878[/readmore]The dispute concerned whether Mr Morrissey, who sat and passed the Leaving Cert in 2017, and again in 2018, was entitled to 'carry forward' a pass in maths in the 2017 exam to meet the requirement of achieving passing grades in six higher or ordinary level subjects. Mr Morrissey says he only learned, from a Defence Forces email of June 2018, of the Minister’s decision of March 29th 2018 to prevent results being carried forward from one Leaving Cert to another. That decision was set out in terms and conditions published on April 1, 2018 on the Defence Forces website.The June email also set out the terms and conditions for cadet school admissions and noted all the minimum educational requirements must be met in a single sitting of the Leaving Cert.Mr Morrissey said the first maths paper of the Leaving Cert was over when he got the email.His counsel Oisin Quinn said there was no dispute the Minster was entitled to change the rules for admission. His case was there should be clear and adequate notice of those to affected persons like Mr Morrissey.[h2]Unfair and legally unreasonable[/h2]Outlining his decision today, Mr Justice McGrath said there was no dispute the Minister is entitled to set terms and conditions related to minimum educational requirements.The issue was the legality of how the terms and conditions were altered without notice to Mr Morrissey and how they were applied to him.The judge found, while the Minister was entitled to make changes, it was unfair and legally unreasonable for him to make such a change in such a period of time.The judge accepted Mr Morrissey had relied on how the rules operated over previous years.It appeared some sections of the Defence Forces also shared Mr Morrissey’s understanding of the rules, he noted.The changes were published on April 1, 2018, two months before the Leaving Certificate exams were due to start, he said. Even if Mr Morrissey had read them then, he had already dropped maths and had no real opportunity to address the changes.The fact Mr Morrissey’s parents incurred €6,000 expenses by his resitting the Leaving to meet the requirements as he understood them, and the fact he dropped maths, all showed as a matter of probability he relied on the previous rules.Mr Morrissey had a legitimate expectation the rules would not change as they applied to him without “some reasonable forewarning”. It was unreasonable and contrary to his legitimate expectation that, at a minimum, the entry requirements would not be changed in such a way without “clear notice”.The judge adjourned the matter to November 13 and said his full judgment will be available later.

Cannabis worth €325,000 seized in Sligo

Friday October 19th, 2018 11:53:44 AM
Cannabis herb with an estimated street value of €325,000 has been seized in Sligo. Cannabis herb with an estimated street value of €325,000 has been seized in Sligo.The seizure was made during the search of a house in Ballymore yesterday by gardaí investigating the sale and supply of controlled drugs in the Sligo/Leitrim area.Cannabis herb and other drug paraphernalia were seized as part of the planned operation by gardaí from the Ballymote District who were assisted by the Divisional Drugs and Crime Units.No arrests have been made in connection with the seizure.Gardaí say that investigations are continuing.Cannabis herb seized by gardai yesterday.Digital Desk

President Michael D Higgins: 'Let the audit committee look at everything'

Friday October 19th, 2018 12:05:00 PM
President Michael D Higgins has said he supports more transparency around the activities and spending in the Áras. President Michael D Higgins has said he supports more transparency around the activities and spending in the Áras.Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1, he said it would be a good idea to bring out an annual report on all the engagements, visits and spending in the office. "I believe that we should do more and that we should add transparency...in a thoughtful, planned way," he said."I am thinking of proposing to the government, if and when I'm elected, to have an independent audit committee to look at what that €317,000 is for, that will do a continuous audit and visit three or four times a year.""The important thing is that if you are going to make a change in the institution in which you're offering an audit committee independent of yourself, that effects not me, that effects whoever is the incumbent as president."[quote]Let the audit committee look at everything. I want to put a comment from that audit committee into an annual report on the activities of the Áras.[/quote]"I don't think we tell our story well, so I think it would be a very good idea to bring an annual report out that can deal with all these issues, who's coming to the garden parties, what special groups have been met, where did the president go, who has been to see the president."He said it would be an abuse of the constitutional position of the president to open the Áras to the Freedom of Information Act."What I did say, and it remains my position, if legislation comes before me that can fit under Article 13.8 I am happy to sign it, but what I will not do is facilitate a fudge in which the independence of the presidency is in a less position when I leave than when I was there.""As President, I will not interfere with legislative proposals, but I see it as an obligation to address issues of the past, issues of the present, and issues of shaping the future" Michael D Higgins on @TodaySOR #TodaySOR— Michael D Higgins (@MichaelDHiggins) October 19, 2018 On not addressing the Oireachtas, President Higgins has said he did not address the Houses during his term in office as his speech text would have to be run by the government. He said that in light of the Troika and the difficulties in the country he chose to speak in the European Parliament, where "he could make the best contribution". "I have no difficulty in a future term in addressing the Oireachtas," he said.On running for a second term, President Higgins said: "I changed my mind... I had sectors and groups saying to me they were very happy with the way I was running the presidency".[quote]I'm responding to a request to stand and I am very, very happy to do so.[/quote]The news that Peter Casey is to take the weekend off to decide whether he will continue to run for the presidency broke during the interview.[readmore]876851[/readmore]The former Dragon's Den star, who sparked controversy this week over remarks he made about the Travelling Community, said he would "think carefully about whether to continue in the race".Responding to that statement, President Higgins said that he thought it was good to reflect on what had happened. "I do wish him well. He knows very well my reaction to the remarks he made about the Travelling Community, I regard it as appalling," he said."It is good to reflect on it and I would like to think this is an aberration perhaps."It would be very cynical to take one of the most vulnerable communities and use them as an opportunity to kick up your ratings in the polls," he said."I regard Peter Casey's comments on the Travelling community as appalling. Sabina and I, we know what the Travelling community have suffered. When you look at the life expectancy of Traveller women, ten years less than average, they experience so many inequalities" #TodaySOR— Michael D Higgins (@MichaelDHiggins) October 19, 2018 Voters will go to the polls next Friday, and candidates will take part in the final debate of the campaign on Prime Time on Tuesday night.You can listen to the full interview with President Higgins here:

Brexit extension not an alternative to legally binding backstop, Taoiseach says

Friday October 19th, 2018 11:39:00 AM
The Taoiseach said he is open to the idea of an extended transition period but it fails to resolve the border issue. An extended Brexit transition period is not an alternative to the EU’s backstop proposal, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned.Mr Varadkar said he is open to the idea of an extension but it fails to resolve the border issue.“I am open to the idea of an extension or a longer transition period, but that’s not an alternative to a legally binding Irish backstop, so it’s certainly not an alternative; it’s something that might be part of the mix,” he said.He also reiterated his warning that there can be a return to violence in Northern Ireland as a consequence of the European Union and the United Kingdom failing to reach a Brexit deal which ensures there is no hard border.Mr Varadkar was speaking on the second day of the Asia-Europe summit in Brussels.Started today’s @AsiaEuropeMtg in Brussels with a bilateral with the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. She has fond memories of studying in Dublin particularly @RCSI_Irl pic.twitter.com/8CdOKTYZrJ— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) October 19, 2018 After meeting the deputy prime minister of Malaysia, the Fine Gael leader met Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg.Mr Varadkar has been criticised for his comments on Thursday that violence could erupt in Northern Ireland if there is a hard border after Brexit.He denied suggestions, however, that it could be centre-stage of Brexit negotiations.“The negotiations are very much about a solution and we have got to the point where they have become very technical but certainly it’s something that is in the back of my mind as a potential consequence if we get this wrong,” he said.Second bilateral meeting today at the @AsiaEuropeMtg was with Norwegian prime minister @erna_solberg. Next up I’ll be speaking at the Summit itself and meeting more leaders en marge pic.twitter.com/sSGzk6l3GE— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) October 19, 2018 As thousands of people are expected to march in London on Saturday to call for a second referendum on a final Brexit deal, Mr Varadkar refused to back their demands saying he would not intervene in British politics.“That’s very much a decision for the British people and the British Government,” he said.“In Ireland, on occasions, we have had a second referendum. We have been able to negotiate changes and on foot of them we had a second referendum in the past but I do recall Irish people and me personally taking offence at foreign leaders coming over to intervene on our referendums so I would never repeat that mistake.” [quote]We shouldn’t forget this isn’t just a case of getting a deal that Westminster can accept; it also has to be accepted by the European Parliament as well[/quote] He also described the internal politics of the British Government as “difficult”, adding that Prime Minister Theresa May is running a minority government with internal divisions.Asked if Mrs May was going to have to drop the support of the Democratic Unionists in order to push through a Brexit deal, Mr Varadkar said it was “her judgment call”.“Even the opposition in the UK is divided on these (Brexit) issues so that’s a judgment call she is going to have to make.“As I pointed out yesterday, we shouldn’t forget this isn’t just a case of getting a deal that Westminster can accept; it also has to be accepted by the European Parliament as well.“And the European Parliament has been very strong in supporting Ireland and our need to have a backstop to avoid a hard border and, particularly when it comes to citizens’ rights, the European Parliament has been a very strong ally too.”- Press Association

‘Gay cake’ bakery closes Belfast branch

Friday October 19th, 2018 11:17:00 AM
Ashers was cleared of discrimination by the UK’s highest court after its owners refused to make a cake promoting gay marriage. The bakery at the centre of the so-called “gay cake” case is to close a branch in Belfast.Ashers was cleared of discrimination by the UK’s highest court after its owners refused to make a cake promoting same-sex marriage.Its store on Royal Avenue in the city centre is set to close because it is not busy enough.It follows a major fire at a nearby Primark clothing store which has devastated traders in the area.General manager Daniel McArthur said: “It simply comes down to the figures.“We decided not to renew the lease.“Belfast city centre isn’t busy enough – our other shops are much busier.“It’s been planned for some time and I am pleased to say there will be no job losses.”A legal action was originally brought by gay rights activist Gareth Lee, who claimed he had been discriminated against when the firm refused to make him a cake iced with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”.Mr Lee initially won his case in the county court and then at the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, but the McArthurs then challenged those rulings at a Supreme Court hearing in Belfast in May.The massive fire at the Primark store in Belfast city centre destroyed the listed building.A safety cordon around it has been established while engineers carry out inspections.That has had a major impact on trade, with the main thoroughfare of the city centre blocked to pedestrian and motorised traffic.Extra funding and support has been put in place for businesses affected.- Press Association

Protests planned for Cork volunteer being detained in Greece

Friday October 19th, 2018 10:32:24 AM
Five protests will be held in Ireland and across the world tomorrow to show solidarity with volunteer worker, Sean Binder, who is being held in a jail in Greece amid allegations of helping illegal migrants enter the country. Olivia KelleherFive protests will be held in Ireland and across the world tomorrow to show solidarity with volunteer worker, Sean Binder, who is being held in a jail in Greece amid allegations of helping illegal migrants enter the country. The 24-year-old Trinity College Dublin graduate was in Lesbos to help assist refugees on a humanitarian basis as part of work with Emergency Response Centre International. He met with police in a voluntary capacity in August after being informed that was a person of interest in relation to the charity's alleged activities. He is currently in a jail in Chios awaiting trial. Fanny Binder, mother of Sean Binder, pictured in Cork city. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/ProvisionHis mother Fanny Binder says they are working on preparing a case for Sean and his co-accused who are two of his colleagues from the charity. Fanny, who is from Germany but lives in Cork, says that conditions are good in the prison and that Sean is being treated as well as possible under the circumstances. She says her son is trying to keep mentally strong in spite of his difficult circumstances. [quote]He is very focused and strong. He continues to try and help people crossing his path. He has days where he is not so good. He is innocent. It is hard to understand. I am glad that I am there (in Greece) and I can build his spirits up.[/quote]Ms Binder says Irish MEP's have endeavoured to help her but they are hampered by the fact that whilst Sean has lived here since he was a young child he is not an Irish national. [readmore]876862[/readmore]She is very proud of her son whom she says worked hard at the London School of Economics after he finished his undergraduate degree. She says he is transparent and honest and that the arrest is not consistent with the values he has espoused his whole life. Ms Binder told Cork's 96FM that supporters will gather outside the Greek embassy in Dublin at 1pm tomorrow. She is grateful for a number of other protests which are being held around the world by friends of Sean who want to support him. She hopes Sean will be released from prison pending his trial and says he is willing to abide by all the conditions of bail. "Protests will be held at the same time in Berlin, London, Stockholm and Boston. It is just a solidarity demonstration to make more people aware of the situation. [quote]It is still our prime goal to get them out until trial so that they are free. It is possible under Greek law. With a geographic restriction, it would be no problem. That is normal practice. What is happening now is very unusual.[/quote]Ms Binder says that the more pressure that is put on the Greek public and the Greek authorities the better. Sean, who is from Togher in Cork, is one of three people who have been arrested in relation to the police investigation in Greece. He has been living on Lesbos and volunteering for the Emergency Response Centre International NGO since last year. Mr Binder was arrested on suspicion of money laundering, espionage and being a member of a criminal organisation. He denies the allegations. A petition set up at freehumanitarians.com regarding his detention has received over six thousand signatures.

Homeless organisation reports 375% rise in people seeking help since 2010

Friday October 19th, 2018 10:04:37 AM
Nearly 5,000 people were supported last year by homeless organisation Novas, which is headquartered in Limerick. David RaleighNearly 5,000 people were supported last year by homeless organisation Novas, which is headquartered in Limerick.In its annual report, published this morning, Novas CEO Michael Goulding said: “In 2017 we supported 4,572 people who were homeless, at risk of homelessness or recovering from addiction. This was the highest number of people ever supported by our organisation.” Since it was set up eight years ago Novas, which has services across the mid-west region and in Dublin, has seen an increase of nearly 400% in people seeking its help.“Despite the evident economic recovery, the scourge of homelessness continues unabated,” said Mr Goulding.Since 2010 Novas has seen a rise of 375% of people seeking its help.Mr Goulding said “an over-reliance on the private rented market has resulted in unfettered and unsustainable rent increases that have forced many households into homelessness”.Another reason for the rise in people seeking help included “more people than ever seeking support for addiction and recovery”.Novas’s Chairperson, Greg Maxwell, said an “extremely hostile” housing market was another reason for the homelessness crisis.“Rent control efforts by government failed and evictions continued to increase. Rent levels reached those at the time of the ‘super crash’ 10 years ago,” Mr Maxwell said.[quote]Families became homeless, and house prices surged making it impossible for most families to afford buying a house.[/quote]To cope with demand, Novas has “expanded services significantly” Maxwell said.There was an “almost 50% increase in the number of clients using our Limerick city out-of-hours service to 1900”.He said there was “great concern” over families being caught in the net of homelessness.A total of 146 families had sought emergency accommodation in Limerick.To cope with demand a second night shelter was opened in Limerick, as well as a new family ‘hub’ service in Dublin.[readmore]876811[/readmore]An outreach support service in Tipperary and Housing First service in Kerry, “fast-tracking people into long-term accommodation” were also opened in 2017.However, it has emerged that Limerick City and County Council is to close down the Temporary Emergency Provision (TEP) hostel ON Edward Street after complaints from local residents about anti-social behaviour.During 2017, there were almost 7,000 presentations to TEP.A date for the closure has not been given and the Council said it would arrange for alternative accommodation for the hostel users prior to the closure.Novas' Annual Report Launch today highlights the significant demand for services and an increase of those supported by the organisation of 375% since 2010. @Limerick_Leader @LimerickToday @rtenews @thejournal_ie pic.twitter.com/q2y0IEkOfa— Novas (@novasireland) October 19, 2018 The number of families requiring support in its Intensive Family Support Service remained high throughout the year, however, due to “significant restructuring in 2016”, waiting lists for IFS support were eliminated in 2017.In this twelve-month period, 176 families were referred, with all but one successfully accessing support.Last Christmas the Novas IFS Annual Toy Appeal supported 895 children, the largest campaign to date.During the year Novas acquired 23 long-term family homes in Limerick and Dublin to support families experiencing homelessness and living in emergency B&B accommodation.A rise of 5% of people aged between 18-21 have sought support, and almost 40% of all clients accessing accommodation services were under 30 years of age, while 65% were less than 40 years old.However, “some services continue to suffer legacy cuts in funding despite the huge increase in demand”, said Mr Maxwell.The future outlook was not good, he added: “Regrettably it looks like more of the same. Indeed even that may be optimistic.”

Simon Coveney accuses some British politicians of trying to unpick Brexit agreement

Friday October 19th, 2018 09:51:38 AM
Tánaiste Simon Coveney has accused some British politicians of trying to unpick aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Tánaiste Simon Coveney has accused some British politicians of trying to unpick aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says that 90% of a deal with the UK is done.However, Mr Barnier has warned the lack of progress on the Irish border issue could cause any deal to fail.[readmore]876851[/readmore]The issue of the backstop arrangement for Northern Ireland is still the main issue that can't be agreed.Simon Coveney says the backstop has already been signed off on by the UK and that there can be no backtracking."Both sides have agreed as they go section by section, agreement by agreement, then those issues are settled and they move on," he said.[quote]Unfortunately what's happened is that some of the things that have been agreed already are trying to be unpicked by some.[/quote]"In my view, not the British Prime Minister herself, but by others."We have to defend against that, because if we start that, we"ll never this done," he said.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that it would be difficult for the EU to accept a deal in which the backstop would extend to all of the UK."We couldn't have a situation whereby the United Kingdom had access to the single market, which is our market, and at the same time was unable to undercut us in terms of standards, whether it was environmental standards, health, labour laws, State Aid, competition, and I don't think any country, or any union, would be able to accept that," he said.Digital Desk

Peter Casey suspends campaign 'to think carefully' about continuing Presidential bid

Friday October 19th, 2018 09:54:00 AM
Peter Casey is to take the weekend off to decide whether he will continue to run for the presidency of Ireland. By Elaine Loughlin and Digital DeskPeter Casey is to take the weekend off to decide whether he will continue to run for the presidency of Ireland.The former Dragon's Den star sparked controversy this week over remarks he made about the Travelling Community.Peter Casey at the launch of his presidential campaign at CHQ building, Dublin earlier this month. Photo: Gareth Chaney CollinsMr Casey who said he does not recognise Travellers as a distinct ethnic minority and they are "basically people camping in other people's land" has refused to back down from his comments.However, in a statement released this morning, he said: "In light of the events of the past few days, I am taking the weekend off from the campaign to think carefully about whether to continue in the race.[quote]I do not want the people of Ireland to elect me as President of Ireland just based on one statement I made. I want to be of service, and make a real difference. I have the expertise and ability to be an influencer. I want to connect people, at home and abroad.[/quote] "I know that my world experience and global views will make me a uniquely suitable candidate for President of Ireland – with drive, ability and energy," said Mr Casey.Reacting to the statement, president Michael D Higgins said: "I think reflection is very good"."I can't speak for him but I do think that it's good to think on it," he told RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke show.Mr Higgins said he thought Mr Casey's comments on the Travelling Community were "appalling".[readmore]876858[/readmore]There had been calls from Traveller representative groups this week for Mr Casey to pull out of the Presidential race after he claimed that Travellers should not have special ethnic minority status.His comments emerged after he referenced a €1.7m development which was built for members of the Travelling Community in Tipperary. However, they have refused to move into the houses.During a visit to the site in Thurles yesterday, he once again criticised Travellers representative groups."Pavee Point leadership needs to come here and needs to explain to the Travelling community that they're really not doing a justice to the Travelling community," he said.Protests were expected to greet him, however around a dozen protestors arrived shortly after Mr Casey had already left.

Visit to unoccupied houses branded ‘just a stunt’ by Traveller representatives

Friday October 19th, 2018 09:16:00 AM
Traveller representatives have dismissed as “a stunt” the visit by would-be president Peter Casey to a group of new houses which were built for an extended family of Travellers who have lived on a nearby unauthorised site for more than 40 years. By Conor KaneTraveller representatives have dismissed as “a stunt” the visit by would-be president Peter Casey to a group of new houses which were built for an extended family of Travellers who have lived on a nearby unauthorised site for more than 40 years.Independent candidate and former Dragons’ Den panellist Mr Casey travelled by train from Cork to Thurles yesterday afternoon and arrived at the location of the six new houses, at Cabragh Bridge outside Thurles, just before 4pm.However, he did not speak to any of the Traveller family members living opposite the development, saying he “would be invading their privacy” if he approached them. He was later criticised for leaving the area without meeting them.Tipperary County Council has built the six detached houses at Cabragh West at a cost of more than €1.7m following an agreement reached several years ago with representatives of the extended McCarthy family who have lived on Cabragh Bridge for decades.The Travellers now say there was an agreement with the council that they would move from the unauthorised encampment to the new houses if land was provided for their horses. One of the family members, Philip McCarthy, said two weeks ago that “they [the houses] were to be built with a half-acre behind each house, with two stables”.About 20 protesters, including supporters from the Tipperary Rural Traveller Project and the Irish Traveller Movement, were in the area during and after Mr Casey’s visit, with the scene policed by up to 20 gardaí and covered by up to 30 members of the media.[readmore]876774[/readmore]One of the local residents, Barry McCarthy, said they were “very happy” with the houses, “but they promised to build land with it. We have a bit of land and our stables here where we are at the minute. We have horses, dogs, and a couple of chickens as well.”He said “we can’t move across” without accommodation for the horses.Mr McCarthy criticised Mr Casey for his comments this week, saying “there’s no reason for him to talk down about the Travellers, what would he know about the Travellers anyway”.He said it was “very frightening for the kids” to hear what he said about them and asked “what was the reason for him coming this far and then moving off just as fast”.TJ Hogan, accommodation officer with the Irish Traveller Movement, said the visit by Mr Casey was “just a media stunt. We all see how Donald Trump in America got his presidency and I think he’s taking a page out of that”. He said Mr Casey “didn’t come here to speak to Travellers”.Before he left, Mr Casey said the fact that the new houses are not occupied “is just wrong” and said he visited the area to draw attention to the issue. “People need to stand up and say when something is wrong, they need to turn around and say, ‘this is wrong.’”

Peter Casey is 'only saying what everyone else is thinking’, says Cork supporter

Friday October 19th, 2018 09:00:00 AM
Whether you think he’s bad or just plain mad, there’s no denying that Peter Casey fresh from his “Travellers are trespassers” controversy rouses passions. Whether you think he’s bad or just plain mad, there’s no denying that Peter Casey fresh from his “Travellers are trespassers” controversy rouses passions.Love was mainly on display in the English Market yesterday, with one woman, going only by the name of Marie, declaring: “I love him, I love him”.Peter Casey meets Sean and Laurel Beaudette from Canada during his visit to the English Market in Cork. Pic: Denis MinihaneShe fell in love belatedly, on Wednesday, not because Peter’s the head off the mayor in Jaws, but because he had the cojones to say “what we are all thinking”.“He’s only reflecting what 80% of the population thinks,” she said — a claim which is open to challenge, in the absence of any scientific data.For her, his remarks — that Travellers are “basically people that are camping on someone else’s land” and that they are “not paying their fair share of taxes in society” — were the turning point.[quote]“They’ve no right to tell him what his opinion should be. It’s a democratic society. There is too much tolerance,” she said, tongue-not-firmly-in-cheek.[/quote]Martha Hogan, from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was only thrilled to shake hands on camera.“I feel he’s the only one being truthful. He’s only saying what everyone else is thinking. You can’t have an opinion anymore,” she said.Besides, people on housing waiting lists would give their right arm for any one of the six four-bedroom houses Travellers have refused to move into in Thurles, Co Tipperary, until their horses are catered for.Dinny Ryan, former Tipperary hurler, also from Nenagh, agrees with Peter “100%”.[readmore]876838[/readmore]“He’ll get a lot more votes now. People in Tipperary will back him. He’s my man now,” Dinny said.Don McGinley, a visitor from Co Donegal, said Peter is a “straight-up, honest kind of guy,” although not necessarily one he would vote for. “I don’t agree with his views,” Don said.Four young ladies who posed for the cameras were largely unaware of who Mr Casey is. Michael D is likely to be their choice, they said. Or Liadh Ní Riada.Peter’s wife Helen, who stopped off for a sausage at O’Flynn’s gourmet sausage stall, said when she married him, she “signed on for not being bored” and laughed that “he over-delivers”.“He’s a big kid, I describe him as ‘my sixth child’,” she said.Does she agree with his big kid views? “We have heated debates, we chat about things. Peter has got himself to this point in his campaign because he is who he is. He’s just saying what other people are thinking.”One stall owner was having none of it. Vourneen Fayer said her experience of Dragon’s Den candidates, in general, is negative. Casey, she said, is “trying to do a Trump on it”.Bottom line? “Michael D for president. And no more photo ops in the English Market.”

Almost 80% of mental health centres used physical restraint on patients in 2016

Friday October 19th, 2018 08:24:00 AM
Almost 80% of approved mental health centres were using physical restraint in 2016, according to a new report from the Mental Health Commission. Almost 80% of approved mental health centres were using physical restraint in 2016, according to a new report from the Mental Health Commission.According to the Commission, there was an increase in physical restraint and seclusion practices from 2015 to 2016, with 5,000 episodes of restrictive practices reported to them in 2016 alone. 79% of approved centres used physical restraint on patients that year, up from 75 in 2015. More men then women were physically restrained, and 90% of all episodes are said to have lasted less than 15 minutes. [readmore]876803[/readmore]The HSE Community Healthcare Organisations with the highest rate of episodes of physical restraint per population was CHO 3: Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary/East Limerick.Meanwhile, seclusion was used in 39% of approved centres in 2015, but that increased the following year to 42%.There were 213 episodes where a person was locked in seclusion for over 24 hours, and 43 cases where a person was secluded for over 72 hours.The Community Healthcare Organisation with the highest rate of episodes of seclusion per population was CHO 5: South Tipperary, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford.Digital Desk

Judge: Breath test teens before discos

Friday October 19th, 2018 07:20:00 AM
Teens should be randomly breath tested prior to discos and parents should be made sign up to a parental responsibility charter when buying event tickets, says a judge. Teens should be randomly breath tested prior to discos and parents should be made sign up to a parental responsibility charter when buying event tickets, says a judge.Judge James McNulty made the recommendations on foot of applications by three organisations seeking new licences.There were concerns about underage drinking, sparked by incidents earlier this year including at Bandon Rugby Club last March, when some teenagers were treated for extreme alcohol intoxication and medics set up what was described as a “field hospital” to treat those affected.During the summer, concerns were again expressed by West Cork Rapid Response personnel about an event at the Boiler Room in Clonakilty.Representatives of both Bandon Rugby Club and the Clonakilty Agricultural Show Ltd — organisers of the Boiler Room event — were present in Bandon District Court yesterday, as were representatives from Clonakilty GAA Club, who host an event for younger teenagers.Judge McNulty said the court has a statutory imperative to look at these issues, including under the Public Dancehalls Act 1935, which he said was more concerned with “the perils of close dancing” and that events have since moved on.He said the court can not ignore reports in the media that involved teenagers “in a distressed state” from the consumption of excess alcohol.“These children were clearly unsupervised and out of control in the vicinity of what you might call dance clubs or discos,” Judge McNulty said.His proposals, which will now be considered by the applicants ahead of any granting of licences, includes that they acquire breathalysers and carry out random testing before entry, alongside the use of CCTV systems.“As things change, systems should change,” Judge McNulty said.[readmore]876828[/readmore]He also said that “people hosting these events should know their customers and know who is coming”.The judge said he is not haranguing or criticising anyone, but that organisers can engage parents more fully by ensuring that tickets could only be bought by parents and collected by them in person. At that stage, parents would be asked to sign “parental responsibility commitments”, copies of which were circulated to the applicants and the media.It includes a commitment from parents to be contactable by mobile phone, that they should be personally involved in the travelling arrangements of their child and that they will be required to accompany their child to a garda station for interview and to any court hearing that may follow in the event that their child is found using or in possession of any drug.The first provision reads: “I know this event must by law be alcohol-free and drug-free, and I agree that those who organise and supervise this event may take all reasonable steps including CCTV use and random breathalyser testing to ensure that it is drug and alcohol-free.”Judge McNulty also said events should be either for a younger age group or an older age group, rather than a mix, and that capacity should be reduced.Solicitors for all three applicants outlined the strenuous efforts made to ensure their events went off without incident.The court was told a nurse was already on site to sniff the breaths of randomly-selected children at Clonakilty GAA Club, which hosts an event for first- and second-year students. Over the past year, just 11 children were referred to the event’s nurse’s room, just two of whom had any cause for concern over alcohol.Veronica Neville for Bandon Rugby Club said of situation at the March event: “These children never came inside the door. There were children who went in and went out and never knew anything of the ugliness of that night.”Regarding the Boiler Room, solicitor Colette McCarthy said two people were treated on a night in July but neither were in the venue, adding that it was later determined that no drugs were involved.All parties will return to court next month having considered the proposals.

Less than 2,000 motorists tested for drug-driving since law introduced

Friday October 19th, 2018 07:00:29 AM
Less than 2,000 motorists were tested for drug-driving since the legislation was introduced in April 2017, new figures show. Less than 2,000 motorists were tested for drug-driving since the legislation was introduced in April 2017, new figures show.This compares to almost half a million breath tests for alcohol over the same period. There were initially plans to carry out 50,000 drug-driving tests a year.Garda Sargent Shane Henry, Traffic Corps Division Dublin Castle, ann actor Gavin Greene, pictured simulating a roadside Preliminary Drug Test. Photo: Robbie ReynoldsThe figures, which were obtained by Independents 4 Change TD Tommy Broughan, show the number of alcohol and drug tests carried out on drivers at 101,965 garda checkpoints across the country.1,939 drug-driving tests were carried out, compared with 472,165 breath tests for alcohol.All three garda divisions in Cork have the most checkpoints: Cork North (9,681), Cork West (8,647), and Cork City (8,855).The fewest checkpoints are in THE Dublin Metropolitan RegionS (DMR) South Central (704), North (712), and North Central (714).[readmore]876828[/readmore]Gardaí in Louth carried out the least number of drug-driving tests, performing just 3. Four roadside drug-driving tests were carried out in Cork City over the past 18 months, compared with almost 24,000 breath tests for alcohol over the same period.Other divisions where there were low testing figures were Wicklow (9), Donegal (11), Mayo (12), and Westmeath (14).In Kildare, 268 drug-driving tests were carried out, the highest number recorded across the 28 garda divisions.This was followed by Clare with 177 tests, DMR West (154), DMR East (152), and Cork West (124).Kildare also had the highest number of breath tests, twice as many as any other division, with more than 44,000.This was followed by Laois/Offaly (more than 29,000), Galway (more than 28,000) and Clare (25,000).Sligo/Leitrim carried out the least amount of alcohol tests on motorists (8,000), followed by DMR North Central (almost 8,700), Kilkenny/Carlow (9,500) and Westmeath (9,700).A drug testing device. Photo: Larry CumminsMeanwhile, drivers are being reminded today to reduce their speed or else face prosecution.'National Slow Down Day' is underway until 7am tomorrow morning, with gardai out in force in a bid to clamp down on those speeding.157 people died on our country's roads last year, with one in three involving speed.Digital Desk

Independent auditor of National Broadband Plan to examine new documents

Friday October 19th, 2018 06:18:09 AM
The independent auditor reviewing the National Broadband Plan is to examine new documents that have emerged from the Department of Communications. The independent auditor reviewing the National Broadband Plan is to examine new documents that have emerged from the Department of Communications. The papers reveal that former Communications Minister Denis Naughten and his officials had two previously undisclosed meetings with the businessman leading a bid for the multi-billion euro project.Former Minister for Communications Denis NaughtenDeputy Naughten resigned last week over his contacts with David McCourt from the Enet consortium, which is now the only remaining bidder left in the NBP process. Details of the meetings emerged from a trawl of diary meetings involving the former minister, senior officials and the members of the Enet group over the last two years.The minutes for all meetings have also been published. In a statement, the department says it engages with Enet on other issues not related to the tendering process. All details will now be forwarded to Peter Smyth, the independent auditor to consider as part of his review into the handling of the bidding process.Mr Smyth will submit a report to the Taoiseach within three weeks. Digital Desk

Almost 10,000 people over 75 on trolleys in A&Es for more than 24 hours

Friday October 19th, 2018 06:02:00 AM
Almost 10,000 people over the age of 75 have been waiting on trolleys in Emergency Departments for more than 24 hours in the first eight months of this year, new figures show. Almost 10,000 people over the age of 75 have been waiting on trolleys in Emergency Departments for more than 24 hours in the first eight months of this year, new figures show.The Department of Health figures, released to Fianna Fáil, show an increase of around 600 compared to November last year. University Hospital Limerick had the highest number of people over 75 lying on trolleys with 167, followed by Galway University Hospital (154) and University Hospital Waterford (85).According to Fianna Fáil's health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly, the numbers could rise to 14,000 over the winter months."Data for the first eight months of this year demonstrate a serious deterioration in how the HSE treats older patients when they present to Emergency Departments.," he said.[readmore]876751[/readmore]“2018 is already far worse than last year, and I really do fear for the coming winter. I fully expect the total number for this year to exceed 14,000 – a shocking statistic in itself but even worse when we consider that these are our parents, our aunts and uncles left lying, often in a very vulnerable state, on uncomfortable and unsuitable trolleys. “Best practice, based on a 2012 HIQA report, is that total patient time spent in an emergency department should be six hours or less. The facts speak for themselves – the Government is failing so badly that their recent Service Plans set a target of less than 24 hours for older patients being spent in an emergency department. “I am deeply worried and concerned for the public hospital system as we move towards winter proper. [quote]The Winter Crisis is now a 10 month of the year emergency. Minister Harris has been, and I don’t say this lightly, absolutely woeful and negligent in his preparations for, and attempts at dealing with this long term crisis.[/quote]“In September, I put forward common sense proposals to increase bed capacity over the winter and ease the overcrowding in our Emergency Departments. Our proposals including giving EDs priority access to diagnostic services, extending radiology and other diagnostic departments opening hours and enacting emergency escalation procedures far earlier than at present. “Older people are feeling the brunt of Minister Harris’ and the Government’s failure to prepare for the never ending trolley crisis. It’s time the Government started to deliver,” he said.Nursing Homes Ireland said that continuous engagement between acute hospitals and nursing homes is "imperative" as we approach winter.Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO said: “Our health service providers must engage in meaningful, consistent engagement with nursing homes across the country in order to achieve optimum outcomes for older people who are availing of care in acute hospitals. "Private and voluntary nursing homes are essential to meet specialist healthcare needs, with almost 9,000 people transferring from our acute hospitals to such nursing homes for transitional care last year. [quote]We are engaging with HSE management across the country to impress upon them the vital importance of timely discharges from acute hospitals into nursing home care, where appropriate. Day-to-day engagement between staff responsible for discharges and nursing homes is imperative.[/quote]'Timely action by such staff will ‘free-up’ beds within our hospitals and ensure older people are provided with care in the community that is most appropriate to their needs. We must ensure for older people who have completed their treatment within the acute hospital that their dignity and respect is upheld through timely discharge into the community to their own home or to a nursing home, where appropriate," he said.Digital Desk

IFA: Farm families ‘preyed upon’ by vulture funds

Friday October 19th, 2018 05:18:00 AM
Farming families are being “preyed upon” by so-called vulture funds who are “killing off farm businesses”, while small businesses are being intimidated into silence, according to bodies representing the sectors. By Pádraig HoareFarming families are being “preyed upon” by so-called vulture funds who are “killing off farm businesses”, while small businesses are being intimidated into silence, according to bodies representing the sectors.Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Joe Healy said farmers’ trust in banks was lost as more and more of them “abdicated responsibility” by selling their loans to vulture funds.Irish Farmers’ Association president Joe HealySpeaking alongside Mr Healy at the Oireachtas finance committee, the chief executive of Isme, Neil McDonnell, said a company currently going through a debt restructuring was intimidated into not appearing before TDs and senators.[quote]I was to have been accompanied here today by a member company which is going through a debt restructuring, but it was made very clear to them that the offer being negotiated currently would not be honoured if the company appeared before you,” said Mr McDonnell.[/quote]Both organisations accused Irish lenders of taking the easy way out by selling loans to vulture funds, which they said had no incentive to assist the customer.The financial adviser credited with helping expose the tracker mortgage crisis, Padraic Kissane, told the committee that vulture funds were motivated purely for profit.It is an “enormous industry” benefiting from banks selling on loans at dramatically reduced prices, because the banks have little interest in engaging in solutions for customers, preferring to hide behind European Central Bank rules of reducing non-performing loans.Mr Kissane said: “What is paid by these funds for the loans is the great mystery that no one seems to know. However, if you review the websites of the main players in the Irish market, the answers are clear. They are queuing up to come here.”Vulture funds linked to Goldman Sachs made €456m in distressed Irish loans last year alone, Mr Kissane said.[quote]The facts are there,” he said. “They are not here for any benefit of the customer.[/quote]IFA farm business chairman Martin Stapleton said vulture funds had to be made accountable.There must be enforcement by the Financial Regulator, including information on loan owners, the number of loans they own, and the profile of borrowers — while there had to be options to engage with the vulture fund and not through intermediaries, Mr Stapleton said.[readmore]876706[/readmore]“Borrowers must have the option to engage directly with the loan owners, and not only through third-party agencies,” he said. “The current system of employing asset managers as intermediaries is a failure, as funds are instructing the asset managers to recover par debt plus costs as a sole option. There must be accountability to the Minister for Finance and to the Houses of the Oireachtas.”

Burglar turned himself in after ‘Crimecall’

Friday October 19th, 2018 07:22:00 AM
Liam Heylin An image on RTÉ’s Crimecall prompted a Cork man to give himself up and confess to a burglary. An image on RTÉ’s Crimecall prompted a Cork man to give himself up and confess to a burglary.Normally, the programme relies on public recognition of the culprit and contacting gardaí to offer an identification. However, Darren Coffey, aged 26, effectively put his hands up and admitted to being the man in the frame.Solicitor Eddie Burke disclosed he got a call from Coffey, who was in prison at the time, instructing him to notify gardaí about the Crimecall photo.Garda Mark Durcan told Cork District Court yesterday Coffey was helpful.Judge Olann Kelleher clarified if he had heard the evidence correctly.“So he saw himself on Crimecall and handed himself in,” he asked. Mr Burke said that was correct.Garda Durcan said that, on July 8, an injured party was working at the rear of his property at Elmgrove Park, Old Youghal Rd, Cork, and the front door was left open. Shortly after 5.30pm, the man noticed his wallet, containing bank cards and €40 cash, was missing from a hall table.[readmore]876706[/readmore]The owner had CCTV in his home and it was featured on Crimecall. Coffey was interviewed at Cork Prison and made a full admission. The wallet was recovered nearby but the cash was missing.Judge Kelleher imposed a six-month sentence on Coffey for trespassing to commit a theft.Mr Burke described Coffey’s difficult past and addiction difficulties but said he had undertaken a rehabilitation programme and education in prison. The solicitor said that, to be fair to the defendant, he may not have been prosecuted if he had not given himself up.

Higher Education Authority’s review powers in spotlight

Friday October 19th, 2018 04:08:00 AM
A legal review of the Higher Education Authority’s (HEA) powers to undertake investigations and reviews in third-level colleges has held up a report on spinout companies at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) that was due out a year ago. Niall Murray, Education CorrespondentA legal review of the Higher Education Authority’s (HEA) powers to undertake investigations and reviews in third-level colleges has held up a report on spinout companies at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) that was due out a year ago.Waterford Institute of TechnologyThe issues behind the delay emerged as outgoing HEA chief executive Graham Love explained to TDs how uncertainty over the organisation’s regulatory powers was a key factor in his decision in August to resign.He told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that over 70% of his time, since taking up the job 18 months ago, has been on the regulatory and oversight aspect of the HEA’s work rather than the sectoral development of the third-level sector which attracted him to the role.Mr Love was responding to questions by Waterford Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane about the status of a report commissioned by the HEA into spin-out and sale of companies from the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group at WIT. It began in June 2017 and was due to be completed at the end of last October.[readmore]876706[/readmore]However, the PAC heard that the authority has received a draft report, but after circulating it for feedback had to modify it due to concerns about potential litigation and damages if it were published. Subsequent legal advice raised questions about the HEA’s powers to conduct the investigation in the first place and this was referred to the Department of Education.William Beausang, the department’s assistant secretary general responsible for higher education policy, said the Attorney General’s office has been asked to consider more broadly the question of the HEA’s powers to conduct reviews or investigations.The question of compliance and regulatory issues emerged as one of four factors in Mr Love’s letter of resignation, sent by email to HEA chairman Michael Horgan on August 18.In the letter, released to the committee, Mr Love said he had reached a decision to resign “after much consideration”.[quote]I have formed a view that the role has not matched my expectations and the actual nature of the job militates against any realistic opportunity to deliver much-needed strategic development in the sector,” he wrote.[/quote]“A number of serious concerns have led me to this conclusion, including the lack of role clarity between the HEA and the Dept [sic] of Education and Skills, the level of risk posed to the higher education system by the failure to resolve the overall funding issue, the nature of the Board/Executive relationship in the HEA and the dominance of the compliance/regulatory agenda,” his resignation letter stated.Department of Education secretary general Seán Ó Foghlú said he did not fully agree about the level of challenges as raised by Mr Love. Work is underway in the department to design new powers for the HEA, he said, under laws whose draft outline Mr Beausang said should be ready to go to Government in the first quarter of 2019.Mr Cullinane raised concerns that if the Attorney General review determines the HEA did not have legal authority to have the review at WIT carried out, staff who came forward with information would be let down by the entire process.Mr Love earlier told him that the 50-plus people who responded to independent investigator Michael McLoone’s invitation for submissions or contact was much more than had been expected. However, he and Mr Horgan assured Mr Cullinane and the PAC that a report on the matters being probed will be published.

Concern over Little Island traffic plan

Friday October 19th, 2018 03:58:00 AM
Fears have been expressed that plans to ease gridlock in one of the country’s industrial hubs will not work properly unless a €15m junction is built to serve it. By Sean O’RiordanFears have been expressed that plans to ease gridlock in one of the country’s industrial hubs will not work properly unless a €15m junction is built to serve it.Plans for improving traffic flow in Little Island, Co Cork, have been unveiled by Cork County Council.Andrew Archer, Systra Consultants, with Cormac Ó Súilleabháin and Peter O’Donoghue, Cork County Council, at the Little Island Transportation Study consultation.However, the council has discounted opening a third road into Little Island on the eastern approaches because it does not believe funding for the junction would be met by agencies such as Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).The council’s engineers and consultants say their current plan will help ease traffic flow up to 2040 and acknowledged that after that they may need to build the junction.[readmore]876706[/readmore]Engineers said even if they started work on designing the junction today, it could take up to 10 years before it is opened. And there is uncertainty over whether it would even be granted planning permission as a large proportion of it would be built in special areas of conservation.However, business groups, local residents, and public representatives fear that the speed of industrial and commercial development in Little Island will quickly outstrip the anti-congestion plans unveiled yesterday.Thomas McHugh, director of public affairs at Cork Chamber, said his members are concerned that there’s no eastern access point in the plan and will be lobbying for it because of growth projections in the area.Fianna Fáil councillor Padraig O’Sullivan and Fine Gael councillor Anthony Barry urged the council to start planning for the new junction now.Mr Barry said that there are more than 10,000 workers coming into Little Island every day along with thousands of shoppers.[quote]There are three major office blocks in for planning at the moment and we have 250 acres there already zoned for industrial development. We can’t wait that length of time for a new entrance,” said Mr O’Sullivan.[/quote]Getting workers to leave their cars at home in favour of using better public transport links is one of the key components of this plan. It makes a number of recommendations, including re-routing current Bus Éireann services operating out of East Cork into Little Island and creating bus priority corridors.The council intends to invest in walking and cycling infrastructure. This will involve a walking/cycling bridge over the N25, dedicated cycle routes, junction upgrades, and cycle parking.Peter O’Donoghue, senior engineer in the council’s traffic and transportation section, said they propose the creation in the medium term of a new train station and park-and-ride facility at nearby Dunkettle, in line with Irish Rail’s Cork Suburban Rail Strategy.They also want to introduce a shuttle bus service to major employers in Little Island, to cut down the number of cars accessing the area. In the short term, it is hoped to reduce rush hour traffic by at least 10%.As part of the €100m Jack Lynch Tunnel/Dunkettle interchange upgrade a new entrance will be created into Little Island on its western side. The flyover into Little Island will also have its traffic lanes increased from three to four.Council engineers said the creation of another interchange on the N25 directly contradicts national policy.

New Education Minister defends spend on greyhound stadium

Friday October 19th, 2018 03:32:00 AM
Education Minister Joe McHugh has defended the decision to pay almost twice the market value for a former greyhound stadium. Education Minister Joe McHugh has defended the decision to pay almost twice the market value for a former greyhound stadium.The Department of Education bought the site at Harold’s Cross, Dublin, for €23m from the Irish Greyhound Board last year, with the intention of providing permanent accommodation to Shellybanks Educate Together school and South City Educate Together secondary school on the land.Taking questions in the Dáil for the first time as minister, Mr McHugh admitted the amount paid, which breaks down to €3.8m an acre, was “big money” but reflected prices in the area.Mr McHugh said the “first question” he asked after being briefed on the matter was whether there were any property value comparisons in the area, “because I wanted to get my head around it”.[quote]Subsequent to the valuation report, I understand that a 3.43-acre site on Harold’s Cross Rd, about 1km from the site, achieved a price in excess of €15m, or more than €4.367m an acre, in mid-2017. That is only one example which provides a context.[/quote]Fianna Fáil education spokesman Thomas Byrne questioned the rationale of paying such a price.“The vendor, the Irish Greyhound Board, had the site valued by the reputable estate agent, Savills, at only €12m if used for housing and only €6m if the land was rezoned for recreation,” said Mr Byrne.“I accept the valuation the minister received is from the Valuation Office and nobody can blame him for what happened in recent years, but does it concern him that it appears that the valuation of €23m was almost twice the valuation of the site received by the Irish Greyhound Board?[quote]It appears as if all its Christmases had come at once when this valuation was proposed. Has the minister asked for a review or an explanation from the Valuation Office?[/quote]Mr McHugh said the decision to buy the land was based on a review of area demographics, which “demonstrated a substantial projected growth in enrolment, known limited land availability, and the impending sale”.He said: “From a school provision perspective, this site is well located to serve south Dublin City.”He said in the interests of transparency, he had ordered this valuation provided to the Government would be published on the department website.

Navy reserve called to fill posts amid crisis

Friday October 19th, 2018 07:10:00 AM
The Naval Service has contacted members of its reserve in an attempt to lure them into full-time service to fill posts left vacant due to a major crisis in retention and recruitment. Sean O’Riordan, Defence CorrespondentThe Naval Service has contacted members of its reserve in an attempt to lure them into full-time service to fill posts left vacant due to a major crisis in retention and recruitment.File photo.Reserves have been used in recent months to ensure adequate manpower levels when ships go to sea, but this latest move is seen as another indication that the Government still is not addressing the root cause of the manpower crisis: Poor pay and conditions.The Defence Forces press office said it currently has 234 reservists who were “recently contacted to ascertain their interest in joining as a permanent member in the future”.PDForra, which represents enlisted personnel, expressed its surprise at the move.“This is just another window-dressing exercise,” said PDForra president Mark Keane. “The financial rewards will not match what these people already have in the private sector, so I’d be surprised if they get many expressions of interest.[quote]The Department of Defence needs to bite the bullet and address the real issues of why people are leaving in droves and why they can’t get enough new recruits in.[/quote]PDForra general secretary Gerard Guinan said he was also taken aback by the move, as those in the reserve who wanted to join the permanent staff were well aware of how they could do this through the Defence Forces general recruitment schemes.“They’re just clutching at straws,” he said. “They’d [the department] be better placed to focus on the retention of personnel by offering decent terms of employment.”Defence Forces members are the worst-paid public servants. Last August, the minister of state with responsibility for defence, Paul Kehoe, ordered senior commanders to try to tempt former officers back into service to counter the continuing brain drain in their ranks.In particular, he wanted to plug gaps which have appeared in specialist areas in the Army, Naval Service, and Air Corps by offering former officers three-year contracts to rejoin.It has yet to be seen if the move was successful, and some people doubt that former pilots would ever be tempted to sign up again as they’re paid far better in the private sector.For example, an Air Corps commandant with 15 years’ experience would expect to earn just over €85,000 a year. However, a pilot with similar experience working for a commercial airline such as Ryanair could expect an annual pay packet of between €150,000 and €200,000 a year.

Here are the Irish places that saw temperatures go below 0 degrees last night

Thursday October 18th, 2018 08:04:00 PM
If you thought today's wintery weather was in your head, here's proof that you were right. If you thought today's wintery weather was in your head, here's proof that you were right.Frosted windscreens and foggy roads have heralded in the start of the colder weather as autumn turns to winter.A number of areas across the midlands saw temperatures below freezing overnight.Mullingar recorded the lowest temperature across the country, dropping to -2.5°C.The following stations reported temperatures of 0°C or below at 7am this morning: Mt Dillon: -2°CMullingar: -2°CBallyhaise: -1°CGurteen: -1°CMarkree Castle: -1°CAthenry: 0°CCasement: 0°CClaremorris: 0°CDunsany: 0°CMoore Park: 0°COak Park: 0°CTomorrow looks set to be cloudy, with patchy rain and drizzle for those in the west and north of the country. [readmore]876758[/readmore]Elsewhere will enjoy a lot of dry weather, but with limited bright or sunny spells.Saturday will be dry in most areas, with a few bright spells, mainly in parts of the east and south. It will be mostly cloudy, however, with patches of mist, drizzle and fog, mainly along west and northwest coasts. There will be rain and drizzle on Saturday night, which will spread across the country on Sunday morning.

Bandon River works continue on river despite legal threats

Friday October 19th, 2018 03:14:00 AM
In-stream works are set to continue in the trout- and salmon-spawning Bandon River as part of the West Cork town’s €16m flood defence project, despite the threat of legal action. In-stream works are set to continue in the trout- and salmon-spawning Bandon River as part of the West Cork town’s €16m flood defence project, despite the threat of legal action.Large earth-moving excavators and trucks have been operating in Bandon’s river beyond an October 1 deadline. Picture: Peter PowellIt follows confirmation yesterday that the commissioners of the works, the Office of Public Works, has no obligation to comply with the Fisheries Act.The OPW said the in-stream works have been extended for a limited period this year due to “exceptional low flow conditions”.A spokesman said the works will “only proceed for a maximum of ten hours in each working day”.Large earth-moving excavators and trucks have been operating in Bandon’s river channel beyond an October 1 deadline, despite the scheme’s own planning documents stating such works should be restricted to between May and September to minimise the impact on salmon.The documents say such in-stream work is “generally not permitted” in salmon-spawning areas between October and March because it is a sensitive time.[readmore]876748[/readmore]Solicitors for the organisation Friends of the Irish Environment wrote to the OPW on Tuesday threatening legal action unless the work was halted.In a statement on its website and following queries from the Irish Examiner, Inland Fisheries Ireland that it was informed almost three weeks ago by the OPW that it intended to continue the in-stream works beyond the end-of-September deadline.The OPW issued the notification to Inland Fisheries Ireland on September 28, two days before the deadline.The extended works are planned to continue until mid-November.Environmentalists have flagged their concerns with the European Commission’s Environment, Maritime Affairs, Fisheries, and Transport Directorate.A spokesman for the directorate said while it is aware via social media of the works, it has not yet received a formal complaint. [quote]Until such a complaint is received we will not be in a position to begin to assess whether an alleged infringement of EU law has taken place,” he said.[/quote]The scheme includes flood defences, rock armouring and the dredging of some 150,000 cubic metres of material from a 3.6km stretch of the river bed. The OPW said a dedicated environmental specialist advised on the construction contract, and that sediment, turbidity, temperature, and pH levels are being monitored consistently, and fish rescue plans are in place in event of an unplanned incident.

Businesses will ‘bite back’ if UK drops out without a deal

Friday October 19th, 2018 03:10:00 AM
Irish and British businesses, banks and airlines will “bite back” and make Brexit decisions for themselves that could have dire consequences for both economies if a deal is not struck by Christmas, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned. Irish and British businesses, banks and airlines will “bite back” and make Brexit decisions for themselves that could have dire consequences for both economies if a deal is not struck by Christmas, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned.Mr Varadkar made the claim as he admitted that a realistic Brexit deal deadline date is “anyone’s guess” and could be as late as January. He refused to rule out an extension to the March 29, 2019 cutoff point for the UK to formally leave the EU.After a European Council summit undermined by fresh Brexit delays and fears that a no-deal scenario is now inevitable, Mr Varadkar said decisions must be made soon.And, noting businesses work on a quarterly basis and cannot wait for politicians to make a last-minute March breakthrough, he said if no progress is made within weeks firms may take action themselves regardless of the wider economic consequences.[quote]Politicians may be able to make late, late-night decisions in rooms in the new year or in December, but businesses are going to make plans long before that because the business sector operates on a quarter by quarter basis.[/quote]“Business ... banks, employers, airlines ... will start making decisions and they will start making decisions that bite back particularly in the UK but also in Ireland and other places. I think it’s in the interests of all of our citizens that the politicians and officials get on with this and get it done as soon as possible,” he said.Mr Varadkar was speaking as he admitted a realistic Brexit agreement deadline date could be in January, despite repeated warnings in recent months about June, September and now October as cutoff points.Asked when he believes a deal can now be agreed days after European Council president Donald Tusk said an agreement is “further away than ever”, Mr Varadkar said the date is now “anyone’s guess”.The Taoiseach said a now seemingly off-the-cards special November summit will only take place if there is a deal to sign off on or if “talks break down”, and said while a scheduled December EU summit could see a deal struck he can not rule out the crisis dragging on into January.[quote]I don’t know. I’ve always said October was the deadline, I know there are suggestions it could have been done earlier, but October is the deadline and it looks like we are going to miss that deadline now. There is another summit in December, I really hope we can have it done in November, and if we don’t then we will do it in December. But to be honest, I just don’t know,” he said.[/quote]While emphasising that he is “not calling for” an extension to the March 29, 2019, date for the UK to formally leave the EU amid fresh speculation over the potential move, Mr Varadkar also twice noted that it is “legally possible” if London requests a delay.The Taoiseach said while some may view Brexit as a short-term storm, the reality is it is the political equivalent of climate change that could ravage Ireland and the UK if not tackled properly, warning: “It’s a permanent change.”

Sorry, the http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/851/f/10839/index.rss feed is not available at this time.
Failed to get content from 'http://feeds.tch.ie/westernpeople'




Feed aggregation powered by Syndicate Press.
Processed request in 2.6576 seconds.