September 2019

first_imgENVIRONMENT MINISTER Phil Hogan will tomorrow announce details of funding for repair works for people whose homes have been damaged by pyrite.The minister said this evening that the Government today gave the go ahead for the immediate commencement of the pyrite remediation scheme. It is hoped that the legislation in this area will be debated in the Dáil and the Seanad before being passed by Christmas.Pyritic heave has emerged in housing developments in Dublin and nearby counties following the inappropriate use of pyrite during their construction. Pyrite is a naturally occurring mineral which causes significant structural damage to homes if used in the infill below floor slabs.Tomorrows announcement has been met by approval from a number of quarters in particular because a lack of clarity on the Government’s position has been a consistent complaint from opposition TDs.Fine Gael’s Meath East TD Helen McEntee said that tomorrow’s announcement will reassure those affected that “the end is in sight” in terms of dealing with the pyrite issue.” This will allow the process, which has been stalled for a number of months, to finally get going, and should come as a considerable source of relief for pyrite homeowners,” she saidRead: “We can finally put Priory Hall behind us” – deal is reached on apartment complex >Read: Pyrite removals on 122 Ballymun homes ‘nearing completion’ >last_img read more

first_imgDUBLIN AND EAST coast rail passengers will have to factor bus connections into their travel plans this Bank Holiday weekend, after Irish Rail’s confirmation of major alterations to services through the city.It’s due to a line closure planned so work can be carried out on the City Centre Resignalling Project: the €120 million modernisation scheme aimed at increasing capacity on the Howth Junction-Grand Canal line from 12 to 20 trains per hour, each way.From Saturday to Monday inclusive, DART services will be operating between Bray/Greystones and Pearse Station only, with no ongoing services between Pearse and Howth/Malahide. Dublin Bus will accept tickets to and from areas served by northside DARTs.The rest of the changes to services are as follows: Northern Commuter: Drogheda and Dundalk services will operate to and from Malahide Station, with bus transfers between Malahide and Connolly/Pearse stations. However, some services will operate to and from Skerries only.Belfast Enterprise: Bus transfers between Connolly and Drogheda. Trains running to and from Drogheda and Belfast.Rosslare/Dublin services: Operating to and from Pearse Station, instead of Connolly.Maynooth Commuter: All Maynooth services will operating to and from Connolly only.In addition, there will be usual service alterations on Bank Holiday Monday, including a Sunday service on DART and Commuter routes.Irish Rail is advising passengers to check details before travelling at its website.Read: ‘Severe turbulence’ caused loss of altitude on United Airlines flight to DublinRead: British nuclear plant deal to be challenged in court by An Taiscelast_img read more

first_imgAS IT IS currently structured, the Irish healthcare system ensures that people spend an inordinate amount of time not being treated for what ails them. The current structure incentivises inactivity, not efficiency. Patients are seen as a cost, and one that only has to be realised when a patient enters the hospital.This is why most of our healthcare spending is outside of hospitals. We spend an inordinate amount of money on patients who are waiting for expert treatment, while those who run the bureaucracy think that they are saving money by not treating the patients properly.Everyone accepts that there are grave failings in the Irish healthcare system; the only thing that divides us is how to solve them. Some would argue that we should move towards an NHS style service, others look for lessons in Berlin, and still others would find solutions in Havana.The influence of political ideologyWhat typically happens, is that people bring their political ideology to the table and then pick the health service which most closely matches it.Take for instance the former Minister for Health, Mary Harney. She was of a school of thought that believed that we should have a health care system populated by private for-profit institutions.Harney believed, as an article of faith, that private for-profit businesses are, in and of themselves, a good thing, and so she sought the solutions to our healthcare problems in private, for-profit, businesses.While there are major problems with the US healthcare system, the best managed institutions I have ever worked in were in New York. When I was working in the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, the only waiting the patients did was in the room outside my clinic door – similarly in Mount Sinai Hospital. Sloan-Kettering and Mount Sinai are private, entirely not-for-profit institutions, founded by wealthy philanthropists and financed by insurance revenues; they are meccas for cancer specialists, researchers and patients alike.The US model: medics leading medical institutionsAny insured cancer patient can access this hospital (ie 80 per cent of the American population). Care is single-tier. Politicians, millionaires, pop stars, actors and ordinary citizens were all seen in the same clinics, admitted to the same wards, operated on in the same theatres, and critically, all cared for by the same doctors. There was no co-located hospital for the wealthy.The main problem with US healthcare is the lack of universal healthcare insurance – we should not emulate that. But, in terms of working hospitals you will find the best doctors, the best treatments, and the best outcomes for patients in the US. The chairs of these institutions are doctors. These clinically excellent medics lead their medical institutions, supported by technically adept managers, whom they guide with medical brilliance. At an institutional level we must move towards the US model, what we should avoid is the US insurance model.Also problematic in the US system, is that for those who have insurance, doctors and hospitals are incentivised to carry out medical procedures which may not be necessary. With an unfettered free market approach, and a fee per item system, this is inevitable; as inevitable, as the incentivised inactivity in the Irish system.The German model: healthcare based on need – not wealthThere is a middle route between these two extremes which is a model based on the principle of social solidarity, where access to healthcare is based on need and not wealth. Looking at the international landscape, the model I think we can learn most from is the German model, if we are aiming for an egalitarian system which is also efficient and effective.In Germany, the typical worker contributes 9 per cent of their gross income to their health insurance. There are many ways of structuring this. Some huge employers have their own schemes, others buy commercial insurance from the market, and all those who are unemployed are insured by the state.This is progressive, those who earn more, pay more; despite the fact that people who earn more typically have fewer health problems than those who live more difficult lives.Every person has their own freely negotiable insurance credit. They can go to whatever institution they choose to go to, individual institutions decide what areas of care they offer, and the degree of care they offer within those clinical areas.Ireland: the least efficient healthcare sector in the worldThis approach is anathema to the bureaucrats which currently govern this country; they are not interested in patient outcomes, but in controlling admin budgets. They do not care if money can be better spent, they choose instead to manage the devils we know rather than risk devils we don’t know.Dr Don Thornhill of the National Competitiveness Council argues that we have the least efficient healthcare sector in the world. We spend a very average amount on healthcare. Had we the same demographics as other European States; we would have the most expensive healthcare system in the world. With 100,000 young Irish people emigrating every year, our country is aging much faster than anticipated, the inevitable funding crunch will arrive far sooner than we would like.We do not have the worst quality of healthcare in the developed world, we have instead the worst managed healthcare system in the developed world, run by technically deficient, medically illiterate bureaucrats.It is not even their fault that the healthcare system is so bad – how else could it be, given the dysfunctional nature of what we have asked them to do? We ask them to ration healthcare, they do as we ask of them.Professor John Crown is a Senator in Seanad Éireann. He trained in cancer medicine in New York in Mount Sinai Hospital and Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Centre and was appointed as a consultant in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin in 1993.Read: HSE U-turn on funding for epilepsy sufferer ‘insulting’>Read: HSE rehired three staff the day after they retired>last_img read more

first_imgWHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House? lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.DÁILEamon Gilmore takes the morning’s Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, before TDs agree to the day’s agenda at 10:51am.The legislative agenda will see TDs finalise their consideration of two Bills: The Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Bill 2013, which gives the Minister for Health new powers to limit the sale and marketing of tobacco; andThe Electoral (Amendment) (Dail Constituencies) Bill 2012, which gives legal effect to the proposed changes to Dáil boundaries.If there’s time after those two Bills are disposed of – and if they weren’t already finished up yesterday – there’ll be more discussion on legislation to rationalise the number of VECs, and on abolishing FÁS.Four topical issues will be discussed at 3:42pm, before Michael Noonan ends the day with Questions to the Minister for Finance at 4:30pm.The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.SEANADThe Seanad’s day is a pretty short one: there’s 75  minutes of discussion and debate on the matters of the day in the Order of Business (10:30am), before Emer Costello MEP continues a series of speeches from MEPs to mark 40 years of Irish membership of the European Union.Her speech deals with the quest for social inclusion in Europe, and the problem of unemployment.The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.COMMITTEESThe fairly straightforward days in either chamber are made up for by the presence of five committee meetings. Here they are, in order of when they start:The Committee on Health and Children meets at 9:30am to discuss the establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency. Among the speakers are UNESCO professor Pat Dolan, and the HSE’s Gordon Jeyes. (Watch here.)At 10am the Public Accounts Committee casts its eyes over the Department of Education and Skills budget for 2011, and also discusses salary overpayments to teachers in the last few years. (Watch here.)Also at 10am, the Public Expenditure and Reform sub-committee discusses a procedural motion from Brendan Howlin. Irish financial law means cash authorised for spending in one year, but which isn’t actually spent that year, can’t be cleared for spending unless the Oireachtas says so. This motion would allow some of the cash assigned for spending in 2012 to be carried over and be used this year. (Watch here.)At 10:30am the Agriculture committee discusses a proposal from Simon Coveney to extend special provisions which allow him to appoint special investigators for agricultural matters. The laws stem from the foot and mouth saga, but could (in theory) also apply to the horse meat scandal. (Watch here.)Finally, at 2pm, the EU Affairs committee discusses the future of Ireland’s membership of the EU – and three specific topics: financial integration, democratic accountability, and the possible impact for Ireland if the UK leaves. The participants will include the Irish Times’ economics editor Dan O’Brien, the Irish Examiner’s Brussels correspondent Ann Cahill, and RTÉ’s economics editor Seán Whelan. (Watch here.)Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?last_img read more

first_imgA BELIZE CONSTRUCTION company has come under fire after it nearly destroyed an ancient Mayan temple. The incident, which is caught on video, sees a bulldozer ravage the side of the temple in order to extract crushed rocks for a road fill.One of the largest Mayan structures in Belize, The Nohmul temple dates back at least 2,300 years.In an interview with Euronews, Jaime Awe, Head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology said the destruction was “unforgivable”, adding that to see the images of the bulldozers wrecking the ancient site was “one of the worst blows he has felt both philosophically and professionally”.The Mirror reports that the Belize authorities have called the bulldozing of the Mayan ruins as “callous, ignorant and unforgivable”.Via YouTube/Euronews4 more off-the-beaten-track places you really should visit>“Well organised gang” involved in theft of medieval font>last_img read more

first_img16-year-old Greta Thunberg met with Obama and chided senators, saying they’re not trying hard enough to fight climate change A car plowed through the main hall of Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, New York The US is building a case against Iran in the attacks on Saudi Arabia, but Trump is in no rush to act SpaceX is trying to buy a hamlet inside its Texas rocket-launch site because it ‘did not anticipate’ there’d be any ‘significant disruption’ to residents who live there EXPERTS HAVE WARNED the ocean’s jellyfish population is getting out of control, and this has caused problems for a variety of people and organizations.People might get stung while at the beach, sure, but there are larger repercussions too — the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in southeastern Sweden had to close after jellyfish clogged its pipework, and hordes of murderous jellyfish have cost the fishing industry billions of dollars in lost earnings per year.Enter robots.South Korean scientist Hyun Mong, director of the Urban Robotics Lab at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, has designed a robotic system called “JEROS,” short for “jellyfish elimination robotic swarm”.JEROS is designed so teams of three can work together to collectively reduce the jellyfish population.By tracking jellyfish and sucking them into their deadly propellers, each JEROS robot can shred just shy of one ton’s worth of jellyfish per hour.This system is surprisingly more affordable than trapping the creatures in a net.Here’s a fleet of three JEROS systems at work in a bay. Source: urobotkaist via YouTubeThey spot the jellyfish in the water by using image processing in their onboard cameras. Source: urobotkaist via YouTubeOnce jellyfish are properly targeted, the JEROS propeller spins to life and kills them. Source: NMANewsDirect/YouTubeHere it is in action, but be warned, if you have a soft-spot for jellyfish, you may find the video disturbing.- Dylan LoveRead: Jellyfish are freaks of nature that could take over the world’s oceans >More: Glow-in-the-dark ice cream made possible with jellyfish protein >last_img read more

first_imgGARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING an incident in which an 18-year-old was held at gunpoint by two masked men.The teenager had arranged to meet an individual at Newtownstalaban near Drogheda with a view to selling his car. However, when he went to the location he was met by two masked men, one who was armed with a firearm.The man was taken at gunpoint to a disused farmhouse and held there for a number of hours. He was then taken to his own house where a number of family members were assaulted (no serious injuries) the house was searched and some property was taken.The masked men left the house in the owners car,which was later found burnt out a short time later.Investigating Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact Drogheda Garda Station on 041-9874200, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111 or any Garda Station.Read: These cars were bought with fake bank drafts and sold on to unsuspecting buyersRead: Warning after multiple cases of car sales scamlast_img read more

first_img‘IT’S NOT SOMETHING you see every day’ — as one onlooker noted.The circumstances of how a fight broke out today between a street performer dressed as Spiderman, and another man, not dressed as Spiderman, are unclear as yet.However, thankfully — it appears all involved came out of the encounter on Dublin’s South Anne Street relatively unscathed.It all starts quite violently indeed — the blue-tracksuited man appearing to connect with a few punches. ‘Spiderman’ then wrestles him to the ground, and the pair engage in a brief scuffle over the second man’s baseball hat.It all gets a bit weird after that. (Weirder still.)The ‘superhero’ apparently decides he doesn’t want to let the man past a certain point in the street (past the Gotham Café, appropriately enough).There’s a few more handbag-like encounters — after which a number of onlookers intervene, and the whole situation appears to calm down a little.The whole video can be viewed here. [Credit: RM Videos]Read Here’s everything we know so far about Star Wars filming in Co. Kerry Read Strangers donate money online for US man robbed during Liffey rescuelast_img read more

first_imgIRISH MEN ARE more likely to leave school early, commit a murder, or be unemployed, a new report shows, while Irish women earn less and are unlikely to hold a seat of power.A special report from the CSO, Women and Men in Ireland 2013, has analysed areas of Irish society ranging from education to crime to see which gender dominates.It notes that Ireland is ninth in the EU27 for gender equality, slightly above the EU average with a score of 55.2.FertileThe one gender-specific factor in which Ireland stands out, the report notes, is fertility – Irish women are the most fertile in the European Union, joint first with France.Women are also still overwhelmingly more likely (98%) to be a stay-at-home parent.Just more than 80% of the Irish prison population is male, while men are also more likely to be a victim of murder of manslaughter.When it comes to holding positions of power, Ireland is more than 10% below the EU average for female representation in national parliament, with just less than 16% of TDs are female.EmploymentBoth genders experienced a dramatic fall in employment rates in 2009.For men, there has been a slight improvement with rates increasing 3.3% from a low of 62.4% in 2012, but the rate for women has increased just 0.7% in the same period.And once they are in employment, women are likely to receive about a quarter less pay, while men are likely to both work and earn more.The sectors of choice for men are construction, agriculture, and transport, and for women are health and education.Although 85% of primary-level teachers are female and 68% at second-level, men are still more likely to hold senior positions.If they can’t get work, there’s always the option of emigration, in which there is little difference between the two genders.When it comes to the Leaving Certificate, the subjects where more boys than girls sat higher level were MathematicsPhysicsConstruction studiesDesign and communication graphicsEngineeringThe subjects in which girls excelled were:EnglishFrenchIrishBiologyChemistryArtHome EconomicsMusicWomen are also generally better educated than men.“Over half (55.3%) of women aged 25-34 having a third-level qualification in 2013 compared to just 42.7% of men in this age group,” the report read, and noted that the “early school leavers’ rate among women aged 18-24 in 2012 was 8.2% which was lower than the rate of 11.2% for men”.Read: Women ‘talent bank’ to improve gender balance on state boards >More: Men “hit harder than women by unemployment during recession” >last_img read more

first_imgGameloft do some pretty cool games it has to be said, with their N.O.V.A franchise being classed as some of the best FPS for the iPhone and iPad.If you have never played the above game before, or were looking for a Gameloft title at a bargain price, then this piece of news will certainly get you rushing to the iTunes store (I know I did).AdChoices广告As Gameloft have announced – for a short-time only – over 30 of their best selling titles on the iPhone and iPad are slashed in price to just $0.99.Gameloft’s blog post below shows a selection of the games on sale, but I found it was easier to just type in Gameloft from within the iTunes search bar and look for games that way. I ended up finding that Splinter Cell Conviction was on sale, having played the demo I thought this was a must have.Read more at the Gameloft Bloglast_img read more

first_imgWe appear to be heading out of the trough of the uncanny valley. That goateed, shaggy haired professorial type in the image above isn’t actually a professor. He’s not even human. Meet the latest in the series of Geminoid ultra-realistic androids, designed by Kokoro and Hiroshi Ishiguro. Called the Gemini DK, this is the first Gemini not to have been modeled on an Asian: instead, it was constructed to look exactly like associate professor Henry Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark.The Gemini DK (DK presumably stands for Denmark) was built in Tokyo, Japan by Kokoro, and it’s now being tested and programmed at Japan’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute. What’s the point of an android that looks just like its designer, though?AdChoices广告In actuality, it’s to study concepts like the uncanny valley, which describes the drop-off in the human brain’s ability to accept a humanoid replica of another person as “real” as it becomes increasingly perfect. The Geminoid series of androids are used for researching “emotional affordances” in human-robot interaction, as well as the cultural differences in the way different countries respond to robots (people in Japan, for example, are far more at ease around robots than people from Venezuela might be).As with the other Geminoid robots, the movements and expressions of the Geminoid DK are controlled by remote by an operator with a computer using a motion-capture system that tracks his own facial expressions and head movements. In the future, that feature set may well increase to allow full mobility.As for the Geminoid DK, Professor Scharfe is being tight lipped about what he will do with the robot, but his wife is not: she’s already suggesting they send the robot in his place to conferences.Read more at IEEElast_img read more

first_imgAnonymous, the collective group known for its politically-charged hackers, has announced its next victim: Facebook. In a YouTube video from account “FacebookOp,” Anonymous speaks to the “citizens of the world” in a slightly-terrifying robotic voice, explaining its plans to destroy Facebook.The video encourages viewers to “join the cause” and “kill Facebook for the sake of your own privacy.” The video claims that Facebook has been selling our information to clandestine agencies and giving it to security firms so they can spy on us. According to Anonymous, even if we’ve protected our information with the various Facebook privacy settings, nothing is private. “Facebook knows more about you than your family,” Anonymous said. Also, deleting your account is also impossible. The group says that even if you delete your account, all your personal information stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time.Anonymous is known for launching distributed denial-of-service attacks which harms its target by getting a large group of people to access the site continually until the influx in traffic slows the site down so much that the servers can’t handle it.Since Facebook is such a huge site–750 million users huge–it would take a lot for Anonymous to slow down Facebook’s servers. Anonymous tried to take down Amazon in the same way earlier this year, but Amazon’s huge amount of server power was too much for the group.The group is giving us time to think and “prepare for a day that will go down in history” before they deploy the attack on (remember, remember) the 5th of November.via Village Voicelast_img read more

first_imgEgo Leonard’s got a pretty good life, from the sound of things. He’s toured around Europe and England. He’s beloved by the ladies. He’s an internationally recognized member of the arts community. And he’s a giant Lego mini-fig.Earlier this week, he rode the tide to shore in south Florida, winding up on the sandy beaches of Siesta Key Village. This time around, he was sporting the same “No Real Than You Are” shirt that he wore to Dance Valley 2007, a massive outdoor music festival that’s entering its 18th year in Holland.Ego Leonard at Dance Valley with some fansThere was a slight change, however, with Ego Leonard swapping Ruud van Nistelrooy’s number 9 for Nigel De Jong’s number 8 (they could just as easily be others’ numbers or even totally random, but I’m guessing the artist behind Ego Leonard is at least a fan of Dutch football).Leonard’s works of art are available for purchase online, if you’re keen on Lego-inspired art and have plenty of mad money to throw around. His paintings typically sell in the three to five thousand Euro range.So why, exactly, is an eight-foot-tall mini-fig floating around in the ocean anyway? Ego Leonard is obviously a guy with a zest for life and an affinity for mixing his world of imagination with the real world. Apart from generating loads of publicity for his paintings, setting huge Lego men off on fantastic voyages in a sure-fire way to crank the fun dial up to eleven and share the good times with strangers around the globe.Ego Leonard via Boing Boing [header image by Jeff Hindman]last_img read more

first_imgSony was expected to release its Nasne media hub back on July 19 in Japan. But one day before the release, Sony recalled all the units from retailers due to a defect with the device.It later turned out that the hard drives the Nasne used had been damaged in transit and there was no guarantee they would work. That’s surprising considering each Nasne would be secured inside packaging, with both the device and packaging being tested for handling the odd bump or drop. A teardown of one of the Nasne units that didn’t get returned has revealed the most likely reason why the hard drives malfunctioned so easily, though.Inside the Nasne there’s a single mainboard with the tuner and hard drive mounted directly on to it. The drive is actually a 7mm 2.5-inch Hitachi 5400rpm unit with a 500GB capacity. The cause of the damage to the drive looks to be the method used to attach it to the mainboard.Typically you see a drive either mounted in a bay and then attached to a board or screwed on to the board using some form of shock absorbent rubber washers. That’s not the case in the Nasne. Images of the teardown reveal the drive has been screwed directly on to the board just with screws.Using this method of attachment means any vibration traveling through the mainboard is also going to be felt fully by the drive. So if the Nasne is dropped or hit, the sensitive hard drive components will feel the full force of the impact.It’s no surprise then that the hard drives stopped working if a serious drop occurred during transit, and it looks to be an expensive mistake Sony could have avoided just by employing some shock absorption in the drive mounting.Read more at Tech-On!last_img read more

first_img 22,054 Views A MAN HAS been released from hospital having been injured while constructing a roller coaster in Cork.The man was injured after part of the ride landed on him at the Funderland site on the Tramore Road in Cork.It is understood that the man fell from a vehicle and the piece of metal landed on him shortly after. Emergency services attended the scene and took the man to Cork University Hospital.While it was reported that the man was in a critical condition, Funderland this evening said he had been released from hospital.“We are delighted to announce that our employee has been discharged from Cork University hospital after his fall this morning.”A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Authority said that inspectors had been sent to the scene earlier today.Read: Black box from Rescue 116 recovered Friday 24 Mar 2017, 7:23 PM 11 Comments Short URL By Paul Hosford Mar 24th 2017, 7:23 PM Share Tweet Email2 center_img A roller coaster at Funderland in 2009. Image: Sasko Lazarov/ Image: Sasko Lazarov/ Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Man injured while constructing roller coaster in Cork He has been released from hospital. A roller coaster at Funderland in 2009.last_img read more

first_img WATER SUPPLIES ACROSS Ireland are running low due to exceptionally dry weather.A spokesperson for Ervia – Irish Water’s parent company – said that exceptionally dry weather last winter and at the beginning of this year had led to the shortage.“Low rainfall for several months, especially through the winter period, will have a knock on effect on available raw water supplies across the country in coming months,” the spokesperson said.Due to unseasonably dry weather over a number of months and throughout last winter, Irish Water has advised consumers to conserve and minimise water usage for the foreseeable future in a number of locations.These locations include parts of Donegal, Galway and Westmeath.Irish Water said that it had imposed water restrictions at times of lower demand in areas where water supplies are “seriously compromised”.It said that it was working with the local authorities to find and repair leaks in the affected areas and prioritising those that would have the greatest impact.The areas affected most seriously are outlined below.In Donegal, consumers connected from both the Lough Colm source which serves the Milford, Kerrykeel, Rathmullan, and Ramelton areas, and also the Lough Fad source which serves Quigley’s Point, Redcastle, Moville and part of Greencastle have been asked to conserve as much water as possible due to local shortages.In Galway, nighttime restrictions on the island of Inis Oirr from 11pm to 7am will remain in place for the foreseeable future. People are being asked to conserve water on the island.A spokesperson said that customers on the Williamstown supply in Galway have been asked to conserve treated water supply as the reservoir levels have reached a critical point.“Demand is currently very high on the scheme and customers are advised they may experience low pressure while demand continues to exceed supply,” Irish Water said.No restrictions have been imposed on Williamstown as of yet.In Westmeath, Irish Water has advised customers to continue to conserve water usage for the foreseeable future due to exceptionally low levels of raw water from Lough Owel.Read: Water services return to Cork city after burst pipe cuts off supplyRead: ‘Unseasonably dry weather’ to blame for ramping up of water restrictions By Cormac Fitzgerald 12,665 Views Short URL 69 Comments Image: Shutterstock/nikkytok Image: Shutterstock/nikkytok Thursday 22 Jun 2017, 3:18 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Water supplies running low in many areas due to dry weather There are shortages in parts of Donegal, Galway and Westmeath. Share343 Tweet Email3 Jun 22nd 2017, 3:18 PM last_img read more

first_img As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: No Comments The Explainer: What exactly happened with Brexit last Wednesday night? That’s what we examined in our latest episode of The Explainer. Sunday 14 Apr 2019, 7:00 PM By Aoife Barry Source: The Explainer/SoundCloudFind a full list of where the podcast is available here.Ideas, thoughts, or feedback? Email This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, executive producer and guest Christine Bohan, producer Aoife Barry, assistant producer/technical operator Nicky Ryan and contributing reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha. Design by Palash Somani.  Written by Nicky Ryan and posted on LAST FRIDAY WAS supposed to be ‘Brexit day’. But as with everything in the long-running Brexit saga, it wasn’t that simple.Instead, the United Kingdom and European Union agreed a flexible Brexit extension until 31 October following marathon talks in Brussels. It was a move that, curiously, didn’t feel as urgent as previous decisions with Brexit. Perhaps fatigue was setting in.But a big decision it was – the flextension gives UK Prime Minister Theresa May extra wiggle room to get her Brexit deal over the line. It means that she now has until Halloween to get her MPs to agree to the withdrawal deal. But it also means that the UK might have to start preparing to take part in the European elections.Confused? Want to understand what’s going on? Well our latest episode of The Explainer podcast is for you.In this episode, presenter Sinéad O’Carroll is joined by‘s Gráinne Ní Aodha and Christine Bohan as well as executive director of European Movement Ireland Noelle O’Connell to look at exactly what is happening with Brexit now, and what it means for Ireland and the upcoming European elections.Listen via Soundcloud below or tap the buttons to listen on iOS or Android. Apr 11th 2019, 4:19 PM 7,845 Views Listen on Android Listen on iPhone/iPad Short URL Share8 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_img No Comments By Ruaidhrí Giblin Patrick Quirke murder trial nears end as jury to continue deliberations tomorrow Patrick Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan. 11,444 Views THE JURY IN the trial of a 50-year-old farmer charged with murdering his alleged love rival, and hiding his body in an underground tank, have paused their deliberations for the night to resume on Wednesday morning.Earlier, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon told the jury of six men and six women that they must not be influenced by emotion, sympathy, anger or disgust, and must treat circumstantial evidence against the accused with care. Patrick Quirke (50) of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan, a part-time DJ going by the name Mr Moonlight. Ryan went missing on 3 June 2011 after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry’s home at about 6.30am. His body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Tipperary, 22 months later in April 2013.The prosecution claims that Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Lowry (52).The two verdicts open to the jury are: guilty of murder or, alternatively, not guilty. The jury begun their deliberations shortly after 2pm and retired just after 4pm.A short time into their deliberations, the jury sought all of Quirke’s interviews with gardaí as well as phone records, which were handed in. They will resume again tomorrow at 11am.In her charge to the jury this morning, Ms Justice Creedon said it had been a long trial that had lasted many weeks. She told the jury that their verdict must be unanimous until circumstances arise that can allow a majority verdict be returned by 10 of them. She said the first rule for the jury, and a fundamental cornerstone of the criminal process, was the presumption of innocence which Quirke enjoyed right until the end. She said the onus of proof remained fairly and squarely on the prosecution and that the defence did not have to prove a thing. The judge added that an accused does not have to give evidence, and that a jury must not hold that against an accused, because they are entitled to remain silent.Ms Justice Creedon said the jury were entitled to consider the impression a witness makes on them. She said they were entitled to bring their life experiences to these considerations, and that everybody assesses people in their lives constantly. Circumstantial evidenceShe said the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence to prove Quirke’s guilt, and that, on the prosecution’s case, various circumstances taken together lead to the sure conclusion that Mr Quirke committed the crime. She said the prosecution relied on evidence of the “intimate relationship” between Mary Lowry and Patrick Quirke between 2008 to 2010, and the subsequent “cooling” of that relationship.She said the prosecution’s case was that Bobby Ryan stayed with Mary Lowry on the night of 3 June 2011, and left the following morning fully-clothed. It was the prosecution’s case, Ms Justice Creedon said, that Bobby Ryan was violently assaulted after he left Mary Lowry’s house and placed into the tank by Patrick Quirke. She said the prosecution contend that the discovery of Mr Ryan’s body by Patrick Quirke was “staged” because “he knew where the body was”. The judge said the prosecution further relied on the circumstantial evidence of the discovery of the body and what the accused said about water levels in the tank.She said they relied on the observations of Gda Conor Ryan on the water levels in the tank and conversations with the accused and the clothes he was wearing on the day of the discovery.They further relied on an A4 sheet found in Patrick Quirke’s home and what was written on that sheet, according to experts, Ms Justice Creedon said. Computer evidenceShe said they relied on evidence from the hard drive found in Patrick Quirke’s home and on internet searches on the decomposition of human bodies, that some of the searches were made prior to the death of Quirke’s son, and Quirke’s assertions that his son’s death was the reason for the searches. She said they further relied on correspondence between solicitors regarding the termination of the lease and on background evidence of the financial relationship between Mary Lowry and Patrick Quirke.She said the prosecution further relied on Patrick Quirke’s alleged financial difficulties and demands for money.Ms Justice Creedon said the prosecution draws all of this evidence together and contrasts it with what they say are lies told by Mr Quirke, in his garda interviews, to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he murdered Bobby Ryan. The prosecution contends that any other conclusion is not rational. She warned the jury that circumstantial evidence can be powerful but it must be treated with care. She told the jury to consider whether it revealed issues that “destroys” the prosecution case.She said there was usually more than one way of looking at circumstantial evidence and if a rational explanation pointed to Quirke’s innocence, they must adopt the view favourable to the accused.The defence, she said, contend that the evidence was insufficient to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and was more consistent with innocence.She said the defence point to “inconsistencies” in Mary Lowry’s evidence, contending that she was “not a reliable witness”. Those inconsistencies relate to the alleged assault of her by Quirke, her passport being taken and her memory of staying in the Cliff House Hotel. She said the defence contend there was no evidence Patrick Quirke was in financial difficulty. They also contend that the garda investigation was inadequate and that certain evidence was not put before the jury. She said the defence point to the garda’s failure to search Mary Lowry’s house at Fawnagown and the pathologist’s failure to attend the scene. They point to the fact that the recovery of the body was not video recorded, that a hair clip was recovered from the tank and not properly analysed, and that fingerprints from the van were not followed up. She said the defence contend that evidence of computer searches was not sufficient to prove anything and was not directed to the facts of the case. The computer searches could be explained by inquisitiveness of curiosity on the part of Mr Quirke, according to the defence.She said the defence contend that much of the background evidence was unreliable and insufficient to prove Mr Quirke’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that they must acquit.Ms Justice Creedon told the jury that they must be satisfied of Quirke’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It was not a “fanciful” doubt or a “flimsy” doubt but a reasonable doubt, that might make them pause or think about decisions they make in their own lives. She told the jury that they couldn’t come back to court next week and say ‘I’ve had another think about that’. “It’s not enough to say ‘I think he’s guilty or probably guilty’. If that’s where you are you must acquit,” she told the jury. She said they had to certain, satisfied and have no reasonable doubt about the matter. She told them they were “required to be objective, dispassionate and must not be influenced by emotion, sympathy, anger or disgust.”Comments are off as legal proceedings are ongoing. Tuesday 23 Apr 2019, 6:20 PM Share Tweet Email2 center_img Patrick Quirke arriving at the Central Criminal Court. Image: Leah Farrell via Short URL Image: Leah Farrell via Apr 23rd 2019, 6:21 PM Patrick Quirke arriving at the Central Criminal Court. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Source: The Explainer/SoundCloudThis year the Department of Communications launched a public consultation on new law to regulate harmful content online.This consultation has now closed and the department told that the results are being examined in preparation for the development of legislation. “Age verification will be considered in the context of the forthcoming legislation,” a spokesperson said. How effective is the UK law expected to be?Critics of the new UK restrictions have pointed out that teenagers could still easily bypass them, or just use porn-hosting platforms that are not covered by the law.Sites like Twitter, Reddit and Imgur, for example, will not have to administer the scheme as more than one third of a site’s content must be pornographic to bring it under the did a quick internet search of the phrase ‘porn on Twitter’ to test how accessible this content is on the platform and was served a long list of profiles that contained uncensored explicit images and videos.Even on sites that are affected, teens would still be able to use virtual private networks (VPNs), which make it seem like your computer is located elsewhere.Data protectionThere are concerns about data leaks because the government is not telling pornography websites how to verify age. That will be up to the individual sites and they will be responsible for the data they collect as part of this.Experts have said it may lead to people being outed if a site collects their email addresses and also links those in its data collation with their preferences or searches. This is the kind of information that could, in theory, be used to extort money from people.Caroline West, a doctoral scholar in sexuality at DCU, told The Explainer that many people may not be comfortable with giving their passport details to these kinds of websites.  Monday 29 Apr 2019, 6:10 AM THE IRISH GOVERNMENT will consider a similar system to the UK’s so-called ‘porn block’ law as part of new legislation on online safety.As part of legislation passed in the UK in 2017, pornography sites will be expected, from 15 July, to have a robust age-verification system in place to ensure its UK users are over 18.Although this will be regulated by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the sites themselves will be allowed to decide exactly how they do it.Options include requiring adult users to buy a special card over the counter at a newsagents, where they will be asked to show photo ID to verify their age. The card will have a code on it that can be used to access the site.Some sites will ask users to provide a scan of a passport or driver’s licence which will then be verified by a third party while others may ask for credit card details as proof a person is over 18.In the most recent episode of The Explainer podcast, took a look at this UK legislation and the likelihood that Ireland will follow suit.  Irish government to consider similar legislation to UK ‘porn block’ law From July pornography sites will be required to have robust age-verification systems in place for UK users. Sites like that are really targeted by moral campaigners who are opposed to porn even existing in the first place so if you have this treasure trove of data of people’s personal details just sitting there waiting to be hacked, that’s very attractive to a lot of hackers or to a lot of people who want to shame people for their porn use.She referenced the 2015 leak by hackers of the names of 30 million people who had used infidelity website Ashley Madison. Serious shortcomings were identified in the site’s security afterwards and it was subsequently fined $1.6 million for the data breach.Despite the massive breach, thousands of people are still signing up to the site every day. “And do we really want people in the government or specific agencies knowing what we as consenting adults are looking at on the internet?” West said. “Adults should be able to keep their fantasies to themselves unless they consent to sharing it so it’s quite a risk for adults.”Mindgeek, the company which owns PornHub, YouPorn and RedTube, has developed its own system called AgeID which it hopes will be adopted by others. This system involves adults having to upload scans of their passports or drivers licences.These documents are then verified by a third-party. All of the information will be encrypted and the company has said the system will not keep track of how each user’s accounts are used. AgeID said the way its method of storing login and password information works means it doesn’t have a database of email addresses.Sex educationThe British government said it wants the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online and these new laws will help to achieve this. Ministers have cited research by the NSPCC which found children were as likely to stumble across pornography online as they were to search for it.The UK government has said it hopes the age-restriction scheme will help, in particular, to prevent instances where children have seen inappropriate content in a pop-up window or through a link they were sent.  However critics have accused the government of taking a shortsighted approach to the issue. West said research about children watching porn is often “conflicted”, but there is one conclusion that is always consistent – better sex education is vital.“Everywhere where there is decent sex education young people watch less porn and they feel less conflicted about it. They also have healthier relationships and have more of a switched-on opinion of consent.” Apr 29th 2019, 6:11 AM Image: Shutterstock/Dean Drobot Image: Shutterstock/Dean Drobot Share Tweet Email1 56 Comments By Michelle Hennessy Listen on iPhone/iPad 22,281 Views Short URL Listen on Androidlast_img read more

first_imgBus drivers ‘resort to urinating in bottles’ due to lack of toilet facilities Flyers placed on buses across the country are calling on commuters to support drivers’ demands for sanitary facilities. Short URL May 14th 2019, 2:53 PM 57 Comments Share36 Tweet Email3 Tuesday 14 May 2019, 2:53 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: NBRU 21,879 Views FLYERS PLACED ON buses across the country this week are asking commuters to support drivers in their demand for adequate toilet facilities.The leaflets were produced by the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) which said drivers of Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann vehicles are “expected to improvise where no facilities exist”.“This can mean literally having to sometimes beg to be allowed use the toilet in a supermarket, takeaway, petrol station etc.”The union said there are occasions where drivers had to “resort to emergency measures” including urinating in a plastic bottle.“No driver wants to be, or should be, placed in such a situation.”NBRU General Secretary Dermot O’Leary has also written to the two bus operators and the National Transport Authority about the issue.In his letter, seen by, he said there had been numerous attempts by the union to address the issue but that both companies had “failed to put adequate arrangements or protocols in place that would protect our members”.He said the responsibility lies with both the bus companies and the NTA which is responsible for policy and the funding of infrastructure.“It should never be forgotten that the most valuable resource of any company is those that do the ‘heavy lifting’, those that operate at the interface between the service being provided and the customer, they of course are the staff, in this case bus drivers.”He pointed out that the Mayor of London last year announced a cash injection of £6 million for the provision of toilet facilities for London bus drivers.O’Leary called for a clear commitment to providing these facilities, a timeframe for the provision of temporary solutions and a detailed implementation programme for permanent facilities.“Disrupting services because of the basic human need of having to use wash and sanitary facilities in the 21st century is simple untenable, conversely, the lack of such facilities is not sustainable,” he said.In a statement, Bus Éireann said that the company continues to work with trade union representatives on matters relating to driver facilities around the country.A spokesman for Dublin Bus also said the company is in ongoing discussions with unions about the issue. By Michelle Hennessy Image: NBRU last_img read more