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Dan Griffin Thu, Oct 24
 
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  • 09:00
    When it comes to child welfare, the HSE and the authorities are "damned if they do and damned if they don't", Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said this morning after two Roma children were returned to their families from State care.

    He was saying the HSE has been criticised in the past for not intervening quickly enough in child welfare cases and he expressed relief that this time "the concerns of the authorities proved unfounded".

    He told RTÉ Morning Ireland that himself and the Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald each expect a report on the matter within the next two weeks. The Ministers will forward them on Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan who will then write her own reports.
  • 09:07
    Good morning, I'm Dan Griffin and I'll be here until 5pm today.

    Our main stories this morning:

     Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has sought a report from the Garda Commissioner after he confirmed that two children who were taken into State care had been reunited with their Roma families.

     Galway hurler Niall Donoghue died suddenly last night aged 22.

     And Taoiseach Enda Kenny has urged EU leaders to fulfil their pledge to break the loop between sovereign and bank debt, saying such action is crucial for the sustainability of Ireland's return to markets.
  • 09:13
    Former Galway senior hurling manager Cyril Farrell was on Morning Ireland earlier talking about Niall Donoghue, the young hurler who died last night. "He was young, forceful, a brilliant hurler," Farrell said. "He played everywhere for Galway." He added that Donoghue was one of the rising stars of Galway, a player the county would "pin their hopes on in the future".
  • 09:30
    The Guardian goes big this morning on German chancellor Angela Merkel's reaction to reports in Der Spiegel that the US National Security Agency was monitoring her mobile phone.

    It seems Merkel got in touch with the White House after the reports emerged. The paper says: "Merkel's spokesman made plain that Merkel upbraided Obama unusually sharply and also voiced exasperation at the slowness of the Americans to respond to detailed questions on the NSA scandal since the Edward Snowden revelations first appeared in the Guardian in June".

    She told Obama that she "unmistakably disapproves of and views as completely unacceptable such practices".

    In Irish Government circles I imagine news that the US had been listening in to the Taoiseach's mobile calls would be met with unrepressed joy. They'd probably orgainse a press conference lauding it as evidence of the country's important role on the global stage.
  • 09:31
  • 09:50
    There's an intersting story on the front page of our paper today. Joan Nagle, the former owner of a luxury Dalkey home stood up in the auction room in which it was being sold and listed its defects.

    The sale was a bank sale and Nagle said defects included an air ventilation system that didn't work and a faulty swimming pool.

    Madeleine Lyons has more.
  • 10:03
    More from the Guardian. Jamie Dornan, the bestubbled former underpants model and more recent star of BBC murder drama The Fall has been cast as billionaire fetishist Christian Grey in the forthcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

     Dornan replaces Charlie Hunnam, who left the role for some reason earlier this month. The Co Down actor is probably a good fit for the role--his work in The Fall saw him tormenting and strangling a series of pretty young Belfast professionals.
  • 10:12
    Enda Kenny has commented on the Roma children case.

    From Eoin Burke Kennedy:

     Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted the temporary removal of two Roma children from their families was not about the victimisation of any group or minority but about the welfare of children.

     “This should not be seen to be about any group or any minority, this is about children, and there’s always a balance to be struck if there are genuine fears about the health, welfare and safety of children,” Mr Kenny said today.

    He said the HSE had been instructed to provide a report on both cases to the Minister for Justice and Minister for Children, which, he said, would be sent on to the Children's Ombudsman
     
    “It’s only right and proper that we get a detailed report on what exactly happened here and the balance that was struck between the safety, welfare and health of the children and the law as it stands.”
  • 10:22
    Incidentally, I'm told Kenny said, when asked to comment on reports of NSA snooping on Angela Merkel's mobile phone calls, "I always operate on the basis that the calls I'm making are all listened to".

    He did quip that, mind. Anyway, I may have to withdraw my earlier comments about the unbridled joy that would be felt by the Government if they thought the US were tapping their phones.

    Again, Eoin Burke Kennedy writes:

    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described allegations that German chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped by US intelligence services as “appalling”.

     “I happen to be the Taoiseach of a small country, I think it’s an appalling situation if that were to be true.”
  • 10:44
    Our photo today is of U2 enjoying ice-creams in Bray as captured by Jason Forde on his iPhone. Genevieve Carbery has more ice-cream.

    And speaking of ice-cream, popular gelato seller Gino's on Grafton Street (and elsewhere, there's one on Henry Street too and one on Shop Street in Galway and probably more) have upped the price for a single scoop by 50 cents to €3 and have also, perhaps more controversially, started to implement a policy of one sample per customer.

    For Gino's it might have been a bad business decision to up the price of their ice-cream and introduce a stricter sampling policy as we enter the frosty winter months, not exactly high season for the frozen treat market.
  • 10:46
  • 10:55
    Protection of the environment should be enshrined in the Irish Constitution as happens in many other European countries, the first of a series of regional meetings of the Convention on the Constitution heard in Cork last night, writes Barry Roche.
  • 11:07
    RTÉ are reporting now that German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has summoned US Ambassador to Germany John B Emerson to discuss claims the US has monitored Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

    We've more on the background (as well as a photo of a disgruntled looking Merkel holding a mobile phone) here.
  • 11:23
    "Enda came into the Seanad with a pound of Connaught Gold in his pocket." Read Miriam Lord on the Taoiseach's visit to the upper house yesterday.
  • 11:29
  • 11:29
    Ara, scheduled fire drill in the Irish Times. We'll be back soon.
  • 11:47
    A 13-year-old California boy carrying a replica of an assault rifle to a friend’s house has been shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy who reportedly believed the gun was real. Reuters
  • 12:07
    "If you had told me 10 years ago that I would have been as excited about a vacuum cleaner as I was about a smartphone, I’d have pitied you." Ciara O'Brien gets to grips with the Dyson DC49.
  • 12:40
  • 12:55
    Where there's smoke...

    Ming Flanagan has said the Government could reverse budget cuts to young people's dole payments by decrimninalising cannabis.

    This morning he said Ireland could save €300 million a year by legalising the drug. Flanagan's Cannabis Regulatoin Bill will be debated and voted on in the Dáil early next month.

    The proposed legislatoin also suggests setting up special social clubs where the plant would be grown on a not-for-profit basis.
  • 13:22
  • 13:24
  • 13:33
    The Government will consider “the best options” for the country to exit the bailout following discussions with its lending partners, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

    Read more of what he said here.
  • 13:51
    "David Shrigley’s Life Model 2012 comprises a 10ft animatronic figure with blinking goggle-eyes in a huge head, an elongated torso and a nicely proportioned willy that every now and again pees into a bucket, surrounded by chairs and easels so that each of us can produce our own sketch for display on the walls."

    Eamon McCann considers the Turner Prize.
  • 14:10
    Uefa is investigating allegations of racist abuse against Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and has warned that clubs will no longer escape with just fines if their supporters are guilty of discriminatory behaviour.

    Read more
  • 14:11
    Gone to lunch
  • 15:09
    Pamela Duncan has more on Ming Flanagan's renewed bid for the legalisation of cannabis.

    Mr Flanagan estimated that the legalisation of cannabis could generate up to €300 million through tax revenues and the freeing up of resources. However, he stressed this was an estimate and it was not possible to know for sure what savings might be made.

  • 15:31
    Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins criticised the Facebook user whose comments lead to a child being removed from its family in the Dáil today.

     Higgins called the commenter a "bigoted busybody", and quoted the mesaage which said: "It's a big problem with missing kids, the Roma [are] robbing them to get child benefit in Europe."

    Higgins also criticised the response of the media, the HSE and gardaí and said the State “is shamed in front of the world in a situation where a bigoted busybody sends an ignorant and bigoted Facebook message to a journalist”.
  • 15:51
  • 15:52
    "Casualty Reduction Plan"

    Snappy
  • 16:09
    No messing around from Brian Cookson. Within minutes of replacing entrenched UCI president Pat McQuaid, Cookson had authorised a corporate investigatoins firm to seize UCI tech equipment--including McQuaid's laptop--as part of a probe into the cycling body's handling of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

    He and aides arranged the plan in the run up to the election. Read about it here.
  • 16:14
  • 16:32
    Greek state television reports that Bulgarian police have questioned a Roma couple who say they may be the biological parents of a blonde girl named 'Maria'.

    Meanwhile, in Ireland, the Government has insisted that Roma parents are not being singled out for unwarranted attention by State authorities.
  • 16:44
    Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was briefed on lessons from Northern Ireland’s peace process today during a visit to Belfast.

    The Burmese opposition leader said she intended to learn as much as she could about the developing work.
  • 17:04
    We'll leave it there for today so. The Daily Wire will be back again tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading.