News Blog

A rolling look at today's events

Shane Hegarty Tue, Apr 23
 
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  • 08:52
  • 08:53
    Good morning, it's Shane Hegarty on duty today. Let's get the day started with Richie Havens (RIP) and his stunning version of Here Comes the Sun. If this doesn't put you in a good mood, then you should just stay in bed today.
  • 09:00
  • 09:01
    Here's our lead story this morning, which is Minister for Justice Alan Shatter saying that "unreal barriers" must not be erected in abortion law.
  • 09:06
    "Irish bedroom habits also appear to be changing. Nearly 80 per cent of people routinely access their smart devices from under the duvet while the first thing a million otherwise sensible adults do every morning is check their phones." Conor Pope posted this report on a survey of Irish mobile phone use from his bed. Probably.
  • 09:09
    If you want to contribute, complain, commend, or whatever to the news blog today, then either tweet us at @IrishTimesLive or you can even send an email to the bottomless pit that is my inbox at shegarty@irishtimes.com.
  • 09:11
  • 09:24
    It is St George's Day today - and a few people on Twitter have complained that there are bigger parties in England on St Patrick's Day than there are today. Anyone out there got a St George's Day party planned today? Someone? Anyone?
  • 09:25
  • 09:31
  • 09:31
    Today's new word is glasshole.
  • 09:34
  • 09:41
  • 09:45

    "A reputation that took 20 years to build was close to snuffed out at a stroke when trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni admitted administering outlawed drugs to horses in his yard.

    The shock was almost beyond calculation on racing’s Richter scale when it became known that Godolphin, the global stable renowned for its competitive spirit, was at the centre of the biggest drugs scandal to hit British racing."

    A sense of the scale of the Godolphin drugs admission

     

  • 09:57
    Michael Harding's column is as brilliant as ever this week, but it also wins today's Most Intriguing Headline award...
  • 09:58
  • 10:14
    It's William Shakespeare's birthday today, and if we was still alive he'd be an impressive 449 years old and probably a bit annoyed at those who question whether he actually wrote all those plays and poems in the first place. Richard II is on at the national theatre at the moment, which is as good a way as any to mark the occasion.
  • 10:19
    "England and her people have done amazing stuff for thousands of years and it’s time we took St George back from the haters.
    "If nice people started shouting about Englishness too – if we all flew the flag, and marked the day with the national dishes of chicken tikka masala and sticky toffee pudding, washed down with real ale – then maybe we could drown the racists out."
  • 10:37
  • 10:46
    Genevieve Carbery has just left the office to go and watch robots playing rugby in UCD. This, we think we're right in saying, was the last thing that happened before Skynet became self-aware in Terminator. We hope to soon have pictures of this sporting prelude to the extinction of humanity.
  • 10:55
    How's work going for you today? Enjoying it? Well, you better be, because you're going to be stuck in it longer than you had planned...
  • 11:16
    Here's an exhibition: a museum's tribute to the music video, including a chance to enter the White Stripes 'Seven Nation Army' video.
    Here's an exhibition: a museum's tribute to the music video, including a chance to enter the White Stripes 'Seven Nation Army' video.
  • 11:20
    There's more from the Museum of the Moving Image's 'Spectacle' exhibition here.
  • 11:24
    The New York Times has an excellent interactive feature in which a photo of the Boston Marathon bombing is matched with testimony from those in the picture. Well worth a look.
  • 11:27
  • 11:35
  • 11:35
  • 11:41
    People look at a photograph projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House April 23, 2013 during a display showcasing photographs taken by members of the public depicting their daily lives. [Pic: Reuters]
    People look at a photograph projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House April 23, 2013 during a display showcasing photographs taken by members of the public depicting their daily lives. [Pic: Reuters]
  • 11:56
    "The worst-performing sector was garden centres which saw monthly sales drop by nearly 34 per cent as a result of the prolonged cold snap in March.

    "Footwear and ladies fashion were also hit with sales falling by 10.8 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively during the month.

    "One upside to the bad weather was a 6.61 per cent rise in sales of hot beverages."

    The latest retail stats are out. They don't make good reading for anyone other than coffee shops.
  • 12:01
  • 12:13
  • 12:17
  • 12:26
    RIP Tony Grealish - Irish soccer great.
    RIP Tony Grealish - Irish soccer great.
  • 12:35
    "What is the greatest sin any celebrity can commit? Well, that’s a stupid question. Genocide or something like that, I suppose. Okay, what’s the most depressing thing any star can say after being pulled over the police? You’ve got it. We can forgive them falling drunkenly into the gutter. We can forgive their awful perfume range. But nothing can excuse the use of the phrase: 'Do you know who I am?' "

    Here's Donald Clarke on the strange banging-up of Reece Witherspoon.
  • 13:01
    HL: Hugh Linehan here, filling in for Shane while he goes for some lunch. When I say 'goes for some lunch', I actually mean 'does triathlon, then writes 400-page historical novel'. He's like that.
  • 13:11
    HL: Your lunchtime headlines:

    Irish Times: Supreme Court hears appeal by Seanad over Callely challenge. Mary Carolan reports on the appeal by a Seanad Committee against a decision upholding former Senator Ivor Callely’s challenge to the committee’s findings on his expense claims.

    RTE: €1.4m awarded to girl injured at birth. The High Court has approved an initial award of €1.4m for an eight-year-old girl seriously injured at birth.
    Alex Butler is tetraplegic with cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound.

  • 13:20
  • 13:21
  • 13:38
    Gerry Thornley runs the rule over the hugely impressive Clermont Auvergne team who take on Munster in the Heineken Cup semi-final in Beziers this Saturday. Looks like a daunting task.
  • 13:50
    HL: Paul Cullen reports that: 'the Government needs to act immediately to counter the “shocking” level of harm caused by alcohol by introducing minimum pricing and curbing sports sponsorship by drinks companies, according to a leading group of doctors.

    'Members of the Royal College of Physicians alcohol policy group said they are particularly alarmed at a dramatic rise in chronic drink-related conditions among younger people.

    'Discharge rates for alcoholic liver disease increased by 247 per cent for 15-34 year-olds, and by 224 per cent for 35-49 year-olds, between 1995 and 2007, they point out.'
  • 14:16
    Shane Hegarty back at the desk for the afternoon. Here's an excellent walk-through map of Glasnevin Cemetery to waste some time at work on.
  • 14:18
  • 14:20
  • 14:20
    Is it your first day in a new job? It was AJ Clemente's first day as an anchor on an NBC news show a couple of days ago and it did not go well. There is bad language in this clip, folks, so ask your parents before playing it. And yes, the "f-bomb" features.
  • 14:35
  • 14:54
    The most popular article on the site today is Fintan O'Toole's questioning of the need to shut down an entire city to capture one 19-year-old. It has provoked a big reaction.
  • 14:56
  • 15:02
    Remember when irish cricketer John Mooney tweeted something not entriely generous about Margaret Thatcher after her death. Well, that earned him a three-match ban for bringing the game of cricket into disrepute. Harsh? You decide (while we try to come up with pathetic Thatcher/cricket themed puns).
  • 15:09
  • 15:12
    “I saw this guy on the Twitter thing and thought I would check it out and see what his journey was all about.”

    Mike Tyson has been talking about fellow member of the Biters Club, Luis "The Walking Dead" Suarez.
  • 15:25
    Remember when paul O'Connell callously attempted to decapitate Dave Kearney/accidentally knocked him out when going for the ball (delete depending on one's rugby affiliation)? Well, Dave "The forgotten man in this incident who ironically has probably forgotten this incident" Kearney is out of the Amlin Cup match against Biarritz because of it.
  • 15:32
  • 15:43
  • 15:43
    We've struggled to find great footage from the Tony Grealish era, so if you have anything better please let us know. In the meantime, here's Tony featuring in (Dutch coverage of) the 2-1 win over the Netherlands in 1980.
  • 15:49
  • 15:49
    To more recent sporting glory. In case you missed it, here's highlights of Irish cyclist Dan Martin's magnificent win in the great Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.
  • 15:54
    The most surprising story of the day is definitely that of the chess match that ended up needing the intervention of Limerick gardaí. “After each move he went to the toilet, at least 20 times...I found him in the toilet with an android checking the moves with a chess engine," claimed chess player Gabriel Mirza. He and his opponents will definitely not call each other "mate" after that. (We're here all week, folks, try the veal, etc.)
  • 16:11
    A man arrested in Canada on suspicion of planning what officials say was an al-Qaeda-backed plot to attack a train has appeared in court in Toronto, reports the BBC.
  • 16:17
    "Writer Chris Bunting, the man behind comics about A-Team actor Mr T and Action Man, says: 'Expect plenty of famous English faces to appear in comic-book form for the first time – the cover preview reveals some of them. Plus, there are brand new, quintessentially English characters, including Greenbelt and Dry Stone Wall.' "

    Launched on St George's Day, it's new comic character (and apparently serious) Englishman.
  • 16:19
  • 16:32
  • 16:35
  • 16:42
    France has become the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage. Liberation is reporting it with a kiss.
  • 16:44
    Le Monde has this neat graphic of the countries that have gone before. Ireland, of course, does not feature.
  • 17:07
  • 17:07
    That's it from today's News Blog. We're going to leave off where we started, with Richie Havens. This time it's Freedom, from his opening of the Woodstock Festival. It also seems apt given the news out of France this afternoon.