The Daily Wire
Woeful weather, neknomination backlash and all the day’s news with Genevieve Carbery
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If you’re still in bed or at home, stay there, it’s horrible out - yet another code orange wind warning today with gusts of 80-100km per hour.
Met Eireann even recorded a a new maximum wave height of 23.4 metres off the northwest coast last weekend at a point roughly west of Bloody Foreland in Co Donegal.
Read more here. Tim O’Brien has more here. It’s Genevieve Carbery on the Daily Wire.
“I saw him last week, and he was clean and sober, his old self,” the friend who found Philip Seymour Hoffman and called the police, David Bar Katz told the New York Times. “I really thought this chapter was over.”
"He may have reached 46, but — the sort of actor who would wear age well — he only seemed to be getting going", Donald Clarke writes here .
Here's a tase of him in his Oscarwinning role Capote, watch here.
Were you stuck on a Dublin bus this morning with those fogged up windows and that dampness in the air that you only get on charming days like this. And your feet/hair/clothes were probably a bit sopping from standing at the bus stop/ being splashed by cars? How would you like that journey to have been cut by 40%?
Well the National Transport Authority is proposing three rapid bus routes – Swords and the airport to the city centre, Blanchardstown to UCD and Clongriffin to Tallaght.
The buses would be similar to Luas (minus the tracks) as passengers would board through multiple doors and there would be less stops.The big advantage of course is that it’s cheaper than metro. Olivia Kelly has more.
Rapid bus almost as fast as Metro North, says NTA http://t.co/Y425Ba4650— Irish Times News (@IrishTimesNews) February 3, 2014
09:32So I would have thanked god for an unanswered prayer for all those Garth Brooks fans who wanted a fourth gig. But he went and answered their prayers. It's just been announced that the country star is to play a fourth gig in Croke Park on July 28th with tickets going on sale this Thursday. Oh lordy.
So if you have high participation of women in the workplace and you have one of the highest birth rates (a great thing to have more young people as the pensions ticking timebomb approaches), what is the logical thing to do as a Government?
Cut the maternity benefit of women so they have less incentive to have children and are financially disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts??
Well that is the bizarre logic behind the decision in the social welfare budget changes has been revealed by Carl O’Brien as a result of Freedom of Information requests.
The reduction of €32 per week in maternity benefit combined with the taxation of the maternity benefit meant the income for many mothers of newborns has fallen from almost €7,000 to just over €3,500.
The justification for these cuts was largely on the basis Ireland has “one of the highest birth rates in Europe and high participation by women in the labour force”, he writes.
Read more here. Try not to throw your computer screen out the window.
How officials justified welfare cuts in the budget http://t.co/3xsflGAORY
— Irish Times News (@IrishTimesNews) February 3, 2014
'For half an hour and more, the Flower of Scotland was the only thing that looked liked growing on the Aviva Stadium’s immaculate pitch. Then the green-fingered Johnny Sexton worked some magic involving that well-known Irish perennial, the Jamie Heaslip. This seemed to be the signal for the whole team to blossom.'Loving Frank McNally's gardening metaphor at the right level for fairweather rugby fans like me who have decided to embrace not fight this six nations fever infecting the nation.
Scotland wilt as Schmidt’s men blossom http://t.co/5mLE0lZWrS— Irish Times Sport (@IrishTimesSport) February 3, 2014
10:15Widespread flooding in Wexford and Waterford. Lots of of photographs floating around (baddum tish) twitter. Situation looking very serious in Limerick too. You can watch a video from St Mary's Park Limerick here.
“God has blessed me with a relationship with a country I am not from,” Garth Brooks has just told Newstalk. “When I get there I feel home” he said in an interview from Oklahoma.
Brooks is going to play the fourth date in Dublin despite it being his daughter’s 18th Birthday . “I’d play 100 shows there if I could” books says, saying he is “humbled”.
10:34So a call for a Coca-Cola boycott is usually made by left-leaning campaigners... But after the Super Bowl ads aired late last night this was turned on its head. The hashtag #boycottcoke was trending on twitter after it upset people because it was not sung in English but in multiple languages showing America’s multicultural people. Watch it here.
Several counter-neknominations have been doing the rounds on social media as the family of a Carlow hurler who died after taking part in the drinking challenge have appealed for people to stop. Read here.
One of those anti-neknomination videos is published on Facebook by Cormac McCarthy under the tag - How real men do neknominations. This has over 16,000 likes already. You can watch here.
Fred Flintstone going yabba-dabba-doo on the radio, with “the lovely Ingrid” back home in Bedrock - that's how John Waters describes Ireland's favourite rugby pundit George Hook. "When you’re fat, bald, toothless, with bad eyesight and erectile dysfunction – like, who’s gonna offend ya? D’ya know?" Hook said in this interview.
While we're on the topic of Hook - I couldn't decide on his rusty coloured jacket for the Six Nations commentary yesterday - was it retro cool or naff?
Dubliners if you have galoshes, put them on. Dublin City Council has just issued a warning for very high tide at 1.50pm. It warns of wave overtopping at Clontarf and Sandymount and possible closures on the quays. Its warning is here.
Go on admit it you were feeling just a bit superior to all the other cities underwater – Limerick, Cork and Waterford. – weren’t you?
Speaking of Cork. Residents have a new spontaneous swimming pool.
— Jonathan Healy (@jonathanhealy) February 3, 2014
Can a business be both nice and profitable? Ryanair reported a loss of €35 million for Q3 this morning due to boosting passengers by discounting fares. Considering the new cuddly Michael O'Leary and customer-focused Ryanair campaign only began in the last quarter of 2013, the question of being both nice and profitable will just have to remain unanswered for now. Read more here.
Wills at the best of times can cause fighting among average families but Nelson Mandela’s 40 page €3m will has been read today.
Reuters reports that it was “was expected to set off another round of squabbling among members of his large and factious family”.
Already some of his grandchildren have started a line of caps and sweatshirts that feature his image under the brand Long Walk to Freedom while two of his US.-based granddaughters starred in a reality television show called Being Mandela.
Ireland could do more work to improve the speed and capacity of corruption cases, the European Commission’s major report on corruption has found today.
It also calls on Ireland to limit the amount of political donation one person can give to election candidates, and to take action in the area of city planning. You can read more about it here.
So one family woke up fearing their car was stolen – but it was swallowed whole by the earth!
This sink hole in the UK is 9 metres deep and 4.5metres wide and it swallowed a parked Volkswagen Lupo car at a house in High Wycombe yesteday morning.
Wisely enough the family have been told not to sleep in their house for fears of further subsidence.
The area was known for chalk mining and there may be historic tunnels left underneath.
Firefighters have tweeted some extraordinary photos.
— Bucks and MK Fire (@Bucksfire) February 2, 2014
“We have to grow up in relation to our approach to alcohol” Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has said about the neknomination tragedies. It is a “symptom of our approach to alcohol” and it has to be taken “really seriously” she told Newstalk Radio.
Word of the Irish deaths and the appeal by the family of the young Carlow man is spreading to other countries. In Australia one news station describes it as an Aussie phenomenon, claiming it originated in Perth.
You can read the original appeal from the late Jonny Byrne's brother Patrick here which has been shared 23,000 times.
13:40Former heroin addict Russell Brand is among those connecting Philip Seymour Hoffman's death from presumed heroin overdose to wider drug issues.
Love and prayers for Philip Seymour Hoffman's family. Addiction kills, I hope all who need it have access to abstinence based recovery.
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) February 2, 2014
In the Guardian today Simon Jenkins writes: The law lumps Hoffman together with thousands found dead and friendless in urban backstreets, also with needles in their arms. It treats them all as outlaws. Such is the double standard that now governs the regulation of addictive substances that we have had to develop separate universes of condemnation. You can read more here.
13:43As a frequent visitor to Mayo I know it almost always rains. So to read that Knock Airport had its wettest January on record, well that means it was a Marty Pellowesque month (Wet, Wet Wet – cue groans). Knock recorded 208.1mms of rain. It can’t get any worse can it? (***looks outside in fear***)
January was wettest for two decades in some parts http://t.co/B4ULbkpOkp— Irish Times News (@IrishTimesNews) February 3, 2014
14:04“The houses are completely destroyedAnd we’re afraid it will be the same tomorrow ..... It’s never been like this, in history.” Conor Kane reports from Waterford here. Meamwhile in Dublin high tide has come but no reports of problems yet.
The Liffey's a bit high today, me thinks http://t.co/eNLFkpVNlr— J.P. Kallio (@jpkalliomusic) February 3, 2014
The NFL Super Bowl rarely seems to be about the actual sport. It's kind of like an all Ireland football final where the Garda band is the highlight. More often than not it's about half-time wardrobe malfunctions. But this year saw an intentionally semi-naked Anthony Keidis of Red Hot Chill Peppers give a really brill performance of Give it Away. Watch here. Skip to 8 minutes and you'll find it hard to believe he's 51.
Also a big feature is the ads. The winning one according to a USA today poll is Budweiser's adopted puppy and horse ad. Doesn't do it for me but here's a link to all the adverts.
Bad news for Cork city residents as the council has issued an alert for flood risk for tomorrow evening which is possibly “in excess” of this morning.
CORK CITY TIDAL FLOOD ALERT - 3rd February, 2014. For more information click http://t.co/D0K5sAz2HR
— Cork City Council (@corkcitycouncil) February 3, 2014
Meanwhile rail services are disrupted due to flooding with bus services in place for Irish rail passengers in Waterford & Kilkenny, Limerick & Ennis and Enniscorthy & Rosslare. As I told you all this morning. Stay in bed if you can!
If new cars are a sign of an upturn then things are looking up as new car sales are up a third on last year. But if car sales symbolise the upturn then ours is steady, compact and dull as the Volkswagon Golf was the top selling car in January according to figures out today.
Interesting also to see that demand for used cars is high but supply of local used cars is low (presumably because of the dip in car sales over the past few years). Unfortunately cars, being a wholly imported good, do very little for the Irish economy. Read the full report here.
Speaking of cars - Top Gear was back last night for it's 21st season. 21 years! Who feels old? The Guardian says what was different was that it "finally did away with all pretence of realism. The episode was a cartoon."
This Angry Pigs/wheelbarrow court case has all the marks of an implausible caper comedy. But it’s real. And it's Irish. A student stole computers from DCU because he wanted to design a computer game called “Angry Pigs” to rival “Angry Birds”, a court has heard.
Femi Adekele (25) and his accomplice jumped out of a window to escape security guards. He broke his leg in the process, causing his friend to leave him in a bush on college grounds for 12 hours overnight. The accomplice returned the next day with a wheelbarrow to take Adekele away. Read the full case here.
Strong comments from today from Pat Rabbitte and a high court judge as the neknominations backlash continues.
Mr Justice Paul Carney said today: “if the current internet drinking contest takes hold, it is going to result in a tsunami of homicide and rape prosecutions coming before this court”.
Meanwhile Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said “it would be helpful if Facebook agreed to take down” Neknomination pages, which promote the “stupid and silly phenomenon”. Facebook has not responded. More here.
15:52Leona Lambe is only three days old but has made history already as she has become the last baby born at Mount Carmel hospital. Our video team was out to meet her. You can watch the extra-cute video of the day here.
16:09I remember taking the train in Singapore and being quite mystified with posters of a hairy green fruit with a red line through it (like a no smoking poster). Once I'd smelled one I understood. It was the musang king durians fruit and it stinks. Well the world’s smelliest fruit has just gone on sale in London for the first time. Let's hope it doesn't cross the water. Read about it here.
16:37So we have a landslide on the M50! But don't worry it's not impacting on traffic.
M3: update on landslide: it is not blocking the left lane as originally thought, its blocking hard shoulder so there are no traffic delays.— M50 Dublin (@M50Dublin) February 3, 2014
Facebook's paper has been released in the US app store in the past few minutes. From the reaction on Twitter it seems like we're going to hear a lot about it in the next few months. It's making the social media network into a news reader.
The first reviews are in already.
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