News Blog

Further Anglo tape revelations, mysterious statue revolutions and other rolling news

Joanne Hunt Tue, Jun 25
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  • 08:47

    It's a bright, sunny morning in the capital, though a bit cloudier in the West I believe. Your clouds are coming our way this afternoon. Temperatures 15 to 18 degrees across the country so not too shabby at all.

  • 08:51
    Good morning. Joanne Hunt here on the Irish Times news blog on Tuesday June 25th, also known as, 'The Anglo Tapes: Part Deux'.
  • 08:55
    The stories on the frontpage of today's Irish Times: Drumm was happy to abuse State guarantee. Burlusconi says underage sex sentence 'incredible'.
  • 08:58
  • 09:03
    "We don't do anything blatant, but...we have to get the f***in' money in, get it in," former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm tells senior manager at the bank, John Bowe. The phone conversation was recorded in September 2008, just two weeks before the then government's decision to issue a bank guarantee.
  • 09:10
    "You pull them in, you get them to write a big cheque, and they have to keep, they have to support their money, you know," said Anglo bank manager  John Bowe of the bank's strategy to secure billions in emergency funding from the Central Bank. Read analysis by Irish Times journalists Stephen Collins and Colm Keena.
  • 09:11

    You couldn't make it up.

  • 09:19
    "I understand the rage and the anger of so many people who have been affected by all of this in their daily lives," said Taoiseach Enda Kenny. 

    A spokesman for the Department of Public Enterprise and Reform said while a new inquiries Bill was on the way, it would not be empowered to make findings of individual culpability, only to inquire into the facts surrounding the banking collapse. Still no heads on the block then.
  • 09:34
    'Anglo Irish  bankers 'tricked' government into bailout' reads a headline in  The Daily Telegraph.    

    The article quotes  Anglo manager John Bowe in the tapes: “If they saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide... they have a choice. You know what I mean? They might say the cost to the taxpayer is too high. But... em... if it doesn’t look big at the outset... if it looks big, big enough to be important, but not too big that it kind of spoils everything, then I think you have a chance.”  

    It's like a game of Monopoly. Except with real money. That belongs to us.
  • 09:38
  • 09:52

    In other news - former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has received a lifelong ban from public office and a seven-year (suspended) prison sentence. He was condemned for "abuse of office" and "involvement in underage prostitution".  

    Judges had to rule on two accusations - the first, had parties he held been sexual orgies involving a then 17-year old girl? (Berlusconi claimed they had been "elegant dinner parties" featuring some after-dinner "burlesque" cabaret). The second,  why on the night of March 27th 2010 had he found time during an OECD summit in Paris to urgently contact the Milan police station where the girl was being held on theft charges, to uge she be released? Our man in Italy, Paddy Agnew reports.

  • 09:55
  • 10:02

    Could Ireland learn from how the Italians hold those in high office to account? Perhaps we should send a delegation. Over the past 20 years, Berlusconi has featured in at least 20 major court cases in which he has been accused, but nearly always not convicted, of corruption, bribery, fraud, false book-keeping, money-laundering, tax-evasion and other crimes.

  • 10:10

    International reaction to the Anglo tapes

  • 10:26
    Just when you thought things couldn't get any whackier, a moving statue has been recorded at the Manchester Museum. Curators are stumped by the activity.

    “In Ancient Egypt they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit. Maybe that is what is causing the movement,” the museum's Egyptologist Campbell Price was reported as saying in the Manchester Evening News.

    Let's all make sandwiches and head off in a minibus with the rest of the parish to have a look. You can watch the 4,000 year-old Egyptian carving doing the twist here.
  • 10:34

    Gardaí have released without charge a 40-year-old man held in relation to the murders of a mother and her daughter in Co Kerry earlier this month.

    Gardaí believed the Lithuanian national may have information that may assist them in their investigation into the murders of Jolanta Lubiene (27) and her daughter Enrika (8) at their home at Langford Downs in Killorglin on June 15th.

    Sources said gardaí were keeping an open mind on the killings and had not narrowed their focus to any one suspect as they investigate people Ms Lubiene may have met through a dating website.

  • 10:38
  • 10:39
  • 10:46

    A man in his 20s has drowned while swimming in a lake in Co Cavan last night. The 26-year-old was swimming at Knocknagarton, Virginia, at about 10pm when he got into difficulty and was taken from the water by friends.


  • 10:51

    A Labour councillor and nephew of the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has been elected Lord Mayor of Dublin.

    Oisín Quinn said he was “honoured” to be elected to the role and said his main objectives as mayor would be to promote Dublin as a gateway to Europe for business, a family friendly city and one that embraces diversity at all levels of society. Any ideas for the Lord Mayor on how Dublin could be made more family friendly? Tweet us @IrishTimesLive

  • 10:53

    Meanwhile a 74-year-old grandmother who described herself as “always the bridesmaid” in mayoral elections, became the 817th mayor of Limerick last night.

    Independent Cllr Kathleen Leddin, is the longest serving member of Limerick City Council never to have held the office of mayor.

  • 10:57
  • 11:00
  • 11:01
  • 11:05
    Large numbers of staff in the Health Service Executive are inquiring about voluntary pay cuts rather than agreeing to a longer working week as set out under the new Haddington Road accord, reports our Industry correspondent Martin Wall.
  • 11:07
  • 11:11
  • 11:16

    Moors murderer Ian Brady studied German and psychology in prison and walks up and down reciting Shakespeare and Plato, he told his mental health tribunal today.

    Brady (75), has brought the tribunal, which is being held in public, because he believes he is not mentally ill and wants to be transferred to a prison from maximum security Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside, where he has been held for 28 years.

  • 11:23

    Brady was asked how he explained supposed hallucinations and episodes of him talking to himself.

    “Well, first of all - prison. I was in solitary confinement for a time. I would memorise whole pages of Shakespeare and Plato and other people and recite them all to myself while walking up and down exercising in the cell.

    “If I interact with the TV, Tony Blair or something on, and make any comment, this is interpreted as psychosis.“And er, who doesn’t talk to themselves. This is a question people very rarely ask.”

    His legal team assert that he has a severe narcissistic personality disorder but is not mentally ill and could be treated in prison rather than hospital. But Ashworth Hospital says Brady is still chronically mentally ill and remains a paranoid schizophrenic who needs around-the-clock care.

  • 11:34
  • 11:44
    Lions: 14 Melbourne Rebels: 0

    If you're stuck at a desk, you can sneakily follow the second half with our live blog of the game.
  • 11:51
    Has the tone of the abortion debate been more frenzied and spiteful than in the past or has the intensity and heat of the 1980s and 1990s faded in memory?  Harry McGee writes today.
  • 11:52
  • 11:57
  • 11:57
    This isn't enough room for bicycles down there, not to mind Hummers.
  • 12:02
  • 12:06
    Lions: 28. Rebels: 0 with 68 minutes gone.
  • 12:11
  • 12:19

    Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan did the Dublin marathon at 57 years of age for the first time in 5:10:41 four years ago. He beat me, and the vast majority of his constituents, in the Ballybunion 10km two years ago.

  • 12:23
    The Irish Times is looking for first-time marathon runners, or any others with a story to tell, who would be willing to share their experiences of preparing for an autumn marathon over the coming months. Drop us a line at
  • 12:24

    A 35:0 win to the Lions against the Melbourne Rebels.

    Now get back to work.
  • 12:33
  • 12:42
  • 12:47
    'We've come too far to give up who we are'.
  • 13:03
    Where's Eddie?? Well not in Russia it seems. Officials have denied a role in Edward Snowden’s efforts to evade prosecution and said he has not crossed the border into Russia.
    The former US spy agency worker is on the run after disclosing that highly classified counter-terror surveillance programmes in the US were collecting vast amounts of Americans’ phone records and worldwide online data in the name of national security. With the hope of shelter in territories with little love for the US, it's likely he'll be collecting snow globes in Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador soon.
  • 13:06
  • 13:10
  • 13:15
    Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has reversed planned cuts to supports for special needs pupils following a public backlash.
    He said today he has secured agreement at Cabinet to release 500 additional teaching posts which means special needs children will not have cuts to their supports.
  • 13:17
    “Parents can be assured that their children will not be disadvantaged while we are moving towards a new model that will ensure greater fairness and quality of education for children with special educational needs,” Mr Quinn said.
  • 13:26
  • 13:34
  • 13:36
    How long can you wait to have a baby? Some solace in The Atlantic for would-be older mums. It says the decline in fertility over the course of a woman's 30s has been oversold.
  • 13:41
    How to cut nasty bank charges out of your life - some tips in today's paper from Fiona Reddan.
  • 13:47

    If we had a new income tax band of 48 per cent for those earning more than €100,000 it would raise just 0.3 per cent of gross national product, according to an ESRI report published today.

    The report says Ireland’s low tax revenue compared to peer countries is accounted for by relatively low levels of tax paid by those at the lower end of the income spectrum.
    Those on higher incomes in Ireland pay proportionately similar amounts of tax to their better-off counterparts in high-tax countries such as Germany and the Nordics. As such, the research finds that there is “rather limited scope for tax increases on incomes above €100,000 to contribute to a substantial upward shift in the tax ratio”. Who knew?


  • 13:47
  • 13:53
    It's only six months to Christmas. Have you still got a bit of last year's cake in the press?
  • 14:00
    Need something to keep the chislers occupied now that they are on hols? Check out a tonne of FREE ideas from Sheila Wayman in today's Health & Family supplement.
  • 14:04
  • 14:08
  • 14:14
    Some punky daftness there (thanks Éanna Ó Caollaí) from Coláiste Lurgan. Did you Get Lucky at Irish college?
  • 14:29

    An Oireachtas committee is right now discussing a proposal that schools should stop insisting that students wear expensive crested uniforms.

    The idea is one of a number of cost saving suggestions contained in a report published by the Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection, reports Conor Pope from Leinster House.  

  • 14:30
  • 14:38
    Planning permission was granted for 2,308 new homes in the first quarter of 2013, up 24.7 per cent on the previous quarter, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.
  • 15:12
  • 15:13
  • 15:22
    Leaders' questions to begin shortly in the Dail. Anglo bun fight no doubt.
  • 15:28

    Wouldn't you be so peeved if you had planned to propose today?  France’s most recognisable monument, the Eiffel Tower, has been shut down because of a strike. Management and unions are in negotiations over salary raises and a company profit-sharing policy.

    The 124-year-old tower, normally open 365 days a year, sees about 25,000 tourists daily. It occasionally closes because of suicide threats, bomb threats or strikes.

  • 15:32
    "What we need to do is get at the truth. We should remember who the victims are, the families and ordinary people..." Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking in the Dail now on the Anglo revelations.
  • 15:34
    "We should remember those who became the victims of the axis of collusion between Anglo Irish Bank and Fianna Fáil," says Enda 'get the dig into FF' Kenny.
  • 15:35
    "It was the previous government who became light touch on regulation and allowed that culture to actually function," he says.
  • 15:44
    'Why aren't we chasing these people who have defrauded the State?' the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has asked Enda Kenny in the Dail now. "If the Minister for Finance says he didn't know about these tapes, why didn't he know?'said Mr Adams.
  • 15:47

    "I have no evidence of bankers who came to meet Government ministers," Mr Kenny says. And if there was, I would lay it here before you he says.

  • 15:48
    Mattie McGrath is now on his feet. He calls Anglo's actions "a massive public deception".
  • 15:51
    McGrath says those responsible should be taken to task under criminal justice laws, not Oireachtas inquiries. He says surely the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had asked for recordings of banking conversations when he came to office.
  • 15:53
    Lots of digs about Minister for Justice Alan Shatter being privy to all sorts of other tittle tattle but yet not these tapes.
  • 15:56
    'Did the Minister for Justice know about these tapes, and if he didn't know about  these tapes, why didn't he? asks McGrath. 
  • 16:05
  • 16:12
    A four-year-old boy, who had inadvertently been administered an overdose of iron when he was three weeks old, has been awarded €6,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.
  • 16:15
  • 16:22
  • 16:29
    'My husband doesn't want adult children tied to our purse strings' - read Kate Holmquist's reply to today's 'Tell me about it' query.
  • 16:32

    Russian president Vladimir Putin has said National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is in the transit zone of Moscow airport, and Russia will not extradite him.

    Russia earlier denied a role in Mr Snowden’s efforts to evade prosecution and said he has not crossed the border into Russia.

  • 16:36

    A tax on tracker mortgages? That's what a leading economist and one-time advisor to the former minister of finance Brian Lenihan has proposed.

    Dr Alan Ahearne of the National University of Galway also proposed the removal of mortgage interest relief on tracker mortgages, advocating the measures because most of the banking system is now nationalised. As such, the section of society not on tracker mortgages was effectively subsidising those who are, he said. Read more that might put you off your tea.

  • 16:45
  • 16:46
  • 16:50
    Are young gay men becoming complacent about HIV? A rise in diagnoses suggests they are, writes Una Mulally in today's Health & Family supplement.
  • 16:54
    It will be mostly dry overnight with just a little patchy rain possible in parts of the north and east early in the night, mostly on hills, says Met Eireann. So you can leave the washing out in most places then. 
  • 16:56
    Tomorrow will be dry and bright with a mix of cloud and sunny spells. Light winds and top temperatures of 16 to 20 degrees - warmest in the midlands, south and east. Lovely weather for a cycle or a run.
  • 17:03
    That's a wrap for today's live blog. Thanks for stopping by.

    Will whistleblower Edward Snowden remain in the transit zone of Moscow airport?  Will the Egyptian statue in Manchester Museum continue to rotate? Will there be even cuter pics of sleeping animals? Stay tuned to and to @IrishTimesLive and you won't miss a thing.