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A rolling look at the day's news with Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin Thu, Mar 27
 
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  • 07:59

    As the rain falls on Leinster House this grey Thursday morning, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter will feel a small sense of relief as the pressure on him to step down abated somewhat after yesterday's apology to the garda whistleblowers and correction of the Dáil record.

    However, as our main story today points out, there is still concern in both Government parties over when Mr Shatter and Attorney General Máire Whelan first became aware of the widespread recording of phone calls to and from Garda stations and why the Cabinet had not been informed earlier.

    Indeed, the Coalition still has questions to face.

  • 08:04

    The fallout from Tuesday's phone taping revelations has also begun with lawyers for two men charged with IRA membership have sought confirmation as to whether telephone calls made by their clients from Garda stations were recorded. Thomas McMahon (31) and his Noel Noonan (34) were due to stand trial at the Special Criminal Court, but Isobel Kennedy SC said a matter had arisen “in light of recent events of which we are all aware”.

    That case is back in court today.

  • 08:15

    We have six fabulous pages of Alan Shatter, apology, Dáil retraction,  whistleblowers, Callinan resignation/reitrement, and what it all means, man.

    But if you don't have time for it all, then here's Miriam Lord:

    "Alan Shatter felt the hooves of history on his shoulders yesterday...an apology finally dragged from [him]...Dáil Éireann had witnessed the conscious uncoupling of the Minister for Justice from his pride."

  • 08:31

    The Public Accounts Committee want to have a look at all this phone call recording business. Firstly, they want to know whether the taping of calls was legal and, as committee member Shane Ross just told Morning Ireland, they will also want to know whether the State got value for money in the procurement of recording equipment.

    Ross said the committee, which itself has certainly proven to be value for money of late, will need to speak to former Garda commissioners on the matter.

    If it comes to it, I'm sure one Martin Callinan would only be delighted to appear before his old buddies in the PAC, again.

  • 08:36

    Speaking of Martin Callinan, Shane Ross also said there was "no doubt about it whatsoever" that the former commissioner was sacked by the Taoiseach.

    Enda Kenny yesterday confirmed he sent the Secretary General of the Department of Justice to speak with on Monday evening Callinan on the gravity of the phone taping revelations. Callinan, of course, resigned, or, as the Government would have it, retired, on Tuesday morning. Yesterday Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Kenny "essentially sacked" the Commissioner.

    "Micheál Martin hit the nail right on the head," Shane Ross said a short while ago.

  • 08:49

    Now, elsewhere, the number of publicly disclosed executions jumped nearly 15 per cent in 2013 compared with a year earlier. In its annual report on death-penalty trends, Amnest International said the increase could be attributed to "virtual killing sprees" carried out by the authorities in Iran and Iraq.

    The report said the number of publicly disclosed executions last year totalled 778, compared with 682 in 2012. The data excludes capital punishment in China, which regards information about the number of executions as a state secret.

    The country with the dubious honour of executing more of its citizens is China, which kills more people than all other countries combined. However, their exact number of executions is unknown, as they consider such figures a state secret.

    Read more

  • 08:51
    On a related note, a Japanese court today ordered the release and a retrial of an ageing prisoner accused of murder who served on death row for over 30 years, amid doubts about the evidence used to convict him.
  • 08:59

    What news of Flight MH370?

    Bad weather has halted an air search for a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean today, frustrating hopes of finding what new satellite images showed could be a large debris field.

  • 09:08
  • 09:25

    We won't spend too much time on the papers now because, well, you know what they all lead with. Shatter Shatter Shatter Shatter...except, it seems, the Irish Sun, which bravely goes for "Exclusive: Secrets of the split". The split here being the one between of Coldplay singer and 2005's man of the moment, Chris Martin, from Gwyneth "conscious uncoupling" Paltrow.


    Sometimes I suppose you land on a pun that's so good it practically forces you to relegate the meat of the country's main story to page six. "OUT IN THE COLDPLAY".


    The Coldplay!

  • 09:36
  • 09:49
    The International Monetary Fund said today it had agreed a $14-18 billion bailout for Ukraine, a deal that will unlock further credits to reach a total of $27 billion over the next two years.
  • 10:05
    A Thai satellite has detected 300 floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean where an international search is under way for a missing Malaysian jet liner, Thailand’s Geo Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency said.
  • 10:26

    Popular story on the site today is the news that shares in King Digital Entertainment fell as much as 16 per cent following its IPO yesterday.

    King is the company behind massively popular mobile game Candy Crush. The dip in the firm's share value underscored concern about its reliance on that single franchise because, while the company offers over 180 games, Candy Crush Saga accounted for more than three quarters of its revenue for the last three months of 2013.

    Read more

  • 10:39
  • 10:57

    The board of Trinity College Dublin has provisionally approved a new name for what is Ireland’s oldest university in a bid to strengthen its global identity.


    Under a rebranding initiative to be completed by September, the board agreed yesterday to a proposal by Provost Patrick Prendergast to use “Trinity College, the University of Dublin” in official communications.


    The plan comes as Trinity continues, along with most other Irish universities, to slip in international rankings.


    Apparently, the new name will address "fragmentation and confusion" which has been caused by the use of different names for Trinity from "TCD" to "Dublin University".


    But, observers might be inclined to argue it's more than new names that Irish universities need to pull themselves out of their rankings nosedive.


    Earlier this month Morgan Kelly outlined his concerns about the education system.


    As a former Galway student, I much prefer Trinity's new name (clunky as it is) to what University College Galway (UCG) became: National University of Ireland, Galway or NUIG, which really makes it sound more like a professional services firm than a university.

  • 11:10
    Of course, they would have been well advised to stick with the old (and best) name: College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin
  • 11:29
    The vitriol aimed by some Manchester United fans at Alex Ferguson for appointing David Moyes may signal the endgame of his tenure as manager, writes Jamie Jackson in our most read story at the moment.
  • 11:38
    Mick Clifford's analysis of Alan Shatter's apology in Today's examiner is worth reading. His pieces on the various garda and justice controversies of late have been very good.
  • 12:04
  • 12:15
    Right, I'm off to lunch before the 1pm rush. The blog will resume in a short while.
  • 13:03

    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the issue of calls to and from Garda stations being recorded may have implications for tribunals as well as court cases.

    “I don’t know the scale of actual contents on those tapes but we’re concerned about it. It’s a serious issue where in some cases court cases have been dealt with, others reaching as far as tribunals may have implications for some of the findings there,” Mr Kenny said today.

  • 13:12
    These sacking allegations are not going away. What did Kenny tell the Secretary General of the Department of Justice to say to the now former garda commissioner. It's the main item of discussion on the News at One.
  • 13:13
    Also, Martin Callinan told Paul Reynolds that he was wrong to use the word "disgusting" at the PAC, says Paul Reynolds.
  • 13:14
  • 13:30
    Pat Rabbitte on the News at One says he presumed Enda Kenny informed the Minister for Justice of his decision to send Secretary General at the Department of Justice Brian Purcell to speak with Martin Callinan on Monday.
  • 13:35

    He also says that he "would have expected that management in the Garda at a level much lower than the Garda Commissioner" knew about phone taping.

    He adds that it "mystifies me" how everyone seems to know nothing about the phone taping.

    And goes on to say it's a pity Martin Callinan didn't withdraw his "disgusting" comment.

  • 13:53

    “I plan to run for election as president,” said formerly disgraced erstwhile Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

    And here's what else she said.



  • 14:07

    A 42-year-old man has been jailed for life for murdering his flatmate in their Dublin apartment after a row over a €4 bill.

    Jacky Lumi (42) stabbed colleague and fellow Dutch national Kamal El Habsati 21 times and left the knife in his heart, before fleeing across Europe.

    Read more

  • 14:27
  • 14:44

    Anyone who doubts the merits of modern dance needs to watch this video on irishtimes.com:

    This one

    "We haven't had an injury yet."

    I'd say you haven't.

  • 14:57

    A defence solicitor who represented Limerick gangland figure John Dundon has said he will be seeking a review of his conviction for the murder of rugby player Shane Geogheghan.

    Read the full story here

  • 15:03
  • 15:06
  • 15:17
    Sean FitzPatrick, former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, told gardaí he had been “bowing out” of his involvement with the unwind of Sean Quinn’s holdings in the bank before the deal was finalised in July 2008, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told this morning.
  • 15:38

    As photo disseminating site Instagram surpassed 200 million users, Twitter (with 240 million users) has announced it has updated its photo service to allow users to "tag" friends in images.

    Facebook (which owns Instagram) has had the feature for some time, and this update follows a design overhaul earlier this year which saw photos given higher priority when composing a new tweet.

    Industry experts pointed to statistics which show Instagram users have surpassed Twitter in the US for the first time. With the new features, when users select a photo to tweet, a new button labelled “Who’s in this photo” appears, enabling users to tag friends.

    Nibble

  • 15:54
    A woman stands on the rocks at the Giants Causeway, Co Antrim. The improbably popular tourist attraction ranks highly on a new Lonely Planet list of 50 'must see' locations.
    A woman stands on the rocks at the Giants Causeway, Co Antrim. The improbably popular tourist attraction ranks highly on a new Lonely Planet list of 50 "must see" locations.
  • 16:00
    And that's where we'll leave it for today. Compared to the exploding freight train on top of a collapsing skyscraper of drama that was yesterday, today was a bit of a snoozer, but thanks for reading. The Daily Wire will be back tomorrow morning.