The Daily Wire

A rolling looks at today's news with Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin Tue, Mar 11
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  • 08:01
    Frank Flannery cuts a lonely figure on the front page of today's Irish Times where he is photographed sitting alone at the recent Fine Gael ardfheis.
  • 08:05

    The former Fine Gael strategist now faces the prospect of moves to compel him to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

    That's our lead story on today's front page and we'll continue to bring updates throughout the day. Enda Kenny is in London this week ahead of St Patrick's Day so there could be more from there later.

  • 08:09

    Meanwhile though, the massive search for the Boeing 777-200ER that "vanished" about an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early on Saturday has entered its fourth day  amid growing scepticism that the Malaysian flight lost with 239 people on board was the target of terrorist attack.

    Read more on that here


  • 08:21

    Also on the front page of today's Times, Ruadhán Mac Cormaic has the latest from the Anglo trial and Olivia Kelly reports Dublin "freedom bell", the first Catholic Church bell to ring in breach of the Penal Laws, is to be restored.

    Elsewhere in this morning's papers, the Examiner leads with 'Experts to review use of fluoride in water'.

    The Independent says it's a setback for the Taoiseach as one of Fine Gael's key adviser's quits.

    The tabloids meanwhile cover a court case from Roscommon on most of their front pages.

    As well as Frank Flannery's resignation, Cheltenham also features prominently in all of today's papers.

    But back to the main story of the day, Frank Flannery's resignation, and Shane Ross is on Morning Ireland this morning saying he expects the former Fine Gael strategist to attend a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee within the next two weeks. He also said the committee hopes to speak to Rehab chief executive Angela Kerins again.

  • 08:36

    Also coming up today: teachers around the State are due to hold a brief protest at lunchtime this afternoon. The presidents of the ASTI and TUI unions will be at Newpark Comprehensive, Blackrock, Co Dublin.

    The teachers believe the Minster for Education's proposals for the new Junior Cycle Student Award (the name itself is worthy of protest) pose threats to education standards and to the objectivity and transparency of junior cycle examinations.

    But the protest is a one-off and limited to lunch time, regular business and supervision will not be disrupted. So no return to the glory days of the 2001 ASTI strike for pupils then.

  • 08:44

    Hurricane Fly is one of the all-time great hurdlers, twice a Stan James Champion Hurdle winner, with a world-record number of Grade One wins already in the bag, and possessed of Willie Mullins’s conviction that he’s better now than ever before.

    So betting against him becoming just the sixth horse to win a third Champion Hurdle verges on the contrary: but the suspicion remains of a Cheltenham chink that the young pretender The New One can take advantage of today.

    Read more on Cheltenham here

  • 08:52

    Dublin draped in fog this morning. Most of that seems to have given way to brilliant sunshine and blue skies now which, I'm hearing, is set to be the case for most of the week.  

  • 09:11

    Hmm, there was a spokeswoman from Irish Rail on Morning Ireland there explaining that the company has decided to ban electronic cigarettes not because of health risks (there isn't enough research on the health implications of "vaping", as it's called) but because it makes other passengers "uncomfortable".

    Which is all fine and well but, using that criteria, there are a damn sight more activities that should be banned on trains:

    Members of stag/hen parties on bank holiday weekends singing their heads off as they get progressively pissed on the way to Galway.

    People listening to music/films very loudly through their headphones or indeed, sometimes, with no headphones at all.

    Eating bags of smelly crisps.

    Having loud, lengthy phone calls.

    What else should they ban, readers?

  • 09:24
    And the London Times today reports that more than a dozen bars and coffee shops in San Francisco have banned Google Glasses  over fears they invade privacy. Irish Rail take note.
  • 09:39

    Also from the Times: a New Zealand man has changed his name to "Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova" after losing a drunken bet while playing poker.

    The change was registered in 2010 but Frostnova didn't realise the name had been made official until this year when his passport expired. Now that ridiculous moniker has to appear on his driving licence, passport and all that sort of stuff.

    New Zealand has strict if--if the above is anything to go by--completely arbitrary rules concerning the acceptability of names. In 2008 a girl who had been called "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii" was taken into custody so she could change her name.

    One concrete rule though is a moniker must be under a 100-character limit. At 99-characters, the authorities have no issues with Full Metal Havok... He might have a few issues with himself though, especially the next time he has to book a flight.

  • 09:52
  • 10:10

    Probably less welcome than that is the upcoming airport strike. Aer Lingus has cancelled some of its flights over the St Patrick's Day weekend:  

    "Due to industrial action by SIPTU trade union at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports on Friday 14th March, between the hours of 05:00am and 09:00am, Aer Lingus has revised its flight schedule," a message on its website reads.

    Flight disruption information

  • 10:16
    Oh, that's lovely. Squint and it could almost be Oxford.  

    Laisse-moi, respirer, longtemps, longtemps, l'odeur de tes cheveux. Oh, Baudelaire. Brings back such memories of Oxford. Oh, Oxford...
  • 10:31

    Irish Times political correspondent Fiach Kelly is on Radio 1 at the moment talking about the Frank Flannery controversy.

    He says the PAC might seek to use the threat of compellability as leverage to get Flannery to appear before the committee. Inbuilt Government majorities in various Oireachtas bodies might slow down attempts to compel Mr Flannery to appear before the PAC. But at the same time, the Taoiseach was very clear yesterday when he said Flannery should go before the committee so it's unlikely FG member would stymie the process if it comes to it.

  • 10:35
    More broadly, he says he thinks it will eventually get to the point where someone tells the PAC, 'No, I will not appear before you'.  "That will lead us to an interesting situation."
  • 10:37
  • 10:51

    Now, back to e-cigarettes and the Financial Times today reports the e-cigarette arm of Imperial Tobacco has launched legal proceedings against nine of its US rivals as "big tobacco" becomes increasingly aggressive in the battle for the new market.

    The market is worth about $3 million globally but big tobacco was slow to get involved, leaving it mostly to smaller companies. Now the big players are wading in and using their resources and clout to establish themselves.

    The lawsuit from the Imperial Tobacco company is to protect their intellectual property rights and seek fair compensation for what they say are infringements of their patents.

    E-cigarettes are still small fry compared to the $700bn global market for tobacco but Wells Fargo predicts they could overtake conventional tobacco in the United States within the next decade.

  • 11:05
    The long established seaside resort of Tramore, Co Waterford, is to get a Japanese garden commemorating writer and translator Patrick Lafcadio Hearn – one of those most admired western figures to live in that culture and who is known in Japan as Koizumi Yakumo. He spent his boyhood summers in Tramore, writes Frank McDonald.
  • 11:17

    Tributes being paid following the announcement of the death of campaigner Christine Buckley.

  • 11:34
  • 11:53

    The most read story on the site so far today:

    The head of international police agency Interpol said today he did not believe the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane at the weekend was a terrorist incident.

  • 12:22

    So, New Zealanders will be given a chance to get rid of the little union jack from the top left hand corner of their flag.

    In a speech in Wellington today, the Guardian reports, prime minister John Key promised a vote in the next parliamentary term on whether to keep the existing design.

    And if they decide to scrap the little union flag what will they replace it with? Possibly a line drawing of a small turtle but more likely they'll jettison the whole thing in favour of a silver fern on a black background or a version of the Maori koru, or something else along those lines.

    But, as the article points out, a redesign is anything but inevitable, with a poll suggesting that 72 per cent of New Zealanders would prefer to maintain the status quo.

    All of which is interesting in itself, of course, but here's where the question becomes very interesting. First, let's assume the New Zealanders do choose to keep their flag as it is. Now let's assume (with a greater a stretch of the imagination) that the Scots decided to leave the United Kingdom. That would mean, possibly, that the union jack would have to be altered to reflect the new political situation in the UK. In short, the St Andrew's Cross would have to go.

    Does that mean then that New Zealand and Australia and the Cook Islands, etc. would also have to change their flags or would they stick with what has become an outdated union jack?

    It would be a hell of a time to be a vexillological commentator.

  • 12:46
    Looks a bit like he's removing his own wedding dress.
  • 12:52

    High Court proceedings aimed at preventing Friday’s proposed strike by Siptu members at the country’s airports have started.

    Read more

  • 13:10
    Twenty five school children have been taken to hospital after an incident in a swimming pool in Co Kildare.
  • 13:20

    A collection of photos has been put together of the white tailed eagle chick which was found shot in Tipperary last week. It was one of only two chicks to have hatched and fledged in Ireland in the last one hundred years. Nigel Beers-Smith took these photos over the course of the eaglet's life. Click the link below:

    Golden Eagle Trust

  • 13:24
    The teachers' protest is underway. Teachers across the country are protesting at school gates during their lunch break today "much to the amusement of their own students," says RTÉ's Emma O'Kelly.
  • 13:29
    A flock of 350 sheep has been drafted in to the South Downs National Park, near Brighton, to help protect Chalkhill blue butterflies which rely on rare chalk grassland to survive.
    A flock of 350 sheep has been drafted in to the South Downs National Park, near Brighton, to help protect Chalkhill blue butterflies which rely on rare chalk grassland to survive.
  • 13:45
    We're taking a short break now but will be back later on.
  • 14:45
    Reports that a large, possibly menopausal, great white shark is heading towards Ireland have caused something of a media feeding frenzy, reports Eoin Burke-Kennedy.
  • 14:59
  • 15:22

    It's Eamon Gilmore taking leaders' questions in the Dáil today as the Taoiseach is over in the UK.

    Micheál Martin is asking about--no surprises for guessing--Frank Flannery.

  • 15:25

    What we need to have around lobbying is transparency, says Gilmore adding that legislation for a register for lobbyists is at an advanced stage.

    He adds that Frank Flannery will be stepping down from his position as chairman of the Forum on Philanthropy.

  • 15:31
    Gerry Adams saying he hopes the Taoiseach will remind the British PM of the UK's "outstanding" obligations under the Good Friday Agreement.
  • 15:47
    Gilmore giving a convoluted answer now on Apple's tax. He said recent reports carried in the Irish Times on the matter were based on historical accounting information and that Irish tax system shortcomings from then have been addressed.
  • 16:00
    That's where we'll leave it for today. Thanks for reading. The Daily Wire will be back tomorrow morning.