News Blog

All the latest rolling news including the Suarez ban and latest on the abortion debate

Genevieve Carbery Wed, Apr 24
LIVE: News Blog

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  • 09:10
    Good morning Genevieve Carbery here on the live blog's money money money today as the public service pay issue may dominate the Dail while Richie Boucher's pay packet may dominate the Bank of Ireland AGM
  • 09:13
    But first a Happy Birthday to our dear leaders as Enda Kenny turns 62 and Eamon Gilmore turns 58.
  • 09:28
    This morning’s newspaper headlines

    The Irish Times leads on the pay bill story “Howlin stands firm on need to cut pay bill by €300m” is the headline in the story in which Martin Wall writes that the Government has signalled to staff in the public service that if it was a private employer job losses would not be on the cards

    Also the abortion story on failure to agree abortion draft law among Government Ministers after a crisis meeting last night.

    Kathryn Hayes as another of those sad recession tales that crop up in the courts in which a couple burned flooring to keep warm, an employment tribunal was told. More here
    The Irish Independent leads on “Children could face CAO-style admission to schools” . Don’t worry they won’t be made sit exams – it is simply plan by principals that parents would rank schools in order of choice in a central application system. Better than those tales of people going to primary schools straight from the maternity hospital to sign their children up!
    “Cabinet bid to break abortion stand-off over Reilly” is the other headline.
    The Irish Daily mirror leads with “Garda Killer Suspect Flees to US” as a chief suspect in the Adrian Donoghue case has left the country, according to the paper. The Sun and Herald also lead with this story while Conor Lally covers it for The Irish Times here
    Rory will have to play for Ireland – says the Irish Daily Star as golfer Rory McIlroy could have to lay for Ireland rather than Britain in the Olympics because he represented Ireland in previous world cups.
    The BOI AGM dominates the Irish Dail Mail front page: Noonan Okays Banker’s €800k , it says of Richie Boucher’s pay with “outrage as Finance Minister won’t vote against pay hike for BOI chief”

  • 09:32
  • 09:39
    This morning’s minister under fire on RTE’s Morning Ireland was Pat Rabbitte who has ruled out compulsory redundancies in its bid to reduce the public sector paybill.

    “Our purpose is not to try to solve this problem by getting rid of people who are badly needed in the public service,” he said. More here
  • 09:40
  • 09:44
    The world of chess has been rocked this morning as one of the quirkier stories of the morning comes from Kathryn Hayes. She writes:

    The Irish Chess Union is to hold a meeting of its executive committee today after gardaí were called to a top chess tournament following claims a 16-year-old boy was caught cheating. A row started after the Dublin schoolboy, who was said to have gone to the toilet “at least 20 times” during a game, was allegedly caught using an Android device to check his next move on a chess engine.

    More here
  • 09:47
  • 09:48
  • 09:54
    Jim Carroll's blog on ten things we've learned about Oxegen is worth a read. I particularly like number 2
    "They’re still billing it on their website as “Europe’s greatest music festival”, but past Oxegen patrons, men and women honed in the glorious Dutch Gold and vodka jousts on the red campsite of old, vehemently disagree with this."
    It's here
  • 10:02
  • 10:03
    JLS is trending on twitter as devastated fans learn of their split. .. we won't be keeping you updated on the latest developments
  • 10:06
  • 10:08
    Pat Rabbitte this morning defended Michael Noonan not intervening in opposing Richie Boucher's pay increase - “The Government fixed a cap of 500,000 euro in respect of the banks over which the minister for finance had some control,” he said on RTE. “In the case of the Bank of Ireland that’s not the case, the minority stake of 15% does not entitle the minister to intervene in that way.
  • 10:12
    Not surprisingly one BOI shareholder has "dropped an F-bomb" at the AGM according to reports on twitter. Better than rotten eggs?
  • 10:17
    Ever driven 58km/h in a 50km zone? Would you pick a safety course over penalty points? Interesting piece from Irish Times Northern Editor Gerry Moriarty  on taking such a course, as is the option in the North after he was caught speeding. "The Chris “the-wife-was-driving” Huhne solution wasn’t an option, not that such criminality was even considered." he writes. More here
  • 10:20
  • 10:26
    Shane Ross TD has got up to speak at BOI AGM according to reports .....time to grab some popcorn
  • 10:31
  • 10:38
  • 10:39
    Enda Kenny taking Leaders' Questions in Dail - watch here
  • 10:47
    End Kenny tells the Dail if there is no Croke Park agreement you don't have inherent employment protection for public servants.
  • 10:48
    The birthday niceties continue in the Dail as Mary Lou McDonald says happy birthday to Enda Kenny and his “terrible twin”
  • 10:55
    Photos of Andy Warhol  'lost'in a cabinet for 30 years & will now go on display. REUTERS/SteveWood/
    Photos of Andy Warhol 'lost'in a cabinet for 30 years & will now go on display. REUTERS/SteveWood/
  • 11:04
    As TDs repeatedly raise Bank of Ireland /Boucher issue in Dail Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett intervenes and says he was "not going to sit here and allow people’s reputation to be taken asunder. …not allow members use cover of privilege" .
  • 11:06
  • 11:29
    Latest batch of reports from the Catholic church clerical abuse watchdog have just been released. They criticise retired bishop of Clogher, Joseph Duffy's failure to prevent clergy from sexually abusing children.

    Reports released are from dioceses of Clogher, Ferns, Killala, Waterford, Elphin, Galway and the Society of African Missions.Reports can be read in full here   We will have more as we get it
  • 11:32
  • 11:59
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has tried to calm things in the Dail while fisticuffs are threatened by disgruntled shareholders at BOI Agm in the Burlington.  According to latest in from our Oireachtas reporters Mr Kenny expects a “substantial contribution’’ from the pay and pensions of senior officials in the banks in weeks as part of cost-saving measures.
  • 12:00
  • 12:07
    Interesting to see Aviva closing its defined benefit pension scheme - where benefit linked to final salary. I wonder will many other schemes go that way....maybe after all their losses in bank shares!! More here  
  • 12:25
    Yesterday we learned that newspaper reporter was bottom in a list of 200 jobs.  A potentially new ambition in the digital age it seems is a “wikimedian” . 

    The National Library of Scotland is to recruit a full-time “Wikimedian in residence”. Their job will include using the library’s collections to update the online encyclopaedia . Full details of the job advert (yes it's real!)  can be viewed  here.
  • 12:34

    Ok folks you need to take out of storage face masks we wore last year to care for relatives suffering from swine flu (was that just paranoid me?)  

    Bird flu is back. Reports on the wires say a 53-year-old  Taiwan businessman has contracted the H7N9 strain of bird flu while travelling in China,  the first reported case outside of mainland China.  

    WHO has described the strain that has killed 22 people in China as "one of the most lethal" of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003.........

    ......all sounds pretty ominous (media gleefully rub hands as fear of pandemic is great front page fodder and surely sells papers/increase TV news viewers)

  • 12:57
    Worker being rescued in Dhaka where death toll  from factory collapse has risen to 87. Andrew Biraj/Reuters
    Worker being rescued in Dhaka where death toll from factory collapse has risen to 87. Andrew Biraj/Reuters
  • 13:03
    Latest on Boston bombing investigations - a team of US investigators is speaking with the parents of the two suspects in southern Russia. Meanwhile  the older of the two brothers was influenced by a mentor who espoused radical Islamist beliefs, according to one of the suspects' uncles.
  • 13:09

    Lunchtimes headlines (RTE)  

    - Retired bishop of clogher, Joseph Duffy missed opportunities to prevent sexual abuse of children – watchdog report
    - Taoiseach accused of threatening public sector workers after he tells Dail there are no jobs without Croke Park deal.
    -Revenue will begin deducting estimates of property tax from payroll or social welfare for people who have not paid at end of June
    -BOI chairman Archie Kane defends appointment to role at AGM


  • 13:18
    President of College of Psychiatrists  Dr Anthony McCarthy on abortion proposals tells RTE News at One psychiatrists not prepared to be “social policemen” .
    Idea of a second psychiatrist acceptable but of a second or third panel of three looking at cases is “ludicrous” . Psychiatrists want to "treat and help" but not be "policemen" , he said. 
  • 13:21
  • 13:37

    Revenue was certainly busy last year. Its annual report released today makes interesting reading (not being sarcastic)!  

    Among the interesting titbits are that audits of professionals  (accountants, dentists, doctors, solicitors, vets) yielded €13.4m while audits of landlords and rental properties yielded a whopping €42m. There are many more. Meanwhile pensioners were squeezed to the tune of  €65 million in additional tax!  

    Possibly in this era of austerity and cuts it is just good to hear more money going into the state coffers  More on the report here.  

  • 13:44
    It's where Bobby Sands and other IRA prisoners died on hunger strike over 30 years ago small wonder the unionists have fears the Maze prison could become an IRA shrine.

    New plans will see €117m spent on its development. Ground Zero  and Grand Canal Theatre architect Daniel Libeskind is lead on the development. More here 
  • 13:52
    Doing well on is the story of Aer Lingus is working on plans to fly short-haul routes for major European airlines keen to exit unprofitable services. It's here      Interesting they are doing this rather than developing their own network and branding -  could  this indicate that the shamrock logo doesn’t export well and opportunities for domestic growth are small?
  • 14:01
    So it has been announced that the creator of the Higgs Boson is coming to Ireland next month. Does that make him God or something higher? Don't worry it's not  armageddon -  Peter Higgs (Aka God-daddy) is coming to Maynooth to speak at the Irish Quantum Foundations 2013 Conference 
  • 14:16
    First the psychiatrists now the obstetricians - the biros must be out at Hawkins house as master of Rotunda says abortion proposals are impractical. More here
  • 14:19
    Noah Pilkington, 6, from Carlow joins campaigners from the Animal Rights Action Network in rally against live exports at Dept of Ag. Photo Niall Carson/PA Wire
    Noah Pilkington, 6, from Carlow joins campaigners from the Animal Rights Action Network in rally against live exports at Dept of Ag. Photo Niall Carson/PA Wire
  • 14:35

    So Ireland's golf team might just win us a medal in the next Olympics (If you've been in Mars for the morning McIlroy may have to play for us after all, see here) ....On that note it might be worth getting some practice in ( just in case you make the cut - or at least so you understand the rules when the rest of us look stumped like all the sailing fans last time around) . For your perusal today's print edition of the  Irish Times has a free guide on golf in Ireland club by club. 

  • 14:42
  • 14:44
    In the context of all we have seen here in rescent weeks regarding abortion - interesting development in Scotland where PA reports two Catholic  midwives have won an appeal over the right to avoid any involvement in abortion procedures. Midwifery sisters Mary Doogan, 58, and Concepta Wood, 52, argued that being required to supervise staff involved in abortions was a violation of their human rights.
  • 15:05
    Breaking: Luis Suarez has been suspended for a total of ten matches after an Independent Regulatory Commission today ruled on a charge of violent conduct. Statement here More as we get it
  • 15:17

    The puns are flying around amid the Suarez match ban news. Favourites so far : When Suarez was offered the chance to appeal his ten match ban, he nearly bit their hand off! and he had clearly bitten off more than he could chew. 

  • 15:21
    Irish Times public affairs correspondent Colm Keena's  overview on the Suarez affair was in this morning's opinion pages -
    "People shouldn’t bite people, but in a world where billionaire members of hereditary monarchies that have abysmal human rights records use soccer clubs as hobbies, there is something decidedly odd about using footballers’ follies as proxies for political debate." His column can be read here
  • 15:37
  • 15:43
    Most colourful report from a company AGM you're likely to read this year as Ciaran Hancock reports from the BOI meeting at the Burlington this morning:

    TD for Dublin South Shane Ross questioned the €490,000 that Mr Kane will receive from the bank annually  and the €843,000 package awarded last year to Mr Boucher."Nobody [among the board of directors] has taken a beating at all," Mr Ross said. "Everyone out here has taken a beating for five years."

    Late in the meeting two shareholders engaged in a fiery and bizarre verbal exchange over who had the right to ask the next question. "You don't want me to go over to you there please," said one of the shareholders.

    More colourful exchanges can be read here
  • 15:53
  • 15:56
  • 15:59
    In a shock statement  Liverpool says it is disappointed at the ban!
    "Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today's independent regulatory commission decision," Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre said in a statement on the club's website.
  • 16:06
    It’s not a good day for angry bank customers...who are about to get even angrier …..but Bank of Ireland must be thrilled that AIB has stepped up to the mark to share the public wrath hiking mortgage rates.
    A statement from AIB says it will “ increase in its variable mortgage rates by up to 0.40%, effective from June 5th, 2013 while EBS and Haven variable mortgage rates will increase by up to 0.25%, effective from June 1st, 2013."
    The decision is “driven by the need to ensure the Bank is lending at long term sustainable pricing levels."
  • 16:09
  • 16:22
    Last week we discovered just how valuable Rhino horns are and today an egg has sold for €78,000 in London . Before you go running to the nearest aviary/supermarket - this was a rare complete egg of the long extinct elephant bird (from 17th C). And it wouldn't fit in your pocket as PA reports that the egg was is 100 times the average size of a chicken’s egg.

    It sold for double its estimate at Christie's in London and is  believed to be the largest ever bird.
  • 16:27
    Elephant Bird Egg sold in London today for double the expected price at £66k,. Photo: Christie's/PA Wire
    Elephant Bird Egg sold in London today for double the expected price at £66k,. Photo: Christie's/PA Wire
  • 16:41
    Joan Burton has told Dail the displacement of existing workers under job bridge not allowed, is flagrant abuse – any organisation found to be displacing paid staff will be disbarred from access.  She is responding to a question and complaint about a particular case from People before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.  You can watch it here
  • 16:43
  • 16:50

    Almost 2 million people have been deported from the US since 2009, Huggington post reports today. Strong composite images of some of "the departed" on Huffington Post US edition today as Congress seeks immigration reform.

  • 16:57
  • 17:04
    More Croke Park animosity just in - a statement from the TUI has criticised the Taoiseach for adding to the "sense of threat" today when "he warned public servants who rejected the recent LRC proposals that ‘if there is no agreement, there is no protection’"…..not a good birthday for Enda
  • 17:31
    After a day which saw BOI AGM F-bombs and Suarez 10 match bans it's adieu from @GenevieveCarber on the live blog for now. @Conor_Pope will be here bright and early tomorrow.