News Blog

A rolling look at today's events

Conor Pope Wed, Jun 5
LIVE: News Blog

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  • 08:14
    Good morning, my name is Conor Pope and instead of spending my day eating 99s on Dollymount Strand I will be at my desk manning the Live News Blog. Hurray.

  • 08:20
    Spare a thought this morning for the 57,000 young people who are heading out of the sunshine and into exam halls across the country to start the Leaving Cert. No matter how stressful your day looks or no matter how much work you have to get through, at least you can take comfort from the fact that you won’t have to spend six hours deconstructing the work of WB Yeats or writing about man’s inhumanity to man. . . Unless you are one of the 57,000 in which case all we can say is good luck. And remember, the Leaving is not the be all and end all. Everything is going to be okay. What happens over the next three weeks won’t define you for the rest of your life no matter what your teachers have been telling you.
  • 08:23
    Be calm, read the paper, giver yourself time, identify the questions you want to answer and start with the questions you know best... Education minister Ruari Quinn is on Morning Ireland now giving kids advice on how to get through the exams. He's not wrong.
  • 08:24
    It's not only students who will have woken up glum today. Another person who is likely to be feeling pretty down this morning is Seán Dunne as he now faces the possibility of being declared bankrupt in Ireland as well as in the US.

    Last night a Connecticut court allowed Ulster Bank to continue its Irish bankruptcy action against him in what is a major setback for the Co Carlow developer.

    Ulster Bank is owed more than €300 million and the court gave it the go-ahead to continue with Irish legal proceedings to have him adjudicated a bankrupt in Ireland.

    If the Irish High Court grants the bank’s application, it would have the effect of making one of Ireland’s most prolific developers of the Celtic Tiger era declared bankrupt on both sides of the Atlantic.

    US lawyers for Ulster Bank had argued that Mr Dunne’s filing for bankruptcy in the US was a “concerted effort” to avoid the Irish bankruptcy proceedings against him.
    The bank said that he had assets of just $975 (€750) in the US, including $15 in a US bank account, but debts of almost $1 billion outside the US owing to Irish creditors.

    Its attorney Hank Baer said afterwards that he was delighted with the judge’s ruling.
  • 08:32
    “At home, I would open a bottle of wine just because I had a good day at work. Or a bad day at work. Or because it was Friday. Or Monday. Or because it was sunny. Because there was a good film on television, or because there was nothing on television, or just because.” Jennifer O’Connell’s sobering article about her relationship with the demon drink,
  • 09:34
    Pro-government forces in Syria took full control of the strategic town of Qusair overnight. The town which is near the Lebanese border has been at the centre of fighting for more than two weeks . According to Syrian state TV, many rebels have been killed and still more have surrendered.
  • 09:42
    Sean Great idea, I like this.
  • 09:47
     A combination photo of a Turkish riot policeman using tear gas against a woman in a red dress at the protest in Taksim Square in central Istanbul The image of the woman in red has become the leitmotif for female protesters during days of violen
    A combination photo of a Turkish riot policeman using tear gas against a woman in a red dress at the protest in Taksim Square in central Istanbul The image of the woman in red has become the leitmotif for female protesters during days of violen
  • 09:58
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  • 10:00
    Hurray! Ronaldo is going back to Man United according to official sources. Well, you can't get more official than the Garda Traffic Corp Twitter account can you?
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  • 10:11
    I asked Twitter users this morning what words of advice they would give to students starting the Leaving today. I'll retweet some of the best responses throughout the morning even though it will fall on deaf ears because those who need it most are all stuck in exam halls right now writing essays of great import .

    My top tip is never to use the word import. Unless you're talking about bringing products into this country from overseas in which case it's hard to avoid.

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  • 10:18
    Ah here. One of the Australian DJs who made a prank call to the London hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated after her pregnancy was announce has been awarded the title of “top jock” by his employer.

    Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead three days after she took the call from Michael Christian and his colleague Mel Greig when they rang King Edward VII’s Hospital where Kate was being treated for severe morning sickness in December.

    Attempting to find the “best in the land”, Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) Today Network named Christian as one of the network’s best DJs in a competition it says has created a “community for SCA’s seasoned and emerging talent”.
    Christian was a joint winner in the internal competition and will be “jetting off to LA for a tour of KISS studios”, according to the network’s website.
    Quoted on the website, he said despite what “happened in the past few months I’m still at the top of my game”.

    Both he and his employer are also in line for the most stupidly crass and insensitive decision of the year. Or at least they should be.
  • 10:50
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  • 10:58
    Apparently there is some class of rugby game on now. As a result The Irish Times Live News Blog has a rival this morning. It can be found here... Go say hello. But come back.

  • 11:03

    "A bag of sausages had also been taken from the freezer." Not a line you see often in court copy. You'll find it in the Belfast Telegraph today, mind you.
  • 11:19
    Oh dear. I just went outside. It is gorgeous. Now I am back in the office. It is not gorgeous.
  • 11:53
    Right. It's a lovely day and we're in a good mood so have decided to give somebody something for nothing. All you need to do is take a picture which captures today's wonderful sunniness and  tweet it to us @irishtimeslive. The picture we decide is the best will win two tickets to Sea Sessions which takes place in Bundoran on June 21st-23rd. We'll post some of the pics as they come in...  You have until 4pm.
  • 11:58
    Cannabis and ecstasy with an estimated street value of €5million has been seized following a Garda raid at a business premisis in Blanchardstown.  All told 350,000 ecstasy tablets and 80 kilos of cannabis herb were discovered.
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  • 12:11
    In recent weeks I have become utterly obsessed with Masterchef. The YouTube clip that follows this post has put my mind at rest. How hard can it be?
  • 12:12
  • 12:22
    Ingvar Kamprad who founded Ikea 70 years ago when he was just 17 has stepped aside as chairman of the company in favour of his youngest son .  Kamprad started selling matches to his neighborus at the age of five before setting up what has grown into the  world's biggest home- furnishings shop. He retired as CEO  in 1986. He's the world's fifth-richest man and  is worth around $53 billion.  He  left Sweden in the 1970s because of the country's high taxes and now lives in the Swiss village of Epalinges near Lausanne. Despite his massive wealth he lives a frugal life.  "I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter Ikea Group," Kamprad he said in a statement released in the form of abstract line drawings this morning.  

  • 12:26
    Tom Hayes has been named the new Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

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  • 12:41
    The standard of entries to our Splendid Sea Sessions Sunny Summer Snap competition have been, um, rubbish. Maybe a look at the line-up might inspire you?
  • 13:10
    Rebekah Brooks has pleaded not guilty in a London court to charges related to phone hacking during her time running British tabloids. She denied the charges as she stood in the dock at a packed Southwark Crown Court alongside her husband and other senior journalists from the now-defunct News of the World. She will stand trial in September.
  • 13:20
    The new home for the Central Bank was  daubed with anti-Semetic graffiti overnight. The building on Dublin’s North Wall Quay was suppose to be to be the headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank until the, er, unpleasantness of 2008 and last night some spectacularly ill-informed and racist vandals covered the exterior walls with phrases such as ‘Jewish Financial Terrorism’, ‘Zionist Global Financial Terrorism’ and ‘New Multicult Star Religion’ The Central Bank has contacted the Gardaí about the incident and the graffiti “will be removed “as soon as possible”.

  • 13:25
    Have you ever found yourself wondering "what happened to Terrence Trent D'arby"? No, me neither. I still read this New Yorker piece with some interest.
  • 13:30

    President Barack Obama is to name former aide Samantha Power as the US ambassador to the United Nations later today. She will replace Susan Rice, who is taking over as Obama's national security adviser. She is a longtime Obama adviser and worked on his 2008 presidential campaign and ran the human rights office in the White House. She left the administration in February.

    Oh, and she comes from Castleknock.
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  • 13:34
    Conor Samantha power from castleknock will be appointed US ambassador to the UN today. Obama announcement 7pm Irish time.
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  • 14:23
    Irish boxers have secured at least three bronze medals at the European Championships in Minsk after John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and Jason Quigley all won their quarter-final bouts today.
  • 14:45
  • 14:47
    The draw for Europe's top rugby competitions is taking place now. You can watch it all here.
  • 14:56
    Not long to go before the groups for next season’s Heineken Cup are announced. All the action is taking place in the Aviva Stadium... Or Lansdowne Road as it will always be to us.
  • 15:01
    A lot of palaver ahead of the draw for the Heineken Cup...
  • 15:03
    Here we go...
  • 15:04
    "Could you place the six balls in the drum and draw one at your leisure..." At your leisure???? No, hurry up. This sun won't last forever.
  • 15:06
    Ulster are top seeds in pool 5, Munster are top seeds in pool 6 and Leinster are top seeds in pool 1.
  • 15:06
    "Now it really gets interesting..." It better.
  • 15:07
    Perpignan go into pool 6 with Munster.
  • 15:08
    Northampton are in pool 1 with Leinster.
  • 15:09
    Leicester are in pool 5 with Ulster.
  • 15:10
    Montpelier go into pool 5 along with Ulster and Leicester.
  • 15:11
    Connacht are in pool 3 alongside Toulouse and Saracens. Easy.
  • 15:13
    Edinburgh join Perpignan and Munster in pool 6.
  • 15:14
    Pool 6 is completed with Gloucester joining Edinburgh, Perpignan and Munster...
  • 15:16
    Pool 5: Leicester Tigers, Treviso Ulster and Montpellier

  • 15:19
    Pool 1 Leinster, Ospreys, Northampton and Castres
  • 15:20
    And Connacht have to play Toulouse, Saracens and Zebre in pool 3.
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  • 15:50
    Nearly done with our very first summer snap competition. Just 10 minutes to get your entry in.
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  • 16:29
    An English man has been caught by the short and curlies after attempting to get a free curry in a Middlesbrough restaurant by lightly dusting it with his own pubic hair. Lee Tyers was caught on CCTV adding the extra ingredient before making a complaint. When the 40-year-old gave out, the owner of Jamal’s Indian Restaurant, pointed out that while the hair on his plate was brown the staff had black hair. He still left without paying. Police were called and and studied CCTV footage of the incident. Court officials at Teesside Magistrates’ Court sentenced him to 14 days in jail and he was ordered to pay £39.55 in compensation.
  • 16:47
    The former leader of Republican Sinn Fein and one-time IRA leader Ruairi O Bradaigh has died. He was 80. A statement is to be released by his party within the hour.
  • 16:48
    The winner of our summer pic competition is Eamonn Keating. This is his photograph.
  • 18:02
    Okay, that's it. We're done...
  • 18:03
    Declan The picture competition was a great idea. Lovely snaps are making me jealous. Well done Conor