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Snowden to seek asylum in Ireland as Dalkey goats and rabbits may be forced to move

Joanne Hunt Tue, Jul 2
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  • 08:56
    Windy and mostly cloudy today. Some persistent and locally heavy rain this morning, will give way to more showery conditions later this afternoon and evening, with some bright spells developing. It's nippy for early July, with top temperatures just 14 to 18 C today.
  • 08:58
    Good morning. Joanne Hunt here on The Daily Wire, keeping you up to date on news as it happens throughout the day.
  • 08:59
    The top stories in today's Irish Times: Kenny faces loss of up to nine TDs in revolt over abortion. Egyptian military gives Morsi ultimatum. Working nights for 30 years doubles breast cancer risk, reserach shows.
  • 09:02
    All eyes will be on the Dail this evening when at 5pm the abortion legislation goes to a vote for the first time.
  • 09:09
    The most high profile of Fine Gael TDs expressing doubts about the Bill is Dublin South East TD Lucinda Creighton. It's expected she will vote against the Bill at the committee stage later this week. This would cost her both membership of the Fine Gael parliamentary party and her Ministerial office. Read political news editor Arthur Beesley's report today.
  • 09:20

    Meanwhile Edward Snowden, the fugitive former US security contractor, has sought asylum in 19 countries, including Ireland, according to the anti-secrecy group Wiklileaks.  

    A spokesman for the Department of Justice says he hasn't a hope (or words to that effect). Perhaps Snowden could band together with Julian Assange and apply under the auspices of The Gathering...

  • 09:26
  • 09:31
    I'll get to the goats in a minute.
  • 09:37

    Wages and pensions for TDs and Senators cost almost €20 million last year, an increase of almost €500,000 on 2011, according to the annual report of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

    The total bill for running the Oireachtas was €105.5 million in 2012, down from almost €120 million in 2011.

    Travel expenses and other allowances for TDs and Senators were over €10 million in 2012, down from over €11 million in 2011. Read Judith Crosbie's analysis in today's Irish Times.


  • 09:48
    Right, so just as Snowden wants  on to this island, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council wants domestic rabbits, pet goats and dogs off Dalkey Island.

    SoDuCo residents have been dumping their unwanted pets there it would appear, damaging archaeology and upsetting the ecological balance.
  • 09:51
    The island is home to a 19th century tower, the only one in the world built without a door, a herd of a dozen  feral goats  and a holy well called the Scurvy Well. And you thought Craggy Island had character.
  • 10:03
    And to the breast cancer story. Working night shifts for more than 30 years doubles the risk of breast cancer in women according to Canadian researchers.

    They warn that the increase may be due to sleep disturbance and a fall in the body's production of melatonin, a light sensitive hormone believed to have cancer protecting properties. Melatonin is known to be lower amongst those who regularly work at night. Read more on the reserach here.
  • 10:27
  • 10:28

    Things could be a bit uncomfortable there I'd say.

  • 10:29
  • 10:32

    A woman was knocked off her bicycle and left with significant bruising on her neck and hand after colliding with a taut rope that was tied to lamp posts on either side of a road on Sunday night.

    The victim, Monique  Kelleher was taken to St James’ Hospital for treatment. She later posted pictures online to warn other cyclists of the danger, and told that “a group of kids” had tied rope from pole to pole across the road “targeting cars and cyclists”.

    “I was cycling past and my neck got caught in the rope causing me to fly off my bike and hit the ground,” she said. The incident happened on Mercer Street in Dublin 2.

  • 10:39
  • 10:49
    Trichotillomania. The compulsive habit that causes a person to pull out their hair either from their scalp, eyebrows or other parts of their bodies.

    Parenting expert John Sharry advises a reader whose 13-year old daughter has the condition in today's Health & Family supplement.
  • 10:50
  • 10:57

    Minister for Health Dr James Reilly confirmed last night his Department would end the retail mark-up of 20 per cent paid to pharmacists for dispensing drugs under the drugs payment scheme and the long-term illness scheme, while also cutting fees paid to GPs under programmes such as the medical card scheme by an average of 7.6 per cent.

    The fee paid to GPs for administering the flu vaccine is to be cut from €28.50 per vaccine to €15, bringing the fee in line with that paid to pharmacists.

    How can it have cost €13.50 more for a GP to administer the jab than a pharmacist?  

  • 11:01
  • 11:14
    Is July the worst possible month to have surgery?

    Are you more likely to pop your clogs if admitted to hospital on a public holiday? Are women in labour more likely to have an unplanned C section on a Friday between 3pm and 9pm?

    Check out The Atlantic's take on the worst possible  times to have surgery, by the month, day and hour.
  • 11:18
  • 11:40
    Brian O’Driscoll calls on his Lions team-mates to produce ‘80 minutes of their lives’. Gerry Thornley reports ahead of Ireland's final test down under on Saturday.
  • 11:42
  • 11:48
  • 12:00
    Will Lucinda Creighton vote for or against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill?

    Whatever she does won't  "...give any comfort or make a blind bit of difference to the women waiting in the airport departure lounges..." writes Miriam Lord today.
  • 12:04
  • 12:12
  • 12:14
  • 12:20
    "For anyone who wonders what is special and unique about the GAA, who wonders what makes it the finest organisation in this country with nothing even remotely like it in the rest of the world, who occasionally, like myself, unthinkingly takes for granted its place at the heart of communities up and down the island, I give you Tommy Walsh..."

    Check out today's letters page where a Dubs supporter pauses to praise Kilkenny, and the spirit of the GAA.
  • 12:28

    "I begged the staff to let me end the pregnancy to save the baby . . . I turned up in [a Dublin maternity hospital] because I knew I would be safe . . . I wanted the pregnancy to be over . . . and I needed the baby to be safe . . . because I was now feeling I wasn’t safe.”

    A young mother speaks to June Shannon in today's Health & Family supplement about her fear of acting on the terrifying impulsive thoughts of suicide that haunted her throughout the later part of her recent pregnancy.

  • 12:36
    You can read more about South Dublin County Council's plans for bylaws to be introduced for Dalkey Island and nearby Lamb Island and Maiden’s Rock in Fiona Gartland's report.

    The proposed bylaws include a ban on domestic animal access, including dogs, a ban on visitor access to Lamb Island and Maiden’s Rock during breeding season for nesting birds as well as a prohibition on littering, barbecues and fireworks on the islands.
  • 12:44
  • 13:01

    Momentum in the Irish commercial property market held up in the first half of the year, with 34 investment transactions of more than €1 million completed, according to consultants CBRE. Last year, 35 similar deals were transacted in the whole of 2012.

    Notable transactions completed in the second quarter of 2013 include the sale of the Clancy Barracks multi-family investment and adjoining 8.5 acre site to Kennedy Wilson for approximately €82 million; the off-market sale to new market entrant Credit Suisse of the La Touche House office investment in the IFSC for €35 million,   the sale to an Israeli investor of an apartment investment off Baggot Street, Dublin 4 for €6.1 million, and the sale of an AIB bank branch at Rathgar, Dublin 6 for €4 million.

    Read Fiona Reddan's report.

  • 13:07
  • 13:12
    ‘I had acute psychosis triggered one night when I took LSD in college. For 11 months after that night, I was in an altered state of mind. That was 15 years ago and they say it takes that time to get it fully out of your system."

    Read Brian O'Connell's interview with Ennis Co. Clare woman Sinead Nestor about her experience of taking acid.
  • 13:21

    "What did the European Central Bank, guardian of the stability of the euro, do when it was told that bank lending in Ireland for construction and property development had increased by 1,730 per cent between 1999 and 2007?" 

    Find out from Fintan O'Toole.

  • 13:22
  • 13:27
  • 13:40

    A dispute within Nelson Mandela’s family, which could determine where the anti-apartheid hero will be buried in the event of his death, has escalated in a South African court, writes Irish Times journalist Joe Humphreys from South Africa.

    Mr Mandela has always said he wishes to be buried next to his three offspring at a family plot in Qunu. But two years ago, without consulting the family, his eldest grandson Mandla Mandela exhumed the bodies and moved them to his village 20km away from where he is believed to be planning a visitors’ attraction in memory of his grandfather.

    Last Friday, the Mthatha High Court in Eastern Cape ordered that the bodies be returned to Qunu after an application by Mr Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe and 15 other family members. Read Joe's report here.

  • 13:42
  • 13:47
  • 14:08
    The artist formerly known as Paul Gogarty, Green Party TD, and who is now known as 'His Sweet Surprise', is promoting his new single on Facebook.

    Fans can now download the song 'Radio (when I listen to)' from iTunes. 

    "Das heutige video vorschau. Nach Deutschland, mit Liebe x Paul G", he told Facebook fans in Germany on Thursday. "Today's video preview sent to Germany with love. Much more satisfying than the Anglo banker tapes coming from Ireland."

  • 14:23
  • 14:30

    A ban on alcohol sponsorship of sporting events should not be countenanced unless other European countries were prepared to follow suit, an Oireachtas committee report has recommended.

    “In recognising the realities of the State’s current difficult economic situation, where additional funding for sports from Government sources could simply not be considered, the committee agreed that a ban on alcohol drinks sponsorship could not be countenanced at this time,” said Fine Gael TD John O’Mahoney, vice-chairman of the committee on transport and communications.

    Mary Minihan reports.

  • 14:38

    Ulster Bank is planning to shut more than 50 branches as part of a new plan to become a “smaller, lower cost and profitable bank”.

    Under the plan Ulster Bank aims to close dozens of mainly rural branches and reduce staffing levels by the end of 2014. It will keep between 175-185 branches open, down from 238 at present.

  • 14:43
  • 14:48

    A 26-year-old man accused of the murder of Lithuanian mother Jolanta Lubiene (27) has also been charged with the murder of her eight-year-old daughter Enrika at their home in Killorglin over two weeks ago, writes Anne Lucey.

    Medical officers at Cork prison have expressed concern about Aurimas Andruska’s psychiatric state, and this concern was “significant,” the regular sitting of Killarney District Court was also told today.

    Mr Andruska, a Lithuanian national, denied both charges. “I didn’t kill. I can only tell,” he told the court. When charged with the unlawful killing of Enrika Mr Andruska replied: “I will tell you exactly the same”.

  • 14:49
  • 14:58
  • 15:04
    Jamie Roberts of the British and Irish Lions rides a wave while surfing at Noosa in Australia on Tuesday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
    Jamie Roberts of the British and Irish Lions rides a wave while surfing at Noosa in Australia on Tuesday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
  • 15:18
  • 15:23
  • 15:42
    "I am entered into the Rock and Roll Dublin Half-Marathon on August 5th. I’m really looking forward to it, but am getting confused by what to eat, not to eat, gels, protein bars, and so on. I know you suggest half a Snickers bar (and I love that idea) but I’m not sure when to eat it or if I really need it..."

    Read the answer to this reader query from Run Clinic coach Ruth Field in today's Health & Family supplement.
  • 15:44
  • 15:47

    A man who celebrated after delivering a fatal punch in a “gratuitous” assault on journalist Eugene Moloney has been jailed for three and a half years.

    Gary Burch (22) threw his arms in the air in a “celebratory fashion” and shouted “boom” after punching Mr Moloney in the neck.

    The apprentice mechanic, who has no previous convictions, became upset during interviews with gardai and told them he was disgusted with what was “a moment of craziness”.

    Read the court report.

  • 15:49
  • 15:58
    Leader of Fianna Fail Michael Martin accuses the Taoiseach of being the "architect of running the Dail into the ground", in Leaders Questions now.
  • 15:59
    Mr Martin calls on the Taoiseach to provide a date for the referendum on the abolition of the Seanad. He says it should be no earlier than five months from now.
  • 16:06
    Sparring in the Dail right now with Michael Martin accusing the Taoiseach of 'filibustering'.
  • 16:07
    The Taoiseach says the referendum on the Seanad will be in October, at a date to be decided by the government.
  • 16:13
    People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barret is now on his feet, asking whether the government is serious about its commitment to political reform. He says the electorate wants a greater level of political accountability. Though in favour of abolishing the Seanad, Mr Boyd Barret says unless the Taoiseach listens to the public's suggestions about wider political reform, he will 'rue the day'.

    "If we just abolish the Seanad, we are left with a cabinet dictatorship," Mr Boyd Barret says.
  • 16:14
  • 16:18
    TD for Louth Gerry Adams says politics should be about empowering citizens and politicians should be servants of the people. Mr Adams says as a 'relative new comer', he finds the Dail 'very dysfunctional'. He says the Seanad is 'not representative' and is 'very exclusive'.
  • 16:20
  • 16:24
  • 16:27

    Responding to questions about Dail reform, the Taoiseach says there needs to be a demonstratively better way of doing business in government.

  • 16:32
    Finnish committee system very impressive says the Taoiseach.
  • 16:34
  • 16:41

    Helen McEntee Fine Gael TD for Meath East asks the Taoiseach how the Protection of Life Bill might have been dealt with in the absence of the Seanad. How would  a committee system replace the Seanad hearings that took place on that Bill.

  • 16:46
  • 16:49

    Don't you think the problems of the enhanced committee system could just replicate the problems of the Seanad, with the same favoritism, crony appointment and elitism as the Seanad, Richard Boyd-Barrett asks.  

  • 16:50
    Boyd Barrett is calling for a citizens' assembly structure.
  • 16:51
  • 16:54
    The Taoiseach says committee members will be equitably and proportionately appointed from those elected to the Dail.
  • 16:55
    Thus endeth Leader's Questions.
  • 16:55
  • 16:58
    It will be dry tonight in many places with a mix of cloud and clear spells, but there will be some patchy drizzle in places too, and it will become very misty.
    Mild with overnight lows of 10 to 12 degrees C.
  • 17:00
    But at least the weekend is looking sunny. Met Eireann says overall, Saturday should be warm, mainly dry and fairly sunny. Temperatures will be in the high teens or low twenties and may creep higher in some places. Only four more sleeps.
  • 17:04
    That concludes The Daily Wire for today. We're back again tomorrow morning. 

    You can keep up to date until then with and on Twitter @IrishTimesLive.

    Thanks for stopping by.