News Blog

Follow the day's rolling news events. Contact us at @IrishTimesLive

Dan Griffin Tue, May 14
LIVE: News Blog

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  • 09:07
    Good morning, it's Dan Griffin here at the controls of the Irish Times news blog today. The Bus Strike has been suspended for two days, everyone's favourite astronaut is back on terra firma and a new survey shows under-45s have been hit hardest by the recession.
  • 09:13
    The strike at Bus Éireann has been suspended for 48 hours to allow talks at the Labour Relations Commission to continue.
  • 09:18
    A new ESRI report shows under-45 have been hit hardest by the recession. Their weekly spending has plummeted, the report says. That's among the ones that haven't emigrated, of course.
  • 09:21
    Speaking of emigration:

    The potential influence diasporas of all nationalities have on their home countries and how it can be cultivated will be explored at a two-day conference in Dublin and Washington beginning today, writes Ciara Kenny.

  • 09:29
    Ruth O'Connor writes here about a barge trip she took recently along the Grand Canal. "It has become a running joke at home that a barge trip on the Shannon would drive me batty with boredom. But a barge in the heart of Dublin city? Now that's another story."
  • 09:31
  • 09:45
    This morning's papers:

    The Irish Times leads with the ESRI report showing the recession is hitting younger people hardest

    The Indo goes with with "Deals for gardaí, nurses as Croke Park II edges closer".  

    Private Health cover to increase by 30 per cent, writes Caroline O'Doherty in the Examiner.

    The Irish Daily Mail also leads with the health care story.

    "Some 200 ghost estates face being bulldozed under new plans being drawn up by the Housing Minister," the Herald says.

    While the Irish Sun and the Mirror both go for the "Couple jailed for sex in a taxi" story. "It's hardly fare," claims the Sun.
  • 09:50
  • 10:01
    Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini is no doubt still reminiscing fondly, one year on from his Premier League triumph with Manchester City.
  • 10:05
  • 10:08
    Paddy Power is holding its AGM in the Aviva Stadium today. Good times for gambling, apparently: the company's revenue rises 20 per cent this year.
  • 10:16
  • 10:21
    Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said he is hopeful of a settlement in the Bus Éireann dispute, RTÉ reports. Following two days of strike action busses are back running today--albeit temporarily. People in rural villages can now go back to not knowing why their bus isn't coming.
  • 10:23
    The Government last night warned dissenting unions it would take "whatever action we need" to cut the public service pay bill as it gave the go-ahead for a further 48 hours of talks to a reach a deal, Martin Wall writes.
  • 10:27

    And the same Martin Wall is talking to Pat Kenny on Radio 1 right now.

  • 10:31
    Here's more on Angelina Jolie's decision to undergo a double masectomy.

    And the safe landing of Chris Hadfield and crew in Kazakhstan.
  • 10:32
  • 10:36
  • 10:43
    @UnaMullally will be here this evening live-blogging her way through the Eurovision semi-finals. Here's her piece from Pop Life today.
  • 10:51
    Olivia Kelly, writing in today's paper, reports plans for the €35 million expansion of the new Dublin bike scheme with 950 new bicycles and 58 additional hire points, have been approved by Dublin city councillors.

    How do the actual bikes in the Dublin bike scheme measure up compared to other countries. They're a lot lighter than London's 'Boris bikes' anyway, which ride like they've been put together with parts from decommissioned Soviet tanks. What are the ones in Paris like?
  • 10:53
  • 11:03

    France, Europe's enfant terrible of taxation, is preparing to impose a tax of up to 4 per cent on the sale of smartphones, tablets and all other internet-linked devices to help fund the production of French art, films and music.

    “Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators,” said Aurélie Filippetti, culture minister.  

  • 11:04
  • 11:07
  • 11:10
  • 11:15
    Stuart Hazell, 37, has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 38 years today after finally admitting the murder of schoolgirl Tia Sharp.
  • 11:21

    Farmers struggling through the fodder crisis are waiting at Castlerea mart in Roscommon this morning for bales of hay from France. It's due in at about 11.30, hundreds are on the waiting list.

  • 11:25
  • 11:30
  • 11:32
  • 11:41
    In other strike news, workers at Lonmin's platinum operations in South Africa have gone on a "wildcat strike" following the shooting of a union official at the weekend. The action has reignited fears of the violence that hit the industry in South Africa last year. BBC
  • 11:54
    George Boland sat in his hotel off Dublin’s O’Connell Street yesterday and savoured a pint of Guinness. After six years kept captive by a group of Irish Travellers in Britain and forced to work for no wages, he never thought he’d see Ireland again.
  • 12:01
    Happy birthday to Ruby Walsh (34), champion jockey; Mark Zuckerberg (29), Facebook billionaire; Eoin Colfer (48) author of the Artemis Fowl series; Cate Blanchett (44), Oscar-winning Australian actor; Sofia Coppola (42) who wrote the screenplay for Lost in Translation; and George Lucas (69), American film director responsible for Star Wars.

    For more birthdays tune in to Radio 1 after the bells at 12.00.
  • 12:04
  • 12:06
  • 12:13
  • 12:23

    It seems feature writers have started taking to writing about the upcoming Dan Browne novel in a Dan Browne-esque style. This is Michael Deacon in the Telegraph, Matt Rudd did something similar in the Sunday Times magazine at the weekend.

  • 12:30
    The Second Captains, the erstwhile stars of Off the Ball, will be putting out their podcast this afternoon, "around 2.00," they say.

    Former Off the Ball team returns to the airwaves on irishtimes.Former Off the Ball team returns to the airwaves on  
  • 12:35
  • 12:41
    So what’s the problem? The problem is that free GP care isn’t a cut. It doesn’t hurt anybody – it actually makes life better, especially for people in the “squeezed middle”. It doesn’t look “tough”.

    Fintan O'Toole's column today.
  • 12:42
  • 13:00
  • 13:09
  • 13:20

    As we mentioned earlier, Una Mullally will be here this evening, covering the Eurovision semi-final which kicks off at 8pm. But if the ostentatious glitz of the Eurovision doesn’t appeal then the pick of the night’s television is Frankie, a new BBC One series. The ST’s Culture supplement says “Eva Myles plays a likeable, community nurse, prone to becoming entangled in her patients’ problems”. We say, “This new six-part Bristol-based drama comes with a serious ‘tissue warning’”. So it’s on at 9pm anyway.

  • 13:23
  • 13:24
  • 13:29
  • 13:29
    I'm reliably informed it's 25 years today since Anfield Rap happened.
  • 13:39
    Peter Darragh Quinn, a nephew of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn, has been ordered to pay $188m dollars damages to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation over his “pivotal” role in stripping assets from the Quinn family’s international property group, Mary Carolan reports from the Commercial Court.
  • 13:43
  • 13:46
  • 14:00

    Twitter reports from the Vintners Federation of Ireland AGM in Trim: Next year Noreen O'Sullivan from Tipperary will become the organisation's first female president. Also, 150 pubs closed in 2012.

    From @ohfadabee 

  • 14:22
    By the manner of his death, Donal Walsh has left a reason to live.

    Olivia O'Leary's article from today's op-ed page.
  • 14:27
  • 14:40
    Oh good, everyone likes these:

    "Russian security forces have held a US diplomat they claim is a CIA agent after catching him trying to recruit a Russian agent."

    And, reassuringly, "Despite the end of the Cold War, Russia and the United States still maintain active espionage operations against each other".

    Here's the rest of it.  
  • 14:44
  • 14:49
  • 14:54
    RTÉ’s head of radio Clare Duignan is to step down from her post after four years in charge.

    Ms Duignan is one of RTÉ’s longest serving executives and has been with the national broadcaster for 36 years.

    Ronan McGreevy has more
  • 15:01
    Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, who’ve engaged in a personal spat or two over recent months, could usefully take a trip up the stone steps of the Linen Hall Library in central Belfast to reacquaint themselves with the capricious nature of politics – and maybe to see a ghost of the past, writes Gerry Moriarty. The famous library celebrated its 225th birthday on Monday.
  • 15:11
    Reuters reporting death toll from the Syria conflict at least 94,000, according to monitoring group; possibly as high as 120,000.
  • 15:21
    The best things come to those who wait... The long anticipated Second Captains podcast has arrived. Grab a bar of Mint Crisp and enjoy.

  • 15:32
    Of course, the IT isn't the only paper to have a Stephen Collins. The Guardian also has one. He does these on Saturdays.
  • 15:34
    Some public bodies are failing to recognise that responding to Freedom of Information requests is a statutory function that should be afforded as much weight as any other work, Information Commissioner Emily O’Reilly has said.

    In her office’s annual report for 2012, Ms O’Reilly said some bodies were not providing staff cover when FOI officers were on leave and that in one case her office had been informed that an FOI unit would close for a month and was unable to process any enquiries.

    Steven Carroll reports 
  • 15:37
  • 15:46

    The Government has said it would prefer to reach an overall deal with all trade unions representing staff in the public service on reducing the pay and pensions bill.

    However, in a statement issued after today’s Cabinet meeting, the Government indicated it was prepared to enter into deals with individual unions if this is not possible.

    Martin Wall and Ronan McGreevy have the story

  • 15:48
  • 15:53
    At the Media Future Conference in Dún Laoghaire today Roddy Doyle said the Irish secondary school system stamps out creativity, causes groupthink and is the reason the country is "now f****ed".
  • 16:04
    The American spy in Russia cold war throwback story now comes with a photo of a man being kneeled upon.
  • 16:12
    Stephen Aziz, the former kit man at Manchester City, has criticised Roberto Mancini following his sacking as manager, describing him as “arrogant, vain and self-centred” in one of a series of tweets that were later deleted from his Twitter account on Tuesday morning.

  • 16:21
  • 16:29
    The Cannes film festival gets underway this week, with its clapping, booing, and all the rest of it. So to mark that, here, courtesy of the BBC, is an article on French films. Replace the words Britain and British with Ireland and Irish if you must.
  • 16:37
  • 16:53
  • 17:02
    RTÉ reports SIPTU is to ballot members in Irish Rail and Dublin Bus for industrial action in solidarity with members in Bus Éireann who are opposing cost reduction proposals at the company.
  • 17:15

    Righto, that's it for today.

    We'll leave you with this gallery of the Soyuz capsule, suspended from what looks like the cap of some wonderful mushroom, descending gracefully over the plains of Kazakstan.