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All the day's rolling news as it happens with Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson Thu, Dec 12
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  • 09:02
    Good morning. My name is Colin Gleeson and I will be with you on today's Daily Wire until 5pm.
  • 09:16
    Hope you're all keeping well. The lead story in today's Irish Times is the paper's latest political poll with Ipsos/MRBI which finds that support for the Coalition parties has risen as we approach Ireland's exit from the bailout. That should make for a happy Christmas for Enda and co. You can read about it here.
  • 09:25

    The off-lead in today’s paper is a story from Arthur Beesley. He writes that contrary to popular belief, the IMF will not be leaving town entirely this weekend. They are to maintain an office in Dublin.

    Furthermore, in case you didn’t know, is that the other two limbs of the Troika already have permanent residencies here. The European Commission has an office on Dawson Street while the Central Bank of Ireland is part of the European Central Bank’s system.


  • 09:38
    Back to that poll and you can make sense of it all in the company of Stephen Collins who has an analysis piece here.

    He writes that it is striking that the recovery by Fine Gael and Labour has taken place in the aftermath of another tough budget in October.
  • 09:47

    I’m sure you heard about the South African sign language interpreter who has been accused of “gesticulating gibberish” as world leaders paid tribute to Nelson Mandela at the memorial this week.

    Apparently he has defended himself today. He says he is a “champion” signer but suffered a “schizophrenic episode” during the event.


  • 09:52

    Apparently he said in a radio interview that he was happy with his performance at the memorial.

    When contacted by Reuters he said he could not understand why people were complaining now rather than during other performances. “I’m not a failure. I deliver,” he said, before hanging up.

    Eh, well no, you absolutely did not deliver.

  • 10:01
    The other big story today is yesterday’s meeting of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee where members of the Central Remedial Clinic’s board were repeatedly asked to resign over pay and governance issues. You can read about it here.
  • 10:08

    That meeting of the Public Accounts Committee went on for five and a half hours apparently.

    Five and a half hours.

    Carl O’Brien sat through the whole thing and has an analysis piece here that might help read between the lines.

    He begins: “After five and a half hours of brazen denials, long-winded explanation and tortuous grandstanding, we ended up where we started out.”

    His enthusiasm for the whole thing is just infectious.

  • 10:16

    In case you were wondering, the photograph at the top of this blog is from a ceremony last night for the turning on of the Oireachtas Christmas tree lights.

    Music and song was provided by the Blackrock College Choir and by the Oireachtas choir.

    After the ceremony, the Taoiseach and (former) Fine Gael rebel Peter Matthews actually joined the two choirs and sang some carols.

    It was all very happy-clappy and they said they forgave each other after their recent falling out over the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.

    That’s nice. Singing from the same hymn sheet after all.

  • 10:29
    Laura Slattery reports that the long-planned RTÉ One HD will be launched as early as next Monday.
  • 10:39

    Who said members of the judiciary are no craic?

    Dealing with a High Court action brought by an Irish company that is alleging online retailer Littlewoods has infringed its design for a men’s Christmas jumper, Mr Justice Seán Ryan said the jumper in question “is not like the one I bought on Sunday”.

    He’s probably going on a “12 pubs” this weekend.

    You can read the court report here.

  • 10:48

    A popular story on our website this morning stems from an interview with Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport Alan Kelly.

    He claims that one of the biggest impediments to the growth of public transport in Ireland is the slightly snobbish attitude of the middle classes to commuting by bus, writes Harry McGee.

    “Some people believe public transport is something that other social classes use and do not see it as the ‘middle class’ thing to do,” said Mr Kelly. “This is especially true for bus transport.”

  • 11:00
    Another interesting piece is written by Kitty Holland as she addresses the issue of a right to secular education. She – using her personal experience of the subject – tackles the issue of the challenges faced by parents of children who are not baptised.
  • 11:06

    I’m told today is International Day of Heavy Metal.

    On a related note, Black Sabbath - the band that is in some circles credited with started heavy metal off - is playing in Belfast tonight.

  • 11:16

    In international news, Uruguay’s Senate has approved pioneering legislation that will allow the country to legalise the cultivation and sale of marijuana on a nationwide scale.

    Uruguay’s handling of this controversy-riddled topic was raised as something to keep a close eye on at a recent conference in Dublin calling for the decriminalisation of drugs in this State.

    That conference was hosted by Citywide, which is a national network of community activists and organisations involved in “responding to Ireland’s drugs crisis”.

    Under the legislation in Uruguay, approved by a vote of 16-13, a state-run Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis would be created to oversee the planting, harvesting and sale of marijuana.

    The drug would be sold at pharmacies, with buyers signing up in a state registry, a process enabling them to purchase as much as 40 grams a month at $1 a gram.

    You can read more here.

  • 11:31
    This morning also sees Twitter release the top trends for the year 2013. Should be interesting...
  • 11:34
    In terms of Irish news, the word that trended the most was "Roma", which most likely refers to the case a while back of the removal of a 7-year-old Roma girl from her home by gardaí over concerns about parentage.
  • 11:37

    Second on the list is #seanref, which refers to the referendum to abolish the Seanad, while the third most popular topic that trended in terms of Irish news was the budget, which carried the Twitter handle #budget2014.

  • 11:41
    The top three Irish people who trended were Brian O’Driscoll, Roy Keane, and Seamus Heaney. Genevieve Carbery has more here.
  • 12:07
    Related to Kitty Holland’s piece on secular education that was mentioned earlier, there is a story about Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan calling for an end to denominational schools having the right to discriminate in favour of enrolling children on the basis of their religion.
  • 12:37

    President Michael D Higgins was selected yesterday to make the keynote remarks at a lunch marking the first day of former South African president Nelson Mandela’s lying in state, writes Peter Murtagh.

    President Jacob Zuma asked President Higgins to speak on behalf of Ireland and Europe. The President rose to the occasion, delivering what some of those present said was a well-received tour de force that set the tone for speakers from other regions of the world.

    More here.

  • 12:50

    The first round of Garda recruitment will see 100 new recruits entering training next July, with up to an additional 200 members recruited by the end of next year in a further two intakes, writes Conor Lally.

    The move comes after a break of almost five years in recruitment, with Garda numbers now below 13,100.

  • 12:57

    First it was horse burgers. Now it’s dog food burgers.

    Meat meant for dog food is believed to have ended up in the human food chain in an "industrial-scale" fraud carried out in Northern Ireland, according to the BBC.

    It’s time to become a vegetarian.

  • 13:05
  • 13:24

    Have you ever wondered where might be the best place to be buried when it’s time to check out?

    Have you ever lain awake at night, tossing and turning, your mind tormented by the various pros and cons of burial ground A versus burial ground B?

    Look no further.

    Limerick County Council has just issued a press statement for “immediate release”.

    “Burial grounds in Abbeyfeale and Ardcanny have been named overall winners of the 2013 County Limerick Burial Grounds Awards, which were announced at a ceremony held in Limerick County Hall last night.
    “The awards scheme involves two categories, ancient and modern. Ardcanny Burial Ground picked up the overall winner’s award in the Ancient section, while Reilig Ide Naofa (St Ita's graveyard) in Abbeyfeale was named the overall winner of the Modern section."

  • 13:26
    Photographs of the main winners to follow shortly apparently.
  • 13:29
  • 13:59
  • 14:03
  • 14:04

    Fascinating tweet there from Serena Williams.

  • 14:07
  • 14:20

    Remember our “champion” sign language interpreter from the Mandela memorial earlier? Apparently the owners of the company which supplied him have now “vanished”, according to South African minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu.

    The BBC is reporting that the minister has also not ruled employing him in some circumstances again.

    I wouldn't say he's in any immediate danger of being over-worked at the same time.

  • 14:25
  • 14:42

    It’s always interesting to see what people abroad are saying about Ireland.

    The latest offering is a pretty uncomplimentary piece in the New York Times entitled ‘Hardships linger for a mending Ireland’.

    It tells the story of a man in Shankill who “shoots pigeons for food and grills them outdoors to reduce his gas and grocery bills”.

    I didn’t think things were that bad but judge for yourself.

    There are a number of fairly ropey claims in the article, which are cleared up here by our own Eoin Burke-Kennedy.

  • 14:45
  • 14:54
    As the top-up controversy rumbles on, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has insisted there will be “transparency and compliance” with public pay policy, as he told the Dáil State-funded agencies will now be required to sign a compliance statement each year. More here.
  • 15:08
  • 15:37
  • 15:37
  • 15:47

    According to Reuters, Britain's Queen Elizabeth was so incensed with royal police officers eating nuts from bowls left out in the corridors of Buckingham Palace that she drew lines on the sides in a bid to prove levels were dipping.

    In emails submitted to the phone hacking trial of journalists at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World tabloid, its royal reporter said he had learnt that a memo had been issued to all officers telling them to "keep their sticky fingers out".

    To laughter in the court, judge John Saunders told the jury that these were "unfounded allegations".

    "Queen furious about police stealing bowls of nuts and nibbles left out for her in the BP (Buckingham Palace) Queen's corridors," an email from royal reporter Clive Goodman to then-editor Andy Coulson said.

    It said staff had put out a selection of nuts including cashews, almonds and Bombay mix around the palace for the 87-year-old queen.

    "Problem is that police on patrol eat the lot. Queen so narked (annoyed) she has started marking the bowls to see where the levels dipped," it said.

  • 15:53

    The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and Pieta House have launched a new dedicated phone line and information booklet for farmers and their families.

    The move is designed to combat the high rate of suicide among men in rural areas. The phone line will put farm families in direct contact with a Pieta House-trained therapist.

    There were 507 deaths by suicide in Ireland in 2012, of which 413 were men. In 2011, the agricultural sector accounted for 12.5 per cent of suicides in Ireland, the second highest sector after construction.

    IFA president John Bryan said: “As farmers we can sometimes feel over whelmed by the many challenges facing us, be they financial, red tape, long working hours, isolation, or family difficulties. It is important that farmers and their families know there is help out there.”

    The number is 18901300222

  • 16:07

    Now here’s an idea.

    The Guardian reports that a cafe on the French Riviera has gained international notoriety by incentivising customers to exercise good manners.

    “What started as a local joke generated an internet buzz this week after a diner tweeted the sign outside the Petite Syrah in Nice on the Côte d'Azur.

    “In an attempt to turn the tables on customers who complain that serving staff are rude, the manager warned he would hit impolite customers where it hurts, in the pocket.”

    A sign outside the establishment states:

    “Un café” - €7
    “Un café s'il vous plait” - €4.25
    “Bonjour, un café, s'il vous plait” - €1.40.

    Proper order. Almost certainly illegal, but...

  • 16:16
  • 16:30

    A new ferry service is to connect Irish travellers with St Nazaire on the west coast of France and Gijón in northern Spain.

    The service, which will be operated by LD Services, will operate on a weekly basis from Rosslare, Co. Wexford. The French route will depart Rosslare at 9pm on a Friday, returning on a Wednesday with a 23.59 departure time from St. Nazaire. Online booking will be available from tomorrow, with the route commencing on January 5th 2014.

    Fiona Reddan has the details.

  • 16:43

    According to the Press Association, a party night in the UK has raised more than £1,400 to pay for at least 70 hours of research into Alzheimer’s disease.

    I organised a fundraiser for a voluntary organisation back when I was in college and managed to register a deficit. True story.

  • 16:44
  • 16:49

    Oh no.

    “Kenyan senator caught photoshopping Nelson Mandela tribute picture”

    The telegraph reports: “A Kenyan senator who posted an image of himself with Nelson Mandela on his Facebook account has been caught out after it was exposed as a photoshopped picture.

    “The image was posted on Mike Sonko's Facebook page last Friday along with the caption: "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination".

    Good grief. The full story and pictures are here.

  • 17:07

    Well on that fairly mortifying note, we will call it a day here on the Daily Wire.

    Don't forget to pick up tomorrow’s Irish Times which features a special 20-page supplement ‘After the Bailout’ which I’m sure promises to be interesting.

    Thanks for reading. Until next time.