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The day's rolling news with Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin Thu, Feb 13
 
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  • 09:00

    Was Kilkenny blown away during yesterday's ferocious storm? More to the point, has the GSOC bugging controversy been blown off the headlines?


    The answer, on both counts, appears to be no.  


    Kilkenny residents are today picking up the pieces after an emergency plan was invoked yesterday as severe weather wreaked havoc across the county and city.


    While the controversy surrounding alleged security breaches at the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission escalated yesterday when its chairman said he suspected the policing watchdog had been under surveillance.

  • 09:11

    And this just in from the Department of the Environment press office:


    Mr Sean Hogan, Chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Group will today (Thursday 13th Feb 2014) brief media on the latest update on the adverse weather conditions at the NECC, Agriculture House, Kildare Street.  There will be representatives of the various state agencies at the media briefing also.  Minister Hogan will be in attendance.

  • 09:27
    Good morning, Dan Griffin here on the Irish Times live news blog today. We'll be here until 5pm with rolling updates on the weather, GSOC and any other stories.
  • 09:39

    But now to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court which yesterday heard that a  former Anglo Irish Bank official had a “heated exchange” with his line manager after reporting concerns about the terms of loans to the “Maple 10” being amended to the bank’s chief financial officer.

    Steven Carroll has more

  • 09:48
  • 09:50
  • 09:58

    Sometimes a story just lends itself better to the superlatives of the tabloids:

    170KPH TERROR, thunders the front page of the Daily Mirror as it sums up the "worst storm in 17 years".

    STORM OF THE CENTURY, says the Irish Daily Mail.

    It's DARWIN DESTRUCTION for the Herald while the Sun and the Star cover the "MIRACLE ESCAPE" of a family after a tree fell on their car as they were driving through the "killer storm".

  • 10:16
    "The Government needs to back off here," Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says of the GSOC controversy. He's telling Sean O'Rourke that the Government is drifting into "dangerous territory". He also says that the Government would never have called in another ombudsman for questioning so quickly. He reiterates his call for an independent inquiry.
  • 10:30
  • 10:43

    The Law Society will attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee today to outline its strong opposition to the Government proposals to introduce legislation that will require tobacco products to use plain packaging.

    The society will argue plain packaging could undermine registered trade mark and design systems and will amount to an "expropriation of brand owners intellectual property rights".

    The society's director general Ken Murphy said the purpose of the submission was not to protect the tobacco industry, rather the wider effect and impact such a law would have on intellectual property rights and trade marks in other areas.

    More

  • 10:50
    Things were much the same across the (very choppy) water last night. "Britain is in the grip of an 'unparalleled natural crisis', the army officer in charge of the flood recovery effort declared last night," says the front page of the Telegraph.
  • 10:51

    Some news in from Limerick:

    Limerick City Council's Parks Department has confirmed the closure of a number of public parks following yesterday’s severe weather.

    O'Brien Park (Clare Street), Shelbourne Park and The People's Park will remain closed to the public today, Thursday 13th February, due to safety reasons.

    A further update will follow this afternoon

  • 11:02

    Most read on the site at the moment:

    A bakery on Moore Street in Dublin is set to be demolished with the loss of 70 jobs to make way for a road as part of the €900 million Dublin Central shopping centre development.

    Olivia Kelly has more

  • 11:12
    Suella Holland sent in this photo taken on Tuesday near Loughcrew, Co Meath. She says it was snowing heavily again this morning.
    Suella Holland sent in this photo taken on Tuesday near Loughcrew, Co Meath. She says it was snowing heavily again this morning.
  • 11:25

    Good news, readers: Another “nasty” storm front looks set to hit tomorrow.

    Read about it here

     

    I think the cows in that photo below might be fake.

  • 11:42

    And being from Galway, I couldn't care less about those sausages either.  

  • 12:03
    We're straight into GSOC atl leader's questions in the Dáil now.
  • 12:06
    Responding to Fianna Fáil's Naill Collins, Eamon Gilmore says he rejects absolutely the suggestion that there is some kind of coordinated campaign by the Government to undermine the Garda Ombudsman Commission.
  • 12:07
    He goes on to say that the GSOC has actually asserted its independence over the past few days.
  • 12:10
    Collins says "it's difficult to figure out what the Labour Party stand for." He accuses them of continuing the narrative that has been "peddled" by the Government all week, which he says amounts to "there's nothing to see here lads, move along".
  • 12:12

    "I do not stand for the clap trap you have just come out with," Gilmore replies, accusing Fianna Fáil of trying to politicise the issue.

  • 12:13
    Mary Lou McDonald says since the GSOC appeared at the Oireachtas Committee yesterday, it has become evident that the Government has sought to mislead the public over the bugging controversy.
  • 12:15
    The account the Minister for Justice gave to the Dáil is at odds with what GSOC said yesterday, McDonald says, adding, the Minister sought to "muddy the waters".
  • 12:17
    Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil once again calling for an independent inquiry into the matter.
  • 12:23

    McDonald asks Gilmore to state categorically that "no agency of this state was authorised to put GSOC under surveillance".

    Gilmore says he's satisfied that no organ of the state put the GSOC under surveillance.

  • 12:26
    Elsewhere, helicopters have been mobilised to assist with the post-storm clean up.
  • 12:35
  • 13:01

    Here's an enjoyable broadside against the "bigest bullshit job titles in tech".

    Among them: David Shing, digital prophet at AOL; Valentine Uhovski, fashion evangelist at Tumblr and Matthew Shoup (pronounced 'soup', one hopes), hacker-in-residence at LinkedIn.

    Also included are tweets from Nathan Jurgenson, a "social media theorist". To wit, "like discussions about online ephemerality that take into account de facto ephemerality as a consequence of tempo"

    Bullshit indeed.

  • 13:04
    The new children's hospital should be fully open by 2019. That's the word from this morning's press conference at any rate.
  • 13:05
    The period between September 30th and December 30th, 2008, was “incredibly turbulent” for the bank and for the world, former lending director with Anglo Irish Bank Michael O’Sullivan has agreed at the trial of former Anglo directors at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
  • 13:07
    Remember, you can get all the updates from the Anglo trial over on our sub-site.
  • 13:21
    Shouting protesters, broken glass, pepper spray: the Indian parliament erupted in mayhem today, says Reuters.
  • 13:22
    Big Phil on the News at One now asking Fran McNulty what dogs he's been talking to.
  • 13:23
    McNulty told the Minister for the Environment that the "dogs in the street" knew bad weather was on the way yesterday.
  • 13:34

    A lone prospector searches for gold in St Stephen's Green as others look on.

  • 13:49
    A new product to identify illegal diesel is to be introduced later this year in a joint move by Revenue here and in the UK to tackle fuel laundering for the purpsose of evading excise duties, writes Elaine Edwards.
  • 14:03
    Marc by Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week. Photograph: Reuters.
    Marc by Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week. Photograph: Reuters.
  • 14:04
    I'm off to lunch.
  • 15:05
  • 15:21
    Three major music and entertainment companies have brought a legal action aimed at compelling UPC, Ireland’s second largest internet service provider, to move against subscribers involved in illegal downloading here of music, film and other material, writes Mary Carolan.
  • 15:35