News Blog

A rolling look at today's events

Joanne Hunt Thu, Jun 6
LIVE: News Blog

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  • This event has now ended
  • 08:48
    This morning, Dublin is mostly wearing boyish short-sleeved shirts or knee-length skirts with bare legs that haven't seen the light of day in years. "It's going to be another warm, sunny day," say forecasters.
  • 08:49
    Good morning. Joanne Hunt here on the Irish Times news blog for June 6th 2013.
  • 08:56
    Today's main stories from the Irish Times: Referendum campaign to end Seanad begins. Child agency delayed by row over the transfer of psychologists to the new body. Cross section of Turks unite in Istanbul protests. And the obligatory front page pic of Leaving Cert students, relieved to have their first paper out of the way.
  • 09:15
  • 09:22
    That's just jammy Niall. The One Direction star, who didn't sit his Leaving Cert, is reportedly worth €5.9m.
  • 09:33
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny will visit the Baltic states of Lithuania and Latvia today. Ireland will hand over the rotating presidency of the European Council to Lithuania next month. President Michael D Higgins is in Croatia developing bilateral links. They are missing the summer.
  • 09:44
    Meanwhile, Irish Times legal affairs correspondent Ruadhán Mac Cormaic is on Inis Mór for a sitting of Kilronan District Court. The court was threatened with closure, but won a reprieve earlier this year. Hearings are in Irish and take place four times a year, except in bad weather. Full steam ahead today so.
  • 09:48
  • 09:53
    Justin Bieber has hit 40 million Twitter followers, the first person on the social media platform to do so. He didn't do his Leaving Cert either.
  • 09:59
  • 10:17

    @SeanadEireann has 22 Twitter followers. A poor show even for an unofficial account.

  • 10:23
    "Ireland simply has too many politicians for its size. We must question the very relevance of a second chamber," says Taoiseach Enda Kenny, firing the opening shots in the referedum campaign to scrap the Seanad. Irish Times political editor Arthur Beesley gives his analysis today.
  • 10:34

    The Obama administration has been secretly monitoring phone conversations of American citizens under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act, according to a highly classified court order disclosed last night.

    The order directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, Verizon Business Network Services, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls”.

    The order does not apply to the content of the communications.

  • 10:55

    And you thought it was just going to be just another humdrum day in the sun, well things are about to hot up. Even more.

    Whether you're basking in Ballybunion, sweating in Swords, or eating a 99 in Newtwopothouse, we want you to tweet us your pics. Tweet shots of you in the sun, loved ones in the sun or lovely things in the sun to @IrishTimesLive and we'll share the best with the rest of the country.

    And there's a prize - a fabulous Irish Times goodie bag. Hand picked by Irish Times journalists, the bag so far contains an Irish Times branded USB key, a reporter's notebook (unused), some coveted Irish Times pens - all enclosed in a The Ticket bag! I ask you. Get tweeting. Winner announced after 4pm.

  • 11:13
    Thanks to Declan Tuohy of Raheny for sharing this pic of Howth Harbour, taken while out for a walk at 9am this morning.
    Thanks to Declan Tuohy of Raheny for sharing this pic of Howth Harbour, taken while out for a walk at 9am this morning.
  • 11:21
  • 11:24
  • 11:25
    Are they all waiting to buy, or burnt by having bought?
  • 11:30
    Andy Coulson, British prime minister David Cameron’s former media chief and ex-editor of the now defunct News of the World, pleaded not guilty this morning to charges related to phone hacking.
  • 11:42

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Live Register total recorded a monthly decrease of 700 in May 2013, bringing the seasonally adjusted total to 426,100, according to CSO figures released in the past hour. The number of male claimants decreased by 11,842 while female claimants showed no change.

  • 11:44
  • 11:59
    Dublin Zoo is delighted to welcome a newborn white-faced saki. A what? It's a rare monkey, with a long furry coat and thick shaggy hair found in the tropical forests of Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, and  in the Phoenix Park. Sakis are normally shy but put on a real show of aggression to protect their territory. They arch their backs, growl loudly and shake their hair and the tree branches. Pics coming soon.
  • 12:14
  • 12:28
  • 12:46
  • 12:47
    Go Michelle.
  • 13:10
    Bilderberg 2013 kicks off today in Watford. It's a secretive, annual invitation-only meeting of politicians, business heads and defence officials. Michael Noonan got the nod. Conspiracy theorists suspect funny handshakes and plans for a world government are afoot. Sore you weren't invited?
  • 13:14
    Sucking on a 99 on your lunchbreak? Are your shins turning pink in the park? Tweet your sunny pics to @IrishTimesLive to win a sumptuous Irish Times goodie bag, filled with random branded items from here on the second floor.
  • 13:25
  • 13:50
    The decline in marriage in the US has accelerated since 1990. If the decline continues at the same pace, marriage rates could hit zero by 2042, according to an article in The Atlantic.  

    In Ireland, the number of married people in the State increased by nearly 10 per cent in just five years, between 2006 and 2011, according to census records.
    But the number of divorced people increased by more than 150 per cent in the 10 years from 2002. This reflects both a higher incidence of marital breakdown and the greater number of couples availing of divorce following a mandatory period of separation.
  • 14:02
  • 14:22
    Yesterday's Leaving Cert higher level English paper asked students to write a personal essay about 'the tension you find between the everyday treadmill and the gilded promises of life'. Well that's something to chew on.

    English paper 2 is now underway in exam halls up and down the country. Could you write for three hours straight?
  • 14:25
    'Natasha wears: Off-white cotton and silk knit onesie, Prada', in the The Gloss, free with today's Irish Times. It looks a bit warm for running love, but you're bound to turn heads.
  • 14:28
  • 14:33
  • 14:34
    Thanks guys. Sunny pics coming in thick and fast from all over the country now.
  • 14:37
  • 14:48
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has demanded that both Government parties throw their support behind the October referendum on abolishing the Seanad, reports Derek Scally from Vilnius. Enda Kenny is visiting the Lithuanian capital today.
  • 14:50
  • 14:56

     Loving the snap of Dublin Zoo's newest resident, a white-faced saki. He weighs just 150 grams. They haven't named him yet. Tweet your suggestions to @IrishTimesLive

  • 14:57
  • 15:00

    Some lovely photos from your day coming in to @IrishTimesLive now. The competition closes in 60 minutes. Did I mention the prize was a bag of random Irish Times branded items from here in the newsroom?

  • 15:06
  • 15:12
  • 15:22
  • 15:32
    Nearly 2.3 million people benefitted from social welfare schemes and payments in the past year, the Department of Social Protection said today.

    Some €20.7 million was issued in total, through more than 87 million benefits payments, reports Dan Keenan.
  • 15:32
  • 15:34
    I remember those Pav evenings fondly. Plenty of streakers back in the day too. You know who you are.
  • 15:42
  • 15:48
  • 15:49
    Ah James, that's desperate. Stuck in work on a day like today, and in one of the most beautiful places in Ireland.
  • 15:56
    Speculative markets and rating agencies are now seen as having more power than elected parliaments in addressing economic problems, President Michael D Higgins has warned. Irish Times journalist Judith Crosbie is in Croatia to cover the President's visit.
  • 15:58
  • 16:22

    And the winner of today's sunny picture competition is, drumroll please...

  • 16:25
  • 16:38
    Congratulations to Declan McDermott for his photo titled, 'Nothing says summer like an ice cream face'. Your prize is on the way.
  • 16:41
    Older returning Irish emigrants are more likely to have been sexually abused as children and have a drink problem, according to new research published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). Read Ronan McGreevy's report here.
  • 16:43
  • 16:49
    Tomorrow will be fine and warm again with varying cloud and good sunshine, says Met Eireann. Afternoon temperatures will reach 18 to 23 degrees, a little cooler at the beaches. The warm weather is set to continue until Sunday.
  • 17:00
    Well that just about concludes today's live news blog. Remember to pack the sun screen tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by. And in the words of Ron Burgundy, stay classy.