The Daily Wire

A rolling look at today's news events with Áine McMahon

Áine McMahon Mon, Dec 16
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  • 09:09
    Good morning and welcome to Monday's Daily Wire. Áine McMahon here keeping you updated on all the latest news today.
  • 09:13
    Today's weather: Outbreaks of rain clearing eastwards this morning with sunshine and scattered showers following. Showers will be heaviest and most frequent in the west and north, with hail and isolated thunderstorms likely there also. Highest temperatures 7 to 11 degrees. Moderate to fresh, southwest to west winds, occasionally strong in the west and north.
  • 09:19
    If you were out in town at the weekend, you were either partaking in the 12 pubs of Christmas bar crawl or looking on in abject horror wondering how someone can fall asleep face down in a three in one. 

    Una Mullally writes: "Standing outside the Clarence Hotel in Temple Bar in Dublin on Thursday evening, groups of 12 Pubs drinkers passed by with an alarming frequency. At one stage I was slammed against the wall by a bunch of teenage bruisers too drunk to even notice they were knocking people off the footpath as they barrelled pass." 
    You can read more here
  • 09:28
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny made his State of the Nation address last night, the full
    text of which you can read here

    His use of an outdated (to me anyway) turn of phrase "might and main" (sounds like a brand of horse shampoo)  bamboozled viewers, and kind of overshadowed what he had to say. 

    Mr Kenny said exiting the bailout “is an important step but it is not an end in itself”.
    “Our lives won’t change overnight. But it does send out a powerful signal internationally, that Ireland is fighting back, that the spirit of our people is as strong as ever.
    “Your patience and resilience have restored our national pride and empowered us to face the challenges that remain." 

    So well done us.  
  • 09:30
  • 09:34
    The Taoiseach had a simple message for these difficult times last night: “Keep calm and carry on suffering; you’ve been brilliant. Just like your government. Big thanks to everyone.” Read Miriam Lord's take on last night's speech - "
    a reading from the letter of Enda to the Austeritarians…"
  • 09:48
    English chef Jim Knight has claimed he was fired from his job at the Plough Pub because he wanted to take Christmas off to spend with his family.

    Jim took to Twitter to slam his former  workplace who have yet to respond to his claims. You can read his outpouring of ire here.     which still hasn't been deleted since last night.  

    Social Media managers have been advised to check who has the passwords lest they find themselves in a Twitter storm.  
  • 09:59
    Fianna Fail's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath was on Morning Ireland earlier, getting a dig in at Enda. 

    “I’m not sure that it was [a speech worth giving].  I would have expected the Taoiseach to announce some new initiatives on the key issues," he sniffed. 

    “As of today, we have 1.9 million people at work, so he’s projecting an increase of 100,000 people over the next seven years. Now we have over 400,000 still on the live register, so by the Taoiseach’s own numbers that would still leave about 300,000 people on the live register in seven years time."

    Then you have business group Ibec who have  predicted a more optimistic growth figure than the Government, saying that the Irish economy will grow by nearly three per cent in 2014. Ibec chief economist Fergal O’Brien said that the figures should lead to a gain of around 50,000 jobs.

    “The prospects for 2014 are good and the recovery will gain further momentum next year. Growth should accelerate to nearly 3 per cent and this will lead to about 50,000 new jobs.” 
  • 10:13
  • 10:20
    The Irish Times Christmas Charity Auction invites readers to bid for one of five original Martyn Turner drawings that have featured in The Irish Times during 2013. This special auction will run on eBay until 4.00pm on December 20th. All funds raised will go to The Simon Communities of Ireland and Concern’s Philippines Typhoon Appeal. You can bid here.
  • 10:21
  • 10:46
  • 10:51
    The Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar says he will decide early next year if the tunnel through the Phoenix Park in Dublin is to reopen to commuter trains.
    Mr Varadkar says it would cost between 10 and 15 million euro to reopen the tunnel and it would allow trains currently stopping at Heuston station, especially those on the Portlaoise line, to go on to Connolly station.
  • 10:52
  • 10:59
    Statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled in South Africa today
    Statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled in South Africa today
  • 10:59
    A statue of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, has been unveiled in the capital, Pretoria, a day after he was buried.
    The nine-metre (30ft) bronze statue has been erected at the Union Buildings, the government headquarters.
    It followed a 10-day period of mourning and celebrating Mr Mandela's life after his death at the age of 95.
  • 11:09
  • 11:10
  • 11:17
    Spurs have released a statement on the departure of AVB. 

    "'The Club can announce that agreement has been reached with Head Coach, Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services. The decision was by mutual consent and in the interests of all parties. We wish Andre well for the future. We shall make a further announcement in due course."
  • 11:19
    Follow @IrishTimesSport for the Champions League draw
  • 11:20
  • 11:23
    A top National Security Agency official says it is considering offering an amnesty to fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden if he agrees to stop leaking secret documents.
    The man in charge of assessing the leaks' damage, Richard Ledgett, said he could be open to an amnesty deal.
    Disclosures by the fugitive intelligence analyst have revealed the extent of the NSA's spying activity. But NSA Director Gen Keith Alexander has dismissed the idea. Mr Ledgett spoke to US television channel CBS about the possibility of an amnesty deal: "So my personal view is, yes it's worth having a conversation about.
    "I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assurances would be very high, would be more than just an assertion on his part."
  • 11:33
    Customs Officers  have arrested a man after they seized 15 kilos of cannabis at Dublin Port on Saturday. The drugs are believed to be worth about €300,000.
    A British man was detained after the Revenue sniffer dog 'Holly' gave a positive reaction to a vehicle that came off the late evening ferry from Holyhead.
    The vehicle was scanned by the Customs Mobile X-Ray Scanner and found to contain a false floor beneath which officers discovered the drugs.
    The man was later arrested and investigations are continuing.
  • 11:44
    Reports of a stabbing incident in Ballymun this morning. More as we get it.
  • 11:47
  • 12:00
    Check out Ronan McGreevy's interview with Cmdr Hadfield who should be writing ad campaigns for Tourism Ireland - "It is beautiful after crossing the Atlantic to hit landfall and see Ireland as the first place coming across. I don’t think I was the first person to cross the Atlantic to think Ireland is beautiful, but I did it more than most." 

    Here he is  performing space oddity in space, here
  • 12:26
    Some 640,000 of us tuned in last night to watch Enda Kenny's state of the nation address which I think makes it the most watched show this year - am open to correction on this.
  • 12:28
  • 12:31
    Most watched programme of the day - not year. In fariness the XFactor Final was on the same night. 
  • 12:41
    Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds is in the “very late stages” of Alzheimer’s disease, his son Philip has said.

    Speaking on Shannonside Radio this morning he said “Right now he’s pretty bad. He has 24 hour care."  Ronan McGreevy reports
  • 12:49
    A former financial assistant to Charles Saatchi has told a court that giving evidence against him was "essentially blackmarking" herself from working in the art world again.

    Testifying in the trial of two former personal assistants of art dealer Mr Saatchi and his then-wife Nigella Lawson, Sharrine Scholtz said staff were allowed to spend company money on designer goods and beauty treatments.

    Miss Scholtz, who worked under Mr Saatchi's finance director Rahul Gajjar for four-and-a-half years until 2009, spoke of the stress connected with her job, having to work 19-hour days before signing a compromise agreement and agreeing to "go quietly".
    Ms Scholtz said "I have everything to lose by standing up here and nothing to gain."She said she was "committing career suicide by speaking up" and insisted: "I'm here to speak the truth."
  • 12:56
  • 12:56
  • 13:13
    Una Mullally's piece on the 12 pubs of Christmas is still the most read story  on the site this lunchtime. We're not alone in the organised drunken festive debauchery stakes. Santa Con is similar to twelve pubs but one must dress as Santa Claus. It's very popular state side and in London but videos of drunken santas brawling in the streets may see the event banned. 

  • 13:18
    The Perkins family from Oklahoma  spent nearly three weeks setting up this house and garden display of 25,000 LED lights to light up in time with Ylvis's viral hit 'The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)'.  Would not like to see the ESB bill in January  - have a look below. Very impressive. 

  • 13:55
    Lionel Messi's father is being investigated for laundering drug money for Colombian cartels, according to Spanish newspaper,  El Mundo. 
    The paper claims the Spanish authorities believe a charity called Friends of Messi - which has held fundraising matches and concerts - has been been used to launder cash. Jorge Messi is already under investigation by Spanish tax authorities.
  • 13:57
  • 14:03
    The UN has appealed for $6.5bn (€4.7bn) for Syria and its neighbours to help 16 million people next year, many of them hungry or homeless victims of the 33-month-old conflict.

    The Syrian appeal accounted for half of an overall funding plan of $12.9bn to help 52 million people in 17 countries, announced by UN emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos at a meeting of donor countries in Geneva.
  • 14:07
    Hundreds of workers at  German operations have gone on strike , just as pre-Christmas sales were set to peak, in a dispute over pay that has been raging for months. Germany is Amazon's second-biggest market behind the United States. 

    Amazon, which employs 9,000 warehouse staff in Germany plus 14,000 seasonal workers at nine distribution centres, said only 640 workers had failed to turn up for the early shift so there had been no delays to deliveries so far.

     "The Amazon system is characterised by low wages, permanent performance pressure and short-term contracts," an Amazon union rep said in a statement.
  • 14:30

    More as we get it....
  • 14:34
    Harvard University have posted this notice on their website 

    :13am EST
    Harvard Alert-HUPD and CPD are on the scene and investigating. Please stand by for more info.
    9:02am EST
    Unconfirmed reports of explosives at four sites on campus: Science Center, Thayer, Sever, and Emerson. Please evacuate those buildings now.
  • 14:41
    UPDATE - "The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) this morning received an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed in four buildings on campus:  the Science Center, Thayer, Sever and Emerson Halls. HUPD and Cambridge Police are on the scene. Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated.  Harvard's focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff.  We will update the media when we have more information." 
  • 15:03
  • 15:37
    A Dutch national was caught importing €70,000 worth of cocaine into Ireland after he got lost in Dublin airport and asked Customs officers for directions.

    He admitted to swallowing 98 pellets, asking officers: “if I show it to you, is there any chance you can let me go?” It was worth a shot I suppose. 

    He was arrested and brought to Beaumont Hospital where he passed the pellets over the course of two days. 
  • 15:43
    A reformed drug addict who was caught soaking wet as he stole copper piping from a property has received a suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. 

    Gardai were called to an empty premises by other residents in the area and found the door forced open, pools of water around the house and Graham Harcourt (33) soaked from head to toe.

    Mr Harcourt handed himself over to gardai and told them; “You caught me red-handed. I was trying to rob the copper piping.”
  • 15:56
    Just as we were about to get carried away with ourselves....
  • 16:01
    An independent report on circumstances surrounding the removal of a Roma child from their family has been published. More as we get it.
  • 16:19
    A Roma child taken into emergency care following a report that she did not look like her parents, four African children taken into interim care arising out of allegations of physical abuse at the hands of their parents and the case of a young baby who suffered life-threatening injuries while in the care of its parents, are among the cases contained in Volume 4 of the cases reported on the website of the Child Care Law Reporting Project,  

    The Project also publishes the latest statistics from the Courts Service on child care applications in the District Court, which show an increase of 15 per cent, up from 8,109 in 2011 to 9,315 in 2012.  

    The report found that the volume of applications varies greatly between towns of roughly similar size. For example, the town of Letterkenny is approximately the same size as Carlow and not much bigger than Tullamore, yet there were 229 child care applications in Letterkenny in 2012, compared with 10 in Carlow and nine in Tullamore. Other substantial towns with very few applications were Longford (31) Mullingar (38) and Portlaoise (22).
  • 16:31
    A Fianna Fáil Senator says he has come into the possession of information that will rock the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) to its core.
    Speaking in the Seanad today, Daragh O'Brien  called on the Taoiseach, Minister for Finance or Minister for Justice to come in and explain what he says is the leaking of sensitive information.
    Senator O'Brien wants to know if the Garda Commissioner has been asked to investigate the disclosure of information that allows people profit from NAMA. 
  • 16:36
    Satirical news website Waterford Whispers have an article about how Enda Kenny's family couldn't be bothered to watch his speech last night. 

    "Ah you know I’d love to watch Enda, love,” began his wife Fionnuala’s carefully constructed lie, “but sure I’m down to play bridge with the girls, you remember I said it to you? No? Well I did. Sorry love, really I am. Look it, haven’t ya the whole nation watching anyway, you don’t need me”

    More here.  
  • 16:41
  • 17:04
  • 17:23
    The 2013 Black Santa sit-out at St Ann’s Church on Dublin’s Dawson Street gets underway tomorrow at 2 p.m.

    This annual Christmas charity appeal will be launched by Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev Michael Jackson and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn. The children’s choir of the Kildare Place School will provide carols for the occasion. 

    Vicar of St Ann’s Rev David Gillespie, along with clerical colleagues, will remain outside the church from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day collecting money for charity. It will go directly to the Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, the Dublin Simon Community, Protestant Aid, Trust, and the Church of Ireland Overseas Aid (Bishops’ Appeal).
  • 17:27
    Met Eireann say a cold snap is on the way tonight but no word of snow (yet). 

    Cold with slackening winds and temperatures falling to between +2 ands -2 degrees resulting in a sharp or severe frost and some icy stretches.  

    We'll leave it there today, thanks for reading. We're back from 9am tomorrow morning.