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Unemployment at lowest level since 2009 and more on that match

Eoin Burke-Kennedy Tue, Nov 26
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  • 09:25
    Under the headline - Glorious defeat sucks. Always did, always will - my colleague Johnny Watterson attempts to make sense of the debate that has raged since Sunday's All-Black defeat.

    Essentially, was Ireland's monster performance against the Kiwis just an another example of heroic failure or something else entirely?

    Watterson reminds us that even Ireland's Italia ’90 triumph, which practically had the nation on a work to rule, came on the back of three draws and a miserable penalties victory over Romania.

    "Dysfunctional relationships in sports are common enough but Ireland’s past dalliances with the near miss, the stroke of bad luck, the cheat and the mare of a refereeing decision have fed into a collective national psyche that often hankers for the celebration of the average and second best," he writes.

    It's instructive that many found comfort in Joe Schmidt's post-match analysis.

    “A draw is as bad as loss,” said Schmidt. “We haven’t won in 108 years against those guys. There’s been a draw before. We didn’t want to do what had been done before.”
  • 09:47
    By the way, I'm Eoin Burke-Kennedy, and I'll be steering the Daily Wire ship today.

    Our offlead story today is about non fee-paying schools dominating the 2013 league tables for sending students into third-level education.

    However, the league tables reveals students from fee-paying schools and Gaelscoileanna claim the vast majority of places that have a high entry-point requirement. Not exactly a surprise finding.

    Grainne Faller does a comprehensive piece on the issues involved - Choosing a secondary school: Do your homework first.
  • 09:58
    New research appears to prove the "too posh to push" theory of pregnancy. A study of some 30,000 women who gave birth at a hospital in Ireland found private patients are twice as likely to have pre-planned Caesarean sections as women whose treatment is publicly funded.

    Twenty-one per cent of private patients have a scheduled C-section compared to just 8.9 per cent of publicly funded ones, the study found.

    Authors of the study, published in the journal BMJ Open, said it was not possible to determine whether the decision to give birth via C-section was driven by the expectant mother or the doctors caring for them.
  • 10:18
    Is it just me or does the bird in our deer poaching story seem to distract from the point of the story.

    I have corrected the caption which read a crow lands on the head of a deer in Dublin’s Phoenix Park last month. The bird is a jackdaw, of course. Incidentially there is no common black crow in Ireland.
  • 10:58
    Shock, horror. What vile news is this? Reynard's nightclub is to be razed. Oh yes, and the Passport office. Actually, the nightclub hasn't been operational for some years now but in its day it was the venue of choice for Dublin's glitterati. Did I just use that word? Colin Farrell described it as his favourite den of iniquity.

    The 40-year-old office block, which faces onto Molesworth Street and South Frederick Street, is also occupied by estate agent Jones Lang LaSalle is to be razed and replaced by a new office building, expected to cost in excess of €30 million.

    The story was written by our Dublin Correspondent Olivia Kelly, who admits to having enjoyed a night or two in the nightclub but denies being a regular goer.

  • 11:21
    Here's a big story, just breaking. Unemployment has dropped to its lowest level since 2009, according to the latest numbers from the CSO's Quarterly National Household Survey.

    The jobless rate stood at 12.8 per cent in the third quarter of this year, down from 13.6 per cent in the second quarter. Employment grew by 58,000 (3.2 per cent) in the year to the third quarter of 2013 to stand at a total of 1,899,300.

    There were confident predictions from ministers, particularly Joan Burton, that we'd end the year under 13 per cent, and it seems they were right. Of course, we'll have to see just how much of this is emigration.

    This is partciuarly good news for the Government as it gears up to exit the bailout programme.
  • 11:39
  • 12:06
    Playwright Tom Stoppard's latest one-hour radio play, Darkside, takes for its subject matter Pink Floyd's famous Dark Side of the Moon album. Commissioned by the BBC to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of a recording that has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, the play was first broadcast in August and this week will be released in CD form.

    Stoppard has stripped the record of most of its lyrics, writing his own text to be recited over the original music while intermittently drawing on band member Roger Waters' words to provide commentary on what has just happened.

    Asked in a New York Times interview, whether the play was as a kind of comedy about moral philosophy, Stoppard said: "I think that's fair enough. I was using things from my own reading, things I've been collecting for the purposes of a play for years and years. This is already something I wanted to write about, and the album felt to me like a bunch of songs that were saying, 'Yeah, come on, use up some of that stuff, and don't keep saving it for some three-hour play'."
  • 12:09
  • 12:29
    Britain's long-running plebgate controversy has reached some sort of conclusion.

    The country's director of public prosecutions says there is insufficient evidence to suggest the police officer who claimed former chief whip Andrew Mitchell called him "a pleb" was lying.

    Alison Saunders also said there was also insufficient evidence "to show that Mr Mitchell was the victim of a conspiracy of misinformation". However, one officer will be charged with misconduct in public office.
  • 12:41
    Historic moment, for Dublin at least. Ok so that's an overstatement. Anyway, on the stroke of noon, a dozen council workers removed barriers and cones from the east side of St Stephen's Green to allow traffic flow through to Merrion Row in what is the biggest change to traffic on the Green since the Luas line opened almost a decade ago.

    With construction ongoing, it's not the prettiest junction in the world but traffic appears to be moving well, the real test will come with this evening's rush hour.
  • 13:19
  • 13:56
    I'll probably get into to trouble for this, but the pic of jobless folk above, which accompanies our lead story about the fall-off in's entirely likely that most of the people in the shot have either emigrated   or are now gainfully employed.

    The pic was probably taken years ago. It's part of a digital problem that we've had for some time, namely an over-reliance on stockpics. It's next to impossible to have live pics for all the stories we're throwing up online, particularly given the pace of the newsflow. We know it bugs our readers, but it bugs us as well, particularly our team of hard-working photographers.

    I have to say, though, the weather in the aforementioned pic is a deadringer for today's.
  • 13:57
  • 14:20
    People power trumps Xtra-vision, it seems. My colleague Conor Pope is reporting on a climb-down by the DVD and games retailer.

    The row centred on the chain's initial refusal to sell the Xbox One games console unless customers also forked out for an additional computer game at a cost of at least €50.

    However, a bunch of aggrieved customers took to online forums and social media networks to rage against the company, and now Xtra-vision has backed down.
  • 14:24
  • 14:44
    Minister for Health James Reilly and Minister Kathleen Lynch are to outline the Government's response to the issue of symphysiotomy at a hastily arranged press conference at 4.30pm in Government Buildings.

    The Government may use the opportunity to publish the report, by professor Una Walsh, which is based on interviews with and submissions from survivors of symphysiotomy, where women had their pelvises broken unnecessarily, as an alternative to a caesarean section, and suffered life-long ill-health as a result.
  • 15:12
    Police in Britain are hunting a lone wolf. The animal was one of five timber wolves which escaped from their enclosure in Colchester Zoo in Essex earlier today.

    Keepers discovered that five wolves had left their enclosure through a damaged fence during a morning inspection. All but one have been accounted for, although two had to be shot dead.

    A spokesman said: “Colchester Zoo’s keepers have been devastated by the loss of two of their beloved timber wolves. It was discovered that the perimeter fence to Colchester Zoo’s wolf enclosure had been damaged and five of the six timber wolves had left the enclosure. One of the wolves returned immediately of its own accord and one was darted and recaptured."

    “Unfortunately, as they were further away and an anaesthetic dart takes 15 minutes to take effect, two had to be shot.The remaining wolf is thought to be sheltering in thick undergrowth and the police are assisting in its recapture.”
  • 16:11
    Charles Saatchi accused his former wife Nigella Lawson of being “so off your heads on drugs” that she allowed their personal assistants to spend whatever they liked. Italians Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo are due to go on trial accused of committing fraud while working as PAs to the celebrity couple.

    Today, ahead of the case being heard at Isleworth Crown Court in west London, Judge Robin Johnson read out an email sent from Saatchi to his former wife. “Of course now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you (and) Mimi were so off your heads on drugs that you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked and yes I believe every word they have said,” the email read.

    The judge said the email could be reported, despite the trial not having yet started. TV chef Lawson is expected to give evidence during the trial, which is due to last at least two weeks.
  • 16:22
    The former top adviser to President Michael D Higgins has insisted she left her role on amicable terms. Mary van Lieshout, who resigned as special adviser at Aras an Uachtarain halfway through her three-year contract, said she left the €103,000 a year job to pursue other interests.

    In a statement responding to speculation about her departure, Ms van Lieshout said she had remained silent until now to protect her privacy but wished to clarify matters. “I was honoured to accept the appointment of adviser when invited to do so by President Higgins and was privileged to have the experience of working in Aras an Uachtarain,” she said. “In order to pursue other interests, I decided to end the assignment and have now taken up a role in overseas development, an area to which I have a deep, personal and longstanding commitment. “I departed Aras an Uachtarain on very amicable terms with everyone and wish the President, Sabina and all my former colleagues well for the future.”

    Ms van Lieshout, who added that she would make no further comment, did not comment directly on reports that she left because a more junior member of the presidential staff had better access to Mr Higgins. “I will be making no further comment on this matter,” she said.
  • 16:35
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  • 17:15
    Ok that's about it for today, we'll take it up again in the morning.