The Daily Wire

Cramped schools, striking doctors and the latest on Syria . . .

Dan Griffin Wed, Sep 4
 
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  • 09:02
    Good Morning
  • 09:04
    At the top of the hour, the main headline on irishtimes.com are:

    Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro found hanged in cell

    AIB issues warning to almost 6,000 mortgage customers

    And John Kerry says Syria has crossed 'world's red line'
  • 09:08
    Ariel Castro, who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade, has been found dead and is believed to have taken his own life, according to Ohio corrections officials.

    AIB has warned close to 6,000 of its mortgage customers that it will take legal action against them if they continue to refuse to engage with the bank on their arrears.

    Senior Obama administration figures have pushed US senators to support military strikes against Syria, arguing that the Assad regime has crossed the “world’s red line” by using chemical weapons.
  • 09:17

    In other news, more than 800 attempts are made each day in parliament in Westminster to access pornography.

    A freedom of information request revealed nearly 300,000 "attempts to access websites categorised as pornography" were made from computers within parliament in the past year, the Guardian reports

  • 09:18
    Research, no doubt.
  • 09:27
    I'm Dan Griffin and I'll be here on the live blog until 5pm.

    The mix is heady, the pace measured (at times plodding), expect news, culture, sport as well as informed analysis about Ireland and the world. All of that and a light dusting of typos.
  • 09:44

    Topping our list of most-read online stories this morning is news that €1 billion has been wiped off the value of Ryanair shares. The airline cited a slump in bookings due to the summer's heatwave for a surprise profit warning.

    The story's climb to the top of our list is no doubt assisted by an updraft of schadenfreude from anyone who has ever found themselves desperately stuffing hats and lumpy paperbacks into their pockets at a departure gate as an implacable jobsworth tells them they've exceeded their baggage limit.

    Still, with promises from the airline to respond to weak forward bookings by introducing "aggressive seat sales", there might be a few decent getaway deals to be had in the coming months.

  • 10:03
    On the front pages today the Irish Examiner reports Irish prisoners can now get away from the monotony of life on the inside and escape into a world of bondage and sado-masochism.  "The Irish Prison service yesterday confirmed it had bough 12 copies of the EL James novel Fifty Shades of Grey for prisoners across the system in the past year," reports Gordon Deegan.

    The Irish Independent says almost one-in-three school pupils in some parts of the country is now in a "supersize" classroom of more than 30 children. The paper quotes figures which show schools in the commuter-belt are most crowded.

    Their sister paper the Herald leads with "[John] Waters jailed over €40 fine", referring to the journalist's period priod of imprisonment yesterday stemming from an unpaid parking ticket.

    The resto of the tabloids opt for the Michael Le Vell court case in the UK while th Mail's front page is on Priory Hall.
  • 10:20
  • 10:20

    US Secretary of State John Kerry was yesterday dispatched to the Senate to persuade lawmakers to support a resolution authorising limited military strikes against Syria.

    "This is not the time for armchair isolationism," he said. "This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter".

    For those who missed it, see the video below.

  • 10:30

    Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher is now addressing the Joint Oireachtas Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee. We'll have reports on the site later on.

  • 10:37
  • 10:41
    Bank of Ireland has 143,000 mortgages, 2 per cent of which are in a legal process, the Committee hears.
  • 10:48
    Here's a live stream of the Oireachtas finance committee, Boucher is taking questions from members now.
  • 10:54
    Irish Times legal affairs correspondent Ruadhán Mac Cormaic is in Brazil covering the Michael Lynn story.

    This morning he writes:  

    Lawyers acting for the solicitor Michael Lynn plan to make an application this week to have him released on bail while a Brazilian court considers whether to extradite him to Ireland.

    Paolo César Maia Porto, one of four Brazilian lawyers preparing Mr Lynn’s defence, said his conditions in prison were “very bad” and there was no reason to keep him there. Brazilian law allows the authorities to detain him for up to 90 days while his case is being considered.

    Read more.
  • 11:01
    John Waters likens prison to his experience on the London Underground. Presumably he's referring to the cramped trains on the east-bound Central line as they leave the City of an evening and not the more spacious carriages on the Metropolitan line.
  • 11:13
  • 11:17
    It's being reported that David McCullagh has been named as the new presenter for RTÉ's Primetime. He'll replace Pat Kenny. A move that's sure to raise eyebrows, McCullagh's own mostly.
  • 11:25
    Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher arriving at Leinster House this morning, pictured with Pat Farrell, the bank's head of communications. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/THE IRISH TIMES
    Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher arriving at Leinster House this morning, pictured with Pat Farrell, the bank's head of communications. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/THE IRISH TIMES
  • 11:37
  • 11:47
    The Number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell by 3,400 last month, Eoin Burke-Kennedy writes.

    The latest Live Register figures provide show a standardised unemployment rate of 13.4 per cent, down from 13.5 per cent from the previous month.

    But youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, according to Youth Work Ireland who today point out that 7,000 more young people have signed on in the last four months despite 35,000 young people leaving the country last year.
  • 12:05
    Adam Clayton got married this morning, to his girlfriend, I imagine. There's lots on Twitter.
  • 12:07
  • 12:19
    Just hours before the first party of Irish troops was due to fly out to the Golan Heights as part of an ongoing monitoring operation, the United Nations in New York contacted the Defence Forces in Ireland and asked that they stand down the personnel.

    United Nations delays Irish troop deployment to Syria
  • 12:26
    We're hearing Adam Clayton will be getting married in mid-September in the south of France from--wait for it--sources close to the band. We're also hearing he got married this morning. The truth, no doubt, lies somewhere in between so our bet is a Paris wedding this weekend.
  • 12:28
    Speaking of France, here is the photo of the French president, or a link to it at least, that has been causing quite le buzz on the internet:

    François Hollande
  • 12:35
    Ah no, it does look like it was today. Pity too, that weekend in Paris sounded lovely.
  • 12:53
  • 12:59

    News from the Oireachtas finance committee will be updated throughout the day here.

  • 13:00
  • 13:17
  • 13:31
    Doctors at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin are putting patients at risk by failing to follow proper hand hygiene techniques, a report has found, Paul Cullen writes today.

    Dr Paul Brennan, lead clinical director at Beaumont hospital, speaking on RTÉ Radio in the past few minutes said the hospital accepted the findings and would now attempt to improve the culture of hygiene in the hospital. 

     He said the hospital will now implement an action plan which involves putting a nurse in place on wards to ensure that doctors wash their hands.

    "This report is a little worse than we thought we were, but we knew we were low", he said.
  • 14:00
    Of course, Inspector Gadget fans will already be familiar with smart watches
    Of course, Inspector Gadget fans will already be familiar with smart watches
  • 14:01
    Technology giants will unveil their latest products during a series of launches at Berlin IFA today. One of the most highly anticipated items will be Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch.

    The smart watch is rumoured to make and receive phone calls, send emails and text messages and store information.
  • 14:20
    Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar was reluctant  to wade into the industrial dispute at Dublin Bus a few weeks ago when the drivers went on strike. But today, the day after drivers rejected a proposed resolution, the Minister has said the €11.7 million savings have to be made.

    "It's the fourth time now that Dublin Bus drivers have rejected a solution put forward by the LRC, negotiated by their union leaders," the Minister said. "Savings have to be made."

    More here.
  • 14:22
  • 14:32
    Gunmen shot dead 16 members of the same Shia family before blowing up their two neighbouring homes south of the Iraqi capital overnight, police and medics said.
  • 15:02

    I'm going to cobble something together on this because I don't see it elsewhere:

    A Galway-based turf cutting campaign group has been criticised  for calling on land owners to prevent a protected bird species nesting on their bogs.

    Barroughter & Clonmoylan Bogs Action Group yesterday evening advised people to watch out for hen harriers landing and nesting on their bogs.

    In a Facebook posting the group called the birds an "undesirable pest in our community" that "rightfully belongs in the zoo". It urged people to "make sure that none of them land on our PPP bogs and above all that they do not nest in them".

    Hen harriers feed on a diet of small birds and mammals. They are scarce summer visitors to uplands and bogs in the west of Ireland as well as scarce winter visitors to lowlands throughout the country.

     They are on the Bird Watch Ireland and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Northern Ireland conservation amber list, meaning they are of medium conservation concern.

     According to Coillte: "The Hen Harrier is one of Ireland and Europe's rarest birds of prey. As a result, it is a protected species under Irish and European law. Persecution and, more recently, habitat loss have lead to a marked decline in the numbers of breeding pairs in Ireland over the past 200 years".

     The turf-cutting group said the harrier is "an undesirable cause of Irish State restrictions in our private property".
     
    The Facebook post had received 90 comments by this afternoon, most of them negative. An Taisce, the national trust for Ireland, said the message was "appalling persecution of hen harriers by turf cutters in Ireland".

  • 15:19
  • 15:35
    Meanwhile, back at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform:

    Committee told 72% of Ulster Bank mortgages are trackers
  • 16:12
    Still coming down from the Electric Picnic, Stradbally will have to gear itself up for another big festival when the ploughing Championships arrives in three weeks.

    Alison Healy has more.
  • 16:25
  • 16:39
    Russian president Vladimir Putin described Edward Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor sought by Washington on espionage charges, as a “strange guy” but said he could rest easy that he would not be handed over to US authorities.

    Peculiarity is in the eye of the beholder.
  • 16:52
    Afghan children climb onto a fence while playing as they sell tea in Kabul today. Photograph: REUTERS
    Afghan children climb onto a fence while playing as they sell tea in Kabul today. Photograph: REUTERS
  • 16:59
    We'll leave it there for today then. Lovely weather outside so enjoy the sun if you can. They'll be taking it away from us soon.