Live News Blog

It’s Google’s world – we just live in it, the penalty points controversy rumbles and more . . .

Hugh Linehan Thu, May 16
LIVE: Live News Blog

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  • 09:03
    Good morning, I’m Hugh Linehan and I’ll be your liveblogger on today.

    The lead story on the site today is about medical emergency response times across the country.

    Pamela Duncan reports that ‘a third of people living in the west who called an ambulance because of a life-threatening cardiac emergency last year received medical attention within eight minutes, significantly short of the response target recommended by the State’s health watchdog.’
  • 09:09
    However, you the readers are a lot more interested in high-end property in SoCoDu, the state of the economy and the prospects for the Leinster rugby team tomorrow. 

  • 09:10
    You, the readers, ARE Ross O'Carroll-Kelly.
  • 09:15
    It's Thursday, which means it's Laura Slattery day in the Irish Times. Laura's in-depth coverage of the media business can be found over here.

    She has an interesting piece today about the blurring of the lines between daily newspapers and Sunday titles.

  • 09:22
    Google is in the news a lot today. The company is due to reveal details today of a new music streaming service, competing with the likes of Spotify, Pandora and Deezer
  • 09:27
    On a rather more contentious note, the company  will  attempt to defend its tax arrangements at a hearing of the public accounts committee at Westminster. Google will be arguing that certain sales in the UK are actually carried out in Ireland, despite some evidence to the contrary. This could be an interesting one to keep an eye on. The Guardian has more here.
  • 09:31
  • 09:36
    Our roving reporter, Jason Kennedy, is out on the choppy waters of Dublin Bay today to oberve the arrival this morning in Dun Laoghaire of the incredibly big liner the Queen Mary 2.

  • 09:42
    There's a bit of a Google theme in the air this morning. The evil monopolists/spreaders of wonderful free information (delete according to taste) have also announced a new feature whereby you can use  combination of your Gmail and Google Wallet to send money.
  • 09:42
  • 09:49
    So expect a lot of gmails from people you barely know who've been stranded at an airport in Spain and need YOUR help....
  • 09:51
  • 09:51
  • 09:59
    Now for a PRINT EXCLUSIVE! The Irish Times has teamed up with the thoroughly brilliant Fighting Words project to produce a supplement in today's newspaper (the newspaper is a physical product produced overnight and sold in shops around the country. Check it out, kids).
  • 10:10
    The supplement has an article about how Brown Bag Films worked with Fighting Words and some young writers to create an animation of their story and app, The Weirdest Thing in Toast and All of Mankind. Here's a video about its making.

  • 10:17
    A deal has been reached between Bus Éireann and unions whose members started an all out strike on Sunday.
    In a statement, Bus Éireann said it had struck a deal with unions on “a range of proposed cost saving measures that will help protect the future of the company, the jobs of our 2,500 employees and the 300 routes we operate around the country.”
    The company said the proposed measures be put to the trade unions’ members and if ratified, the agreement will start on theJune 1st, lasting 19 months until January 1st, 2015.
    Under the proposed agreement, according to Bus Éireann, it will no longer be implementing the Labour Court Recommendation at issue, “so the company does not anticipate any further industrial action at this time.”
    It said the proposed cost saving measures agreed will deliver “at least the same level of savings as originally set out in the Labour Court agreement, which the Labour Court said were critical to ensuring the company’s viability.”
  • 10:22
  • 10:39
    Hello yourself. That's Donald Clarke, our man in the crumpled linen suit, who'll be reporting daily from the Cannes Film Festival over the next 10 days. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it (why not me?)
  • 10:40
  • 10:45
  • 11:19
    John O'Sullivan on O'Driscoll's extra year.

  • 11:23
    I feel a song coming on in honour of BoD...

  • 11:27
    In case you missed it,  this report from the BBC is a strong contender for best story of the last 24 hours. Star Wars and Doctor Who fans clash at Norwich convention
  • 11:42
  • 11:45
    France 24's (English language) report on the opening night at Cannes:

  • 11:48
    Dublin City Council hs announced the shortlist for the name of the new bridge over the Liffey at Marlborough Street. 
    There were 85 official nominations received along with almost 10,000 supporting submissions, including e-mails, direct correspondence and petitions.
    At the meeting of Dublin City Council’s Commemorative Naming Committee yesterday, the 85 nominations were shortlisted to 17. (see list below)  The shortlisted names will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Committee on 12th June, 2013. 
    The new bridge is scheduled to be completed in late 2013.

    Here's the shortlist: 
    Abbey Theatre Bridge
    Bermingham, Willie
    Connolly, James
    Duff, Frank
    Gregory, Lady
    Gregory, Tony
    Hackett, Rosie
    Mills, Kay
    Plunkett, James
    Sigerson, George
    Stoker, Bram
    Swift, Jonathan
    The Patriots Bridge
    The Returned Home
    Walton, Ernest
    Wilde, Oscar
    Yeats, W.B.
  • 11:52
  • 11:55
    That is a very uninspiring list, isn't it? There has to be a better name than any of those. Suggestions gratefully accepted...
  • 11:59
    Google's tax practices in the UK under scrutiny right now at Westminster. Follow the live video coverage here.
  • 12:13
  • 12:17

  • 12:27
    Here's the AP report on the tornado which killed six people in Texas overnight:

    And here's eyewitnesses interviewed:

  • 12:44
    @acatisacat 'The Parrot' bridge is marvellous! Even though we have no parrots in Iteland I feel this will give an exotic cache to the Marlbrough street area.
  • 13:04
    Top stories around the web for lunchtime.

    The Irish Times leads with the agreement reached between management and unions in the Bus Eireann dispute.'s top story is Brian O'Driscoll's one more year 

    RTE also leads with the Bus Eireann story
    As does TV3's new-look site.
  • 13:40

    ...But will they not be last year's thing by then? 
  • 13:47
    Fionola Meredith on Angelina Jolie:

    'Jolie’s bracing words are in keeping with the late Susan Sontag’s argument that bodily illness is best approached with clarity and precision of thought, not swathed about with superstitious, magical thinking. And while there is enormous symbolic power – given that her body is globally fetishised – in Jolie’s decision to remove her breasts, there is another kind of empowerment, equally significant, in the words she uses to describe her choice. This is a woman who knows that “I think” will always serve her better than “I feel”.'

  • 13:51

    From the Letters Page:

    Sir, – The recent letters about men in shorts have prompted me to write about the abomination of people wearing skin-tight leggings. Walking on the pavement behind someone who has fallen victim to the modern scourge of obesity and who is also wearing leggings is not an experience that the fainthearted should have to endure.

    Skin-tight shorts and leggings are inappropriate on either sex, and, if worn, should only be worn by those with perfect figures. Those with bad figures wearing such apparel should be arrested for breeches of the peace. – Yours, etc,

    Crossabeg, Wexford. 

  • 14:08
  • 14:10
    More Google news (or should I say news about Google):

  • 14:18

    27 years ago, this happened in Dublin.


  • 14:29
    It's that time of the week when Jim Carroll's On the Record blog picks some new music, including this (I'm quoting) 'big-room pop-noir'  from Australian band Gold Fields:

  • 14:39
    A bit more detail on the Bus Eireann deal, including a pay cut for the company's chief executive, here.
  • 14:39
    very interesting deevelopments in a case which has raised all sorts of questions about privacy rights and other issues online.

  • 15:07
    David Beckham has announced his retirement from football.
  • 15:07
  • 15:12
    Construction work on the extension of Dublin’s Luas system  is to begin next month, Stephen Carroll reports.
    Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar today signed the first contract for the €368 million project and said the development was “a milestone” in plans to deliver a high-quality public transport network that would make Dublin a “connected city”.
    The contract relates to “preliminary enabling work” which involves the investigation and infilling of more than 300 underground cellars along the proposed cross-city route. The cellars were largely used for coal storage in the past and the works are to be “carefully monitored” with items of archaeological interest recorded, the Department of Transport said.
    The plan involves a 5.6km extension of the light-rail system from St Stephen’s Green to Broombridge in Cabra.
    The linking of the lines and extension of the system is expected to result in the number of Luas trips taken rising by about 10 million to 40 million annually.
    The department said it was “inevitable” that the construction works would lead to disruption in the city but that “everything possible is being done to ensure that such disruption is kept to a minimum and the city remains open for business”.
    A website providing updates and information is at
  • 15:17

    Of course, the new Luas line will traverse the Liffey by what will be known as The Bridge of 14 Names (Only Three of Them Women).

  • 15:56
    This sheep-killing story is very strange....
  • 16:04
    The latest missive from Cannes has arrived on Donald Clarke's blog. He's pottering around taking pictures in the cinema while waiting to see Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, based on a true story. His review will appear tomorrow, but I'm guessing it's going to be a bit 'meh'.

  • 16:08
  • 16:24
  • 16:41