The Daily Wire

A rolling look at today's events

Ronan McGreevy Thu, Aug 1
 
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  • 09:03
    Hi, my name is Ronan McGreevy and I'm liveblogging today and I can be followed on Twitter at @rmcgreevy1301.
    Today is August 1st, traditionally the start of the so-called "silly season" when the Dáil and the courts are closed and the world and its wife seems to be on holidays.
    Nothing much that is newsworthy happens in August unless you include, let's see, the start of the First World War, the dropping of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the coup in the old Soviet Union and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • 09:09
    Well, it didn't last long. The Today with Pat Kenny show has been changed to The Today Programme, but the continuity announcers are ahead of the RTÉ website on this one. http://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-pat-kenny/
  • 09:18

    We have lots of good coverage of Pat Kenny today. Here's Colin Gleeson's front page report which suggests it wasn't all about money. Here's Laura Slattery's analysis and here's Una Mullally's blog on the same subject. Spare a thought while you are at it for Tom Dunne.  It will be interesting to hear what he has to say this morning.

  • 09:45

    Who's for Blur at IMMA tonight? It is their only UK or Ireland show this year so expect a few die-hards to turn up. Here's an excellent piece by Emma Somers about the Blur exhibition going on at IMMA at present. Catch it before it leaves. On the subject of great live performers, Rolling Stone magazine has done a list of the top 50 in the world at present in its latest issue. It will come as  no surprise to anybody  who has seen his five shows in Ireland recently  that Bruce Springsteen is top of the list. Prince is second, the Rolling Stones third and Arcade Fire fourth. Neil Young, despite his much criticised show at the RDS recently  is fifth. Personally, I would have included Rammstein and AC/DC in there too.

  • 10:16

    Tom Dunne has just started his Newstalk programme with a very magnanimous welcome for Pat Kenny. Clearly, Dunne, who has had the crucial 10am to 12pm slot for the last five years, is sounding less than put out about Kenny being parachuted into his old slot. "I'm going nowhere," said the popular Dunne who is either putting on a brave face or has another plum slot on the station.
    "I'm delighted," he said, "it's a seismic event that he's coming to Newstalk." He said Newstalk was like a secret for many people and Kenny's transfer will be the catalyst to get listeners to shift allegiances.

  • 10:25

    Here's some more good news for the economy. Sales of the 132 plates have exceeded the industry's expectations, according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI). The idea of having two different plates in the same year has been a big success. In July 11,640 new cars were sold, up 7,216 or 163 per cent on last year.  

  • 10:45
  • 11:25
    It's official. July was the warmest month since records began in most places. For Valentia Observatory in Co Kerry, one of the country's oldest, it was the warmest July since records began in 1893 with a mean temperature of 17.3 degrees, two degrees above normal. It was the warmest July on record at stations in the west, southwest, midlands and parts of Dublin with records exceeded stretching back 63 years. There was drought conditions everywhere until July 21st when thunderstorms broke the long dry spell. In Dunsany, Co Meath, on July 25th, 33.5mms of rain (almost an inch and a half) fell in just an hour, an event that is likely to happen only once in 50 years. The highest temperature of the month was recorded at Ardfert, Co Kerry, on July 19th with a temperature of 30.3C. Unfortunately, August does not look near as promising. Here's a review of that glorious month gone by. Farewell to all that.
  • 11:45

    Maybe it is by accident, maybe it's by design, but a day after losing its top presenter, Pat Kenny, to Newstalk, RTÉ has just confirmed that it had a deficit last year of €65 million. The annual report states that the bulk of the deficit was a one off restructuring charge of €46 million. Commercial revenue was down by a further €14 million. With figures like that, who could blame Noel Curran for refusing to match Newstalk's offer if Pat Kenny's departure was down to money? The picture is not all bleak though. RTÉ made an operating profit of €2.2 million this year, a turnaround from the €2.5 operating deficit last year.

  • 11:57
  • 12:01
  • 12:18

    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has come out fighting and finally given an account to parliament about a corruption scandal engulfing his party. In a defiant address he said he made a mistake in trusting Popular Party's ex-treasurer, Luis Barcenas and never received any corrupt payments. But opinion polls suggest the Spanish public are having a hard time believing him. Here's our report.

  • 12:52
    Should we teach philosophy in schools? The question is posed in a thought provoking article in the newspaper today by Harvard doctorate student Steven Lydon. He argues that the economic collapse was partially the result of a lack of ethical understanding of the impact that our actions have on other people.
  • 13:02
    It's not quite cricket. Despite all the technology, there's been another seeming howler at the start of the third Ashes Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford. All the television evidence suggests that Australian opening batsman Usman Khawaja did not get anywhere close to the ball when he was caught behind. Everybody that is except the third umpire who gave him out. I suspect we'll never hear the end of this. Shane Warne called it an "absolute shocker".
  • 13:14

    Ronan has just dashed off to an important engagement, well, an engagement at any rate, so I'll be taking over the live blog for the next hour or so. Dan Griffin here.

    Our lead story this lunchtime is: Up to half of households report struggles with debt.

  • 13:20
    Find that RTÉ annual report in the embedded tweet below, via Nama Winelake, of all people.
  • 13:46
    Snowden has left the airport.

    Edward Snowden's Tom Hanks hell  in Moscow's Shermetyevo airport would appear to be over after the Russians granted him asylum for a year.

    Snowden (NSA worker, secrets leaker, surveillance: you know all this by now) high-tailed it to Russia from Hong Kong  after releasing loads of information about the US's Prism surveillance operation in June.

    From there it looked like he was going to head to Ecuador but the authorities there seemed to get spooked when the Americans started making threats about trade.

    Since then  just about every other country has  been avoiding him like a drunk uncle at a wedding. Vladimir Putin compared him to an unwanted Christmas present a few weeks ago.

    Nonetheless,  it seems the Russians still don't mind hanging on to him for a while. Who knows  what the 30-year-old computer whizz's next  move will be. For the time being he's probably just glad to be out of the airport.  
  • 13:51
  • 13:57
    The funeral of broadcaster Colm Murray is taking place in Dollymount, Dublin where "many tributes have been paid to a man whose gentle humour and enthusiasm endeared him to all who knew him".
  • 14:04
    Here's a depressingly predictable report from the elections in Zimbabwe.
  • 14:31

    Among the other bits and bobs contained in the latest tranch of British state papers released under the 30 year rule is a speech prepared for the Queen in the event of World War III breaking out.

    The speech, cobbled together by Whitehall scribblers in 1983, describes the threat to the "brave country" as "greater" than any other in history.

    The BBC reports the script starts off by referring to the Queen's traditional Christmas address. It reads, "The horrors of war could not have seemed more remote as my family and I shared our Christmas joy with the growing family of the Commonwealth.

    "Now, this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds."

    It goes on like that

    The speech was never actually recorded by the Queen. So in that regard it's a bit similar to those 'Keep Calm and Carry on' posters which were produced by the British ministry of information in 1939. They were to be distributed in the event of a wartime disaster like a city being gassed, or an invasion, or something of that sort. In the end they were never used as intended.

    They're being used now though. Go to the UK today and you can hardly move for all the tat with 'Keep Calm and Carry on' written on it. Perhaps that's the fate that awaits the Queen's WWIII speech.

  • 14:33
  • 14:51
    Good lord, this rampaging tornado about to cleave its way through Galway City will make a right mess of Ladies' Day.
  • 15:20

    One wonders if Gabriel Byrne still cleaves to the idea that the Gathering is a "scam" and a "shakedown". Love it or loathe, and few people seem to be neutral on it, it has certainly galvanised local communities into action. There are 207 Gathering events this Bank Holiday weekend, the busiest of the year to date with 87 alone planned for August 2nd. They include the Joe Dolan International Bachelor Festival in Mullingar and the Muff Festival in Muff, Co Donegal. Getting into the spirit of things, figuratively and literally, is the Teeling Whiskey Company which has launched The Gathering, a 11-year-old single malt whiskey, a special edition blend of four single malts which will be on sale in Dublin And Cork airports.

  • 16:01
    Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich has given an extraordinary interview to Sport Bild magazine in Germany in which he has stated that his great rival Lance Armstrong should have his seven titles restored. Ullrich's argues that the sport was rotten when Armstrong was winning races so it was, in effect, a level playing pitch. Ullrich won in 1997 and finished runner-up to Armstrong on three occasions. Here's the story.

  • 16:37
    It is not April Fools Day, but One Direction boy band singer Louis Tomlinson has signed for his hometown club Doncaster Rovers. He's even been given a squad number, No.28. Here's the statement on the club's website Tomlinson will fulfil a lifetime's ambition by lining out for - be still our beating hearts - Doncaster Rovers reserves, during the season to raise money for a local charity. What next? David Beckham coming out of retirement.
    Meanwhile, GQ magazine has found to its cost that hell hath no fury like boy band fans scorned. Many have taken grave exception to the portrayal of their idols on five different covers especially the suggestion that Harry Styles might like the ladies a little bit. GQ American, which has nothing to do with their British counterparts, compiled some of the more incendiary tweets for our delectation. I hope their mummies aren't reading this.
  • 16:47

    Here's a heavy metal story you readers might be interested in reading. Astronomers at Armagh Observatory have found two stars with lead concentration in their atmospheres 10,000 times that of the sun. Here's their release. These stars known poetically as HE 2359-2844 and HE 1256-2738 have been described as "heavy metal subdwarfs". If that's the case might we suggest naming them after  Ronnie James Dio and Angus Young of AC/DC.

  • 17:27
    It is a hard life for Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Here he is in China having secured full market access for Irish salmon exports. 
  • 17:27
    Tickled pink: Eamon Gilmore with a sample of Irish seafood in Shanghai
    Tickled pink: Eamon Gilmore with a sample of Irish seafood in Shanghai
  • 17:37
    Colm Murray never sought to hide the reality of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) when he was alive and neither has his daughter Kate. Giving the funeral eulogy at his mass today, she spoke of how the "illness broke our hearts and felt for a time like a huge injustice". As Rosita Boland points out here, it felt like most of RTÉ was at the funeral of this much loved presenter.
  • 18:23
    And that's me signing off for today. I'm off to follow the herds down to Greece. If you're going to Blur tonight, you'll understand what I mean.