The Daily Wire

A rolling look at today's news with Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin Tue, Feb 4
 
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  • 09:00

    Can you feel it in the air? You start to notice it around this time of year, that unmistakable hint of spring.

    Let’s take a look at the forecast:

    Very wet and extremely windy weather will push into Munster and south Leinster during this afternoon, leading to some flooding in places.

    It will be extremely windy and blustery this evening and for much of tonight, with winds strong to gale force and very gusty southeast to easterly in all areas. Further heavy rain or thundery showers also, with some further flooding in places, especially on east and south coasts at time of high tide.

  • 09:02
  • 09:05

    Ah yes, it won’t be long now until we’re all having cocktails on the lawn and enjoying balmy afternoons at the beach, what’s left of them, that is.


    Our main story today is, of course, the recent flooding. And, unfortunately, there seems to be plenty more of that on the way.

     

  • 09:13
    And moving now from the literal to the metaphorical. In health news, we, as in, the world, are facing a “tidal wave” of cancer. That’s according to the World Health Organisation, which has called for the introduction of restrictions on alcohol, smoking and—food villain du jour—sugar.
  • 09:27

    But it doesn’t end there because we’re also facing a “tsunami” of rape and homicide prosecutions if online drinking games such as social media villain du jour ‘neknominations’ continue.


    That’s the possibly overwrought prediction of High Court judge Mr Justice Paul Carney, delivered as he was sentencing a 38-year-old Waterford man who raped an acquaintance after drinking six to seven pints of Budweiser.

    “It’s a male phenomenon,” Mr Justice Carney said. “If the current internet drinking contest takes hold, it is going to result in a tsunami of homicide and rape prosecutions coming before this court.”

    It’s beer and social media. That’s the problem.

  • 09:44

    Aidan Tarbett was just on the Ray D’Arcy show on Today FM talking about a photograph he took yesterday which is on the cover of a number of this morning’s front pages.

    The photo shows a man on the pier at Bullock Harbour, Dalkey, Co Dublin yesterday, as his young boy (who Tarbett estimated to be about three-years-old) gets knocked over by the force of the waves.

    Photos in other papers also show a little girl getting knocked over.

    “In fairness to the man I think he possibly didn’t know the area very well and just happened to wander down with the kids,” Tarbett said.

    He added that he took the photos to send a message to people not to go down to the sea when it’s stormy.

    “I was just fortunate I wasn’t taking photographs of a tragedy,” Tarbett said to Ray.

  • 09:47
    Aidan Tarbett's photograph from the front page of today's Irish Times.
    Aidan Tarbett's photograph from the front page of today's Irish Times.
  • 09:59

    A report from the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court is doing well on the site this morning:

    A university student stole computers from his college, Dublin City University, because he wanted to design a computer game called “angry pigs” to rival the popular game Angry Birds, a court has heard.

    Femi Adekele (25) and his accomplice jumped out of a window to escape security guards. He broke his leg in the process, causing his friend to leave him in a bush on college grounds for 12 hours overnight.

    Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the accomplice returned to the bush the next day with a wheelbarrow to take Adekele away.

  • 10:04
  • 10:08
    Leo O'Callaghan, who owns an electrical shop on Oliver Plunkett St in Cork City is preparing for further flooding tonight. He just told Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 that he had about a foot and a half of water in his shop last night. He also had two eels swimming about.
  • 10:24

    Billionaire social media tycoon Mark Zuckerberg has taken to Facebook to mark the website’s 10th anniversary.


    “It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it,” he said.


    “It’s rare to be able to continue to touch so many people’s lives,” he added.


    “When I reflect on the last 10 years, one question I ask myself is: why were we the ones to build this,” he went on.


    “The only answer I can think of is: we just cared more”


    More than 300,000 people have already liked this guff. You can read all of it here.



    Still, a couple of stats:


    Last week, the social network heavyweight reported record revenues of $2.5 billion from 750 million daily users — a revenue rise of one billion dollars on the same period last year.


    As of January 2014, the company has about 1.2 billion monthly users.



    Now a little more from Mark:


    “I’m so grateful to be able to help build these tools for you. I feel a deep responsibility to make the most of my time here and serve you the best I can.


    "Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey.”


    Yuck

  • 10:31

    Minister of State for the OPW (which coordinates flood management) Brian Hayes on Radio 1 now says flood responses must prioritise saving lives first then saving businesses and homes.

    It would be impossible to provide flood defences all over the country, he said.

    “To pretend to people that we can provide defences up and down the country to every square acre of land is a pretence and a lie.”

    Former Green Party Minister of State Ciarán Cuffe says we need a national flooding plan with budgets for the next five to 10 years.

  • 10:47
  • 11:05
  • 11:10
    Here's the view from the top of the Irish Times building in Dublin city this morning. Hard to imagine that in just a few hours' time we'll be on the receiving end of yet another meteorological power-hosing.
    Here's the view from the top of the Irish Times building in Dublin city this morning. Hard to imagine that in just a few hours' time we'll be on the receiving end of yet another meteorological power-hosing.
  • 11:19

    And word reaches us now from Thurles that people have already started queuing for tickets for the fourth Garth Brooks Croke Park date (they go on sale on Thursday).

    Queuing outside, overnight, in Tipperary, with the weather they’re expecting. Are they mad?

  • 11:22
    There ought to be a discount if you present one of these bad boys at the Ticketmaster desk.
    There ought to be a discount if you present one of these bad boys at the Ticketmaster desk.
  • 11:36

    Researchers in the UK have claimed that, over the next 36 years, deaths as a result of hot weather will rise by 257 per cent, a number so specific it has to be true.

    Read more about it here.

  • 11:48

    "Well thanks Jo for kicking down 10 years of what I consider to be the most beautiful, unconditional & bare bones real relationship that could ever exist between 2 people."

    Who's that?

    A Harry Potter fan, of course, reacting to the explosive admission from author JK Rowling that she shouldn't have paired Hermione and Ron Weasley.

  • 12:06
  • 12:24

    Irish consumer sentiment has jumped to its highest level in six and a half years as confidence around economic recovery builds.

    The latest KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 84.6 in January from 79.8 the previous month, taking the index to its highest level since May 2007.

    But, KBC warned it didn’t mean conditions for Irish consumers were now back to normal.

    “Instead, we would argue that the trend in sentiment data through the past year is consistent with a sense that Irish consumers are gradually recovering from the extreme difficulties of recent years.”

  • 12:41
  • 12:50

    In December 2012 Jose Salvador Alvarenga set off on a one-day fishing trip. Fourteen months later Alvarenga was washed ashore on the Marshall Islands, having survived by catching fish and birds with his bare hands and drinking turtle blood.


    Catching birds.


    With his bare hands!


    Anyone, especially those of us who spent time running after wagtails with a thing of salt in our hands as children, would be impressed by that.

  • 13:03

    Fintan O’Toole’s column is by far the most-read article on our website today.

    "What’s the difference between homophobia and an honest belief that it is OK for the law to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples? In the words of the cider ad, there’s nothing added but time... Read on"

  • 13:18

    It looks a bit like a Morbeg.

     

  • 13:21
    The Minister for Health James Reilly has told the Oireachtas Health Committee that he has “grave concerns” concerning a number of areas surrounding the deaths of several infants born at Portlaoise General Hospital over recent years, writes Martin Wall.
  • 13:37

    I've seen this before, with the mobile phones.

    A report by the European Commission into the health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields [from pylons etc], has found that there is no unequivocal link to increased rates of cancer.

    I don't know whether this will have much of a bearing on the pylon debate here where I think people are more concerned with their visual impact on the landscape.

  • 13:52
  • 14:02
    Right, off to get some lunch now. We'll be back later this afternoon, probably with leader's questions from the Dáil.
  • 15:02
    And we're back. Flooding is the lead on irishtimes.com as the evening high tides approach.
  • 15:04

    Cousins Shauna (21) and Debbie Ahearne (26), from Kilsheelan, grabbed fold-out chairs and their jackets and travelled about 50km to sit in front of Thurles Shopping Centre, where the Easons store has a Ticketmaster outlet.

    Why?

  • 15:21
    Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is asking the Taoiseach in the Dáil now about the Prime Time programme last week which investigated the deaths of four babies in a Portlaoise hospital.
  • 15:23

    He’s calling for a fully independent inquiry. Says he does not believe health authorities can investigate themselves.

    He’s also calling for a wider inquiry into maternity care in the country.

  • 15:26

    Enda Kenny says the matter is one of great concern. He tells the Dáil that Minister for Health James Reilly spent six hours with the parents of the babies on Sunday.

    “Obviously the Minister is anxious that we would learn from these past mistakes and these past inefficiencies and these past tragedies,” says Kenny.

    The HSE will now meet all families concerned to look at how their legitimate complaints can be addressed, he adds.

  • 15:33

    Sinn Féin also supports the call for an independent inquiry says party leader Gerry Adams before going on to raise the matter of the recent flooding.

  • 15:35
    “What is required immediately is financial aid for those most hit by this recent crisis,” Adams says.
  • 15:41

    “This is a problem that is now in a state of continuity,” Kenny says. “Whether this be a consequence of climate change or not is something that we have to consider.”

    With further bad weather on the way it’s not possible to start repairing houses just yet, Kenny said.

    He said the Minister for Social Protection has made €15 million available pending assessment for people who need it now.

  • 15:41
    "€15 million is a drop in the Ocean," responds Adams, pardoning the pun.
  • 15:50
  • 16:10
    A man who tried to choke his ex-partner with a vacuum cleaner flex before beating her with an iron and smashing a wine bottle on her has been jailed for 20 months.
  • 16:14
  • 16:37

    The Government has been called on to explain why it is spending €552,000 on a new lottery regulator.

    Fianna Fáil’s Sean Fleming today claimed Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin was refusing to publish a breakdown of what the money was being spent on, writes Eoin Burke Kennedy.

  • 16:54

    In an attempt to drum up a bit of free publicity, a large supermarket chain has released the non-results of a non-survey of nothing in particular which, they claim, show that Dublin people are the least romantic in Ireland.

    They have come to this conclusion, apparently, by comparing how many romantic items pass through the tills of their outlets on a county by county basis. It seems more people in Clare are buying romantic items on the run up to Valentine ’s Day this year than anywhere else. No one’s buying them in Dublin.

    It’s bad news for the capital, which has already been proven to have the country’s angriest drivers. But then romantic gestures are subjective surely. A supermarket till might recognise a box of chocolates and a card as romantic but miss the more subtle affection of gifts such as a bottle of Ajax or a new wheelbarrow.

  • 17:02

    Right, as most of Munster braces itself for yet more dreadful weather, we'll tie down the live blog here for the day.


    Thanks for reading.