News Blog

Is it farewell to a Munster legend and 25 of the best places in Ireland. Contact us @IrishTimesLive

Shane Hegarty Mon, Apr 29
 
LIVE: News Blog

Sort by:

  • Latest first
  • Oldest first
  • This event has now ended
  • 08:49
    Hello, it's Shane Hegarty on the live news blog for today. It's a Monday morning, but you're probably already painfully aware of that. Any thoughts, comments, tips, then send them to us via @IrishTimesLive.
  • 09:00
  • 09:00
    Has Ronan O'Gara played his last match for Munster? So it would be seem. So, let's revel in his greatness.
  • 09:05
    "Four islands (Achill, Inis Meain, Inishbofin and Valentia), two quiet west-Cork locations (the Beara Peninsula and Gougane Barra lake) and Kerry’s famous tourist towns of Killarney and Dingle have been longlisted.
    "The Irish beach holiday is represented by Carherdaniel and Derrynane, Co Kerry; Dunmore East, Co Waterford; Gweedore, Co Donegal; Rosslare Strand, Co Wexford; and Strandhill, Co Sligo. The cities of Cork, Dublin and Derry also feature.
    "North of the Border, Cushendall, Co Antrim, and the Fermanagh lakelands featured. The judges selected three inland destinations – the Shannon River, the Glen of Aherlow, Co Tipperary, and Boyle, Co Roscommon."

    The longlist of 25 Best Places to Visit in Ireland has been announced.
  • 09:16
    Conor Pope is a bit annoyed that Galway (along with anywhere in Connemara) doesn't feature in the Best Places to Visit list, so go and make him feel better by reading his really excellent piece on what your supermarket knows about you. The stuff about tracking a woman's pregnancy by her choice of body lotion alone is fascinating.
  • 09:22
    The Samsung Night Run was in Dublin last night. Can you spot yourself in the picture? Sure you can. You're the one in yellow. [Pic: Alan Betson]
    The Samsung Night Run was in Dublin last night. Can you spot yourself in the picture? Sure you can. You're the one in yellow. [Pic: Alan Betson]
  • 09:29
    "Micheál Martin's keynote address on Saturday night wasn’t one of the great rhetorical achievements of our time, although canny parents who switched over to hear him were rewarded by the sound of snoring offspring well before the nine o’clock watershed.

    "It was the rhetorical equivalent of beige – bland and nondescript background noise. The faithful dutifully applauded in all the right places, but never reached the levels of abandon witnessed at ardfheiseanna past."

    Miriam Lord on the Fianna Fáil leader's not-too-stirring speech over the weekend.
  • 09:37
    If you're going to start a brawl, the upper reaches of Mount Everest wouldn't seem to be the greatest place to do it. Nor is it generally advised to get into a scrap with your Nepalese guides. Well, guess what ... there's only one thing being talked about at base camps all around the world's tallest mountain today.




  • 09:40
    A Mount Everest yesterday (brawling climbers just out of shot, behind that other big mountain there)
    A Mount Everest yesterday (brawling climbers just out of shot, behind that other big mountain there)
  • 09:45

    Were you a ROGknocker? Shame on you, says Matt Williams. Shame on all you Rogknockers.

  • 10:02
    Regarding that fight on the top of Mount Everest, it has us thinking of other places you really shouldn't start a punch-up. The Moon seems about the most obvious. The moment would have been so much more noble if Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's efforts to be first on the lunar surface had ended in a headlock and some Chinese burns.
  • 10:14
    June Maher, from Bray, Co. Wicklow, at the 'Walk in the Woods' protest and concert in Avondale Forest Park , opposing the sale of the harvesting rights to Ireland's forestry, at Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow on Sunday [Pic: Eric Luke].
    June Maher, from Bray, Co. Wicklow, at the "Walk in the Woods" protest and concert in Avondale Forest Park , opposing the sale of the harvesting rights to Ireland's forestry, at Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow on Sunday [Pic: Eric Luke].
  • 10:20
    "As with so much to do with the record industry, the album is a fairly recent innovation. Few rock and pop artists before the 1960s were too bothered with the artistic aspect of a release, instead bundling hit tracks and fillers together with indecent haste to cash in on a movie or tour.
    "But in the past few decades, as rock and pop have become more culturally aware, the album has become the favoured canvas. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen used the format to establish their credentials as serious artists and set a template for others to follow.

    "Not every album is going to be Blood on the Tracks , Songs of Love and Hate or Darkness o n the Edge of Town , but that doesn’t mean an artist isn’t going to have a go."

    From the weekend: Jim Carroll ask: if the album is dead why are so many musicians still making them? Plus, he picks the 5 great LPs of the "post-LP" era
  • 10:28
    Wasn't the Voice of Ireland amazing last night? It was brilliant to see [INSERT NAME OF WINNER HERE] hold on for a deserved victory, despite the very strong performances of [INSERT RUNNER UP HERE] and [INSERT OTHER RUNNER UP HERE]. It was a great valediction of [INSERT JUDGE'S NAME HERE] and their decision to go with that cover of [INSERT SWELLING SNOW PATROL-ESQUE SONG HERE].

    Now, of course, the winner will go off to a lengthy music career and true fame and stardom, just like [INSERT NAME OF LAST YEAR'S WINNER HERE].
  • 10:37
    Former Donegal TD Harry Blaney has died, reports Stephen Maguire. Mr Blaney was 85 and passed away at Letterkenny General Hospital last night.

    He was a son of Neal Blaney, who was a TD from 1927 to 1948. Mr Blaney was elected to Dáil Éireann in 1997 and retired at age 74 at the 2002 general election after serving one term.

    Harry’s son Niall was a TD in the 28th and 29th Dail. Harry Blaney’s support for the 1997 Ahern government led to the construction of the Harry Blaney Bridge, which opened in 2009 to link the Rosguill and Fanad peninsulas across Mulroy Bay.
  • 10:42
  • 10:42
    Here's Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner over the weekend. There were spoof videos galore, but here's his annual gagfest.
  • 10:58
    Up to 40 have been injured, and several are believed trapped beneath rubble, after an explosion in the centre of Prague.
  • 11:00
    Firefighters search the area after the explosion in Prague. [Pic: Reuters/David W Cerny]
    Firefighters search the area after the explosion in Prague. [Pic: Reuters/David W Cerny]
  • 11:04
    The Supreme Court has rejected multiple sclerosis sufferer Marie Fleming’s bid to end her life with assistance.
  • 11:11
  • 11:22
    Marie Fleming was too ill to attend court today. Here is a picture from earlier this year of Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curran, daughter Corrinna Moore, and family friend Brendan Gainey. [Pic Alan Betson]
    Marie Fleming was too ill to attend court today. Here is a picture from earlier this year of Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curran, daughter Corrinna Moore, and family friend Brendan Gainey. [Pic Alan Betson]
  • 11:27
  • 11:31
    If there is some excitement, and a little controversy, about the 25 Best places to Holiday in Ireland, just wait until we release the longlist for 25 Worst Places to Holiday.
  • 11:35
  • 11:55
    "Could the global economy hinge on 140 characters?
    "That is the question the financial industry and government regulators are trying to answer after a Twitter hoax on Tuesday that claimed President Obama was injured in an explosion at the White House. That report caused the Dow Jones industrial average to drop temporarily by 150 points, erasing $136 billion in market value.
    "The markets recovered in minutes, but the episode has heightened concern among regulators about the combination of social media and high-frequency trading."

    New York Times piece on social media manipulation of markets 
  • 11:56
    Debra Such a sad day if he retires.The Munster rugby team will be without a great player
  • 12:02
  • 12:03
    For Debra, here's the Munster v Northampton match in which O'Gara scored the winning drop goal after 41 phases of play.
  • 12:12
    Via <a href='http://flavorwire.com'>Flavorwire</a> here are behind-the-scenes pics of <a href='http://flavorwire.com/387806/behind-the-scenes-photos-of-iconic-filmmakers-directing-their-stars/view-all'>directors filming famous movies</a>.
    Via Flavorwire here are behind-the-scenes pics of directors filming famous movies.
  • 12:21
    This morning's explosion in Prague, which injured about 40 people, is believed to have been caused by a gas leak.
  • 12:35
    Joe Schmidt has been confirmed as Irish rugby coach. More to follow, but it's no great surprise.
  • 12:38
    A press conference with Joe Schmidt will take place this afternoon.
  • 12:57
    Here's the <a href='http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/04/winners-of-the-2013-sony-world-photography-awards/100504/'> winners of the Sony World Photography Awards</a>. This is from Andrea Gjestvang's portraits of survivors the 2011 Norwegian
    Here's the winners of the Sony World Photography Awards. This is from Andrea Gjestvang's portraits of survivors the 2011 Norwegian
  • 13:07
    The Joe Schmidt Must Go campaign starts now. Might as well get in early.
  • 13:16
    “It’s very difficult to understand how a person with a disability can be deprived of something that’s legally available to everybody else, every able-bodied person,” Mr Curran said at the Four Courts after the judgment this morning. “And for that not to be discriminatory under the constitution. That’s something we fail to understand.

    Fleming partner says he would be willing to help 59-year-old die.
  • 13:20
    The news that a receiver has been appointed to Xtravision is not a major surprise given the changes in that market. Stores will remain open for now.
  • 13:24
  • 13:25
  • 13:37
    People touch a car as they compete during a car-touching competition in Shanghai. A 27-year-old man won a BMW car after he stood with his hand against the vehicle for 87 hours. [Pic: REUTERS/Carlos Barria]
    People touch a car as they compete during a car-touching competition in Shanghai. A 27-year-old man won a BMW car after he stood with his hand against the vehicle for 87 hours. [Pic: REUTERS/Carlos Barria]
  • 13:41
    During that recent cold snap that hit the North particularly badly, 28,437 animals are believed to have died.
  • 14:01
    Our new hero is David Chan, because he's now eaten in 6,297 Chinese restaurants - and he doesn't live in China.
  • 14:26
    The co-discoverer of the double helix James Watson was on Morning Ireland this morning and Will Goodbody asked him about previous remarks about the Irish as being full of "ignorance", but "stupidty" (important difference, he said, because you can't cure stupidity). He concluded by saying that "Your brain isn't filled with useful things." We know he's a major figure in the history of science and all, but...
  • 14:28
  • 14:35
  • 14:37
    That clip of the man pretending to type for the news puts us in mind of our favourite stock RTE shot: a minister in the office pretending to a write a little bit before answering the phone. You haven't made it in Irish politics until you get one of those.
  • 14:41
  • 14:41
    For bad typing on TV, nothing can possibly beat this amazing clip.
  • 15:12
    Is this picture: a) The winner of the Voice of Ireland being announced b) The scene of a terrible disaster c) Both
    Is this picture: a) The winner of the Voice of Ireland being announced b) The scene of a terrible disaster c) Both
  • 15:20
    Tourist numbers are up. Leo "In your face Gabriel Byrne!" Varadkar's cock-a-hoop.

    "Visitor numbers to this State increased by 7.4 per cent for the first three months of the year, producing the highest number of trips to Ireland in that period since 2009.

    "The Central Statistics Office noted that trip numbers were influenced by when Easter fell. This year Easter Sunday fell on the last day of March, which helped to boost numbers for the first quarter.

    "Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar welcomed the increase in visitor numbers and said it suggested the Gathering was having a real impact. “It’s very encouraging as we head into the main tourism season,” he said.
    Between January and March some 1,251,700 trips were made to Ireland - 86,600 more than the same period last year. Trips by US and Canadian residents increased by almost 17 per cent to 168,800. Excluding the British, trips by European residents increased by 13 per cent to 444,000. There was a 1.4 per cent increase in trips by British residents - they totalled 570,200."
  • 15:26
  • 15:45
  • 15:51

    Have you seen a fox? Have you seen a better fox pun than Foxpop? They're looking for you to report sightings (of the animal, not the puns).

  • 15:57
    Joe Schmidt's press conference kicks off at 4pm. He'll be facing a media scrum, so won't be able to wing it because he'll find himself at the centre of things. No doubt he'll cite lots of great Irish players. Yes, this is the worst post of the day. And yes, I'm proud of it.
  • 16:05

    Joe Schmidt now speaking at a press conference. He says Leinster's support helped make his decision to go to Ireland job very easy. He's being very diplomatic about recent Irish performances, and talking about how the injuries had a big affect. To be honest, it's a bit dull. We're waiting for him to announce Brian O'Driscoll as captain for life, or something, but it hasn't happened yet. We'll keep you posted.

  • 16:08
    Joe Schmidt has talked a lot about "suffocating windows". It must be warm in that press room.
  • 16:10
    He's now talking about his relationship with Irish interim head coach, and man named after a 70s disco act, Les Kiss.
  • 16:11
    As an aside, when you put the words "Les Kiss" into Google, you do NOT get the pictures you might have expected.
  • 16:14
    Schmidt says he wants Brian O'Driscoll to continue in the Irish team. Then they turn the cameras off so the print rottweilers can have their moment.
  • 16:17
  • 16:18
  • 16:28
  • 16:39
    These middle class problems made us laugh earlier, but we did recognise about seven of them. A swan spat in our salsa only this afternoon.
  • 16:42
  • 16:56
    In your face the rest of Europe, you poorly educated numbskulls!
  • 17:05

    That's it from the live news blog today: a day when Joe Schmidt and a fox got involved in a fight on top of Mount Everest . Or something like that - it's been a long day. Hugh Linehan is on duty tomorrow. Until then, enjoy your evening.