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April Fool's Day, Shatter and Manchester United

DWire Tue, Apr 1
 
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  • 09:26
    Hi, happy April Fool's Day, but there's no fooling around here. I'm Ronan McGreevy and I'll be piloting the Good Ship Live Blog today.
  • 09:30
    An extraordinary story is our most read this morning. Call to revenge for Thierry Henry but FIFA are considering allowing Ireland to compete in the 2014 World Cup. France faces expulsion from the competition because of Nicholas Anelka's anti-Semitic “quenelle” gesture, and the impact it may have on a tournament which organisers are determined will pass off without controversy. David McKechnie has the story here.
  • 09:55
    Our former editor Geraldine Kennedy has a story detailing the full extent of the practice of taping telephone conversations in Garda stations throughout the State. You can read it here.
  • 10:02
    April Fool's?


  • 10:03
  • 10:53

    Is this the best April Fool's joke ever?, the BBC asks. Judge for yourself.

  • 11:00

    The Council of Europe has recommended that men who pay for sex be criminalised.
    The sex buyer laws are ‘the most effective tool for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings’ in a report which calls on all member states to consider such legislation.
    The Immigrant Council of Ireland welcomes the report saying it is the latest in a string of findings across Europe in favour of laws which target demand for prostitution.

    A ban on the advertising of sexual services, including forms of disguised advertising
    Counselling centres providing prostitutes with legal and health assistance
    Exit programmes for those who wish to give up prostitution

     

  • 11:01
  • 11:13

    Good news for Paul Weller fans. The Jam and Style Council star who has forged a hugely successful solo career will play a concert at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on June 24th. Tickets go on sale on Friday. I suspect this one will sell very well.

  • 11:38
    Here's a startling figure that might give  the lie to the idea that the  Irish are a nation of incorrigible boozehounds. According to figures collated  from CSO  and Revenue Commissioner figures,  levels of alcohol consumption have fallen by 7.7 per cent in a single year from 2012 to 2013 from 11.6 lites to 10.7 litres per annum though the adult population fell by just 0.1 per cent in the same timeframe. The levels of alcohol consumption have fallen by 25 per cent since they peaked in 2001. One wonders why.
  • 12:30
    Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has apologised for making remarks about Queen Elizabeth II in front of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly yesterday.

    Mr O'Leary said being asked to address the assembly  "reminds me of making love to the Queen of England, you're just not sure how much pleasure it is going to  be."

    It certainly wasn't pleasurable to  Tory MP Andrew Rosindell who accused Mr O'Leary of making inappropriate remarks about the Queen.

    Mr O'Leary has now apologised and said he clearly misjudged the audience he was speaking to.  This is not an April fool's  joke by the way.          
  • 13:26
    Opposition to the GAA's proposed deal with Sky Sports, as first revealed in The Irish Times, is growing. Labour Party TDs Willie Penrose and Jack Wall have strongly argued against a potential pay-per-view deal between the GAA and Sky Sports, stating that it will deny many supporters access to league and championship games.
    Their statement says: “We are people who are strongly committed to the GAA, its ethos, and proud tradition right throughout the country. But we are now concerned about this recent development in relation to the pay-per-view deal between Sky and the Association.
    “The GAA is part of the very fabric and DNA of Irish society, and it permeates all areas of the country. One of its great strengths is the volunteering and community ethos of the association, and in return, people enjoy participating in and being spectators at games.
    "To date this has been facilitated by the transmission by RTE, and indeed TG4 and TV3, of league and championship games, and patrons have enjoyed that level of participation by viewing the exploits of their county and other competitive games.
    “We appreciate the fact that the GAA has to make best use of, and explore, the commercial aspects of the association, and we have no doubt they are well motivated in doing so.
    “Nevertheless, we feel that this is a step too far and that the consequences of any decision to engage with Sky, or any subscription sports channel, will certainly have unforeseen consequences, in particular, by denying people without pay-per-view access to games.
    “This will especially affect elderly people and large families who can’t afford the subscription charge. While money is important, it should not be the be all and end all. Up to now, people could enjoy the games in the ambience of their own homes, and this may well end that practice, and instead drive people into pubs."
  • 13:32
  • 14:16

    Interesting comments today being made by the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin in relation to the first Educate Together school which has come about as a result of a  change of patronage form the Catholic Church.  
     Dr Martin celebrated Mass today in one of the first Catholic schools to amalgamate, to allow for more plurality in education in the local area. At Mass in St. James’ Primary school, Basin Lane, the Archbishop said it was “an important landmark in the history of Catholic Education in the area.”
    Two local Catholic boys and girls schools came together to form a co-educational primary school, St. James’, at the start of this academic year. As a result, a new Educate Together School has been established in the locality.
    Far from being a threat to Catholic education, Dr Martin said it will help that parents have a choice in the matter.  

  • 14:22

    It's déja vu  all over again for Dublin house prices. According to Douglas Newman Good (DNG) house prices are now rising by €5,000 a month fuelled by a shortage of demand. They would say that wouldn't they. According to the group's latest House Price Gauge, house prices in the capital have risen by 23 per cent in the last 12 months as demand continues to exceed supply.
    The average resale price of a Dublin house now stands at €329,719, reflecting an annual increase of €62,000 or €5,000 each month. Those of us who got stung during the last bubble can only watch with weary resignation that it is happening all over again.

  • 14:24
  • 14:38

    The Johnston Press media group has sold its fourteen regional newspaper titles to Iconic Newspapers Limited, a company run by British advertising executive Malcolm Denmark. The stable of newspaper includes the flagship Limerick Leader, the Kilkenny People and the Leinster Leader. Mr Denmark is not saying much money he is spending but the titles were valued at €8.5 million a fraction of the enormous money spent on them during the boom years. This brings to an end a chapter in Johnston Press's story that they would rather forget about.

  • 15:22
    First house prices have started to rise, now car sales are showing signs of a robust recovery.    Figures just released by the SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) show new car sales are up by 26 per cent on last year. This is the highest since the start of the recession in 2008.
  • 15:25

    Donal Ryan, whose  The Spinning  Heart novel was  fetched out of a wastepaper basket by an intern, has been named Limerick Person of the Year.
    The civil servant turned writer has had a metoric rise to fame in recent years with a Booker nomination for The Spinning Heart which is actually  his second  novel.
    His first The Thing About December has also become a bestseller.    

     

    The 37-year-old writer achieved worldwide acclaim for his debut novel 'The Spinning Heart' which was longlisted for the Booker Prize last year.

  • 15:50
    There is talk on the Twittersphere that the GAA are going to announce a deal with Sky Sports this evening which will see the British broadcaster show 12 games via pay-per-view. This is going to be a very controversial decision.
  • 16:10

    Temple Bar has had its share of controversies over the years but the trust which operates it is hopeful that it can get a makeover. Love the Lanes’ is looking for new ideas and creative possibilities to  regenerate the back lanes which are currently a  magnet for antisocial behaviour.  

    The Temple Bar Trust is looking for  new ideas from all kinds of people; designers, crafters, environmentalists, horticulturists, artists, entrepreneurs, local residents and businesses…anyone who wants space to develop their idea.  
    “We already have some remarkable submissions following our call out on Twitter and Facebook. And from a broad range of people and organisations including councillor Mannix Flynn, White Lady Art Gallery, Irish Fairy Door Company and West Dublin Access Radio,” said Martin Harte, CEO, The Temple Bar Company.
    “If you think you can come up with an idea that will help us turn up the love for the lanes in Temple Bar, you have until April 22nd to get them to us.”
    For more information; see dublincity.ie, dublinstemplebar.com or email lovethelanes@dublincity.ie

     




     

     

    We are launching an open call out for new ideas from all kinds of people; designers, crafters, environmentalists, horticulturists, artists, entrepreneurs, local residents and businesses…anyone who wants space to develop their idea.  

     

    “We already have some remarkable submissions following our call out on Twitter and Facebook. And from a broad range of people and organisations including councillor Mannix Flynn, White Lady Art Gallery, Irish Fairy Door Company and West Dublin Access Radio,” said Martin Harte, CEO, The Temple Bar Company. “If you think you can come up with an idea that will help us turn up the love for the lanes in Temple Bar, you have until April 22nd to get them to us.”

     

  • 16:12
  • 16:25

    John Murphy is one of the most famous Irishmen in Britain. He made a fortune in the building trade in the UK and was a media recluse. Here's a fascinating portrayal of his daughter who is intending to  share her portion of the family fortune with the 3,500 Murphy Construction workers. The article is by Rosamund Unwin and is in the London Evening Standard. Read it here.

  • 16:26
  • 16:49

    This tape controversy gets murkier and murkier. The Taoiseach Enda Kenny now says conversations with more than 80 prisoners were "inadvertently" recorded. Mr Kenny told the Dáil that the Prison Services had told him that 84 calls were recorded. The matter was discussed at the Cabinet and will be included in Mr Justice Nial Fennelly's terms of reference.    

  • 17:07
    It is official. Sky Sports will have exclusive island of Ireland access to 14 live GAA games. The announcement has just been made by the GAA. They will get eight Saturday evening qualifiers, two All-Ireland football championship quarter-finals and two Sunday provincial championship games. In addition to these two games, Sky Sports will also broadcast live the All-Ireland football and hurling semi-finals and finals.
  • 17:14
    The GAA has also announced that the championships will be available online to overseas viewers which is something many of them will want. There's more good news for the Irish diaspora with the 45 live championship games being shown on Channel 7 in Australia.
  • 17:17
    The big noise though will be about the Sky Sports deal. Should the GAA be getting involved like this with a foreign broadcaster? Should an amateur sporting organisation be allowed to charge for pay-per-view? Sky Sports has raised the bar in terms of sports coverage, but a lot of GAA fans will feel queasy about it. Also, Ireland is a small market. Are there sufficient paying numbers to justify it? Expect a lot of these questions over the coming weeks.
  • 17:17
    And spare a thought for TV3. The indigenous broadcaster has been completely cut out of the loop as regarding the GAA games.
  • 17:19
  • 17:20
  • 17:30
    Here's our story about the momentous Sky Sports deal first revealed in this newspaper by our GAA correspondent Sean Moran last week. Read it here.
  • 17:35
    TV3 has issued a statement expressing disappointment with the deal which has cut them out of the loop.

    TV3’s Director of Broadcasting Niall Cogley said “TV3 has been proud to broadcast the GAA Championship free to viewers throughout the country over the past six years. TV3 made a very commercial bid for the next three years but this  appears to have been superseded by the GAA’s preference for a pay television strategy.”
    "While this was obviously not our choice, it leaves TV3 in a better position to secure other sports properties to sit alongside our prime-time Champions League coverage like tonight’s Manchester United v Bayern Munich fixture. We hope to be in a position to make announcements in this regard in the near future.”


  • 17:36
    And that's all for now folks. Good evening.