News Blog

A rolling look at today's events

Eoin Burke-Kennedy Mon, Apr 15
 
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  • 09:10
    It’s Monday and I’m Eoin Burke-Kennedy here with today’s live news blog. A thrilling end to the Masters last night saw Adam Scott became the first Aussie to don the Green Jacket. Believe it or not, Australia had provided nine Masters runners-up but not a single winner before Scott’s victory. Philip Reid has a nice piece from Augusta.

    Elsewhere on the sporting front Joe Schmidt remains the strong favourite to succeed Declan Kidney as Ireland’s rugby coach. The appointment is far from a done deal, however, as Gerry Thornley says in his report today.
  • 09:32
    Possible reform of the jury service is dominating domestic news this morning. The Law Reform Commission is seeking a root and branch reform of the service. Its plan is mainly aimed at tackling jury tampering  and misconduct of jurors, however, the move to allow foreign nationals who have been living here for more than five years to serve is grabbing the headlines. The report will be launched in full later today.
  • 09:45
    Ever wonder who gets those excessive Ticketmaster fees? The ongoing court case about who controls what when it comes to the Electric Picnic provides a clue. Read more
  • 10:02
    Poor aul Justin Bieber. He's being roasted alive on Twitter yet again. After visiting the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam, the teenage star apparently wrote in the guest book he hoped the young Holocaust victim would have been a "belieber". Surely his minders might have steered him away from making a Bieber moment out of the Holocaust.
  • 10:17
    Bieber calls Anne Frank 'a great girl' and hopes she would have been 'a belieber'
    Bieber calls Anne Frank 'a great girl' and hopes she would have been 'a belieber'
  • 10:43
    North Korea is marking the 101st anniversary of the birth of its founding father and first leader Kim Il-Sung amid international tensions over a possible North Korean missile launch. An interesting subplot relates to tonight's BBC Panorama documentary on life inside the secretive communist state. The report was filmed by a BBC crew working undercover among a group of students from the London School of Economics. The BBC, however, has been heavily criticised for putting the university students at risk during the trip. There's a good piece on the Guardian.
  • 10:46
     A South Korean soldier patrols on Grand Unification Bridge, which leads to the demilitarised zone separating North Korea from South Korea
    A South Korean soldier patrols on Grand Unification Bridge, which leads to the demilitarised zone separating North Korea from South Korea
  • 10:51
  • 11:03
    Newcastle fan squares up to police horse following yesterday's match.  As my colleague puts it, there's a lot of people out there who care about horses and don't want them punched by disgruntled soccer fans.
    Newcastle fan squares up to police horse following yesterday's match. As my colleague puts it, there's a lot of people out there who care about horses and don't want them punched by disgruntled soccer fans.
  • 11:24
    Why aren't there any women in Formula One? According to former F1 star Stirling Moss, they don't have the mental strength to compete. "I think they have the strength, but I don't know if they've got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel," he said on a BBC Radio 5 Live special. I know a few women who will take issue with this, my wife for one. She thinks I drive like Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy. She thinks she drives like Schumacher in the rain at Hockenheim.
  • 11:28
    Do women lack the mental strength for F1?
    Do women lack the mental strength for F1?
  • 11:46
  • 12:00
    If you missed it, we're showcasing the late taoiseach Garret FitzGerald's take on Thatcher on the homepage now. This previously unpublished article paints a picture of the Iron Lady as  witty and argumentative. While she may have had some subconscious hang-ups about Irish wartime neutrality, as well as more overt residual Methodist prejudices about Irish Catholicism, FitzGerald writes, she was not in any real sense a unionist. Read more
  • 12:18
    007 is going solo. What I mean to say is that the next James Bond continuation novel is to be called Solo. Author William Boyd made the announcement on the opening day of The London Book Fair. "Sometimes less is more. For me as a novelist the simple beauty of Solo as the title of the next James Bond novel is that this short four-letter word is particularly and strikingly apt for the novel I have written." 

    "In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization - and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity. The journey Bond goes on takes in three continents – with the main focus honing in on Africa.  It’s what happens to Bond in Africa that generates his urge to 'go solo' and take matters into his own hands in the USA," he said.
  • 12:19
    The next instalment of the Bond saga is to be called Solo
    The next instalment of the Bond saga is to be called Solo
  • 12:45
    The Government is facing a tricky week this week with a host of unions voting on the latest Croke Park pay deal. Two craft unions voted today to back the deal but it was rejected by higher civil servants.

    Unions representing lower-paid staff in the Civil Service and third-level lecturers  are also expected to oppose the deal later today. Our industry correspondent Martin Wall says industrial relations observers believe that the public service committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is likely to vote to ratify the deal by a very small margin when it meets on Wednesday.

    Key ballot results to watch out for are those of the Irish National Teachers Organisation and Siptu. If Siptu members reject the agreement then it is dead in the water.
  • 12:53
    Munster fans will welcome the news that talisman Paul O'Connell will not face any disciplinary action over an incident that left Leinster's Dave Kearney concussed during Saturday’s Rabo Pro12 at Thomond Park.

    O’Connell made contact with Kearney’s head while kicking the ball during the second half of the match in Limerick, but after reviewing video footage of the incident the citing commissioner, Eddie Walsh, decided the second row does not have a case to answer.
  • 12:56
    Munster relief: O'Connell escapes disciplinary action
    Munster relief: O'Connell escapes disciplinary action
  • 13:03
  • 13:20
    There's a 'reasonable prospect' of a referendum on same-sex marriage being held before the next general election, according to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Yesterday, 79 per cent of members of the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.

    Noel Whelan's piece - Time may have arrived for referendum on same-sex marriage - generated a lot of comment on the site over the weekend.
  • 13:23
  • 13:33
    King of bling. Meet the man who spent $250,000 on a gold shirt.  What in the name of God was he thinking?
    King of bling. Meet the man who spent $250,000 on a gold shirt. What in the name of God was he thinking?
  • 14:03
  • 14:17
    Nick Cave at the Coachella festival in California. Check out our gallery - irishtimes.com/news/galleries
    Nick Cave at the Coachella festival in California. Check out our gallery - irishtimes.com/news/galleries
  • 14:21
    Musician Jim Corr is facing a court examination over his means in an effort by ACC Bank to secure payment of some €778,000 still outstanding from a €1.4 million judgment obtained over an unpaid loan advanced to him and others in 2004 to buy lands at Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny. Read more
  • 14:31
    Controversial British MP George Galloway has condemned what he described as a 'tidal wave of guff' in the wake of Margaret Thatcher's death. He also denounced the decision to spend £10 million on the "canonisation of this wicked woman", a reference to Thatcher's funeral on Wednesday.

    He told BBC2's Daily Politics: "We're spending £10m on the canonisation of this wicked woman, this woman who laid waste to industrial Britain, to the north, to Scotland, to south Wales."
  • 15:02


    Two Door Cinema Club at the Coachella festival in California. Check out our gallery
  • 15:11
  • 15:31
  • 15:34
    Residents in north Dublin were surprised yesterday by a low-flying Emirates plane. Apparently, the Boeing 777 aircraft made two unsuccessful attempts to land at Dublin Airport during high winds. The plane was eventually forced to divert to Manchester. Strong cross winds forced the authorities to close the main runway for a time, diverting air traffic to a secondary runway. Check out the video below.
  • 15:52
    No ding dong for Thatcher. It's been announced that Big Ben in London is to be silenced for the duration of Thatcher's funeral on Wednesday. According to those in the know, the famous clock tower has only been silenced previously for maintenance, Churchill's funeral and for last two years of the first World War. Unsurprisingly, the move, demanded by some Tory MPs, is not going down well with the Iron Lady's detractors.
  • 15:52
  • 15:52
  • 16:42
    Decision to keep Big Ben silent for Thatcher funeral causes controversy. See below
    Decision to keep Big Ben silent for Thatcher funeral causes controversy. See below
  • 16:57
    More on the Bieber faux pas. The Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam has come to the pop star's defence for writing in its guest book that he hoped the young Holocaust victim would have been a "belieber", the popular term for his fans.

    The Canadian was savaged on social media as "self-serving" and "tasteless" for his comments. But the museum came to his defense this evening, saying staff were delighted that Bieber visited the exhibition built into the house where Frank and her family hid during World War Two before their arrest.

    "His comments were quite innocent," said a museum spokeswoman. "He was here for more than hour and interested in Anne Frank's life and that for us is the most important thing."
  • 17:18
    Judges rally behind Kelly: The Association of Judges in Ireland have released a strong statement backing the controversial comments of Mr Justice Peter Kelly on the topic of judicial independence which is likely to ratchet up tensions between the judiciary and the Government.

    Mr Justice Kelly accused the Government of attacking the independence of the judiciary at a private dinner hosted for business leaders last week.

    Today's statement says Mr Justice Kelly pointed out that for almost 90 years of this State's existance there had been no need for an association of judges given the mutual respect demonstrated by the Executive and judicial branches of Government, one for the other.

    "All structures, both formal and informal, which existed for communication between these two branches of Government have ceased."

    The statement said judges accepted at all stages they had to bear their fair share of salary cuts.

    However, as the constitutional guarantee concerning judgicial renumeration was removed, they asked that an independent body be established to fix such renumeration so as to ensure judicial independence. "This request was dismissed out of hand", the statement said.

    The statement said legislation was passed in respect of pension provisions of new judges without notice or consultation.

    The statement also said the personal insolvency act was enacted without any notice or debate concerning insolvency judges to be initially recruited.
  • 17:22
    Mr Justice Peter Kelly accused the Government of attacking the independence of the judiciary at a private dinner hosted for business leaders last week.
    Mr Justice Peter Kelly accused the Government of attacking the independence of the judiciary at a private dinner hosted for business leaders last week.
  • 17:55
    The Irish Federation of University Teachers has become the seventh union to reject the new Croke Park deal.

    The others include the Civil Public and Services Union, the Teachers' Union of Ireland, the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union, the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association and the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants and UCATT which represents around 2,000 craft workers in local authorities and the health sector.

    The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is likely to vote to ratify the deal by a very small margin when it meets on Wednesday, according to seasoned observers. Key ballot results to watch out for are those of the Irish National Teachers Organisation and Siptu
  • 17:57
    OK folks that's all from me today. My colleague Genevieve Carbery will be here tomorrow with all the latest news and views.