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The Cooke Report, mother and baby homes, and all the day's rolling news with Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson Wed, Jun 11
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  • 09:17

    Good morning everyone. It’s a warm, bright, sunny morning out there and it’s halfway to the weekend.

    My name is Colin Gleeson and I will be bringing you all the day’s news and events as they occur from here on the Daily Wire.

  • 09:26

    Dominating the news at this early stage of the day is the report of retired High Court judge John Cooke into allegations of bugging at the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission’s offices.

    Helpfully, the Government waited until 9pm last night to publish it so the newspapers this morning will have had a bit of a rush job on their hands last night to bring you today’s coverage.

    That being said, the headline is there was no evidence uncovered by Cooke that GSOC was bugged and much less still that the Garda could have had anything to do with any bugging that may have gone on.

  • 09:37

    Chairman of GSOC Simon O’Brien has been on radio this morning talking about the report.

    He said the Cooke Report largely mirrored GSOC’s own investigation into the matter and that there are still “questions to be answered”.

    He denied a suggestion in the Cooke Report that GSOC may have acted prematurely in setting up an investigation and defended his organisation against allegations that actions taken had damaged the Garda.

    “With the benefit of hindsight,” was said.

    He was also asked whether he would consider his position, to which he said, shockingly enough, absolutely not.

    Mind you, it seems a little over the top to be asking for resignations when people are found to have acted in good faith (which they were in this case) and haven’t displayed total incompetence in carrying out their duties (which they haven’t to be fair).

  • 09:41
    Judge Cooke also said the fractious relationship between GSOC and the Garda had given rise to suspicions that otherwise may not have been acted on, so you might say the Garda are not entirely blameless in the whole thing.
  • 09:58
    If you'd like to comment, or bring something to my attention, you can tweet me @ColinGleesonIT and I will publish some of the tweets here.
  • 09:59

    It was a rather disappointing night for Irish football followers as the Republic of Ireland finished their two-game tour of the United States with a heavy 5-1 defeat against Portugal.

    World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo played for about an hour as he bids to regain full fitness ahead of their first game in the World Cup, which of course kicks off tomorrow.

    There’s a match report here in case you didn’t fancy sitting up until three in the morning to watch the lads get an unholy thrashing.

  • 10:02
    Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (7) tries to dribble past Ireland's James McClean (11) in the first half during their international friendly soccer match, ahead of the 2014 World Cup, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ray Stubb
    Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (7) tries to dribble past Ireland's James McClean (11) in the first half during their international friendly soccer match, ahead of the 2014 World Cup, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ray Stubb
  • 10:05

    I got the USA in a World Cup sweepstake yesterday.

    Enough said really.

  • 10:17

    According to our political correspondent Harry McGee who took Leaving Cert Irish Paper II yesterday, an Irish word for “tweet” came up.

    It was “tvuít”, which I have to say needs work.

    You can read how harry got on with the paper here. He compares it to his own Leaving Cert waaaaaay back when.

  • 10:28

    As one official inquiry closed yesterday, another one opened.

    The other major story in the newspapers this morning is the Government’s announcement that there is to be a Commission of inquiry into mother and baby homes across the State.

    The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference apologised for the church’s role in the marginalisation and ostracising of unmarried mothers during the period in question.

    The Government was praised by support groups for the promptness in setting up the inquiry.

  • 10:33

    Of course the Leaving Cert juggernaut trundles on today with students up and down the country facing into French this morning before the absolute trek that is the History paper this afternoon.

    It’s getting to the stage now though at least whereby a lot of students will be finishing up, which will be nice for them. Cue the rain.

  • 10:42

    Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has donated £1 million to the campaign against Scottish independence, saying today she believes Scotland is better off staying in the United Kingdom.

    Rowling lives in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh and will be among about four million voters to decide at a September 18th referendum whether Scotland should end its 307-year tie to England.

    Rowling said she was concerned about the potential economic impact of Scotland going it alone.

    "The more I have read from a variety of independent and unbiased sources, the more I have come to the conclusion that while independence might give us opportunities - any change brings opportunities - it also carries serious risks," she wrote in a statement on her website.

  • 11:16

    The Department of Health and the HSE are to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

    That should be interesting given the level of overspend in Dr James Reilly’s department.

  • 11:20
    HSE director general Tony O’Brien will appear before the PAC tomorrow to discuss the HSE Appropriation Account for 2012, Chapter 21 Budget Management in the HSE and Chapter 22 Eligibility for Medical Cards.
  • 11:25

    "Budget Management".

    That's a good one. The gross overspend in the Government’s health budget last year was over €351 million.

  • 11:35
  • 11:38

    Baghdad will cooperate with Kurdish forces to flush out militants from Mosul, Iraq's foreign minister said today, a day after an al Qaeda splinter group seized the country's second biggest city.

    "There will be closer cooperation between Baghdad and the regional Kurdistan government to work together and flush out these foreign fighters," Hoshyar Zebari said on the sidelines of an EU-Arab League meeting in Athens.

    He called on all Iraqi leaders to come together to face the "serious, mortal" threat to the country. "The response has to be soon. There has to be a quick response to what has happened," he said.

  • 11:42
    Civilian children stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
    Civilian children stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
  • 11:44

    Some 500,000 people have been displaced after the attack and Fianna Fáil’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Brendan Smith has today called it a major humanitarian issue that should be addressed by EU Foreign Ministers as a matter of priority.

    “I am very concerned about the latest upsurge in violence in Iraq, forcing half a million people to flee their homes in fear for the safety of their families,” he said. “The Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency.

    “It is very worrying that the International Organisation for Migration has said there has been a high number of civilian casualties in Mosul and that a group of four hospitals are inaccessible due to the fighting.

    “I will be asking the Minister for Foreign Affairs to press this issue with his EU colleagues as a matter of urgency. The next meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council is on June 23rd in Luxembourg and I am urging Eamon Gilmore to raise this matter now given the seriousness of the humanitarian situation.”

  • 12:27

    Relations between Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin have really started to nosedive recently.

    Mr Martin refused to take his seat yesterday after a bitter exchange with Mr Kenny during a debate on the banking inquiry.

    Today, it’s the ‘did he or didn’t he’ sack former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan debate.

    The Taoiseach is really not happy about being challenged on this again and has told Mr Martin he will “have to stand over” his allegation outside the House.

    There’s only one way to settle this.

  • 12:36

    PJ Stone, secretary-general of the Garda Representative Association, which represents grassroots officers, has said concerns remain about any risk to members of the force from outside surveillance.

    “It is now clear that the offices of GSOC were not bugged,” he said. “We are satisfied that data was not compromised by a third party — though we note that the Cooke Report has recommended the tightening of security surrounding GSOC.

    “From the outset I did not believe there was any garda involvement in this, and the report has removed this suspicion. However, it highlights that any proposed increase in GSOC’s powers should be counterbalanced with strong oversight.

    “However, I remain concerned that in the whole debate, no-one has considered the implications for individual gardaí; their security and personal safety would have been threatened by any external surveillance. That is extremely serious.”

  • 12:45
  • 12:52
    REUTERS/Baz Ratner
    REUTERS/Baz Ratner
  • 12:53

    The picture below is of ultra-orthodox Jews taking part in celebrations after the wedding ceremony of Esther Rokeach and Avraham Safrin in Jerusalem today.

    Thousands gathered to celebrate the wedding between Safrin and Rokeach, the granddaughter of the spiritual leader of the Belz Hasidim, which is one of the largest Hasidic movements in the world.

  • 12:56

    Apparently the ice cream comments in the Seanad earlier on were in reference to the chimes ice cream vans make.

    Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone said the "persistent use of chimes" by ice cream trucks represents an "aggressive form of selling".

    So glad we saved the Seanad.

  • 13:00
    ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
    ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
  • 13:15

    Sunni insurgents from an al-Qaeda splinter group closed in on Iraq’s biggest oil refinery today after seizing the northern city of Mosul in a devastating show of strength against the Shia-led government.

    Security sources said militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant - Sunni militants waging sectarian war on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian frontier - drove into the town of Baiji late yesterday in armed vehicles, torching the court house and police station after freeing prisoners.

    The Baiji refinery can process 300,000 barrels per day, supplies oil products to most of Iraq’s provinces and is a major provider of power to Baghdad. A worker there said the morning shift had not been allowed to take over and the night shift was still on duty.

  • 13:37

    “Gerry Adams’s principle political motivation remains his dream of a united Ireland,” writes Colm Keena in the most read article on at the moment.

    “Personally I think that his stated allegiance to democratic politics is subservient to this dream, and that even if this view is wrong, to act on a belief to the contrary is to take a great risk.”

  • 13:39
    Don't forget, if you'd like to comment you can tweet me @ColinGleesonIT
  • 13:44

    UK military support for Iraq in the fight against Islamist extremists in the north of the country is “not on the table”, Downing Street has said.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has appealed for help from the international community after militants fighters effectively seized control of the country’s second largest city Mosul earlier this week.

    Prime Minister David Cameron’s official spokesman said that the UK was ready to offer assistance on the diplomatic level to the Baghdad government.

    But asked if British troops could be sent to the Middle Eastern country, he replied: “That is just not on the table.”

    The spokesman said: “We will certainly continue to work through all the diplomatic channels, and that includes partnership working with all the countries in the region.”

  • 14:03

    A Labour Court hearing aimed at averting strike action by Aer Lingus cabin crew next week is continuing this afternoon.

    Aer Lingus management and the trade union Impact, which represents the cabin crew, both made submissions to the Labour Court this morning.

    The court also held a bilateral meeting with Impact. It will meet with Aer Lingus management this afternoon.

    It is expected the court will subsequently issue a recommendation to the parties.

  • 14:14

    A bit or World Cup news as we try to get a bit of buzz going ahead of tomorrow’s opening fixture between Brazil and Croatia.

    Stranded when their bus broke down outside their hotel in Brazil's Santos on Monday, Mexico's squad had to pile into taxis to get to training.

    "Our bus has shrunk, hahahahaha," Mexican captain Rafael Marquez said on his Twitter account, posting a selfie of himself along with Marco Fabian, Hector Herrera and Alfredo Talavera in a taxi.

  • 14:15
    I shudder to think what Roy Keane would have to say about that. Your man who tweeted that would probably be sent packing.
  • 14:20

    Access to Trinity College Dublin via its front gate at the College Green entrance was blocked temporarily today as the restored European oak gate was reinstated.

    A section of the wooden entrance, which dates back to 1879, was damaged after it was repeatedly rammed by a motorist in April.

    Broken pieces of the gate were gathered and the remainder of the structure was taken away to be repaired.

    The gate will be french-polished tomorrow, with the works expected to be finished on Saturday.

  • 14:22

    The situation in Iraq is getting worse if a Reuters source in the Turkish Prime Ministry is to be believed.

    They are saying militants have “seized” 48 Turks at the Turkish consulate in Mosul.

  • 14:29
    FIFA President Sepp Blatter delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 65th FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo today. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker  
    FIFA President Sepp Blatter delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 65th FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo today. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker  
  • 14:57

    Former tennis world number one Martina Hingis has been awarded a wildcard for the Wimbledon doubles competition as she continues her second comeback following her retirement in 2007.

    The 33-year-old Swiss, who won five singles and nine doubles grand slam titles, returned last year with Daniela Hantuchova but found little success.

    She will partner Russia's Vera Zvonareva at the All England Club.

  • 15:00
    Ah here.
  • 15:19

    He’s like a caricature of some sort at this stage.

    Under-fire FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s latest off-the-wall comments have seen him suggest there may be “interplanetary contests” in football someday.

    Making his opening remarks to delegates from all of FIFA's 209 member nations at the start of its 64th Congress today, he told them of the impact football can have in the world, before looking into the future.

    "We are still in our reform process but we are at the end," he said. "Our basic values of football of discipline, respect and fair play could be brought in everywhere in the world then we would have realised our objective but our objective never finishes.

    "From north to west to east and south ... and we shall wonder if one day our game is played on other planets and then one day we won't have the World Cup, we will have interplanetary contests.”

    Oh dear.

  • 15:28
    Algeria in the office sweepstake there. Jaysus.
  • 15:32
    Referring to Sepp Blatter as if there could be any doubt..
  • 15:42

    According to, Algeria is playing in back to back World Cups for the first time since 1982 and 1986, but have long odds to make it out of their group.

    “They have never made it out of the group stage in the World Cup and they have the lowest odds to do so this time around in Brazil.

    “While Algeria is not in the toughest group they will still not advance. They are in Group H with Belgium, Russia, and South Korea, which may be the only match they can win. Belgium and Russia won their groups in European qualifying and Belgium may be the dark horse of the World Cup.

    “They do not match up well with any team in the group, but they have a chance against South Korea if their midfield plays well. Still, look for Algeria to go winless in group play and finish last.”

    Bodes well.

  • 15:46
    Power Power would have given me odds of a thousand to one on Algeria. Here I am with about 17/1.
  • 16:05
  • 16:11

    Gardaí have arrested two men in connection with the killings of Eoin O’Connor and Anthony Keegan who were the subject of a massive manhunt after they travelled to Cavan to meet someone and were never seen again.

    Both males were arrested in the Cavan area this morning. A man in his 20s is currently detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007, at Kells Garda Station.

    The second male (aged in his 30s) is detained under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, 1939 also at Kells Garda Station.

    Gardaí commenced a murder investigation following the discovery of the bodies of 32-year-old Eoin O Connor and 33-year-old Anthony Keegan on an island on Lough Sheelin in Co Meath on May 26th. Both males were reported missing on April 22nd.

  • 16:17

    Iraqi security officials say al Qaida-inspired militants have seized the northern city of Tikrit.

    Officials have said Saddam Hussein’s home town is under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, whose fighters this week took control of Mosul, the country’s second largest city.

    The officials say the provincial governor based in the city is missing.

  • 16:23

    Trinity College’s Front Gate is back up after a motorist smashed through it a couple of months ago.

    The gate was erected in the early 1870s as part of on-going refurbishment that took place in the college. The gate is made of oak and has high relief, high fielded diamond shaped panelling.

    The Front Gate was commonly referred to as the Great Gates in college documents, and formed the start of the principal ceremonial route in all formal and official occasions. This tradition has continued to the present day.

  • 16:35
    Workers with specialist heritage building contractors Dunwoody & Dobson repairing Trinity College Front Gate. Alan Betson / The Irish Times  
    Workers with specialist heritage building contractors Dunwoody & Dobson repairing Trinity College Front Gate. Alan Betson / The Irish Times  
  • 17:00

    Apparently Charlie Bird is the “star attraction” at the Lismore Travel Writers Festival, which gets under way tomorrow.

    I wonder what happened...

  • 17:06

    On that note, we will leave it there for now on the Daily Wire.

    It’s not quite the glorious day it was eight hours ago when we began, but enjoy the rest of the evening and we will be back here tomorrow at 9am for what is World Cup opening ceremony day. Come on Algeria.