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Beyonce, the bailout and Friday 13th, with Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy Fri, Dec 13
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  • 09:38
    Good morning. Ronan McGreevy here from The Irish Times and I'll be your guide through today's events. It's Friday, December 13th. A fear of Friday 13th is triskaidekaphobia.
  • 09:41
    The big story today is Ireland's exit from the bailout. To mark this day, which occurs on Sunday, we have published an After the Bailout supplement.which can be accessed here. it comes with a podcast. Read and listen to it here.
  • 09:42
  • 09:48
    No couple symbolised the excesses of the Celtic Tiger more than the Baron of Ballsbridge Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea. His bankruptcy proceedings have provided more jaw-dropping revelations as covered by Simon Carswell here.
  • 09:56
    This story from The Irish Post is quite extraordinary and heartbreaking. Irish pensioner James Gray who lives in London has taken out a newspaper advertisement looking for somebody to spend Christmas with. You can read it here.
  • 10:03
  • 10:08
    Michael Noonan is the top story on our website promising income tax cuts if things continue to improve. Read it here. "The heroes of today are the Irish peope," he has just said on the Today with Sean O'Rourke programme.
  • 10:15

    The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is on Today with Sean O'Rourke. He says the anecdotal evidence of property being sold and new car orders being up is having a "huge psychological effect" on people. He said the decision to absent commercial property from capital gains tax for seven years has helped to sell €2 billion worth of property in Dublin this year while Limerick and Cork are also showing signs of recovery in the property market. 

  • 10:16
    "We want sustainable economy. We're not going to be beating drums and blowing trumpets." He is promising a framework document about producing a sustainable economy for the future next week.
  • 10:17

     Congratulations once again to the Irish cricket team who continue to do us proud. They've just won the Intercontinental Cup, their fourth trophy in recent times.

  • 10:42
    Satirist, singer-songwriter and Callan's Kick writer Paddy Cullivan has penned this Christmas/bailout exit song. Have a listen.
  • 11:00
    A new recording of one of the most beautiful and iconic Christmas songs ‘O Holy Night’ has been recorded by classical-crossover trio Affinití to help raise funds for the Dublin region of the Society of St Vincent de Paul;

    Accompanying Affinití are The Palestrina Boys Choir and Carlow Choral Society with orchestral backing provided by the Filmharmonic Orchestra Prague. See video below;

  • 11:07
    The announcement by Etihad Airways that there are to run a Dublin-Perth service six times a week is excellent news for the thousands of Irish emigrants living in Western Australia. According to Etihad's own research, a third of all Irish emigrants to Australia live in the booming province of Western Australia, the majority of them in Perth.
  • 11:10
  • 11:29
    Neil Young and Crazy Horse are coming to these shores next summer. They will play Live a the Marquee in Cork on July 10th next year. The legend and his band are clearly undeterred by the mixed reviews of their last concert at the RDS including this one by Kevin Courtney which divided the fans. Here was Jim Carroll's take on the controversy at the time. Read it here.
  • 12:05
  • 12:18
    The disgraceful carry-on at the Central Remedial Clinic is having a devastating effect on all charities, according to this report by Eoin Burke-Kennedy. Fundraising Ireland says charitable donations are down 40 per cent across the board. Read it here.
  • 12:49
    Here's our report on the execution of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. The news footage broadcasting his execution is particularly chilling and to think that that North Korea is now a nuclear power. Read it here.
  • 13:01
    You could call this entering the Christmas spirit or an inspired marketing stunt. One thing is for sure. It will not be repeated by Ryanair.
  • 13:21
    Four bankers have been jailed for their part in a fraud which almost brought down the country. They were found guilty of lending money to an investor to buy shares in the bank. This happened in Iceland not Ireland.  Kaupthing was the biggest Icelandic bank to go bust in 2008 and the four executives lent money to a Qatari investor to buy a 5.1 per cent stake in the bank, an illegal transaction. They did so to bolster the share price at a time when investors were fleeing Icelandic banks.  Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, the former chief executive, received five and a half years, while Sigurdur Einarsson, former chairman of the board, was sentenced to five years in jail.
  • 14:25
    Beyonce is one performer who knows how to make a splash and so she did this morning stunning her fans by releasing her fifth album exclusively on iTunes without warning. The demand crashed the website. There is a video too for every song. Here's the preview to Drunk in Love.

  • 14:52
    What does Beyoncé's decision to release the album without sending out review copies say for the role of music critics? "I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans".
  • 15:31
    RTÉ One HD is to launch from Monday in time for the Christmas schedule. The launch was announced this afternoon. Movie premieres like Kung Fu Panda 2, Shrek Forever After, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Bridesmaids and Robin Hood will all be shown in HD, as will blockbusters like Avatar, Up and the Indiana Jones series. Also in HD on RTÉ One will be a range of Christmas programmes including the Irish Pictorial Weekly Christmas Special, At Your Service – To The Rescue including Callans Christmas Kicks.
  • 16:13
    There are very few acts in the world who could sell out Croke Park for three nights. One of them is boy band One Direction. The insatiable demand from their teenage fanbase means that every one of their shows has sold out within hours of going on sale. However, help is at hand. More tickets are being released on Monday. A timely Christmas present, one would imagine.
  • 16:31
    Scientists have known for two decades that Jupiter's moon Europa is one of the prime candidates for life in the solar system. It has been established that there is an ocean of water under a solid ice cap 100 kilometres thick. The theory is that Europa's proximity to its giant planet creates gravitational stresses that keep its interior heated up allowing liquid water to flow under the ice. But now scientists in Nasa have come across an even more exciting development. The Hubble telescope has taken a shot of a giant spum of steam as high as 10 Mount Everest's spewing from the surface of the moon. This is a potentially really exciting development. There's a little bit of cheating going on in this enhanced image, but it is awe-inspiring all the same.
  • 16:33
    So much for global warming .....

  • 16:44
    Cmdr Chris Hadfield arrives in Dublin on a flying visit which includes an appearance on the Late Late Show and a book signing in Eason tomorrow. Cmdr Hadfield became a global superstar as commander of the International Space Station (ISS) taking a particular interest in Ireland and how could we forget this video that hasbeen seen almost 20 million times on YouTube.

  • 17:05

    BREAKING NEWS: The board of the Central Remedial Clinic has resigned. We'll have more on this anon.

  • 17:10

    Here's a copy of the statement in full from the board members. 
    "All members of the Board of Governors of the Central Remedial Clinic have resigned with immediate effect. Members who were directors of Friends and "Supporters of CRC, CRC Medical Devices or The Care Trust have also resigned these positions with immediate effect.
    "Following the resignation of the Board, the work of the dedicated staff and supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic to sustain, support, develop and protect the volume, quality and reliability of the services available to people with disabilities in Ireland deserves to continue as it has for more than six decades."

  • 17:13
    Their positions were clearly untenable after the disastrous Public Accounts Committee hearing in which it was revealed that former chief executive Paul Kiely, who is also a member of the board, got a €200,000 pay-off out of charitable funds. The scandal was having a serious impact on all charities. The resignation of the board will at least give the CRC an opportunity to start again without being encumbered by the regime which brought its good reputation into disrepute.
  • 17:13
    And with that dramatic news at the end of a busy day, I'll say goodnight and hope you have a great weekend.