The Daily Wire

Budget talks down to the wire, a Seanad setback and TCD's slipping. Conor Pope is on the Wire.

Conor Pope Thu, Oct 3
LIVE: The Daily Wire

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  • 07:54
    Good morning.

    Well, I use the word good loosely. The weather where this Live News Blog is based right now seems anything but good. Gardai are warning about surface water causing flooding and the like in some areas of Dublin which is likely be great news for traffic over the next hour or so.

    And by great I mean wojus.

    Anyways enough of that. I am Conor Pope and I will be attending to your news needs until round about 5pm.

  • 08:07
    So SInead O'Connor has written to Miley Ray Cyrus.

    Relax It's an open letter We're not going through either one's mailbox. 

    Here's a flavour of the missive.

    "I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping."

    Hard to argue with that, really.
  • 08:15
    Is it any wonder the Government wants to abolish the Senead if it is going to mortify it like it did last night.  It suffered an embarrassing defeat in the upper house last night ahead of polling day tomorrow. What happened? Well  four Labourˇsenators failed to show up for a vote on the private member?s Bill from Independent Senator Feargal Quinn to ban upward only rent reviews and so the Bill was passed by a 27-23 majority, prompting Feargal to declare the episode was a "real reminder" of the Seanad's power to promote independent policy-making.


    The Labour leadership reckons the non-attendence of senators John Kelly, John Whelan, Denis Landy and Jimmy Harte was connected with resistence in the parliamentary party to the referendum.


  • 08:37
    There are still no signs of progress toward ending an impasse that has sent 800,000 US government workers home and curbed federal services around the US, despite President Barack Obama conferring with congressional leaders at the White House last night for the first time since the partial government shutdown began.

    Funding for much of the government was cut off on Tuesday after a Republican effort to thwart the health care law stalled the short-term, normally routine spending Bill.

    House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner told reporters Mr Obama "refuses to negotiate" after private talks that lasted more than an hour.

    "All we╒re asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people under Obamacare," he said.

    But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said,"We╒re locked in tight on Obamacare" and neither the president nor Democrats in congress will accept changes in that health care law as the price for spending legislation needed to reopen the government.
  • 08:38
    Of course what Obama needs to do is pretty obvious to me.

  • 08:55
    Sad story in the Japanese Times this morning.

    A woman in her 40s saw a man in his 70s collapsed on train tracks as she and her father travelled home from work.

    She rushed to save him. And did but was struck by the train and died.
  • 09:14
    The latest international university ranking has delivered a mixed performance for Ireland with Trinity College Dublin falling back 19 places while University College Dublin and University College Cork both showed gains. The rankings from Times Higher Education, the longest established international university ranking company based in the UK, indicate Trinity retains its place as Ireland’s highest ranked universtiy at 129th internationally, but UCD rose 26 places in the latest rankings just published to 161 in the world to narrow the gap between Ireland’s two top 200-ranked institutions.
  • 09:18
    No doubt which way Michael McDowell is voting in Friday, is there? "Have you actually read the Bill to permanently abolish Seanad Éireann before voting on it? It isn’t a simple textual excision of one of the two Houses of our parliament which, along with the President, constitute the Oireachtas. The 32nd Amendment Bill goes much, much further. In 57 pages it seeks to delete seven entire Articles, and to amend, in one way or another, all but 12 of the existing 51 Articles of our Constitution. If you vote for the amendment you will also vote: To strip the President of the power to refer Bills to referendum of the people by repealing Article 27; To abolish the “double lock” inserted in Article 29 at the time of the Lisbon Treaty to prevent Ireland’s government surrendering without referendum its EU vetoes, including our tax veto, or taking major steps towards EU integration without consulting the people; To abolish the power of the taoiseach under Article 28 to bring non-TD ministers into cabinet, as Garret FitzGerald did when he made James Dooge minister for foreign affairs; To amend Article 15 so as to allow a bare Dáil majority to make any laws without debate when they wish, and to have no constitutional check or balances for minorities to be heard or to scrutinise Bills in detail; To end any possibility that Northerners like Gordon Wilson, Seamus Mallon or Bríd Rogers can ever be members of our parliament again; To delete the only constitutional means to give emigrant citizens any vote or voice in their parliament."
  • 09:35
    The death toll from a spate of hornet attacks in central China has risen to 41. Around 1,600 people have been injured in the Shaanxi province, and 37 of them are in critical or serious condition in hospital. How terrifying is that? Very, very terrifying indeed.
  • 09:38
    With energy bills increasing by over €500 in the past three years the value of the 2013/2014 Winter Fuel Allowance which begins on Monday has been effectively wiped out, according to St Vincent de Paul. Brendan Hennessy of the SVP Social Justice team pointed out that the most recent increase of 2 per cent for natural gas has been subject to justifiable protest. "Of course it’s not the 2per cent that is the big problem; it’s the cumulative increase over a few short years. Gas prices rose by 22% in 2011, 8.5% in 2012 and 2% in 2013. Along with increases in electricity prices, the latest being a 3.5% increase in household bills announced by Airtricity last week, the cost of energy bills have risen by €500. "Basically, within three years the value of the €20pw fuel allowance for 26 weeks is failing to cover energy price rises, leaving households who were already struggling to pay their fuel bills at a loss." he said.
  • 10:01
    From the Guardian:

    Sporting combatants playing for love not money, with only helmets for protection, clash with ash sticks while trying to catch a ball consisting of cork wrapped in thick leather flying through the air at a terrifying velocity. Welcome to the ancient Irish game of hurling, arguably the fastest contact sport played on grass. Last weekend, 82,000 people wearing the red and white of Cork or the yellow and blue of Clare watched their heroes play out what many regard as the greatest All-Ireland hurling final. Hopefully the Gaelic Athletic Association will do all sports fans everywhere a massive favour and produce DVD copies of this memorable game, where Clare emerged victorious. As Premier League soccer is again soiled with prima donna antics – see the scratch-and-send-off controversy of Torres at Spurs at the weekend – the hand-eye co-ordination and the courage and commitment of Cork and Clare were a shining example of sportsmanship.
  • 10:04

  • 10:14
    I just realised I left next week's Pricewatch at home so am updating the blog from the back of a cab using only my CleverPhone as I race back to get it before our subs rightly shout at me. Travis are singing 'why does it always rain me?' Why indeed Travis.
  • 10:18
    Reuters are reporting that the death toll in the Sicily migrant boat sinking has risen to 62. It is a tragedy that will happen again. And again. And we think we live in austere times.
  • 11:02
    Rescue operations are continuing off the Italian coast after a boat carrying migrants from sub-Saharan Africa sank. So far 141 people are reported to have been rescued, but the boat is believed to have been carrying as many as 500 people.

  • 11:05
    People! Listen up. You need to give the Labour Party credit for our current economic position. Pat Rabbitte has said so.

    Our Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte is in Galway and he said that while 81 per cent of the Irish people did not vote for Labour in the last election, “100 per cent almost seem to think we should take exclusive responsibility for the pace of recovery”.

    Talking about The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll this week which found Labour at just 6 per cent, their lowest figure since 1987, Mr Rabbitte said it concerned him, but that the average over 26 polls this year had been 10 per cent.

    “The significance of the achievements of the Government are not, I think, fully internalised by people. This country was bankrupted when we came to Government,” he said. “I find it hard to believe that the people will punish the party that will bring around economic recovery and reward the party that caused the economic collapse. I’m always disappointed that some people seem to think because we have a new Government, we have a new economy. We got an economy that was shipwrecked and it has been trying to pull that back from the brink that has preoccupied us at a time when we only have one lender.”
  • 11:06
    Word from our travel desk says that the Department of Foreign Affairs has just lifted its advice against going to the Red Sea resorts of Egypt and weekly flights will resume on Thursday December 26th with Falcon Holidays and Thomas Cook now sell ing one week all-inclusive deals from €700pps.
  • 11:07

  • 11:21
    And staying with airports and airlines and stuff this is funny. Trust me, it is.

  • 11:26
    Someone's only gone and nominated Vladamir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Well, Henry Kissinger has one.
  • 11:48

  • 11:50
    At least 82 people are now known to have died with many more still missing after a boat carrying migrants from Africa sank off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa this morning.

    The mayor of Lampedusa, Giusy Nicolini said it was mostly Somalis and Eritreans who had been recovered so far and she added that the toll was rising, with the bodies being laid out on the harbour. “It’s horrific, like a cemetery, they are still bringing them out,” she told reporters.

  • 12:12
    A big chunk of the Dark Web has just been shut down. 'The Silk Road' was not accessible through normal browsers, but only through the so-called 'dark web' network Tor. 

    Among the things for  sale were

    801 'for sale' listings, including hacked Netflix and Amazon accounts

    159 'services' including hacking, hitmen for hire and the sale of guns and ammunition

    169 forgeries, including fake driver’s licenses, passports, Social Security cards, utility bills, credit card statements and car insurance records

  • 12:29
    This is not new. But it is new to me.

  • 12:52
    So, the Mail on Sunday gatecrashed a memorial service for Ed Milliband's uncle.


    Here is what the Labour leader had to said in a letter to the paper's owner.

    It was an event in a room on the 29th floor of Guy's hospital which was attended only by family members, close friends and colleagues. I was told by one of my relatives late yesterday evening that a reporter from the Mail on Sunday had found her way into the event uninvited. I also discovered that, once there, she approached members of my family seeking comments on the controversy over the Daily Mail's description of my late father as someone who 'hated Britain'.

    My wider family, who are not in public life, feel understandably appalled and shocked that this can have happened.

    The editor of the Mail on Sunday has since confirmed to my office that a journalist from his newspaper did indeed attend the memorial uninvited with the intention of seeking information for publication this weekend. Sending a reporter to my late uncle's memorial crosses a line of common decency. I believe it a symptom of the culture and practices of both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday. There are many decent people working at those newspapers and I know that many of them will be disgusted by this latest episode. But they will also recognise that what has happened to my family has happened to many others.
    I believe no purpose would be served by me complaining to the Press Complaints Commission because it is widely discredited. Instead, I am writing to you as the owners of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday because I believe it is long overdue that you reflect on the culture of your newspapers.

    There are bigger issues for the people of Britain in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis for a century than intrusion into the life of my family. But the reaction of many people to the Daily Mail's attacks on my father this week demonstrates that the way your newspapers have behaved does not reflect the real character of our country. It is now your responsibility to respond.
  • 13:14
    Around 70,000 people could be in line for refunds from their banks after the Central Bank found that  one in five payment protection insurance (PPI) policies it has reviewed so far were in breach of its consumer protection code.

    So far the Central Bank has found that refunds of €25m are due to customers who were missold policies.

    All told there are 11 financial institutions being investigated, including AIB, Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland, Danske Bank, EBS, GE Money, KBC Bank Ireland, MBNA, Permanent TSB, RaboDirect Bank Ireland and Ulster Bank.

    Around 350,000 PPI polices which were sold since July 2007 have been included in the review.  The Central Bank will monitor all the lenders involved to make sure banks have completed reviews to its satisfaction by the end of the year.
  • 13:15
    Trouble in paradise? Apparently so. Peter Matthews has left Fine Gael.
  • 13:16

  • 14:08
  • 14:32

  • 14:38
    The Mail on Sunday has just “unreservedly” apologised to Labour leader Ed Miliband. The paper’s editor Geordie Greig has promised a full investigation after Miliband complained that a reporter crashed a memorial service for his uncle and tried to get reaction from his relatives about a Mail  article denouncing his late father Ralph Miliband, as the man “who hated Britain”.

    Greig said it had been a “terrible lapse of judgment” and two journalists on the paper have been suspended.

    “I unreservedly apologise for a reporter intruding into a private memorial service for a relative of Ed Miliband,” he said. “The reporter was sent without my knowledge; it was a decision which was wrong. Two journalists have been suspended and a full investigation is now being carried out.

    “I would further like to apologise to members of the family and friends attending the service for this deplorable intrusion. I have already spoken personally to Ed Miliband and expressed my regret that such a terrible lapse of judgment should have taken place.

    “It is completely contrary to the values and editorial standards of the Mail on Sunday. I understand that Lord Rothermere is personally writing to Ed Miliband.”
  • 14:44
    A new hotel in Dublin?

    DoubleTree by Hilton?

    Nah, it'll always be the Burlo....
  • 14:48

  • 15:07
    "Our dolphins seem to really resonate with Radiohead music, and especially the song 'Lotus Flower'," says 'Yoga With The Dolphins' instructor Willow Withy. "As soon as I put it on, they come up to the window and their play patterns become more fluid, friendly, and they are curious about what is going on in the yoga room. They rub against the windows, walls, and express more sensory connection. It feels like mutually shared experience as they appreciate the yoga and music together. I would say they are happy."

    Smiley. AND cool.

  • 16:58
    The first Intel chipset product designed and developed at its facility in Co Kildare has been unveiled. Called Galileo the board contains the Quark SoC x1000 chi> It was announced at the Maker Faire conference in Rome today.

    It will carry a “designed in Ireland” trademark and is the result of a collaboration between IDA Ireland and the chip giant. It has taken three years to develop and is the first product from the Intel Quark family of low-power, small-core products, a technology that is expected to push Intel into areas seen as rapid growth, such as wearable computing and connected devices.

  • 17:03
    That's it then

    What are the storys attracting most interest right now?

    1. Peter Mathews announces resignation from Fine Gael
    2. Taxi driver questioned after student (20) alleges rape in Phoenix Park
    3. Exercise may be more effective treatment than drugs
    4. Intel unveils Irish-designed chipset
    5. Hurling: a shining example to the Premiership

    No sign of the awful tragedy in off the Italian coast is there?

    I wonder if our news ranking would be different right now if those poor people who died in unimaginably horrific circumstances miles off the coast of one of the wealthiest countries on the planet were white?

    Yes. It would be very, very different.
  • 17:22
    And now back to the banal.

    Miley has responded to Sinead.

    Do you know what her response means?

    Nope, me neither. Goodbye.