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Ronan McGreevy Fri, Feb 14
 
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  • 09:50
    Hi, Ronan McGreevy here. I'll be the captain of The Daily Wire as we attempt to steer our way through the tempest-tossed travails of the day that lies ahead of us.
  • 09:52
    Happy Valentine's Day one and all. Did you all get cards, flowers, chocolate etc? It was quite an ordeal leaving the house this morning battling one's way past an avalanche of cards, presents and trickets of affection from besotted admirers.
  • 09:57
    There will be no Valentine's cards exchanged between the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and the chairman of the Garda Siochana Ombudman's Commission Simon O'Brien. Last night the Minister went on Prime Time and all but accused Mr O'Brien of telling one story to him and another to the members of the Oireachtas committee investigating a potential bugging at the offices of GSOC. Here's our lead story.
  • 09:58
  • 09:59
  • 10:05
    John Walton aka actor Ralph Waite has died. Those of us of a certain vintage, in the days before satellite television and multichannel land, remember The Waltons on Sunday afternoons. It's a little known fact that the writer of The Waltons was one John McGreevy.  
  • 10:06
  • 10:26
    Ronan has gone off to see a man about a dog so has asked me - Conor Pope - to look after the blog for a few minutes.... so that is what I am going to do.
  • 10:26
    Eddie humphrey Hi Ronan, I would be worried if my wife got that amout of stuff from others :-)
  • 10:37
    Thai hug you long time.....

    A very long time. A Russian couple has just broken the world record for the world's longest hug in a Thai holiday resport Under the "rules" constestants must hug their partner continuously with both arms at all times without letting them drop.

    Russian tourist, Darya Ckuneva and her partner - whose name was not included in the report I just read - won by hugging for 25 hours, 22 minutes and 36 seconds.


    "We think to take part in this competition is very interesting. We have never done this before," she said,
  • 10:43

    Lazio has said it will sue anyone who claims their 17-year-old Cameroonian player Joseph Minala is, in fact, 41.  The club insists  his birth certificate is "absolutely legitimate".

    The midfielder also issued a statement denying he told an African website he was in his 40s.  "I have read the alleged statements posted on the website senego.net in which it says I confessed my real age which was different to what was stated in my [official] documents.“

     



  • 10:46


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  • 10:59
  • 11:01
    A ridiculous sham or a day in which one contemplates the glories of love? Our Conor Pope and novelist Alison Jameson argue the toss. Read it here.
  • 11:02
  • 11:16
    Have you ever wondered where all those 400,000 Garth Brooks fans came from? Well, it turns out they did not all come from Ireland. A massive total of 70,000 fans from overseas bought tickets for his five Croke Park concerts this summer, according to promoter Peter Aiken including some in Afghanistan. That amounts to a huge tourism boom for Dublin. Could there be trouble ahead though? According to Cllr Nial Ring, residents living around Croke Park are furious about not being consulted about the concerts. There will be a lot of angry people if this situation is not resolved.  
  • 11:42

    Has the world gone mad completely.Sotheby’s New York will offer the most famous stamp in the world
    for auction on June 17th. No stamp is rarer than the sole-surviving example of the
    British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, a unique yet unassuming penny issue from 1856, and no stamp  is more valuable: each of the three times it has been sold at auction, it has established a new record  price for a single stamp. The British Guiana is equally notable for its legacy, having been  rediscovered by a 12-year-old Scottish boy living in South America in 1873, and from there passing  through some of the most important stamp collections ever assembled. The stamp comes to  auction this spring with a pre-sale estimate of an unbelievable $10 - $20 million (€7.3m to €14.6m).  

  • 11:42
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  • 11:56
  • 11:58

    Our columnist Maeve Higgins made a documentary about the people who go to the relics of St Valentine in Whitefriar Church in Dublin to pray to find a soulmate. You can access it here.  

  • 12:03
  • 12:39
    There has been no less than nine major storms since St Stephen's Day. Such a spell of bad weather is unprecedented and it is not going to get any better. The country is being pelted with heavy rain as we speak. Tomorrow will be cool and windy giving way to freezing conditions on Saturday night. It will be very cold on Monday and Tuesday. It looks like Wednesday will bring a welcome return to more mild conditions.
  • 12:44
  • 13:09

    IFA President Eddie Downey has said the extreme weather since the start of the year, coupled with the start of the lambing and calving season, is making conditions for farm families around the country very difficult.


    Eddie Downey said the saturated land means that all livestock have to be housed for some time yet and there is an inevitable increase in workload and costs as a result.

     The IFA President said a strong community spirit exists in rural Ireland, and he encouraged farm families to look out for each other. “I would appeal to them to check in on elderly neighbours in particular.”

     Meanwhile, the ESB has agreed to facilitate the transportation of generators and other equipment to farmers who are without electricity, especially for farmers who cannot milk cows or provide water for their animals.

  • 13:10
  • 13:14

    Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has created a new phrase. "The pigeons have come to roost". Whatever happened to chickens.  

     

  • 13:19
    Spare a thought for those at sea in conditions like this ....
  • 13:26
  • 13:33
  • 13:43

    Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has been talking to reporters today at the 50th anniversary of the opening of Templemore. He attended the event in the company of the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Understandably the commissioner got a grilling about the alleged bugging of GSOC. He was satisfied that no member of the gardaí was involved in surveillance? But what about a rogue element within the gardaí? He responded: "If anybody has information that any rogue member that was happening, I would be very interested. We'd have to deal with it and deal with it very seriously."  

  • 14:35

    The National Coordination Group met this morning to discuss the on-going impact of the storms hitting the country.  

    Since Wednesday afternoon, power has been restored to over  185,000 customers, out of a total of 260,000 without supply.

    On the water issue, power has been restored either through the work of the ESB networks or installing generators. Boil water notices are in place as a precautionary measure in conjunction with the HSE. Drinking Water Incident Response Plans have been activated in areas still without water.


    The response to Wednesday’s storm continues to be managed at local co-ordination centres, where the local authority, AGS and the HSE are working together on the priorities that they need to tackle in their areas for their local communities.


    Work is on-going to stabilise situations where damage has been caused to buildings, the main roads which were blocked by trees have being cleared and mainline rail has been restored. Work is on-going to clear the other roads and assessments are being made where trees have been weakened and may need to be taken down.

    Met Éireann have said the current unsettled spell will continue today and into the weekend with heavy rain and very strong and gales.

    The heavy rainfall will serve to top up the already near capacity of our rivers and still poses a risk. The local authorities will continue to monitor the position in relation to river levels generally. The ESB are monitoring the levels on the rivers Liffey, Lee and Shannon and discharges are being managed in conjunction with local authorities.

    The public have been reminded to continue to follow the weather warnings and to heed the safety messages of the authorities. People should also be mindful when using candles and open heating sources in the home.  

  • 14:47

    The renowned Irish artist Patrick Scott has died aged 94 just a day before a major retrospective on his life was due to open at the Irish Museum of the Modern Art (IMMA). Patrick Scott: Image Space Light  brings together the most comprehensive representation of his 75 year long career.  


    A statement from IMMA described Scott as a "defining figure of Irish art for over 70 years and the retrospective exhibition is testament to his extraordinary career, life and achievements as an artist. He will be sorely missed by the arts community and IMMA is honoured to pay tribute to one of Ireland’s most important artists with this major exhibition."  

    Scott became one of the oldest people to avail of Ireland's civil partnership legislation by "marrying" his partner of 37 years Eric Pearse in Cork last year.  

  • 14:52
  • 15:36
  • 15:48

    The Arts Council has issued a statement praising the work of the artist Patrick Scott who has died. Speaking today, Sheila Pratschke, chair designate of the Arts Council said "Not only was Patrick Scott a singularly important painter with a wholly unique, elegant and sophisticated sensibility, but more broadly he had an enormous impact on the development of Ireland as a modern, culturally sophisticated society through his wider involvement with design and architecture.

     

    "Patrick's generosity of spirit and passion for the visual arts was unwavering. This spirit remained with him throughout his life and was demonstrated to the Arts Council only recently, through his involvement with its "Into the Light" exhibitions, celebrating 60 years of the Arts Council and 50 years of its art collection. The centrality of Patrick's role in this initiative was critical, as he was so supremely placed to represent visual artists over those years."

     

     

  • 16:25

    Lizzy Yarnold, the British slider, is winning the women's skeleton bobsleigh going into the final round. One senses we'll never hear the end of this if she actually wins it.  

       

  • 17:11

    The following Irish athletes have received the full €40,000 allocation under the Internationl carding system.  BOXING  Katie Taylor €40,000, Joe Ward €40,000, Michael Conlan €40,000, Paddy Barnes €40,000, Jason Quigley €40,000.  CYCLING  Martyn Irvine €40,000, Colin Lynch €40,000, Mark Rohan €40,000  PARALYMPIC ATHLETICS:  Michael McKillop €40,000,  Jason Smyth €40,000,  Orla Barry €40,000  ATHLETICS  Robert Heffernan €40,000:  PARALYMPIC SWIMMING  Ellen Keane €40,00, Darragh McDonald €40,000, Laurence McGivern €40,000 James Scully €40,000  SAILING  Annalise Murphy €40,000.  TRIATHLON  Aileen Reid €40,000  

  • 17:13

    Over 50 events are planned to take place across the island of  Ireland  this year as part of an ethics initiative by President  Michael D Higgins  to stimulate debate on and an awareness of ethics.

    It will initially involve third-level institutions across the island but the intention is to spread it to wider society.

    Involved will be a series of academic workshops and public lectures at  University College Dublin  on the role of conscience in society, with emphasis on whistle-blowing, conscientious objection and civil disobedience.

    These will explore the ethical background to the ongoing financial crisis and why it was that, though many felt the boom was ethically dubious, so few spoke out.

  • 17:16
  • 17:17
  • 17:26

    Galway County Council has requested help from the Defence Forces to assist five families who are struggling to access their homes in the Ardrahan area in the south of the county.


    South Galway is experiencing some of its worst flooding since 2009, with no immediate relief from the weather in sight. Approximately 20 roads are closed due to flooding and storm damage in the area.

    The request for assistance from the military was made by the council at lunchtime because access roads to the houses in question are being coming impassable. It is understood that the houses are not in danger of flooding and it is not clear if the residents will have to leave their homes. Things really are getting serious out there.  

  • 17:33
    British skeleton star Lizzy Yarnold has just won gold in the Winter Olympics in Sochi. They are going bananas on BBC1. "We never even heard of Lizzy Yarnold a few years ago," said the commentator. Well done to her.  
  • 17:36
  • 17:37
    The forecast for the weekend is not great though things look a little bit drier for next week. Have a good weekend.