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A rolling look at today's news with Aine McMahon

Aine McMahon Thu, Mar 13
 
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  • 09:29
    Good morning, Aine McMahon here on Thursday's Daily Wire. It's a foggy one in the capital but should brighten up later.
  • 09:44
    Some strong words from Angela Merkel on Ukraine this morning; the German Chancellor has said if Russia continues to destabilise the situation in Ukraine, EU leaders are ready to take further action.

    In a speech in parliament she said that instead of acting as a partner for stability in the Ukraine crisis, Russia had sought to exploit the weakness of its neighbour.

    "The territorial integrity of Ukraine cannot be called in to question," she said.

    Merkel warned that if Russia continues its current path, it would be a catastrophe not just for Ukraine and the EU, but also for Russia itself and said the crisis cannot be solved by military action.

    She said Russia risked "massive" political and economic damage if it refused to change course on Ukraine.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, if Russia continues on its course of the past weeks, it will not only be a catastrophe for Ukraine," she said,
  • 09:47
    The Public Accounts Committee will meet at 10 am this morning to discuss the expenditure of the Justice Department and the State pathology building project. Rehab is pretty likely to come up in discussion too.

    Colm Keena has more on the ongoing Rehab and Frank Flannery saga here.
  • 09:53

    Fiona Gartland reports on a triumph of common sense.



    One of the last bastions of male exclusivity in Ireland has been breached following a decision by the Sandycove Bathers’ Association to accept women members into its club at the Forty Foot bathing spot in Dublin.



    Almost 40 years after the women’s liberation movement first mounted protests, members of the all-male club have agreed to allow female swimmers to be full members.



    The Forty Foot, mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses was for a long time a male-only swimming are but it has been available for everyone since the 1970s.




  • 09:57

    A fifth person has died and several are still missing after an explosion caused by a gas leak at a building in New York City yesterday.


    Two five-storey buildings were destroyed in the blast in East Harlem, which happened yesterday afternoon.


    Almost 200 firefighters were sent to the scene to battle the heavy blaze caused by the explosion, which took hours to extinguish. Reports say that the powerful explosion knocked out windows in nearby shops and apartments.

  • 10:05
    The first full public auction of Irish government debt since the end of our bailout happened this morning.  



    So we're kind of, sort of, starting to turn a corner...if you have a few shekels lying around.



    Demand for Irish bonds have strengthened since ratings agency Moody’s upgraded the country’s debt to investment grade from junk in January.



    It comes a day after Ireland's cost of borrowing reached a record low at 3.01 per cent for 10 year loans.


    €1 billion worth of 10-year bonds went on sale until 10 am this morning.  


     

  • 10:09

    The funeral will take place today of justice campaigner Christine Buckley who died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer.


    Buckley was brought up in Goldenbridge industrial school where she suffered years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of the Sisters of Mercy.
    She went on to found the Aislinn Centre for abuse survivors and was a tireless campaigner for justice for child abuse victims.


    The funeral will take place this morning in the Church of St. Thérèse, Mount Merrion in Dublin followed by burial at Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill.

  • 10:13
  • 10:18
    The Public Accounts Committee have their work cut out these days; they're in private session this morning to discuss more allegations of Rehab controversy.  
  • 10:20
  • 10:24
    That went well.
  • 10:32

    Independent News and Media have reported a €32.7 million profit despite a 6 per cent decline in Revenue. More here.  

    The statement from INM on their results is a lesson in management speak - - - "Going forward, the focus for INM will be on enhancing the digital offering of the group and the recovery for the print element of the business model will be dependent on the recovery of the broader Irish economy.


    Against this backdrop, we expect that management will seek to further realign the cost structure of the group to move it in line with the underlying operating environment that the company finds itself in." Indeed.  

  • 10:40

    The infamous night of “Lapgate” was the busiest of the year for the Dail bar.  

    Almost €7,000 was clocked up in sales during the late-night sitting for the abortion legislation, when Fine Gael TD Tom Barry pulled his female colleague and fellow Cork politician Aine Collins onto his lap.

    Mr Barry, a 44-year-old married father of three, issued an immediate apology for his actions after the incident and was reprimanded by Fine Gael over his behaviour but the incident was captured on Dáil Eireann cameras.

    The takings at the bar show the gargle flowed throughout the night as the Government’s Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill was debated.

  • 10:47
    Speaking of Tom Barry, here's what he tweeted last month about the Garda whistleblowers. Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said that while the whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe and John Wilson "got a number of things correct" some of their claims have not been established and stopped short of apologising to them.
  • 11:03
  • 11:09

    Meadhbh McHugh has this guide to  alternative activities for St Patrick's Day  

  • 11:10
  • 11:43
  • 11:44
  • 11:46
    The Public Accounts Committee says it's forwarding a document to Gardai from developer John Kelly who has made serious allegations about individuals linked to the Rehab group. More as we get it.  
  • 11:58
  • 12:04

    Hey America, leave us alone! "Jay Z put Dublin on the map"... so says one of the commentators on US showbiz site TMZ.  


    )  

  • 12:12

    The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has referred a letter containing “a number of serious allegations” against individuals linked to Rehab to the gardaí.
    At a meeting this morning, the committee said that it has received a letter from the solicitors acting on behalf of the developer John Kelly.
    PAC chair John McGuinness said that the letter contains a “a number of serious allegations against named individuals who have or had associations with Rehab Group”.
    He said that on legal advice, the letter has been referred to the gardaí as it “could potentially involve criminal wrongdoing” and falls outside the remit of the committee.
    The committee has set a date of April 10th for its next meeting on Rehab.
    The group’s chairman Brian Kerr, CEO Angela Kerins, Frank Flannery, the director of finance and the remuneration committee will be asked to appear before TDs.

  • 12:16
  • 12:28
    A donkey carrying a sack of spuds has been sent to the Prime Minister of Slovakia by an opposition leader.  
    A donkey carrying a sack of spuds has been sent to the Prime Minister of Slovakia by an opposition leader.  
  • 12:28

    A donkey carrying a sack of potatoes has been sent to the prime minister of Slovakia by an opposition leader, in what appears to be a pre-election stunt, the BBC reports.  

    Igor Matovic, the leader of the Ordinary People party, brought the donkey and vegetables to a government office just days before the country's  March presidential elections, in which Prime Minister Robert Fico is a candidate.  

    The stunt is reported to be a response to an earlier statement by Fico that even a sack of potatoes could have beaten far-right candidate Marian Kotleba in last years' regional elections. .

  • 12:37

    Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt has named his starting 15 for this weekend's clash with France.  


    Andrew Trimble, Rob Kearney, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, David  Kearney; Jonny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross; Paul O'Connell (capt), Devin Toner; Peter O'Mahony, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip.


     

  • 12:39
  • 12:52

    The New York Times have given Irish food and cusine this ringing endorsment.  


    "At Ballymaloe, I tasted the freshest eggs, butter and cream; sampled the prawns and salmon of the surrounding seas; ate asparagus and lettuces straight from the garden, and dined on fine pastured beef and lamb. And there were foraged ingredients, like wild garlic and carrageen moss, a type of seaweed. Everything was cooked simply, with just enough interference from the kitchen to enhance these basic good," they gushed.  


    Still no mention of true Irish epicurean delights such as Easi Singles, TK red lemonade, garlic/cheese/curry chips or spice burgers but it's only a matter of time.  

  • 13:10

    The humble Rich Tea has been crowned the King of the Dunkers.

    A comprehensive study led by Dr Stuart Farrimond found that when tested in hot tea at the ideal dunking angle of 90 degrees, Rich Teas were still a force to be reckoned with after 20 seconds.

    Mealy discs of woe, Hobnobs were the first to crumble, lasting a paltry four seconds followed a split second later by the floppy and unpopular Ginger Nut.

    It must be mentioned at this point that this ground breaking study was commissioned by McVitie's so the results may not be objective as first thought.

    Chocolate Digestives also came in for praise for their ability to last six times longer than a plain digestive biscuit thanks to their chocolate covering which buys it more time in hot tea.

  • 13:17
  • 14:27

    Eric Cantona has been arrested and cautioned for assaulting a man in London on Wednesday.


    The former Manchester United star was taken into custody by police following a lunchtime altercation in the city's Primrose Hill area.


    It was not known on Thursday whether his victim, who did not require medical assistance, planned to press charges.


    The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "Police were called to Regents Park Road, NW1, at 12.55pm on Wednesday 12th March, following reports of an assault.  Officers from Camden Borough attended and a man in his mid-40s was arrested on suspicion of common assault."


    He was taken into custody and subsequently cautioned for common assault.

    Cantona, 47, was convicted of assaulting Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons in January 1995 and was initially sentenced to two weeks in prison, before that was reduced to 120 hours community service.

    Cantona, who became an actor after retiring from football, famously reacted to his successful appeal against a jail term with a quote that came to define him: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."

  • 14:32

    The head of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority has said he did not know the full extent of businessman Sean Quinn’s holding in Anglo Irish Bank until March 2008, the trial of three directors at the bank was told this morning.
    The court had heard that then chief executive of the bank David Drumm and its chairman Sean FitzPatrick had known about the holding since September 2007.
    Mr Quinn had contracts for difference (CFDs) – investment products based on share value – worth more than 28 per cent of the bank’s shares.
    Patrick Neary, who was appointed chief executive of the bank in 2006, told the court this morning he did not know the size of the holding until he was informed on March 21st, Good Friday. Mr Neary  has not yet given evidence about the allegedly illegal loans for shares transaction undertaken in July to unwind Mr. Quinn's stake in the bank.  

  • 14:34
  • 14:37

    Sad case of animal cruelty in the UK - A woman who killed her pet kitten by cooking it in a microwave because she thought it had attacked her goldfish has been jailed for 14 weeks.

    Laura Cunliffe, 23, of Hoyland, near Barnsley, put black and white Mowgli into the microwave and turned it on for five minutes.

    She was jailed at Barnsley Magistrates' Court after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

    District Judge John Foster said it was an "act of utterly horrendous cruelty".

    The court heard Cunliffe put the kitten into the microwave and switched it on but took the animal out about a minute later when she realised what she had done. The kitten died later.

    Her solicitor, Alan Greaves, said Cunliffe had longstanding problems with psychotic depression and had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 20 times.

    Cunliffe was banned from keeping animals for life and was told she cannot apply to have this ban reviewed for five years.

  • 14:58
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  • 15:13

    Were you late for work this morning?

    A new survey from Irish software company Elephant Smart Business, has revealed the top five reasons people give their bosses for turning up late.

    The old chestnut, “I’m stuck in traffic” is the most common excuse, with 28 per cent blaming the M50/Red Cow/potholes for their lateness.

    Some 19 per cent blame the bus and 17 per cent blame car trouble.

    For 15 per cent of employees, having a sick child at home was the reason given.

    The fifth most popular response to arriving late is a simple “Sorry!”, with just 4 per cent not being bothered to even try and explain their lateness.


    The most inventive excuses recorded were “I’ve just gotten engaged” “I was out last night and can’t get out of bed” and “my bike has been stolen”.

  • 15:14
  • 15:36

    Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, famous for surviving years of rock 'n' roll excess, will release a children's picture book with illustrations by his daughter Theodora Richards.


    The book, "Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar," tells the story of how Richards was first introduced to music by his grandfather and given his first guitar.  

  • 15:46

    Press release just in from the Green Party - they haven't gone away you know.  


    "Green Party MEP candidate for Ireland South, Grace O’Sullivan, has today called on Phil Prendergast to explain why she voted against a measure introduced by Green MEPs in the European Parliament to grant protection for Edward Snowden from potential extraordinary rendition or prosecution by the United States Government. Edward Snowden has been forced to go into hiding following his revelation of mass surveillance of millions of people worldwide.


     



    "Speaking this morning, Grace said, “I’m pretty shocked that Phil Prendergast would vote against basic protection for a whistleblower who lifted the veil on mass surveillance by the American and British Governments. Edward Snowden has been forced into hiding for his own safety, particularly in light of the actions of the American Government in illegally seizing and torturing foreign nationals in the past, a practice commonly known as ‘extraordinary rendition’."



    I'm sure Edward Snowden can rest easy now knowing the Green Party are looking out for him in Brussels.  


     

  • 16:02

    More than two-thirds of those on board the plane were from China, and Beijing has voiced impatience with the absence of any results.


    Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang said today he would like to see better co-ordination among the countries involved in the search. He said the passengers’ “families and friends are burning with anxiety, the Chinese government and Chinese people are all deeply concerned about their safety”.


    He added: “As long as there is a glimmer of hope we will not stop searching for the plane.” He said China had deployed eight ships and was using 10 satellites in the search.

  • 16:05
  • 16:17

    Wheelchair users and elderly citizens were caught up in the cross-fire at a busy Ennis shopping mall as bottles of wine from Tesco were thrown through the air, a court has heard.


    At Ennis District Court, Garda Michael Daniels described the mid-morning pre-Christmas panic at the Ennis shopping centre, adding the centre was placed in lockdown mode as two families confronted each other in the centre’s main foyer.


    In court, three members of the Delaney family, two members of the Keenan family and with two juveniles appeared in relation to being charged with affray and engaging in insulting and abusive behaviour at the shopping centre. More here.  

     

  • 16:21
  • 16:36
  • 16:38
     Speaking in Washington DC today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he has full confidence in the Garda Commissioner but again stops short of apologising to the whistleblowers or calling on Minister for Justice to issue an apology either.  
  • 16:45

    Don't keep this pooch waiting -

     

    )

  • 16:52
  • 17:16

    Police in the UK have made an arrest after a man was found at the side of a road with his penis chopped off it has been reported.

    The 40-year-old was found in a distressed state on the side of the A66 dual carriageway this morning after suffering a wound to his groin, according to Cleveland Police.

    Officers closed sections of the A66 from Greystones Roundabout to Church Lane in Middlesbrough in order to search for the man's missing appendage.

    A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault in relation to the incident and remains in police custody.

    The injured man, of Southbank, Middlesbrough, was found at 4.50am with serious injuries and was taken to hospital, officers said.

    A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: "Officers are keeping an open mind as to how he received his injuries and key to this will be speaking to the man himself when they are able to do so."

  • 17:25

    Ugo Monye posted a message to Brian O'Driscoll from the Harlequins rugby team.  


    )

  • 17:29

    With the St Patrick's Day long weekend fast approcahing, a nationwide road safety campaign will see a strong garda presence across the country for the next four days.


    New figures show that one in six vehicle occupants killed in road collisions last year was not wearing a seatbelt.


    Of the 127 driver and passenger fatalities in 2013, some 21 were not strapped in properly.

     

  • 17:47
    Thaty's all for today folks, back tomorrow morning from 9.