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  • Adams isolated at Leaders' debate

    The major parties waged their first head-to-head debate ahead of the election last night The leaders other major parties accused Sinn Féin chief Gerry Adams of directing IRA violence in the past and seeking to endanger jurors as they waged their first head-to-head debate ahead of the election. Adams spent much of last night’s TV3 90-minute live televised event isolated versus Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton and opposition Fianna Fáil party leader Micheal Martin, reports the Associated Press. Recent polls suggest the Fine Gael-Labour coalition faces an uphill struggle to retain enough parliamentary seats, with Labour at grave risk of losing out to populist Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and

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  • Distressed girl taken into care at mother’s request

    A 16-year-old girl has been taken into care by the Child and Family Agency just days after her mother went to the High Court seeking to have her daughter placed in care as a matter of urgency. The mother said she was unable to deal with the level of her daughter’s “extreme distress and need” and had come to court because she had not received a positive answer to her requests, made from January 19, to have the agency urgently take the girl into voluntary or special care. There was a concern about sexual abuse, Michael Lynn, counsel for the mother, told Mr Justice Seamus Noonan when seeking leave on Tuesday for an urgent hearing of the mother’s case against the Child and Family Agency. In court documents, the mother said her daughter made disclosures last August alleging she had been sexually abused by a family friend and that the abuse was continuing.

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  • Gravitational waves: What’s all the fuss and why should I care?

    Scientists have for the first time detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago. What is all the fuss about gravitational waves and why should I care? Am I in danger? Astronomers and astrophysicists are over the moon with the news that gravitational waves have been directly detected. They had only indirect evidence but now have a direct detection of one of these things. There is no danger, the waves pass over us all the time and we don’t feel them. The excitement is scientists now know they exist rather than just believe they exist. But what are they? Explaining what they are is easy, but convincing you why it is so important

    The Irish Times q
  • Star Wars film firm to be prosecuted over Harrison Ford injury

    A film production company is to be prosecuted over an incident in which actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Pinewood Studios. Foodles Production (UK) will appear at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on May 12th to face four charges. Ford suffered a broken leg and other injuries when he was struck by a heavy hydraulic metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon spaceship on June 12th, 2014. A spokesman said: “The HSE [Health and Safety Executive] has today informed Foodles Production (UK) Ltd that it will be prosecuted over four alleged breaches of health and safety law. “The charges relate to an incident during filming of Star Wars Episode

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  • Garda ‘devastated’ when charged in taxi fare row

    A Garda with more than 30 years service in the force yesterday told the High Court he was devastated to be charged after he was arrested while off-duty when he queried a taxi fare. Garda Oliver Cully, who works on protection duty at Áras an Uachtaráin, said he was later cleared and found not guilty in the District Court of all charges, including drunkenness and breach of the peace. Gda Cully has sued the State claiming he was assaulted, unlawfully arrested, falsely imprisoned, and maliciously prosecuted as a result of the incident over the taxi fare in the early hours of April 24, 2004. The State defendants have denied all the claims and contend Gda Cully was lawfully arrested and that everything was done properly and within the law.

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  • General election poll of polls: Who’s up and who’s down?

    During election campaigns, a large number of opinion polls is published by different companies. The basic idea of the Irish Polling Indicator is to take all available polling information together to arrive at the best estimate of current support for parties. Currently, the Irish Poling Indicator estimates Fine Gael support at 29 per cent. The Taoiseach’s party has gained support over the last year, after a low of 22 per cent in December 2014. The party is currently clearly in the lead, although it is down 7 per cent compared with the 2011 general election. Fianna Fáil is estimated at 20 per cent, which is marginally higher than its 2011 result. For Sinn Féin, the current showing of 19 per cent

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  • BBC's ‘Top Gear’ unveils full presenter line-up

    The full line-up for Top Gear has been announced, with a total of seven presenters heading up the BBC’s flagship motoring show. Motorsport guru and Formula 1 commentator Eddie Jordan, German racing driver Sabine Schmitz, motoring journalist Chris Harris, and car reviewer Rory Reid will join Chris Evans. Friends actor Matt LeBlanc was announced last week, and trusty sidekick The Stig will also return. Evans said: “We really do have a bit of everything for everyone. “A fellow lifelong petrolhead from the other side of the pond in Matt; a fearless speed-demon in the irrepressible and effervescent Sabine; the encyclopedic, funny and wonderfully colourful character that is EJ; Chris, one of the world’s

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  • Single Parent: ‘I think this Government has governed disgracefully’

    Ruth Cullen (44) lives in Kildare and has three children aged 19, 15 and 11. She is a single mother and full-time carer, in receipt of the Carers Allowance. “For me accessing services, for my family, in particular for my son, is the biggest challenge. He is my youngest and has a severe speech and language disability. In effect he cannot understand language and needs intense speech and language therapy, of which there is none in Kildare. He suffers with anxiety and has suicidal thoughts. He has had to travel to Tallaght, a 50-mile round-trip, three times a week to get speech and language therapy, and that was making him sick. “In addition, my daughter (15) has rare condition, scleroderma, and

    The Irish Times q
  • Postman sacked when An Post saw report on cocaine conviction

    An Post sacked a Dublin postman after finding out through a newspaper report that he had been convicted for cocaine dealing. In September 2011, recovering heroin addict Gregory Crowe (42), of Woodview Heights, Lucan received a suspended nine-month jail sentence after a Garda search of his home uncovered €2,500 of cocaine. An Post suspended Mr Crowe - employed with the company since 1999 - after coming across the newspaper report on his conviction for sale and supply of drugs at Blanchardstown District Court. A representative of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) sought clemency of behalf of Mr Crowe as he was a recovering heroin addict on a reducing amount of methadone who was coerced by his former drug dealer to hold the cocaine in payment for a former drug debt of €350 - a debt Mr Crowe had denied he owed.

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  • Donegal man ‘Skippy’ avoids prison for stabbing friend nine times

    A man, whose brother knifed three people in Germany before being killed while crossing a motorway, has been given a three-year suspended sentence after stabbing his friend nine times. Daniel ‘Skippy’ McLaughlin, from Carndonagh, Co Donegal, appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court after a frenzied knife attack during which he used a 10in knife on another man. His brother, Enda, made international headlines two years ago when he went on a knifing spree in Germany before being killed. The court heard that Daniel McLaughlin had suffered an appalling childhood, having been battered and bruised by his drunken mother. On one occasion, he was beaten while trying to feed a brother who was deliberately

    Irish Examiner q
  • Paul O’Connell? The guy is different gravy

    Paul O’Connell is not short of options in his retirement, writes Ronan O’Gara First things first. It’s neither “sad” nor “devastating” that Paul O’Connell has retired at 36. He’s had a remarkable rugby career on the pitch, and the second half is only getting started. If there’s anything, it’s surprise that he finally met an opponent he couldn’t get the better off. That’s a first. Their respective careers are alike in no other way than playing together at Munster, but recognising the difference between his own and Felix Jones’ premature retirement said as much as anyone needs to know about Paulie. Paul O’Connell doesn’t put himself on a global pedestal. He brings it all back home, as he always

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  • 94-year-old Auschwitz survivor testifies against guard

    A 94-year-old survivor of Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz death camp has testified in court, face to face with a former guard who is charged with helping in the murder of at least 170,000 people. Leon Schwarzbaum, who lost 35 family members during the Holocaust, calmly recalled the camp’s horrors and when he had finished he directly addressed the accused, Reinhold Hanning, also 94, on the first day of his trial. “I want to know why millions of Jews were killed and here we both are,” Mr Schwarzbaum said, his voice beginning to tremble. “Soon we will both stand in front of the highest judge. Tell everyone here what happened, the way I’ve done just now.” Mr Hanning avoided eye contact throughout, showing

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  • Declan Kiberd interview: ‘The political elites are much less literate now’

    In the mid-nineties, I undertook an MA thesis on Edna O’Brien. At the time, O’Brien had not exactly been embraced by the academy; critical writing available then included an essay from 1967, a biography from 1974 and a Paris Review interview from 1985. Declan Kiberd’s Inventing Ireland only came to my attention a few years later, but it had a refreshing attitude: O’Brien was “...arguably the writer who made many of the subsequent advances in Irishwomen’s writing possible”. In a paragraph, O’Brien had been afforded her rightful place in literary criticism. When Kiberd’s Ulysses and Us was published, I was at the top of the queue. It turned out to be another gem. It was some time later before I

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  • Sympathy for Anthony Cunningham but Kilkenny boss Brian Cody won’t be drawn on Galway heave

    Brian Cody has expressed his sympathy for departed Galway manager Anthony Cunningham from a “personal point of view”, though the Kilkenny boss stressed he knew nothing about the reasons for the Galway hurlers wanting Cunningham to step down. “I am not going to get involved in that because obviously I am not privy to what went on. Whatever happened, happened. “I suppose, from a personal point of view, it was bound to be a tough time for Anthony Cunningham and his management team and we have come up against them a few times and certainly it would be tough, and you’d always have a bit of sympathy for him, but as regards the whys and the wherefores, I don’t know anything about that.” The Kilkenny

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  • Drumm drops US extradition battle, will return to face charges

    Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has thrown in the towel on his fight against extradition from the United States. The Dubliner has decided to abandon his challenge against being sent back to Ireland and to return home to fight charges against him. The 49-year-old former banker was walked by US Marshals into Courtroom 17 in the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse on Boston’s seafront, with his hands cuffed behind his back and wearing white trainers, ankle shackles and what appeared to be green prison scrubs. He nodded to his lawyer Daniel Fetterman, his only attorney in court, as the cuffs were removed. Unlike previous court appearances, family members, friends and supporters were

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  • Leaders’ debate: Kenny warns against going back to Fianna Fáil

    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the country cannot risk going back to the party who wrecked the economy or to parties who could risk in the future. Speaking during TV3’s leader debate, Mr Kenny said the electorate faces one question on election day and that is who can it trust to run the country. Tanaiste Joan Burton said Labour was central to providing a balanced and stable Government. She insisted the plan by the coalition government is working and the country cannot take a gamble on an uncertain future. Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin said the current Government cannot keep going the way it is. He said the coalition has stumbled from crisis to crisis and the electorate does not have to accept

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  • Annie Power poised to return

    Annie Power could make her eagerly-awaited return to action next week after starring among the entries for Wednesday’s punchestown.com Mares Hurdle. Willie Mullins’ brilliant mare was set to seal a memorable afternoon for the all-conquering champion trainer in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle on the opening day of last year’s Cheltenham Festival, only to suffer a now-infamous fall at the final flight. She has not been seen in competitive action since bouncing back to winning ways at Punchestown last May and Mullins’ son and assistant, Patrick, suggested on Thursday morning that time may be running out for her to have another run before returning to Prestbury Park next month. However, she is one of 10 possible

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  • Irish Distillers names Jean-Christophe Coutures new CEO as Jameson sales rise

    Anna Malmhake is to leave her post as head of Irish Distillers as part of a significant management shake-up at parent group Pernod Ricard. The Swede has headed Pernod Ricard’s Irish operations for the past four and a half years but will now take on the lead role at the Absolut Company which is also owned by the French drinks giant. Ms Malmhake, who served as global brand director and then marketing director at Absolut between 2007 and 2011, will be replaced in Dublin by Jean-Christophe Coutures. He joins Irish Distillers from Pernod Ricard Winemakers. At Absolut, Ms Malmhake will be replacing Irishman Paul Duffy, who will take up the role of chairman and chief executive of Pernod Ricard north

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  • Wife and father-in-law plead not guilty to killing Jason Corbett murder

    Molly Martens and her father have pleaded not guilty to killing her husband, Limerick native Jason Corbett, last summer. The 32-year-old and her 65-year-old father Thomas Martens — a retired FBI agent — appeared in the Davidson County Superior Court in North Carolina on Wednesday. Currently on bail, the father and daughter face charges of second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter in relation to the death of Mr Corbett, 39. The Limerick man was found dead in the master bedroom of the home he shared with his wife in Panther Creek, Wallburg, in North Carolina. Assistant district attorney Greg Brown told the court that he hoped to prosecute the case this year and described the crime as “especially

    Irish Examiner q
  • Homeless man died from brain injury from fall after assault

    A 37-year-old homeless French man died from traumatic brain injury due to a fall after an assault in Cork city centre last year, an inquest into the man’s death was told on Thursday. Vincent Morgain died from traumatic brain injury following a fall with complications caused by liver disease and low platelets, assistant state pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster told the inquest. Det Insp Declan O’Sullivan told Cork City Coroner’s Court criminal proceedings had begun in the case and he applied to have the inquest adjourned until they concluded. Cork City Coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane granted the application under Section 25 of the Coroner’s Act and adjourned the inquest into Mr Morgain’s death until April

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