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  • Staff needed at Dept. of Social Protection to assess benefits

    The Department of Social Protection has said it will launch a recruitment drive for medical assessors next year after a report by the State’s finance watchdog outlined how it struggled to hire and retain personnel in the roles. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s (C&AG) annual report outlined a rate of overpayment in some social welfare benefits that could be linked to a shortage of medical assessors, who could deem whether a recipient of the money had become ‘medically ineligible’ or not. It had also highlighted potential levels of overpayment of close to €2m a week for illness benefit and the invalidity pension. A spokesperson for the department said: “A further recruitment competition will be held in 2016.

    Irish Examiner q
  • ‘I don’t have a single piece of reliable information about who I am’

    Terri Heron had been married for more than a decade and had no children when one day she got talking to a priest at a bus stop in Terenure, Dublin. In May 1965, baby Eileen was delivered to the Herons’ home in Churchtown, along with a falsified birth certificate and a baptism certificate from St Andrew’s church, Westland Row, both passing off her adoptive parents as her birth parents. It was unlawful but not unusual, says Eileen, 50 years later. “For the past 25 years I have been chipping away, trying to find some little thread that might connect me with my birth family.” While she celebrates April 22nd as her birthday, she has had to face up to the fact that “I actually don’t have a single piece of reliable information about who I am”.

    The Irish Times q
  • Irish citizens can now apply for new passport cards

    DUBLIN, Ireland - Applications for Ireland's new passport card are now being accepted online. The new innovative card will allow Irish citizens to travel within all 30 countries of the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA). Adult citizens who already have a valid Irish passport book are eligible to apply for the card, which is designed to fit readily into any wallet or purse. "The introduction of the passport card is a significant innovation that will enhance the travel experience for Irish people as they go on holidays or business trips to thirty countries throughout Europe," Foreign fairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said Monday. "Citizens who apply will need to have a valid passport

    Big News q
  • WATCH: Roy Keane nails the crossbar challenge during Ireland training

    Roy Keane may have hung up his boots a good while ago now, but he proved today he’s still got the touch. The Republic of Ireland assistant manager was at training with the Irish team at the National Sports Campus, as the squad prepare for their crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers later this week. Some of them were warming up with a few tries at the Crossbar Challenge, and Keano showed his class by nailing it first time. With thanks to the National Sports Campus Facebook page for the video. He even got the ball back to his feet! Form is temporary, etc etc.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Disposable income: ‘There never seems to be anything left’

    Bernadette Ní Ógáin divorced in 2009 and lives with her adult daughter in Co Wicklow. She has a household income of just over €2,000 a month. Her mortgage sets her back €362, and she spends €300 a month on groceries. A further €80 covers the cost of weekly out-of-home lunches and takeaway coffees. She is a member of a tennis club which costs €35 a month, while golf club membership costs another €88. Her bin charges set her back €10 a month, while her car tax costs €29 and her car insurance comes in at €38. Her home insurance is €25 a month and her health insurance costs €119. A monthly subscription to Sky television is €66 and the monthly cost of a boiler service is €13. The cost of gas is €45

    The Irish Times q
  • England coaches under investigation over half-time tunnel incident

    England are being investigated for an alleged breach of protocol in communications with matchday officials during Saturday’s 33-13 defeat to Australia, World Rugby has announced. A report in Australia states that two members of the coaching team approached match officials in the tunnel at Twickenham at half-time. The loss to the Wallabies meant the hosts were dumped out of the tournament with one pool match still to play. “World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials during the match between England and Australia,” a World Rugby Statement read. England trailed 17-3

    The Irish Times q
  • Man ‘obsessed’ by woman told not to contact her

    A 22-year-old farm worker who became “obsessed” with a 43-year-old married woman has been warned by a judge not to contact her. Conor Haugh of Killballyowen, Cross, Co Clare, pleaded guilty last July to harassing the woman between February last year and January 5th this year. He spent a number of months on remand in custody for the offence before being released on bail in July pending sentence, under strict conditions, including that he make no contact with the victim. At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, the State applied for his bail to be revoked and for him to be remanded in custody after he sent two text messages last month to the woman. Counsel for the State, Stephen Coughlan, described Haugh

    The Irish Times q
  • ‘Sexton is the Ibrahimovic of rugby’

    THE French are fascinated by Jonathan Sexton. They don’t quite know what to make of him, this driven fly-half with the same burning intensity as Jonny Wilkinson. However, whereas the French fell in love with the English fly-half during his five years at Toulon, for Sexton they felt nothing other than cool respect in the two seasons he spent with Racing 92. Wilkinson learned the language and tolerated the cultural differences but Sexton never made any secret of the fact he was in France for professional reasons. He was homesick for long periods and didn’t care who knew it, and the man who bore the brunt of his discomfort was Racing backs coach Laurent Labit. Midi Olympique profiled Sexton in its

    Irish Examiner q
  • Plan to use Sky, UPC data to collect licence to be rejected

    The Government is set to reject a proposal to use the customer databases of cable and satellite providers Sky and UPC to track down television licence fee evaders in a move that would have boosted RTÉ’s revenue from the licensing system. Sources said the proposal to allow An Post, which is responsible for administering the licence fee, to have access to Sky and UPC records has fallen out of favour at senior levels of Government. Earlier this year, Minister for Communications Alex White announced he intended to draft legislation allowing for such a measure to allow for improved collection of the licence fee. He said the legislation would help tackle evasion of the €160 fee, which costs €25 million

    The Irish Times q
  • Medieval castle in Carrickmines ‘overgrown and vandalised’

    A conservation plan for the Carrickmines Castle archaeological site in south Dublin has described it as overgrown, vandalised and suffering as a consequence of antisocial behaviour. The plan, prepared by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on foot of a directive from the Department of the Environment, has been published in draft form, for public comment, on the council’s website. It notes that archaeologists who directed excavations considered the site as “among the most important medieval rural excavations ever to take place on the island of Ireland” . The site came to prominence during preparations for the M50 motorway, when excavations revealed the remains were more extensive than previously

    The Irish Times q
  • Chronic pain: how to hit it where it hurts

    Chronic pain is when your pain persists for longer than six months, in spite of the original injury having healed. The condition has been shown to affect 35 per cent of Irish adults and it often has a significant impact on many areas of life including relationships, sleep, work and hobbies. The cost of treating persistent pain is estimated to exceed the combined costs of treating both cancer and diabetes. With healthcare costs rising, and an ageing population, there is a strong need for evidence-based, cost-effective methods of treating chronic pain. Why do some people develop persistent pain? What types of treatment are available ? for chronic pain, including medication, injections and manual

    The Irish Times q
  • American Airlines flight diverted in dying pilot emergency

    An American Airlines flight to Boston has made an emergency landing in New York after the captain became ill and later died. Flight 550, which left Phoenix, Arizona, at 11.55pm local time and was diverted mid-flight, landing shortly after 7am New York time (noon GMT). Airline spokeswomen Andrea Huguely said said after the flight’s captain was stricken, the first officer landed the plane, with 147 passengers and five crew members on board, safely. “We are incredibly saddened by this event, and we are focused on caring for our pilot’s family and colleagues,” the airline said. Details of the medical emergency and the identity of the pilot were not immediately released, nor was it clear when the q
  • Get tax back when making home improvements

    LAST month Revenue announced an extension of the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI), due to finish at the end of this year, until December 31, 2016. This scheme, introduced in 2013, is the government’s way of encouraging people to use tax compliant contractors, rather than pay cash into the black economy, as many did in the height of the recession. The minimum spend to qualify for the scheme is €5,000 (incl VAT) which would entitle the homeowner to a tax credit of €595. The maximum tax credit available is €4,050, which equates to a spend of €30,000. You can spend more than this, but you won’t get the VAT refunded beyond that amount. The government believe the scheme has worked as intended, saying

    Irish Examiner q
  • Hozier: I won’t be suing Chilly Gonzales as he’s apologised

    A POTENTIAL PLAGIARISM dispute between Hozier and Canadian artist Chilly Gonzales has been cleared up this evening following separate statements from the two musicians. The discussion focused around comments made by Gonzales last week, when he suggested Hozier’s Take Me To Church hit resembled that of fellow Canadian artist Feist, and specifically her song How Come You Never Go There? There were then reports over the last 24 hours that Hozier and his management team would be seeking legal action over the claim. Source: Facebook But the matter has been cleared up this evening, with Gonzales releasing a statement on his Facebook page retracting his original comments: It read: I would like to fully

    The Daily Edge q
  • McGregor says he’s negotiating a “100 million-plus” contract with the UFC

    UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor. CONOR McGREGOR IS confident that his next contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be worth nine figures. Speaking to Ariel Helwani this evening on The MMA Hour, the UFC interim featherweight champion mentioned a “nine-figure contract which is en route”. McGregor then elaborated, claiming that he’s currently negotiating with the organisation and believes his next contract should earn him over $100million. “Now the contract I’m talking is nine figures,” said McGregor. “Nine figures, I’m talking. Nobody in the game has talked nine figures. That’s 100 million-plus. That’s my contract. That’s where I’m at and I’ve done it the way I’ve

    The42 q
  • VIDEO: Garda warning to parents as teen quizzed about shop fire

    Gardaí have issued a strong warning to parents to be aware of what their teenagers are doing at night after questioning a 15-year-old boy about a fire which gutted a shop in a Cork suburb over the weekend. They said more arrests are expected over the coming days arising out of the fire at Broadale Stores, near Douglas, on the southside of the city on Saturday night. It is believed bins outside the shop were set alight, with the flames spreading to the shop and quickly taking hold. Four units of the fire brigade, including three from Cork City and one from Carrigaline, fought the blaze. Several neighbouring retail units were evacuated, amid concerns that the blaze could spread to gas cylinders

    Irish Examiner q
  • My Health Experience: Life after lymphoma: After I won the Rose of Tralee, I stayed in my pyjamas and ate pizza

    The night of my debs was the first time I felt a lump. The hairdresser noticed it. She said, “You have a little gland up there,” but I hadn’t been aware of it. I suppose when it’s on your own body you think it’s part of the furniture. That was August 2011. When I went back to repeat my Leaving Cert in September I was getting worked up and stressed about things, which wasn’t like me at all. I take life in my stride and I’m quite happy-go-lucky. But I wasn’t being happy-go-lucky at all that year. I was tested for glandular fever and all my bloods and ultrasound came back normal. But the day I walked out of my HPat with my friends, my mum said that whatever way she looked at me, she knew something

    The Irish Times q
  • The BBC tried to find out if Britain was racist by offering people doughnuts and it didn't go down well on Twitter

    It’s something we all find ourselves pondering now and again, when we see a weird old school friend preaching about immigration on Facebook or read about a mosque getting set on fire. Is Britain Racist? BBC Three attempted to answer the question in an hour long documentary (conveniently titled Is Britain Racist), using a series of scientific (and not so scientific) experiments. One experiment involved people of different ethnicities and wearing different religious garments giving out doughnuts. The three participants were Deji, a black man, Richard, who’s Jew and Hanna, a Muslim who wore both a niqab and a hijab for the experiment. Naturally, Twitter didn’t take well to this distinctly un-scientific q
  • Why is marriage still so popular?

    Sir, – I enjoyed Donald Clarke’s take on why marriage remains so popular (Opinion & Analysis, October 3rd). It reminded me of the advice I received in California when I announced my engagement, many years ago: “Why not just select some woman at random and buy her a new house? That’s how it will end.” What a shame I didn’t listen. Indeed, if I had waited until recent legislation was passed, I might have even considered the other 50 per cent of the population for that lottery too. – Yours, etc, ULTAN Ó BROIN, Redwood City, California.

    The Irish Times q
  • All of the very best (and worst) glitzy looks from the Inside Soap Awards red carpet

    London has played host to the Inside Soap Awards, welcoming a whole host of sparkling TV stars down the red carpet. All the action took place at the West End’s DSTRKT club, where the stars of Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks all struck a pose as they sauntered inside to enjoy the ceremony. Here are the fabulous (and not so fabulous) looks straight from the soap-tastic red carpet. Hollyoaks starlet Gemma Atkinson set the style bar pretty high with a jumpsuit, heels and a metallic clutch. A loose braided updo completed the look, and she opted for simple, girly make-up and a peachy lip. Natalie J Robb looked super cute in this lacy black number, with matching mini black patent handbag. q