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  • I would rather get cancer again than be a patient in the Irish mental health service

    I’m a doctor. I’ve had cancer and I’d rather get it again and take my chances than be diagnosed with schizophrenia, psychotic depression or bipolar disorder in this country. Seems extreme? Let me explain where I’m coming from. This week an Oireachtas debate took place about the possible diversion of ring-fenced funds from mental health care to other areas of the health service. Points were raised about hospital beds, emergency departments, surgical waiting lists - these things are all urgent. There was genuine concern and reasoned debate about how we should balance health priorities. We can’t balance health priorities unless we know what they mean. When we talk about mental health care, people

    The Irish Times q
  • Partner admits killing ‘EastEnders’ actress Sian Blake

    The partner of EastEnders actress Sian Blake has admitted killing her and their two children, his lawyer has said. Hairdresser Arthur Simpson-Kent (48) is charged with murdering his 43-year-old girlfriend and their sons Zachary (8) and Amon (4) between December 12th and December 16th last year. The victims vanished on December 13th and their bodies were found buried in the garden of the family home in Erith, Kent, on January 5th. The following month, Simpson-Kent was arrested at Heathrow Airport after agreeing to his extradition from Ghana. Simpson-Kent appeared via video link from Belmarsh prison before Mr Justice Singh at the Old Bailey. Dressed in a red T-shirt and dark trousers, the defendant

    The Irish Times q
  • Online system to cut Garda vetting time to five days

    Garda vetting for people applying to work with children or vulnerable people will be completed within days rather than weeks under a new “e-vetting” system which went live on Friday. The online system, which has been in development for two years, was formally launched following the commencement of new legislation on mandatory vetting this week. Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan said the legislation would reduce risk in society, both for individuals and for organisations working with them. He said that when the Garda Central Vetting Unit was established in 2005, there were about 1,500 vetting applications per year. Last year, there were more than 350,000, or 30,000 per month. The new system

    The Irish Times q
  • New HIV cases up 35%; 10 a day now diagnosed

    Ten new cases of HIV are diagnosed every day in this country. Figures from HIV Ireland show new cases have increased by 35% since 2011. A total of 498 people were diagnosed as living with HIV last year, compared with 372 in 2014. The charity said the rate of increase - which is described as a "spiralling crisis" - was alarming and needed urgent action. Executive director of HIV Ireland Niall Mulligan said: "One of the first actions of the new Government must be to address the HIV crisis in Ireland. "HIV Ireland has been working in the areas of prevention, testing, outreach and support for almost 30 years and we are alarmed at the relentless upward trend in HIV diagnoses." Some facts from HIV

    Irish Examiner q
  • Backstage: How the Late Late Show is made

    If you want to know what kind of Late Late Show it’s going to be, look at Ryan Tubridy’s tie. Last week we went behind the scenes at one of the world’s longest-running chatshows to see how they choose guests, plan interviews, and squeeze celebrity, tragedy and line-dancing into a single two-hour programme

    The Irish Times q
  • Marvel’s masterplan

    This may easily have passed you by, but Marvel’s latest big release Captain America: Civil War – in which the superheroes do super-squabbling – takes the Marvels Cinematic Universe into “Phase Three”. (Since you ask, Phase Two began with Iron Man 3.) Here’s a full rundown of what is still to come. DOCTOR STRANGE (November, 2016) Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the brainy wizard with the huge collar. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (May, 2017) Follow-up to the smash featuring hitherto less well-known intergalactic smartasses and their twig. SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING (July, 2017) Disney has clawed Spidey back from Sony and handed the costume to the likable Tom Holland. THOR: RAGNAROK (November, 2017) You have

    The Irish Times q
  • Where have the crowds gone? Simon Cowell may not be happy with the turnout at X Factor auditions

    The X Factor usually draws crowds of hopeful aspiring singers aiming to impress Simon Cowell and the rest of the talent show judges. But when the ITV show rolled in to Tyneside for open auditions, the turnout was distinctly unimpressive. Former X Factor winner Steve Brookstein, an outspoken critic of the show, tweeted a photo of somewhat empty pavement where the crowds should be. According to the Evening Chronicle, fewer than 100 people came through the doors at the Sage Gateshead in the first hour – compared with the thousands who queued round the block when the show was in town two years ago. But a spokesman from the X Factor told the Express that the number of hopefuls was “healthy”. “The

    Irish Examiner q
  • Marco Fu levels despite suffering ‘the worst thing in the world that can happen to a snooker player’

    Marco Fu lost his cue tip but not his nerve as he levelled his World Snooker Championship semi-final against Mark Selby at 8-8. Fu had started the afternoon trailing 5-3 but outplayed the world number one and was looking to take the lead in the 15th frame when the unthinkable happened. While chalking his cue and glancing at the table mid-break, Fu nudged the tip off and joined the Crucible crowd in shock as he realised what had happened. BBC television analysts Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis, owners of a combined 13 world titles, were equally surprised and suggested the incident could upset Fu’s progress in the best-of-33 encounter. But, after an interlude for running repairs, he showed no concerns

    Evening Echo q
  • More than 100 protesters arrested in clashes with French police

    Violence broke out between police and demonstrators in several French cities on Thursday at protests against planned labour law reforms, days before legislators begin debating the proposals. Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said more than 100 protesters had been detained country-wide and 24 police officers and military police injured. Protests took place in cities from Rennes in the north to Marseille on the Mediterranean coast. Some of the worst clashes were the fringes of demonstrations in Paris, where eight police officers were hurt, including one who Cazeneuve described as in a critical condition. “I call on the organisers of these demonstrations to condemn with the same firmness that

    The Irish Times q
  • Top Gear Culchie Slurry Shtyle

    "5 kilometres an hour there, and we're tipping away lads!" Everything you never knew you needed to know about spreading slurry. Tractor Master Ross Lonergan from Ballymacarbry in Waterford wanted to share his extensive knowledge to the world. So, he compiled a series of videos he made on Snapchat into this Top Gear style essential Facebook video. If Jeremy Clarkson wasn't talking shite, but spreading it then this might be what it looked it. "Don't be daft, cover the shaft."

    Today FM q
  • Paul Gilligan banned for six months by British Horseracing Authority

    Co Galway trainer Paul Gilligan has been banned by the British Horseracing Authority for six months for winning a race at Uttoxeter in 2014 with a horse who had previously run at an unrecognised “flapper” meeting in Ireland. The BHA decided after an investigation that Dubai Phantom, who won the Uttoxeter race, and Ayres Rock who won at the famous Dingle pony races in 2013, were the same horse. They found Gilligan guilty at a hearing last month and sentenced him on Friday. Gilligan is licensed by the Turf Club which has said it will await the time period for any appeal lodgement to expire, or until an appeal has been heard, before acting. However any UK ban is likely to be reciprocated in Ireland.

    The Irish Times q
  • FF and FG reach agreement on minority government deal

    Support from several independents TDs key to deal Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have this evening reached an agreement on a deal to facilitate the formation of a minority government led by Enda Kenny and his party. Nine weeks to the day since the general election, negotiating teams from both parties have reached an agreement that will allow Fine Gael to form a minority government provided it can secure support from several independent TDs. After the parties agreed earlier this week to the suspension water charges for up to nine months, differences over several issues including homelessness and rent supplement have been worked out in the final hours of negotiations. But the details of the agreement, q
  • Claudio Ranieri asks Leicester for a Hollywood ending to season

    Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri admits his side are on the brink of history and urged his players to pen a Hollywood ending. Ranieri’s side will win the Premier League with victory at Manchester United on Sunday. Leicester are seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham and need three points from their final three games to clinch a first top-flight crown. The Foxes could lose at Old Trafford and still be crowned champions before next weekend’s home game with Everton should Spurs lose at Chelsea on Monday night.

    The Irish Times q
  • Boom: The Queen helps Prince Harry taunt Barack and Michelle Obama over Invictus Games

    There’s sporting rivalry and then there’s this. Prince Harry is obviously front and centre of Invictus Games promotion but in this video he’s managed to get his grandmother, y’know THE QUEEN, to help him out. The video starts with Harry showing a brochure about the games to Her Majesty. But the conversation is interrupted by Harry getting a text message from Michelle Obama. Obviously she’s saved in Harry’s phone as F.L.O.T.U.S. Cue a video message from Michelle with her husband US president Barack Obama. “Hey, Prince Harry,” says Michelle. “Remember when you told us to ‘bring it’ at the Invictus Games?” The president then cuts in: “Be careful what you wish for.” As he points to the camera. The

    Evening Echo q
  • UN condemns ‘monstrous disregard’ for lives in Syria

    Syria declared brief local truces near Damascus and in one province on Friday but made no mention of halting combat on the main battlefield in Aleppo, after a surge in fighting the United Nations said showed “monstrous disregard” for civilian lives. The statement made no mention, however, of the city of Aleppo, scene of the worst violence, which is divided between rebel-held and government areas. Russian news agencies quoted an opposition figure saying the new truce would also apply to Aleppo, but there was no separate confirmation of this. The Syrian military statement gave no details of the meaning of the term “regime of calm”, but Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted the officer in charge of a Russian ceasefire monitoring centre as saying it meant all military action would cease.

    The Irish Times q
  • Elderly couple critically injured in Tipperary crash

    An elderly couple have been critically injured in a road crash near Roscrea, Co Tipperary. The man and woman, who are from Tallaght, Dublin, were travelling in a car which was involved in a head-on collision with a van around 5.30pm. The Old N7 remains closed in both directions between Roscrea and Dunkerrin following the collision. The couple were cut from the wreckage by emergency service personnel before been airlifted to hospital from the scene by the Shannon-based Coast Guard Rescue 115 Helicopter and the Athlone-based Air Corps Emergency Aeromedical Service AIRCORPS 112 helicopter. The man and woman who are aged in their 70s are being treated for multiple injuries at University Hospital

    Evening Echo q
  • This quality advert has finally brought us a team of Gary Breens

    If there’s one thing Ireland fans dream of, it’s a team of Gary Breens, writes Stephen Barry. Now that dream has come true, in an advert for a SPAR fan competition to send a Team of Gary Breens to France. We have previously brought up the general awfulness of football ads, so rare exceptions like Breen’s cameo stand out. In fact, the hit-and-miss nature of these promotions can be summed up in the advertising career of Jason McAteer. Here’s the bad… And here’s the absolutely brilliant… We bet Trigger is dreaming of a team of Gary Breens too.

    Evening Echo q
  • Scottish police appeal for help in locating missing woman with links to Northern Ireland

    POLICE in Scotland have appealed for help in locating missing woman Elizabeth Armour who has links to Northern Ireland. The 41-year-old from Edinburgh, who also goes under the surname Hughes, was reported missing on Monday. Ms Armour has links to Ballymena and police are investigating if she may have travelled to the north. Scottish police say it is out of character for Elizabeth to go missing and they are growing increasingly concerned for her welfare. "It has been several days since anyone saw or spoke to Elizabeth so we are keen to trace her as quickly as possible," a police spokesman said. "Although she is from Edinburgh and knows the city well we are keeping an open mind to the possibility q
  • Donal Skehan: BBQ street food sensations

    The perfect meal can be attributed to many factors that go beyond just good food. The location, the ambiance, even the decor can all be agonised over by those running even the finest of restaurants. But sometimes the best food experiences are enjoyed outside the confines of four walls. Street food has been a buzz for the past few years as many of us travelled abroad, returning home with experiences of inexpensive, authentic and mouthwatering meals enjoyed from expert vendors and pop-up restaurants perched on street corners. The idea of food trucks is, of course, intriguing when it comes to street food. Cheap eats from cooks who care. In theory it’s a brilliant concept, best-delivered in a sunny

    The Irish Times q
  • Girls steal the show as star mares shine on Punchestown Ladies' Day

    Two mares fittingly lit up Ladies’ Day at the Punchestown Festival as Vroum Vroum Mag and Jer’s Girl landed Grade One prizes against the boys. There was no denying Willie Mullins in the Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle, despite being shorn of the talents of Faugheen, Annie Power and Arctic Fire for the race. Vroum Vroum Mag, who despite winning at Cheltenham over hurdles has spent the best part of her career since joining Mullins over fences, showed tremendous qualities in seeing off Identity Thief. Ruby Walsh made it a real test, taking up the running early, and she won by a length and a quarter as the 4-6 favourite. Walsh said: “It just shows the strength in depth we are lucky enough to have.

    Evening Echo q