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  • Fintan O’Toole: Irish people do not get to elect a government

    When it comes to Irish elections, the bloody obvious is usually wrong. The most obvious thing about this election is that, on February 26th, the Irish people will go to the polls to choose a government. And it is simply not true. We don’t get to elect our government. We elect a parliament which in turn votes a government into office. Once we’ve cast our ballots we have absolutely no control over this process. So when we’re told over and over that we must think very carefully about which government we choose, it’s a big lie. If that’s what you think you’ll be doing on February 26th, you are suffering from delusions of grandeur. The honest reality is that none of us really knows what our elected

    The Irish Times q
  • Homeless man who shares €1.5m fund seeks part payment

    A homeless man, who shares a €1.5 million trust fund with his sister, is to ask a judge to make him a part payment of €4,500 to “keep a roof over his head” pending a trial to determine his full entitlement. Barrister Paul Howard told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court on Monday that she had earlier directed that €4,500 be paid to Declan Heffernan to provide him with shelter during the cold spell over Christmas and New Year. Mr Howard, who appeared for Mr Heffernan with solicitors CN Doherty and Co, said the earlier payment had been used to pay for hotel accommodation for him but that money had run out.

    The Irish Times q
  • Garda attacked by pit bull terrier awarded €207,000 damages

    A member of An Garda Síochána, who thought he would die when attacked by two pit bull terriers, has been awarded €207,526 damages against the State. High Court judge Mr Justice Bernard Barton said in a reserved judgment he was satisfied that Det Garda John Leahy suffered an exacerbation of a degenerative condition in his back and left hip which required surgery after the incident. The State claimed it accepted the incident may have exacerbated Det Garda Leahy’s back condition, but denied it was sufficient enough to require surgery. Det Garda Leahy (52) told a Garda Compensation hearing that in June 2008 he was a member of the Divisional Drug Unit in Galway and had been patrolling in a car with Garda Orla Keenan when they noticed two known drug users near Wolfe Tone Bridge.

    The Irish Times q
  • Think of Connolly’s words before you vote

    Now that the General Election date has been set, and those elected will shortly pay tribute to those Irish men and women who took part in the rebellion of 1916, I suggest people should consider the words of James Connolly when he said: “If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. “England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole army of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”

    Irish Examiner q
  • The Pirate Bay targets Netflix with new streaming plugin

    Following on from the success and demise of Popcorn Time, the torrenting site The Pirate Bay has now made it possible to stream torrents through your browser. The Pirate Bay, which is still very much frowned upon by most major content providers for illegally releasing their content through a myriad of mirror sites, is now offering a streaming alternative through a browser using a downloadable plugin. Whereas before a user would have had to wait for the entire file to download with hope that all peers would transit their packets consistently, this new streaming will allow for it to be played as the data comes in. When drawing a comparison with other services, it draws the most similarities with

    Silicon Republic q
  • Eddie Hutch snr shot dead in Dublin gangland killing

    Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald described as “deplorable and ruthless” the escalating gun violence that claimed the life of Dublin man Eddie Hutch snr on Monday night. The father and taxi driver, who was in his 50s, was the latest victim of a feud between a gang loyal to murdered criminal Gary Hutch and one led by international drugs trafficker Christy Kinahan. Eddie Hutch was gunned down despite additional armed Garda checkpoints and patrols put in place to quell the violence. Ms Fitzgerald took the unprecedented step of urging members of the gangs, who have launched fatal attacks on each other since Friday’s attack at Dublin’s Regency Hotel, to present themselves to the Garda if they feared for their safety.

    The Irish Times q
  • Galway gardai appeal for information on missing woman

    Gardaí in Galway have appealed for information on the whereabouts of a 35-year-old woman who was reported missing last week. Margaret (Mags) Berry, originally from Co Mayo, was last seen on February 3rd in Galway city. She is believed to have walked from Salthill to Renmore, and the last signal from her mobile phone was traced to Renmore that same evening. It is understood that she was due to meet a friend for a meal and failed to turn up. Gardai are not treating the case as suspicious at this stage, but are keeping an open mind, and have asked for the public’s assistance. Ms Berry is described as 160 cm (5 ft 3 ins) in height, of slim build and with a sallow skin and freckles on her face. She

    The Irish Times q
  • The man who stares at goats: How Gerry Adams conquered Twitter

    Gerry Adams is one of Ireland’s most controversial figures, yet is utterly endearing and idiosyncratic on Twitter. What’s his secret, asks Carl Miller Gerry Adams has just published a book. Within those covers, he offers his lucky readers a selection of his favourite tweets, sent by himself, over the last few years. Called My Little Book of Tweets, it is generating quite a bit of excitement. The Sinn Féin bookshop, where it is available for purchase, sums up what’s included: The tweets range from the ‘political to the personal’, but also include ‘rubber ducks and teddy bears’. Anyone who has glanced at Mr Adams’ Twitter feed will know that, at times, the content looks dramatically, almost madly

    Irish Examiner q
  • Rudy Giuliani blasts Beyonce’s half-time performance at Super Bowl 50

    Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani blasted Beyoncé’s half-time performance at Super Bowl 50 as “outrageous” due to its apparent allusions to the Black Lives Matter movement and black power imagery. “This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive,” Giuliani said on Fox & Friends. Beyoncé’s single, ‘Formation’, brims with cultural and political references to the struggles of the black community. The video for the track opens with Beyoncé crouching atop a New Orleans police cruiser, up to its tires in flood water. A young boy in a black hoodie —

    Irish Examiner q
  • Kerry driver guilty of crash perjury

    A woman twice testified in court that she was injured in a car crash in Cork despite the fact that she was probably 100km away in Kerry at the relevant time and yesterday she was sentenced for perjury. Remona O’Leary-Quilligan, of 35, Hazelwood Drive, Killarney, Co Kerry, gave evidence in Cork Circuit Court on October 12, 2011, that she was injured in a car crash in January 2009 involving her husband, from whom she since separated. Judge Séan Ó Donnabháin dismissed that claim in 2011. The dismissed case was appealed to the High Court where Mr Justice Eamon DeValera also dismissed the action in February 2012. Questioned by gardaí in April 2014 about the evidence she had given in the two court

    Irish Examiner q
  • Now you can explore Mars in all of its 360-degree glory

    NASA has released a short video that allows you to explore Mars in 360 degrees. Your Curiosity Rover-eye view, right to your computer or phone. The beauty of the internet largely lies in its community. If you need advice on something, tips on how to fix things or even ideas of where to go, the internet has all the answers. So too, it seems, when NASA posts interactives. A few days ago, NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Facebook account posted a short video, using a composite of some of the rover’s photography, that allows users to scroll around and view the Mars surface. It didn’t work perfectly, though. Luckily, YouTube user Daniel Holton got to work on a fix. “If you watched it, you may have noticed

    Silicon Republic q
  • Applications open for scholarship in engineer’s memory at UCC

    The team behind a special University College Cork scholarship set up in honour of an Irish energy engineer who died in a US yachting accident have encouraged people to apply for this year’s award. The first recipient of the Dr Elmer Morrissey Scholarship, Kevin Leahy, a UCC PhD student, said he used it to spend a year studying at the University of California, Berkeley. “The prestige of the scholarship greatly helped me in my application to the lab I hoped to work at, and the funding provided me with much needed help for the set up expenses of moving to the United States,” said Mr Leahy. “Since getting over here, I’ve tried to follow Elmer’s example and get involved with as many different groups

    Irish Examiner q
  • 'My friend powered her way across the Channel, through jellyfish and the dark'

    I met Bronagh Carey in an ordinary classroom in UCD in 2011 whilst we completed our Masters. Of course I didn’t realise at the time I had met the one of the most extraordinary people I will ever know. Back then, our friendship began by helping each other survive a stressful year. Bronagh’s career then took her to Heidelberg, while I stayed in Dublin. Like so many friends of our generation, we stayed in touch via Skype, and the distance fell away when we got together in Dublin or Heidelberg to grab coffee and browse book shops. Then in 2013, Bronagh told me that she had decided to swim the English Channel. Dover to Calais, whatever it took. What it took was intense training and sacrifice, steely

    The Irish Times q
  • Labour senator calls for Oireachtas dress code

    A Labour senator has called for an Oireachtas dress code to be introduced following the general election due to the “unprofessional” attire of some deputies. Senator Lorraine Higgins said it was “unacceptable that members of Dáil and Seanad Éireann would enter the chambers of our national parliament dressed in unsuitable attire”. “In 2011, the Oireachtas Committee on Procedures and Privileges drafted a proposal requesting TDs and Senators wear ‘appropriate business attire’ in their function as legislators. This has clearly not been heeded and a small cohort of deputies continue to dress in an unprofessional manner, unbefitting of our national parliament. “I am calling today on the Taoiseach and

    The Irish Times q
  • Nurse manager jailed for assault of Áras Attracta resident

    A clinical nurse manager has been jailed for his treatment of an Aras Attracta resident. Pat McLoughlin, aged 56, of Lalibela, Mayfield, Claremorris, Co Mayo, was one of five Aras Attracta staff who were convicted of assaulting residents with intellectual disabilities in their care at Ballina Court yesterday, but McLoughlin was the only one to be handed down a prison sentence. Covert CCTV footage showed the manager sitting on Ms A, a resident with severe intellectual disabilities. Handing down the sentence, Judge Mary Devins said there was a “hint of cruelty”, “an invasion of the lady’s bodily integrity”, and an “abuse of power” by the defendant. She sentenced him to four months in prison and

    Irish Examiner q
  • A chance missed: The Welsh press reaction to draw with Ireland

    “Compelling, Frustrating, Agonising...” is the message on the front of today’s Western Mail after Wales’ 16-16 draw with Ireland at Lansdowne Road yesterday. Despite being 13-0 down at one stage, Mail columnist and former Wales international Barry John called the result “frustrating”. “If we analyse the 80 minutes properly, we have to mark this down as a very average Welsh performance. It will be up to Gatland to interpret the many facets of play, some were good, some were indifferent,” he wrote. “The immediate reaction on the final whistle would have been one of ‘yeah, we will take that,’ followed straight away by a sense of frustration.” In the same newspaper Delme Parfitt says that the game

    The Irish Times q
  • Super Bowl advertisers play it safe in most costly ad slots

    Advertisers played it safe and light with the most expensive ever Super Bowl ad slots on Sunday, shunning previous years’ attempts to be outrageous, emotional or thought-provoking. Mountain Dew rolled out a creature made from a puppy, a monkey and a baby while Doritos had a fetus on ultrasound reaching for a chip, in two of the most unusual spots. The commercial which drew the most tweets was shown by Allstate Corp’s Esurance unit before the game, promising viewers a chance to win $250,000 if they tweeted. More than 2 million had done so as of late Sunday night. The low-risk approach may have been a reaction to last year, when Nationwide Mutual Insurance drew heat for featuring a dead boy speaking

    The Irish Times q
  • Microsoft goes underwater for a data centre solution

    Taking a page from Jules Verne, researchers at Microsoft believe the future of data centres may be under the sea. Microsoft has tested a prototype of a self-contained data centre that can operate hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean, eliminating one of the technology industry’s most expensive problems: the air conditioning bill. Today’s data centres, which power everything from streaming video to social networking and email, contain thousands of computer servers generating lots of heat. It may also answer the exponentially growing energy demands of the computing world because Microsoft is considering pairing the system either with a turbine or a tidal energy system to generate electricity.

    The Irish Times q
  • No skirting the school uniform debate

    What is the biggest annoyance for school students? Homework? Bullying? Having to go to school in the first place? In fact, according to the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union, uniforms top the grievance list. And when it comes to this issue, students might be displaying significantly more reason than some of their elders. Lucille O’Mahony (9) is a third-class pupil at Guardian Angels National School in Blackrock, Co Dublin. “Ever since I started school, I hated having to wear a skirt,” she says. “It’s not only harder to run around and play games in, but we’re also more likely to fall over and hurt ourselves. Boys never have to even think about this.” Lucille occasionally wears her tracksuit to

    The Irish Times q
  • Developer fails to regain possession of Dublin city site

    Developer Brian Cunningham has lost his High Court bid to regain possession of a site off Dublin’s Parnell Street from a company which was sold the property after his firm went into receivership. Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy, describing Mr Cunningham’s application as “entirely unmeritorious”, said no evidence had been provided to back up his claim the receiver did not achieve the best possible price for numbers 17, 18 and 19 Moore Lane which had been used as a car park. Mr Cunningham is director and holder of half the shares in Keelgrove Properties Ltd which went into receivership in December 2012. The other half of Keelgrove was owned by Treasury Holdings, which went into liquidation the previous October.

    The Irish Times q