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  • Green bins and recycling

    Sir, – With reference to “Bin bills to fall with weight charges” (February 1st), it amazes me why we have wheelie bins at all. Why does Ireland have these refuse-collecting monsters on our streets when most of our European neighbours have large bins in central areas for refuse and recyclables? Green bins are particularly vulnerable to being blown over on windy days, thereby spreading litter. Wheelie bins are a blight on collection days and a problem for disabled people. They are a permanent eyesore in terraced properties, where bins have to be left in front gardens. Are we right and our European neighbours wrong? I don’t think so. – Yours, etc, VICTOR LEVINGSTONE, Sandymount, Dublin 4.

    The Irish Times q
  • Transatlantic jet issues distress call over Ireland

    The crew of a transatlantic jet issued a radio distress call over Ireland yesterday and told controllers they wished to turn around and return to London. Air Canada flight AC-851 left London’s Heathrow at 1.43pm bound for Calgary in Canada. The Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner was crossing over Ireland around 2.20pm when the crew informed air traffic controllers of their issue. The crew had been in contact with controllers at the Irish Aviation Authority’s North Atlantic Communications Centre at Ballygirreen at the time. The pilot issued a Pan Pan distress call, which is not as serious as a May Day alert, and reported they had detected a “smell” in the cabin. The crew told controllers cabin crew could

    Irish Examiner q
  • New Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll brings bad news for Coalition

    The first opinion poll of the general election campaign has brought disappointing news for the Coalition parties with Fine Gael losing ground and Labour remaining static. The results of the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll show Fine Gael down two points since the last poll at the end of November. The combined vote of the Coalition parties is well below the level required to be sure of winning a second successive term in office when voters go to the polls on Friday, February 26th. The date for the general election was confirmed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Twitter after he told TDs he was asking President Michael D Higgins to dissolve the Dáil. The new Dáil is due to meet on Thursday, March 10th.

    The Irish Times q
  • Driving licence issue has ‘catastrophic consequences' for lorry drivers

    A DRIVING instructor has warned of potentially "catastrophic consequences" from an error in awarding licences to lorry drivers who have taken their driving tests in automatic vehicles. Lawrence Deehan, an instructor in Limavady, said advice issued in 2013 from the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) said that candidates could sit the test in an automatic - provided it also possesses a manual gear system - and be cleared to drive either vehicle. However while the body governing Britain has applied the amended legislation, the DVA in Northern Ireland appears to have omitted the manual entitlement from licences meaning some drivers who passed in automatic vehicles, but who are driving manual, could be breaking

    irishnews.com q
  • Rats found in Tesco delivery crate and in restaurant

    Rats have temporarily closed a restaurant, and prompted an apology from the UK’s biggest grocer following separate incidents involving the rodents. Beckie Richardson, 19, from Essex, started hyperventilating and collapsed when she found a live rat inside a crate containing her online shopping order from Tesco, according to her mother Sue Richardson. Mrs Richardson, who was also unloading the crates and rushed to help her daughter, told ITV News: “As Beckie lifted one of [the crates] I heard an almighty crash and she was on the floor. A Tesco spokesman said: “We take the cleanliness of our stores and delivery vehicles extremely seriously so were concerned to hear of the issue at our Romford Gallows Corner store.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Man’s voice box ‘unnecessarily removed’

    A 63-year-old truck driver who had his voice box unnecessarily removed in a 14-hour operation at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, has sued the HSE for damages. Father of four and grandfather Kevin McMahon the High Court heard now has no natural voice and can only speak through an artificial voice box. His counsel Liam Reidy said when he was first at the hospital in 2010, Mr McMahon had a throat lesion which was at the first level of cancer and targeted radiotherapy would have cured him. The operation to remove Mr McMahon’s voice box in January 2011, counsel said, was completely over the top and too radical. Experts on the McMahon side would say the cancer which by January 2011 had

    Irish Examiner q
  • Theories abound on disappearance of Lord Lucan

    Lord Lucan’s disappearance after his family’s nanny was found bludgeoned to death more than four decades ago continues to baffle detectives and historians. The seventh earl of Lucan disappeared after the body of Sandra Rivett, nanny to his three children, was found at the family home at 46 Lower Belgrave St in central London on November 7, 1974. Here are some of the countless theories about what became of the aristocrat: His wife said at the time of the incident that her husband admitted committing the crime and had said it was a mistake. It has also been reported that she believes he jumped to his death off a ferry leaving Newhaven, East Sussex. The first reported sightings of him occurred soon

    Irish Examiner q
  • Enda Kenny aims to bore us into voting for him

    Like a war bride waving her husband off to battle, Tánaiste Joan Burton waved Enda Kenny off from the steps of Government Buildings yesterday. “This is not the end,” he said as they shook hands awkwardly in front of the assembled media. Joan and Enda have endured, rather enjoyed their working relationship, with the body language suggesting yesterday the two could barely tolerate being in each other’s company. Enda, having finally decided to end the 31st Dáil, got in his BMW and went off to the Áras, leaving a forlorn looking Joan behind to address the media. Earlier on, Enda had annoyed the Opposition by making his swift announcement to the Dáil and leaving before they got a chance to respond.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Scientists extend lifespan of mice by 35%

    Elixir of youth treatments that prevent ageing could be in prospect after an extraordinary experiment in which the lifespan of mice was extended by up to 35%. The secret is simply to remove worn-out “senescent” cells that accumulate with age and have a destructive effect on the body, scientists found. When this was done using a drug to activate a “suicide gene” in genetically modified mice, the effects were dramatic. Treated animals not only lived 25% to 35% longer, but in many respects they were healthier too. The mice were more active and their hearts and kidneys functioned better than mice left to age naturally. Their body tissues and organs also bore less evidence of damaging inflammation,

    Irish Examiner q
  • German lab takes further step closer to nuclear fusion

    Scientists in Germany flipped the switch on an experiment they hope will advance the quest for nuclear fusion, considered a clean and safe form of nuclear power. Following nine years of construction and testing, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald injected a tiny amount of hydrogen into a doughnut-shaped device — then zapped it with the equivalent of 6,000 microwave ovens. The resulting super-hot gas, known as plasma, lasted just a fraction of a second before cooling down again, long enough for scientists to declare the start of their experiment a success. “Everything went well today,” said Robert Wolf, a senior scientist on the project. “With a system as

    Irish Examiner q
  • Old British navy buildings on Haulbowline to house hi-tech companies

    The Government is to invest nearly €4m stabilising three architecturally-stunning old buildings in Cork harbour which are planned to eventually become home to high-tech spinoff companies created by Irish Maritime Energy Research Cluster and the UCC-run Beaufort research centre. Labour TD Sean Sherlock confirmed the Government has set aside of €3.7m to stabilise and weather-proof the three buildings on Haulbowline Island for future use for emerging technology. The four-storey stone-cut buildings, which are on the site of the former Irish Steel/Irish Ispat plant, were built by the British Navy. Mr Sherlock said that after stabilising them it is hoped to refurbish their interiors and make them home to marine-based research companies which have been nurtured in the Maritime Energy Research Cluster /Beaufort centres.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Six ways to enjoy the wild freedom of being free and single this Valentine's Day

    Single and dreading Valentine’s Day? Don’t. There are plenty of positives about being single. It’s a great time to focus on you and what makes you happy, says Abi Jackson SOMETIMES when you’re single, it can seem the whole world wants to remind you what you’re missing out on. That’s why Valentine’s Day was invented, right - to rub salt in the sorry wounds of singles and to undermine their lack of plus one status? So while there may not be a soppy card and chocs waiting for you this February 14 - there could be a big bouquet of joy out there, if you go looking for it. The catch is: you’ll need to find it yourself. You need to get out there and invest in yourself. It’s not a question of single

    Irish Examiner q
  • Eamonn McCann: Harris County grand jury delivers big bang for US abortion activists

    Until just last week, the only thing many of us knew about Harris County is that it is located in east Texas, where Sheldon Cooper comes from. Sheldon is the theoretical physics genius and social misfit whose innocent awkwardness provides much of the humour in The Big Bang Theory – now faltering a little in its ninth season, perhaps, but still the funniest programme on television. Sheldon had been forced by the faculty to abandon his work on string theory and investigate dark matter instead. He can find nobody to buy his unwanted string theory books, and is shocked to the core when fellow-physicist Leonard suggests he burn them. “Burn books?” Sheldon expostulates. “Never. The smell of burning

    The Irish Times q
  • Councillor claims he faces being bankrupt

    A county councillor has told a court he is facing bankruptcy as a result of failed business dealings. He said he doesn’t have any money to pay compensation to a woman he drove over 16 years ago. John O’Donnell featured in the recent RTÉ Investigates programme allegedly asking for payment for assistance with a windfarm application — a claim he denies. Mr O’Donnell’s finances were laid bare in a remarkable hearing at Letterkenny District Civil Court yesterday at which he admitted having millions of euro in debts. Petra Kucklick, a German native from Mill Cottage, Rooskey, Creeslough, is suing Mr O’Donnell for an outstanding €33,000 debt from a personal injury claim. The court heard that he had

    Irish Examiner q
  • Your mam and dad will go to jail, judge warns truant teens

    A judge warned two teenagers that their parents will be going to jail unless they start attending school. In one case at Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan told a 14-year old schoolgirl with an absenteeism rate of 78% that if she doesn’t start attending school “your mam and dad will go to jail”. In the second case where a 13-year-old boy has a 90% rate of absenteeism, Judge Durcan told the boy that he was playing ‘pookey’ with the court. Judge Durcan told the teenager: “Be clear on this, young man, if you don’t perform, unfortunately your mother will have to go away.” In the case concerning the 14-year-old girl, the court heard that she had an absentee rate of 78% in the school year to

    Irish Examiner q
  • Neil Prendeville regains crown as king of mid-morning radio

    Almost two years after he joined Red FM, Neil Prendeville has now recovered his crown as the Cork’s most listened-to mid-morning presenter in Cork from his former employer 96FM. The latest 12-month Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) figures released yesterday showed Neil Prendeville had an audience of 68,000 compared to 66,000 for PJ Coogan’s show on 96FM. “I feel very blessed to have listeners who continue to support me in such huge numbers. At this stage, we are just like one big family and like every other family, our dynamics continue to change all the time, while our family gets bigger,” he said. Elsewhere, yesterday’s results were especially good for RTÉ Radio 1 which had year-on-year

    Irish Examiner q
  • Expensive, testing campaign likely in ‘Group of Death’ in Dublin Bay North

    Stretching from parts of Drumcondra to Howth, it will be a testing and expensive campaign for all candidates, especially since the two former constituencies of Dublin North-East and Dublin North-Central merged to form this new giant five-seater. Overcrowding in Beaumont Hospital’s A&E, criminal activity and burglaries, fixing the economy and jobs for young adults are among some of the top concerns for this mammoth constituency. Richard Bruton, despite the ignominy of not winning the local Fine Gael selection convention, should have little trouble retaining his seat. Naoise Ó Muirí, who polled almost 5,000 first preferences alongside Bruton in the last general election, might be best placed for

    Irish Examiner q
  • Donations for boy going blind humble parents

    Two anonymous donations of €2,500 each were among hundreds of pledges to a fundraising page, after a young boy’s wish to see famous sites before he goes blind touched the hearts of a nation. Eight-year old Daniel Haslam’s appeal was highlighted in the media and stirred the emotions of hundreds of people, who trebled the tally within three hours. The family, from Ratoath, Co Meath, were hoping to raise €5,000 to help Daniel complete his “bucket list” of places he wants to see. Donations had exceeded €13,715 by 6pm last night. Daniel, who has autism, was diagnosed with optical atrophy early last month, after his mum, Carol, queried why his prescription for glasses was getting stronger every six

    Irish Examiner q
  • Irish vet’s glasses turn up 2 years after being lost in cow’s belly

    Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick has revealed the incredible moment a slaughterhouse returned his missing specs two years after he left them inside a cow’s belly. The Laois-born veterinarian surgeon said he searched everywhere for the glasses after he mislaid them during one of his earliest caesarean sections as a young practitioner in Ireland. “I have accidentally left my glasses inside a cow. My first year in practice I was doing a cow caesarean. We were looking for my glasses after stitching up the cow [and] couldn’t find them anywhere,” he said. “Two years later, the butcher brought those glasses back to my dad. Unbelievable. Never caused the cow any problem whatsoever.” The surgeon and professor

    Irish Examiner q
  • Six Nations: O’Donnell waiting in wings to replace O’Brien

    Seán O’Brien has emerged as a significant doubt for Ireland’s opening defence of their RBS Six Nations title against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. The 28-year-old Lions flanker was forced to sit out training yesterday with a hamstring injury and it is understood that the Ireland management are awaiting the results of a scan on the injury. “Other players have these things and we have to just manage him and he doesn’t have to train again until Friday,” said Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby. “We are pretty comfortable with the amount of work he has done in the early part of this week and last week to feel that we could manage his tightness.” Were O’Brien ruled out the likelihood is that Tommy

    The Irish Times q