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You were in bed with the banks The Dáil has had its

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first_imgYouTube: Hugh O’ConnellRead: “There was no sweetheart deal for Apple” in IrelandRead: Turf, arrears and everything else happening in Leinster House today TWO DAYS IN and already TDs are getting a bit tetchy if this afternoon’s debate on mortgage arrears is anything to go by.As Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen spoke on the party’s motion regarding the mortgage arrears crisis, the Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Dinny McGinley got a bit angry.“You have neck to come in here,” the Fine Gael Minister of State shouted at Cowen across the chamber, accusing Cowen of “claptrap”.“It’s no claptrap, it’s no claptrap! Read it!” Cowen shouted back before McGinley accused Cowen and Fianna Fáil of being “in bed with the banks”.Watch the heated exchange here:last_img

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Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

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first_imgPilecki’s mission was to allow himself to be arrested and, once inside Auschwitz, to collect intelligence for the Polish resistance in the country and the government-in-exile in London, and to organize a resistance from inside the camp. ”I think he knew, he realized what he was getting himself into.”2. Death of the American hoboAaron Lake Smith on the men and women still riding the tracks across the US, and his own formative years hopping freight trains. (Vice)The scenery along the tracks is completely different from that seen through the window of a speeding car—there are no gas stations, billboard advertisements, bars, sidewalks, or pedestrians. It is a world of disused lots and shadows cast from backyard floodlights, stray dogs howling, underpass bums drinking, concrete monoliths, and telephone poles engulfed by kudzu.3. The swingers’ guide to IslamAubrey Belford on the hill in the centre of Java where thousands of Muslims go to sleep with strangers in the name of religion. (Global Mail)“There used to be no water in the rooms. So if I was to have sex in one of the rooms, there’s no water, no handkerchief, so it depends on what you bring. If you bring a tissue, use a tissue,” Koentjoro recalls of the old days, before Wahyudi cuts in, cackling. “Bring a newspaper! Use a newspaper!” IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.1. The man who volunteered for AuschwitzDavid de Sola on the Polish underground activist who deliberately sent himself to the concentration camp. (Atlantic) 4. How much money do musicians make?Nitsuh Abebe on ‘indie-rock royalty’ Grizzly Bear – and the amount successful indie bands actually earn. (NYMag)Droste doesn’t expect a middle-class living, but he wouldn’t mind one. “I’d like to someday own a house, and be able to have children, and be able to put them through school, in an urban environment that one enjoys living in,” says Droste. “A lot of people do it.”5. The not-so-beautiful gamePatrick Symmes goes into the world of Argentinian football fandom – where rival fans sometimes kill each other, and crime syndicates cash in. (Outside)The Rat Stabbers started up their brass band, for courage, and with a hard push about 2,000 of us were swept up the stairs and jammed into the visitors’ terrace. Here, penned by metal fences and more police, we were pressed shoulder-to-shoulder, immobile, for two hours, a single screaming entity heaving up and down.6. The beauty of the airline baggage tagMark Vanhoenacker on how that humble sticky strip gets your bag from country to country. (Slate)Tags must be resistant to cold, heat, sunlight, ice, oil, and especially moisture. Tags also can’t tear—and crucially, if they’re nicked, they must not tear further—as the bag lurches through mechanized airport baggage systems. And the tag must be flexible, inexpensive, and disposable.… AND A CLASSIC READ FROM THE ARCHIVES…In December 2007, Tracy Ross wrote about her abuse as a child – and the legacy that left – in an award-winning piece for Backpacker magazine. The article was later published as a memoir.I feet itchy and sick to my stomach, like I’ve been sunburned from the inside out. My dad puffs on his cigarette, exhaling streams of smoke that hang in the frosty air. ”I know what you’re thinking,” he says. “I know what you think that was.”More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ie >last_img read more

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Jobs at risk as Barratts goes into administration for third time in

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first_imgBARRATTS SHOES, WHICH has stores in Ireland and the UK, is to enter administration, placing over 1,000 jobs at risk.Management at the company, which is headquartered in Bradford, say they were left with no option after an investor pulled out of a multi-million euro plan to finance the firm last week.Philip Duffy and David Whitehouse of global financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps were appointed joint administrators on Friday.They are seeking to sell the business on as a going concern. According to a statement from the administrators, redundancies and/or store closures “cannot be ruled out”.The company operates 75 stores and 23 concessions across the UK and Ireland employing 1,035 people, of which 521 are part-time workers.It has fifteen Republic of Ireland stores, including outlets in Dublin city centre, Blanchardstown, Cork, Dundalk, Galway and Kilkenny.There are also 14 Barratts outlets in Northern Ireland.Read: Thirty-six jobs lost as Barratts closes all Irish concessionsRead: Energia to create 100 jobs in residential power movelast_img read more

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Poll When should the Christmas decorations go up

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first_imgDUBLIN SWITCHED ON its lights last night, while Cork and Belfast are gearing up for their first official Christmas celebrations tonight and tomorrow.However, many people believe it is too early to start thinking about Santa, reindeer and trees – sure Americans haven’t even bought their Thanksgiving turkeys yet.What happens in your household? What’s the correct thing to do? In today’s poll, we ask: When should the Christmas decorations go up? On/just after the 8 December (5071) Poll Results: Christmas week (4240) Bah humbug (894)center_img Anytime in November1 DecemberOn/just after the 8 DecemberChristmas weekBah humbugVote Anytime in November (305) 1 December (1709)last_img

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Man charged in relation to murder investigation in Lixnaw

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first_imgGARDAÍ IN LISTOWEL investigating the murder of Susan Dunne at Lixnaw, County Kerry whose remains were found at her house on the 27 November have charged a 19-year-old male in connection with the incident.BodyThe body of Susan Dunne, aged 53, was found in her home at Ballinageragh by a neighbour yesterday morning. She had suffered numerous head injuries.A post-mortem on her remains was completed today but the results have not been made public.It is understood she moved to the area a number of years ago and was heavily involved with Kerry Autism ActionThe man will appear at  Killarney District Court at 10.30am tomorrow morning.Read: Murder inquiry to be launched in Lixnaw>last_img

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12 pubs of Christmas feeds into Irelands problem with alcohol says charity

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first_imgThis kind of festive indulgence feeds into the cultural problem associated with how some people drink in Ireland.In overall terms we drink less often in Ireland than our European counterparts, but when we drink we tend to drink more and at a faster pace.Clearly the 12 Pubs practice exacerbates this ‘binge drinking’ pattern and this style of drinking. Yes (1441) A CHARITY THAT promotes the “mature enjoyment of alcohol” has appealed to Christmas revellers to abandon the much popular “12 pubs of Christmas” excursions.The Chief Executive of MEAS (Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Ireland Limited) Fionnuala Sheehan said the practice “is totally contrary to the principle of responsible drinking”.AlcoholShe added that the “12 Pubs of Christmas” is exacerbating the less acceptable way in which some Irish people tend to interact with alcohol. While she acknowledged that it was the season “to be jolly” she said “this kind of pub crawling needs to be dropped”.She added: No (3039) I don’t know (1154) Sheehan said that medical advice states that more than five standard drinks in one sitting can increase the harmful effects of drinking, adding that a standard drink is classed as a glass of cider/lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits.“If someone drank only one standard drink in each of the twelve pubs they seriously increase the risk of such harm. If they drank one pint in each of the twelve pubs they very seriously increase the risk of harm,” she said.MEAS is a not-for-profit company to promote the responsible use of alcohol. In 2006 it established drinkaware.ie, an online consumer focused programme.So, we want to know what you think. Do you think that the 12 pubs of Christmas promotes irresponsible drinking? Poll Results: YesNoI don’t knowVoteHave you or will you be taking part in one? Tell us in the comments section below. Read: 12 people who were defeated by the 12 pubs of Christmas> Column: What I’ll miss most about an Irish Christmas>last_img read more

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Column Limerick City of Culture must not be allowed to fail

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first_imgTHERE WAS A great deal of excitement and anticipation last year when it was announced by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, that Limerick would be the first city to be designated a ‘City of Culture’.With good reason, it promised to be an excellent opportunity to challenge perceptions of Limerick as a city, to present a positive outward face to the world, and to attract a new cohort of tourists to the Mid West.However, the developments of recent days, and further back, now threaten to undermine the entire project. The people of Limerick are understandably angry at the mishandling of the entire project.Rich cultural heritageLimerick is a city and county with a rich cultural heritage, stretching back from antiquity to 20th Century. This includes artists such as painter Seán Keating, actors such as Richard Harris, musicians like the Cranberries, poets such as Michael Hartnett and writers such as Frank and Malachy McCourt.Of course, culture goes far beyond the Arts and, as Cork woman, I would clearly recognise the significant role of sport in our culture, and Limerick is a city which is synonymous with sport.Enormous potentialThe potential which exists for a year marking culture in Limerick is enormous.The city deserves much more than the inept and half-baked approach which we have seen thus far from the Department and the Board.Though one could be forgiven for thinking from coverage that problems have emerged only recently – but it was clear, particularly to the artistic and cultural community, that there were problems from the middle of last year. This is an ongoing issue, and I have attempted to draw the Minister’s attention to the problems with project for some time now.In September, I put it to the Minister that the failure to outline what budget would be available was seriously hampering planning for the coming year. This was only months before the year as City of Culture was to begin, and yet the planners were limited in what they could book due to being unsure what budget was available to them.Derry ‘s budget agreed more than two years ahead of eventThe Minister responded that the budget would be agreed following the estimates, leaving a period of mere months to plan for the programme. The last twelve months has seen the tremendous success of Derry’s year as City of Culture. However, that did not happen by accident. They had an agreed budget two-and-a-half years before the event, and was well supported and resourced by the Department of Arts Culture and Leisure and the executive in the North.It was clear from an early stage that there were potential difficulties with the City of Culture project in Limerick. This was further underlined by the fiasco regarding the appointment of the CEO in November. Regardless of the credentials of Patricia Ryan, it is clear that the appointments process was far from best practice and was entirely lacking in transparency; we are now seeing the fallout of that. This is particularly disappointing under the watch of a Government which promised a new era in public appointments.It is in this context that we must judge the resignation of the City of Culture’s artistic director Karl Wallace and programmers Jo Mangan and Maeve McGrath, and the public meeting at which the Limerick public gave voice to their understandable frustration and concern.Quite clearly, tensions and difficulties have been under the surface for some time.A very important and valuable project for LimerickNow we see that Patricia Ryan has resigned as CEO and there is clearly an impetus for the Minister to intervene as soon as possible in order to ensure that the considerable issues and concerns are addressed. Such a move would strengthen the foundations of what still is a very important and valuable project for Limerick.The year can very much still be a success. I know the people of Limerick are keen to ensure that is the case. The Opening Ceremony gave a glimpse as to the potential of the year.However, there is now a significant shadow over the project, and there is a need for action. The Department of the Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht was responsible for awarding the designation, and they cannot simply stand back and ignore the situation.I believe that the Minister, Jimmy Deenihan TD should seek to bring together all the stakeholders in this process, between the local authority, artistic and cultural community, public representatives, planners, and the people of Limerick, to see how the project can be gotten back on track.The people of Limerick deserve the opportunity to showcase their lively cultural scene to the world. The Minister should now intervene to ensure they get that opportunity.Sandra McLellan is a TD for Cork East, and the Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Arts Heritage and the GaeltachtRead: Limerick City of Culture CEO resignsRead: Arts Minister read about Limerick City of Culture resignation ‘in the paper’last_img read more

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This is where Irish food and drink was sold last year and

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first_imgHave trouble viewing this infographic? Click here for a larger version.TODAY BORD BIA announced that the value of Irish food and drink exports reached nearly €10 billion in 2013. This handy infographic sets out all of the main things you need to know about how well each type of food and drink did and where in the world we’re sending most of it to.Is anyone else feeling hungry?Related: Value of Irish food and drink exports nearly €10 billion in 2013>Read: Japan ends 12-year-ban and reopens its market to Irish beef>last_img

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Psychiatrists need support dealing with Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act IMO

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first_imgTHE PRESIDENT OF The Irish Medical Organisation has written to the Minister for Health James Reilly asking that guidelines be put in place to help doctors dealing with cases under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.Dr Matt Sadlier told the minister that guidelines were needed for psychiatrists who are required to determine if there is a real and substantial threat to the life of a patient by suicide.Sadlier also wants guidelines developed for GPs who have a conscientious objection and must refer a patient onto an alternative practitioner.The IMO president told the minister that it was “very regrettable” that guidelines were not put in place to accompany the law as it was enacted.“Guidelines are even more important where cases are expected to happen rarely such as cases where there is a risk of loss of life from self-destruction,” said Sadlier.Under the act, if there is a substantial risk to a pregnant woman’s life due to suicide and it is deemed by two psychiatrists and an obstetrician that this can only be averted by a termination, the procedure is lawful.But Sadlier has complained to the minister that psychiatrists have been given no help to make this determination.“There are no guidelines available for psychiatrists who are expected to certify if there is a real and substantial threat to the life of a patient by suicide,” he explained. The aim of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 is to provide clarity to both women and medical practitioners, however, in the absence of clinical guidelines, medical practitioners are faced with continued uncertainty.Sadlier said that the aim of providing these guidelines is all about ensuring that patients get the most appropriate care.“Failure to comply with best-practice guidelines can lead to the rapid deterioration of a patient’s condition and/or death. All the cases provided for by the legislation are rare and therefore guidelines are required to ensure safe, quality and timely care,” he explained.In advance of guidelines being put in place, the IMO say that urgent arrangements are needed to support medical practitioners in the interim.Read: What the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 contains >Read: Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act comes into force today >last_img read more

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Gardaí make fifth seizure of cannabis plants in Clare in one week

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first_imgGARDAÍ HAVE SEIZED 240 cannabis plants worth almost €200,000 from a house in Clare.The discovery is the fifth haul of cannabis plants from homes in Clare in the past seven days. More than one million euros worth of the plants have been seized altogether following separate operations in Tulla, Kilkee and Carrigaholt since last Thursday.Today’s seizure was carried out as part of an ongoing investigation into the sale and supply of illegal drugs in the area. Gardaí raised the house in Faha, Caher, at 2.30pm this afternoon and seized the plants.The scene is being preserved for a technical examination and there were no arrests as a result of the operation.last_img

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More rain and wind forecast tonight so be careful on the roads

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first_img It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front, four seconds at a minimumTake special care when driving behind trucks or buses as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces visibilityWatch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.Use dipped headlights at all times of poor visibility – not parking/side lights and fog lights.Be mindful of Aquaplaning on roads where 100/120kmh speeds applyPedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.Pedestrians should walk on a footpath, not in the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the roadControl of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds.Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclistsDrive with dipped headlights at all times. Monitor radio weather broadcasts while travellingHere’s the RSA’s advice for driving in flooded conditions:If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. It could be deeper than you think.After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes.Always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.Watch out for washed out roads, earth slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and fallen or falling objectsTake extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions – a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.Clare(View of large swell via MagicSeaweed.com)Clare County Council has reiterated its appeal to people in flood prone locations to remain vigilant during the coming days.Its council engineers are monitoring water levels on the River Fergus and Lower River Shannon. They say the risk of flooding will increase as a result of rainfall this evening and further rainfall up to and including the weekend.The council and emergency services are progressing contingency arrangements, including additional pumping capacity and other flood alleviation measures at flood-prone areas along the River Shannon and River Fergus.The council is also assessing the scale of the damage in the county, and says it is focusing on cleanup and remedial works on damaged infrastructure.Last month, it sent a report to the Government saying that the cost of repairs will run to €23.7m,  but it is now revising this figure upwards.LimerickLimerick saw its highest tidal surge in recent years over the last few days, but no new flooding has been reported in the city or county over the past 24 hours.The Council, An Garda Síochána and the HSE are still on a state of alert and will be for the rest of the week and weekend.Flooding affected approximately 200 acres of Limerick City at the weekend – around 300 houses and up to 2000 people were impacted by the high waters.The council says it is continuing to liaise with residents and business owners affected by flooding.Limerick City and County Council is in talks with the OPW and Central Government regarding the requirement for additional flood defences to be provided at vulnerable locations.High tideThe predicted tide levels for the next two days at Limerick docks are:Tuesday, 4 February: 6.6m at 9.54pmWednesday, 5 February: 6.6m at 10.14am and 6.3pm at 10.40pmCouncil engineers are also monitoring water levels on the Lower River Shannon and on the Mulkear, Maigue and Deel Rivers.Read: “We have to do some serious thinking about long-term flood defences” — Howlin>Read: More flood warnings as Atlantic storm makes its way to Irish shores> THERE WILL BE no let up in the bad weather tonight, and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) wants to ensure that everyone keeps their eye on road safety.Local authorities in the areas affected by the floods over the past few days are working on repairs and on ensuring that flood protection measures are in place.Minister Brian Hayes has admitted that the figure of €10 million that was set aside for immediate humanitarian relief isn’t enough to address the problem. Councils have been encouraged to contact the government today regarding additional funds for repairing flood damage.According to Met Éireann, it will be very wet and very windy this evening, with heavy rain and strong to gale-force southeast winds. There will be severe gusts of rain and further flooding likely, especially in exposed coastal areas of the south and southeast.Tonight, it will also be extremely windy, with more rain or thundery showers and again more risk of flooding.That’s all thanks to another Atlantic storm depression, which is approaching the country today.Expect some mist or fog in some areas too.Road safetyPic: Mark Stedman/Photocall IrelandThe Road Safety Authority has said that road use may prove “challenging” over the next couple of days, and it is advising all road users to take extra care.The RSA has some advice for people who might be driving over the next day or so:last_img read more

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11 people have been killed over the June Bank Holiday in the

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first_imgTHE ROAD SAFETY Authority and the gardaí are appealing to drivers to slow down this coming bank holiday weekend.National ‘Slow Down’ day is taking place from 7am this Friday to 7am on Saturday.Figures show that the June Bank Holiday has consistently been the most dangerous weekend over the past two years.Eleven people have been killed and 16 seriously injured, six people died in 2012 and five in 2013.Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has urged drivers to support national “Slow Down” day: The only way to avoid a repeat this year is if we all work together. Speed is still one of the biggest risk factors. “By slowing down we reduce the likelihood of a crash, and the severity of injuries. We are also asking drivers this weekend to watch out for dangerous road conditions because the weather is so changeable”.Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority Moyagh Murdock added that ”We are also heading into this weekend on the back of a really bad May Bank Holiday when we lost 5 lives on the roads.Nationally we seem to be heading in the same direction as last year. 71 lives have been lost compared to 73 up to the same date last year and last year was our worst in seven years.Assistant Commissioner John Twomey from the Garda National Traffic Bureau said, “Help us all make this June Bank Holiday a particularly safe one. Ask your family, friends and colleagues to heed the advice given to slow down”.He also added that gardaí will be specifically targeting drivers exceeding the speed limit over the weekend.Applegreen will give tired drivers a free cup of coffee on Friday between 2pm and 8pm at 17 stores.Drivers just need to mention the RSA at the till  on “Slow Down” day.Read: This is what a motorbike looks like after a fatal crash>Read: Drink-driving clampdown results in almost 1500 tests and nine arrests>Read: Almost 2,000 drivers arrested for drink driving so far this year>last_img read more

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Rebels too strong for poor Limerick in Munster opener

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first_imgCork 3-17 Limerick 0-8THREE GOALS IN eight first-half minutes all but sealed a facile championship win for Cork in this Munster SFC quarter-final at the Gaelic Grounds this evening.The Rebels trotted in at the break well in control — with the scores 3-4 to 0-3 — knowing they had done enough to progress without ever really impressing.Cork didn’t find the net in the second period but tacked on over a dozen points while holding a poor Limerick side to just five points. The Leesiders’ chief Conor Counihan will look for improvement from his side however as, despite the scoreline,  never hit top gear on Shannonside.The Rebels could have been out of sight but for wasteful finishing from the likes of Daniel Goulding and Ciaran Sheehan in front of goal early on. The did eventually raise a green flag after 24 minutes or so when a long delivery in from Goulding was ultimately punched to the net by Castlehaven man Brian Hurley, on his debut.Then just before half-time, Goulding was involved again as John O’Rourke eventually scrambled home after good work from Paul Kerrigan. Pearse O’Neill then stormed through to add a third quick-fire goal and all but put the tie to bed before the half-time break.Daniel Cahalane was arguably the best player on the pitch throughout while there was a late call up for former Antrim player James Loughrey. He replaced the injured Eoin Cadogan to make his championship debut for the Rebels while Alan O’Connor started in Aidan Walsh’s place.Limerick now have six weeks to regroup before the All-Ireland qualifiers and Maurice Horan may well need all of that lay-off to turn his side’s summer around.CORK: Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown); James Loughrey (Mallow), Michael Shields (St Finbarr’s), Damien Cahalane (Castlehaven); Paudie Kissane (Clyda Rovers), Graham Canty (Bantry Blues), Tomas Clancy (Fermoy); Alan O’Connor (St. Colum’s), Pearse O’Neill (Aghada); Ciaran Sheehan (Éire Óg), Patrick Kelly (Ballincollig), John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers); Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg), Brian Hurley (Castlehaven), Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers).Subs: David Lordan (Ballincollig), John McLoughlin (Kanturk), Noel O’Leary (Cill na Martra), James Loughrey (Mallow), Alan O’Connor (St Colm’s), Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere), James Fitzpatrick (Carbery Rangers), Fintan Goold (Macroom), Liam Shorten (Ballingeary), Mark Collins (Castlehaven), Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond).LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen); Andrew Lane (St. Senan’s), Johnny McCarthy (St Kieran’s), Mark O’Riordan (Croom); Stephen Lavin (Adare), Paudie Browne (Fr Casey’s), Pa Ranahan (Ballysteen); Bobby O’Brien (Bruff), John Galvin (Croom); John Riordan (Fr Casey’s), Thomas Lee (Ballylanders), Seanie Buckley (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Ger Collins (Monaleen), Iain Corbett (Newcastlewest), Eoghan O’Connor (St Mary’s/Sean Finns).Michael Quinn on life after the AFL and life with LongfordThe former Tipp hurler debuting for the Tipp footballers tomorrowlast_img read more

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Advice for Irish travelers updated as Ebola spreads to Nigeria

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first_imgTHE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice for Irish citizens heading to Nigeria, following confirmation of a case of Ebola.The government of Africa’s most populous country confirmed this evening that the virus caused the death of a Liberian national who died in quarantine in Lagos.Nigeria’s Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told journalists that “thorough medical tests” had confirmed “the virus of Ebola” as the cause of death.Irish travelers are being advised to contact the embassy of Nigeria in advance of their journey, and to read the World Health Organisation factsheet on Ebola.OutbreakThe 40-year-old Liberian man, who died overnight, worked for his country’s government and had travelled to Nigeria from Monrovia by air via Togo’s capital Lome.His final destination was the southern city of Calabar where he was scheduled to attend a meeting organised by the west African bloc known as ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).Lagos government officials have previously said that he arrived at the city’s international airport on Sunday.He was suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhea upon arrival and was transported directly to hospital, according to the minister.The patient “avoided contact with the general public” between the airport and the hospital and “there was no time for him to mingle in Lagos,” he added.“All the passengers that the patient came in contact with have been traced and are being investigated,” in a bid to contain any spread of the virus across the city of more than 20 million people, Chukwu said.The minister insisted that health officials had made direct contact with everyone on board the flight and were monitoring their conditions but offered no explanation as to how that was done.The Liberian was flying on the Togo-based ASKY Airlines. African airlines typically do not require detailed contact information from passengers and it was not immediately clear how Nigeria had succeeded in tracing everyone on board.‘Red alert’As of July 20, the number of Ebola cases recorded in the months-long epidemic stood at 1,093, including more than 660 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.Liberia has seen 127 fatalities.Lagos, the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa, poses challenges to health officials seeking to contain a spread of the virus.The congested city has terrible sanitation and a poor health system, especially in public hospitals which are grossly under-funded, badly equipped and regularly do not have electricity.Chukwu said ministry specialists had been deployed at all major ports — both sea and air — to screen anyone suffering from symptoms associated with Ebola.Border officials have been put on “red alert,” he said.Ebola is a form of haemorrhagic fever which can have a 90-percent fatality rate.It can fell victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea — and in some cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.Ebola is believed to be carried by animals hunted for meat, notably bats.It spreads among humans via bodily fluids including sweat, meaning you can get sick from simply touching an infected person.With no vaccine, patients believed to have caught the virus must be isolated to prevent further contagion.Ebola first emerged in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is named after a river there.Includes reporting from AFP. Read Ireland commits a further €144K to fight worst Ebola outbreak in historyRead Emergency talks look for ways to halt worst outbreak of Ebola in historylast_img read more

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Prima Cinema to offer day one home movie streaming for 20000

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first_imgWith broadband speeds increasing every year, the ability to stream content or download HD movies is certainly more common place in people’s homes, and most seem happy to do this over buying a traditional DVD/Blu-ray, an ethos that Microsoft deploy with their Xbox Live service. However, what is certain is between the time delay when a movie comes out in theaters to the time it is available for home use, normally 3 months, movie buffs have no choice but to sit and wait to see the movie again (or turn to piracy).Yet all of this could be a thing of the past as a report from the Wall Street Journal sheds light on a proposal that could see movies brought to homes the same day they hit theaters. But of course there will be a pretty big catch, because the prices that are being thrown around by Prima Cinema Inc reveal that you will need to be quite wealthy to get hold of them. Prima plans to charge customers a one-time fee of around the $20,000 mark for a digital-delivery system and then an additional $500 per film. Prima already has $5 million in backing from companies at Best Buy Co. and General Electric Co.’s Universal Pictures, and hopes to roll out the service to customers a year from now.AdChoices广告The cost is significantly more than the $50 per film and then $30 per film suggested earlier this year by some movie studios. The idea has understandbly had a mixed reaction in Hollywood as some top execs question if it would be possible to build a market beyond a few thousand users.Adam Fogelson, chairman of Universal had this to say:While this is a niche market, there is a chance for significant upside. And precisely because it is a niche market, that upside should come without harming any of our existing partners or revenue streams. Prima’s founder and chief executive, Jason Pang joined in with the above comment stating:We’re not here to replace anything, we are trying to create new revenue streams for studios and new viewing opportunities for moviegoers. Could this be one way to combat the rise in digital piracy and the fall of DVD sales? Studios are no longer making as much money from DVDs with consumer spending down by 20% in 2010 from 2009, to $7.8 billion. Either way, the cost is way too high for the average consumer to justify and we just hope that a better solution can be reached before piracy wipes out cinema for good.Read more at The Wall Street Journallast_img read more

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Indoleaksorg Indonesias own WikiLeaks Goes Live With Secrets

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first_imgEven if the perturbed powers that be are able to take down WikiLeaks, state secrets will never again be as secret as they used to be. A website can be created on a netbook from a cafe anywhere in the world, instantaneously disseminating information to millions. WikiLeaks is like the original Napster–yeah, that site was shut down, but I can still download the new Katy Perry album if I really wanted to. And like file sharing, the concept of secret sharing is spreading through the wilds of the internet in various incarnations, never to be tamed. This past Friday saw the introduction of Indoleaks.org, a WikiLeak-inspired outlet written in Indonesian and specifically focusing on secrets from that archipelago nation. The site’s tag line “Sebab informasi adalah hak asasi” translates into “Because information is a human right.” AdChoices广告Apparent published secrets on the site date back as far as 1975, detailing meetings between former US President Gerald Ford and former Indonesian President Suharto, and as recent as 2005 with an official document recommending further investigations into the role of government officials into the death of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.According to a story on The Jakarta Globe, the site has only been intermittently accessible, but I had no problem getting through whenever I tired. An Indonesian government spokesman said the site is currently not a huge concern commenting “We will only monitor this site to find out what kind of information it will release.”The US has, by far, been the largest source of published leaks, leading critics of WikiLeaks to call them out as “terrorists” or “enemies of the state.” But, these sites are just emblematic of the new flattened order of the world. The concept of a completely secure secret is a quaint relic. And that’s a reality all nations are going to face in very short order.last_img read more

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Yahoo Layoff Memo Surfaces

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first_imgIt would have pretty tough for Yahoo to have had worse timing on this one–just a week out from Christmas. It’s a subject that Carol Bartz doesn’t really broach in her internal memo. Rather she chooses to focus on what the changes at the company mean for the coming year.Bartz’s internal layoff memo surfaced this week, explaining away the recent four percent staff cut the company underwent. “You’ve heard me say before that I didn’t come to cut Yahoo! to greatness. That’s still true,” Bartz explains in the memo, going on to explain that the cuts were “about more than cost savings.”Its not a particularly empathetic letter, but these things never are. Bartz tells her staff that “we need fewer Yahoos in some areas, and different types of Yahoos in others.” The company is cutting “underperforming and non-core product,” to focus on stronger properties “like e-mail, the homepage, search, mobile, advertising, content, and more.” All in all, it’s sounding a bit reminiscent of the whole peanut butter thing from a few years back.Bartz then shifts for “one last thing before I go,” a focus on the “growth” and “turnaround” the company is experiencing. All in all, it’s a pretty bummer end for what’s been a pretty quite year from the once-dominant search company.last_img read more

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El Cielo de Canarias timelapse is a must see

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first_imgWe admit, we do tend to geek out over impressively done time-lapses here at Geek.com, and we have found another one to add to our “Time-Lapses to Ogle Over” collection. Photographer and astrophotographer Daniel Lopez shot scenes from the island of Tenerife for over a year to capture some of the most beautiful and jaw-dropping shots of clouds, stars, water, and mountains in a wide spectrum of color.More than 2,000 meters above sea level, Lopez shot “El Cielo de Canarias/Canary Sky” at the picturesque location of Tenerife. The landscape he captured may be familiar to those of you who’ve seen Terje Sorgjerd’s”The Mountain” time-lapse that we covered a few weeks ago. Both videos were shot in Teide National Park in Tenerife, the largest and most populous of the seven Canary Islands where Lopez lives. The video is the first in a series from Lopez in which he’ll try to capture the beauty of each island. Tenerife is a World Heritage Site and is home to the third largest volcano in the world, El Teide.AdChoices广告Part of the time-lapse shows what Lopez calls “the ‘hat’ in the Teide,” which is a formation of clouds covering the peak of the volcano. The video shows footage of clouds pouring over trees and mountains, taking on the form of water, waves, and waterfalls as they roll across the sky. A large pool of water in the plain of Ucanca reflects lenticular clouds, which you’ll recognize as the lens-shaped, spaceship-looking clouds pictured below. Clouds undulate like the surface of a waterbed at the 3-minute mark. And yes, there’s even a double rainbow in the video.Lopez used a dolly in which he designed and built himself. The dolly has both vertical and horizontal rails, and spindles with both horizontal and vertical movements. Lopez used high dynamic range imaging, better known as HDR, which allows for a larger dynamic range of brightness between the lightest and darkest spots of an image. The result can be seen in the faint starlight shots and the direct shots of the sun. He compiled all the photos and produced the final video in Photoshop CS4.via Vimeo and El Cielo de Canariaslast_img read more

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Surreal video gives us a glimpse of flying roller coasters

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first_img.Every kid loves a good roller coaster ride. Well, at least kids who aren’t scared of heights or prone to motion sickness do. The suspenseful climb, the big drop, the twists and turns; roller coasters are designed for maximum thrills.But what if you took away the tracks, yet could somehow keep the roller coaster moving? This would defy all laws of gravity. But that hasn’t stopped a clever filmmaker from experimenting with the idea. The result is a bizarre and entertaining ride through Buenos Aires, featuring rides that propel themselves through Argentinian space.This clip is called Inception Park, named after the 2010 film Inception. In the dream world that was created in Christopher Nolan’s Hollywood blockbuster, laws of physics are meaningless. Hotels can be suspended in a state of zero gravity. People can become chameleons, completely morphing their physical appearances. Entire cities can be folded in half. Inception Park also conjures a fantasy world of dreams, but things are much simpler: all you have to worry about are floating amusement park rides.As you can see above, a trackless roller coaster takes on a serpent-like appearance. Teacup-like rides look positively dangerous when performed on a ledge. Tourists photograph it all just as casually as they would the Monumento de los Españoles.Inception Park is the work of an imaginative filmmaker, Fernando Livschitz. He took some mundane video of Buenos Aires, some feed of amusement park rides, and used some CG software to tie it all together. If rules are made to be broken, then the imagination of artists like Livschitz are breaking the rules of nature. It’s nothing we’ll see in our lifetimes, but that’s part of what makes film entertaining, no?Black Sheep Films via Dvicelast_img read more

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Google rethinking Wallet strategy after failure to launch

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first_imgGoogle Wallet was supposed to be the contactless payment service that freed us from our old-fashioned wallets. Lack of adoption, now coupled with the departure of several top Wallet executives at Google have left the future of the ill-fated system in question. Google is looking to revitalize Wallet using something few companies can offer: huge piles of money you could ski down.The crux of the plan for Wallet, as reported by Bloomberg, is that Google would enter into a revenue sharing agreement with carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T to ensure that Wallet is on phones sold by the networks. T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon have all announced plans to back a competing standard for contactless payments called ISIS. It’s unclear if Google can lay out enough cash to win the carriers over.Google wallet and ISIS both work by employing near field communication (NFC) to get a device and reader kiosk talking to each other. Google chose to partner with MasterCard to gain access to its PayPass ecosystem of card readers, but the deal left consumers with very few choices for compatible credit card accounts.Perhaps more troublesome for Google Wallet has been the almost complete lack of compatible phones. The Nexus S 4G on Sprint remains the only officially supported device, with the flagship LTE Galaxy Nexus being left out. An imported GSM Galaxy Nexus can install Google Wallet, but that adds virtually nothing the the Google Wallet ranks.Late last year, Google went so far as to fold its Google Checkout service into Wallet; the brand isn’t going anywhere. However, with the fallout after the recent Google Wallet hacks, the carriers have all the power in any negotiations, having already cited a lack of security. With ISIS expected to launch this year, Google is running out of time to get its act together.via Bloomberglast_img read more

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