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David Meyler called up to Ireland squad for World Cup qualifiers

first_imgDAVID MEYLER HAS been called up to the Ireland squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.The Sunderland midfielder will join up with Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad ahead of next Friday night’s clash with Germany at Lansdowne Rd.The Boys in Green face the Faroe Islands four days after that clash with Jogi Low’s side.On a day in which Kevin Doyle picked up a knock in training, putting his participation in serious doubt, the FAI say “the extent of the injury remains to be seen. Kevin is having a scan later this evening with results expected tomorrow.”Match-fixing scandal: Conte ban reduced to four monthsFerguson relieved at Rio’s England omissionlast_img read more

Minister for Justice All teenagers to be removed from St Patricks by

first_imgTHE MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter is calling for all teenagers to be moved out of St Patrick’s Institution by 2014, after a report by the Inspector of Prisons revealed systematic violations of the human rights of the young people being held there.The report by Judge Michael Reilly, released yesterday, found that a “culture of fear” pervaded the prison, noting the excessive and unrecorded use of force by staff against inmates. It reported incidents of forced stripping of clothes from the prisoners, excessive punishment – including denying children family visits, and bullying and intimidation of young and vulnerable inmates by a minority of staff.The report said weak management, the culture in the prison, and the prevalence of drugs means the facility no longer provides safe, secure and humane custody. The prison currently houses young offenders aged between 17 and 21 years of age.‘Substantial concerns’Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme this morning, the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said he had had “very substantial concerns” about St Patrick’s and so strongly welcomed the work done by the Inspector of Prisons and the Ombudsman for Children in highlighting conditions there.He said he had visited the facility in a ministerial capacity in 2011 but that the true circumstances of the prison had not be made visible to him at that time – which is why, he said, the investigative work of Michael Reilly was “so important”.The Minister said that a substantial programme of reform and management structure had now been put in place and that plans to remove all teenagers from the facility by 2014 were underway.In response to concerns raised about the possible treatment of young inmates in the interim, Shatter insisted that the culture of fear in the prison has been “brought to an end”, and that ‘the control and restraint’ measures detailed in Reilly’s report had been discontinued. About 60 per cent of staff have undergone retraining so far – with the remainder due to complete retraining by November – he added.Shatter said investigations had begun concerning particular officers whose behaviour had been criticised in the report, and that a new procedure for complaints would be in place by 1 November.Ombudsman for ChildrenThe Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan, also speaking this morning, said that her concerns about the welfare of children at the institution had been routinely ignored over the years.Logan explained that St Patrick’s had not been part of her remit until this July due to an exclusion dating back to the inception of the office. In 2009, the Ombudsman conducted a three-month review of the treatment of young people at the facility, which unearthed abuses – however Logan said the findings were ‘sneered’ at because they concerned youngsters who had been in conflict with the law.She said the culture of intimidation perpetuated by a minority of staff at the facility, coupled with a negative attitude towards young offenders, caused reports of abuses were low.Yesterday, Liam Herrick, the executive director of the IPRT described the finding of the report a “national disgrace”.Read: Damning report into St Patrick’s finds forced stripping, excessive force and intimidation>last_img read more

Forgetful taxi customers leave phones keys and even shoes behind

first_imgA NEW SURVEY conducted by taxi app service Hailo reveals we are a forgetful nation with customers leaving a variety of items behind them – even their shoes.The survey of 500 people revealed 42 per cent of people have left their mobile phones behind them in a taxi. Umbrellas, wallets and keys were also among the most commonly left behind items and a very forgetful 12 per cent of respondents in the survey have left their shoes behind them in a cab.An unfortunate 57 per cent of people surveyed said they were unsuccessful in getting back an item they left in a taxi.Some 55 per cent of people like their driver to engage in a conversation with the economy being cited as the most popular topic in Irish taxis. Over 52 per cent of respondents favour sports as a topic of conversation during their journey and 46 per cent like to chat about politics with their driver.The research also revealed that half of people surveyed have waited over half an hour for a taxi and 56 per cent of people fear for themselves or a female friend getting taxis alone.Read: Smartphone taxi service launches in Dublin>last_img read more

360000 people using moneylenders Central Bank report

first_imgA MAJOR CENTRAL Bank report has found that more than 360,000 people are using licensed moneylenders.The most common loan amount is between €200 and €500 with people most likely to use the loans to buy goods or for major family events such as Christmas or birthdays.While the number of licensed moneylenders had declined and rates by some can be “very high”, the report said overall rates of interest have remained largely at 2007 levels.There report also said that some 69 per cent of people now understand the amount of interest charged on their loans, compared to a meagre 29 per cent in 2007. A report by the bank that year said that 71 per cent of customers failed to understand the amount of interest they were being charged.The report also revealed that more than three quarters of people have been refused loans from a credit union or bank despite more than half reporting having savings with these institutions.The Central Bank looked at the 43 licensed moneylenders across the country in drawing up the report, most of which are small or medium-sized firms which work on a local level.The number of people using moneylenders has increased by 60,000 since the last research was carried out in 2005; however despite this, the Central Bank said that the sector “has not changed significantly”.LoansThe report found 9 per cent of people borrow to pay bills or other debt.More worryingly, the report also found that 15 per cent of people are currently repaying two or more loans with their moneylender.The Central Bank said that a significant proportion – 25 per cent – of people surveyed experienced difficulties in making repayments in the past 18 months, with 63 per cent of those reporting this was caused by a drop in household income.However most people said they believed they were being “treated fairly” when in arrears.A majority of 65 per cent of customers reported that they have repaid a loan or line of credit early, though almost one in three of those recall receiving a rebate for doing so.Struggling with repaymentsDirector of Consumer Protection Bernard Sheridan said the Central Bank will “continue to monitor this sector closely and take action where necessary to protect borrowers’ interests”.“I would encourage consumers who are struggling with repayments on loans to seek advice from MABS who will help them consider their options,” he said.The Society of St Vincent De Paul was critical of the report today as it failed to include any recommendations for further regulation of the sector. The society said the report “shows worrying levels of acceptance of high cost loans from customers”.Brendan Hennessy said it also “fails to question adequately why so many people, mainly in low income groups, resort to such expensive forms of credit – people who are least able to afford high cost credit”.- Additional reporting by Christine BohanRead: Bank credit to businesses continues to fall>last_img read more

Irish Water will not cut off supply to homes over unpaid charges

first_imgIrish Water shall not, by reason of a charge in respect of a dwelling being wholly or partly unpaid, discontinue the supply of water to that dwelling either temporarily or permanently.Under the provisions of the bill, the term dwelling refers to a premises occupied as a private residence. This applies to second homes as well as primary residences.Where a customer fails to pay their charges, Irish Water will have to go to court to enforce payment.Irish Water is due to take over responsibility for the delivery of water services on 1 January 2014 and will operate as an independent subsidy of under the Bord Gáis Éireann GroupUpon the publication of the bill, Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd said that water services currently cost over €1 billion annually and that the new authority would allow for “fundamental reform”.“Independent, economic regulation of Irish Water’s services, and charges, by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), will ensure customers are protected, ” he added.The full published legislation is available to read here. Read: Customers unlikely to face disconnection for unpaid water charges >Read: “The Irish people gave us a mandate to bring in water charges” – Phil Hogan > THE NEW BILL giving effect to Irish Water has confirmed that homeowners will not be cut off as a result of unpaid or partially paid charges.The bill was published yesterday and transfers responsibility for water services from local authorities to Irish Water.The Water Services (No. 2) Bill gives Irish Water the power to charge for water services but does not grant powers to end supply if payment is not made. Section 16 (8) reads :last_img read more

Police hunt raider over Derry business robbery

first_imgPOLICE IN DERRY are on the hunt for a man who carried out a masked raid at a business in the city last night.It happened at the Pennyburn Industrial Estate at around 11.40pm when the man forced his way into the premises, struggled with a female member of staff and made off with a cash box.He escaped the scene in a red-coloured car that was being driven by a second man.The member of staff was shaken by the incident but uninjured, police said.Anyone with information is being asked to contact the PSNI at Strand Road on 0845 600 8000 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.Read: Search ongoing for missing Waterford manRead: Body of missing Scottish three-year-old foundlast_img read more

This man will find out if he has a rare form of

first_imgIF YOU HAD a 50/50 chance of inheriting a gene that could kill you at an early age, would you want to know?Ryan O’Neill is just 30 years old but the idea of suffering a very rare form of Alzheimer’s hangs over him. The disease has already caused his family unimaginable heartache.His father died at when he was 48 years old. Out of his father’s family of 11 brothers and sisters, seven died at a young age from the disease.Ryan, who works as a radio presenter, has made the choice to take a genetic test to find out if he carries the devastating gene.A television documentary on RTÉ One at 9.30pm tonight, The Gene That Could End My Life, will show Ryan’s journey over the past nine months, from the time he made the decision to know for definite if he will develop the disease or not.He told I did the show because I wanted to raise awareness of the disease. As it stands nobody speaks about it.He said, “If using my case to tell the story helps inform people, then I was happy to do that. Nothing is going to change until people start talking about it and the wall of silence is knocked down.”The mutated gene which causes the early onset of dominant familial Alzheimer’s is extremely rare. There are only three known cases in Ireland and about 100 cases worldwide.There are six children in Ryan’s family and out of those six, three (including Ryan) have undergone the test to find out if they have the disease.Ryan’s twin brother Wayne got the all-clear, as did his sister Lisa . Ryan’s diagnosis will be revealed on the documentary tonight.If he has the gene, there is no way of avoiding the disease. It develops early in life, usually before the age of 50.Alzheimer’s in IrelandAlzheimer’s Disease is the only leading cause of death that is still on the rise in Ireland today.According to The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, there are currently 41,700 people with the disease in Ireland but by 2041, it’s estimated that figure will be 147,000.It accounts for 50 per cent of all cases of dementia and about 4,000 cases of dementia are identified in Ireland each year.(YouTube: RTÉ TV Promotions)Column: ‘The plans we made together are gone now, Alzheimer’s is a most horrifying illness’>Dementia set to triple by 2050 as disease labelled “global epidemic”>Drug tests make Alzheimer’s treatment ‘a real possibility>last_img read more

Car seat and hammer could be crucial to Adrian Donohoe investigation

first_imgDETECTIVES INVESTIGATING the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in Co Louth last month have revealed two new lines of inquiry into their colleague’s death.Investigators have appealed for anyone who may have information about a child’s car seat, taken from the car used by Det Garda Donohoe’s assailants to escape the scene, or a hammer found at the murder scene to contact them.Gardaí leading the investigation said the bright green Cosatto-brand car seat was in the blue Volkswagen Passat, a fully automatic car with an 08-D licence plate, which was stolen in Clogherhead between 11:30pm on Tuesday 22 and 4:30am on Wednesday 23 January.The car seat was not in the vehicle when it was used by the group of five who attempted to raid the Lordship Credit Union at Bellurgan in Co Louth in the event that led to Det Garda Donohoe being shot and killed at about 9:30pm the following Friday night, 25 January.The car was found burned out about an hour later at the entrance to a forest on the Newtownhamilton to Keady road, over the border in Co Armagh.A replica of the child’s car seat which was in the car stolen from Clogherhead and used in the murder of Adrian Donohoe.“We are appealing to anybody who may have been offered this car seat for sale or any unsuspecting person who may have purchased this,” said Garda assistant commissioner Kieran Kenny, who is in charge of the northern region and who is leading the investigation.“It may also have been dumped from the car, or could have been given as a gift to some person,” he added.Mallet-style hammer found at the sceneGardaí also sought information about a hammer found at the Credit Union when it was examined in the aftermath of Donohoe’s death.The precision mallet-style hammer, which is black with a red handle, was found at the scene.Extensive forensic tests are being undertaken on the hammer, a replica of which was revealed at a news conference today.The hammer found at the scene has significant wear on the red part of its handle, and is missing a protective plastic cover on one side of its head, with a steel screw protruding from its head.Kenny said the hammer was of the type used by panel beaters, motorcycle mechanics and others involved in the motor repair trade – later adding that it would have been bought “for a specific purpose”.“Only one person fired the fatal shot,” Kenny said, appealing to anyone with information – even those who may have been part of the armed gang – to come forward.Anyone with information about either the car seat or the mallet the car seat has been asked to contact Gardaí in Dundalk at (042) 9388400, or the Garda Confidential line at 1800 666 111.They can also contact Crimestoppers, who have offered an undisclosed “substantial” reward for anyone with information that leads to the capture of Donohoe’s killers. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously at 1800 25 00 25.Kenny said any information offered to Gardaí would be treated in the strictest confidence.Over 2,300 lines of inquiry have been carried out so far by the officers working on the investigation, with 800 interviews carried out and statements taken. A significant quantity of CCTV footage has also been harvested and is being examined.Kenny said significant physical and human resources were being devoted to the task, with officers who had originally been assigned to tasks like collecting CCTV footage now being given other tasks related to the investigation.Additional reporting by Sinead O’CarrollRead: Fresh appeal about murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoelast_img read more

Poor Fresh Prince rap gets student arrested

first_imgNOW THIS IS a story all about how a student’s life got flipped, turned upside down… because he didn’t rap the Fresh Prince theme tune clearly enough.The teen’s voicemail greeting triggered a lockdown at his Pennsylvania school after a receptionist misheard his rendition of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.While trying to confirm an appointment with 19-year-old Travis Clawson the receptionist thought the message said “shooting people outside of the school.” The line is actually “shooting some b-ball.”The receptionist called 911. Police arrested Clawson a short time later at Ambridge Area High School in Pennsylvania, but released him once he explained the message.Acting police Chief James Mann says police acted “appropriately” out of concern for students’ welfare.Clawson’s family has contacted an attorney.YouTube/reddeadlysVIDEO: Charlie Sheen tries out Irish accent onstage at Dublin Slash gig>14 things you hated as a kid that you LOVE as an adult>last_img read more

Talks on public sector pay likely to top agenda on latest Troika

first_imgDISCUSSIONS OVER THE rejection of a new public sector pay deal – Croke Park II – are likely top the agenda as the Troika begins its tenth review of Ireland’s bailout today.Officials from the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank arrive in Dublin today to meet with government officials as Ireland looks to advance its progress on exiting its bailout programme at the end of the year.But the meetings this week come in the wake of the rejection of the public sector pay deal by unions last week forcing the government into a rethink of how to save €300 million from the public sector pay bill this year.The government will have good news though having reported yesterday that its deficit target had come in below expectations as it looks to reduce it to 3 per cent of gross domestic product by 2015.Yesterday, a European Commission report on Ireland’s progress called for the government to outline where it will continue to cut back in expenditure over the next three years.“The Troika has once again encouraged the authorities to spell out the policy intentions in the key spending areas of education, health and the welfare sector to buttress the credibility of their announced consolidation path,” the report said.The visit will also come in the wake of comments from the former head of the IMF mission to Ireland, Ashoka Mody, that the austerity-only policy in Ireland was a mistake, comments which IMF officials now working in Dublin are likely to distance themselves from.Officials from the Troika will meet with members of the opposition parties and some independent TDs on Friday.Read: Troika wants Ireland to outline spending cuts for three yearslast_img read more

One more year Leinster fans serenade tryscorer ODriscoll

first_imgTHERE WAS A spontaneous and rousing rendition of ‘One More Year’ for Leinster’s Brian O’Driscoll following his try in the second-half of his side’s 44-16 Challenge Cup semi-final win over Biarritz.O’Driscoll is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to decide on his rugby future. Supporters began to chant one more year as the outside centre returned to his position after diving over for Leinster’s fifth try.As the song rang out around the RDS, O’Driscoll bent to tie a bootlace, smiling all the while.YouTube credit: micklee35A similar chorus broke out for Isa Nacewa, who will leave Leinster during the summer to return to his native New Zealand.Leinster coach Joe Schmidt told, “They really enjoyed playing in front of such a raucous and robust audience today, especially with the chants of one more year. I wasn’t really sure if they were for Drico or Isa, or both.”Schmidt confirmed that there had been further ‘chats’ with the IRFU and, while he is not yet assured of the Ireland head coach job, he expects to get a definitive answer from the union early next week.When it was suggested that the chants could have been for himself, Schmidt remarked, “Oh, I don’t think so.”Cian Healy told, “It was a fitting reception for Brian. He’s an unbelievable player and leader.“That’s his decision, if he decides to play on or call it a day but we’ll all certainly be rooting for him to stay.”As it happened: Leinster v Biarritz, Amlin Challenge Cup Semi FinalColumn: Last chance at Lions saloon for Heaslip and Kearneylast_img read more

First edition Harry Potter including authors notes up for auction

first_imgA FIRST EDITION copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ – containing author J.K. Rowling’s notes and original illustrations – is to go on sale at a charity auction.The personal annotations from the best-selling author included comments on the process of writing and a section from an early draft of the novel.They also included a note on how the best-selling author came to create the game of Quidditch.It “was invented in a small hotel in Manchester after a row with my then boyfriend. I had been pondering the things that hold a society together, cause it to congregate and signify its particular character, and I knew I needed a sport,” she wrote.Rowling also drew illustrations in the book, including a sleeping baby Harry on a door step and an Albus Dumbledore Chocolate Frog card.The copy will be sold tomorrow at Sotheby’s in London as part of an auction jointly organised with the writers’ association English PEN.The group, a charity that promotes the freedom to read and write, asked 50 acclaimed authors to “scribble second thoughts, marginalia or drawings” on a first-edition copy of one of their books.Other participating authors included Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Seamus Heaney, Lionel Shriver and Yann Martel.Sotheby’s said the funds raised will benefit English PEN.last_img read more

Martin Wrong to say someone who supports abortion bill is proabortion

first_imgFIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin gave his thoughts today on a statement from a Vatican commentator that Catholic TDs should resign rather than vote to legalise abortion.Monsignor Jacques Suaudeau, the scientific director of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican, told the Irish Catholic newspaper that Catholic politicians who support the forthcoming abortion bill are “pushing themselves out of the Church”.Fianna Fáil TDs and senators will be allowed a free vote when the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill is put to them in the Dáil.This morning, Martin told RTÉ’s radio show Morning Ireland that as a parliamentarian “I don’t take my cue from the Vatican or anybody in relation to that”, referring to voting for the bill.He said he intends to vote for the bill. Martin said that he has a “personal conscience view here that I have an obligation to speak the truth”, and that he is clear that “what I am about is protecting the life of the mother when the life of the mother is at risk”.“Of course the church is entitled to its point of view, and can articulate that point of view,” said Martin, but added he doesn’t think the church is “entitled to misrepresent however what the bill is about”.There has been an attempt made by hierarchy spokespeople here “that someone who supports this bill is somehow pro-abortion and pro-choice”, said Martin.That is a fundamental misrepresentation and it is wrong.He also said that there should be no attempts to label people wrongly in terms of the motivation and the good faith in which they are approaching this issue.“It is a deep issue of conscience,” he added. Martin described himself as pro-life, not pro-choice or pro-abortion. He said that Catholics “have a right to vote with their conscience”.The Fianna Fáil party is looking at aspects of amendments to the bill, and the party’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher will be bringing forward some suggestions, said Martin.Issues of interest to them include annual reports and monitoring of how the legislation will work in practice, and though they may not lead to amendments, it is open to members to table amendments to the bill.Read: Fianna Fáil to examine if free votes should be given more often>Read: Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators to have free vote on abortion bill>Read: Catholic TDs “will not be excommunicated” if they vote for abortion legislation> I am a Catholic myself, and I will make my decisions in accordance with my conscience but I certainly don’t believe parliamentarians who have to uphold the constitution should be taking diktat from anybody in that regard.last_img read more

John Kerry makes unannounced trip to Iraqs Kurdish region as country teeters

first_imgUS SECRETARY OF State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region this morning as part of an urgent diplomatic drive to stop the fractious country tearing apart.A day after meeting Iraqi Arab leaders in Baghdad to discuss a lightning assault by Sunni militants, the top US diplomat landed in Arbil to urge Iraqi Kurdistan’s president, Massud Barzani, to work to uphold Iraq’s cohesion.Kerry will highlight “the important role that the Kurds can play in helping the central government address… challenges for the benefit of all Iraqis,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.The militant offensive has cleared the way for Iraqi Kurds — who were once gassed by former dictator Saddam Hussein — to take control of a swathe of disputed territory they want to incorporate into their autonomous region over Baghdad’s strong objections.Crucially, their security forces are now responsible for securing the ethnically mixed oil-rich city of Kirkuk, the heart of that disputed territory.“Now we are living a different era,” Barzani told CNN ahead of Tuesday’s talks, as he called for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whom he described as “the one responsible for what has happened” in Iraq, to step down.During the last 10 years we did everything in our ability… to build a new democratic Iraq, but unfortunately the experience has not been successful.Pressed on whether Iraqi Kurds would seek independence, Barzani said: “The time is here for the Kurdistan people to determine their future and the decision of the people is what we are going to uphold.”‘Iraq falling apart anyway’Iraq is obviously falling apart anyway, and it’s obvious that a federal or central government has lost control over everything.Sunni insurgents, led by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), have pressed their offensive by seizing the strategic town of Tal Afar in northern Iraq, while security forces retook a border crossing with Syria from the militants on Monday.Iraqi forces are struggling to hold their ground in the face of the drive, which has seized major areas of five provinces.“This is a critical moment for Iraq’s future,” Kerry said Monday after meeting Maliki in Baghdad.It is a moment of decision for Iraq’s leaders, and it’s a moment of great urgency. Iraq faces an existential threat, and Iraq’s leaders have to meet that threat with the incredible urgency that it demands.US officials acknowledged that the gains made by Kurds in recent weeks in the fighting might not be easily reversed.At the same time, Washington is keen to persuade the Kurds to speed up the formation of a new government following April elections.Under a de facto system in Iraq following recent elections, a Kurd has traditionally held the presidency, a Shiite Arab has been the prime minister and a Sunni Arab has been the speaker of parliament.“The Kurds have a better role to play in maintaining the stability of the state here to some extent,” a senior State Department official told reporters.“If they decide to withdraw from the Baghdad political process, it will accelerate a lot of the negative trends,” he warned.But if the Kurds take an active role “they will have substantial clout and influence in Baghdad”.The region has also taken in thousands of people displaced by the militant offensive, and Kerry’s visit aimed to recognise their efforts to tackle “a very serious refugee crisis”.- © AFP, 2014Read: Obama warns that Iraqi extremists could destabilise other countries > Read: Iraqi troops show strength, but ISIS captures key crossing >last_img read more

Opinion Here I go again back to Riyadh My life has changed

first_imgSITTING IN BAHRAIN Airport the other day, waiting for a flight back to Riyadh and sipping on a cold beer, that old familiar feeling returned that I know so well. Here I go again, back to Riyadh, starting back to another year in the Kingdom, and reflecting on how transient and different and sometimes lonely life has become in the last few years…July 2011, I left Ireland to take up a posting on a remote military base in Afghanistan. It’s now three years later, I’m working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and life is so different to what it was ten years ago.I can only describe the last few years as a mixture of adventure, relief, grief, a sense of a transient lifestyle, sometimes loneliness – always interesting but, to be absolutely frank, a world completely turned upside down from where I was ten years ago.Back in 2004, I was married, I had just set up my own business, I was dad to a two-year-old son and was anticipating the arrival of a second, was about to go on holiday to Lake Garda in Italy which turned out to be a fantastic trip abroad that summer. I can still remember having Daithi perched on my shoulders heading off for pizza in the warm evenings.This is not where I now compare life to the present day and bemoan the cards I’ve been dealt – that is of no use to me or, indeed, to you the reader. I actually believe I’ve been fairly fortunate, though the ride has certainly been rough at times and like many things, some aspects are positive, others not so.The repercussions of the meltdown continueThe financial meltdown from 2008 was a massive blow to Ireland, and its repercussions are still being felt, though there are now signs of recovery in parts, primarily the greater Dublin area and also Cork. This is certainly to be welcomed, though I personally would have concerns about other Irish towns, such as Limerick for example, where recovery is somewhat slower. I belong to an industry that was effectively wiped out and will take some time to recover properly back home.My experience of the years from 2008 to 2011 was of running a business which was less than five years old and seeing turnover literally collapse by 80% in two months. It’s only now when I look back that I appreciate how dramatic that was for business owners up and down the country, and the effects it had on families and local communities – right up to this day and beyond, in the form of failed businesses, unemployment and for many of us, emigration.When I finally gave up on the business in 2011, after doing as much as I possibly could to keep it alive and to also re-invent myself for other roles, it came with a huge sense of failure – that I had let my staff down, my family down. You deny it and try to battle on, but it’s actually a huge sense of failure which can lead to a dark place if it’s not addressed.A new focus on the futureEmigration has been a way back, a sort of redemption, a return in confidence, not something I had anticipated in the first year when based in Afghanistan. With confidence, comes perspective again and a new focus on the future. I have recovered a lot of lost ground financially, thankfully, and have relocated here to Riyadh since 2012 with an Irish company; I have much to be grateful for, which I am.The change is challenging, there is very little one can do about it other than adapt. Here in Riyadh, its very transient – people (particularly ex-pats) come and go fairly regularly; it’s incredibly hot (43 C this week); it lacks a sense of place for a lot of us; and its culture and societal norms can take a lot of getting used to by comparison to other nearby countries. I have formed new friendships and relationships, and I’ve sadly lost others, but life is going on and there is much to look forward to also.My boys are growing bigger and smarter, the banks now write polite letters to me (wasn’t expecting that and, to be honest, I don’t take it too seriously either), I get more time off than I used to in my own business, I’ve visited a lot of countries I never expected to and have come to understand the Middle East so much more than I did before. On the other side, yes, it’s been a struggle at times, I really do miss home and look forward to the day when I can return and re-establish a life in Ireland. Now there’s something to look forward to.Noel Scanlon is a father, design manager and blogger from Sixmilebridge, Co Clare. He took up an appointment in Afghanistan in July 2011 as a result of his business collapsing and the challenging economic conditions at home and later moved on to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he now works. He tells his story in his regular blog, A Long Way to Go for a Sun Tan.Column: ‘Life for an Afghan is random, ruthless and unforgiving’Read: Bring potato cakes and a wad of cash: Advice on moving to Londonlast_img read more

Well Leave it There So Springsteen at the RDS Fenlons Rovers return

first_img Howard Webb discussing his future last night, both him and his partner have decided retirement would be good.— Liverpool Exposé (@LFCExpose) August 6, 2014 NEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s sports news… Source: AP/Press Association Images(Alec Troemel, 19, bottom, and Andrew Westgate, 19, both of Mundelein, Ill., race down a dune as a family treks up the steep hill during an outing at Warren Dunes State Park)HomeShamrock Rovers have a new manager with former Rovers player and seasoned LOI coach Pat Fenlon agreeing to take charge of the club.The 2014 Dublin Horse Show got underway, with Bruce Springsteen and his daughter Jessica, who was competing at the event, among the more notable names at the RDS.It has been confirmed that Irish boxer John Joe Nevin, who suffered two broken legs in a much-publicised attack back in April, will return to the ring in September.Armagh GAA’s media ban is set to continue, after a press briefing was cancelled today. On the record“It was a natural progression. It was one of the easiest parts of the game, coming from a GAA background, to be able to kick. In the women’s game, kicking isn’t very big, so it’s hard to get coaching in it. But after the 2010 World Cup, I really felt like I let myself down in that aspect of the game. I spoke to Ian Costello, and he’s done a lot of work with me. I was always pressing myself via YouTube videos of Jonny Wilkinson, ROG, Jonny Sexton, these guys, trying to emulate them.” – Ireland Women’s Rugby star Niamh Briggs on her kicking technique and how she took inspiration from ROG and others. The fixture listThe Dublin Horse show continues into its second day.A number of Europa League second-leg games are taking place, including Hull against AS Trencín.There is one Airtricity League game tomorrow, and it sees Limerick host Bray.If you’re up for staying up late, Bayern Munich take on the MLS All Stars at 1am tonight.Where we were todayWe spoke with both David James and David Ginola ahead of the launch of the new Premier League season. Matthew Macklin’s upcoming fight has been postponed after his trainer was shot.New World Number One Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will defend his Australian Open title. Source: Liverpool Exposé/Twitter The best thing we sharedWe couldn’t help but laugh at this and several other witty Howard Webb-related tweets. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO(Bruce Springsteen arrives in the RDS today)AwayLiverpool have announced another summer signing, with Atletico Madrid full-back Javier Manquillo joining on a two-year loan deal.Juan Smith is back in the South Africa squad, having announced his retirement from the sport 18 months ago.It’s been confirmed that Phil Neville will be part of the Match of the Day team this season.English official Howard Webb has brought his career as a referee at the top level of football to an end. Showbiz, baby!Mils Muliaina is seriously pumped about playing for Connacht. Source: ConnachtRugbyTV/YouTubeWorld Cup star Briggs takes inspiration from Wilkinson and ROG>Dublin Horse Show diary day one: carb loading horses and the Boss’s daughter>last_img read more

Tipps Local Enterprise Office spent €4k on its opening event Leitrim spent

LEITRIM’S LOCAL ENTERPRISE Office (LEO) spent just €30 on its opening event, compared to spends of more than €4,000 in other counties.Previous figures show that Leitrim gets the short end of the stick when it comes to Enterprise Ireland funding, with a population of almost 32,000.The county was the bottom of the table last year. However, figures are not yet available for 2014.LEOs are trumped as a ‘first stop shop for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland’.Figures released in a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary show that a total of €38,521 was spent on their opening events.“Each LEO has a small allocation for events such as these and the costs are incorporated into each Office’s budgets for the year,” Minister Richard Bruton said.The closest spend to Leitrim was Dublin South with €310, despite a population of over 265,000.Coming out on top was Tipperary with a spend of €4,385.This was made up of €1,449 on catering, €502 on sound amplification, €250 on photography, and €1,200 on “miscellaneous” expenses, including a €1000 marquee hire.Next was Dún Laoghaire, which has a population of more than 200,000 – out of a total of €4,297, €2,219.65 was spent on a marquee, PA system, video and photography, €2,007.60 on catering, and €70 on “security/car park”.Enterprise Ireland noted that the cost of catering depended on time of launchHowever, Leitrim spent just €30 – courier costs for the delivery of a stand.A spokesperson for Enterprise Ireland said: The tea and coffee was provided by the Leitrim County Council canteen or kitchen, and two small local companies used the event to showcase their home baking produce and supplied both scones and brown bread for the event free of charge.Another office in Monaghan spent an event €500 on catering, while Kerry spent €172 on photography.Read: Five counties received less than 1% of Enterprise Ireland funding last year > read more

Opinion How to go from friend to boss overnight

A LOT CAN be playing on your mind when you first get that promotion. You personally may feel nervous and under pressure to deliver a result quickly. While concentrating on your success as a leader, you must deal with the added complication that these are your colleagues and friends that you are managing. There may be feelings of relief, anticipation or regret amongst your team.Did someone else on your new team apply for your job?Was your predecessor some kind of superhero and now you have a tough act to follow?How do things work around there? Will your management style match the current culture?They may not be used to taking direction from you.There are many things to consider when you arrive. There are people that have been there for years before you got there, how are they feeling about your arrival? Are they delighted you are there? It is indeed possible that your arrival is eagerly anticipated like a biblical event, but the likelihood is that just like the rest of us you arrive into your new role to a bag of mixed emotions.In spite of all these challenges there are a number of steps that you can take which can help you succeed with your team:Establish the ground rulesThis is no doubt a difficult situation. In fact, in many companies a person is promoted and moved to a different department to avoid this scenario completely, as it can sometimes end in tears. There are a number of perceptions and assumptions that exist among your team which need to be set straight. They may have expectations that life will be easier now, eg finishing early, later starts, having a friend on the inside etc.Each person is different so a one-on-one chat is warranted:Explain that you wish to maintain the relationshipsRemind them that you are being asked to do a leadership role. There may be times when you must be the leader and make difficult decisionsAsk for their support.Follow upIf setting expectations was all that was needed then the world would be a great and easy place to live in. Sometimes you will find that despite your chat, you may still see some unwelcome behaviour: talking across you in the boardroom, friends continuing to speak to you inappropriately in work, and so on. In these situations a follow up chat is needed to clear up the problem.Balancing professional/social interactionsIt has to be said that it takes experience and skill to be able to maintain an employee/boss relationship while still being able to have drinks and socialise with your team after work. How do you strike a balance between the two? Be sure to be consistent and have confidence in the reasons for your decisions and actions during work hours, irrespective of relationships with your colleagues outside of work. This will earn you a reputation of being a friendly and fair leader.About youWhat will be your leadership style? Are you going to lay down the law? Or will you take a look first?The first is the Bull in a China Shop approach. A bull has no regard for its surroundings in the shop and causes untold damage. It will move as it pleases and whatever happens… so be it. ‘After all you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs’. I do not recommend this style of arrival.The second is the City Tour Bus approach. Just like a tourist you observe good and bad practises from the open top bus. This by far is my preferred style.Do not assume you know everything at the outset. You need to take your time to see things in operation before passing judgments and suggesting improvements. Before your arrival life went on and perhaps it is not as perfect as you want it to be, but you cannot ignore that certain norms would have evolved and still exist – some good, some bad. Do not immediately disregard those work norms as they have survived for a reason.Getting down to workOnce the relationship rules are established and behaviours adjusted, there are work issues to consider. It is at this point you apply your knowledge and skills. So what can you do? Don’t panic if you haven’t thought about all of the above factors. A heightened sense of “what is going on?” and constant one-on-one communication with your team in the early days can compensate for what you may have missed. Take your time when you arrive. Take your time and look around, you may be surprised at what you might find!Robert Kiely is Director of Operations at PCH International in Shenzhen, China. Kiely has worked in the area of people management for over 20 years and has recently published a book on the subject, The Book that could Not be Written. His book is available on and You can follow him on Twitter @TBTCNBW. read more

More than 8000 metres of eircom cable stolen in 2014

PHONE PROVIDER EIRCOM has said that there have been 30 incidents so far this year of cable theft.The company told that over 8,000 metres of cable have been stolen in 2014.Last year, some 60,000 metres of the company’s cable valued at €240,000 was stolen. This year’s haul would be valued in the region of €30,000.“These thefts do result in loss of service to customers but we always work hard to restore service as quickly as possible,” a spokesperson said. “There are a number of cases pending against the culprits.We would strongly urge anyone who has any information relating to metal theft to contact their local garda station.”Irish Rails has suffered some thefts this year – one along the DART line, which caused services to be cancelled, and another on the Limerick to Galway line.There have also been eight instances of cable theft reported by the Luas. A spokesperson said around 350 metres of earthing cables have been taken so far this year.They also pointed out that the cost of replacing the cables often far exceeds the cost to companies to replace them and repair any damage done by thieves.In May, gardaí warned businesses of a rise in metal theft, with over 2,500 incidents reported each year. That same month, they found 1,000 stolen beer kegs in a search as part of a metal theft day of action.According to gardaí, copper, aluminium and lead are the main targets for thieves.While copper prices are stabilising because of increased supply, market prices for aluminium and lead are both on the increase due to falling production levels. Other metals that are increasingly in demand are platinum, palladium and rhodium present in catalytic converters of vehicles.- With additional reporting by Clíodhna Russell.Read: Gardaí discover 1000 stolen beer kegs>Read: Businesses warned of rise in metal theft> read more