Darragh Maloney pic: rte.ie
Replacing Bill O'Herlihy when he steps down next year is a possibility according to RTE's sports commentator, Darragh Maloney.
But when asked outright if he planned to replace the veteran broadcaster, Maloney kept his cards close to his chest.
"O'Herlihy is a brilliant professional and is close to irreplaceable," Maloney said.
"But I hope that Bill does not go anywhere soon," he added.
O'Herlihy has previously said that he plans to step down from his commentary position following the next World Cup in Brazil 2014.
Maloney was speaking as part of the University of Limerick's Journalism Seminar Series titled: 'Issues in Irish Journalism', earlier today.
The broadcaster also spoke about impartiality in sports commentary. He told students that remaining impartial was hard to do, and something he, as a commentator stills struggled with from time to time.
Recalling Katie Taylor's final fight during the London Olympics, Moloney said that although RTE's commentary wasn't particularly impartial during the bout, he still looks back over the tapes and wonders how the fight was actually scored.
"I've looked at the fight again and you know in the third round you start to think how did they score the fight that way. But I don't think to many people at home watching the fight would have been very impartial either."
In his Seminar address he advised journalism students to make use of any means of industry experience that comes their way.
He said that qualifications were of the upmost importance, but having experience puts you in a position that if anything does come up you are able to take the helm.
Gender inequality: Minster Kathleen Lynch
Gender Equality Minister, Kathleen Lynch believes that women are still seriously under-represented in economic, decision making positions.
Speaking in Dublin Castle as host of a conference aimed at encouraging and increasing women's economic engagement she said women are still seriously under-represented, especially in senior management and on corporate boards.
Since 2009, the EU Commission has actively supported networking among women entrepreneurs, potential women entrepreneurs and government agencies and organisations.
The Ambassador Programme, which was followed in 2011 by the European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs, voluntarily counsel women who are starting and running new businesses.
The programme is based on an Irish model developed with funding from the Department of Justice and Equality and the European Social Fund, "Going for Growth".
Going for Growth founder, Paula Fitzsimons, said the Irish programme was now in its seventh year and offered a peer-led learning environment with experienced businesswomen who act as lead entrepreneurs on a voluntary basis.
She added that the recession had not stopped the huge entrepreneurial spirit existing amongst Irish businesswomen.
Other speakers at the conference indicated that despite over forty years of fostering gender equality in business and running a business, women still face more difficulties than men, in particular accessing finance, training, networking and in business and family life.
In summing up, Minister Lynch said that by choosing the topic for this Conference, Ireland was fostering a debate on women’s economic engagement which she hoped, would lead to renewed action and a diverse range of actions on the part of Member States.
A €282m roads project at Newlands Cross has been given Government approval.
The contracts for the first Public-Private Partnership road contract since 2007 was signed with BAM in what Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar has described as a milestone in Ireland’s economic recovery.
The works will remove the bottleneck at Newlands Cross on the N7 Limerick/Cork/Waterford Road in Dublin, and upgrade the N11 between Arklow and Rathnew to a four lane dual carriageway.
"These projects will make a huge difference to road users and will finally remove two bottlenecks which were not addressed during the boom," Minister Varadkar said.
The Minister said he was confident that the N11 would improve safety standards as soon as it was opened and the Newlands Cross fly-over would remove the last traffic lights between Cork, Limerick, Waterford and the border.
Over 80,000 vehicles pass through Newlands Cross every day.
This is the first transport Public Private Partnership to be signed since the economy ran into trouble in 2007 and shows that Irish transport agencies can once again raise private finance to invest in crucial transport infrastructure. The two projects have been bundled together into a single contract.
It's expected that the entire project should be completed within two years, while on-site works are expected to begin within weeks.
Funding of more than €150 million has been provided under Public Private Partnership including a major funding provision from the European Investment Bank and Bank of Ireland, and a stand-by credit facility from the National Pension Reserve Fund.
The contract has been signed with BAM PPP PGGM Infrastructure Cooperatie, BAM’s investment joint venture with Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM, together with BAM Contractors.
Other road projects that are still pending under Public Private Partnership include:
pic: Irish Examiner
Thirteen common dolphins whose carcasses were washed up along the Mayo coastline died as a result of becoming caught in trawler fishing gear.
Two Government Ministers have expressed concerns over recently released post-mortem results on five of the mammals.
The common dolphins were discovered over a period of a just one week in January at locations along the county’s coastline.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan who was responsible for commissioning a special veterinarian team to carry out the post-mortems said that he was always concerned with the killing of dolphins, even if it was believed to be accidental.
Agriculture and Marine Minister, Simon Coveny said he also shared Minister Deenihan’s concerns saying: “In addition to our own boats, many other European fleets operate within these waters and the area is intensely fished”.
“On the basis of these examinations, it is not possible for us to determine which of these fleets may have been involved in these incidents,” Minister Coveny added.
The post-mortem examinations took place in Athlone at the Regional Veterinary Laboratories of the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine.
Common dolphins are plentiful in Irish waters and the Celtic Sea, but are at risk of accidental ‘bycatch’ by trawling, as they may feed on fish shoals very close to boats.
Ireland is to provide €5m to help the global eradication of Polio.
The news comes following a joint statement today by Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello.
Speaking at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, Minister Costello said the Irish Government would provide the money over the next five years to help the global fight to eradicate the disease.
The commitment will see Ireland join a number of other donors and funders that have also made public pledges of support towards polio vaccination and eradication.
The Tanaiste said that many people in Ireland could still recall the fear of polio and that the disease had destroyed the lives of countless Irish people.
“It wasn’t until a rigorous vaccination programme was introduced in the 1950’s and 60’s that we eliminated the scourge of this terrible disease,” he said.
Minister Costello said that every generation has a great moment to seize in the eradication of diseases and that this was our moment.
The Vaccine Summit is being co-hosted by Bill Gates of Microsoft, together with the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and His Highness, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayad bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
It’s understood that going forward the plan will concentrate on eradicating the disease in the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Minister Sean Sherlock
Applications for third-level courses in computing, science and engineering have shown an increase for the fifth year in a row.
The positive news was welcomed by the Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock yesterday.
The news came following the release of a full analysis of all the applications for CAO courses in 2013 by the The Higher Education Authority.
Level 8 applications for engineering, computing and science courses now represent 19 per cent of all applications, a four per cent increase since 2009.
This level on the National Framework of Qualifications encompasses higher diplomas and honours bachelor degrees.
Applications for level 6 and 7 courses (advanced and higher certificates and ordinary bachelor degrees) in engineering, science and computing represent 31 per cent of this year’s applications. This is an increase of 6 per cent since 2009.
Welcoming the report, Minister Sherlock said: “As the Minister of State with responsibility for STEM subjects (science, technology, I am very pleased with this news. The year on year increases are encouraging and reflect the Government’s targeted approach to ensuring that we have the right skills and the right people to enter employment in growth areas of the economy.
The minister also acknowledged a shortage of graduates in certain areas and said he would be concentrating on ensuring that there is a pipeline of students with the relevant skills to fill jobs in those areas going forward.
Minister Sherlock also spoke about what he called, 'the unemployment crisis' adding that continuing to attract key overseas investment into Ireland remained a priority.
The full report is available on the HEA's website- www.hea.ie
Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence: Alan Shatter
Human Trafficking for the intent of 'forced begging' will be criminalised following publication of new legistlation by Justice Minister, Alan Shatter.
The Minister, today published the the Criminal Law, (Huaman Trafficking) Bill 2013(Amendment) that will be used to make changes to the criminal law provisions of the EU directive.
The directive provides for the criminalisation of two additional forms of exploitation that are not currently covered by existing legislation: Trafficking for the purpose of 'forced begging' and trafficking for 'criminal activities'.
Making the announcement, the Minister said: "Trafficking in human beings should not be tolorated and everything possible should be done to ensure the protection of those whop are vulnerable".
The Minister also said that he wanted to see the individuals who benefited from human trafficking beeing brought to justice.
The previous 2008 act already criminalised human trafficking for sexual exploitation and labour exploitation, but the new bill will see this extended to cover forced begging and criminal activities.
"We have a duty to ensure that vulnerable people are not exploited and that a comprehensive approach is taken to tackling the evil of human trafficking," the Minister said.
Chocolate Smiles: 135g & 350g jars recalled
Well known chocolate producer, Thorntons PLC have recalled some of their products amid fears they may contain small pieces of glass.
As a precautionary measure, the company is recalling all batches of their
Pink Chocolate Smiles (Jar), 135g; Milk Chocolate Smiles (Jar), 135g; and Milk Chocolate Smiles (Jar), 350g.
It's understood that small pieces of glass were found loose inside some jars.
The recall only includes the chocolates sold in glass jars.
Recall notices are also being displayed in Thorntons shops advising consumers to return the
Newstalk's Chris Donoghue with UL Journalism students, Ruth O'Shaughnessy and Liam Gleeson.
Newstalk’s Chris Donoghue is the latest journalist to openly criticise Independent News and Media’s (INM) proposed editorial charter.
Speaking at the University of Limerick (UL), the co-host of the popular breakfast show on Newstalk Radio, also controlled by Dennis O’Brien’s Communicorp Group said that he certainly ‘would not sign anything like it’.
“Sustained and constant criticism was what was missing during Ireland’s boom years,” according to Donoghue.
“Journalists got very caught up in the situation like everyone else. Just like regulator, Patrick Neary was asleep, some journalists were also asleep,” he added.
“Such criticism definitely has a place in Irish journalism, and I for one would not sign any charter to say that I wouldn’t use it within news reporting.”
The charter proposes that journalists should obtain written approval from INM’s group managing editor before they submit material deemed to include sustained and constant
The draft agreement is primarily aimed at INM print titles, the Irish and Sunday Independent and the Sunday World, of which O’Brien now holds nearly a 30 per cent stake.
Although it does not include radio, the charter would cover online and digital platforms, and any journalist found to be in breach of the charter would face disciplinary action and even
The charter is currently only at discussion stage, but has already been criticised as interfering with the freedom of the Irish press.
It has also received internal criticism by journalists within the INM Group.
In an article printed in the Sunday Independent, Colum Kenny wrote that: ‘sometimes a bit of harshness is due’.
Kenny also said that the decision of when to use sustained criticism should lie in the hands of the newspaper’s editor and not management or investors.
O’Brien, who owns 29.9 per cent of INM had previously expressed his dissatisfaction over how his business affairs had been covered by the Sunday Independent, especially since he successfully opposed the re election of the group’s chairman, James Osborne and finance director, Donal Buggy.
Decline of Print media
Donoghue was speaking as part of UL’s Current Issues in Irish Journalism seminar series yesterday.
The Dubliner also challenged the belief that print media is in decline.
He said events such as the Savita Hallapanavar story could only have run on broadcast media after they had been broken through print first.
“Radio has different strengths, and although I love working in radio, it often struggles to put something like that on record, so that people can go back over the actual facts of the story.
“Give me ten minutes on the internet and I will find you at least ten stories that wouldn’t have ended up on broadcast if print media had not broken the actual story first,” Donoghue said.
Talking about the migration from print to online content, Donoghue said the problem faced by the media industry was how to make people pay for content.
"RTE usually dominates the direction that Irish media follows in relation to charging for content," he said.
He added that, by deciding not to charge for their original news app, other media organisations then followed suit, and the problem commercial media outlets then encounter is how to make people pay for anything.
“People today are willing to pay a euro for one bar of chocolate, yet they’re not willing to pay 79 cent for a media related app’s”.
He also outlined the importance of shorthand as a journalistic skill and being able to diversify skills over different media platforms, especially in relation to new media.
A new Irish Coast Guard station was officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture and Marine, Simon Coveny yesterday.
The purpose-built, facility in Crosshaven, Cork was developed by the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport and the OPW.
The building will provide a new base for the Crosshaven Volunteer Coast Guard Unit.
The new regional headquarters will also act as a training centre for the Irish Coast Guard.
Members of the Crosshaven coast guard team were also presented with long term service medals by Minister Coveny, who said that he and his family had a 'deep personal connection' with the unit after his father slipped and drowned near cliffs at Robert's Cove in 1998.
“It's fantastic to finally see recognition of their dedication and professionalism through the delivery of this new facility,” Minister Coveny said.
Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, later commented on the presentation of medals saying he thought that they were 'richly deserved'.
Mr Varadkar also expressed his thanks to the team of 20 local volunteer members for their dedication and hard work.
"The unit train every week and provide the region with a 24-hour, seven-day, emergency response for coastal emergencies," he said.
Following the ceremony members of the public were given the opportunity to tour the station and also view a coastguard helicopter and meet the crew.
My Purple Chair
The My Purple Chair title was born from my favourite place to sit and think about what's happening in the world. It's old but comfortable. So i suppose it's a bit like myself!