CPI: Alcohol & tobacco show noticeable rise
Consumer prices in Ireland remained unchanged in April, but show a rise of 0.5 per cent on the same time last year.
Thats according to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The figures, measured under the Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicate some slight increases and decreases in prices over the year.
The most noticeable changes in the year were increases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+5.3 per cent), Education (+4.8 per cent) and miscellaneous goods and services up by 2.5 per cent.
The CPI indicates that there were decreases in the price of communications (- 4.6 per cent), furnishings and household equipment (- 3.4 per cent) and clothing and footwear fell by 1.8 per cent.
The main factors contributing to the monthly changes in the CPI according to the CSO were:
New Jasmine House, Kiltimagh.
The New Jasmine House restaurant in Kiltimagh was one of seven businesses served with closure orders by the HSE in April.
The closure order was served by officials from the HSE, under the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Act 1998, on the proprietors of the premises, currently operating as a Chinese restaurant and takeaway in the town.
The same premises was served with a closure order in July of last year, under the EC Official Control of Foodstuffs Act 2010. However this closure order was later lifted in the same month.
Another closure order was served under the same FSAI 1998 Act on the premises known as Spiceland, also trading as a restaurant and situated on Main Street, Rathdowney in Co. Laois.
Five further closure orders were also served by the HSE under the E.C. Official Control of Foodstuffs Regulations 2010. These included the following:
Other enforcement orders served
One improvement order was served under the FSAI 1998 Act on the Spar grocery store situated on Fitzmaurice Road, Ballygall, Dublin 11. And a probation order under the same act was served on Little Caesar's Palace, restaurant on Balfe Street, Dublin 2.
Professor Alan Reilly, Chief Executive of the FSAI said: “Full compliance with food safety and hygiene standards is essential for all food businesses. There is absolutely no excuse for putting consumers’ health at risk through negligent practices".
Mr Reilly said he would urge businesses to take full advantage of the information and support provided by the inspectorate and the FSAI to ensure that they have the correct food safety management systems in place.
pic: Mike Brown birdwatchireland.ie
White-tailed Eagle chicks have been successfully hatched in Ireland for the the first time in over 100 years.
In the last few days its been confirmed that two sets of eagles have hatched chicks. One at nest sites based in Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry and the second pair at a site near Mountshannon, Co Clare.
This pair also made history in 2012 when they nested for the first time.
The new chicks are the first of the high profile reintroduction programme for the White-tailed Eagle which began in 2007, with the release of young Norwegian eagles in Killarney National Park.
The reintroduction programme was developed and funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with Golden Eagle Trust.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan said that the arrival of the new chicks was a momentous occasion for the breed in Ireland given that these are the first chicks to be successfully hatched in over 100 years.
"The principal aim of this project is to re-establish a viable breeding population of White-tailed Eagles and today’s events are the big step towards achieving that goal," Minister Deenihan said.
"The adult eagles from Norway were released in Killarney National Park and will be the building blocks of a sustainable native population of the birds for the future," he added.
Minister Deenihan said that ultimately, the viability of the reintroduction programme will depend on the chicks going on to breed themselves, but whatever the outcome, the signs are good for future breeding in the area and at other sites across Ireland.
White-tailed eagles can live for 25-30 years and generally mate for life with adult pairs remaining within their home range throughout the year. First time breeders, especially young birds, often fail at their first attempt. But continued support from local landowners and communities will help the species have a bright future in Ireland.
Nesting in Ireland began in late March with pairs laying eggs in nests in Clare and Killarney.
One pair laid eggs in Mountshannon in 2012 but failed to hatch chicks. However by January 2013 they had already built a new nest.
The birds, originally brought in from Norway, were released in Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry, as part of the white-tailed eagle reintroduction programme. Several pairs have now established themselves in counties Kerry, Cork, Clare and Galway at coastal and inland lake sites.
Broadband lobby group, Ireland Offline, have questioned the decision of the Communications Minister to appoint Prisa Technology/Consulting to assist in the implementation of high speed broadband in Ireland.
Speaking to mypurplechair.com, Ireland Offline spokesman, Eamon Wallace said that its clear by examining the chosen consultant's website that Prisa have no expertise in the telecoms industry whatsoever.
"Its an incredibly complex field," Mr Wallace said.
"Sure they will probably be great project managers but they are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) specialists and business consultants. But looking at Prisa, they dont seem to have a clue about the telecom's industry," he added.
The announcement of the appointment of Prisa was made this morning in a statement by the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte.
The Minister said that the company would be assisting the Department of Communications in 'driving the design, planning and procurement of a State-led investment in high speed broadband in Ireland'.
Minister Rabbitte said that the Government was committed to ensuring that less densely populated areas would be able to receive very fast broadband and that this would require State intervention.
“Access to high speed broadband is a must for a modern society. Digital services are playing an increasingly important role in business, entertainment, education, health and Government.
"It is vital that all our citizens can access and avail of fast reliable broadband services irrespective of their geographic locations. The Government is firmly committed to this objective," he said.
The Minister said that the appointment of Prisa was an important milestone for the envisaged delivery of high speed broadband connectivity right across the country.
But Mr Wallace reiterated that the National Broadband Plan should deliver fibre to the community no matter where they are in the country, and he questioned what he said was the Department of Communication's belief that mobile was the answer for sending ultra-fast broadband speeds across the country.
Ireland Offline say their common view is that 4G will deliver to an extent, but only given certain criteria, and that anything more solid by way of 4G delivery was just wishful thinking.
"The department have been sold on that idea that mobile is the best option, and there is no possibility of logical argument with them as they just seem to completely ignore the science and the facts of the matter."
The lobby group say they would like to see Ireland following the same model as Finland.
"In Finland it is a legal right to have access to broadband," Mr Wallace said.
"Finnish telco companies must be able to deliver a minimum of 10MB to communities, and these telecom companies must also put in the facilities to deliver that," he added.
He said that in Finland, all new, public infrastructure must include plans for fibre, and that fibre must be shared with other telecom companies. This includes 'dark fibre' (when bandwidths can be managed by the private telecom companies themselves). This allows them to provide better speeds to their customers.
But he added that the Dept of Communications here seemed to think that managed services were fine, (when private providers use Eircom's cable infrastructure). With this model private telecom companies have no control over the set bandwidth that they are provided with.
Mr Wallace said that Ireland's National Broadband Plan should deliver fibre to a community and then that community should be able to look at all viable options of getting the bandwidth from the fibre to each and every business and dwelling.
Prisa Consulting is an Irish company with expertise in financial, commercial, procurement and technical projects.
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!