FIANNA FÁIL’S LEADER has refused to be drawn on his party’s possible preferences if they were to enter into a coalition government after the next general election.Speaking to Today with Sean O’Rourke’ on RTÉ Radio 1 today, Micheál Martin said he was “not happy” to get into the debate about who will be in power in two-and-a-half years, a line he has repeated many times over the past few months.The party is currently “not contemplating going into power”, he said, claiming it was more focussed on “ideas, policies and what type of society [it] wants”.“Franky, it is premature for us to be talking about forming the next government,” he added.However, he did tell the presenter that Fianna Fáil will let the electorate know about its preferences in advance of the general election.“Our preference is to stand as an independent party…but I think people are fed up about the idea of who fills the chairs.”Asked specifically about any potential coalition with Sinn Féin by a listener, Martin said he would have “major problems” but refused to dismiss the idea altogether.Explaining the statement, he said he believes that if Sinn Féin’s economic policies were implemented at the beginning of this Dáil session, then Ireland’s deficit would have doubled.Responding to similar questions about a possible power-sharing government with Fine Gael, he said he would never rule anything in or rule anything out.“It depends on the issues and policies that we put forward,” he concluded.Today with Seán O’Rourke offered listeners the change to put questions to the Fianna Fáil leader, who was criticised by some callers for the role he played in the previous government when Ireland’s banks were guaranteed and an international bailout requested.Martin to Taoiseach: ‘You’re adopting tactics that would make Libertas or Youth Defence blush’Video: ‘I’m not ruling anything out’ – Micheál Martin on Fine Gael or Sinn Féin coalition
A RARE WHALE that has a dolphin-shaped head and sabre-like teeth has been found dead on a beach in Los Angeles.The roughly 15-foot-long female Stejneger’s beaked whale washed ashore at Venice Beach earlier this week.A truck hauled away the mammal, which was being examined at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum to determine how it died.The Stejneger’s beaked whale is rarely seen in the wild.The species typically dives deep in subarctic waters to feed on squid and small fish. It is believed to migrate as far south as Northern California, and how the whale ended up so far south will probably remain a mystery.“This is the best,” said Nick Fash, an education specialist for the Santa Monica-based environmental group Heal the Bay:(Previous finds) aren’t anything like this. This is a treat.Males are known for their sabre teeth that stick up midway from each side of the lower jaw. However, the teeth of females and their offspring remain hidden beneath the gum tissue.The whale was alive when it washed ashore, said Peter Wallerstein of Marine Animal Rescue.Its body was covered in bites from so-called cookie-cutter sharks that feed by gouging round pieces of flesh from larger animals.Because the species isn’t seen much anywhere, the autopsies of washed-up carcasses are the best source for scientists to gather information.WATCH: Diver has luckiest escape after whale almost eats him>Read: South Park misses deadline for the first time ever because of a power cut>Watch an entire relationship… in five minutes>
FORMER NEW YORK Times editor Bill Keller and his wife, Emma, both caused controversy when they criticised a terminally ill cancer patient.The subject of their ire was not anything that Lisa Bonchek Adams had done, more what she had tweeted. Adams has around 14,000 followers on Twitter and has tweeted updates all through her battle with the disease.The upsurge in sites such as CaringBridge have made the process of keeping friends abreast of your health a more public affair.It isn’t always public, however.When Kerry-born Denise Horgan went to Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina earlier this month, her mind was on the procedure she faced.Having cystic fibrosis, she was about to undergo a lung transplant, an operation that would completely change her life.However, having made friends across the globe, Denise wanted to be sure that they could be kept in the loop about how she was doing.With many friends across the world and her parents not using Facebook much, Denise enlisted her friend Cris Dopher.Cris, who had his own lung transplant in December, keeps his friends updated with his progress through his own Facebook page and did the same for the ten days that Denise was in a medically-induced coma.“They have sites for updates for patients, but I didn’t see the point. Everyone I know is on Facebook so we just went with that.“A lot of people are very thankful to be kept in the loop. In Denise’s case her family aren’t on Facebook much, so this was a help I guess.”Of course, the updates weren’t all positive, but the key was knowing where the line of privacy was.” I try not to get too specific but keep the line honest. As a patient I know where the line is.“I kept it to major milestones, such as walking or getting tubes out and other setbacks.”Cris says that he was happy to do the updating, but is hopeful that Denise will be able to resume Facebooking herself.“Denise will surprise us and come on line soon. Denise doesn’t have a voice yet and her frustration is really very clear. But, you can’t be in a coma for 10 days and not get weak.“She is an amazingly strong individual and I would have lost my shit 20 times over at this stage. Anyone else would have lost it by now. She has so much grace.”Read: Cystic Fibrosis charity withholds €1.8 million from hospital
IN HIS BUDGET for the next year, Britain’s Chancellor George Osborne has committed the country to exploring its shale gas future, and the controversial fracking method of extracting it, by offering tax incentives to companies and financial benefits to communities for exploring the potentially massive reserves in the country. With Britain and other European countries paying 300 per cent more for natural gas than the fracking-happy United States, he’s right to promote investment into exploring the potential of Britain’s shale gas basins.Fracking is an emotively driven environmental issue. There are claims and counter claims about its safety, and the industry has met with considerable opposition in Europe. Many countries have either banned the practice of fracking or have kicked it to touch, awaiting studies – we have three in process – on its impacts. Other countries that have lifted bans, like Britain, are seeing slow progress as local government drags its heels and communities organise to protest the exploration wells being dropped.Much of fracking’s bad image comes from the USMuch of the bad image of the industry comes from the country that has most enthusiastically embraced shale gas, the US. The country isn’t best known for its quick and effective regulation of big businesses, and the emerging fracking industry seems to have gotten away with a lot in the US that one can’t see hard line European regulators turning a blind eye to. Improving regulation has been the key to improving safety and satisfaction of locals. A report presented to our own government before they kicked the issue to another three agencies to investigate concluded that with proper safety controls and regulation, fracking doesn’t pose a substantial danger.Governments have been kicking the issue to touch because it’s politically unpalatable to be touching the issue. I think instead that they should allow the exploration of shale gas to move forward as they are in the UK, with financial incentives for communities sitting atop the fields and close regulation of the industry. The fact is that we need cleaner energy sources to replace the likes of King Coal, and natural gas is a key fuel to aid the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, producing 45 per cent less carbon dioxide than coal and 30 per cent less than oil.Shale gas: the upsidesThe upsides of shale gas are massive. People living on top of shale gas reserves can win big with massive leases on land into which wells are sunk; ranging from $500 to $25,000 per acre per month and with royalty fees into the six figures for successful extraction. At a higher level shale gas has been nothing but a positive success story.The US had practically no fracking industry a decade ago. Now shale gas accounts for a quarter of the gas in the country, and is pushing up towards half in the next decade. The US pays $3.40 per Million British Thermal Units (mBTU) of natural gas. In Europe we pay north of $12, with the spot price sitting at $13.50 during the past week. The supply is so plentiful and the price so low that wells are being turned off in the US to limit supply and drive the price up. There has been a boom in jobs, industry and lower prices for consumers.There is a debate in the US about whether or not to liquefy and export their gas across the oceans, which would attract better prices for the industry but drive up prices at home. It would cost about $5 per mBTU to liquefy the gas and export it to Europe or – even more attractively – Asia, where they’re paying $20 per mBTU. As a side win, if the US were to export gas to Europe, we wouldn’t be as dependent on the nice people of Russia’s Kremlin-controlled Gazprom.We need clean fuelIndustry in the US has been a major winner, with energy intensive manufacturing jobs that previously went to China being kept at home because they’re now competitive with the all the filthy but cheap coal that’s being burned out there.That’s the other thing about shale gas: It’s a lot cleaner than King Coal, which is the dirtiest but cheapest form of producing large amounts of energy outside of the cheap gas rich US. Oft derided as the country that has refused to sign up to greenhouse gas emission targets, the International Energy Agency has released data to say that America’s carbon dioxide emissions from generating energy have fallen by 450 million tonnes, more than any country over the past five years. Indeed, the country has fallen back 20 years to the level of greenhouse gas emissions produced in 1992.That has been driven by a rise in natural gas in energy production, rising from 21.6 per cent in 1998 to 29.4 per cent in 2012; where renewable energy has risen from 8.3 per cent to 12.1 per cent. Coal has fallen from nearly half to just 36.7 per cent.Emerging economies and their hunger for energyThe insatiable energy demands of emerging countries like China, India and Brazil have seen them firing up filthy coal plants left and right. There are currently 1,200 coal plants in planning worldwide, with about three quarters in India and China according to the World Resources Institute. Even cleaner-than-thou Germany – with one of the highest recycling rates in the world no less – is building new coal plants and ramping up production in existing ones to make up for the nuclear power they’re switching off in the wake of Fukushima.The great energy conundrum of the 21st Century is that we need more energy; we need cleaner energy; and somebody seems to have a problem with every method of producing it. Community groups becoming exercised about fracking are joining the queue behind community groups concerned with the effects of wind farms, national groups opposed to nuclear energy, and nobody wants a big dirty coal, oil or probably even gas fired power plant being built in their back yard.We couldn’t deploy enough solar panels on our roofs to power the country if we wanted to (though heaven knows if we proposed it then People Against Birds Being Confused by Roofs Full of Solar Arrays would swiftly emerge) and there aren’t enough rivers to dam besides the fact that water management is another big environmental issue.We’re hurtling towards energy crisis after crisis in the next century. Shale gas could be an alleviating solution on the way to totally clean energy production – which I firmly believe is where the future lays eventually – by making it more economical to burn a cleaner fuel than coal in an increasingly energy hungry world. There’s also the economic benefits of having cheaper gas to burn in our homes and businesses in the short term.Opening the market for explorationOf course, we’re only discussing exploration at the moment. Maybe we don’t have massive reserves; maybe we do. We need to explore the reserves rather than kick everything to touch for years on end, because those years are becoming finite where energy is concerned. The US went from a standing start a decade ago to reducing its carbon footprint by more than any other country in the world largely thanks to shale gas and fracking. We’ll waste half that scratching our heads and launching reports to gather dust.If it turns out that, regardless of safety precautions and regulation, fracking will turn our water into a heating solution then fine – we’ll leave it be. But I think if you want to make an educated bet on a good way to secure some cleaner energy for the next few decades, the government could do worse than follow the UK in opening up the market here for exploration.
The AA ROADWATCH has criticised the amount that road users are having to spend on petrol on diesel, saying that it “burdens business”.Despite the latest price survey having shown a slight drop in both petrol and diesel, the AA Roadwatch have calculated that a typical Irish car (covering 19,200 kilometres per year) doing typical mileage (48.2 kilometres per gallon) will result in drivers spending €243 on petrol this month, of which €138.50 is tax.Petrol now costs an average of 162 cent per litre, down one-tenth of one cent on last month, while the cost of diesel has dropped by 2.7 cent to an average of 153.8 cent.The director of consumer affairs at AA Roadwatch, Conor Faughnan, said that the prices could drop a further two cent this month.“I would not get too excited though,” he said. “Better than a move the other way but prices are still hovering around at a very high level.”Oil pricesDespite a recent sharp drop in the price of oil, the AA Roadwatch said that this does not have as big an impact on fuel prices as drivers would believe, with over 57 per cent of the price of both diesel and petrol being tax.“For a road-dependent island economy with relatively poor public transport this is altogether too much.” said Faughnan. “It burdens ordinary people and it burdens business in an ongoing anti-stimulus effect.”Read: Commuters could save thousands by ditching their cars – Bus Éireann >
THE ORGANISERS OF the Dublin Pride Festival have welcomed the possibility that the Garda band could take part in this year’s parade.Acting garda commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan raised the proposal at the festival’s launch last night.Public Relations Officer for the festival Eoin Hendrick said they were “delighted” and that the gesture demonstrates “how progressive” Ireland is.“Knowing that we have the support from the Gardaí shows us that we are on the right track to an equal society,” Hendrick added, “where full marriage equality and gender recognition are not seen as different.”Dublin Pride Festival is a series of events that celebrate LGBT culture in Ireland.The first event begins on 5 June, which the parade taking place on the 28th.Last year: Thousands take to the streets for Pride parade >Column: I am gay. I have always been gay. I’ve never not been gay. >
A MAN WHO went missing in the US was found safe and well… by a local news team recording an item about his disappearance.WMTW reporter Norm Karkos and a cameraman were preparing to record a segment about the search for Robert McDonough, 73, when it was interrupted by an old man walking past in the background.After patiently waiting for him to exit the shot, the news crew in Limington, Maine realised what had happened.A happy outcome for everyone – and best of all, Karkos’s entire thought process was clearly visible on his face: YouTube/wmtwtvThe WMTW team then summoned rescuers to identify McDonough, who suffers from dementia and had been missing for around 14 hours.- Additional reporting APRay Charles is the blind golden retriever you’re about to fall in love with>Toddler Brant does The Wobble… amazingly>
Of the 90,000 additional housing units required between 2011 and 2021, over 60% (54,000 units) are needed in Dublin and a further 26% are needed in counties Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Thus the requirement for additional housing units is projected to be highly concentrated in the Greater Dublin areaLast month in the Dáil, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said that he felt that the capacity of land zoned for housing in the country is more than enough to meet the expected demand for new housing.He did not provide a geographical breakdown of these areas however.Morgenroth states that the current level of housing completions “will result in significant housing shortages in the Greater Dublin Area if the rate of housing completions does not increase rapidly”.Originally published 6:30am. Read: Nama has over 5,000 units suitable for social housing, but they’ve only handed over 13% >Read: Spain has ghost estates too and jobless families are starting to squat in them > THE STARK COMPARISON between future housing needs in the Greater Dublin Area and elsewhere has been brought into focus by the ESRI.Research from the think-tank shows that 86% of the additional housing needed over the next ten years will be in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.The institutes points out the projected lack of housing in the Dublin commuter belt is very different to the oversupply that exists elsewhere.Analysis of population trends shows that 180,000 additional housing units will be required between 2011 and 2021. The ESRI points out that the large number of existing vacant dwellings will reduce this requirement, by half, to 90,000 units.The shortfall is not evenly distributed though according to research author Dr Edgar Morgenroth:
I hate to say it, but after 5+ years in development it looks as though Polyphony Digital needed to spend a bit longer tweaking certain aspects of Gran Turismo 5.As the video above clearly demonstrates, both physics and car damage are not working properly. The car flying through the air hardly seems to take any damage as it bounces along the floor. For some inexplicable reason it also manages to start bouncing higher midway through the crash. To top it off the car lands wheels down at the end and drives off.But these are minor details, and the video also demonstrates what you need to do to highlight the problem: carry out acts GT5 wasn’t intended for. It is not a stunt game after all. On the whole the game is getting good reviews and is selling well. Used as the car simulator it was meant to be, Polyphony looks to have delivered.Saying that, I’d still put good money on the game getting a patch at some point next year, hopefully with these issues fixed.Read more at CVG
Harness the power of nature’s winter wrath by turning it into your own PC cooling system. Hack-a-Day showed off a geek’s setup of his rig next to a window with, what looks like, a dryer duct enabling a seamless connection between the great outdoors and his tower. The computer system’s internal fan sucks in the cold air, which when mixing with the hot air inside the PC may cause unwanted condensation. Ultimately leading to rig death. While a brilliant showing of how to “go green” with an o-natural cooling system, it’s not a perfect system. Even though the outdoor portion includes a hood, damper, and some Scotch Brite pads as a filter, there’s always the factor of having your PC a little too cold. Though this could be the poor-man’s solution to keeping high-end heated components cool without a liquid-based system.
The problem with using store-purchased NERF guns to use in covert office or home warfare is that they are usually bulky and brightly colored as heck with yellow and orange color schemes. This often makes it hard to get a bead on someone from across the room without them noticing you first. Good thing for NERF assassins, there is another option if you are rather handy at creating things: make a foam dart gun of your very own.Seizing the chance to create a homemade foam dart gun that out performs what you can buy at retail, Simon from New Zealand went to work and fashioned a pretty sleek and rather impressive NERF-like weapon. Made from an aluminum tube, PVC, wood, plastic, and a few other parts, Simon’s NERF pistol completely out performs its retail plastic counterpart, a NERF Maverick. Just watch Bender meet his demise at the hands of Simon and using his DIY foam dart gun.Read more at found Asciimation, via DVICE
The power consumption of electrical devices is always up for discussion as the price of energy rises. While the amount of energy required to power flat screen TVs and monitors has reduced significantly over the past few years (mainly due to the use of LEDs), one sticking point remains: standby mode.When you turn a TV off, it is typical for it to remain in a standby mode ready to be turned back on again with a remote. This mode requires power, although not very much of it (typically 1 or 2 watts). However, if you’ve got lots of devices with a standby mode, the power consumption adds up if you view it over an extended period, say a year. Also, it is a complete waste of power just to offer the convenience of a TV that is quick to turn on.Toshiba has decided to fix this issue with the launch of a TV carrying a new Eco Chip. The company claims the standby mode on this TV uses zero power.The 32-inch TV in question is called the Regza 32BE3. When in standby mode there is no power drawn from AC at all. Instead the Eco Chip has been combined with a large-capacity capacitor, capable of providing enough electricity to power the chip and therefore accept input from the remote. So you still get that instant-on functionality by pressing a button on the remote, but you lose the constant power draw required to make it happen.Toshiba has also tried to make the Regza 32BE3 very low power even when in use. There are two backlight modes that not only cut the backlight by 50% and 75%, but auto-adjusts the image to cater for the lower light level. You can also set the TV up to automatically go into zero-power standby mode if no input is received for 3 hours.Overall, using this TV should see your power use drop compared to an equivalent model not using the Eco Chip. Toshiba compares it to the previous 32-inch TV they released (the Regza 32A2) and claim a 27% power saving.Read more at Tech-On! and Toshiba (translated)
Imagine, if you would, a mobile environment in which you had complete control over how every little thing you see looks and acts. Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko (B2G) project is a mobile operating system that uses the web as your delivery mechanism for everything. As it stands right now, the B2G project is very much pre-alpha, but after spending some time with the OS on the Samsung Galaxy S2 it is clear that Mozilla plans to deliver a whole new experience to users.Everything is HTML5The core to the Boot to Gecko project is the web. Everything you see — right down to the power icon and network status information — is generated by and displayed with HTML5. The icons for the apps, the apps themselves, and the notifications the apps generate… all HTML5. Even the Dialer and the Settings for the device are handled this way.The purpose here is twofold. First, it allows the device to perform much faster by removing all of the software layers that exist in traditional OS methods. Second, the entirety of the OS is editable by the end user. Right from the OS, in real-time, a user can edit the HTML for a specific page and change how it looks and feels. This gives the user a fast OS that is 100% personalized (or at least personalizable) to their preferences.The real power behind this comes from HTML5’s ability to communicate with the hardware directly. If you want to take a photo on B2G, the OS just opens a website that uses HTML5 to access the camera. As an added feature to this, any website can include the camera function for B2G using the same tools. You could go to Facebook and take your picture right from the website, instead of having to take it, store it, and then share it. By allowing everything access to that hardware layer, you remove a lot of the steps that go into using a phone today.For more on HTML5 check out ExtremeTech’s piece, What is HTML5.What about Apps?We have become an app-driven culture. This isn’t because apps add anything new or unique, but because they offers services in a small, understandable packages. The web is far too confusing for the average consumer. Most people have a dozen or so websites that they go to and the rest of the Internet is this sort of scary wilderness that they don’t understand or care to know more about. Apps take the web and chop it up into these small, digestible bites. The reality, however, is that apps don’t offer anything that wasn’t already on the web in some other form or fashion. Mozilla is taking a hybrid approach to the app world with their own app market.Users who want to simply harness the power of the web on their phone are free to do so, but the app-focused among us will also have the option to use Mozilla’s web apps. Already, many developers have taken advantage of the relatively simply idea of taking HTML5 and pushing their app to work in that environment.Services like Google Voice and Gmail have had HTML5 apps for a long time now, and they work great on B2G. The same concept applies here — there are far more web developers out there than there are app developers right now, and many of those developers are already very familiar with HTML5. This move gives Mozilla access to a much larger group of developers than even exist for iOS and Android today.Security in a web-only worldWe all have browsers. We all get pop-up ads, malware threats, and all kind of other things. So, how smart is it really for our phones to be one big browser? When I asked Todd Simpson, the Chief of Innovation for Mozilla, he explained that security is something they plan to take very seriously. The core of this project will be to function in much the same way that Firefox does now. Sandboxing the users as much as possible from the potential threats found on the web is a priority for the OS, and the goal is to ensure that issues like pop up ads and malware aren’t something the user ever has to deal with.Todd also spoke briefly on a permissions system for web apps that are installed. While the Internet as a whole can be a dangerous place, the web apps that are installed on your B2G phone will have to request specific permissions in order to get them. This is a very similar procedure to what has been seen already on Android and iOS, and many browsers today even have a simple permissions system for HTML5 accessing hardware. This security measure isn’t foolproof, and a hazard to a completely editable HTML5 existence is that someone who doesn’t know exactly what they are doing could find themselves in real trouble. It will be interesting to see how Mozilla approaches security when it comes time to release a device.How do I play with it right now?Mozilla has made it easy to take part in the B2G ecosystem. If you have an Android phone, you can actually compile and flash a pre-alpha ROM to your device. You’ll need to be sure you know what you are doing, and there’s not really a list of devices it is sure to work on yet, but the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Samsung Nexus S are both devices that have been seen running B2G. When I tried to flash it on my Galaxy Nexus last night, I was greeted with a very lovely lock screen, but not much else worked.If you are the type to want to play with a brand new shiny toy, Mozilla seems happy to have you participate and contribute at https://github.com/mozilla-b2g.For more reading check out Geek.com’s hands-on with Boot to Gecko.
There’s some bad news for anyone who’s planning to pick up the new Zone of the Enders HD collection: the new release runs noticeably slower than the original games on the PS2.A collection of gameplay and cutscene comparison videos show that as well as the HD version being slower than the original, the HD collection also plays slightly better on the Xbox 360. Fans have already commented that the mech action and general combat comes across as slightly slow motion and a video showing the difference between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions shows neither game runs at 60fps. In fact, during one selection of gameplay the Xbox averaged 39fps while the PS3 lagged behind at an average of 32fps.This is bad not only for PS3 owners but for Konami as their official website states that Zone of the Enders HD Collection has been upped to 60fps from its original 30 fps when the reality is quite different.This isn’t the first time a HD Collection from Konami has failed to deliver. In particular, the Silent Hill HD Collection suffered from serious frame rate issues. Eventually the PS3 version was patched but Konami suffered technical difficulties when trying to create a patch for the Xbox 360 version. Customers of the Xbox version were offered an exchange for a different game from Konami.Perhaps this slowdown can be fixed by a patch, it might have to be if lots of customers suddenly start complaining about false advertising. Let us know if you’ve picked up a copy of ZoEHDC and if you’ve noticed any slowdown.More at Esuteru via Joystiq
RIM’s first BlackBerry 10 devices aren’t due on the market for a few months, but the Canadian company has already scored a modest victory for its upcoming OS. The U.S. government has already bestowed a vital security clearance upon BlackBerry 10, which clears the way for federal agencies and contractors to upgrade to the L and N Series phones when they arrive early in 2013.The thumbs-up is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it shows that RIM retains its laser-like focus on security, which is something that has helped it stay afloat against the rising tide of iPhone and Android. That’s always been a major selling point for BlackBerry, and it could work in RIM’s favor as the NFC payment revolution picks up speed. Second, it means that RIM can start talking to decision-makers in the government agencies where its phones are still deployed about giving the next-gen BlackBerry a close look. Despite some very public losses last year, RIM says that there are still more than one million of its handsets in use by government employees in the States.A little good government-related news will no doubt be welcomed by RIM. Just over a week ago, the company learned that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was going to end its BlackBerry-only policy and allow other devices — as long as they were secured by Good Software’s mobile device management suite. Contracting giant Halliburton also dumped RIM last year, opting to move its users to the iPhone.RIM has already started to get carriers involved with BlackBerry 10, and with this security clearance out of the way you can bet that the company will start chatting with CTO Todd Park about what it can do to address the fed’s unique smartphone needs. As much as RIM needs to win over consumers with the launch of BlackBerry 10, the government and corporate America need plenty of convincing, too.More at The Globe and Mail
Short URL 35 Comments Matterson’s Bacon Factory taken in the late 1950s. The men are (l-t-r) Mick Hanly, uncle of the famous singer of the same name, and the Morning Ireland broadcaster David Hanly, Connie Considine and Ger ‘Logger’ McMahon.O’MARA’S, MATTERSON’S, SHAW’S and Denny’s were the names that made Limerick famous for its bacon produce for 180 years – earning it the nickname ‘Pigstown’.The reputation of Limerick ham, the food culture that arose from a plentiful supply of cheap products, the story of the pork butchers, the pig buyers, the sounds of the city with factory horns signalling the call to work – all of these still resonate in Limerick in the memories of its citizens and former workers.A definitive account of this industry that operated at the centre of the city, supplied by the farms of rural county Limerick for over 180 years will be documented in a new book called Pigtown – A History of Limerick’s Bacon Industry.Ruth Guiry was commissioned to undertake the research under the guidance of Dr Maura Cronin from Mary Immaculate College and one of the 27 people she interviewed to understand the role the bacon factories had in Limerick was Joe Hayes. O’Mara’s bacon factory, Roches Street, Limerick. Source: Courtesy of Tony PunchJoe Hayes started working in a bacon factory in 1962, aged 16 years old. He worked with his dad, and later on with his two sons until the factory closed in 1986.“When the factory closed, a group of us got our own little unit, we rented it, and produced our own sausages, puddings and things.”It was a huge part of Limerick’s social scene: four generations of Joe’s family worked in bacon factories, with uncles, sisters, brothers, sons and cousins all working in the factory at one time or another:“If one factory was caic, you wouldn’t have a problem getting a job in the other one. Feb 11th 2017, 7:45 AM A look back at the Limerick bacon factories that fed Ireland for 180 years A lot of the factory workers couldn’t afford expensive cuts of meat, so the offal, spare ribs and pigs’ heads would go to the poorer people of Limerick. Saturday 11 Feb 2017, 7:45 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Gráinne Ní Aodha https://jrnl.ie/3229226 Share76 Tweet Email6 People still eat sausages and bacon – where do they think they come from?They started at 8am and finished at 5.30 working a 40 hour week when the factory closed in 1986, but despite their work, the people who worked in factories often couldn’t afford to buy the expensive cuts of meat. Matterson’s advertisement for cuts of meat. Source: Limerick ArchivesAfter the expensive cuts were prepared, the offal, the spare ribs, the pigs’ heads would go to the poorer people. “The blood was used to make the pudding, the packet, the tripe was made off the belly. Everything was used off the pig, and it fed Limerick city.”When it all stoppedIt was a way of life down in Limerick, so when the factories closed, thousands of people working in a bacon factories were out of jobs, and thousands of families were affected.But it wasn’t the competition from big supermarkets that did it – it was free trade. The Danes, the French, the Dutch all started exporting their products here, and Limerick factories didn’t have the money to export to compete. Source: National Library of Ireland“Michael O’Mara’s funeral was this week – he was the last of the bacon factory managers.” says Joe. “After the Limerick factory closed, he tried doing different bits and pieces, but nothing worked out for him, so he worked in a factory for a couple of years before retiring.”Joe Hayes himself is retired now, and when he buys his meat he gets it in a supermarket.“Meat is meat,” he says.”But if I see the tricolour flag, I’ll still buy it even if it’s dearer.”Pigtown – A History of Limerick’s Bacon Industry by Ruth Guiry is co-edited by Dr Maura Cronin and Jacqui Hayes.Read: ‘It’s sad that it’s gone, but wonderful that it existed’: After 80 years, greengrocer Roy Fox shuts its stalls 18,204 Views Leaving Mattersons at dinner hour. Source: Limerick Diocesan ArchivesAnd he doesn’t mince his word when talking about the work they did.“They brought the pigs in, we killed the pigs, and prepared the bacon: that’s the way it was in the bacon factories.” When asked about if there were ever animal cruelty protests, he laughs at the idea.
ESB and Bord na Móna to develop solar power for 150,000 homes Renewable energy in Ireland is currently predominantly generated from the wind. https://jrnl.ie/3362660 Mike Quinn, CEO of Bord na Móna, and Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, with some of the solar panels Image: Andres Poveda ESB AND BORD na Móna have announced a joint agreement to develop solar power in four locations in Roscommon, Offaly and Kildare.The initiative will generate enough renewable energy to power about 150,000 homes and businesses when it becomes operational in 2019.The venture will access part of Bord na Móna’s land in locations across the midlands.The semi-state companies have committed €10 million (€5 million each) to kickstart the project.Speaking at the launch today, ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said the company is “committed to a future where low-carbon electricity powers a low-carbon society”.“We already have an established position in the solar market in Ireland, with both ground mounted and rooftop solar projects under development.”O’Doherty added that the new partnership will “help Ireland meet its carbon reduction targets beyond 2020″.Renewable energy in Ireland is currently predominantly generated from the wind, with the government seeking to introduce more diversity in the sector through biomass, wave, tidal and solar energy.Emission targets Mike Quinn, Bord na Móna’s CEO, said community consultation will be “placed at the heart of the project”. Mike Quinn, CEO of Bord na Móna, and Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, with some of the solar panels Image: Andres Poveda 14,123 Views By Órla Ryan 41 Comments The solar industry, although in its infancy here in Ireland, has the potential to form an important part of Ireland’s future energy mix in the medium to long-term.Climate Action Minister Denis Naughten also spoke at the launch, noting: “Government policy sets a vision of a low-carbon energy future by 2050 which will include greater levels of energy efficiency and renewable energy with an associated reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels.“We need to focus on areas where the impact on emissions is greatest, and adopt technologies that are as cost-effective as possible and that fit with our carbon reduction targets.“We have made great progress in the decarbonisation of our electricity sector with over 25% of our electricity coming from renewable sources. We need to continue this progress in the electricity sector but also increase our efforts in the transport and heating sectors.”The Environmental Protection Agency has previously criticised the government for being unlikely to reach its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions targets.Read: Spurs fan attacked by fellow supporter after ‘being mistaken for Chelsea fan’Read: Passenger dragged off United Airlines plane reaches settlement for undisclosed amount Apr 27th 2017, 10:22 PM Share Tweet Email5 Thursday 27 Apr 2017, 10:22 PM Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
UK, Canada, France and Germany all support Trump strike on Syria Russia, however says it wants an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. http://jrnl.ie/3329044 52 Comments Apr 7th 2017, 2:41 PM Source: USNI News Video/YouTubeAMERICA HAS RECEIVED support from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey after launching an airstrike that killed six Syrian soldiers.US President Donald Trump said that the strike was in retaliation for the “barbaric” chemical attack he blamed on the government of his counterpart Bashar al-Assad.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed the strike.“Canada fully supports the United States’ limited and focused action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against innocent civilians, including many children,” he said in a statement.Russia, however says it wants an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after angrily denouncing the military action as an “aggression against a sovereign state.”Syria’s regime has denied using chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhun, where at least 86 people, including 30 children, were reported killed and more than 500 wounded.With US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson due in Moscow next week, the Kremlin called the US strike a “gross… violation of international law” and warned it would inflict “considerable damage” on US-Russia ties.Opposition wants more strikes In this satellite photo released by the Pentagon, the Shayrat Airfield in Shayrat Airfield is pictured in Homs region of Syria. Source: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA ImagesThe strike targeted radars, aircraft, air defence systems and other logistical components at the base south of Homs in central Syria.US officials said measures had been put in place to avoid hitting sarin gas they said was stored at the airfield.In a statement read on state television, the Syrian army confirmed the strike and said it had caused extensive damage.Syria’s opposition and rebel fighters, who have for years urged more direct US military action in support of their uprising, hailed the strike and called for more.The National Coalition, the main opposition grouping, called on Washington to take further steps to “neutralise” the regime’s air power.“We hope for more strikes… and that these are just the beginning,” spokesman Ahmad Ramadan told AFP.© – AFP 2017Read: Syria airstrike: Donald Trump’s 180 degree shift on attacking the Assad regime Friday 7 Apr 2017, 2:41 PM Short URL 13,664 Views Share30 Tweet Email By AFP Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
‘I’ve been asked many times how I kept calm, but I don’t think anything could prepare you for that’ Ireland U17 manager Colin O’Brien looks ahead to this summer’s European Championships and reflects on last year’s penalty controversy against Holland. 35,669 Views https://the42.ie/4503776 O’Brien led Ireland to the quarter-finals of the U17 Euros in 2017 and again in 2018. Source: Andrew Fosker/INPHO“I do, I really do believe that,” O’Brien says when asked if other countries underestimate teams from this country. “Maybe not by some coaches, but some players might have a perception in certain countries about Irish football. Some of the opposition players we come across from other countries are super, super confident young players.There’s nothing wrong with confidence, but you’ve got to back that up. I think sometimes countries might underestimate us a little bit. We will always make sure we’re competitive.”He and his backroom team have put last year’s shootout exit behind them, he says, and are filled with fresh motivation, excitement and trepidation about this year’s Euros, which will be played in Dublin, Longford and Waterford from 3-19 May.Exciting young talents like Real Betis centre-back Anselmo Garcia MacNulty, Norwich duo Josh Giurgi and Andrew Omobamidele, Southampton’s Seamas Keogh and Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu are just a number of names to keep tabs on.It all comes back to the approach, the preparation and the mentality you promote, O’Brien says. Leading Ireland’s U17s to three consecutive European Championships, the last two of which saw the Boys in Green passage to the quarter-finals, shows there is serious potential.But it’s not just about results, he maintains. With a team of eager young teenagers just at the beginning of what they each hope will be long and successful careers in football, creating an environment with the right values to help them take the next step will be much more beneficial and worthwhile than medals and trophies in the short-term. This year’s European Championships are being held in Dublin, Longford and Waterford. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHOThat bizarre Dutch shootout defeat seemed to have crystallised O’Brien’s philosophy in one instance. Just when you’d expect a team to be lashing out against an injustice, complaining and criticising the decisions of referees, his men took the setback in their stride — knowing they had lost a battle, but the war was still waging on.“I don’t think anything could prepare you for that, to be quite honest. I’ve been asked so many times how I stayed calm, but I really don’t know what would prepare you for it.I think it was just more about the technicality of the rule being enforced [with goalkeeper Corcoran being sent off]. There was just a sense, I felt, that our players still deserved an enormous amount of credit for what they did in that tournament.“I think you’re going to see a lot of these boys progress in a major way in the next few years, and what I also said at the time was that — hopefully — younger boys coming through aged 12 or 13 will have seen how we reacted, and it might inspire them.“They will have seen that Irish teams can get to tournaments and compete at a high level. Not only that, but competing while conducting themselves in a professional manner.”Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Wednesday 20 Feb 2019, 7:55 PM O’Brien enjoyed a successful playing career with Cork City before moving into management. Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO Subscribe Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 3 Comments Share4 Tweet Email3 Feb 20th 2019, 5:48 PM “I’M SURPRISED YOU’RE keeping your cool,” Tony O’Donoghue inquired in a tone of astonishment which was shared by everybody back home in Ireland watching on from their television screens. “You put your heart and soul into this, the same as your players.”Colin O’Brien was being interviewed pitch side in Chesterfield having just watched his Ireland U17s side exit the European Championships at the quarter-final stage in the most bizarre, cruel and frankly unbelievable manner.Deemed to have encroached off his line, goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran was shown a second yellow card by Czech referee Zbynek Proske and was sent off in the middle of a penalty shootout.This meant his team-mate, Ireland centre-back Oisin McEntee, had to go in goals for the re-taken penalty, which was converted by Netherlands striker Daishawn Redan to book his side’s place in the semi-finals and send the Boys in Green home.Ireland Under-17 manager Colin O’Brien: “I think he said something that he might have come off his line earlier and he warned the Dutch goalkeeper in two of the penalties as well.” #rtesoccer #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/hubsOlbxcC— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) May 14, 2018 Look, these boys have done the country proud tonight,” the Cork native said. “They’ve great character, they’ve been like that all year. They’re a super bunch of lads.“We limited this talented Dutch team to two goal-scoring opportunities. We went to penalties and it’s very unfortunate what happened here tonight. Look, [the players] will be devastated now. Ireland U17 manager Colin O’Brien and his team after last May’s defeat to the Netherlands at the European Championships. Source: Simon Stacpoole/INPHO“But they’ve been fantastic all year, they’ve big careers ahead of them. They’ve had a great season with us, gone through two qualifying rounds unbeaten, topped their group. They’ve ran a really talented Dutch team right to their limits tonight.“It’s a tough way to go out,” he sighed. “But, sure look, we’ll take a lot out of it. They’ve all big careers ahead of them in the game. They’ve been super, what a tournament, what an experience for them. They’ve done the country proud tonight.”O’Brien’s demeanour — just when you would expect a manager to be seething, ranting, raving, decrying an injustice against his side, blaming referees and officials — struck a cord with a lot of people.Despite his side exiting the competition in the most cruel fashion, many of his teenaged players in tears on the field, O’Brien and his troops conducted themselves in an incredibly measured manner.“Classy response,” said one commenter on Twitter. “That manager is a class act,” added another. “What a leader. Outstanding stuff, that’s how you conduct yourself after that shambles.”It’s nine months on from last May’s penalty controversy, and the 43-year-old is now gearing up to lead a new Ireland U17 side into this year’s European Championships — the third championships in a row he has led his side to.Watch the controversial conclusion to the penalty shoot-out between Ireland and the Netherlands at the Euro U17 Championships. #RTESoccer pic.twitter.com/Mm8jln24Pr— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) May 15, 2018 Nobody had ever seen a goalkeeper sent off in the middle of a shootout, with the incident sparking a whole host of controversy and comment as to why and how the referee had decided to send off the 16-year-old goalkeeper in a European Championships penalty shootout.Most onlookers were dismayed, upset, full of rage and anger. Ireland manager Martin O’Neill even entered the field to have a word with the Uefa officials to demand an answer.But the calmest man to be found was the one who had every justifiable reason to be most upset. Ireland U17 boss O’Brien kept his nerve when interviewed afterwards, did not take the opportunity to criticise anybody, and simply heaped praise on the shoulders of his young side who had come so far and performed so well. This year is unique, however, with the competition being held in Ireland — meaning his troops will get the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd at a European finals. It’s something which very few footballers at any level get the chance to do, and O’Brien is relishing it.“It’s really exciting,” he says speaking to The42 as the countdown to May continues. “You’re going to have the best U17 players from around Europe all on our doorstep.“It’s very special and especially for this age group. They’ve known about this for the last two years. They’ve known ever since they played U15s that when they get to U17s Ireland would be chosen to automatically qualify as hosts.They know that they still have to prepare properly, not trying to get caught up too much in the occasion of it. They’ll be nervous, but they’ll be excited too. Irish crowds always get behind the team and I’d be encouraging everyone to get out and support us in May.”O’Brien led Ireland to the quarter-finals in 2017 and to the same stage a year ago, when his side suffered that heartbreaking exit at the hands of the Netherlands on spot-kicks.The Irish manager says he has been asked numerous times about the level-headed reaction of his backroom team and players following what many deemed an injustice, but maintains that it all comes back to the principles and values which his staff try to promote. Ireland will host the U17 European Championships in May. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOAt underage level, it’s not all about winning gold medals, he says. It’s more about instilling the right mentality into players who are still in their teens, showing them the right ways to behave and train and work hard. All to try and prepare them for the next stage of their careers — as senior, adult professional footballers. “A lot of the players have to understand that there’s going to be a lot that doesn’t go their way in their career,” O’Brien says, explaining that dealing with disappointment is simply part-and-parcel of sport. “It mightn’t be happening right now, but [setbacks] will happen.Whether it’s issues with a club, or issues with officials on the pitch, or issues with team-mates in their club. We’re big on values with them, we really are. I know a lot of people go on about Irish football and people have a lot of opinions, but it’s more than football that we work on with the players.“We want boys that represent themselves well, especially as they progress in their clubs. These lads, they’re smart lads, and we want to make sure they have good values and that they’ve taken something from their work with us. They won’t get everything, but hopefully they’ll have taken something that will stand to them in the long-term.”Ever since he became U17 manager three years ago in 2016, the ex-Cork City star has stressed just how much potential is within Irish football. Oftentimes other countries dismiss Irish teams, giving his players the motivation to cause upsets. Short URL By Aaron Gallagher Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO O’Brien enjoyed a successful playing career with Cork City before moving into management.
Friday 15 Jun 2018, 8:41 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ISPCA inspector finds 44 cats at Meath house after report from member of public The ISPCA said the property originally housed three cats but they were allowed to ‘breed uncontrollably’. Share176 Tweet Email3 By Michelle Hennessy AN ISPCA INSPECTOR discovered 44 cats at one property in Meath after receiving a call from a concerned member of the public.The charity said today that it received a call to its National Animal Cruelty Helpline and inspector Elaine Reynolds went to the Meath property. There she discovered “a large number of cats allowed to have bred uncontrollably”.A total of 44 cats and kittens were surrendered to the ISPCA and transferred to the National Animal Centre in Longford for veterinary assessment. The property had originally housed three cats, but they had multiplied to this number in just three years as none were spayed or neutered. Alastair is one of the cats looking for a new home now. Source: ISPCAWhile the charity said the cats were found to be healthy, it said it was “a dangerous overcrowding situation” as their numbers were increasing at such an unsustainable rate that it was “only a matter of time before more serious welfare issues arose”. http://jrnl.ie/4074048 27 Comments Short URL 24,325 Views Image: ISPCA Jun 15th 2018, 8:41 PM Image: ISPCA Elsa is also looking for a forever home. Source: ISPCAReynolds said this situation could have been prevented if the owner had neutered or spayed the three cats initially.“We need pet owners to be responsible by spaying and neutering their cats or kittens as early as possible. Our centres are consistently at capacity, and it is vital that pet owners help us tackle the issue of pet overpopulation. One of the cats, called Aideen, taken from the house in Meath. Source: ISPCA“Neutering and spaying is the most effective way to prevent cat over-breeding and it will go a long way in preventing unwanted litters of kittens from being born in the first place.”She said spaying and neutering also has overwhelmingly positive benefits in reducing the risk of certain cancers and curbing behavioural issues.The ISPCA is now appealing for new homes for these cats and anyone interested can get in touch with the charity here.