Nineteen years ago today, the weekly rates of State allowance for people living in Direct Provision were set by Government officials.

The rates were IR£15 (€19.10) per adult and IR£7.50 (€9.60) per child.

Since last August 2017, the rates were increased to €21.60 per child and adult.

This morning law lecturer at University College Dublin Liam Thornton launched a new website which, for the next year, will make available key documents on the system of direct provision obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Mr Thornton writes that the project will explore:

Making available previously unreleased documents on the creation of the system of direct provision. Contextualising the significant milestones as regards the creation and operationalisation of the system of direct provision.

The arguments engaged in between Government Departments and officials as regards responsibility for the system of direct provision.

The role of the narrative of reform, something ever present within governmental discourses on direct provision.

The negation of law and legalism until July 2018, and explaining the limits of law and human rights discourses in challenging direct provision.

Exploring Direct Provision

Liam Thornton

This morning.

Bulmers Forbidden Fruit Festival announced some of the acts which will play the June Bank Holiday weekend (June 1 to 3, 2019) festival at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

Monday is for dads so.

Via Forbidden Fruit

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg

RTÉ reports:

The European Union’s top court has ruled that the British government may unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the bloc, without consulting the other member states.

In an emergency judgment delivered just a day before the British parliament is due to vote on a Brexit deal agreed with the EU by Prime Minister Theresa May, the Court of Justice said:”The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU.”

European Court of Justice rules Britain can unilaterally revoke Article 50 (RTÉ)


Eliot Loudermilk writes:

It’s my annual mail asking you to plug my naughty-language-laden site for picking Christmas presents, but without having to resort to putting thought into it.

It’s getting close now, so I reckon your readers will be at the required level of desperation to find it useful

What the eff will YOU get?

Click here

From top: Ryan Tubridy interviewing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on the Late Late Show last Friday; Eamonn Kelly

Eamonn Kelly writes:

The problem with Ryan Tubridy’s interview approach is that he appears to be given a list of questions which he rushes through as if he believes that the object of the interview is to exhaust the list of questions. Once the questions are done the interview is over. Phew. Now the quiz!

The problem with this is that all the questions are taken as having equal weight and substance; there is no room to improvise – though Tubridy is far from being Robin Williams in terms of improvisation – and worst of all perhaps, there is no time afforded to the interviewee.

A few weeks back, even Mary Robinson, that paragon of patience, got a bit tetchy with Mr Tubridy’s interruptions; because, quite simply, they demonstrated that he wasn’t listening.

He was looking at his list, desperate to get to the end, so that he could do his more comfortable act of taunting the poor people of Ireland with baskets of bank-notes for a stupid money-drooling quiz.

Gay Byrne, like Michael Parkinson, knew that once you had them talking you let them at it. Mr Tubridy, on the other hand, seems to regard interviewees as obstacles between him and the completion of his list of questions.

The interview last Friday with Leo Varadkar should have been about one question and one question only: the 10,000 homeless people, parked in hotels at the taxpayer’s expense, as sacrifices to the market, in the hope of getting private investors to build houses to save Fine Gael having to go against its right-wing ideological principles by embarking on a believable social housing programme.

Mr Tubridy quoted Micheál Martin as saying that there was an upper middle-class resistance to building local authority housing.

Mr Varadkar looked pained, puzzled and bewildered at this one, denying there was any class prejudice in Ireland. Sure wasn’t he from Blanchardstown and now he’s taoiseach. Case closed. This, by the way, doesn’t count as evidence, since it is merely anecdotal.

Mr Tubridy wasn’t about to launch into a discussion on Ireland’s non-existent class structures, not with a quiz no more than ten minutes off; so, the exploration of alleged class prejudice in Ireland ended with Mr Varadkar implying with a look that maybe Micheál Martin was delusional.

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The striking images of Tokyo based photographer RK, who documents the dense multiplicities of life in populous modern Japan (and neighbouring Asian nations), subtly juxtaposed with the region’s singularly timeless landscapes.


Ciaran Tierney tweetz:

Veteran peace activist Margaretta Darcy (82) lay down on the roadway outside @ShannonAirport [yesterday], to protest against the use of the facility by the #US military over the past 17 years.

Margaretta Darcy?

Irish adults can expect on average to put on half a stone over the Xmas holidays

This month there’s a magical date
When we pile extra food on our plate
So you won’t be alone
If you gain half a stone
As they say that’s our national fate

John Moynes

Pic: Shutterstock