Author Archives: Bodger



Childers warns in a letter seen by the Parliament Magazine dated 1 September, that appointing someone with [prospective EU Commissioner for Ireland Phil] Hogan’s profile would, “send a very ominous signal to those who suffer and fight discrimination”.

EU parliament told of ‘serious reservations’ over Irish commission nominee (The Parliament)

Simon K writes:

“The first complaint to be brought to the attention of MEPs on the 28 soon-to-be-elected Commissioners has been for our own Phil Hogan. MEPs will vote on the 28 new Commissioners this month. We’ll see how that plays out….”

Previously: Everything EU Needed To Know About Phil

Big Phil’s Big Fat Gypsy Prejudice

Turning The Story On Its Head


A mountain ram

Faarmers protesting outside Enda Kenny’s constituency office [Castlebar, Co Mayo] yesterday accused the Taoiseach’s staff of illegally detaining two mountain rams in his office.
The rams entered the office at approximately four o’clock during the protest. Farmers denied they deliberately let the animals into the office, claiming the rams ran in by themselves. The Mayo News understands that the rams were taken out the back door of the office just after 6pm and taken to a pound.

Rams held in Kenny’s office cause ruckus (Anton McNulty, Mayo News)

Thanks Jack Jones


Stretch jerseys, coats of many geometric colours and masks.

The Harvey Nichols Autumn Winter 2014 collection unveiled in Dundrum , Co Dublin today  featuring above from left: Sarah Morrissey, Karen Fitzpatrick and new Miss Ireland Jessica Hayes wearing a Lennon Courtney [them off the telly] Burgundy Power Hero Dress.

(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

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Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan at the launch of her final annual report in Dublin this morning

Outgoing Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan has published her final annual report this morning, which shows there was an 16% increase in complaints in 2013, compared to 2012.

From her report:

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In relation to one particular complaint, Ms Logan’s report explains how the State could not find a school to take one child – who was a separated child seeking asylum and aged 13 at the time - for two years.

[Office of the Children's Ombudsman] received a complaint from a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) regarding education provision for a separated child seeking asylum. The child who was then aged 13, had been permanently excluded from school. Despite applications to almost 30 schools in a wide catchment area by the National Education and Welfare Board (NEWB) and the child’s social worker as well as one unsuccessful Section 29 appeal, a school place could not be secured.

The Department sanctioned nine hours per week Home Tuition (according to the DES Circular M29/95 the minimum number of instruction hours per week in post-primary school is 28) for the child throughout this period. The GAL contended that the Department failed in its responsibility to provide a school place for the child and that this involuntary exclusion from school had an adverse impact on their social and academic development.

The child was given a school place after two years outside the system and is reported to be progressing well after a difficult start.

In relation to asylum seekers in general, Ms Logan states:

I would like to use this opportunity to once again raise an ongoing issue of concern for me regarding the exclusion to my investigatory remit in the area of asylum and immigration. The Department of Justice and Equality and my Office do not have a shared understanding of the scope of this exclusion, particularly as it relates to children in direct provision.

I have raised this with the Oireachtas on numerous occasions dating back to my first annual report. In March 2012, my Office submitted a detailed report on the operation of the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002 to the Oireachtas and to the Minister for Children
and Youth Affairs. This report contained a detailed recommendation for amending the 2002 Act to clarify the role of the OCO in relation to complaints relating to asylum and immigration matters.

Notwithstanding the lack of clarity regarding its jurisdiction, the OCO has dealt with complaints brought to its attention concerning children living in direct provision. The OCO has sought and obtained a resolution to complaints brought to the Office in the interests of the children in question, though the Department of Justice and Equality has not accepted that the OCO can address these as cases within the statutory complaints-handling framework of the Ombudsman for Children Act.

Meanwhile, from the launch…

Read the report in full here

Previously: Why All The Secrecy?

Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

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Members of youth groups from across Ireland outside Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin in October 2013

In April 2009, the State contained 1.423 million people aged between 15 and 35. In April 2014, there were 1.206 million in the same age group. That’s a reduction from one generation of more than the entire population of Limerick city and county. This is the age group of rebellion, of adventure, of trying it out and trying it on. It’s the generation that annoys its elders and outrages convention and challenges accepted wisdom. It is demography’s answer to the stultification of groupthink. It is not always right but without its capacity to drive everyone else up the wall, smugness settles over everything like a fine grey dust.

Look anywhere in Ireland that is not a specific redoubt of youth culture, and the place is heavy with middle-age. From the civil service to the media, from politics to the arts establishment, you find demographic landscapes that have been largely frozen for the last six years. The thinning ranks of the young have been unable to mount any sustained challenge to the self-serving orthodoxies of their elders. Which would be fine if the place they leave could afford the consequent culture of stasis and complacency

Fintan O’Toole in today’s Irish Times.


*Grabs placard*

Quickly but quietly, Ireland is disappearing its young people (Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times)

Previously: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland


Top: Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip, Dave Kearney and Rob Kearney and (above) Bellamy’s, Ballsbridge, Dublin


That’s so last season, bro.

Leon writes:

“After months of speculation, The Bridge 1859 was officially announced today as the name of the Ballsbridge bar formerly known as Bellamy’s. Recently acquired by Noel Anderson of The Grafton Lounge alongside Ireland and Leinster Rugby stars Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien and brothers Rob and Dave Kearney, The Bridge 1859 looks forward to welcoming a ‘scrum’ of customers from the end of September…”


(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)