Author Archives: Bodger


Concern’s Tadhg O’Sullivan with 5 litres of water, the daily allowance for over one billion people

Kevin Jenkinson writes:

If you happen to see people carrying large containers of water around with them over the next few months, chances are they are taking part in a new contest launched today by aid agency Concern called ‘World Champions’.

One of several “missions” that teams will be given includes having to spend a day hauling around up to 5 litres of water that they must use for all their needs, such as cooking, cleaning and drinking.

Points are won and put on a leader board here and teams also win points by posting updates of their challenges online and by fundraising.

There is also a challenge called ‘survive on five’ that involves individual team members each having to live on €5 worth of food over five days.

This mission will see teams getting a glimpse of a reality that is faced by over one billion people around the world currently trying to survive on less than €1 a day.

The team with the most points by April 30 and who raise a minimum of €3,000 will win a trip to one of the 27 countries where Concern works this summer when they will meet some of the people living in extreme poverty, who are benefitting from the donations the aid agency receives from the public.

Registrations can be made by emailing

Concern World Champions (Concern)



Frank O Dea writes:

Spotted this for sale in a supermarket in Reykjavik, Iceland last week. Anyone planning a visit there in late January to mid February might (or might not) like to check out the Viking Midwinter Feast where lots of the locals take to eating lambs head jelly, singed sheep’s head, fermented shark, rams testicles and other such things. Yuk!


Former director of lending at Anglo Irish Bank Pat Whelan

RTÉ reports:

Former director of lending at Anglo Irish Bank Pat Whelan has been fined €3,000 for failing to maintain a register detailing an €8m loan to another former director of the bank.

Willie McAteer, Anglo’s former head of finance, has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a loan for more than €8m from the bank on 29 September 2008. He will be sentenced next Monday.

… Lawyers for Whelan said it would not normally be his role to maintain such a register but the legislation imposes an obligation on all directors aware of such loans to see that it is done.

The maximum penalty for the offence of failing to maintain a register of loans to directors is almost €13,000.

… Whelan has a previous conviction for giving unlawful loans to ten developers to buy shares in Anglo.

He was sentenced to 240 hours of community service after that trial.

Former Anglo Irish Bank director Whelan fined €3,000 (RTE)

Previously: Gone In 120 Seconds


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Sarah Callaghan (top) is from Dublin and travelling around Iran for a month on her own.

Sarah writes:

I have travelled most of Asia alone but have never felt safer and more welcomed than here in Iran. It’s a beautiful country to visit with a unique and kind people.

First day in the capital and I discover Bobby Sands Street in Tehran. A short walk from the newly opened hostel and cultural centre run by Facebook group See You In Iran, it is located along the walls of the British Embassy.

After the Iranian revolution, they renamed all the streets wanting to use inspiring and revolutionary names. On the entrance to the British Embassy, the street previously called Winston Churchill St., was renamed by local students in solidarity with Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands in 1981 (the sign is spelt phonetically).

The British embassy were not too pleased and changed their door to another side to prevent it being their address! Nowadays there is but a chained-up back door (third pic above).

At the time of the name changes and the hunger strike, local students were planning on storming the embassy and putting up Irish flags but couldn’t find any to buy, so they hand-made some. Yet, the orange looked red and, therefore, like the Iranian flag. So, to prevent confusion, they simply wrote signs “Bobby Sands St” and put them up until the name caught on.

I have read there is ironically a Bobby Sands burger restaurant here but when I visited the street in Tehran there was nothing, it is a very quiet street. However, I have heard rumours it is in fact in Esfahan so I will keep an eye.

There is more information and a great story from one of the students who named the street here.

In other Irish/Iranian relations, every male I meet – once they hear Ireland, they shout “Robbie Keane” and proceed to talk about how Ireland kicked Iran out of the World Cup. They also have a soft spot for Roy.

A little bit of home is everywhere…

Previously: Meanwhile, On Bobby Sands Street

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Front page of today’s The Times Ireland edition and US president-elect Donald Trump being interviewed by Britain’s former Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove and Kai Diekmann of German newspaper Bild 

Further to the Donald Trump interview in today’s Times – by Michael Gove and Oliver Wright…

In which, Mr Trump said:

“I own a big property in Ireland, magnificent property called Doonbeg. What happened is I went for an approval to do this massive, beautiful expansion — that was when I was a developer, now I couldn’t care less about it . . . but I learnt a lot because . . . they were using environmental tricks to stop a project from being built.

“I found it to be a very unpleasant experience. To get the approvals from the EU would have taken years. I don’t think that’s good for a country like Ireland. So you know what I did? I said forget it, I’m not gonna build it.”

A full transcript of The Times interview can be read here

Pic: The Times

Previously: De Monday Papers

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Hughie Daly, aged 11, who uses the services of the Rehab Group in Tullamore, helps to launch a campaign calling on the Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Martin Grant, of the Rehab Group, writes:

Ireland first signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a decade ago, in March 2007, but have as yet not made it legally binding by failing to ratify it.

Ireland is the only country in Europe not to ratify this vital international agreement, which would afford people with disabilities the same basic human rights as everyone else.

Ireland is also currently on a par with North Korea, Egypt and Ethiopia in not ratifying the CRPD.

Failure to ratify is preventing people from enjoying the everyday freedoms that people without disabilities take for granted, such as the right to choose where to live, the right to appropriate supports to achieve an education and employment, the right to engage in a sexual relationship.

This means one in seven of us are continuing to live with discrimination.

A petition calling for the CRPD to be ratified can be signed here