Category Archives: Misc

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Kev McGuinness, above, of Kev Draws Art, writes:

I have recently started up a Facebook page for my illustrations and was wondering if it was possible to give it a bit of a plug. It started off with illustrating the place where I met my girlfriend. Then, visitors to our house started asking for illustrations of their own and it snowballed from there.

I primarily illustrate buildings/places around Ireland, but have had requests from Spain, Argentina and the USA, of late. I usually charge €50 for the print, including frame but, depending on size and detail, this can increase.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought that others may like an illustration of the place they met their loved one or a place of significance to them.

Kev Draws Art (Facebook)

Irish-made Valentine’s stuff to marked ‘Irish-made Valentine’s stuff’. No fee.


From top: Leinster House first-floor interior; Micheál Martin

The extended summer holiday, the Leinster House refit and the Fianna Fáil leader.

What fresh slippery nonsense is this?

Steve White writes:

In October, Micheál Martin said in the Daíl that:

“The Dáil rose on 21 July and resumed on 27 September. In July, we were all told major works were to be undertaken to physically refurbish the Chamber, but that did not happen. Therefore, it transpired that there was no necessity for the longer than usual summer recess.”

I’ve been trying to find out if this statement is true or not as it’s an extraordinary claim considering the issue that has been made about the amount of work/legislation the Dáil has been able to do so far this term.

I’ve emailed Micheál Martin and Fianna Fail in the past few weeks with no replies.

I also emailed the Oireachtas and this is the reply I got:

Mr White,

As you’re probably aware, there were quite extensive works undertaken in the Dáil chamber during the summer recess (read more here and here). The quote may reference the wider restoration work to be completed in Leinster House but this would not have impacted on Dáil sitting dates. Perhaps Micheál Martin’s office may be able to clarify the quote, however.

Best regards,
Press Officer
Communications | Broadcasting | Web
Houses of the Oireachtas

I have also received a reply from the Ceann Comhairle’s office, which said the same thing, (LCC Pat Gallagher was actually in the chair at the time).

It similarly says that the works that were meant to take place did take place, but the CC says he will not comment further, even though tens of thousands of people may have been misinformed about Oireachtas business.

The Irish Times, the Irish Mirror, the Independent and the Sunday Times all quoted what Micheál Martin said without clarifying.

There are also the minutes of the Oireachtas Commission meeting on October 4th, 2016 which say:


The Commission was briefed on the ICT project underway to modernise the technical systems in the Chambers of both Houses and in the Committee Rooms.

The Commission noted that the Technology in the Chambers project is part of a significant programme of ICT investment to build an Enterprise Architecture for the Service and to develop the ICT systems in the Houses to make them more responsive to the needs of users.

The Commission welcomed the project and noted the enhancements to the technical systems in the Dáil Chamber following completion of the necessary work within the agreed timeframe and budget over the summer recess period.


(i) Refurbishment works to Georgian Leinster House

The Secretary General updated the Commission on the progress on the refurbishment works to Georgian Leinster House. He noted that discussions on the relocation of the Seanad Chamber to the National Museum for the duration of the works were ongoing and had escalated to political level at this point.

I found articles, by Fiach Kelly in the Irish Times in May 2016 here and herewhich describe the plans and state that Mr Kelly spoke to Micheál Martin about this.

But did Mr Martin get the distinction between the chamber refit over the summer and wider Leinster House works that are to take much longer confused? Even after they were explained to him?

Mr Martin said himself:

“The clerk did explain about the structural problems with Leinster House, the old part of Leinster House from his perspective, required urgent remedial works, in terms of securing it and so on.”


Micheál Martin Claimed Extra Long Dáil (Steve White, Lost Expectations)




This afternoon.

A motion, above, tabled by TDs Catherine Murphy (top second right) and Roisin Shortall (top far right), of the Social Democrats.

It calls for an immediate halt on further asset sales by NAMA pending a thorough examination of how NAMA assets can be utilised to prioritise the social development of the State in the context of the current housing crisis”.

And “an update to the legislation which would change the primary purpose of the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 to contribute to the social and economic development of the State.



From left: Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD, Catherine Martin TD, Councillor and Justice spokesman Roderic O Gorman outside Leinster House this afternoon.

The State could be liable for illegal home repossessions, according to the Green Party.

Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin said she would seek clarification from the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald on the matter later today.

Ms Martin said that following the AIB versus Counihan case in the High Court in December, EU consumer law must be considered in repossession cases here.

State may be liable for illegal home repossessions – Green Party (RTÉ)

Earlier: ‘People Would Be Mistaken If They Feel There’s Going To Be No Resistance’

Previously: Apollo, Nama And You

Pics: Anne-Marie McNally



From top: George Gibney and journalist Irvin Muchnick

You may recall how, on December 6 last, the US District Court Judge Charles Breyer issued an order compelling the US government to release former Irish swimming coach George Gibney’s immigration and visa file to US journalist Irvin Muchnick.

The US government was given a 60-day window in which to either comply or appeal the ruling.

Today is day 42 of that window.

Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993 – but sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

The judicial review was secured following a controversial landmark Supreme Court decision – during which Gibney’s counsel Patrick Gageby argued that the delay in initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

After this, Gibney left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then Florida.

Previously: No Hiding Place

The Chief Justice, Her Brother And How George Gibney Got Away

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Right now.

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her speech on Brexit.

Brexit speech: Theresa May wants a ‘truly global Britain, and best friend and neighbour to Europe’ – Politics live (The Guardian)

UPDATE: Ms May’s speech in full:

A little over six months ago, the British people voted for change.

They voted to shape a brighter future for our country.

They voted to leave the European Union and embrace the world.

Continue reading




Download in case of emergency.

Stephen O’Connor writes:

I’m a co-founder at R2B. We are an Irish startup creating a safety service for outdoor activities. In short, a user creates an activity with an ETA and Emergency Contacts, in the event a user does not check back in from the activity; R2B will escalate to their Emergency Contacts with last known location details via SMS. All information is saved on our servers so no mobile signal, no battery or even no phone is not a problem.