Two years ago the BBC reported on shocking working and living conditions in tea estates in Assam, India.

Helena Tubridy (above} wondered where Barry’s sources its tea.

And waited.

Via The Dublin Inquirer

Neither Barry’s Tea nor Lyons was willing to share the exact names of all the tea estates that they source from.

Lyons gets some from Kenya, some from Sri Lanka, and some from Assam, said Adam Fisher, the media relations manager at Unilever, which owns Lyons.

“We source from an array of tea estates and though it isn’t possible to give you the names of all of them Lyons is mostly sourced from East Africa, including Kericho,” he said. It is fully Rainforest Alliance-certified, though….

Barry’s Tea, which is not Rainforest Alliance-certified, didn’t provide a list either. It sources 90 percent of its tea from East Africa and 10 percent from India, said spokesperson Camille O’Flanagan. “We work with some of the most reputable tea estates in every region.”


Where Do Barry’s Tea and Lyons Get Their Tea From? (Dublin Inquirer)

The bitter story behind the UK’s national drink (BBC News)

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This afternoon.

During Leaders’s Questions.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin raised what he called a “legacy issue which reflects all parties who’ve have been in Government over the last number of years” and that he wasn’t raising it as a mean to score political points.

The issue is how the State has dealt with child sex abuse in national schools in Ireland up to and since Louise O’Keeffe’s successful case in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2014.

Mr Martin said the State’s response to the ECHR judgement has been “a significant failure and leaves a lot to be desired”.

From Leaders’ Questions:

Micheál Martin: “The State that introduced an ex-gratia payment scheme, in many respects the limits were too low; but also the prior complaint expedient that was put in, has effectively debarred a lot from seeking justice. Only seven settlements so far have been reached out of about 210 cases and those cases are still going through the courts.”

“I recently met a victim of, who has been involved in this situation for quite some time, of horrific abuse, at the hands of a Christian Brother in a school. The person who abused was subsequently convicted, okay, so there’s no doubt about the issue. And I think he was convicted of other abuse cases as well. And there are quite a number of other victims out there at the moment, Taoiseach. Now this man went through horrific abuse, has been up and down through the courts and religious orders and has received absolutely no compensation, not a cent, nothing from the State. And, recently, in the High Court, because many of these people discontinued their cases when the Supreme Court ruled that the State didn’t have an obligation, the High Court would not uphold the rights now to pursue it in law and, indeed, Judge Barrett made such a ruling. But he also said in his statement that ‘The Irish people…’, and I quote, this is at the end of the court case, the High Court: ‘…with their great and proper sense of justice may well conclude to the path of rightness in this matter should lead ultimately into a different end’. He added: ‘as an Irishman, I would respectfully agree’. Essentially, Taoiseach what has been going on has been quite, in my view, unacceptable.”


Enda Kenny:I don’t know how many victims of sexual abuse there are in the, there have been over the years in the primary system, no more than the secondary system I assume. We have the, we had the redress scheme, we had the case of all the Magdalenes – not that there was sexual abuse in the vast majority of cases. There is the mother and baby home report coming before the Minister for Children as well which we’ll have to see what that means. I can’t recall all the details of, of the file in this case. Your question is can something be done about this. I’ve no idea of the scale of what might be involved here. But I need to read the detail of the file and the legal outcomes here. People who are abused have to live with that for all of their lives and it’s a horrific issue to have to contend with, every waking moment. Now, I don’t want to go beyond that because to come into something that I haven’t the full facts and details about, it wouldn’t be appropriate on the floor of the Dáil here…


Kenny: “Yeah, you see, you mention that there are 7 out of 210 that have been settled – that’s 210 that are before the courts now. But, you have no idea of the numbers who might wish to come forward and say ‘I was sexually abused in school X or Y by teacher or person X or Y. You have no idea of the scale of that. And, and, I think in the process, when the State dealt with the Louise O’Keeffe case, on the 28th of January, 2014, that judgement was issued and the State awarded made awards both in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and costs and expenses. They also agreed in December of that year that out-of-court settlements would be offered to those extant cases of school child sexual abuse being brought against the State – where the cases came within the terms of the ECHR judgement and satisfied the statute of limitations. And in that regard the State claims agency could manage such cases on behalf of the State, has made settlement offers which have been accepted, as you say, in six cases. In July 2015, the Government approved proposals to offer ex-gratia payments of up to a maximum of €84,000 to those who initiated legal proceedings in such cases agains the State but who subsequently discontinued their claims against the State and where, similarly, the circumstances of the claims came within the terms of the ECHR judgement and where the claims were not statute barred prior to the proceedings being discontinued. I’ll follow through on the question.”

There you go now.

Previously: Grooming A Nation


Pat Hickey (left) and John Delaney

The OCI appointed Deloitte to conduct an independent review of the organisation’s governance arrangements last month.

The findings of the report are due for discussion by an OCI Executive Board meeting this week. That meeting could take place as early as tomorrow.

This report was requested on the back of the controversy over the alleged mis-selling of Rio Olympics tickets.

Report on governance of OCI has been completed (RTE)

Surprise as John Delaney steps down as OCI vice-president (Irish Times)

Previously: The Longest Head Start In Fugitive History

‘John Delaney Could Run Anything’


In the past hour.

At the makeshift refugee camp in Calais, France, which is currently being demolished.

Caoimhe Butterly writes:

“Large parts of the camp have been burning since last night, residents have been leaving in large groups since 3am with others sleeping outside in the cold and now, in the immediate aftermath of three more explosions (of canisters of cooking gas), riot police mobilise and forcefully block First Responders, medics, child protection volunteers and others from entry to peripheries of the camp that remain undamaged.”

“Families are separated with members on either side of CRS [riot police] lines and police threatening to tear-gas those trying to account for those inside.”

As well as observing what is happening in Calais, Caoimhe is part of a solidarity group which is trying to respond to the basic and immediate needs of some of the women, men and children in Calais.

They are accepting donations which will be used to buy hiking/durable shoes and rucksacks, sleeping bags, phones and phone credit, medical supplies, etc. Additional funds will be passed on to projects which have been doing long-term work with unaccompanied youths.

Anyone who wishes to donate can do so here

Previously: ‘Who Is “We”? What Constituency Do You Represent?’

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Katie Kidd (pic 2) producing female warrior icons, above from left: Countess Markievicz, Wonderwoman, Joan of Arc and Athena.

Stuck for a gift for a sister?

Warrioress writes:

As Breast Cancer Awareness month draws to a close, designer and recent NCAD graduate Katie Kidd has produced a limited edition of fine prints to raise funds for Breast Cancer Ireland.

Warrior-esses depicts the armour of four of the greatest heroines in history and pop culture: Countess Markievicz, Wonderwoman, Joan of Arc and Athena.

There are only 100 in the existence, all signed and editioned by the artist. With hand-drawn and handcut lino, handset metal type, and printed at the Distiller’s Press in NCAD, these prints are valuable both in material and concept. All proceeds from sales go to Breast Cancer Ireland

Buy a print here


Irish-made stocking fillers to broadsheet@broadsheet.ie marked ‘Irish-made Stocking Fillers’. No fee!


The regional government of the Belgian region of Wallonia is blocking an EU trade deal with Canada which would reduce 98% of the tariffs between Canada and the EU.

Critics of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement [CETA] believe it will weaken consumer rights and damage the agricultural industry in EU member countries.

Sean O’Reilly writes:

Interesting reading from American born, Belgian based, German supported news outlet Politico on the topic of CETA…

Via The Brussels Playbook

it’s easier to imagine the deal as a meal.

Among many, many concerns, the negotiation process for CETA has come under substantial fire for being more of a set menu than an À la carte proposal.

With dinner having been opaquely decided on, at best not quite suited to the taste of some guests, and at worst inedible to some in the room, the Wallonian government has decided that it won’t be eating.

A key concern of the Walloons is the threat CETA presents to agriculture. In a region which boasts a cow for every three inhabitants, the prospect of the European market becoming flooded with Canadian products is a daunting one.

That the deal is an all or nothing proposal, and that the Walloons have rejected it in major part because of this raises the question of whether this way of doing business is now tenable.

….it’s worth noting that Politico leans fairly heavily towards the American centre, that is to say it would be very much pro-business, free market capitalism, and transatlanticism.

It’s possibly fair to say the Americans have gone soft so far away from home, but what’s interesting here is that the negotiation of these deals has been so poorly handled that even those who might be expected to be cheering them on have reservations.


The Brussels Playbook (Politico)

Map via Economist.com


Auntie’s visiting…

BBC World Service write:

As Europe grapples with the big issues of migration, the economy and securityBBC World Questions comes to Dublin on Wednesday, November 9 [at 6pm].

In an edition from The Printworks, Dublin Castle, Jonathan Dimbleby will chair the debate and invite members of the public to question a panel of politicians and thinkers on the big issues affecting Ireland and post-Brexit Europe, including Leo Varadkar, Minister for Social Protection and Mary Lou McDonald, Deputy Leader of Sinn Féin.

Crucially, no one on the panel knows what will be asked until the night itself. Be part of the audience and have your say in a debate that will be heard around the world….

Register here

Thanks Úna-Minh Caomhánach