— Dan Walsh (@travors) May 27, 2016
Taoiseach Enda Kenny plays tragic air guitar during Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s concert in Croke Park.
A short documentary, by Irish activist Caoimhe Butterly, filmed at the makeshift refugee camp in Idomeni last month – the camp which the Greek authorities began to evacuate yesterday.
The Border — الحدود is one of three short films directed and created by Ms Butterly.
Two more films, about the Piraeus port and Eko camp will be released soon.
Meanwhile, earlier today Taoiseach Enda Kenny fielded questions in the Dáil about his most recent European Council meetings.
The EU-Turkey deal and the humanitarian crisis regarding refugees were raised.
Readers may wish to note that a) there is video footage which seemingly shows the Turkish coastguard attempting to sink boats crossing the Aegean Sea; b) it’s generally understood that smugglers are not present on the vast majority of boats that arrive in Greece but would rather be found on the shores of Turkey; and c) concerns have been raised about the camps to which people who have been subsisting in Idomeni are being moved.
Mr Kenny said:
The real argument at the European Council was because of the endless flood of people coming from Turkey, in particular, due to its proximity to Greece. Be they from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria or elsewhere, these people have paid large amounts of money to get on inflatable rafts.
It is fine until one hears the Prime Minister saying that they are loaded onto these boats and as soon as they are out on the sea and the first ship appears, in many cases the inflatables are knifed and sunk so they end up in the water and have to be rescued. That is why there is a NATO operation under way off Turkey. It has been successful to an extent but not in the way it should be.
The reason for the European deal with Turkey in the first place was because they wanted to focus on dealing with people smugglers. One can deal with them in an effective way by patrolling offshore while being able to return people entering Europe illegally to where they came from, whereas others who have arrived in Turkey and are based in camps but who wish to be relocated to a European country have whatever the categorisation might be to say they want to be legitimately recognised as refugees or asylum seekers and they want to live and go to Europe.
Those who have paid money to people smugglers and are sent across the short distance to the Greek islands do not have the same intent, whether they are in a camp in Turkey or wherever.
In addition, Fine Gael TD David Stanton also spoke about the humanitarian crisis – after he was asked about the evacuation of the camp at Idomeni by Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace.
The Deputy [Mick Wallace] also referred to the closing of the refugee camp in Greece. It is my understanding that no official camp exists in Idomeni. Exploitative people smugglers have encouraged desperate asylum seekers to congregate on the Greek border with Macedonia by spreading misinformation to suggest the border crossing will soon re-open and allow them continue their journey to destination countries, including Germany and Sweden.
The Deputy pointed out that the conditions where many vulnerable women and children have gathered are unsanitary and unsafe. I understand from Greek authorities that their intention is to move asylum seekers to reception centres, where their needs, including food and medical care, may be adequately met.
Yesterday: Meanwhile In Idomeni
From top: Taoiseach Enda Kenny with US Vice President Joe Biden and actress Fiona Shaw and at the Kennedy Centre for the ‘Ireland 100’.
The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC
The sense of event was heightened by the presence of Vice President Biden and the taoiseach of Ireland, Enda Kenny, which meant the accompanying presence of airport-style security gates that kept the glittering audience waiting in line for minutes after the scheduled 8 o’clock start. We all wish that our government leaders would come to more arts events, but when they do it is certainly a hassle for everybody.
Fiona Shaw, the actress, was a buoyant master of ceremonies who was as natural and unaffected as it may be possible to be in an evening skirt, trying to keep a touch of class in this high-end variety show and then marshaling her own talents for a recitation of Yeats’s famous “Easter, 1916” (“A terrible beauty is born”) that was unquestionably the artistic highlight of the evening….
Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Castlebar earlier today to lay the foundation stone for a new swimming pool
Mr Kenny was speaking in Castlebar where he insisted he would only step down as Taoiseach prior to the next election.
“I’ve always said that my intention would be to serve the full term but not to lead the party into the next general election.
The Taoiseach said he was recently stopped on the street by a man who thanked him “for volunteering to run our country.”
Mr Kenny said the man had expressed his astonishment that so many people who put their names forward to be elected to Dáil Eireann do not want to have anything to do with Government and do not want to have anything to do with making decisions.
“So that’s why the responsibility is on me as leader of the largest party to put together a Government that is now in situ with the assistance and agreement of other parties in Opposition and at Government level will try to implement in the very best way we can the Programme for Government that we have set out,” he added.
Previously: The Man With One Point
Pic (and video): Mayo Advertiser (Facebook)
National Gallery, Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the launch of Charlie Bird’s book on the marriage referendum, A Day In May, with the author (top) and former RTÉ newsreader.Anne Doyle.
Presidential dog [Bernese Mountain Dogs Shadow] photobombing at the Aras for the investiture of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.
He has some form.
Thanks Niall O M
There you go now.
Earlier: Anything Good On RTÉ One?
— Juno McEnroe (@Junomaco) May 6, 2016
Enda Kenny leaves Leinster House for the Aras after becoming the first Fine Gael Taoiseach to be elected for a second term by Dail Eireann.
President Higgins presents Enda Kenny with his new seal of office.
Leinster House, Dublin 2
Gerry Adams offers a low five as he runs the gauntlet of embarrassed Fine Gael deputies after voting against Enda Kenny for Taoiseach.
From top: Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy and acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil yesterday
You may recall the publication of the Second Interim Report of the Commission of Investigation (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) at 9pm last Friday evening before the May Bank Holiday weekend began.
This was two weeks after Justice Brian Cregan completed the 29-page report which has been beset by issues of confidentiality.
The report noted that the Commission has so far cost €3,663,998 – including €631,000 for its own salaries, legal costs, rent, building overheads, services and administration costs; €2,786,998 for the special liquidator of IBRC (KPMG); and €246,000 for the Department of Finance for its ‘external legal costs’.
Further to this…
Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy raised the matter in the Dáil
Catherine Murphy:“… I raised an issue last week at the Whips’ meeting about the Cregan inquiry which reported to the Taoiseach on 15 April. It was published last Friday night and I understand there is an extension of time again. The Taoiseach needs to give some clarity on where this inquiry is going because it requires legislation on both privilege and confidentiality if it is to proceed. The judge could not have been clearer on what is required.
“The Taoiseach needs to outline what direction this inquiry is taking. Will it be something that is just constantly stretched out? Every week it continues it involves costs to do its work. It is absolutely essential that clarity is given on whether legislation will be produced in those two areas and if there a prospect of a conclusion to it.”
“A debate on the report is also needed in the House. It is the second interim report, which pretty much reinforces the point which was made last November, that legislation is needed if the inquiry is to proceed to a conclusion for public consumption.”
Enda Kenny: “… In regard to Deputy Catherine Murphy’s question on the Cregan interim report, the report was cleared at Cabinet last week. Believe me, there was nothing sinister in the fact that it was published on the Friday of what happened to be a bank holiday weekend.”
“I know that is always the story – that one is trying to ensure it is not seen. Let me put it this way. I can tell Deputy Murphy that I have looked at this and have given it a two-month extension. Mr. Justice Cregan has pointed out a number of challenges. Some of them are legal and some of them are constitutional, but there are a number of options to be considered.”
“I would be happy to accommodate Deputy Murphy with a meeting either today or tomorrow to let her have the up-to-date, accurate range of those opinions, which include the possibility of a full-blown public inquiry.”
“When we consider that the Moriarty tribunal ran for 13 years at a very costly sum to the taxpayer, these are options that need to be considered. I will facilitate Deputy Murphy and anyone else and bring them up to date on where it now stands arising from Mr. Justice Cregan’s interim report.”
Transcript via Oireachtas.ie
The second interim report can be read here