Ahead of today’s 6 Nations Championship game between England and Ireland at Twickenham, Tom McGurk gives us a history lesson.
“It was here in College Park that the oval football was first kicked through the 19th century Irish twilight. Trinity College founded in 1854 is the oldest surviving working club in the world. This was the birthplace of Irish rugby football. So, once again, this evening, the red rose and shamrocks will square up.”
Without a Triple Crown for 33 years, Ireland arrived in the allotment that was the then Twickenham having slayed the Welsh a fortnight previous.
Blind side lightening from MacNeill, balletic sleight of hands between Duggan and Slattery and the wrecking ballin’ Ginger McLoughlin.
Maeve Binchy writing in the Irish Times described the Irish invasion:
“FOR DAYS, they had been coming over. Plane loads of supporters, wrapped in scarves, full of hope and occasionally swinging a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream by the neck as a nice communal drink while on the hoof. The young ones came noisily, singing the first three lines of about 20 songs but not being able to finish any of them.”
The slogan for a new campaign by Australian authorities aimed at deterring asylum seekers. The Guardian is reporting that the campaign has been launched on the country’s Department for Immigration and Border Protection website and on on its Customs and Border Protection website.
Here’s a video from Pivotal Arts, called Burden Of Proof, about a mother and son’s journey to Ireland in search of asylum.
An extremley fast, fresh faced Irish rugby side – containing Mick “Kick” Kiernan, Brendan Mullen, Trevor Ringland and Keith Crossan – travelled to Cardiff Arms Park with murmurings of another ‘Tripler’ on the cards. Wales, outpaced, outthought and outskilled rolled over.
Edmund Van Esbeck of the Irish Times said:
Prior to the match on Saturday, there was a very significant gesture by the Ireland side – As they stood for the Welsh anthem, all the players linked arms as a mark of their solidarity. Never was that characteristic better exemplified than this truly remarkable match.
[Direct provision accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Lissywoolen, Athlone, Co. Westmeath]
Last night, Prime Time looked at the system of direct provision, posing the question: is the system unfair or a necessary deterrent?
Direct provision is the institutional system which includes accommodation, meals and a personal allowance of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child, per week, to asylees. They are not allowed to work. An EU directive would allow asylees to work in Ireland but the State declined to sign it.
Many have been waiting for over seven years in accommodation centres, such as the one in in Lissywoolen, above, for their application to be processed.
New rules to be introduced this year should see the application process speeded up for the 4,600 or so asylees that are currently in Ireland – approximately 1,700 of whom are children with many living in the direct provision system all their lives.
On Prime Time last night, reporter Tanya Sillem said a confidential Government briefing paper said the biggest concern about any alternative reception system would be the ‘pull factor’, basically a better system could attract more asylees.
During the programme, Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan, above, defended the State’s direct provision system, saying:
“They can’t earn money. They can’t earn, if you like, a living. What the State does is provides a sum of €19 a week. Of course it’s insufficient but this is the direct provision regime. We have to ensure that Ireland is not an attractive place for applicants to arrive on our shores in numbers that perhaps we simply couldn’t afford or that we couldn’t cope with.”
“I wouldn’t regard [direct provision] as a deterrent. I would recognise that there is a pull factor. That if we have a very attractive regime – where people can come in, sign up for very attractive social welfare rates on day one, that pull factor is going to be realised and we will have a challenge as a State, we’d find it very, very difficult to cope with.”
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