An independent water commission? Is the “Great Irish Fudge” now being served up with mugs of Irish Water? This traditional political confection contains generous amounts of common and exotic nuts.
It looks inviting, tastes sweet at first, but has a sticky consistency, a bitter aftertaste and inevitably costs more than the initial price tag suggests.
Regularly repackaged to appeal to the whimsy of its target market, its familiar scent wafts once again from Ireland’s “can’t stand the heat” political kitchens. As any time-pressed chef knows, serving up a tried and tested favourite, when all that’s left on the menu are old chestnuts and red herrings, guarantees at least some measure of reprieve in the last-chance saloon.
The pedestrian-only plaza planned for College Green which will prevent traffic from crossing between College Green and Dame Street
Essential bus routes providing cross-city services linking northeast to southwest, and northwest to southeast Dublin, carry thousands of commuters every day. Approximately 23 routes travel along Dame Street, and a further 20 go around Trinity to Nassau Street.
In addition, there are large numbers of coaches bringing tourists and shoppers from the country into an area full of cultural attractions, businesses, shops, theatres, etc. The “hop-on, hop-off” sightseeing buses use these routes also.
The complete closure of College Green to buses would bring the city to a standstill, with increased levels of pollution along the quays and other streets, longer travel times for already hard-pressed commuters, and a further limit to access for people with mobility issues.
The current ban on private cars in this area has worked well for public transport, but the recent Luas works have shown how quickly the area becomes massively congested when access to College Green is restricted.
Between Macken Street bridge and Fr Matthew bridge there are six other bridges, only four of which carry traffic, and only one of which (O’Connell Bridge) is large enough to manage significant traffic flow.
Dublin Castle/Temple Bar/Trinity combine to form a significant barrier through which College Green, D’Olier, and Westmoreland streets provide the only “pass” for effective traffic movement.
It seems that Dublin City Council is reacting to the previous underprovision of cycle paths by overcompensating and bringing all motorised traffic in our already congested city centre to a complete stop!
Far more people travel by bus than by Luas or bicycle, yet it seems these are the only two forms of transport favoured by the council.
These changes are unnecessary and will have a detrimental effect on what is currently a well-functioning bus service. It is becoming almost impossible to travel across the city as it is. City-centre businesses are suffering.
Síle Uí Laighin,
Baile Átha Cliath 3.
The plans for College Green will be available for public consultation until May 24.
Pics: Dublin City Council
I notice that The Irish Times Saturday edition cost me an extra 20 cent at my local newsagent. An Easter rising indeed!
A statement from Belfast property developer Gareth Graham.
Mr Graham has settled his court action against US company Cerberus, the firm which eventually bought Nama’s Northern Ireland property loan portfolio, Project Eagle – which had a par value of €5.7billion – for €1.6billion.
Previously: Contradictions And Refusals
Pic Mark Tighe
A homeless person sleeping rough in Temple Bar in November 2015
In forming a government, unlike Lanigan’s Ball, it is less important who is stepping in and out again and more important what policies they agree on. All of the parties to the current dance have explained, during the election, that their priority is to “protect the most vulnerable”, but now we need to turn this into detailed multi-annual policies to reduce poverty.
The first step is to recognise the shocking scale of the problem. The CSO has found that, between 2008 and 2013, the proportion of our people experiencing “deprivation” nearly trebled to 29 per cent. This means being unable to afford two from a list of items like heating your home or eating a substantial meal every second day, a very basic measure in the 21st century.
More than a third of children and one in five of people at work were classified as experiencing deprivation, while the picture is worse for groups like Travellers, lone parents, the long-term unemployed and the homeless.
For decades we have danced around in the same pattern. In boom times, people in poverty are left behind, while in more austere times the same groups suffer the most. Breaking this cycle will need a long-term commitment to policies and investments to provide adequate income, quality work and services, funded by sufficient and fair taxation.
There has been plenty of research and experience to show what makes the difference between a country with high and low levels of poverty. Nearly 20 years ago, the all-party National Anti Poverty Strategy pointed to most of the instruments needed. However, strategies alone don’t change the world; we need solid commitments in the programme for government to end the dance of poverty and despair.
Upper Ormond Quay,
A notice on the Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme website
You may recall how last year Marie O’Connor, of Survivors of Symphysiotomy, spoke about the group’s grievances in relation to the symphysiotomy redress scheme.
She explained that the scheme demanded survivors to produce ‘objective evidence of women’s injuries’ – including receipts for incontinence pads or prescriptions for anti-depressants going back 50 to 60 years.
Further to this, it’s emerged that the Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme is “happy to shred” the women’s records and supporting documents to prove they had a symphysiotomy.
In response, a number of academics and medical experts wrote the following letter in yesterday’s Irish Times…
The Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme announced on its website this week that it will be “happy” to shred records, if applicants are so minded, or in the alternative, return them.
The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern that symphysiotomy was performed in Ireland without patient consent from 1944-1987, and cited Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and involuntary medical experimentation.
The committee ruled that Ireland should, inter alia, “initiate a prompt, independent and thorough investigation into cases of symphysiotomy” and “prosecute and punish the perpetrators, including medical personnel”.
Obstetric records that could potentially be destroyed may be some claimants’ only proof that they were subjected to the surgery. Many notes record the name of those who participated in these involuntary operations.
There is no guarantee that these records will be accessible in the future to investigators, researchers or even to claimants themselves. To shred these data after March 20th, as proposed, is therefore to destroy material that will be needed in any future inquiry (or research) into symphysiotomy.
Survivors are continuing to press for an inquiry with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. A further submission has been made by them to the UN Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review, a framework under which Ireland will be assessed in May of this year, and a complaint to the UN Committee Against Torture is due for examination in 2017.
Informed consent is also an issue. Applicants who do not seek the return of their obstetric records are not being informed that they may not be retrievable from their hospitals of origin.
Indeed, the Department of Health has recently given public assurances to the contrary, stating that “medical records cannot be lost by any action of the scheme”. Hospital data storage limitations suggest that this is not the case.
We urge Judge Harding Clark to reconsider her decision and return all records to all applicants by post, as per the scheme’s terms of reference.
Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley,
Department of History,
Dr Fiona Buckley,
Department of Government,
Prof Linda Connolly,
Institute for Social Science
in the 21st Century, UCC;
Prof Mary Donnelly,
School of Law, UCC;
University of Kent;
Dr Noelle Higgins,
Department of Law,
Irish Councilfor Civil Liberties;
Prof Kathleen Lynch,
Equality Studies, UCD;
Dr Jo Murphy-Lawless,
School of Nursing
and Midwifery, TCD;
Prof Joan Lalor,
School of Nursing
and Midwifery, TCD;
Prof Patricia Lundy,
School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster;
Prof Louise Kenny,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Prof Irene Lynch Fannon,
School of Law, UCC;
Dr Mary McAuliffe,
School of Social Policy,
Social Work and Social Justice, UCD;
Dr Joan McCarthy,
School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCC;
Dr Claire McGing,
Department of Geography,
Dr Jacqueline Morrissey,
Survivors of Symphysiotomy.
Previously: ‘Prove It, Prove It, Prove It’
Today’s Irish Times
‘Up to seven billion’…
Let’s take that with the pinch of salt we need for every utterance that comes out of that failed utlitity but why is the Irish Times continuing to allow such obvious spin to dominate its front page. After peddling fear (which few bought) throughout the General Election campaign you have to hand it to them for their stamina if nothing else..
Sinéad O’Loghlin took the words out of my mouth. Her point about the great majority of published contributors to your Letters page being male had struck me very forcibly in recent months. For my own amusement, I have been keeping a running check on letters published.
From February 3rd to February 15th, inclusive, a total of 196 letters have appeared. Five signatories might have been either gender; of the other 191 letters, 155 (over 81 per cent) were from men and 36 (under 19 per cent) from women.
Do these figures really reflect the contributions received? If so, I can only echo Ms O’Loghlin’s appeal to women to get writing.
Colette Ní Mhoitleigh,
Baile Átha Cliath 6.
Pic: True North Quest
Eithne Shortall tweetz:
“That’s one ‘L of a typo…”
Brian Sammon tweetz:
“Irish Times’ breaking “Not News” news.”