Author Archives: Bodger

Custom House Quay, Dublin 1 last New Year’s Eve

Zap out the old.

Zap in the new.

With actual lasers!

Dorothy Murphy writes:

New Year’s Festival Dublin (NYF Dublin) have announced ticket details for their family friendly countdown spectacle – Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee – taking place at Georges Quay, Custom House on New Year’s Eve.

FREE tickets for magical lighting display will be available from Ticketmaster Tomorrow Friday at 9am.

Families and friends of all ages can count down to the New Year together at Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee, a very special earlier countdown event.

Children will be enchanted as the night sky lights up in a magical explosion of colour as laser lights and aqua beams dance in perfect harmony with the music.

Entertainment for this FREE event will start at 6pm leading to the earlier countdown spectacle at 7pm.

This is a FREE event but tickets will need to be booked in advance….

New Year’s Festival 2019

One of the images the family of Princess Sheikha Latifa (left) released last Christmas Eve claiming it was evidence that she was not being held against her will. Mary Robinson (right) described the princess as ‘troubled’

Previously: Remembering Latifa

Latifa, Haya And Rescuing Mary

This afternoon.

Parnell Square, Dublin 2

Miles Kavanagh dressed as Elvis (above) joins a protest against homelessness from Parnell Square to the Dáil.

More as we get it.


Sam Boal/Rollingnews


This afternoon.

The march passes, from top: O’Connell Street (pics 1 and 2) and Grafton Street before arriving at Kildare Street (above).

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

Free next Tuesday, December 10?

At 5pm?

A candlelit vigil for Julian Assange.

Outside the British Embassy, Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

Organiser Cliona O’Connell writes:

Please join us on Human Rights Day to protest against the continued imprisonment of Julian Assange and the unlawful US Extradition Case against him.

On September 22 Julian Assange’s sentence for a bail violation ended, yet he was not released from Belmarsh Prison.

The UN Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer has stated that Julian’s detention has no legal basis and on November 1 called on the British authorities to release Assange immediately out of serious concern for his life.

The sole reason for his continued imprisonment is the US request for extradition for a political offence. The UK’s own law prohibits extradition for political offense.

Insofar as Human Rights Day marks the fundamental human rights of all people, it also acknowledges the role of the UN in working to preserve and protect these universal rights.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has twice called (Dec  42015 & Dec 21 2018) on the Government of the United Kingdom to restore Julian Assange’s right to personal liberty.

As their recommendations have so far been ignored it is worth reflecting on what this means for the credibility of the British State as a rule-of- law state and a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

By exposing the war crimes of the US and their NATO allies, and as founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange has proven himself an authentic and committed champion of human rights and independent media. It is now up to us to stand up for his human rights and freedom.

We will meet outside the British Embassy from 5pm for a 5.30pm start. Please bring a candle if you can.

Previously: Julian Assange on Broadsheet

From top: All 15 doctors overseeing CervicalCheck’s colposcopy services are considering resigning; University Hospital Waterford, where two out of three nurse colposcopists have resigned; Dr Nóirín Russell

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Dr Nóirín Russell, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital and lead colposcopist with Kerry Colposcopy Service with University Hospital Kerry, spoke to Bryan Dobson.

It follows an article in today’s Irish Examiner by Catherine Shanahan and Elaine Loughlin in which they report that all 15 doctors overseeing the CervicalCheck’s colposcopy services are considering resigning.

The services they oversee are for women requiring further investigation following a smear test.

They reported that, at University Hospital Waterford, two out of three nurse colposcopists have resigned.

Dr Nóirín Russell told Mr Dobson what it has been like in the clinics since the CervicalCheck scandal broke in April of last year. She said:

“The last 18 months have been, first of all, incredibly difficult for women. Women have been absolutely terrified by the reporting, by the news, by the discussions about CervicalCheck.

“There was a lot of anger, especially at the start because women believed that they may have cervical cancer and that their doctors didn’t tell them.

“There was a lot of anger when the waiting lists became a problem. When all the extra smears, all the out of programme smears, were performed, that led to long delays, waiting for results and women were ringing, almost daily, for results.

“And that anger often led to quite, I mean I think ‘abuse’ is probably a strong word but there was a lot of abusive language used against staff admin and especially administration staff and nursing staff in clinics around the country.

“Before April 2018, it’s important to note that 98% of women were seen within eight weeks when they were referred to colposcopy. We didn’t have a waiting list, it worked really well.

“Because of the huge increase in referrals, we now have long waiting lists for referrals and that, it’s really important not to underestimate how stressful it is for women waiting for an appointment we are unable to tell them when it will be because of these lists.

“I’ll just give you an example – in my own service in Kerry, we saw 57% more women in 2018 than in 2017 but this was without extra resources….so you’ve got a perfect storm, you’ve got really anxious, worried women, ringing regularly and staff who are really, really under pressure.

“…We don’t want to leave the service, we believe in cervical screening, it works, it leads to a reduction in cervical cancer, that’s what we care about.

“We really want to see this programme flourish, we want to see it supported because we know that screening and HPV vaccination are the best ways that we have to achieve our goal of eradicating cervical cancer in Ireland.

But that support, we need that support as medical professionals, we also need the support of the media, the politicians, the Department of Health, the HSE, and very importantly, we need the women, the 1.2million, who are eligible for cervical screening to support the programme, to attend when they receive that information letter about cervical screening.

“Currently only 80% attend. We need all of the women to attend and they will only attend if they trust the service and have confidence in it. And that’s what our goal is.

“We don’t want to abandon the service but there have been many discussions during the year, amongst colposcopists, nurse colposcopists and medical colposcopists, querying, where is the future for cervical screening.

“We hope it’s bright, we hope that support is there but we don’t, we need that to be the message from today.”

Listen back in full here

‘Mass distrust’: Cervical Check losing staff due to stress (Catherine Shanahan, Elaine Loughlin, The Irish Examiner)

Free January/February?

Dorothy Murphy writes:

The hilarious hit comedy ‘A Holy Show’, presented by Verdant Productions, is going on tour across Ireland in January, February and March 2020 following on from the critical success of the Edinburgh Fringe and Dublin Fringe.

A nostalgic comedy based on a very Irish hijacking of the 1981 Aer Lingus plane by an ex-Trappist monk with a bottle of water as his weapon, the Pope as his nemesis, and a burning desire to know The Third Secret of Fatima.

From 23 January 2020 ‘A Holy Show’ is going on a full nationwide tour, with dates announced for Galway, Limerick, Laois, Wicklow, Cavan, Carlow, Cork, Longford, Clare, Belfast and Tipperary as well as a host of Dublin dates and two dates in Paris [details at link below]

A Holy Show

From Simon Communities of Ireland’s 2018 annual report (click to enlarge)


Simon Communities of Ireland is launching its 15-page annual report for 2018.

It found there was a 26% increase in number of people turning to the group’s services throughout Ireland in 2018 – 16,776 up from 13,304 in 2017.

It follows the Department of Housing releasing the latest homeless figures on Tuesday evening which show there a record high of 10,514 people (6,688 adults and 3,826 children) were living in emergency accommodation in the final week of October.

Read the report in full here

Previously: 10,514 But Confidence Remains


This morning.

Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.

CEO of Galway Simon Community Karen Golden with National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, Wayne Stanley, speaking at the launch of the Simon Communities of Ireland launch Annual Report.

Sam Boal/RollingNews

This morning.

Naas, County Kildare.

Members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) started a 12-hour beef price protest at an Aldi distribution centre. The farmers are blocking the exit and entrance gates of the centre.

Farmers blockade Aldi distribution centre over beef prices (RTÉ)

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews



Farmers blockade Aldi distribution centre over beef prices (RTÉ)

Pics: Barry Cassidy and IFA (third pic)