Category Archives: Misc

This morning/afternoon.

Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin.

Fianna Fáil Party Leader Micheál Martin launching the Fianna Fáil General Election 2020 manifesto

Among the pledges:

FF would lengthen maternity benefit to 30 weeks and bring in new childcare tax credits.

It would also double child benefit payments for the first month after the birth of a child.

Fianna Fáil also promises to reduce classroom sizes to a class size of 20 to 1 if in the next government.

The party will also reduce income taxes and cut capital gains tax to 25%.

On housing, the party will introduce a first-time buyers top SSIA-type scheme, capped at €10,000, and expand the current help to buy grant measures.

It also promises to build 50,000 affordable homes for prices below €250,000.

FF election manifesto promises €168m homeless fund and doubled child benefit payments (Irish Examiner)

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

This afternoon.

You may recall Matt Fitzpatrick’s stolen orange Cotic Soul frameset with X Fusion sweep forks, Shimano SLX groupset and Fulcrum Red Power wheels which he had put together himself.


Matt writes:

I’m delighted to say the Gardaí have found her safe and well! Thanks for your help and thanks to all who got the word out.


Previously: ‘I Put Her Together Myself’

This afternoon.

Richard Chambers, of Virgin Media One, tweetz:

Taoiseach arrives on Stephen’s Green.

A homeless man looks away.

Familiar sight.



Mr Varadkar on Grafton Street.


Previously: Picture Desk! I Need The IMF Guy In Dublin Walking PAST An Old Irish Homeless Man



Just over a year ago, on January 21, 2019, there was a total lunar eclipse. This horizontal composite tracks the Moon as it crossed into Earth’s dark umbral shadow in 35 consecutive frames. To wit:

Taken 3 minutes apart, they almost melt together in a continuous screen that captures the dark colours within the shadow itself and the northern curve of the shadow’s edge. Sunlight scattered by the atmosphere into the shadow causes the lunar surface to appear reddened during totality (left), but close to the umbra’s edge, the limb of the eclipsed Moon shows a remarkable blue hue. The blue eclipsed moonlight originates as rays of sunlight pass through layers high in Earth’s upper stratosphere, colored by ozone that scatters red light and transmits blue. The Moon’s next crossing into Earth’s umbral shadow, will be on May 26, 2021.

(Image: Laszlo Francsics)


Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during their one-to-one General Election 2020 debate hosted by Pat Kenny on Virgin One Media on Tuesday

Watching the “big” debate on Wednesday between Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, it’s still very obvious there is no great difference between them.

They have always been “two halves” of a great party.

Let’s not waste time. We are very tired of all this point-scoring, this posturing, and this making of promises that cannot be kept.

This is a time of national crisis.

The best way to “commemorate” the Civil War (whose wounds still fester) is for the two parties to unite and get us back in line with the caring, unselfish spirit of the first Dáil.

John Johnston,


Televised debate – take us to our leader (Irish Times letters page)

This Sunday at 11am

Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2.

A  protest cycle will take place to highlight the ongoing delays in developing the proposed Liffey Cycle Route.

Dublin Cycling Campaign writes:

We are calling for the immediate implementation of temporary measures to trial a segregated cycle route along the Liffey Quays.

A dedicated cycle route along the Liffey Quays, linking Heuston Station to the Point Village, was first proposed in 2011, but it has been dogged by planning & design issues, as well as strong opposition from some city centre businesses – primarily the operators of private car parks.

Another public consultation on the route was conducted in 2019, but the earliest possible date for the project to be completed is predicted to be 2024

This is not soon enough, want to see trial measures put in place, using temporary bollards, to test out the route and see how it will work in practice.

The Liffey Cycle protest is due to begin in Grand Canal Square on Sunday morning at 11am, with a large group setting off to cycle a loop of the Liffey Quays, before finishing up back at Grand Canal Square.

This is a family-friendly affair and that everyone is welcome to join in, especially those who don’t cycle regularly in Dublin but would like to.

Liffey Cycle Protest

Social Democrat co-leader Catherine Murphy and Social Democrat candidate for Dublin Fingal, Paul Mulvihill

This morning.

Round Room, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin

Social Democrats launch a policy document called Honest Politics – Restoring trust in politics and public life’. aiming to “tackle corruption in Irish political and public life”.

Policy proposals include:

A commitment to establishing an Independent Anti-Corruption unit with significant wide-ranging detection and prosecution powers

The establishment of an Electoral Commission, the introduction of an Oireachtas Commission vetting procedure for all senior appointments to public bodies,

Reform of the Ministers and Secretaries Act to make senior public servants accountable for their actions,

And a commitment to poverty-proof all legislative, policy, and budgetary decisions.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said:

“Too often there is little if any accountability when wrongdoing is uncovered and that is why we believe that an Independent Anti-Corruption unit – with wide-ranging powers to investigate and prosecute is a necessary step which can not only help restore much-needed trust but also to put an end to the need for expensive and lengthy tribunals and commissions of investigation.”


Today’s Irish Independent

‘Walking down the street this morning, passing all the election posters, I thought about all of the mediocre men who have been elected to Leinster House over the years and how the most mediocre of all those men got elected because he was born a man (and his dad was probably a TD before him).

Female candidates have to work twice as hard to convince the electorate that they’re really as worthy as that man who has coasted along on his male privilege his whole life. They deserve a chance from all of us….

…If I meet a candidate who seems competent, hard-working and her politics somewhat align with mine, and she’s a woman, she is getting my vote next month.

Women cannot just be sidelined, arguing for change from our kitchens, we need to be allowed to thrive and fulfil our true potential in the political world too. Now, it’s women’s turn…’

Lorraine Courtney: ‘Give your vote to a woman – it’s the only way to break the tyranny of mediocre men’ (

Leo Varadkar, then Minister for Social protection, launching the ‘Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All’ campaign, April 17, 2017

Via Village magazine [more at link below]:

[Leo Varadkar’s] nastiest single initiative came just before he stood for the leadership of his party, with the fractious ‘Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All’ campaign.

But it positioned Varadkar where he wanted to be.

Imagine being in the prime of your life and at the top of your career and deciding what you want to do is target the most disadvantaged in society, those most discriminated against in the most tangible ways, economically and socially.

Imagine feeling that you want to spell out a message that the most scandalous misappropriations are by the welfare classes not the bankster classes.

Imagine being Minister for Social Protection, representing the classes that have nothing to get up for in the morning and running a campaign that promotes those who get up early in the morning.

…His commitment to equality seems tentative. His commitment to divisiveness, if anything, stronger.

What constitutes robustness when standing up to the clowns in Fianna Fáil accelerates into meanness when deployed against the vulnerable and the impoverished in society.

He recently wrote in the Irish Independent:

“We have allowed society to be divided into one group of people who pay for everything but get little in return due to means-tests, and another who believe they should be entitled to everything for free and that someone else should pay for it”.

The gratuitousness of the divisiveness derives from the simple fact there is no such second group. While he later claimed he intends to unite it, this is cynical rhetoric, for the beef is in the divisiveness.

….Varadkar melds neoliberalism and anodyne blandness. But the glue he deploys is the most interesting thing about the man, for the glue is the glue of nastiness.

Go Easier On The Nastiness (Village)