Graphic on the Green Party website

This afternoon.

Further to Green Party leader and TD Eamon Ryan’s comments about carpooling in rural Irish villages on Ireland AM on Wednesday

And the subsequent reporting of his comments on The Irish Times yesterday

The party has released the following statement:

“By now you’ve probably read the headline that Eamon Ryan wants to restrict cars in rural Ireland.

This headline has caused a flood of online fury – and rightly so, because a suggestion like that would be ridiculous and impractical. It would be tone-deaf to needs of our rural communities, and frankly insulting to people who are dealing with a total lack of any public transport on a daily basis.

But the truth is – this headline is totally inaccurate.

The Green Party does not stand for restricting car ownership, and to state otherwise is a huge misrepresentation of the party position and of Eamon’s comments.

What Eamon Ryan proposed was that car sharing could provide people in rural Ireland with extra options.

So cars AND car sharing.

The reason for this is simple. Lack of investment in rural transport means thousands of people are locked-in to car dependency. Meanwhile, thousands of young people have been locked-out of car ownership in rural Ireland because of sky-high insurance costs. People want and need options. They need a way of getting around that is much cheaper and may provide an alternative to the cost of owning and running one or more cars.

Car sharing schemes won’t work everywhere or for everyone, but there are rural communities who are already doing this. In Cahersiveen, locals have started a carpooling group, and Clare County Council are piloting a scheme as part of their Rural Development Strategy.

So what are the facts?

The fact is, the Green Party are the ONLY party proposing major public transport investment in rural Ireland, and we were the ONLY party to discuss our commitment to rural transport at our budget launch.

In our budget submission, we committed almost half a billion Euro to public transport. We are the only party with a costed budget to come anywhere close to the level of investment and ambition that will make an impact for people in rural areas.

That means new bus routes serving communities and areas that have never been served before.

It means a big increase in frequency of services on existing routes.

It means cheaper fares.

It means options.

And the Green Party proposal is for sustained investment at that level.

We deeply regret the hurt that has been caused to rural communities. We are facing a climate emergency, and the impact of that will disproportionately hit rural areas.

We want to prevent that. Carpooling is one idea that might work for some people in some areas. It’s not Green Party policy. It’s not even a Green Party idea – carpooling was debated by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, where Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour all voted in favour.

When it comes to climate change, people in rural Ireland are sometimes made to feel like they are part of the problem. Rural Ireland is not part of the problem, but by investing significantly in rural communities, we believe rural Ireland can become a big part of the solution.’


Everyone stay cool.

*revs up welly-strewn Passat*


Earlier: Rota This

Previously: It Takes A Village


Dublin Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe tweetz:

Like to join me on a whistle-stop bike tour of decent public housing in Dublin tomorrow?

The bike tour will take place from 2pm until 4pm tomorrow, leaving from The Tram Café, Wolf Tone Square, Jervis Street, Dublin 1.

Bike tour of Dublin Housing (Open House Dublin)

Earlier: “What Is Going On At The Heart Of Government?”

Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD speaking to the media after being on the Today with Seán O’Rourke show on RTÉ Radio 1 about Budget 2020 on Wednesday

This afternoon.

Via Breakingnews:

Paschal Donohoe freezing welfare, tax bands and credits in this week’s budget have affected people who are already the worst off and will push up child-poverty-at-risk rates, according to leading think tank, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)…

Budget ‘disproportionally impacts welfare recipients’, according to ESRI (Eamon Quinn, Breakingnews)


Garda passing out parade in Templemore in 2016

Sorcha Pollock, in The Irish Times, reports:

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has called for a review of the “excessive” bleep tests used by An Garda Síochána as part of its fitness training for recruits.

The bleep test, which sees participants do a series of 20m shuttle runs between two points within a specified period of time, forms part of the force’s overall fitness test for trainees and probationers, which also includes press-ups, sit-ups and push/pull strength tests.

It is understood, according to a report first carried by The Star, that a garda was recently dismissed after failing the bleep test, while another 15 officers under probation were served with warnings after failing the test on two occasions.


Garda body criticises ‘excessive’ bleep tests for recruits (The Irish Times)

Related: The Physical Test – Requirements for An Garda Síochana


This afternoon.

Members of Extinction Rebellion celebrate outside the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment after plastering the outside of the building with Climate Action posters on day 5 of their Week of Climate Justice Action demonstrations.

Earlier: While You Were Sleeping

Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring who took office in June 2018

Laoise Neylon, in The Dublin Inquirer, reports:

The costs of having a sociable lord mayor of Dublin have been totted up.

The annual costs incurred by Dublin City Council for running the Mansion House and the Office of the Lord Mayor have increased by about €665,000 in recent years.

They grew from €1,166,000 in 2015/16 to €1,831,000 in 2018/19, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Having a Particularly Sociable Lord Mayor Was Expensive (Laoise Neylon, The Dublin Inquirer)

Previously: A New ‘Mare

The Law Society, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7

Among the legal profession?

What unpacked madness is this?

This afternoon.

Via RTÉ:

….It is understood the alleged remarks [on a private messaging app] related to female students….

…In an internal email sent to students, seen by RTÉ News, the content of the alleged messages are described as “highly offensive” and give rise to “profound ethical concerns.”

It also says “trainees are subject to the same rules and regulations as practising solicitors regarding ethical behaviour.”

In a statement, the Law Society says it “takes these allegations extremely seriously” and it says “if they are proven to be true, disciplinary action will be taken.”

Law Society launch investigation into alleged comments (Fergal O’Brien, RTÉ)

Law Society investigating allegations about ‘highly offensive’ private messaging group (Irish Legal News)

Pic: WikipediaCommons

Meanwhile, at the bar…


Good times.

Full report here.

Thanks anon

Free this Halloween?

Stuck with bored, custumed children?

Try The Annual Finglas Halloween Festival ‘Finglas Fright Night’ (and then say it really fast)

At the Finglas Civic Centre, Mellowes Road on Thursday, October 31 from 6pm to 9pm.

Via Dublin City Council:

All are welcome to attend this fun, safe, family event.

This year the ghoulish entertainment will include scary street entertainment, Colm Dawson’s magic show, carnival stalls, fairground attractions including, a junior Merry go round, kiddies roller coaster, teenage terminator, chair-o-planes, junior and Senior obstacle courses….

Send things to do this Halloween to marked ‘Things To Do This Halloween’. No fee.