This morning/afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

LGBT families calling for same-sex couples to be given legal recognition as parents.

The Children and Family Relationships Act, which was passed in 2015, allows for the option of including a co-parent on a birth certificate.

However, not all sections have been commenced, including the provision that relates to donor-assisted human reproduction….

LGBT families protest over lack of legal recognition as parents (RTÉ)

Pic via Grace O’Sullivan

This afternoon.

A replica of one of the 1000 Gold – GOLD! – coins on sale from The Central Bank’s to mark 100 years of the first Dáil.

Yours for – gulp  – €889.00.

Sam Boal/RollingNews


Via NUIG Students’ Union


Sita O’Driscoll writes:

Robert’s  description published in news articles is incorrect and I have been informed it will soon be updated by the Garda Press Office.The Correct description: 6 ft Height Broad built Green eyes with brown speckles Short dark hair When left home was wearing: 1) green jacket 2) maroon long sleeved t-shirt 3) lightly rolled up jeans and 4) dark shoes of soft material. Thank you.

More as we get it.


Sinn Féin Bank!?


Eispéireas 100 bliain na Dála

This afternoon.

Chairperson of the development board of the National Children’s Hospital, Tom Costello delivers to TDs the projected cost of the hospital situated off the South Circular Road (top).

Cost of new children’s hospital a ‘catastrophic failure’ (RTÉ)

From top: Regina Doherty on ‘The Week in Politics’ last Sunday; from left: presenter Sharon Ni Bheolain, Ms Doherty, Stephen Donnelly and Martin Kenny; Eamonn Kelly

RTÉ television do a show called ‘The Week In Politics‘. I caught some of it by accident last Sunday. Sharon Ní Bheoláin was hosting.

Like many RTÉ journalists, Sharon doesn’t do anything as obvious as engage with the actual issue. Instead she occupies that favoured neutral ground known as “objectivity”, from where she basically just interrupts people as if for the heck of it.

There seems no pattern or point to her interruptions. She seems to take special pleasure in saying, “You have ten seconds!” to respond to a really complicated proposition.

Regina Doherty, sent by Fine Gael, decided to announce on this occasion that the nurses weren’t striking for more money.

This comment threw everyone, but Regina was very sure of her ground.

Stephen Donnelly, Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Health, swung his head repeatedly in astonishment to stare in disbelief at Regina.

Next to him, Martin Kenny, of Sinn Féin, spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, had his groundings visibly challenged.

But Regina’s claim that the nurses weren’t going on strike for more money, had at its core, a small basis in logic. In other words it wasn’t entirely insane, it was just deliberately unhelpful.

Here’s how it works. Since the nurses agreed to a pay deal a couple of years back, which will be honoured, Regina concluded that the nurses, by accepting that agreement, were already “happy” with regard to money.

So therefore they can’t be striking for more money, since they are “happy”.

It might be more accurate to say, if someone had thought to say it, that the nurses are striking for more funding, to increase staff and to have a fairer wage for all.

Regina made her absurd claim about the nurses, twice, before Stephen Donnelly politely asked Sharon for permission to speak.

He said: “This is twice Regina has said this and I really have to pull her up on it.” To which Sharon replied, “You have ten seconds”.

Then someone found a clip of Leo Varadkar talking about the nurses and the strike and the money.

We can’t afford to give the nurses more money, said Leo, neatly contradicting his minister for employment affairs and social protection, who peered through her glasses like a bewildered child in a crowded Specsavers.

We have to hold onto that money, said Leo, in case Brexit goes wrong in a few weeks time, and we also need it for housing.

But no one noticed the inconsistency. The initial absurdism was now twisted into a fresh absurdism by Leo’s assertion that the nurse’s strike is morally irresponsible given the need for housing.

Suddenly it was all over. We were right out of time. And nothing was clear. Nothing had been resolved or clarified. If anything, the issue was in worse condition that it had been before Sharon and the panel got their hands on it.

Thank you, goodnight and up yours.

Eamonn Kelly is a freelance journalist

RTÉ: The Nurses Are Not Striking For More Money. Up yours (Eamonn Kelly)

This morning/afternoon.

Mansion House, Dublin 2.

David Thomas, Managing Director of Volvo Car Ireland, presents cycle lane-hogging Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring with the keys to a hybrid-powered Volvo S90 T8 for use as his official car for 2019.

Volvo has seen a significant increase in the demand for their T8 hybrid with orders accounting for 20% of sales on available models.


Give Us The Night.

Is a new campaign group seeking “positive changes to nightlife in Ireland with particular regard to music venues”.

They’re campaigning for more cultural spaces to be used as night venues, graduated closing times, 6am closing times in some music venues, 24-hour public transport, and the establishment of ‘night mayors’…

The group has just released its mandate which sez:

Countries around the world are experiencing the benefits of a healthy night-time economy. The commonly recognised timeframe of activity in this sector is 6pm – 6am.

This involves music venues, bars, restaurants, spectator sporting events, cinemas, theatres, shops, transport companies, and various other forms of hospitality.

Our nearest neighbour, the UK, values its night-time economy at £66 billion per year.

It is impossible however, to measure the night-time economy’s worth in Ireland, given the heavy restrictions placed on night-time businesses.

To achieve growth in the night-time industry, a complete rethink of our licensing laws and structure around them needs to take place.

There is a lack of clarity running through the licensing system in Ireland, with regulations that can vastly differ from county to county.

Unlike our European counterparts, Ireland lacks a specific set of decision-makers in relation to night-time events and licensing, with limited initiatives in place to enhance the night-time economy.

As a starting point, Give Us The Night (GUTN) believe that a night-time commission/advisory group should be established in each major city as soon as possible.

These groups can provide expert knowledge as well as recommendations on the local night-time economy, based on a range of research and consumer feedback.

GUTN welcome the establishment of a Night Mayor (Maor Oíche) in each major city. A Night Mayor (or equivalent individual such as ‘Night Czar’ or ‘Night-Time Economy Advisor’) has been established in cities across the world including London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and New York to great effect.

A Night Mayor can act as a liaison between stakeholders in the night-time industry. The Night Mayor would work alongside the Lord Mayor of that city, the city council, An Garda Síochána, venue operators, and event programmers.

GUTN also believe that the formation of licensing boards within city and county councils would aid the work of the Night Mayor, or alternatively work as stand-alone groups in areas where no Night Mayor exists.

Councils could establish these groups to provide more time, fairness and transparency to licensing application decisions.

This would also devolve more power to local authorities, to make decisions related to their own specific night-time economy.

There could also be a fresh approach to granting occasional licences for one-off music and cultural events of all sizes.

With a growing festival market, we feel that some of these events could provide an opportunity to test extended opening hours in suitable areas on a pilot scheme basis.

Read GUTN’s mandate in full here

Give Us The Night

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy

This afternoon in the Dáil.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy again asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about the delay some women are experiencing in accessing their CervicalCheck slides.

Ms Murphy has previously raised the issue numerous times.

Last November, she told the Dáil that it was her understanding that the National Screening Service ordered Quest Diagnostics – which was sued by the late Emma Mhic Mhathuna – to stop releasing slides back in August.

And she said she understands that some women are going to the High Court to force the release of their slides.

This afternoon, she told the Taoiseach:

“Taoiseach, I raised with you some months ago the issue of the CervicalCheck slides not being provided to women and you gave an assurance that day, that you’d go back and talk to your officials and I’ve pursued this matter with Minster [for Health Simon] Harris.

“I indicated that it was going to end up in the courts. It was in the High Court on the 20th of December. There were commitments made by the HSE in that court to provide the slides. They have not been provided.

“The women are back in the court this Friday.

“Taoiseach this is a disgrace. There’s absolutely no reason why these slides should not be provided. There’s an unnecessary frustration being experienced by these women.

“Can I ask you to give us an assurance that this nonsense will be stopped and the HSE will be instructed to do what they agreed to do in the court?”

The Taoiseach replied:

“I recall when you raised that last time, I did make inquiries with the HSE and Department of Health about that and put across our very strong instruction from Government that slides should be provided without undue delay.

“I understand that there can be delays at different points. That, before a slide can be sent to a laboratory, the solicitor has to indicate which laboratory they want to send to. There is a protocol in place.

The vast majority of solicitors, I understand, have signed up to that protocol but not all have. So delays can happen at different points. It isn’t always at the point of the HSE or the lab.

“They can happen at the level of law firm as well.”

Previously: “I Don’t Believe I’m Being Told The Truth”