This afternoon.

Shannon Airport, county Clare.

Nandi O’Sullivan writes:

The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225 touched down from China carrying a cargo consignment for distribution in the Irish retail sector.

The six-storey-high, Ukrainian-built Antonov AN-225 is the only one of its kind. It has a wingspan of 88 metres, 32 wheels and is capable of carrying 640,000 tonnes on take-off. Known as the ‘Mriya’ the Russian word for dream.

With the longest runway in Ireland at 3,199m, Shannon Airport is the only airport in Ireland capable of accommodating the Antonov AN-225.

The Antonov is due to depart Shannon tomorrow at 9am.

Pics by Arthur Ellis

This afternoon.

Pavilions Shopping Centre, Malahide Road, Swords Demesne, Swords, Co. Dublin

Ireland’s glaze-fixated answer to Dude with a Sign helps announce job vacancies, for store staff and delivery drivers, at the new Krispy Kreme Swords branch, which opens in November.

The store is the secoNOMNOMNOMNOM

Job details here

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Kilmacurragh House in 1922

This afternoon.

Kilbride, county Wicklow

Minister Patrick O’Donovan, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), at the announcement of a €5.45m investment to conserve and preserve Kilmacurragh House, one of the last Queen Anne-style houses in Ireland.

The Land Commission acquired the property in 1974, leaving the house derelict. It was damaged by fires in 1978 and 1982 and stripped of all its fittings .

That’ll learn us.

Probably not.

Minister O’Donovan announces €5.45m investment for the conservation of Kilmacurragh House, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Co. Wicklow (

Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

This morning.

Bishop Lucey Park, Cork City.

Cork-born London-based artist Conor Harrington (above) has completed a giant mural in tribute to the city as part of the Ardú Street Art Project 2021.

Conor sez:

“I’ve used the English Market as a starting point for my mural, the gate of which is opposite my wall. It was built in 1788 and has seen us through famine, boom and bust. In my painting, a man sets a table, a composition of fruit and veg in the manner of a lot of still life paintings from the 18th Century, when the English market and much of the Grand Parade and Patrick’s Street was built.

“The table is overflowing with fruit, an abundance of fresh produce that has been available in the market for years. I’ve included a doll’s house on the table to illustrate how Cork is a city built on food and how our culinary scene is one of our greatest assets. I’ve also included a fire extinguisher on the table as a reminder of the Burning of Cork 101 years ago, and that although the market was mostly spared, damage was still done.

“In the mural I’ve played with proportion and inverted the traditional scale of figure and dwelling to exacerbate the idea of the Georgian figure as a looming power or Lord over his domain. In my work I examine the role and legacy of the empire, and try to find parallels in contemporary culture. By including the doll’s house as a reference to home, housing and the current crisis in Ireland and the abundant fruit table which is in a state of overflow and collapse, I’m asking the question to whom does power and plenty belong? Despite this historical foundation, my mural is ultimately about the balance of abundance and excess, and the fall which inevitably follows.”

Ardú commissions artwork from home grown talent and the street art project is supported by Cork City Council and Creative Ireland, and with paint donated by local businesses Pat McDonnell Paints, and spray paint from Vibes & Scribes.

Ardú Street Art Project

Pics by John Beasley

This afternoon.

The Science Museum, London, England, UK.

Via The Guardian:

The UK government has announced plans to launch a £400m package of investment alongside the US billionaire Bill Gates to boost the development of new green technologies.

Boris Johnson said the deal would help power a “green industrial revolution” and develop emerging technologies that were currently too expensive to be commercially successful but were essential to hitting the government’s climate goals.

Boris Johnson strikes £400m deal with Bill Gates to boost green technology (The Guardian)




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This afternoon.

Our friends at Currys PC World conducted a survey to find out how Irish people recycle their old products as part of its Go Greener campaign

The survey reveals:

95% of people think it is important to recycle electronic items

80% of people understand what product energy ratings mean

79% will consider water conservation when choosing a product that uses water

98% would recycle e-waste more if there were more collection point.

4% of Irish people have recycled an old appliance in the last 12 months.
80% of Irish people understand what product energy ratings mean.

In fairness.

Currys PC World

Copper Face Jacks’ dancefloor

This afternoon.

Further to the very partial lifting of restrictions…..

…From Friday, for indoor live music, drama, live entertainment and sporting events, members of the audience and spectators should be fully seated with standing permitted at seats.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he could not go into specifics when it came to nightclubs opening. He said there will be sector-specific advice coming in relation to mask-wearing, social distancing and ventilation measures “where appropriate”.

Speaking at Dublin Castle this afternoon, the Taoiseach said NPHET’s view is that with the protective measures in place, nightclubs can open but with collective behaviour.

Guidance will be coming, but he said “people will be able to dance in a nightclub, of course“.

Live venues, nightclubs return in revised reopening plan (RTÉ)

Earlier: Over By February

Pic: Copper Face Jacks


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This morning.

Genoa, Italy.


Blocking of the port of Genoa continues to the bitter end against the requirement of a health passport. This morning two policemen brought food and solidarity to the port workers: “Keep it up guys, don’t give up!” Stupendous.


Italy’s ‘green pass’ workplace protests come to an end as police disperse crowds (The Local Italy)




Last night.

Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ One.

Joe O’Shea: “We have to start compelling people because a lot of them seem to think that ‘because it’s not affecting me directly, maybe I’m young, maybe I’m healthy, or maybe I believe some post I’ve seen on Facebook saying Bill Gates wants me to get vaccinated because he wants to turn me into a robot’, that we have to start making their lives complicated as well.”

Claire Byrne
: “You sound really angry with people who’ve decided not to get vaccinated – for whatever reason that may be, that they made that decision?”

O’Shea: “Yeah, I am angry, and I think people are angry because we want to get out of this. We want our lives back, we want to get back to normality, we want to work again, we want to see people again, we want to have a Christmas that we’re not talking about vaccination rates or infection rates, but we’re actually talking about our Christmas plans and meeting our loved ones. We want our families to be protected, we want our communities to be protected. And that’s why there are no, no scientific arguments to be made for not getting vaccinated. I’m not a virologist but the anti-vaxxers are not virologists either.

“There’s no debate because you can’t debate somebody who believes in a religious belief almost, a cult like thing of, you know, ‘well, I’m not going to get vaccinated, I’m not going to listen to my doctor, I’m not going to listen to the overwhelming evidence and opinion of the world’s leading scientists’.

“You can’t debate with them. At this stage, we’re talking about almost hardcore cranks who are just not prepared to…”

Byrne: “Yeah, but Joe you’re talking then about forcing people to take a vaccine, if they have decided, as they have a right to decide, they’ve a right to decide ‘look, I don’t want to take…’ for whatever reason.”

O’Shea: “Good…yeah, they have a right to decide and if they want to lock themselves out of society, because they will not live up to the responsibilities that they should be facing, then yeah, they have a right to decide that. You can’t force people, nobody is talking about forcing people to take vaccines, marching them down to health centres. But you can compel people, or you can let them know that if that is the decision you take, then unfortunately we cannot have you in our spaces, we cannot have you with the risk you pose to society, to our people, to our loved ones. It’s not forcing, but it’s definitely compelling.”


O’Shea: “…What we have seen in France, especially, is that workplace mandates have worked. In France, after Macron brought in these laws, and they were very, very strict and they were very, very resisted as well by the media, by the politicians and by the public, the rate of vaccination went up significantly. So, definitely try to persuade, definitely engage, there are people with real concerns, of course there are. But we also have to start being a bit more serious as well about who we allow to be in our spaces if we’re ever going to escape this pandemic. Fifty thousand new cases in the UK today, 50, 000 in one day. You know, we don’t want to mess around with this.”

Byrne: “What about mandatory vaccination, Joe?”

O’Shea: “No, I don’t think anybody is seriously suggesting that. I don’t think it would be possible and I don’t think it would be feasible, I don’ can’t force people…”

Byrne: “Yeah, but you say that but…can I just bring you the results of our poll on that because we asked 1,000 adults on our Amarach smartphone panel, the question: Are you in favour of mandatory vaccination against Covid-19? Have a look at this…

…46% of people say yes, 42% say no, and 12% don’t know. So Joe it’s a sizeable figure. I mean 46% of the 1,000 people say ‘yeah, mandatory’.”

O’Shea: “I’m absolutely shocked with that figure to be honest with you because I can’t see how that would be possible, I don’t think that’s a road we want to go down, I don’t think there’s any country in the world that’s thinking of going down that road.”

Byrne: “I thought you’d be in favour of it, given what you said earlier on?”

O’Shea: “No, no, I’m in favour…if people want to decide, then they decide to lock themselves out effectively of public life, that’s what they’re deciding to do. I don’t think you can forcefully vaccinate people. And of course we’re talking about people who have already taken 10 or 11, 12 vaccinations in their life to date and didn’t have to do all the research on that. And if they cut their hand open on a rusty nail tomorrow and were offered a tetanus shot, they wouldn’t be asking to do the research on that either. You can persuade some people but there will be a hardcore people who, for their own wilful ignorance, will not be persuaded so what we can do now, what is happening, what we’re seeing around the world is effectively, OK, but you cannot be in our public spaces, you cannot be in our lives.”

Good times.

Watch back here.

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