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Updated: 2017-07-28T01:47:46+01:00

 



Adult children living at home doubles in ‘accommodation time bomb’

2017-07-28

The number of adult children living with their parents has almost doubled over the last decade to nearly 500,000.The number of adult children living with their parents has almost doubled over the last decade to nearly 500,000.The latest statistics to be released from Census 2016, which examine the living arrangements of the Irish population, show that 458,874 adults aged 18 and over live in the family home. In the 2006 Census, the last before the economic crash, there were 280,065 “children in their 20s living with their parents”. The situation has been described by politicians as an “accommodation time bomb” and social campaigners said the figures reflect the effects of young people being unable to afford to rent or get mortgages, which in turn is creating increased family pressures. A spokeswoman for Seniorline, a confidential listening service for older people, told the Irish Examiner that reports of elder abuse have risen considerably since the recession, with more and more adult children returning home. “Our elder abuse figures rose in the downturn as older sons and daughters returned home as a result of financial pressures. “There was an increase in calls in relation to psychological, financial and physical abuse,” the Seniorline spokeswoman said. “In terms of changing family dynamics, grandparents are often minding grandchildren because the parents can’t afford childcare. “You have families at a later stage, who are under financial pressures, moving back in with parents. Relationships become strained under this pressure,” she added. Census 2016 found that a total of 58.6% of adult children living at home were male, 215,088 of the adult children were at work, while 66,516 were unemployed and 152,269 were students. The figure of 458,874 is an increase of 4.4% (19,396 people) on Census 2011. On an urban-rural divide, 41.2% of this group lived in rural areas, compared with the 37.3% of the general population. Among those aged 30-49 there were more than twice as many men as women still living with a parent (67,594 compared with 32,037). Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the figures were indicative of an “accommodation time bomb”. “The crisis in housing supply is laid bare by these latest Census figures. Almost half a million young people over the age of 18 are still living at home with their parents. “Of that number, 180,703 were at work. Due to spiralling rents and soaring house prices, moving out of home is simply out of reach for many young people. “While living at home with parents is fine in the short term, the Government will be facing an even worse crisis if and when these young people decide to move out,” he said. Labour spokesman for urban regeneration Joe Costello said the figures were “staggering” and made for “stark” reading. “The quality of life for young adult working males, in particular, has deteriorated sharply in recent years. “The shortage of affordable housing and the prevalence of low-paid employment is playing havoc with young people’s lives. “And what is the Government’s response?” Mr Costello stated. “Last night on the Vincent Browne programme on TV3, the new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, admitted that his Government would meet none of its targets on housing and homelessness during its lifetime,” Mr Costello said. Housing campaigners, the Peter McVerry Trust, said the figures reflected trends they are seeing. “We are increasingly seeing people losing their accommodation and returning to the family home. These are people in good jobs and on middle incomes. “It has been particularly prevalent this year. People have been forced to move back in with family as a result,” said a spokesman for the trust. “It’s an anomaly in the system,” he added.[...]



‘Thorough’ legal review being done on Gsoc’s Ian Bailey report

2017-07-28

The long-waited Gsoc Bailey report is undergoing a “thorough” internal legal review and could be some months away from being published, the Irish Examiner understands.

The long-waited Gsoc Bailey report is undergoing a “thorough” internal legal review and could be some months away from being published, the Irish Examiner understands.

The report of the massive investigation — thought to be up to 100 pages long — is the result of an inquiry which started in February 2012.

Gsoc probed a complaint from Ian Bailey of garda misconduct in relation to the murder investigation of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork in December 1996.

The investigation has faced a succession of challenges and delays — the report had initially been expected last February.

It is understood Gsoc is being particularly careful with this investigation to ensure all “interested parties”, including gardaí (serving or retired) and witnesses, have been afforded due process and fair treatment.

This is partly to mitigate any threat of a judicial review being taken.

The internal legal review, which started in recent weeks, is also checking to see if any individual may have committed a criminal offence and whether the file should go to the DPP.

This is despite previous indications from Gsoc that a file would not be sent to the DPP, on the belief there was no possibility of any criminal charge being brought based on the evidence.

It is understood that the internal legal review is standard in large or complex investigations and involves a slow and methodical perusal of every page of a report to see if the investigation was fair and exhaustive and to spot if any further checks or inquiries need to be made.

The report, along with any necessary legal advice, will be forwarded to the three-person commission at the head of Gsoc.

The commission will have to make a number of decisions, including who should be given a full report, or a redacted report, and what condensed report should be published generally.

The Bailey investigation has been hit by a number of issues, including initial access to garda documentation, interviewing a large number of witnesses, securing copies of the so-called Bandon tapes, and a High Court case taken by Mr Bailey.

This was followed by changes at the top of Gsoc at the end of last year and the publication of the Fennelly report earlier this year.

Mr Bailey has expressed concern at the delays.

When contacted, a Gsoc spokesman said: “The report is currently going through internal control and QA mechanisms which include such things as legal review.”

Asked would the report be sent to the DPP, he said: “This has not yet been decided by the commission.”

He said a decision had not yet been made on whether a full or partial report would be provided to the public. He said they do not yet have a timeframe for publication.

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Praying for a rethink as the bell tolls for men-only Mass

2017-07-28

Time has been called on a weekly Mass exclusively for men.

Time has been called on a weekly Mass exclusively for men.

Disappointed lifelong members of a religious order in Limerick claimed they have been “relegated to the second division”.

They will now have to join with women for a Monday night Mass.

For the past 150 years, women have been turned away from attending the service for members of the Archconfraternity of the Redemptorist Order in Limerick. Sean O’Lochrain, 90, from Garryowen, and a minister of the Eucharist, said he has been left “heartbroken” by the move.

“It’s very sad. I’ve been coming here all my life, with my father and nine brothers. I’m heartbroken, really,” he said.

Tim McGrath, from Corbally, said: “Our Mass has been taken away from us.

“Our Monday evening Mass was our space and we wanted the status quo to remain.

“It’s a sad situation and very disappointing.”

The Archconfraternity, he said, felt “we’ve been relegated to the second division, to shared Mass status”.

“We were not given an opportunity to discuss this — there was no debate, no vote, nothing,” said Mr McGrath. “The majority don’t want any change.

“What a lovely present for our 150th anniversary.”

Up to 60 men have, in recent times, regularly attended the 8pm Monday Mass, down from thousands each night at its religious zenith.

Fr Seamus Enright, rector of the Redemptorists, said the move is “sad, but we have to be realistic”.

While having a Mass just for men “could be viewed as a bit anachronistic in this modern age”, he said, the rector also acknowledged: “For many people, it has proved to be a big break with tradition and a disruption in their lives.”

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Burglar tried to get register off counter

2017-07-28

Two men burgled a cafe at the Imperial Hotel in Cork City and tried to force a cash register off the counter under the cover of darkness — yesterday one of the culprits got a suspended jail term.

Two men burgled a cafe at the Imperial Hotel in Cork City and tried to force a cash register off the counter under the cover of darkness — yesterday one of the culprits got a suspended jail term.

A four-month suspended sentence was imposed on Krystian Warych, of 33 Derrynane Rd, Cork.

Warych, aged 32, pleaded guilty to his part in this crime and another burglary minutes later at the nearby English Market.

Inspector Adrian Gamble outlined the background to the crimes at Cork District Court where Judge Olann Kelleher imposed the suspended jail term.

“At 6.50am on March 28, he was seen entering Lafayette’s café in the Imperial Hotel with another man through an unlocked door while the cafe was closed and in darkness.

“They went behind the counter in the cafe and attempted to steal the cash register, damaging it in the process.

“Both men left the hotel when challenged by a staff member. Approximately 10 minutes later they entered the English Market through an unlocked door while the arcade was closed at 7am.

“While in the English Market, Warych took a bottle of lobster bisque from a display counter at Kay O’Connell’s fishmongers.

“He and his accomplice then went behind the counter of O’Mahonys Butchers and took a backpack and grocery items and took them out of the market.

Warych pleaded guilty to burglaries at the Imperial and O’Mahonys and theft at O’Connell’s.

Michael Quinlan, solicitor, said Warych was still drunk from the previous night. He said the other man was more heavily involved in the criminal activities.

Judge Kelleher imposed a four-month suspended sentence for the Imperial burglary, 150 hours’ community service for the burglary at O’Mahonys, and a €200 fine for the theft from the counter of the fishmonger.

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Inspector criticises closure of sole semi-open prison

2017-07-28

The Office of the Prison Inspector has strongly criticised the decision to close the country’s only semi-open prison and said it conflicted with stated official policy.

The Office of the Prison Inspector has strongly criticised the decision to close the country’s only semi-open prison and said it conflicted with stated official policy.

The inspection report on the Training Unit said that despite the problems it identified at the jail it provided “very important rehabilitative” services to prisoners.

The Training Unit was the country’s only semi-open low-security prison, with a relaxed and informal internal regime, where the focus was on prisoner reintegration to the community.

It aimed to provide work, education and training to prisoners approaching the end of their sentence in preparation for their release.

Report author Helen Casey said that since her inspections, a decision had been made to close the unit, refurbish it and to turn it into a facility for older prisoners. The inmates in the unit have been transferred to Mountjoy West, or the old St Patrick’s Institution, which is a closed prison.

Ms Casey, who conducted the inspections and completed the report after the death of the prison inspector Judge Michael Reilly, said she welcomed the creation of a jail for ‘older’ prisoners.

But she said this “should not be created at the expense of one of the more positive aspects” of the Irish Prison Service.

“The ultimate aim of any humane society that punishes those who commit offences through the deprivation of liberty must be their reintegration into society,” said the report.

Ms Casey said this was the aim of both the IPS and the Penal Policy Review Group, which published its final report in 2014.

The group specifically called for an “increase in the use of open prisons” and considered the possibility of opening one in the Dublin area.

“Notwithstanding the fact that there are problems within the Training Unit, it does provide a very important rehabilitative avenue for prisoners with the Irish prison estate,” she said.

“In my opinion, the current proposal to redesignate the Training Unit is not in keeping with the aforementioned Penal Policy Review recommendation and conflicts with a strategic objective of the Irish Prison Service Capital Strategy 2016-2021.”

Ms Casey added: “I could only support the closure of the Training Unit if assured that prisoners would benefit from the same regime in a similar facility.

“Regrettably, that assurance has not been forthcoming and I am of the view that the imminent move to Mountjoy West cannot support the semi-open prison ethos.”

The IPS said that the decision to close the Training Unit some months ago was because the unit was “outdated and lacked in cell sanitation” and that there was a plan to refurbish the prison and turn it into a facility for older prisoners.

The IPS said all the inmates in the unit had been transferred to Mountjoy West and most of them are on day release.

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Telescope creates new vision for researchers

2017-07-28

The largest radio telescope in the world was turned on for the first time at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly yesterday.

The largest radio telescope in the world was turned on for the first time at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly yesterday.

The International LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) Telescope is a €150 million network of radio telescopes distributed across Europe.

Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of the I-LOFAR Collaboration and Associate Dean of Research at Trinity, said the Irish LOFAR radio telescope “opens up a new era of astronomical research in Ireland and connects us to the leading network of radio telescopes in Europe”.

“It will be used to study the early Universe, detect exploding stars, search for new planets and understand the effects of the Sun on the Earth,” Prof Gallagher said.

“The huge volumes of data that the radio telescope will produce will require us to develop new software and data analytics techniques to process and understand the data. I-LOFAR really is a test-bed for big data in Ireland,” he said.

The telescope has been supported with an award of €1.4m from Science Foundation Ireland and the annual membership fee for LOFAR will be funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The site in Birr was chosen as it is adjacent to the historic Leviathan telescope, which was built by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in 1845 and was the largest optical telescope in the world until 1917.

It received a €1.4 million award from Science Foundation Ireland and the annual membership fee for LOFAR will be funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan was present for the official turning on of the telescope.

“Membership of LOFAR affords a unique opportunity for research and engagement to young people across the country with astronomy and science in general,” he said.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government said the investment will “enable researchers to explore new ideas in the areas of radio astronomy, big data, data analytics and supercomputing”.

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Lifesaving drugs caught up in ‘funding logjam’

2017-07-28

Lifesaving drugs have been caught up in a funding logjam as the HSE fears the cost involved could adversely affect existing services.

Lifesaving drugs have been caught up in a funding logjam as the HSE fears the cost involved could adversely affect existing services.

Nine new hi-tech drugs were recommended for approval by the HSE, subject to additional funding being provided.

The drugs include new treatments for cancer and heart conditions. The HSE confirmed the cost over five years would be around €117m.

The health authority said it had been asked to fund the drugs this year from available existing resources.

“The critical challenge for the HSE regarding the funding of these nine drugs is not necessarily the remainder of 2017 but the funding required for the full 12 months of next year,” said the HSE.

It has asked the Department of Health for “clarity” on funding arrangements for the drugs next year and beyond.

“This clarity is important to ensure that any decision to fund these new drugs will not adversely impact existing services provided to patients and clients,” it stated.

The Department of Health said discussions with the HSE on the funding implications for the drugs were continuing.

It said any funding decisions must be affordable and sustainable in 2017 and into the future.

The department said the decision on the reimbursement of any medicine was a matter for the HSE.

“Minister for Health Simon Harris has asked that this issue be resolved as a matter of urgency so that patients are not adversely affected,” a statement added.

Labour Party health spokesman Alan Kelly said some of the drugs had been caught in the funding logjam for as long as 12 months.

He said the HSE took ten months to refer the lifesaving heart drug Entresto to the Department of Health and that, two months later, the department referred it back to the HSE.

“Patients are suffering while the HSE and department are playing pass the parcel,” he said.

Cardiologist and physician at South Tipperary General Hospital Dr Niall Colwell said the heart failure drug could help 20,000 people in Ireland.

Dr Colwell, speaking on RTÉ radio, said Entresto would improve patients’ quality of life, reduce their admission to hospital, and possibly reduce mortality.

Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association chief executive Oliver O’Connor, said the IPHA believes the money is available to pay for the new drugs.

He said that, a year ago, IPHA member companies entered an agreement with the Government and had delivered €140m in savings. “We are absolutely convinced that there is money for these nine new medicines,” he said.

Mr O’Connor said the drugs are routinely available across Europe.

“For the nine medicines, it has been two-and-a-half-years, on average, from the time of the first application for reimbursements,” he said.

“It is 520 days since the outcome of the full health technology assessment. This delay is inexcusable and is letting down patients.”

The nine drugs are:

  • Entresto for heart failure.
  • Gazyvaro for follicular lymphoma.
  • Erivedge for basal cell carcinoma.
  • Otezla for psoriasis & psoriatic arthritis.
  • Brintellix for depression
  • Lynparza for ovarian cancer.
  • Entyvio for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
  • Opdivo for renal cell carcinoma.
  • Opdivo for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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Pressure on gardaí over private firm contracts

2017-07-28

An Garda Síochána is coming under pressure to publish full details of any contracts with private firms operating mobile speed detection cameras after it emerged that GoSafe, which operates 50 speed detection vehicles, was paid €1.2 million per month to carry out speed checks under the terms of a contract.

An Garda Síochána is coming under pressure to publish full details of any contracts with private firms operating mobile speed detection cameras after it emerged that GoSafe, which operates 50 speed detection vehicles, was paid €1.2 million per month to carry out speed checks under the terms of a contract.

The figures, disclosed to RTÉ under Freedom of Information, shows details of the contract which ran for over six years until May 2017 when it was replaced by a new agreement.

GoSafe was paid a flat rate of almost €45,000 per month, in addition to a rate of €151.79 paid per hour of speed monitoring, and €144.40 for each surveying hour. There were also other costs, including covering staff who had to attend court cases.

GoSafe provides 7,373 hours of speed monitoring each month as well as a minimum of 100 hours of surveying.

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said gardaí should now release information on other contracts, stating: “It is clearly in the public interest for us to know details of contracts with private companies operating services on behalf of the State’s law enforcement agencies.”

Dublin West TD and Justice Committee member, Jack Chambers said the contract details were “deeply troubling” and added: “From the very outset, this information should have been publically available and not hidden or shrouded in secrecy.”

His Fianna Fáil party colleague, Sligo-Leitrim TD member of the Public Accounts Committee, Marc MacSharry, said the figures were “alarming”.

He said: “I have written to the chairman of the committee to request this be put on the agenda for the autumn.”

In 2014, the Department of Justice sought a report from gardaí after Judge Patrick Durcan, sitting at Ennis District Court, dismissed 98 speeding cases on the basis that GoSafe staff were unable to demonstrate the requisite legal authority for them to give evidence on behalf of gardaí in relation to the cases in court.

The department said it had subsequently received the report from the gardaí and that it made clear that such operators appear as witnesses for the prosecution.

“The report also set out how the process operates and highlighted individual errors by GoSafe staff (such as respect of scheduling) which occurred in a small number of cases before Judge Durcan,” said a department spokesman.

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2FM enjoys gains for weekday shows

2017-07-28

RTÉ 2 FM were the big winners in the latest radio listenership figures with big gains for its peak weekday shows.

RTÉ 2 FM were the big winners in the latest radio listenership figures with big gains for its peak weekday shows.

According to the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) results, Breakfast Republic saw its audience increase year-on-year by 27,000 to 178,000, while The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene gained 8,000 listeners bringing its total to 144,000.

Tracey Clifford also had a good performance with 124,000 people now tuning in, up 10,000 and Eoghan McDermott gained 6,000 bringing his total to 118,000.

“Three years ago, we started a programme strategy to appeal to younger listeners and this is now paying off as most of 2fm’s growth has come from listeners under 35 years of age,” said Dan Healy, head of 2FM.

For RTÉ Radio 1, the results were mixed with some decent gains but also some substantial losses.

The news programmes appear to have been particularly badly impacted with Morning Ireland’s listenership falling by 13,000 year-on-year to 436,000 and News at One falling by a significant 23,000 to 325,000.

Liveline now has 381,000 people tuning in, 10,000 fewer than 12 months ago while Marian Finucane’s audience on Saturday fell by 19,000 year-on-year to 381,000, though she did see an increase of 11,000 in her listenership on Sunday with 332,000 now tuning into that show.

Two other big stars for the radio station also saw gains. Ryan Tubridy has an audience of 334,000, 15,000 more than 12 months ago while Sean O’Rourke’s 342,000 listenership is 16,000 more than this time last year.

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Sean O’Rourke’s RTE Radio 1 show has 342,000 listeners.

Ray D’Arcy’s gain was slightly more modest at 6,000. He now has 217,000 people tuning into his afternoon show. There was also good news for Corkman John Creedon whose audience went up by 11,000 to 47,000.

For Today FM, the results were mixed. Breakfast show presenter Ian Dempsey saw his listenership fall by 17,000 to 163,000 and at 164,000, Dermot and Dave had 10,000 fewer people tuning in than the slot had a year ago. Matt Cooper’s audience on the Last Word fell by 8,000 to 131,000.

The news was much better for Fergal D’Arcy in his mid afternoon slot which yet again saw an increase, this time by 13,000 to 107,000. Al Porter is only new to the early afternoon slot, but already he has increased audience by 4,000 to 107,000.

“The past 6 months has seen a huge amount of changes for Today FM – we have rebranded, launched two major prime time shows, rolled out a massive new brand campaign and signed rising star Al Porter,” said a spokeswoman.

Newstalk said it hadn’t completed a full year of its new schedule so could not give comparisons, but it said Newstalk Breakfast had an audience of 119,000, The Pat Kenny Show had 151,000, High Noon with George Hook had 98,000, Moncrieff had 77,000 and Newstalk Drive had 130,000.

Meanwhile in Cork, Red FM said it now has a listenership of 138,000, it’s highest ever and 21,000 ahead of its nearest competitor and that its presenter Neil Prendeville has an audience of 69,000, close to his rival in the mid-morning show.

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Rio report due next month

2017-07-28

The Government report into the Rio Olympics ticket- touting scandal may leave some questions unanswered.

The Government report into the Rio Olympics ticket- touting scandal may leave some questions unanswered.

Sports Minister Brendan Griffin confirmed the report of the non-statutory inquiry is due to be made public by mid-August.

The inquiry, chaired by retired High Court judge Carroll Moran and tasked with examining ticketing issues dating back to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was set up in the wake of last summer’s Rio de Janeiro ticket-touting scandal which engulfed the Olympic Council of Ireland and its then president Pat Hickey.

The legal team for Mr Hickey is understood to have warned against publication as it might prejudice planned trial proceedings in Brazil.

However, the Government is committed to publishing the report.

Mr Griffin said yesterday that while the document will address key issues, it may not be able to clarify all matters.

“I hope it will answer questions that have remained unanswered for many people. Perhaps, there may be questions unanswered for some people as well,” he said.

“I think everybody’s going to have to read it once it is published and see for themselves what’s in there.

“I’m not in a position to disclose any of the information there, I’m not sitting at Cabinet so I can’t give you any further information in relation to the time period, except that I’m sure there is a good reason for it.

“In the next fortnight it will be available to everybody.”

Asked if there had been any further response from Mr Hickey’s legal team over the planned publication, Mr Griffin said: “I’m not aware of that.” He indicated that he did not believe any further correspondence had taken place.

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Drink-driver went to help friend in need

2017-07-28

A young man who was caught drink driving only chanced driving in response to a late-night call from a friend who was threatening to jump off a bridge.

A young man who was caught drink driving only chanced driving in response to a late-night call from a friend who was threatening to jump off a bridge.

Barrister Paula McCarthy said the young motorist was never in any kind of trouble before and simply panicked when he got the call relating to the suicide threat.

“He got a call from a friend to say he was going to jump off a bridge. He got into the car and drove. And unfortunately he crashed his car,” Ms McCarthy said.

Insp Vincent O’Sullivan said that gardaí encountered the accused, Noel Barry aged 22, of 6 Meadow Park Grove, Ballyvolane, Cork, on that date which was St Patrick’s Day. He was found to be in excess of the permitted level of alcohol for driving.

He pleaded guilty to that offence yesterday.

Insp O’Sullivan said that at 2.20am on March 17 last at Summerhill North, as a result of a road traffic incident, the driver was arrested by Garda Orla Coakley and brought to the Bridewell Garda Station and processed for drink driving.

The reading was 58mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Ms McCarthy said the man was a student who had no previous convictions of any kind and was remorseful for his actions on the night.

Judge Aingil Ní Chondúin imposed a €200 fine on the motorist and disqualified him from driving for a period of two years.

As the case was finalised she warned the young man: “Should he re-offend and carry out a similar offence it could be custody.”

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Concern over degrading ‘initiation’ rites in prison

2017-07-28

Penal reformers have expressed concern over reported degrading ‘initiation’ rites for young adults in prisons, involving urination and defecation.

Penal reformers have expressed concern over reported degrading ‘initiation’ rites for young adults in prisons, involving urination and defecation.

The practice, also known as ‘hazing’, includes urinating into kettles, before tricking the young person to make tea, and defecating in the person’s bed.

The acts specifically target those just entering prison and are part of initiation practices by other inmates.

The matter was raised by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (JCFJ) in its submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT), which is examining Irelands’ record in hearings in Geneva.

“The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has learned that young adults in prison have been engaging in ‘initiations’, also referred to as ‘hazing’, when another young person arrives into prison,” the group said.

“Practices include urinating in kettles, before tricking the young person into making a cup of tea, and defecating in a young person’s bed.

“While this is not degrading treatment enacted by state institutions, it is degrading and an issue that needs to be tackled.”

JCFJ deputy director Eoin Carroll told the Irish Examiner: “This behaviour is extremely inappropriate and worrying and needs to be challenged by prison authorities who have a duty of care.”

He said such “juvenile behaviour” was still a form of bullying which is meant to “intimidate and humiliate” the person affected.

He said this practice tied in with the wider issue of the need for special prison arrangements for 18 to 25 year-olds.

“While challenging and working to prevent ‘initiations’ and ‘hazings’ becoming the norm among young adults in prison, the prison service needs to acknowledge that 18 to 25 year-olds are a distinct group with particular needs — especially in the areas of education and psycho-social development,” said Mr Carroll.

He said this could “only be achieved” by providing dedicated facilities and specially trained staff.

“As a society, we no longer accept that children are detained with adults so we should not consider it appropriate to detain young adults, teenagers, with older adults.”

Addressing UNCAT, Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, said Ireland no longer sent children to adult prisons — but to the Children’s Detention Centre, which had received €56m in capital expenditure.

He said new rules on solitary confinement had been introduced, and that “great strides” had been made in eliminating slopping out and reducing overcrowding.

The Government was questioned as to the resourcing of prison inspections and the effectiveness and independence of the prison complaints system.

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‘There was a time when 10,000 men attended the Masses’

2017-07-28

In a sign of the times, a policy of rationalisation has brought to an end a Monday night Mass for men only in Limerick City.

In a sign of the times, a policy of rationalisation has brought to an end a Monday night Mass for men only in Limerick City.

A tradition in the city for 150 years, rector of the Redemptorists Fr Seamus Enright said the decision to end the Mass was sad, but realistic.

Members of the Archconfraternity of the Redemptorist Order have instead been requested to attend an earlier Mass for all parishioners. In the past, women were turned away from an 8pm Mass for men.

“Having two Masses on a Monday night just did not make sense,” explained Fr Enright. “The Archconfraternity is directed by the Redemptorists. There is no distinction between us, we are one and the same.”

He said a Mass exclusively for men could be viewed as “a bit anachronistic in this modern age”.

He said that, with a shortage of priests, “it is the next natural step, as our own numbers are down, as well, and we have to adopt a policy of rationalisation”.

Ger O’Brien, who attended the men’s Mass for 63 years, said the service was a social outlet for many.

“It was a lovely men’s club. Everyone would congregate in the church yard afterwards and talk about sport. Men like to meet on their own and have their own discussions, the same as women like to meet on their own, but we don’t talk about crochet or knitting.”

Sean O’Lochrain, 90, from Garryowen, said: “It’s very sad. I’ve been coming here all my life with my father and nine brothers. I’m heartbroken, really. There was a time when 10,000 men would attend the Archconfraternity Masses, thousands each night, but the priests are all old men now and so are we.”

Joe Kelly, from Richmond Park in Corbally, said he felt “rather nostalgic and a bit lonesome, because this is the end of a wonderful era”.

He added: “It was like an institution, really; we’ll never see the likes of it again.”

Tony Fitzsimons, from Ballinacurra Gardens, said they were “reared with the Archconfraternity” as young boys in Limerick City.

“It was either the confraternity or the back of the brush, if we didn’t go. Now, we’ll greatly miss it and are sad to see it go,” he said.

Churchgoer Richard O’Connor would have preferred if it were “just left to die out, because there’s only a handful of us left; the youngest here has to be 65”.

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Charity wrongly paid over €84,000 to CEO’s parents

2017-07-28

A charity where payments in excess of €84,000 were made to the chief executive’s parents contrary to explicit instructions of Revenue has been given 21 days to come up with a plan to get its affairs in order.

A charity where payments in excess of €84,000 were made to the chief executive’s parents contrary to explicit instructions of Revenue has been given 21 days to come up with a plan to get its affairs in order.

Between January 2014 and June 2015, Barbara Flynn, CEO of Ataxia Ireland, failed to inform the charity’s other trustees of the payments to the two founding trustees — her parents.

The charity’s questionable financial practices are outlined in a report by the Charities Regulator who appointed inspectors last November to investigate its affairs after concerns were raised.

Among the damning findings are:

  • Ms Flynn’s parents were paid €84,009 between January 2008 and April 2016, even though Revenue had told the charity that trustees should carry out their duties without payment, other than reasonable out-of-pocket expenses;
  • Ms Flynn’s parents did not disclose to the wider management committee that served between January 2014 and mid-2015 details of any payments they received;
  • Failure to disclose the payments inhibited the ability of anyone examining the financial statements — including funders or members of the charity at the AGM — to have any knowledge of the payments.

Inspectors concluded there was a “fundamental weakness in the financial management and control of the charity between 2014 and mid-June between July 2010 and October 2016”.

Further evidence was the fact that the charity paid Ms Flynn’s employee pension contribution, totalling around €38,500, rather than deducting these payments from her salary, for more than six years.

The regulator received the inspectors’ report this week and wrote to the trustees informing them of the need to overhaul the charity, including determining if the money paid to Ms Flynn’s parents is recoverable and putting in place an arrangement with Ms Flynn to recover the overpayment of employee pension contributions.

Charities Regulator John Farrelly said if they are not satisfied with the response, they can apply to the High Court to ensure the charity is protected.

The report has been furnished to Revenue and the regulator has also met with the HSE “as primary funders of Ataxia Ireland CLG” to get assurances that services are maintained, “while required actions are being addressed”.

Ivan Cooper, director of public policy at The Wheel, an umbrella body for voluntary and charitable organisations, said trustees of a charity should not be paid for their work — “it is a voluntary role”.

“Trustees should also be aware that conflicts of interest might arise where relatives serve on boards that control significant funds,” he said.

Friedreichs Ataxia is a genetic and progressive disorder of the central nervous system which usually manifests in children between the ages of six and 16. General symptoms are clumsiness, difficulties with balance, lack of co-ordination and, in time, a slurring of speech.

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TD tells bank customers ‘to vote with their feet’

2017-07-28

An opposition TD has called on bank customers to “vote with their feet” after being hit with unexpected 50% hikes on charges linked to some accounts.

An opposition TD has called on bank customers to “vote with their feet” after being hit with unexpected 50% hikes on charges linked to some accounts.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath made the comment in response to the move by Permanent TSB in recent weeks.

In a move that has been defended by the bank, PTSB has drastically increased the cost of charges on what it described as “older legacy current accounts”.

The increase was confirmed in letters to customers in recent days, and involves quarterly rises from €12 to €18 and in rare cases from €3.18c to €18.

The bank said the older accounts were out of the sectoral norm and the increases were “to bring them into line with the market generally”.

A spokesperson said people over the age of 60 can apply for the charge increases to be “waived” and that affected customers “may be able to take steps to reduce or eliminate the charges” by maintaining a current account balance, using online banking, and lodging a certain amount each month.

“This review does not impact customers who signed up to the former ‘fee-free banking’ current account which was the key current account offering for a number of years up till 2016,” said the spokesperson.

“The review does impact older ‘legacy’ current accounts. PTSB is advising customers that some fees and charges will increase to bring them into line with the market generally.”

While the increased charges were approved by the Central Bank and are in line with others offered by rival institutions, Mr McGrath said that customers should make their anger felt.

“Customers need to make their voice heard and vote with their feet. There are some good deals out there, the same as with gas and electricity, and they can make their voice heard on this by going elsewhere,” he said.

“Customers should be aware of ways to lower charges, and in particular I would like to see more people paying for transactions electronically. But nobody wants to see bank increases, from a consumer’s point of view or elsewhere.”

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Lusitania telegraph machine recovered from seabed

2017-07-28

The main telegraph machine from the wreck of the Lusitania has been recovered from the seabed.

The main telegraph machine from the wreck of the Lusitania has been recovered from the seabed.

It was feared the machine had been lost to the depths as a previous attempt to raise it from the wreck site off the coast of Co Cork last summer ended in failure when a lift bag punctured.

Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys said the telegraph had been relocated by recreational divers, who marked its position on the seabed.

The telegraph was brought to the surface in good condition on Tuesday under the supervision of an archaeologist from the Department’s National Monuments Service (NMS).

The Lusitania, a Cunard British cruise liner that was the largest ship in the world when built, was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Co Cork on May 7, 1915, with the loss of 1,201 lives. It was en route from New York to Liverpool.

Its wreck, 11 nautical miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, is regarded as a war grave and protected by an Underwater Heritage Order under the National Monuments Acts.

US businessman Gregg Bemis owns the wreck.

Ms Humphreys said: “I am happy to confirm that this important piece of the Lusitania has now been recovered from the wreck off the west Cork coast. I understand that the telegraph is undamaged and in excellent condition.

“I also understand that the owner of wreck, Gregg Bemis, intends to place the telegraph, and the pedestal successfully recovered last year, on display in a local museum, along with other artefacts he has recovered during earlier dives, which is great news for the local community.”

Among the liner’s 1,266 passengers and 696 crew, there were 129 children, of whom 94 died as the ship, sailing from New York, sank in just 18 minutes.

The cause of a second explosion on the ship, after the torpedo struck, remains a mystery.

Built at the John Brown shipyard on the River Clyde in Scotland, the Lusitania was carrying 159 Americans, of whom 128 were killed. Its sinking has been cited as factor in the US’ eventual entry into the First World War.

The ship’s captain, William Turner, who survived after the ship went down, had received messages on the morning of the disaster that there were German submarines in the area and he altered course

Separately, the largest remaining panel fragment from the first-class lounge of the Titanic will return to Britain for the first time since the ship sailed from Southampton in 1912 for a major new exhibition about the history of ocean liners.

It will be one of more than 250 objects, including paintings, sculptures and ship models, that will go on display at the V&A’s Ocean Liners: Speed & Style exhibition next year.

The wooden panel, which comes from where the Titanic broke in half as it sank, was found floating on the surface of the Atlantic .

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Limerick councillors urge GAA to reconsider Sky Sports deal

2017-07-28

Public representatives in Limerick have backed a motion urging the GAA to reconsider a deal where Sky Sports secured exclusive rights to championship matches.

Public representatives in Limerick have backed a motion urging the GAA to reconsider a deal where Sky Sports secured exclusive rights to championship matches.

Both of Limerick’s senior hurling games, this summer, were only available on the paid-television broadcaster.

Although GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghaíl has insisted the association will honour its contract with Sky until 2021, councillors said they will ask the GAA to revisit the matter.

They are planning to seek talks with GAA headquarters by mid-August.

Cllr Liam Galvin said RTÉ, TV3 and TG4 should also be allowed to screen fixtures which are only carried by Sky.

“Denying households who do not subscribe to Sky TV the right to view our national games is a travesty,” the Fine Gael councillor said.

“I am bringing this motion because of my love for the GAA and football.

“Lots of people do not have Sky, and will not see their local side playing. I have no issue with Sky television showing games.

“What I am asking here is that opportunity is given to free-to-air networks to also show games,” the former mayor said.

However, Metropolitan district mayor Sean Lynch, father to rising star hurler Cian Lynch, 21, said he believed the GAA’s founder Michael Cusack would approve of Sky’s efforts to promote the two codes around the world.

“Michael Cusack was a great Irish scholar, he promoted the Irish language, promoted sport, hurling and Gaelic football. He was saying these are distinctive games, this is our national identity. He wanted to promote it worldwide. That was his vision back then. This is exactly what Sky Sports are doing,” said Cllr Lynch.

“Bringing the games right across the world to our diaspora. Linking them with their homes and their communities.”

He also pointed out the cost of a Sky subscription over the summer pales into comparison with the price of travel to games, and the other costs involved.

But Cllr Séighin Ó Ceallaigh (SF) said: “It is absolutely disgraceful that we can watch Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the Champions League on Irish television, yet we cannot watch Limerick GAA on RTÉ.

“We need to take this in hand before we see a full sell-off of our national sport to foreign TV firms.”

Cllr Gerald Mitchell said three pubs in his home village of Hospital, Co Limerick had to cancel their deals while Cllr Daniel Butler added: “This is our national sport. It’s part of the fibre of who we are. Everyone should have access to it. At the moment, we are restricting access to a large section of society. We should not be given responsibility to sell part of our culture to Sky Sports, and depriving people in the process.”

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Legal Aid Board urged to reverse family law move

2017-07-28

Senior barristers have demanded the Legal Aid Board immediately reverse a decision that would impact on family law cases, including the possibility of adding to already lengthy waiting lists.

Senior barristers have demanded the Legal Aid Board immediately reverse a decision that would impact on family law cases, including the possibility of adding to already lengthy waiting lists.

The Legal Aid Board announced it would restrict, to priority matters only, referrals to the family law panel of the Private Practitioner District Court Panel, describing it as a temporary measure until the end of the year in an effort to control the budget.

The Council of the Bar of Ireland said the move would very negatively impact those most in need of assistance and its chairman Paul McGarry SC said the decision needed to be immediately reversed.

“The most vulnerable members of our society depend on the services of the Legal Aid Board for family law matters and, for that reason this unilateral decision to cut referrals to the family law panel of the Private Practitioner District Court Panel is alarming in the extreme,” Mr McGarry said.

“The Private Practitioner District Court Panel is designed to complement the service provided by Law Centres and with the Law Centres already stretched, this decision will lead to unacceptable delays for those seeking assistance with the most sensitive of family law matters and could potentially have very serious consequences.”

Child law solicitor Gareth Noble had already tweeted that family law lists were likely to lengthen as a result of the move, and senior Family Law practitioner Seán OhUallacháin SC said: “Delays in dealing with access, guardianship and custody matters raise serious child protection concerns and could potentially impinge on parental and child constitutional rights.”

The Children’s Rights Alliance said the Legal Aid Board currently refers about 500 cases a month to a panel of private solicitors for advice and representation in family law matters including access, custody, guardianship and maintenance. Under the proposals from the Board only priority cases would be referred, meaning families will now have to go to Legal Aid Board centres to get legal advice and representation.

The Alliance’s CEO, Tanya Ward called for the decision to be reversed, claiming it would inevitably increase waiting times and delay families getting access to legal advice. Ms Ward said families must have an income under €18,000 to qualify for legal aid, and if the decision is implemented “children will suffer”.

The Board said the measure “will remain under active review”, with those involved in maintenance, access, guardianship and custody cases to apply and receive services from a law centre. A spokesman said: “It is acknowledged that this is likely to give rise to a level of delay as virtually all law centres are unable to provide services on demand and operate a waiting list system.”

Cases involving domestic violence or maintenance enforcement are unaffected by the measure and the spokesman said: “The Board is working to see if there are other solutions or savings that it can achieve that will enable it to lift the restrictions as soon as possible.”

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OPW to re-examine barrage costs as it finalises €140m Cork flood plan

2017-07-28

The OPW has agreed to re-examine the cost of building a tidal barrage as it finalises the design of Cork’s €140m flood defence scheme — the largest single investment in flood defences in the history of the state.

The OPW has agreed to re-examine the cost of building a tidal barrage as it finalises the design of Cork’s €140m flood defence scheme — the largest single investment in flood defences in the history of the state.

It follows months of campaigning by opponents who have criticised the scheme’s reliance on direct defences and raised quay walls.

Save Cork City has argued a tidal barrage could be built for €135m at Little Island, which combined with upstream mitigation measures, would remove the need for direct flood defences in the city centre.

But the OPW has ruled out building the barrage on cost grounds, claiming it could cost between €450m and €1bn and would do nothing to protect the city from fluvial, or river flooding.

However, just weeks after Solidarity TD Mick Barry and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for the tidal barrier issue to be re-examined, Ezra McManamon, a chartered engineer with the OPW, said they have decided to look at the issue again as part of their consideration of the 1,250 submissions received from the public on the initial design.

“We looked at the tidal barrage issue before, but we are looking at it again, to firm up, or to confirm our views,” he said.

“A new location has been proposed and will we take a particular look at that proposal. But I would remind people that a barrage will only protect the city from tidal flooding which is most frequent in the case of Cork. But fluvial flooding is more severe, and results in more damage, from a cost point of view. And depending on the location, there could be very significant environmental impacts given that there are a number of Natura 2000 sites in the harbour which have a very high level of environmental protection.”

Advancing a project that would impact on such sites would be difficult, he said.

Jer Buckley, PRO of the Irish National Flood Forum, said people have already seen the enormous benefits of OPW schemes in Fermoy, Mallow and Clonmel.

Rob Horgan of Café Velo on George’s Quay said he has seen the terrible impact of flooding on businesses and wants work on the scheme to start quickly.

Mr McManamon, meanwhile, said responses to issues raised during the public consultation should be ready by September.

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BioMarin may build second plant in Ireland

2017-07-28

US biopharma giant has extended its Cork facility amid rising global demand for pioneering treatments

US biopharma giant has extended its Cork facility amid rising global demand for pioneering treatments

US biopharmaceuticals giant BioMarin is considering building a second manufacturing plant in Ireland pending approval of new drugs.

The news emerged yesterday as the company marked the opening of a major extension of its Shanbally plant in Cork, its only manufacturing facility outside the US.

The rapid expansion of the plant, which opened in 2011 with just 12 staff and which now employs 365, follows a rise in global demand for BioMarin therapies which treat rare genetic life-limiting diseases that mostly affect children.

Up to 50 staff are set to be hired over the coming months with the plant poised to make therapies that will deliver $1.5bn (€1.28bn) in revenue for the firm.

Developed over the last two years, the expansion includes a larger warehouse, new administration and utilities offices, a canteen, and conference facilities.

A wastewater treatment plant will be installed on the 20-acre site later this year, and three new lab expansions are due to be completed before the end of next year.

The company has six approved products that are the only drugs available on the market today for the diseases they treat. Two of the drugs are made in Cork.

Brineura is an enzyme replacement therapy for CLN2, an ultra-rare form of the rapidly progressing brain disorder, Battens Disease.

Vimizim is the only enzyme replacement therapy to treat Morquio A, another ultra-rare condition which affects a cell’s ability to break down waste products.

BioMarin’s chairman and CEO, Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, said the company has several pioneering treatments in the pipeline.

Clinical trials of BMN 270, a gene therapy treatment for the genetic blood clotting disease Hemophilia A, are at an advanced stage with hopes it will receive the various regulatory approvals in 2019.

Results from initial clinical trials of a treatment called Vosoritide (BMN 111) for achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, have also been very positive.

Founded in 1997, BioMarin employs 2,400 worldwide, with 365 based in Cork and 67 in Dublin. Mr Bienamie said Ireland has proved to be an ideal locationand if the new treatments are approved, the company will need up to two more manufacturing facilities.

“The team at Shanbally has enabled us to accommodate our growing commercial portfolio and advancing clinical programmes,” he said. “As we continue to grow in Shanbally, we are looking to recruit the best and brightest in a variety of disciplines to help us continue our inspiring work for patients.”

Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Simon Coveney, said the State will continue to provide the certainty required for investment by such companies. “BioMarin is a prime example of the hi-tech life sciences companies that this area of Cork has a reputation for,” he said.

The Shanbally plant was certified by the Health Products Regulatory Authority, on behalf of the European Medicines Agency, earlier this year. It was subsequently licensed for commercial supply by the US FDA in May for a range of activities, including bulk production, quality control testing, and distribution.

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Minister wheeling and dealing for great bike ride

2017-07-28

The phrase ‘on your bike’ is not something any politician is ever too keen to hear, but for the next few weeks Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin will be happy to make an exception to the usual rule.

The phrase ‘on your bike’ is not something any politician is ever too keen to hear, but for the next few weeks Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin will be happy to make an exception to the usual rule.

The junior sports minister was yesterday part of the launch for the third edition of the Great Dublin Bike Ride and, while the 60km one-day race is focused on the capital, he believes the high-profile nature of the cycle will encourage people across the country to hit the road with their best Seán Kelly impressions.

“As someone who cycled the Ring of Kerry three times having not been on a bike for about 15 years, it’s not as daunting as it seems,” he said.

“And once you get into cycling it’s really a great way of staying active and staying fit.

“From a health point of view, a transport point of view, there’s just so many different ways, an efficient and helpful way to get around.

“Wherever you are, in whatever part of the country or in the city, try to get out there and get on the bike, because it gets the endorphins going, a great feeling, when you get on the saddle — particularly at this time of year, you have the daylight and can use it,” he said.

Griffin was speaking at the launch of the third Great Dublin Bike Ride, which is expected to see 6,000 cyclists travel from Smithfield in Dublin city centre to other scenic parts of the county.

The event will take place on Sunday, September 24, and during the European Week of Sport.

For further details on the route and how to register, see www.greatdublinbikeride.ie.

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Pledge to address severe failings in foster care

2017-07-28

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has pledged to address shortcomings in foster care services in two locations following critical inspection reports by health watchdog Hiqa.Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has pledged to address shortcomings in foster care services in two locations following critical inspection reports by health watchdog Hiqa.The inspection reports issued by the Health Information and Quality Authority into foster care services in Dublin North and Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan found a number of areas of major non-compliance. In Dublin North, 82% of foster carers had not had a review in more than three years, Garda vetting of foster carers had not been updated in some cases, there was inadequate arrangements to ensure that safeguarding visits to unallocated foster carers had taken place, and significant delays were found in approving relative carers who had children placed with them for a considerable period of time. In Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan, Hiqa found that in the 12 months prior to the inspection, there had been a high level of staff turnover, including several changes of principal social worker and periods of staff shortages. “As a result, the frequency of visits to foster carers had been impacted,” it said. “Garda vetting had not been updated for 34% of foster carers, and half of all foster carers had not been reviewed in over three years. Relatives who had children placed with them were not supervised and supported while awaiting their assessments to be completed.” There were also significant concerns about the recording, filing and IT systems in the area. According to the report: “Complaints were not appropriately classified and key information pertaining to foster carers was not readily accessible. Due to the significant concerns in relation to the filing, recording, and IT systems in the area, inspectors were concerned about the managerial oversight and monitoring of the fostering service and escalated this issue to the area manager, who provided Hiqa with an action plan to address these deficits.” While there were examples of good practice highlighted by Hiqa, the issues uncovered in Dublin North and in Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan comes after another critical inspection report into foster services in Cork. Patricia Finlay, service director, Tusla, said the Child and Family Agency was determined to correct shortcomings identified in the Hiqa reports. “Tusla remains committed to improving our compliance with the national standards for foster care and in conjunction with Hiqa we have created and begun to implement action plans in response to the two reports,” she said. In Dublin North, Tusla said all individuals whose Garda vetting needs to be renewed have been identified, while all foster carers now have an allocated link social worker and have been visited in the last six months. It also said six relative foster care assessments which had been delayed will be presented to the Foster Care Committee for consideration by September, a schedule has been put in place to review all foster carers who have not had a foster carer review in over three years, and a fostering recruitment strategy is being developed and will include an action plan. In Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan a Quality, Risk and Service Improvement Forum has been created, two additional staff have been allocated to the fostering team, and a formal retention strategy for foster carers is being developed, among other measures being put [...]



Survey: Majority of people trust gardaí

2017-07-28

Study done before breath test and college funds scandals brokeStudy done before breath test and college funds scandals brokeNine out of 10 people trust An Garda Síochána and satisfaction levels are up, a Garda-commissioned survey reveals. However, Garda chiefs accept the survey was conducted before the two main controversies enveloping the organisation — the breath test scandal and Templemore’s finances — emerged. The survey compares the first quarter of 2017 with the first quarter of 2016 and finds positive trends in the bulk of indicators, although there are some drops since the final quarter of last year. And three out of four people still believe crime is either a serious or very serious problem nationally and almost six out of 10 do not believe there is enough of a garda presence locally. Conducted by Amarach Research, the Garda Public Attitudes Survey Q1 2017 found: 92% of people have mid- to high levels of trust in the gardaí, up 4 percentage points (pp) since Q1 2016; 74% said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by the gardaí, up by 12pp; 36% said they were aware of garda patrols locally, up from 33%, although the same number said they were unaware (55%); 41% considered the Garda presence locally was about right, compared to 35%; 88% said Garda members were friendly or helpful, up from 80%; 65% said the organisation was community focused, up from 56%; In addition, 60% said the organisation was modern or progressive (52%), with 55% saying it was effective in tackling crime (48%). Some 43% said the organisation was well managed, similar to Q1 2016 (42%) and 38% said the force provided a world class service (31%). Gurchand Singh, head of the Garda Analysis Service, said Ireland’s trust levels were high in a European context and were just “slightly lower than the Scandinavian countries”. He said people might wonder why trust was so high “with everything that is going on”, but said two main issues, the breath test issue and the Public Accounts Committee investigation of Templemore finances, only emerged in Q2, not Q1. “I think if we are going to have an impact it will be in Q2 and we will look at it then,” he said. The survey also found: 74% of people perceived national crime to be either very serious or serious, down 2pp, while 21% considered local crime to be very serious or serious, down 6pp; 6.9% of people were a victim of crime, down almost 3% and 84% of victims reported the crime, compared to 72%; 67% of victims who reported they were satisfied with gardaí, up from 51% and 57% thought they were given the right amount of information, up from 39%; 67% of people do not worry about being a victim of crime (57%), 48% have no fear about crime in general (40%), and 38% said the fear of crime had no impact on the quality of life (27%). Mr Singh said the results were “certainly positive” and said the “trends are all going in the right direction”. He said that while the sample for victim satisfaction levels was small, and caution was needed, he said the drop in victimisation rates, the increased reporting, and improved satisfaction rates with gardaí were “positive indications”. He said this was also reflected in the improved figures on the fear of crime. “All the trends make for a coherent story and the findings are not at odds with each other, they are[...]