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Updated: 2018-01-19T00:38:45+00:00

 



Drunk driver spared jail after killing pedestrian and injuring two gardaí

2018-01-19

A drunk driver who killed a pedestrian and injured two gardaí has been given 240 hours’ community service in lieu of a four-year prison sentence and disqualified from driving for four years.A drunk driver who killed a pedestrian and injured two gardaí has been given 240 hours’ community service in lieu of a four-year prison sentence and disqualified from driving for four years.Father of two, Adrian Nestor, aged 44, of Keamsella, Kilcolgan, Co Galway, pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court last November to causing the death of Liam McDonnell, 66, and causing serious bodily harm to Garda Sharon Casserly, by driving dangerously near Ardrahan in the early hours of Monday, February 1 last year. He also pleaded guilty to driving while drunk and having a blood/alcohol reading of 272mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood at the time of the fatal collision. Sentencing was adjourned to yesterday for the preparation of reports and victim impact statements. Superintendent Sean Glynn gave evidence that staff at a local nursing home rang gardaí at 11.35pm on Sunday night, March 31, 2016, to say a resident had left the premises and they were concerned because he was wearing dark clothing. Garda Sharon Casserly and Garda Peter Murtagh located Mr McDonnell. He was down on the ground on his hands and knees, on the hard shoulder about 1.5km on the Galway side of Ardrahan. The patrol car pulled in on the hard shoulder, three to four meters behind Mr McDonnell, facing in the direction of oncoming traffic. Its dipped headlights and blue flashing lights were on. Supt Glynn said that as both gardaí were getting Mr McDonnell into the patrol car, they were struck by a silver Audi car. The force of the impact caused Mr McDonnell’s death and his body was found in a nearby field. Garda Casserly received severe injuries and her colleague could hear her screaming in agony. Garda Murtagh sustained a broken leg, a large cut to his head and damage to his knees and ankles and could not move to help his colleague. He rang the emergency services from his mobile phone and told Nestor to go to a nearby house for help. Nestor, who sustained a minor head injury in the collision, was later arrested. Nestor told gardaí he left his home at 7pm the previous evening to attend a wake near Ardrahan. He had a pint in a pub in Ardrahan before going to the wake a short distance away where he drank a further three to four cans of beer. He left the wake and went to another pub in Ardrahan village where he had another pint. He decided to go home around 12.10am and was then involved in the fatal collision. Supt Glynn said Mr McDonnell was pronounced dead at the scene. A subsequent toxicology report showed he had 182mg of ethanol in his system, which came within the toxic range. A brief victim impact statement from Mr McDonnell’s ex-wife, was read into evidence: “I’m not looking for anything except clemency for his (Nestor’s) young family, as jail will not help bring Liam back.” Supt Glynn confirmed Nestor had no previous convictions and was married with two children. Supt Glynn said the Garda car was pushed back almost five meters by the impact and was in on the hard shoulder. Garda Sharon Casserly, who continues to suffer from injuries she sustained that night, read her own victim impact statement. She listed the multiple serious injuries she sustained, including a brain injury. The court heard she also suffered a stroke while in hospital. She had to cancel her wedding day which was due to take place the following June and her career prospects have been put on hold: “My life has been turned upside down because of the mindless and selfish actions of a drunken driver.” Garda Murtagh told the court that while he suffered serious physical injuries, he said his one lasting regret is for Mr McDonnell: “I feel like I failed in my duty to protect him.” Mr Nestor told the court he had contemplated taking his own life after that night: “I will forever beat myself up[...]



Drunken mother assaulted her son, 4, on bus

2018-01-19

A passenger on a bus rang the gardaí when she witnessed a drunken mother assault her four-year-old son.

A passenger on a bus rang the gardaí when she witnessed a drunken mother assault her four-year-old son.

Gardaí arrested the 26-year-old mother, who cannot be identified to protect the child’s identity, when the bus arrived at the station in Galway city.

The mother pleaded guilty, before Galway District Court, to assaulting her son at an unknown location on the Tuam Road, Galway, on January 18, 2016, and received a five-month suspended sentence.

Sergeant Georgina Lohan, prosecuting, said a female passenger rang gardaí to complain that she had witnessed the accused assaulting a child on the bus.

Gardaí went to Bus Aras, at Forster St, and spoke to the passenger who witnessed the assault.

She said the child had been crying throughout the journey and the mother verbally and physically assaulted him. She was intoxicated and lapsed into unconsciousness for periods of the journey.

The mother was arrested in Galway and detained. She didn’t make any admissions and the matter was referred to the child protection agency, Tusla.

Defence solicitor, Sean Acton, said a subsequent report from Tusla recommended the mother go for alcohol treatment and she had done that.

He said Tusla released her from its child-protection plan some months later, because of the progress she had since made.

“She describes her own behaviour as ‘disgusting’ and I would be shocked if anything like this happened again,” the solicitor added.

Judge Fahy said she had to treat the matter very seriously.

She imposed a five-month sentence, which she suspended on condition the accused be of good behaviour for a period of two years, adding that she hoped there would be no relapse.

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Surge in tent living a ‘national crisis’

2018-01-19

A woman working on the frontline of the homeless scandal has branded the surge in tent living a “national crisis”.

A woman working on the frontline of the homeless scandal has branded the surge in tent living a “national crisis”.

Christina Chalmers, who leads Helping Cork’s Homeless, warned of more deaths of rough sleepers in the months ahead unless there is a radical shift in government policy.

“This is just January — we’ve February and March to get through yet. It’s getting colder — we have cold weather and snow alerts. People are going to die on the streets,” she said.

Ms Chalmers, speaking yesterday after attending an inquest into the death of a young woman with addiction and mental health issues in a tent in Cork City last September, said the Government just doesn’t get the scale of the homelessness problem or have the right strategy to address the complex range of issues which can combine to result in a person sleeping in a tent.

She said the stereotypical image that a homeless person is the person holding a bottle in a brown bag is no longer valid. “It can be any one of us,” said Ms Chalmers.

“They (Government) really don’t have a clue. There are too many people living in tents around Cork City. It’s shocking.

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Christina Chalmers of the Helping Cork’s Homeless group. Pic: Cork Courts Limited

“There are people out in Bishopstown living in underground car parks, there are people down the Marina living in tents, tents are being robbed, there are people in Fitzgerald’s Park whose tents are being burned out.

“It’s just a national crisis and something needs to be done — houses need to be built. More (emergency) beds need to be provided.”

Ms Chalmers pointed to the fact that Kathleen O’Sullivan died while sleeping rough on the streets of Cork just before Christmas, and that Ms O’Sullivan’s aunt also died sleeping rough in the city some seven years earlier.

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Roma living in rat-infested conditions and going to bed hungry

2018-01-19

Many Roma people in Ireland are living in rat-infested accommodation and going to bed hungry.

Many Roma people in Ireland are living in rat-infested accommodation and going to bed hungry.

Their living conditions have been exposed in a new report commissioned by the Department of Justice.

The research found many Roma people live in overcrowded, rat-infested accommodation, sometimes with no gas, water or electricity.

It also showed that one in 10 has no kitchen, fridge or bathroom.

The report, carried out in conjunction with Pavee Point, found that 50% of respondents did not always have enough food or fuel.

It also showed there is a large portion of Roma children and babies lacking basic supplies such as nappies.

“It’s particularly hard to hear about the children living in overcrowded houses with rats, damp, and sewage.

“Some people said they did not have the basic supplies for new babies, such as nappies and baby clothes, and that children were going to school hungry and without lunch,” Gabi Muntean from Pavee Point said.

The reason for their poverty is linked to being “excluded from the system”.

“The poverty identified in the research was consistently linked to not having employment, not having the right to reside, and not being habitually resident,” said Siobhán Curran, Roma Project coordinator, Pavee Point.

The report, ‘Roma In Ireland: A National Needs Assessment’, also discovered the extraordinarily high levels of discrimination that Roma people face in Ireland.

More than 80% of respondents reported experiencing discrimination in the street or a public place such as being told to “go home” and “go back to your country”.

  • Full report: paveepoint.ie
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Study finds low levels of religious practice among initial teacher education applicants

2018-01-19

Future primary teachers are only taking on the role of religion teaching to get into jobs despite a lack of significant enthusiasm, new research suggests.

Future primary teachers are only taking on the role of religion teaching to get into jobs despite a lack of significant enthusiasm, new research suggests.

The study by NUI Galway’s school of education found low levels of religious practice among initial teacher education (ITE) applicants.

Lead author Manuela Heinz said the findings raise critical questions about the experiences, constitutional rights and professional practice of secular and teachers or those who are non-practising Catholics.

The research published in the European Journal of Teacher Education is based on responses from half the 1,000-plus students accepted into publicly-funded primary teaching degrees in 2014, and from more than 40% of people whose college applications listed such a course as their top choice.

Although 78% of the population now identify themselves as Catholic, 90% of those who began primary teaching degrees do so. However, one-in-four of all participants in the research said they are not religious, including 22% of those identifying as Catholic.

Overall, 16% answered ‘don’t know’ to the question about if they are religious, and 1.4% labelled themselves convinced atheists. Just 63% of Catholic applicants and 58% of all who applied said they are religious. Just one-third of all applicants rarely or never attend religious services or practice their religion, but significant numbers said they have no problem or do not mind religion being part of their teaching role.

Ms Heinz said the widespread tendency to comply with the teaching of religion, rather than endorsing or rejecting, may be an ‘enculturation’ into Catholic education.

Or, she said, it might indicate that those considering or entering the profession feel they have no choice in the matter and need to be prepared to take on the role if they want to succeed, even if they are not religious themselves.

She and her fellow authors said the prospect and experience of entering a third-level learning and future professional space permeated by a religious, predominantly Catholic ethos, will cause conflicts between personal beliefs and professional requirements: “This situation will most likely result in some highly motivated and suitable individuals who are atheist, non-practising Catholics or from a minority religious background deciding against a career in teaching.”

A 2012 Irish National Teachers’ Organisation survey of 363 members found that 49% teach religion willingly - down from nearly two-thirds a decade earlier.

The number who did not oppose teaching religion rose from 12% to 20%, but the proportion who believed it should be taught during school hours fell by 20% to around two-thirds of primary teachers.

The NUI Galway study found high levels of support from all pre-service teachers, regardless of their own beliefs, for children to be taught about different faiths, worldviews and religions.

Plans for a broader primary course covering all religions, beliefs and ethics were sidelined last year because of the legal control of religious patrons over what is taught in their schools.

But a review of the broader curriculum in primary schools since 1999 could see schools given freedom to reduce significantly the 2.5 hours per week to be spent teaching religion.

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240 homeowners in Co Clare told pay €2.25m for defects

2018-01-19

Up to 240 homeowners and investors in a Co Clare estate have been told to find €2.25m to pay for fire safety and other defects in their homes or face evacuation.Up to 240 homeowners and investors in a Co Clare estate have been told to find €2.25m to pay for fire safety and other defects in their homes or face evacuation.Photo caption: Rabii Hendoui finalised the purchase of his three-bed duplex on December 19, the day after most of the other homeowners were officially told of the problems in Bru Na Sionna. Defects in the Bru Na Sionna estate in Shannon were discovered by engineers retained when the developer went into receivership. The fire officer for Clare County Council got involved last November and has set out a schedule of work to be started in March. The estate was built between 2005 and 2007 by Paddy Burke Builders, once one of the largest developers in the Mid-West, but the company went into receivership in 2010. The estate is made up of homeowners and investors in the buy-to-let sector, some of whom own multiple properties. Much of the development qualified under the Section 23 tax-efficient scheme that operated at the time and attracted a large number of investors. The homeowners have been told that they must provide an initial payment of €7,000 per three-bedroom duplex by this week in order to pay the first tranche for the remedial work. However, a number of houses in the estate of duplex and apartments have been sold in the last year and some of the buyers are questioning when knowledge of the defects came to light. One homeowner, Rabii Hendoui, finalised the purchase of his three-bedroom duplex on December 19, the day after most of the other homeowners were officially told of the problems. Mr Hendoui had rented for five years in the estate with his wife and two children before buying the home. “I made the final payment on December 8 and signed the last contract on 19 December,” he said. “When I brought it up, they say that I was living here before and that I know what the problem is but nobody ever told me.” The first time the owners were officially informed of the need to raise €2.25m was at the management company’s annual general meeting on December 18. All homeowners were officially informed in writing in a letter the following day. “In the course of the circuit court proceedings between the receivers of Paddy Burke Builders and your management company, engineers were employed on both sides to ascertain the items that required remedial work,” the management company letter stated. The letter goes on to say that in the middle of last year engineers identified areas that needed to be addressed and later the fire officer for Clare county council became involved. “The situation is wholly unpalatable for all and this was vehemently expressed at the AGM. We are, however, in a desperate situation,” the owners were informed. A statement from the management company in response to queries from the Irish Examiner pointed out that the directors had no role in the building of the estate, are all volunteers and own properties in Bru Na Sionna themselves. The company confirmed that a fire inspection was carried out in November by the fire authority and a subsequent agreement to carry out works, which included the installation of 24-hour security on the estate. “The directors of the management company are owners themselves in various different blocks across the estate. “They understand the significant financial burden being placed on each unit owner in relation to contributing to service charges, however in light of all other options available felt this matter had to be discussed and approved if appropriate at the AGM,” according to the statement. The AGM voted by a large majority to raise the funds required for the remedial works, the statement added.[...]



Leo Varadkar under pressure to reveal view as Micheál Martin backs repeal of law on abortion

2018-01-19

The Taoiseach is now under mounting pressure to reveal his views on abortion after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin backed the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.The Taoiseach is now under mounting pressure to reveal his views on abortion after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin backed the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.In a significant and unexpected move, Mr Martin told the Dáil that he supports a repeal of the amendment, replacing it with new laws based on a “time-based cut-off near the end of the first trimester” and allowing later-stage exemptions in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities and threats to the life of the mother. Mr Martin broke ranks with the majority view in his party by saying he supports the plans. “Retaining the Eighth Amendment will not make Ireland a country without abortion,” Mr Martin told the Dáil. “Nothing we say or do here could make Ireland a country without abortion. “Following a long period of reflection and assessment of evidence before the Oireachtas committee, I believe that we should remove the Eighth Amendment from Bunreacht na hÉireann and I will vote accordingly.” Mr Martin said he had previously supported the retention of the Eighth Amendment, but went on to say: “We each have a duty to be willing to question our own views, to be open to different perspectives and to respond to new information.” I’m conscious that not everyone will agree with the view that I have come to on the 8th Amendment, but it is my honest view of what I think is the right thing to do. As a country, we owe it to each other to have a compassionate debate.— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) January 18, 2018 Adding that there is “no legal, practical, or humane way to prove rape or incest early on in a pregnancy”, and accepting the reality that the abortion pill is used by many women in Ireland, he said: “We must have a system which actively encourages women to seek support from medical professionals as soon as possible. “As such, I support the idea of a time-based cut-off near the end of the first trimester. “Beyond this, I believe we should make provision for cases of fatal foetal abnormality and serious threats to the health of the mother.” The move puts considerable strain on Leo Varadkar, with several Fine Gael members last night voicing frustration at the lack of clarity from the Taoiseach. A spokesman for Mr Varadkar reiterated that his position “remains as outlined” on Wednesday, when he said he would need to see the wording of the referendum “in black and white” before he makes any public utterances. “I appreciate some people have decided to say how they will vote without having seen the wording. I’m a little more cautious,” said Mr Varadkar. Tánaiste Simon Coveney has also indicated that he will make his opinions known once the Cabinet is shown draft wording of what would be put to the people in a referendum. However, in the wake of Mr Martin’s Dáil speech — which surprised not just the opposition but many in his own party who did not know it was coming — Mr Coveney’s brother, Patrick, tweeted his support, describing it as a “big, brave, personal statement”. Fianna Fáil Cork South-West TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, who has spoken out against repealing the Eighth Amendment, said she respected the views of Mr Martin and the fact that Fianna Fáil has been given a free vote on the matter. “I commend him on allowing me my view, even though it is different to his,” she said. “The country is still waiting on our Taoiseach to give his views.” Her Fianna Fáil colleague, Eugene Murphy, added: &ld[...]



They are treating us like dogs, say homeless Travellers seeking action

2018-01-19

Several homeless Traveller families who were asked to vacate emergency accommodation in a hotel yesterday refused to leave Cork City Hall until their housing needs were addressed.

Several homeless Traveller families who were asked to vacate emergency accommodation in a hotel yesterday refused to leave Cork City Hall until their housing needs were addressed.

City officials spent the day trying to source alternative accommodation for the 21 adults and 31 children, who range in age from six-month-old twins to teenagers, some of whom spent the day in the lobby of City Hall.

They had been staying in 16 rooms and an apartment in the four-star Kingsley Hotel on Carrigrohane Road since they told City Hall that their caravans at the Carrigrohane Rd halting site had been extensively damaged during Storm Eleanor earlier this month.

The accommodation costs were being covered by the Department of Social Protection.

They were asked to leave the hotel on Wednesday night after alleged antisocial behaviour on the premises.

The hotel was not available for comment.

It is understood there were a number of minor issues linked to the behaviour of some of the children, but there were serious concerns about the behaviour of some of the adults using the residents’ bar.

The Travellers in City Hall said they did not want to be named amid fears of discrimination.

A mother of two children, aged two and four, accepted that some of the children had been “running up and down corridors, banging on doors and messing in the lifts”, and that some other individuals had caused a disturbance, but she said it was unfair that all 11 families had been asked to leave.

She said they all had to pack their bags and leave around 5pm and then find their own accommodation.

“We were scattered all over the city,” she said.

She finally secured a room for her family in the Maryborough Hotel just after midnight. Another family got a room in the Montenotte Hotel.

She said children are missing school.

“They are treating us like dogs. We just want stable homes,” she said.

One of the men said the famalies were promised new accommodation after the halting site was swamped by the 2009 flood, but nothing has happened.

Another, who lived on the site for 24 years, said: “In the long-term, we need proper, livable homes. We don’t want to go back to the site.”

A spokesperson for City Hall said last night: “The families are looking after their own accommodation tonight after a previous emergency accommodation solution broke down. Cork City Council has arranged for the substantial damage to their mobile homes to be assessed.

“The council is awaiting receipt of the assessor’s reports. Any replacements can only be facilitated subject to available funding.”

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Anti-choice language ‘deliberately stigmatising’

2018-01-19

The debate on the Eighth Amendment has prompted a surge in the number of people accessing post-abortion counselling.

The debate on the Eighth Amendment has prompted a surge in the number of people accessing post-abortion counselling.

“Since last autumn there has been a 20% increase in the number of people seeking our post-abortion counselling and we expect that will grow between now and the referendum,” said Dublin Well Woman Centre chief executive Alison Begas.

She said people come in after “hearing comments made by public figures that may be insensitive or uncaring or ill-informed”.

This is the second time the centre has seen an increase in demand for its services.

“In the six-month period after the death of Savita Halappanavar, from October 2012 to March 2013, there was a phenomenal increase in the number of women coming in to us,” said Ms Begas. “We saw a 50% increase. Some came in just from sheer anger.”

The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has seen a similar increase.

“In the last quarter of 2017, there was an 18% increase in women attending the IFPA pregnancy counselling service,” said chief executive Niall Behan.

He said people accessing the IFPA’s counselling services were reaching out for similar reasons to those contacting the Dublin Well Woman Centre.

“The rhetoric of the abortion debate can trigger a range of feelings in women who have had terminations,” said Mr Behan.

“The language and imagery used by the anti-choice campaigners are stigmatising, and sometimes deliberately so. It’s aimed at undermining a woman’s decision to have an abortion.

“So women who have had terminations may feel under attack. When this happens, it can be helpful to speak to a professional counsellor.”

Both organisations offer non-directive counselling to any person who needs it and whether an abortion happened in recent times or many years ago.

Ms Begas said Dublin Well Woman Centre has both men and women coming to it for counselling and some relate to abortions which took place as long as 30 years ago.

“We see people from all walks of life, from junior partners in law firms to homeless women, and from the age of 13 to 53,” she said.

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Plea made for wards of court to have more say

2018-01-19

Over €1bn in cash, property, and other assets is being controlled by the High Court for people deemed incapable of managing their own affairs.

Over €1bn in cash, property, and other assets is being controlled by the High Court for people deemed incapable of managing their own affairs.

Human rights experts are seeking urgent changes to the system which also deprives people of any say in how they live their lives.

A report into the wards of court system — which currently governs the affairs of 2,639 people with combined assets worth €1.27bn — describes it as archaic, inadequate, and in breach of European human rights legislation.

The report, commissioned by the National Safeguarding Committee (NSC), says people being made wards of court are not heard during the High Court application to establish their wardship and are not given access to the medical reports on which their wardship is based.

They have no say in where or how they live, are not consulted on what medical procedures they should undergo, and can not give a view on the disposal of their property even where they are capable of expressing an opinion.

People are sometimes made wards of court simply so that their funds can be accessed for the Fair Deal nursing home scheme but end up losing control over even the smallest aspects of their daily life as a result.

“The current system focuses on the defects of people, not their capacity,” said solicitor Patricia Rickard-Clarke, chairwoman of the NSC, who said it dates from the 1871 Lunacy Act and has “no place in the 21st century”.

She said the system does not provide advocates for people to protect against conflicts of interest which were common when applications for wardship were prompted by family members.

The system is due to end as part of the new Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, but the Act is not yet in use because it has far-reaching implications for the rights of vulnerable people and a whole new state agency, the Decision Support Service (DSS), is being set up to oversee its implementation.

When rolled out, the act will require the presumption that everyone has the right and ability to make decisions for themselves, and much more structured and thorough efforts — with independent regulation and oversight from the DSS — will have to be made to establish a vulnerable person’s will and preference in relation to all the different decisions that need to be made in relation to their needs.

Ms Rickard-Clarke said implementation of the Act is eagerly awaited but called for the spirit of the new legislation to be applied in the wards of court system until it is disbanded.

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, who attended the launch of the report, said he has already begun changing procedures in the past year so that, at the very least, wards of court are visited and their situations reviewed more regularly, but he said he will examine the recommendations and see what more could be done.

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Dripping water leads to €3,760 worth of damage

2018-01-19

Water dripped on a man’s head when an apartment owner was watering plants on his balcony — the man below got so incensed that he threw bricks up at the apartment, causing €3,760 in damage.

Water dripped on a man’s head when an apartment owner was watering plants on his balcony — the man below got so incensed that he threw bricks up at the apartment, causing €3,760 in damage.

Inspector Daniel Coholan described the background to the charge at Cork District Court yesterday.

“On October 20, 2016, at 6.30pm in the evening, a man was on the balcony of his apartment at Camden Wharf watering plants on the balcony overlooking Pine St,” he said.

“The excess water from the plants dripped down from the balcony and hit Kenneth Coomey who was sitting on the ground below.

“Kenneth Coomey saw red as a result of getting wet and began to shout up at the balcony. He then got bricks from a nearby building site and threw them at the man.

“Fearing for his safety, he ran back into the apartment but did not close the door behind him.

“One of the bricks flew into the apartment, narrowly missing him. Another brick smashed the glass balustrade on the balcony.”

Bricks and broken glass fell on a car parked below. Total damage amounted to €3,760.

“On January 2, 2017, at about 11.30pm, he damaged two cars at Lapps Quay by pulling off wipers and knocking wing mirrors off one car,” said Insp Coholan.

Judge Olann Kelleher asked what Coomey was doing about paying compensation. Coomey, aged 52, who lives at Cork Simon community, said he had not gathered compensation because he did not know the extent of the damage caused.

Insp Coholan said the accused had 20 previous convictions.

Eddie Burke, defending, said Coomey had significant mental health difficulties and was hoping to return to Bandon or Bantry area where he found life easier.

Mr Burke said he would raise compensation. The judge wondered how Coomey would do so on his social welfare payment of just over €190. Coomey said he would save €100 per week and that.

Judge Kelleher adjourned sentencing for a month.

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Intoxicated man found ‘covered in blood’ in flat

2018-01-19

A bloodstained man was found at the scene of a reported disturbance and yesterday he was jailed for six months arising out of that and other incidents.

A bloodstained man was found at the scene of a reported disturbance and yesterday he was jailed for six months arising out of that and other incidents.

Inspector Daniel Coholan said that, on June 17, 2017, Garda Francis O’Riordan attended a call following a report of an intoxicated man in possession of a knife at a flat at Rockwell Terrace.

“On arrival, Garda O’Riordan met Dane Ring who was covered in blood having broken many items inside the flat and was highly abusive. However, no knife was located.”

Ring, 27, resisted violently and had to be restrained when he was being arrested.

He pleaded guilty to being drunk and a danger and being threatening and abusive on the occasion. No charges were brought against him in relation to the knife or arising out of the alleged damage at the flat.

Ring, who had no fixed address, was found on January 17, 2017, on the stairwell of the Cork College of Architectural Education at Copley St. Ring and two others appeared to be engaged in heroin use while trespassing at the building. Ring pleaded guilty to trespass and drug possession on the occasion.

On July 11, 2016, he was involved in shoplifting at Penney’s on St Patrick’s St, and a similar offence at Superdry, St Patrick’s St, on September 16, 2016.

The judge imposed a total sentence of six months.

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Kerry Babies: ‘Inquiry should not involve family’, says Fianna Fáil TD

2018-01-19

A politician who is close to the Hayes family at the centre of the Kerry Babies controversy has said any potential fresh investigation into how gardaí obtained signed statements about what happened should only take place if it leaves the family alone.

A politician who is close to the Hayes family at the centre of the Kerry Babies controversy has said any potential fresh investigation into how gardaí obtained signed statements about what happened should only take place if it leaves the family alone.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan suggested that a new investigation may be launched, but Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil said Joanne Hayes and her family must not be subjected to further “interrogation” over the trauma they suffered.

Speaking on Six One News on Wednesday, Mr Flanagan said a second inquiry into what happened and how the Hayes family was treated 34 years ago may need to take place to bring definitive closure to what happened.

Asked specifically if he feels a new investigation into how gardaí obtained signed statements from the Hayes family at the time of the case, Mr Flanagan said: “Yes. I believe there is merit in having that process, although one has to take into consideration the fact that some of those involved are dead. Many more are retired. So it may be difficult to provide a conclusive level of evidence.”

A Department of Justice spokesman said last night the family has “appealed for privacy and in this context we do not propose to discuss details of interactions with Ms Hayes or her legal representatives”.

The spokesman added that Mr Flanagan and his officials “are undertaking work on this sensitive case and will brief the cabinet and the Government will decide a course of action in the coming weeks”.

However, speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Brassil — who knows the Hayes family — said any such investigation must only occur if it leaves the Hayes family alone and does not subject them to further traumatic “interrogation”.

“The family have been very clear that they have suffered enough over the last 33 or 34 years and want to be left alone,” he said.

“It has been conclusively proven baby John was unconnected to them. Whatever happens now, whatever investigation takes place, they are very clear it should not concern them.

“My own view on whether there is merit in another investigation into the signed statements is that it should only happen with the full consent of the Hayes family.

“I don’t believe that full consent will be immediately forthcoming, so any investigation should not involve the Hayes family. They’ve been through enough.”

The comments were made after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar offered an apology to the Hayes family on behalf of the State and appeared to pave the way for compensation being given to Ms Hayes and her relatives.

“I absolutely want to reiterate the apology the gardaí made to Joanne Hayes and also to make that apology on behalf of the State as well,” he said. “I can’t offer compensation here now, but it is something that I think we can discuss with her representatives in the period ahead.”

Editorial: 10

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Flu death toll hits 24 as virus nears peak

2018-01-19

The flu death toll so far this winter is 24, according to latest figures from the HSE.

The flu death toll so far this winter is 24, according to latest figures from the HSE.

Flu is now widespread, but the health authority believes it has peaked or is about to peak.

There were 24 direct deaths from flu reported to the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) between October and the end of last week.

The HSE’s public health specialist, Dr Kevin Kelleher, said it is the fifth worst flu season since records began in 2000.

There were 463 patients admitted to hospital with the flu last week, with 52 admitted to critical care units.

The HPSC has been notified of 1,019 confirmed hospitalised flu cases, with the highest rates in those aged over 65 followed by children aged less than one year.

Dr Kelleher said there is no evidence that the flu had particularly hit schoolchildren but noted that there has been a number of outbreaks in nursing homes.

Of those hospitalised with flu, 60% had the B strain that is not covered by the flu vaccine, although it does offer moderate protection against the virus.

Dr Kelleher said the flu season will continue to put pressure on acute hospitals in the coming weeks. It is now widespread across the country.

“There is another four to five weeks of activity before we get below the base level again,” he warned at a HSE media briefing in Dublin yesterday.

Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Dr Cillian De Gascun, said their testing numbers were up 20%, compared to last year.

They had received a slightly smaller number of samples and there were a smaller number of positives. That would suggest that flu has peaked and starting to fall off, said Dr De Gascun.

“From a virus perspective, there is nothing that we haven’t seen before,” he said.

Dr Kelleher said the flu death rate appears similar to previous years at this stage.

“Directly, we would expect to see somewhere between 60 up to 110 deaths normally each year.

“I think we will be well within that number this year,” he said.

However, indirectly, the flu could be responsible for up to 400 deaths in cases where the person had an underlying health condition.

HSE national director responsible for the winter initiative, Damien McCallion, said flu is continuing to put significant pressure on acute hospitals.

The hospitals discharged patients to nursing homes, either for stepdown or long-term care but a number are no longer able to take new patients because of the flu outbreak.

Mr McCallion said there has been a 7% year-on-year increase in patients over 75 years of age coming into the emergency departments and being admitted.

There were 381 patients in emergency departments yesterday awaiting a hospital bed, a 2% increase on the same day last year, according to the HSE’s TrolleyGAR.

The HSE’s count also showed that 183 (48%) were waiting more than nine hours and 43 were waiting more than 24 hours.

There were 547 patients on trolleys and on wards in hospitals yesterday awaiting a bed, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

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IT graduates are more likely get work and earn more soon after college

2018-01-19

IT graduates are more likely than most to get work soon after college and earn much more than all others in the year following their degrees.

IT graduates are more likely than most to get work soon after college and earn much more than all others in the year following their degrees.

The statistic emerges from a survey of those who completed studies at universities, colleges of education and Dublin Institute of Technology in 2016. Asked about their status nine months later, the highest employment rates were among those with a primary degree in teaching (85%) and ICT (81%).

Nearly 40% of those with ICT degrees were earning at least €33,000, significantly higher than next-best graduates under headings of engineering, manufacturing and construction, and health and welfare. Just 28% of those with degrees in those categories were being paid over €33,000.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) data are based on responses to an early-2017 survey by more than 18,200 graduates up to PhD level.

HEA chief executive Graham Love said higher qualifications are associated with higher employment rates and often higher earning potential. As in previous years, those emerging with degrees and postgraduate qualifications in teaching tend to have some of the best labour market outcomes, and significant proportions of them have secured work in Ireland. “However, despite some improvements, such graduates find it difficult to secure permanent positions,” Mr Love said.

This is reflected in the fact that just 7% of recently-qualified teachers were earning over €33,000, the lowest proportion in that pay bracket apart from services or Arts and Humanities graduates. Although the 62% employment rate among all those with an honours bachelor degree is up from 48% when 2011 graduates were surveyed, it has not improved since last year. In addition, the proportion of recent graduates seeking employment went up from 4% to 5%, after several years of falling job-seeking rates.

However, the numbers securing work in Ireland has improved again and at 54% is now 15% above the level five years earlier. The other 8% of 2016 graduates in employment early last year were overseas, continuing the fall from a 12% level among those who received their degrees in 2013. Despite long-term improvements in third-level graduates’ prospects, the HEA pointed to disparities in the regional spread of employment.

Of all honours degree graduates who were working, 42% had jobs in Dublin and another 17% in Cork or Kerry. Just 2% were working in the Midlands, 3% in the Border area, and 4% in the southeast. Despite the lack of data other than DIT’s for institute of technology graduates, who will be included in the corresponding report next year, Mr Love said there is concern that more university graduates are not employed in the regions.

“There is a challenge for us to create more graduate employment opportunities outside Dublin and Cork to ensure better regional development,” he said.

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‘Show us the money’ - Government urged to resolve years of pension discrimination

2018-01-19

The Government has been urged to ‘show us the money’ and resolve years of pension discrimination against women, punished for taking time out of work to raise their children.The Government has been urged to ‘show us the money’ and resolve years of pension discrimination against women, punished for taking time out of work to raise their children.Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald dismissed Government claims it cannot conjure up the funds to tackle the pensions anomaly. She demanded ministers take action as women and supporters protested outside the Dáil yesterday. It also emerged yesterday that a report, outlining how monies could become available, is due before Cabinet next week. During Leaders’ Questions, Ms McDonald noted the Government was able to “magically” find money for tax cuts and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s strategic communications unit while no extra funding could be secured for the pension problem. She said the reality is that at least 40,000 people are continuing to be discriminated against by the Government’s failure to address the pensions controversy, with many losing out on €30 every week. “The Government infamously conjured up €5m to fund a strategic communications unit as the Taoiseach’s vanity project,” she said. “It was able to find enough financial space to introduce tax cuts which disproportionately benefit the well-off. Mary Lou McDonald  “The minister should not hide behind other anomalies or quirks in the system that need to be dealt with or use them as an excuse for not doing right by the people concerned,” she said. “The Government must show us the money to make this right.” Responding, Education Minister Richard Bruton said while the issue may appear simple to resolve, there was a need to ensure any changes do not inadvertently create a new anomaly in the pensions system. He said a report is being examined by a Cabinet finance sub-committee and indicated it may be presented to the Cabinet as early as next week. “The budget for 2018 has been agreed and I do not have €70m in my pocket, nor does the minister for finance for that matter,” he said. “We must consider all changes in this area in a balanced manner. “The minister’s approach has been to bring to Cabinet a detailed report that fully examines the potential knock-on effects of any change in order that a decision can be made on any future changes with the full information available,” said Mr Bruton. Age Action, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, Fórsa, Siptu, Active Retirement Ireland, and Pensioners for Equality joined in a protest at the gates of Leinster House. Age Action Ireland spokesman Justin Moran said the 2012 cuts affect some 40,000 pensioners, hitting them for €20 to €30 a week — an issue he said all of the groups involved insist must be addressed. “These pensioners are being punished for taking time out to raise a family. “The cut needs to be reversed to stop punishing pensioners who got up early in the morning, long before it became a catchy soundbite, and live their lives in dignity,” said Mr Moran.[...]



VHI customers to see premiums reduce by 5.5%

2018-01-19

The country’s largest health insurer is cutting premiums across plans that cover 90% of its customers.

The country’s largest health insurer is cutting premiums across plans that cover 90% of its customers.

Prices will fall by an average of 5.5% across 62 of VHI’s 82 plans from March 1. Reductions will range from 2% to as high as 10%.

Most of the company’s 1.1m customers are covered by those 62 plans but the reductions do not apply retrospectively or to customers paying by instalment — so only those renewing plans will benefit.

Declan Moran, VHI marketing director, said the cuts are a recognition that cost is still an issue for customers.

“We understand that many of our customers continue to struggle with affordability.” he said. “We are pleased to be in a position to give back to our customers today. This is due to a solid business performance over the last number of years supported by another strong financial performance in 2017.”

With the cuts, a family of two adults and two children on the One Plan Starter option will save around €224 for their year’s cover, while a couple on the HealthPlus Premium plan will see savings of around €776.

A number of new benefits are also being added to many of the plans on March 1, including genetic testing for hereditary cancer which will be available at the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin on 38 plans.

VHI says it is a first for an Irish health insurance company and will provide cover for testing for risk of developing cancers such as breast, ovarian, endometrial and colorectal cancer. Associated counselling is also covered.

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A number of examples of price cuts across different levels of cover.

A new app is also being introduced for customers on 36 plans, giving them online consultations with Irish registered doctors. Sports lovers will also be able to get cash back on sessions with strength and conditioning coaches on 26 plans.

The reductions follow cuts by its nearest rival, Laya Healthcare, at the start of this month. While the majority of VHI plans are coming down in price, the insurer had already announced increases in some of its premium plans to come into effect in February.

Changes to prices and benefits announced by all insurers are carried on the Health Insurance Authority website, www.hia.ie, which also offers an online comparison service and encourages customers to review their needs before they renew their plan.

A VHI spokeswoman said the company also encourages its own customers to review their plans before renewing each year.

“People’s needs and priorities can change so they should check they’re on the best plan for them,” she said.

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Woman died in tent after cocktail of drugs

2018-01-19

A young woman with mental health and addiction issues, evicted from a flat after losing her rent allowance, was found dead in a tent in Cork City after taking a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs.A young woman with mental health and addiction issues, evicted from a flat after losing her rent allowance, was found dead in a tent in Cork City after taking a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs.Cork City coroner Philip Comyn yesterday returned a verdict of misadventure after the inquest into the death of Jennifer Dennehy, 30, originally from the Blackrock area of Cork City but who had been sleeping in a tent for several weeks before her death. She was found unresponsive by her friend, Ian Drummey, at around 11am on September 1 last in the tent pitched in Gilabbey Park, off the Western Rd, on the city’s southside. A postmortem examination confirmed she died from polydrug toxicity following the ingestion of high levels of central nervous system depressants — pregabalin, methadone, and tramadol. The assistant State pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster, said she would have slipped into a coma and died. The inquest heard Ms Dennehy had struggled with mental health issues and addiction to Nurofen Plus; had been treated in Arbour House; had been admitted to a psychiatric facility in May 2017; and been engaged with the mental health services afterwards. Mr Drummey said she was in good spirits the night before her death and was planning to seek help again for her addiction issues. She had been renting a flat on the Western Rd and befriended Mr Drummey, who had been couch-surfing and sleeping in a tent around the city, before her rent allowance was stopped and she fell behind in her rent payments. In a statement read at the inquest, landlord Sean Flynn said when she missed two months’ rent, he gave her a month’s notice. Mr Drummey said the couple were sleeping in a tent in various locations around the city. On the night before her death, they smoked a few joints in the tent in Gilabbey Park and watched movies on their phones. He said she was unresponsive when he woke at 11am. Ian Drummey, a friend, found Jennifer unresponsive. Pic: Cork Courts Limited “I shook her, tilted her face, and saw that her lips were blue,” he said. He ran to a nearby house to raise the alarm, and went back to the tent and cradled Ms Dennehy’s head in his lap. Gardaí arrived and Ms Dennehy was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.50pm. Dr Bolster said there was no evidence of significant trauma or natural disease, and no traces of alcohol in Ms Dennehy’s system. Mr Comyn said a verdict of misadventure was appropriate and he offered sympathies to Ms Dennehy’s family. “It is sad to reflect that in this day and age, someone could die in such circumstances. There is very little one can say to offer consolation to Ms Dennehy’s family but they should bear in mind the comments of Dr Bolster, that death would have been painless,” he said. Solicitor Martin Harvey, for the family, thanked the gardaí and emergency services for their kindness, and said the family wanted privacy to grieve. Christina Chalmers, of Helping Cork’s Homeless, said they have been supporting Mr Drummey in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation. She said he has re-established connections with his family, and hopes to be able to move into a more stable environment next month. Christina Chalmers of the Helping Cork’s Homeless group. Pic: Cork Courts Limited[...]



Car scrappage case sent to arbitration

2018-01-19

A man, who claims he was misled about his right to avail of Nissan’s ‘Massive €4,000 Scrappage Offer,’ has been told by a judge he must pursue any perceived grievance through arbitration, rather than the courts.

A man, who claims he was misled about his right to avail of Nissan’s ‘Massive €4,000 Scrappage Offer,’ has been told by a judge he must pursue any perceived grievance through arbitration, rather than the courts.

William Maughan, of Mount Dutton Close, Oldcastle, Co Meath, told the Circuit Civil Court, yesterday, that he had attended Cavan Motors Ltd, a Nissan main dealer, in May, 2016 to avail of the offer for a new car that had been widely advertised on television.

In a sworn statement, he said he had been told by a sales representative that he was not entitled to avail of the offer, because of the value put on a trade-in vehicle he had brought to the garage to scrap.

Mr Maughan, in a Circuit Court claim for damages for alleged misrepresentation and negligence, said a salesman had told him he could buy the proposed trade-in car for €250 in any auction.

He claimed the salesman had added: “There’s no way I will allow you €4,000 on that.”

Padraig McNamee, counsel for Cavan Motors, of Ballenagh Road, Cavan, told the court Mr Maughan was seeking to rescind a deal he had gone on to make, with regard to a used, 2016 Nissan Note.

Mr McNamee said Mr Maughan had signed a standard SIMI agreement, which stated that, in the event of any dispute, the matter “shall” be referred to arbitration.

He said the High Court had already held that arbitration was mandatory in such agreements.

Niall Gallagher, counsel for Mr Maughan, said his client had turned up at Cavan Motors hoping to take advantage of the Nissan offer and, after having been told he could not avail of it and entering into an agreement to buy a used vehicle, he was now “being held hostage” to the arbitration clause in the contract he had signed.

Mr Maughan’s claims are denied by both the dealer and Nissan Ireland.

Mr Gallagher said his client believed he had, as a result of misrepresentation, entered into an agreement that was manifestly to his disadvantage. Mr Maughan believed he could have bought a new Nissan for €2,000 cheaper than he had paid for the Nissan Note.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane directed the dispute be referred to arbitration.

She awarded costs to Cavan Motors Ltd, against Maughan, with any other legal costs to be left to the finality of the arbitration.

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Order reaches deal over redress payments

2018-01-19

Education Minister Richard Bruton is preparing to enter a deal with the Christian Brothers that will only reduce what the order owes towards abuse costs if school playing fields are sold.Education Minister Richard Bruton is preparing to enter a deal with the Christian Brothers that will only reduce what the order owes towards abuse costs if school playing fields are sold.The plan could bring an end to almost a decade of dispute over how the order would honour its voluntary offer to meet the cost of redress claims now expected to top €1.2bn. In 2009, the Christian Brothers was one of 15 religious congregations that volunteered to provide €348.5m in further cash and property contributions to the cost of abuse redress, above the €127m previously agreed with the Department of Education in 2002. The Government rejected the order’s original offer to transfer school playing fields at 49 locations, valued at the time by the order at €127m, into a joint trust between the State and the lay trust which now owns the brothers’ schools. The Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) did not accept a counter-proposal to have full ownership given to the State with guaranteed access to the playing fields as long as schools need them. A revised 2013 proposal by then-education minister Ruairi Quinn would have seen the fields transfer to ERST for the schools’ use, with a condition that the State would have to approve any future sale and get at least half the proceeds. It took the order two years to respond, rejecting the plan and saying it was going to transfer the fields to ERST alone. The Christian Brothers then wrote to Mr Bruton last May with a new proposal, similar to the 2013 proposal from his predecessor. This plan was discussed by his officials and the order at the end of November, and the department afterwards wrote to say it wishes to progress the offer and conclude the matter. The deal would see the playing fields transfer to ERST and the future sale of any of the lands would be notified in advance to the education minister of the day. According to details provided to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, the proceeds of any such sale would then be divided equally between ERST and the State. The order also indicated last May that the proposed sale of land currently used by ERST-owned Clonkeen College in Blackrock, Co Dublin, would enable it to pay the remaining €8.8m cash it owes the Department of Education as part of its 2009 voluntary offer. Department of Education secretary general Seán Ó Foghlú’s briefing document to the PAC said that €8.8m is expected to be received this year, along with an outstanding €2m cash contribution from the Daughters of Charity. These are the only remaining cash contributions to be made to meet the €110m promised by Government to fund educational and other supports for institutional abuse victims through Caranua. However, the proposed €18m sale of the Clonkeen College playing fields is the subject of a legal challenge by a number of people associated with the school and its board of management. They claim the sale would breach a 2006 commitment that the fields would remain part of the school as long as it exists. The deal with a developer who wants to build houses on the fields emerged around the same time as the Christian Brothers revised proposal last May, but the case is now listed for hearing in the High Court in March.[...]



One in eight motorists detected for drink driving face ban

2018-01-19

One in eight motorists who test positive for drink-driving falls within the limits which, under legislation proposed by Transport Minister Shane Ross, will result in an automatic diving ban in future.One in eight motorists who test positive for drink-driving falls within the limits which, under legislation proposed by Transport Minister Shane Ross, will result in an automatic diving ban in future.Figures contained in the latest annual report of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) show that 996 drivers out of 8,007 arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in 2016 recorded alcohol levels that currently only result in a fine of €200 plus three penalty points. Such drivers had blood alcohol concentration levels of between 50 and 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood and their equivalent in urine and breath tests. The range represents the difference between the current legal limit and the previous higher limit which existed up to 2011. The number arrested in the 50-80mg/100ml range in 2016 is a 20.4% increase over the previous year when 827 motorists had a certified alcohol level that only resulted in an administrative penalty. The report shows that 5.758 motorists provided specimens in 2016 which were over the legal limit — up from 5,501 in 2015 — an annual increase of 4.6%. MBRS director Denis Cusack said that younger male drivers emerge as the most frequent type of motorists suspected of drink driving. Approximately half of all motorists required to provide a specimen in 2016 were under 34 years. The average alcohol concentration level in blood and urine samples was over twice the legal limit. However, when specimens with zero traces of alcohol were omitted, the average results were at least three times the legal limit. The bureau’s findings showed 52.5% of all blood and urine samples were at least twice the legal limit. A total of 456 motorists who gave either blood or urine samples were over four times the legal limit. The report shows 560 motorists either failed or refused to provide a breath test in 2016. A breakdown of specimens by county show motorists in Monaghan were most likely to be tested for suspected drink-driving in 2016. Shane Ross Drivers in Monaghan were tested at a rate of 31.4 per 10,000 population — almost twice the national average of 16.8 motorists per 10,000. Other counties with above-average testing rates for drink driving were Westmeath, Cavan, Donegal and Longford. At the other end of the scale, drivers from Roscommon were the least likely to be required to provide a specimen — just 9.1 motorists per 10,000. Dublin motorists had the second lowest rate of tests for drink driving at 12.2 per 10,000. Other counties with low rates included Leitrim, Meath, Carlow, Wicklow, and Kildare. After alcohol, the two most prevalent intoxicants found in samples taken from motorists were cannabis and benzodiazepines. Almost three-quarters of specimens — 813 out of 1,133 — taken for the presence of seven different classes of drugs, including cocaine and opiates, in 2016 tested positive. Around a third of samples tested positive for two or more drug classes with a few cases testing positive for five different classes of drugs. In his annual report, Mr Cusack made no reference to the Garda breath test scandal after it emerged that the force had falsified the number of breath tests it had carried out on motorists over an eight-year period by up to 1.9m. Gardaí were alerted to the issue after the MBRS raised questi[...]



Gluten-free foods have more fat, salt, sugar

2018-01-19

Gluten-free foods contain more fat, salt, and sugar than their gluten-containing equivalents, and are more than twice as expensive, a study has found.

Gluten-free foods contain more fat, salt, and sugar than their gluten-containing equivalents, and are more than twice as expensive, a study has found.

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire said that gluten-free (GF) products offer no nutritional advantage over regular foods and were not a healthier alternative, which may surprise many consumers.

Gluten-free foods were 159% more expensive than their regular counterparts, they found.

After comparing more than 1,700 food products from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Ocado, they found that, with the exception of crackers, gluten-free foods contained more fat, salt, and sugar and also had lower fibre and protein content than their equivalents.

A GF diet is the only treatment option for those who suffer from coeliac disease, but many more people avoid gluten foods, as they are perceived to contribute towards a healthy lifestyle.

There has been a huge increase in sales of GF foods in recent years.

However, despite this increased interest, there have been limited studies on the nutritional composition of gluten-free foods, compared with their gluten-containing equivalents, the study authors said.

Researchers found that the median, total fat contents for GF brown and white bread were more than double those of regular products, while the median cost of GF brown and white bread, and white and wholegrain flour, was over four times the price of their equivalents.

The study, which is published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, also found that GF products had significantly lower protein content than their regular equivalents, across nine out of 10 food categories.

That gluten-free foods were more expensive could stop with coeliac disease buying them, compromising their health.

The research team conducted the study by compiling an exhaustive list of commercial GF foods from the five retailers, randomly selecting gluten-containing equivalents from the same stores.

More than 1,700 food items from 10 food categories were collected and analysed.

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‘Sanctuary’ UCC to give refugees full scholarships

2018-01-19

University College Cork has received ‘University of Sanctuary’ status and will provide seven asylum seekers and refugees with full scholarships from next September.

University College Cork has received ‘University of Sanctuary’ status and will provide seven asylum seekers and refugees with full scholarships from next September.

Places of Sanctuary Ireland, a network of groups across the country that aims to raise awareness of asylum issues and aid refugees’ integration into Irish society by way of cultural engagement, has awarded UCC with the ‘University of Sanctuary’ status, along with Dublin City University and the University of Limerick.

UCC said that its seven scholarships will enable the asylum seekers and refugees who receive the bursary to study at the university and will cover full fees and tuition, in addition to a number of annual bursaries covering travel and expenses.

“Universities provide a key space in which to challenge societal assumptions and to support and highlight work aimed at fostering a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees,” said UCC’s senior vice president Caroline Fennell.

“Through the range of initiatives cultivated over many years in UCC, we are dedicated to providing spaces to learn about what sanctuary means, to develop a sustainable culture of welcome and to share our practices and initiatives with communities and other higher education institutions.”

UCC lecturers Jacqui O’Riordan and Mike FitzGibbon were recently presented with UCC Exceptional Citizen Awards for their work in supporting asylum seeker children and adults living in Direct Provision.

The university will launch its inaugural Refugee Week next month, with events from February 5 to 9.

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