Subscribe: IrishExaminer.com
http://www.irishexaminer.com/rss/irishexaminer_top_rss.aspx
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
city  cork  council  county  foster care  foster carers  foster  garda  ireland  ldquo  rdquo ldquo  rdquo  report  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: IrishExaminer.com

Irishexaminer.com



Join us for a refreshing take on the latest news and views from Ireland and around the world



Updated: 2017-08-16T20:41:58+01:00

 



Cork City Hall rejection to extending city boundary ‘disappoints’ county mayor

2017-08-16

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Declan Hurley, says he is disappointed “by the obvious lack of adequate assessment and consideration” given by City Hall to the County Hall’s offer and solution to extending the city boundary.The Mayor of the County of Cork, Declan Hurley, says he is disappointed “by the obvious lack of adequate assessment and consideration” given by City Hall to the County Hall’s offer and solution to extending the city boundary.This latest salvo in the war of words between the two local authorities came after the city council said the county council’s offer to hand over control of Frankfield, Grange, Douglas, and Ballyvolane was “minimalist” and was nowhere near what the Mackinnon Report, on a new boundary, recommended. The Mackinnon Report had recommended the city boundary should embrace Cork Airport, Ballincollig, Blarney, Glanmire, Little Island, and Carrigtwohill. “Cork County Council submitted a very generous proposal to Cork City Council which would see the geographic area of Cork City increase in size by 85%, thereby allowing Cork City’s population to increase by 39,000 with the capacity of the city population to grow to 283,000 over time,” said Mr Hurley. He said the county council invested considerable time and effort in identifying a practical way forward but, “regrettably, its outreach initiative has not been responded to in kind”. The county mayor noted the city council had objected to the statutory Smiddy Report and that now it had also rejected “this better and more sensible solution put forward by the county”. “The elected members of Cork County Council are unanimous in their support for this offering and we believe that it represents a great opportunity to achieve a successful outcome for this issue and for Cork as a whole,” he said. Declan Hurley His Cork City counterpart, Tony Fitzgerald, said the city required a substantial boundary increase if it was to compete internationally for investment and act as a sustainable counterbalance to Dublin. Mr Fitzgerald reiterated that the Mackinnon Report had been accepted by the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, who set up an oversight group to oversee its implementation and it cannot be rewritten. The Lord Mayor also warned that if Cork City’s population was not allowed to top 500,000 as outlined in the Mackinnon Report, it would lose competitive advantage and fall substantially behind Dublin and Belfast. “If we agreed to a more limited boundary extension, Cork City could go from being the second city in this country to possible third or fourth-tier status,” he said. “As it stands, Belfast is defined as a global city. Cork isn’t. If we agree to a more limited boundary extension, Cork would end up one-sixth smaller in size than Belfast is now. Yet Belfast intends growing its population to 427,000 by 2035. “This shortsightedness on our behalf would seriously undermine the wider Cork region’s capacity to compete globally and to attract investment and jobs.” Mr Fitzgerald noted the words of the Mackinnon report which suggested a substantial boundary extension was the opportunity to turn, into reality, rhetoric around Cork’s enormous potential. “This very report warns that other city regions in Ireland are making conscious preparations to grow, develop and respond to new opportunities and could potentially challenge Cork’s place as the natural counterbalance to Dublin,” said Mr Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, Mr Hurley said he was still awaiting clarification from Mr Murphy on the scope and remit of the Implementation Group that has been charged with implementing the Mackinnon report.[...]



Kevin Myers’ role at Limerick talk on free speech under fire

2017-08-16

The scheduling of controversial columnist Kevin Myers as a moderator at a talk on censorship in Limerick strikes as a “provocative, calculated” move by the organisers, a professor at the University of Limerick has said.The scheduling of controversial columnist Kevin Myers as a moderator at a talk on censorship in Limerick strikes as a “provocative, calculated” move by the organisers, a professor at the University of Limerick has said.Prof Emeritus Pat O’Connor, of sociology and social policy, with a particular focus on gender, said she hopes that Mr Myers’ involvement in the upcoming debate “isn’t a call to legitimise the views of other unreconstructed misogynists”. The Sunday Times published an apology following the publication of an article on July 30 last by Mr Myers, which contained offensive remarks about women and Jewish people, and he was also dismissed from the paper. Mr Myers will moderate a talk in Limerick city, entitled ‘How censorship stifles debate and undermines the tenets of free and democratic societies’, inviting questions and debate from the audience on the subject. The talk will be given by Jodie Ginsberg, of the Index on Censorship, which publishes the work by censored writers and artists and campaigns for free expression worldwide, on September 28 next. David O’Brien, chief executive of Limerick Civic Trust, which has organised the series of talks, said he has not read Mr Myers’ widely criticised article, entitled ‘Sorry, ladies — equal pay has to be earned’. Nonetheless, Mr O’Brien said he believes Mr Myers has a right to express his own mind, and stressed that their talks are about “encouraging debate and having opposing views”. But Prof O’Connor said her concern is that “with this platform, they are framing Kevin Myers as the defender of free speech by putting him in that position”. “I suspect that it is simply an attempt to drum up an audience by being controversial.” Prof O’Connor, who has written extensively on gender equality, was the first woman to be appointed at full professorial level in UL in 1997. She was previously invited to advise an NUI Galway (NUIG) taskforce on gender equality, but turned it down, saying she would not be used as a “corporate mudflap” by the institution. Addressing Mr Myers’ column, she said “it’s not an acceptable position to say everyone is entitled to free speech if it stirs up hatred against any one group. It’s not an uncontested right.” “I have no time for political correctness. I think if the heart is right, the lip can be forgiven. But it seems to be giving a platform to Kevin Myers, and legitimising opinions that many people found offensive.” Prof O’Connor, a visiting Fellow at University College Dublin’s Geary Institute, said she won’t be attending the talk, as there were “too many crazy assumptions in his column”. “He said men are more charismatic, and that is one of the reasons why they get ahead, but I’m afraid we all know an awful lot of boring men. Me thinks the lady doth protest too much. When there are as many mediocre women as mediocre men in the top jobs, we’ll have equality,” she said. Prof O’Connor, who is now retired, said while she considers herself a feminist, she said she is “not a lunatic man-hater”. “It takes a lot to get me really angry, and with Mr Myers I just get a very tired feeling of ‘Are we still dealing with this type of rubbish?’ I don’t even give mental space to Kevin Myers; he’s not on my list to be redeemed,” she said. The six talks will run on Thursday evenings from September 14 to October 19 in St Mary’s Cathedral.[...]



Job report sparks call for Garda Commissioner to resign

2017-08-16

There have been renewed calls for the Garda Commissioner to resign after reports she unsuccessfully applied for a top job in Europol but now will remain on as the head of the force.

There have been renewed calls for the Garda Commissioner to resign after reports she unsuccessfully applied for a top job in Europol but now will remain on as the head of the force.

The commissioner has been linked with a senior specialist role in the EU police force in recent weeks but reports claim she was unsuccessful in applying for the post.

Gardaí and Government figures are reluctant to speak about developments regarding Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, who will return from holidays next month. Following the high-profile scandals that have hit the force, ministers insisted they have confidence in the embattled Garda chief and her plans for reform.

However, Labour’s justice spokesman Seán Sherlock has raised serious doubts about Ms O’Sullivan’s ability to remain on if she was looking to get out of her job.

“If the person who is meant to be leading the transformation of our policing is actively applying for jobs elsewhere, it doesn’t fill me with confidence. There is a huge job of work required to overhaul An Garda Síochána and restore the confidence of the public in senior management.

“If the Garda Commissioner is looking for an exit strategy, maybe it’s time the Government gave her one by removing her from office. The Minister for Justice should clarify whether he is happy for the commissioner he has tasked with overhauling our police force to be looking for new positions elsewhere,” said the Cork East TD.

Europol yesterday would not be drawn on who had applied for a position of special operations within the EU force, or from which countries applications were made. A spokeswoman said this was for data protection reasons, but that efforts to fill the post were ongoing.

Government figures refused to be drawn on reports that Ms O’Sullivan was rejected for the top post as she did not have enough experience in management.

Ms O’Sullivan is expected to return from holidays in the coming weeks, after an extended six-week leave.

Facing an appearance before a tribunal investigating an alleged campaign to smear Garda whistle-blowers, the commissioner is also preparing to address internal scandals in the force.

These include further investigations by the Public Accounts Committee into internal audits and an internal Garda report on fake alcohol breath tests.

Ms O’Sullivan also has a scheduled appearance before the policing authority. Garda sources last night confirmed that Ms O’Sullivan will return to work in the first week of September.

The Government has maintained it still has full confidence in Ms O’Sullivan despite Opposition calls for her to step aside over the mounting scandals.

Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan said it was now time to move on after the job reports on Ms O’Sullivan.

“Now that the distraction of the commissioner’s potential move has ended, it is essential that the ongoing and very real issues of governance facing the gardaí are immediately addressed,” he said. “In particular, Garda senior management needs to provide explanations to the public about the announcement it made five months ago that there were 939,000 false breath tests recorded on the Pulse system and 14,500 wrongful convictions.”

(image)



€32k raised for family of golf pro who passed away aged 37

2017-08-16

More than €32,000 has been raised online for the family of a self-employed golf pro who passed away suddenly at the age of 37, leaving behind his wife and their two young children.

More than €32,000 has been raised online for the family of a self-employed golf pro who passed away suddenly at the age of 37, leaving behind his wife and their two young children.

Last week, Cork Coroner’s Court heard that Liam Duggan, of Ballymacelligott, Tralee, Co Kerry, died on May 9, having suffered from a rare and deadly form of colitis.

His wife Catherine told the inquest that Liam had been a picture of good health up to his sudden death and had been teaching dozens of children golf on a daily basis.

He experienced vomiting and diarrhoea in mid-March of this year and passed away at Cork University Hospital in May.

Ms Duggan told coroner Philip Comyn that her husband’s death had shattered her life, leaving her with two children, Jack, aged 4, and Amelia, 1.

“He was never sick,” she said. “He was full of energy and he loved life. He did everything he was told to get better. He took it easy and he took his medication. All it did was made him worse.

“We have two young children who have to learn about their dad from other people’s memories of him. I am a widow at 35. I can’t make sense of it.”

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Catherine’s sister, Elizabeth Fleming, set up a Gofundme page with the aim of raising €40,000 for the family.

In a post on the page, Elizabeth says the passing of her brother-in-law has led to an outpouring of kindness and generosity.

“Thank you so much to everyone for all the new love and support we have received recently,” she said. “It’s still so hard to believe and every single day we all stop and think to ourselves ‘did this really happen?’ It still seems too surreal to all of us.

“If this happened to anyone else, Liam would have been the first one to support another family so we are so appreciative of your generosity. We truly thank you for the help you are giving my poor sister, and Jack and Amelia.

:We still need help to get my sister through this extremely tough time. If you could find it in your heart to donate any amount we would greatly appreciate it and you would be making such a huge difference to their lives. This would ensure that Catherine can focus on Jack and Amelia and not have to worry about finances for the time being.”

Assistant State pathologist Margaret Bolster gave the cause of death as multiple organ failure due to septic shock due to colitis.

She said cases such as Mr Duggan’s normally involve clostridium difficile and that it was “extremely rare” that this was not present.

Cork City Coroner Philip Comyn said Liam was heavily involved in teaching golf to young children and was doing “great work”. A verdict of natural causes was recorded in the case.

Donations can be made to the Liam Duggan appeal at
gofundme.com/rally-for-liam

(image)



Corkman in the mix for world bartender of the year

2017-08-16

A top Irish bartender is honing his shaking and stirring skills ahead of the industry’s world cup next week.

A top Irish bartender is honing his shaking and stirring skills ahead of the industry’s world cup next week.

Andy Ferreira, of Cask cocktail bar on Cork’s MacCurtain St, will fly the flag for Ireland in Mexico City next week when he puts his bartending knowledge, skill and flair to the ultimate test against 60 of the world’s finest bartenders at the World Class global finals.

Andy, who manages Cask, secured his spot at the world finals when he was crowned national champion at the Irish finals in Dublin’s Zozimus venue in May.

Under the watchful eye of MasterChef judge John Torode and other leading industry figures in the industry, Andy created a range of bespoke cocktails made from foraged materials, influenced by his heritage.

Speaking afterwards, Torode hailed Andy’s approach to making the award-winning cocktails.

“He’s an advocate for foraging and finding stuff in nature and using what’s around him and in season. He survives on natural resources as much as possible and as a result of that his drinks are really special,” Torode said.

Andy said competing against the world’s best won’t be easy but that he plans to give it his best.

“The competition is going to be intense on all levels,” he said.

“I couldn’t be more excited to head out to Mexico City and represent Ireland, and Cork, on the global stage. Bring it on!”

Andy has created several unique cocktails since Cask opened.

He hit the headlines earlier this year with his ‘Cork First, Ireland Second’ cocktail — a liquid tribute to Roy Keane.

The drink, like Keane, packs a punch, with the Cotton Ball Brewing Company’s Indian Summer shaken with a whole passion fruit, banana liqueur, Tanqueray Gin and Blackwater Distillery Juniper Cask Gin, softened with a scoop of West Cork Vanilla ice cream, and some Aperol.

It’s finished with a dash of Guelder Rose Tincture and served in a mini milk bottle, complete with red and white straw.

Andy changes the menu every week, with cocktails on the menu yesterday including locally inspired Bernie Murphy’s Teeth, The Shakey Bridge, The Donkey’s B*ll*ck and the non-alcoholic Connie Dodger.

The World Class bartenders competition next week will feature drinks from the Diageo Reserve range, the luxury division of Diageo, which includes spirits like Ketel One vodka, Cîroc Vodka, Ron Zacapa rum, Tanqueray No TEN gin, Bulleit Bourbon, Don Julio Tequila and malt whiskies such as Cardhu and Talisker.

Some of the world’s top chefs are on the judging panel with the final four competing on August 24 in front of a packed crowd, before the World Class Bartender of the Year will be crowned next Friday.

(image)



South African widow sells up house and business to find love at Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival

2017-08-16

A South African widow who has sold her house and business to find love in Lisdoonvarna is attracting unprecedented interest from would-be suitors ahead of the start of the matchmaking festival.

A South African widow who has sold her house and business to find love in Lisdoonvarna is attracting unprecedented interest from would-be suitors ahead of the start of the matchmaking festival.

Marleze Kruger first hit the headlines in early June when she announced she was selling up to fulfil her dream of finding a new partner at the Co Clare lovefest.

And veteran matchmaker Willie Daly has revealed he’s never experienced “as much interest in a woman”, and has received a flood of calls from interested bachelors from across Ireland.

The 75-year-old love doctor said: “Marleze has been in touch with me and I’m really looking forward to meeting her when she’s over in a few weeks. I can guarantee she’s going to have her pick of the fellas here, because so many have been in touch, asking me if I can set them up on a date with her.

“I would think between 50 to 60 admirers have expressed an interest in her at this stage. They all seem to like her spirit of adventure and the fact that she is selling up to find romance in Ireland. I’ve never come across that much interest in a woman in all my years as a matchmaker.”

Johannesburg-based Marleze, whose life was turned upside-down in 2003 when her husband was murdered following a robbery, said she’s now fully committed to starting a new life in Ireland.

The 46-year-old mother-of-one said: “At the moment I’m in the final stages of selling both my house and guesthouse and I’m planning to be over in Lisdoonvarna on September 7.

“I’ll be staying in Ireland until mid-October and I hope to have met someone by then. If I don’t meet anyone at the festival, I will still move over to Ireland, anyway, and I hope to do that by January of next year.

“South Africa is a beautiful country and we have great weather and warm-hearted people, but the country is not safe anymore. You always need to be home before it gets dark, because it’s too dangerous to be out.”

Marleze — who became enchanted with Ireland on two previous visits here — said her 22-year-old son, Kurgan-Ray, would also be joining her in Lisdoonvarna for part of the festival.

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival runs from September 1 to October 8.

www.matchmakerireland.com.

(image)



Q&A: UCC and Irish Examiner answer all your Leaving Cert questions

2017-08-16

The Irish Examiner and University College Cork (UCC) will host a live online Q&A for students today.

The Irish Examiner and University College Cork (UCC) will host a live online Q&A for students today.

The session - which runs from 3 to 5pm - is aimed at students who have questions following the release of their Leaving Cert results and who, in particular, may have made applications to UCC.

The expert UCC panel includes:

- Sandra O’Herlihy, Admissions Office

- Loretta Brady, College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

- Anne Wallace, College of Business & Law

- Patricia O’Shaughnessy, College of Science, Engineering & Food Science

- Mags Arnold, College of Medicine & Health

- Darrelle Keegan, Disability Support Service (DARE)

- Sheila McGovern, UCC Plus+ (HEAR)

- Michele Power, Quercus Scholarship Programme

- Noelette Hurley, IT Services

 

“The challenge now to make that legacy lasting, in order that these qualities can be learned from to better inform the nation’s decision making in the future.”

He urged the State, and the people of Lynch’s native Cork in particular, to move the debate on and decide how that legacy can contribute to a better Ireland.

Mr Fitzgerald hailed Lynch, the former Fianna Fáil leader who was taoiseach from 1966 to 1973 and from 1977 to 1979, and who died in 1999, as “a man of the people and a man of peace”.

He was speaking at the ceremony at St Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork, organised by the Past Pupils’ Union (PPU) of the city’s North Monastery secondary school where both he and Lynch were schooled.

Mr Fitzgerald, the 15th Lord Mayor of Cork the school has produced, paid particular tribute to the role their alma mater played in forging Lynch’s character.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said the 230-year-old mayoral chain he wears today and which was worn by former lord mayors Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney — also past pupils of the North Mon — honours the seat of learning that produced “those three great heroes”.

(image)
Pic: Eddie O’Hare

However, he said Lynch’s true qualities shone through as the Troubles flared in the late 1960s.

“When this entire fabric of the State was tested, and noble goals were distorted by recourse to violence, Jack Lynch, leader and statesman, ploughed the furrow of peace. In home, in school, on the field, and in public life, he had the courage to do so,” he said.

Mr Fitzgerald also recalled Lynch’s sporting achievements, including winning six All Ireland medals — five in hurling and one in football.

He said Lynch had a reputation for decency and fair play on the field, characteristics he brought to political life, and praised his appointment of a commission on the status of women in 1970 and his overseeing of Ireland’s joining of the European Economic Community in 1973.

PPU president Barry Hill said other events are planned to mark the centenary, including a Mass in the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Anne on October 1, and the naming of an internal road on the North Mon campus, the Jack Lynch Avenue.

(image)



Retired lawyer on the road to solvency

2017-08-16

Retired solicitor Brian O’Donnell, formerly of Gorse Hill, Vico Rd, Killiney, Co Dublin, is set to exit bankruptcy later this month.

Retired solicitor Brian O’Donnell, formerly of Gorse Hill, Vico Rd, Killiney, Co Dublin, is set to exit bankruptcy later this month.

Mr O’Donnell and his wife, Mary Patricia, were adjudicated bankrupt by the High Court in August 2013.

That finding was confirmed by the Supreme Court in February 2015.

In July 2016, the O’Donnells’ bankruptcy was extended following an application by the official in charge of his bankruptcy, the official assignee in bankruptcy, Chris Lehane, for alleged non co-operation.

The O’Donnells opposed the move and denied the allegations.

Brian O’Donnell’s son, solicitor Blake O’Donnell, who represents his father in the case, has told the High Court that the official assignee does not wish to extend Brian O’Donnell’s bankruptcy any further.

The next hearing in relation to Brian O’Donnell is not due before the court until October and his father wanted the matter brought forward.

Blake O’Donnell said the official assignee’s legal representatives had no objections to the hearing being brought forward.

The application came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, who agreed to list the matter to a date later this month.

Mrs O’Donnell has already exited bankruptcy.

Bank of Ireland applied to have the couple declared bankrupt after they failed to satisfy a judgment for €71.57m obtained against them.

The judgement was obtained by Bank of Ireland in December 2011 after the O’Donnells failed to repay loans advanced to them by the bank.

(image)



Hiqa questions reliability of State data in relation to Garda vetting after foster care services inspection

2017-08-16

The reliability of State data in relation to Garda vetting and reviews of foster carers has been called into question by the health watchdog following an inspection of foster care services in the mid-west.

The reliability of State data in relation to Garda vetting and reviews of foster carers has been called into question by the health watchdog following an inspection of foster care services in the mid-west.

Data provided by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) indicated all foster carers in Clare, Limerick, and North Tipperary had been Garda vetted.

However, inspectors found no evidence on file of Garda vetting of 30 foster carers and 116 adults living in foster carers’ homes.

Some members of the foster care committee, whose job it is to approve foster care placements, had no updated Garda vetting.

There were also concerns over data relating to reviews of foster carers. The National Standards for Foster Care state that the first review should take place one year after the first placement and subsequent reviews at three-year intervals. Data provided by Tusla indicated 96 foster carers had a review in the previous 12 months.

An examination of a sample of files found no evidence of a review for three of those identified as having had a review.

In its report, published yesterday, Hiqa said it was “subsequently confirmed by staff that the reviews had not been held”. Therefore the data from Tusla was “not reliable”.

In one case, a review was carried out without a home visit to assess the foster family’s living circumstances.

Jim Gibson, Tusla’s chief operations officer, admitted the Hiqa report “had thrown up some issues for us”.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s News at One, Mr Gibson said the absence of Garda vetting on files where Tusla had claimed vetting had taken place was partly explained by members of the foster care family who had turned 16 and now required Garda vetting, but previously had not.

Hiqa also raised concerns around handling of allegations, saying claims of abuse “were not managed and investigated in a timely way”.

While there were 35 child protection and welfare concerns or allegations made against foster carers in the past 12 months, there were only three foster care reviews held following notification of allegations to the foster care committee.

Hiqa found long delays in the completion of assessments of relative foster carers, as well as failure to allocate a social worker to 30 general (non-relative) foster carers.

The standards require that foster carers be supervised by a social worker, known as the link worker. The foster child is also allocated a social worker. Hiqa found there were seven foster care households without a link worker where the children were also without an allocated social worker. This “posed a significant risk”.

Mr Gibson said Tusla needed to “up its game” in terms of checks and balances. However, defending the agency’s performance, he said the report had highlighted “excellent practice in areas such as training and the quality of assessments of foster carers”.

In relation to areas in need of improvements, such as supervision and timely reviews, he said they were being “actively addressed through a comprehensive action plan which has been submitted to Hiqa”.

(image)



Medieval Tralee to get €3m makeover

2017-08-16

Work has begun on the demolition and clearance of 2.3 acres of industrial ground in the heart of Tralee, Co Kerry, gifted to the town last year by the Kerry Group which is headquartered in the town.

Work has begun on the demolition and clearance of 2.3 acres of industrial ground in the heart of Tralee, Co Kerry, gifted to the town last year by the Kerry Group which is headquartered in the town.

More than €3m of public and EU money is being invested in the old Denny bacon factory in the Island of Geese and the work is set to transform the western end of Tralee town centre.

The demolition contract has been awarded to Munster firm Loftus Demolition and Recycling, said Kerry County Council.

Some of the famous structures, including a red brick chimney, are being retained as testimony to Tralee’s industrial past as a major bacon producer and milling town.

The regeneration of the factory is part of a three- year Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme, funded by the Department of Local Government and the European Regional Development Fund and the council.

Kerry County Council is focusing huge attention on Tralee and millions of euro is being accessed from a number of programmes for urban renewal, pedestrianisation and other works.

The regeneration of the bacon factory site is one of three major projects, overseen by the council.

They include the regeneration of Mitchel’s Crescent and Boherbee area, after Tralee was designated a priority area for investment by the Government under the Rapid programme.

About €31m has been allocated to Kerry County Council under that programme.

More than 100 houses have been demolished and allotments, community facilities and new housing created.

Millions of euro have also been spent on paving and traffic arrangements in Tralee town centre, particularly around the Mall and Denny St area.

Meanwhile, a master plan for the industrial site of Island of Geese site is being drawn up by consultants following hundreds of submissions from the public last year.

Some of those submissions envisage a return to the medieval roots of the site as a market area.

A minimum of 30% of the site will be retained as a public amenity space, said Michael Scannell, former Tralee town clerk and now director of services with the county council.

Kerry Group, which has its global headquarters in nearby Princes Street, will continue to partner with Kerry County Council in the development plans.

The ‘island’, an ancient market place and shambles (meat market), was part of a medieval complex in Tralee which also includes the Dominican friary and the 13th century Norman castle.

A spokeswoman for the council said it is anticipated the contractor will return the site to Kerry Council by the end of 2017 with all but a few historical buildings removed.

“It will not be long now before members of the public will start to see a lot more activity around the old factory site, all of which will hopefully create a lot more interest.

“It is expected the team of specialist consultants Reddy Architecture & Urbanism will present the masterplan for the Island of Geese Site and the Tralee Town Centre West area by the end of the year,” the spokeswoman added.

(image)



€5k for cleaner fired over unpaid chocolate

2017-08-16

A firm here has been left counting the cost after firing a cleaner who failed to pay for a bar of chocolate at a staff canteen.

A firm here has been left counting the cost after firing a cleaner who failed to pay for a bar of chocolate at a staff canteen.

This follows the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) ordering a facility services provider to pay the cleaner €5,600 after finding that the company unfairly dismissed the worker.

The male employee was summarily dismissed on January 26 of last year after failing to initially pay for the bar of chocolate at the staff canteen in October 2015.

The canteen has a cashless system and workers purchase items with a card. The employee took a bar of chocolate without initially paying as he had only 35c left on his card.

The man sat down to have his break and it was only after he was approached by a canteen employee over not paying for the bar of chocolate that he got a colleague’s card and paid for the chocolate bar.

No parties are named in the case and in her ruling, WRC Adjudication Officer, Aideen Collard found that the firm’s Sector Director’s decision to dismiss the worker at the disciplinary hearing to be a fundamental procedural flaw “and indicative of predetermination without taking any time to consider his responses or whether a lesser form of disciplinary action would be appropriate”.

Counsel on behalf of the worker submitted that the company’s dismissal “was totally disproportionate to the alleged conduct in question”.

It was accepted that he had only taken a bar of chocolate which he had paid for before leaving the canteen, and this could not amount to theft.

In his evidence to the WRC, the worker confirmed that he had no intention of stealing the chocolate bar, having sat near the tills and had paid for it before leaving the vicinity.

(image)



Number of work-related deaths falls by 20%

2017-08-16

The number of people killed in work-related activities fell by almost 20% last year

The number of people killed in work-related activities fell by almost 20% last year

According to a report from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), there were 46 workplace fatalities in Ireland last year down from 56 in 2015.

The highest number of fatalities were in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector, where 24 worker deaths were recorded in 2016, with one additional non-worker death. There were nine worker fatalities in the construction sector last year making this the sector with the second highest number of fatalities since 2012.

A total of 23 self-employed people were killed in workplace accidents, including 18 farmers, three in the construction sector, with the remaining two self-employed workers from the fishing sector and the forestry sector. Foreigners accounted for 22% or 10 of 46 worker fatalities in 2016.

The HSA annual report for 2016 revealed that the organisation carried out 10,477 inspections and investigations. A total of 6,497 inspections were carried out in the farming, construction and fishing sectors.

The HSA took 17 prosecutions leading to fines totalling €614,000, while written advice was provided in over 4,301 inspections. A total of 369 improvement notices and 413 prohibition notices were issued by the HSA in 2016.

A total of 779 market surveillance checks of chemical products on the market were carried out, while the HSA’s customer call centre received around 20,000 contacts.

HSA chief executive Martin O’Halloran said 2016 was a good year for safety and enforcement.

“Last year was a successful year for the authority although there are certain industry sectors, for example, farming, that remain an area of concern,” he said.

“As well as undertaking a wide range of enforcement activity across a variety of industry sectors, we also continued to focus on our prevention activity with the development of several important educational and awareness raising initiatives. It is this combination of prevention and enforcement activities that I believe will deliver the best outcomes.”

Employment minister Pat Breen said despite the improvement in the workplace fatality rate, more work needed to be done.

“I welcome the progress made by the Health and Safety Authority in the pursuit of its goal of making workplace safety, health and welfare an integral part of doing business in modern Ireland,” he said. “Tragically, 46 people were killed in work-related activities in 2016.

“Although this is a welcome decline of almost 20% on the 2015 figure, there is clearly still much to be done. I urge all employers, large and small, to ensure that the safety and health of their employees, and anyone affected by their work activity, is at the core of their business pursuits. Anything less is unacceptable.”

(image)



Teen drove sideways and collided with patrol car

2017-08-16

A youth who drove sideways and sped in a pedestrian area before colliding head-on with a patrol car during a high-speed pursuit has been banned from driving for six years.

A youth who drove sideways and sped in a pedestrian area before colliding head-on with a patrol car during a high-speed pursuit has been banned from driving for six years.

The boy is aged 17 and from Dublin. He was spared a custodial sentence after he pleaded guilty to criminal damage and multiple counts of dangerous driving in connection with the 25- minute chase in north Dublin on the night of January 17. Judge John O’Connor also ordered the

teenager must stay out of trouble for the next year and a half, and accept guidance from the Probation Service to divert him from re-offending.

If he breaks the terms, he could face a custodial sentence.

At an earlier stage the youth was told he was lucky no one was killed and he did not end up on trial for manslaughter, as he had shown no regard for human life.

Garda Cormac McGill told the hearing that two gardaí from Ballymun detective unit had come to a roundabout in Finglas when a Fiat Punto driven by the boy came through the roundabout from the left and failed to yield, causing the gardaí to brake suddenly.

The teen drove on while pursued by the Garda car which had activated lights and sirens. He failed to stop and sped off, before driving over small roundabouts.

The court heard the boy drove at excessive speeds in residential areas, and other road-users had to pull in out of his way as he drove in the centre. He overtook a Dublin Bus at speeds in excess of 100kph and drove the wrong way on a roundabout on Balbutcher Lane. He mounted a green and “a man had to be pick up his dog and run out of the way to avoid being hit,” the garda said.

The court heard the youth, who had no driving licence or insurance, eventually collided with a patrol car, causing €4,500 worth of damage.

(image)



Taxis’ dirt and ‘horrific’ smell causes complaint

2017-08-16

The smell of one ‘extremely dirty’ taxi was ‘horrific’, forcing the passenger to keep the window open during the journey.

The smell of one ‘extremely dirty’ taxi was ‘horrific’, forcing the passenger to keep the window open during the journey.

That is one of 492 complaints received by the National Transport Authority (NTA) for the first six months of this year as the number of taxi complaints soared by 25% on the same period last year.

The sharpest rise in complaints was in relation to the condition of taxis, where the numbers more than doubled, going from 13 to 30 for the six months.

The person who complained about the ‘horrific’ smell in the taxi in April of this year stated that in the same taxi a side panel on the door was missing, while the leather covers were torn and dirty.

In response, the NTA inspected the taxi and issued the driver with a fine for failing to meet the standard required for a taxi.

Another taxi customer made a complaint in June of this year to say: “The vehicle was dirty and there was a bad odour. Brakes and suspensions were clearly damaged as the car made several strange noises when the car was braking.”

In response, the vehicle was removed from service by the taxi-driver and replaced with a newer vehicle and advice was given to the driver by the NTA.

The largest area of complaint for the first six months of this year was “driver behaviour”, which accounted for 212 complaints — an increase of 20% on the 176 complaints lodged for the same period in 2016.

One customer lodged a complaint with the NTA concerning a Dublin taxi driver who ordered his two passengers to get out of the taxi into the freezing cold at night after one of them was hiccoughing.

The driver told the couple that he would charge €140 if the passenger was to get sick and after driving across the bridge from George’s Quay in Dublin, decided that he wouldn’t take the two.

Another passenger said a taxi driver “stuck up his middle finger at me and drove off” when the passenger took a photo of his badge after a dispute over the fare.

(image)



Burger King appeals as application to extend opening hours fails

2017-08-16

Burger King claims it is being unfairly treated after it was refused permission to extend its opening hours in Killarney to 3.30am on special weekends.

Burger King claims it is being unfairly treated after it was refused permission to extend its opening hours in Killarney to 3.30am on special weekends.

The restaurant, which is in a busy nightclub area, wants to extend its 1am opening hours on bank holidays, special, and sporting weekends, including the All-Ireland Football weekend in September.

It has told An Bord Pleanála that nearby nightclubs and outlets are allowed to remain open much later than it and is now appealing the ruling.

Christmas weekend and Halloween are also included in the list of special weekends and an extension to 2am is being sought for the Monday nights attached to the specified weekends.

The burger chain first opened its doors on College St in 2000, and the Killarney restaurant is one of 26 outlets throughout the country.

According to its application to Kerry County Council, the Killarney outlet “it is the only restaurant where we have restricted opening hours”.

The application also points out that it is not seeking to change its arrangement from sit-down to take-away and a private security firm will also be employed.

However, the council received objections from Michael and Sheila Buck ley, the operators of Mike’s Takeaway on the adjacent Plunkett St which is in existence for more than 30 years.

The area is a hotspot for nightclubs and noise, anti-social behaviour, and litter, the Buckleys say.

The council refused the application because the later opening hours would result in “increased levels of vehicular traffic”, and because of noise and litter. It would also contravene the town development plan adopted by the councillors.

Council planner Fiona O’Sullivan and senior officer Declan O’Malley, recommending refusal, also said “it is also considered that the extended opening hours would give rise to the congregation of large groups of people in this area of the town centre in the early hours and would endanger public safety by reason of a traffic hazard and would be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development of the town”.

That refusal is being appealed now on the grounds, according to Burger King, that it is “surrounded by existing fast-food takeaway restaurants and nightclubs which trade to much later unrestricted hours”.

“In fact the nearby McSorley’s nightclub on College St trades until 4 am,” Ciaran Carey, project manager for the OKR (Burger King) group has told An Bord Pleanála in the appeal.

(image)