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2019-01-01 Irish Examiner

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Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
News
Premature babies
After the neonatal unit: ‘Something
Premature
babies, or
‘preemies’ as
they’re
affectionately
called in
maternity units,
face a tough
fight but are
well cared for by
neonatal staff
across the
country. Though
their parents run
a gamut of
emotions, writes
Kelly O’Brien
%
aby’s first Christmas is a special
time for families —
but not all newborns get to spend the big
day at home.
All across the country,
hundreds of prematurely
birthed infants are celebrating the season from the
confines of their incubators,
tucked into the special neonatal wards of hospitals dedicated to keeping pre-term
babies alive and kicking.
While the parents would
love nothing more than a
Christmas at home with
their new bundle of joy, they
realise it’s where they need
to be.
This is certainly the case
for mother of four Laura Devitt, who went into an early
labour with baby Brídín 10
weeks ago. The Tipperary
woman is currently visiting
her daughter in Cork University Maternity Hospital
(CUMH) — Brídín is not
expected home until late
January or early February.
“The staff here at the
CUMH are really helping us
through it. They are fantastic, they really are,” said
Laura.
Other mothers are thanking their lucky stars they get
to spend Christmas at home
with a happy, healthy child
who they weren’t quite sure
would make it.
“Playing Lego or reading
stories with my two little
boys is something I never
thought would happen. We
came very close to having to
visit a grave instead,” said
Wexford resident Elaine Ní
Bhraonáin, whose son,
Odhrán, was born prematurely at 30 weeks.
“We still have to be very
careful during wintertime, if
he develops a cold, that it
doesn’t go to his lungs as
they are still affected.”
Neonatal nurse Kate
O’Halloran said CUMH was
ready for the big day, with
lots of Christmas decorations and the usual warm
welcome for parents of
‘preemies’.
“But it’s difficult because
in our unit, for infection control, we don’t allow anybody
other than mum and dad in,”
she explained.
“So siblings can’t visit.
Sometimes they will come in
and look in through the
window. That’s the closest a
lot of them will get so it can
be very tough on families to
be separated and trying to
explain to siblings that this
baby is here but you can’t
meet them for a while.”
Kate, the youngest
member of the team, has
been working in the unit for
nine months. Incredibly, the
24-year-old didn’t just start
her career there — she also
started her life there as she
too was born prematurely in
the neonatal unit.
“Sometimes I tell parents
that fact, and it seems to
help. It just felt right to come
here to work. And I think I
made the right choice because I love it here, I really
do. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.”
‘The 45 minutes I had him out of the incubator felt like hours and
I was so nervous because he was so tiny and fragile and he had so
many tubes coming out of him which were hooked up to
machines,’ said Elaine, mother of newborn baby Odhrán.
Baby Odhrán on the mend, in mother Elaine’s arms. He spent 50 days in neonatal intensive care, and a
further month in special care.
were going to deliver the
baby but I stopped bleeding
and was given blood transfusions and steroid injections to develop the baby’s
lungs,” recalled Elaine.
“I spent the next month in
hospital. During this time, I
had five huge haemorrhages
and numerous blood transfusions. It was physically
and mentally draining and
the loss of control when I was
haemorrhaging is something
that will stay with me
forever.”
Elaine’s doctor decided, at
week 30, that the birth
needed to happen immediately. Odhrán entered the
world, weighing little over
1kg. “He was OK for the first
eight hours of his life, then
he could no longer breathe
for himself. Within a day, he
was on the highest form of
ventilation, and put into an
induced coma.”
She described it as “heartbreaking” to watch. “The
ventilator was keeping him
alive but unfortunately also
caused his lungs to burst. He
had bilateral pneumothorax
meaning he had two holes in
one lung and one hole in the
other lung.
“The next three weeks
were the hardest of my life.
They counted his life in
hours. He would have three
good hours and then a very
bad hour and we would be
back at square one. When it
looked as though we would
lose Odhrán, the doctors
asked, in the most respectful
way, if we would like University Hospital Waterford to
take care of the burial or if
we had a family plot we could
bury him in.”
But Odhrán clung to life.
He underwent brain scans to
check for brain bleeds and a
lumbar puncture to check to
for meningitis. He also
received numerous blood
transfusions and antibiotics
to treat suspected sepsis.
“The treatment he received in that neonatal unit in
Waterford was first class.
“He was treated with such
respect and the nurses tried
to include my husband and I
in every decision regarding
treatment,” said Elaine.
“I was breast-pumping
each day but some days were
so hard as I did not know
whether my baby would even
live long enough to drink it.”
Elaine and Dean were finally allowed to hold Odhrán
when he was two weeks old.
“The 45 minutes I had him
out of the incubator felt like
hours and I was so nervous
because he was so tiny and
fragile and he had so many
tubes coming out of him
which were hooked up to machines.”
Elaine’s family could see
the toll the situation was taking on her. “My family was
so worried about us during
the entire ordeal. They could
see how weak, traumatised,
and scared Dean and I were
about the unknown fate of
our baby.”
One early morning, waking up in their house in
Gorey, they received terrible
news about Odhrán’s condition. “I could tell by Dean’s
face that things had taken a
turn for the worse. The nurse
told us to come immediately
to the hospital,” said Elaine.
“We drove the hour-and-ahalf to the hospital dreading
what was ahead of us. I was
convinced he was gone but
that the nurses didn’t want
to break the bad news to us
over the phone. We waited
anxiously outside the neonatal unit to be buzzed in. I
was gripping Dean’s hand so
tight. We walked in and his
two nurses explained that he
was alive but had had a very
bad night. They had administered antibiotics and thankfully they were already taking effect.”
The distraught parents
didn’t leave baby Odhrán’s
side that day. They sat,
watched, and hugged each
other — and little by little,
hour by hour, Odhrán fought
to survive.
After 50 days in neonatal
intensive care, and a further
month in special care,
Odhrán was discharged. But,
with lung issues and other
persisting complications, the
family weren’t out of the
woods just yet.
“It was in quarantine at
our house for a further six
months. This was to prevent
him getting any infections.
Nobody under 10 was allowed into my home. No one who
works with children or parents of a few children were
allowed visit. It was very isolating but all I cared about
was that my tiny little boy
was home and was healthy.”
To celebrate Odhrán making it to his first birthday,
the family presented the
neonatal unit in Waterford
with a hospital-grade breastpump. Now, Odhrán is three.
“How do you thank someone for saving your baby’s
life? The staff in the neonatal
unit treated my little family
as if we were their own. They
were honest with us, sometimes when I didn’t want to
hear the truth, they hugged
me when things were going
really bad and when things
were improving, told me to
go home, get a good night’s
sleep, and come back fresh
the next day. The neonatal
staff in Waterford are part of
our lives now,” said Elaine.
“My life will never be the
same, having come through
something like this. My life is
now divided between ‘before
Odhrán’ and ‘after Odhrán’.
Something like this… it
changes you forever.”
Stacey’s story
“I was overwhelmed and
scared… I felt like my body
had let them down. I know
now it was not my fault… but
looking at my tiny children
in the incubators riddled me
with guilt” — the words of
Dubliner Stacey Dooley, who
gave birth to premature
twins at Rotunda Hospital.
Stacey, a premature baby
herself, was born early at 34
weeks. “My mam was taken
in for haemorrhaging while
pregnant with me. She also
suffered from a bad kidney
infection and was hospitalised for a number of weeks
whilst pregnant with me.
During this time, the medical
staff realised I wasn’t growing like I should have been
and was very small,” said
Stacey.
“At 32 weeks, the doctors
confirmed I had stopped
growing and then I was born
at 34 weeks.”
With her twin boys, Stacey
knew there might be issues.
She was scanned every two
weeks until week 20 of her
pregnancy when things took
a turn for the worse — one of
her boys was not growing as
well as he should have been.
At week 26, one of her
boys, Alexander, was diagnosed with intrauterine
growth restriction, a condition which can lead to stillbirths.
At first that meant Alexander was no longer getting
the nutrients he needed, as
the blood flow to him via the
placenta had almost ceased.
The condition then progressed to the stage where the
blood flow essentially reversed, putting both twins,
linked by the same placenta,
at risk of cardiac failure.
“That afternoon I had my
twins by emergency caesarean section at 28 weeks.
Alexander weighed 1 pound,
6 ounces, and Harrison
weighed 2 pounds, 8 ounces,”
said Stacey.
“Harrison had lung issues,
feeding issues, and premature apnoea but he overcame
all that and was allowed to
come home. Alexander was
very ill from the start. He
contracted necrotising encoloritis, a debilitating infection.” She almost lost him to
the condition.
“Thanks to one doctor
who wouldn’t leave his side,
Alexander survived the first
night. He wouldn’t be here
today without him. Alexander needed surgery on his
bowel and intestines to
remove the infected tissue…
but he was too weak to survive the operation. All I
could do was wait and hope,”
said Stacey.
“For a month, Alexander
was on morphine and was
intubated. He was receiving
artificial fats which caused
some damage to his liver. His
lungs were weakened from
intubation and steroids were
required to try and get him
breathing on his own again.
Finally, Alexander was
breathing on his own again.
He had withdrawals from the
morphine which I can assure
you is a horrible thing to see.
A tiny baby shaking and in
pain… and all you can do is
cuddle them.”
Alexander proved to be
tougher than he looked and
managed to pull through.
Now two years old, both
twins are thriving. Alexander still undergoes physiotherapy, and both he and
Harrison have special dietary needs, but it’s all “very
manageable”, said Stacey.
Only time will tell if their
traumatic premature births
will affect them later in life,
but for the moment, Stacey is
just happy they are here.
“The nurses that looked
after me were amazing and
did everything to me make
me feel comfortable and supported. My twins received
amazing care from the NICU
staff at the Rotunda. They
wouldn’t be here today without them. I’m eternally
grateful.”
Mandy’s story
No first-time mother-to-be
expects to find herself in the
delivery suite after little
more than six months of
pregnancy — yet it’s where
4,500 Irish women find themselves every single year.
And it was the exact
situation Wicklow resident
Mandy Daly entered when
she suffered a placenta
abruption and her waters
broke after just 25 weeks’
gestation.
Mandy’s baby girl, born almost three months too soon,
entered the world by emergency caesarean section —
smaller in size than her
mother’s hand, and weighing
just 780g. When she was
born, however, Amelia was
unresponsive.
“The delivery room was
deathly quiet as one half of
the room fought desperately
for nine whole minutes to
breathe life into Amelia’s
tiny skeletal body… and the
other half fought to save my
life,” recalled Mandy.
The medics at the Rotunda
Hospital in Dublin were successful on both counts and
baby Amelia was whisked off
to receive further treatment.
Mandy was on the mend, but
Amelia wasn’t out of the
woods yet.
“I did not get to see or hold
my daughter immediately
after her birth and the physical and emotional emptiness
that ensues following an
emergency delivery was
compounded by the stark
reality that my daughter
might not survive.”
Mandy and her husband
John first saw their baby a
full 24 hours after she was
delivered. Mandy was filled
with joy at the prospect until
she stood outside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and
realised she couldn’t tell
which baby was hers. The
realisation only bolstered
her guilt.
“A moment which should
have been filled with joy and
gratitude was tainted by
pure guilt that the pain and
suffering my little girl had
had to endure was entirely
my fault. The irrational guilt
that accompanies a pre-term
birth cannot be quantified.
Even now that guilt still lives
within my heart.”
Mandy was discharged
from hospital after three
days, but had to leave baby
Amelia where she was.
Every day, the mother would
travel for two hours to sit beside her baby’s incubator for
14 hours at a time, desperately wanting to reach in and
touch her, but unable to.
Every time she entered the
hospital, she felt “heart-stopping fear” and wondered if
this would be Amelia’s last
day.
“Day after day, I prayed
she would overcome the
myriad of life-threatening infections. I watched her endure a multitude of painful
medical procedures. I
screamed on the inside every
time she had to be resuscitated. I witnessed a total of
eight life-saving blood transfusions carried out on my
baby, and I hoped she would
find the strength to defy the
odds — odds that at times
looked very much stacked
against her,” said Mandy.
“It broke every ounce of
my physical and emotional
being. The heartache of leaving her each night as we
Elaine’s story
Falling pregnant with her
second son was a joyous occasion for Wexford resident
Elaine Ní Bhraonáin and her
husband Dean. Little did the
couple know the pregnancy
would be marred with complications — and their baby,
born almost two months
prematurely, would face a
seemingly insurmountable
battle for life.
“My pregnancy was normal up until 25 weeks when I
had a slight bleed. I went to
Wexford General Hospital to
get checked out and was immediately transferred to
Waterford. An hour after
being admitted, I haemorrhaged and lost a huge
amount of blood. Doctors
Twin brothers Alexander and Harrison, who were born prematurely
at the Rotunda.
Stacey Dooley and her son Alexander at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. He weighed just one pound six
ounces when he was born at 28 weeks. Twin brother Harrison weighed two pounds eight ounces.
Now two years old, both twins are thriving. Alexander undergoes
physiotherapy, and both boys have special dietary needs.
News
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
7
Premature babies
like this… it changes you forever’
The doctors
“
asked, in the
most respectful
way, if we
would like
University
Hospital
Waterford to
take care of the
burial, or if we
had a family
plot.
Odhrán as he is now — three
years old and taking in the sun
with mother Elaine.
ise care, and improve outcomes. I’m incredibly proud
to be involved.”
A midwife’s story
Mandy Daly and her daughter Amelia, 12, with an photograph of
Amelia taken in the Rotunda Hospital in the days after she was born
prematurely at 25 weeks and 6 days.
Picture: Moya Nolan
travelled home to our empty
house is indescribable. My
heart had been ripped from
my chest the day she was
born and every night as I
said goodbye to her it broke a
little bit more.”
Four weeks after her
birth, after several late-night
dashes to Amelia’s bedside
when she had taken a turn
for the worse, the parents
finally got to hold their baby
for the first time. “She still
weighed only 900g and even
as she lay skin-to-skin
against my chest I couldn’t
feel her,” said Mandy.
After three months, the
parents finally got to welcome Amelia home — just in
time for Christmas 2006.
While the occasion was a
happy one, the following 12
years were going to be tough
on all involved. “Suddenly
we found ourselves in the
role of carers for Amelia, a
task that neither of us felt
qualified or confident to take
on. Amelia was diagnosed
with chronic lung disease
and her breathing or lack of
it at times, continued to be an
issue for the first 12 months
at home. She had to be attached to a breathing monitor by night and we got quite
adept at jumping out of bed
when the alarm to indicate
that she had stopped breathing would activate in order
for one of us to restart her
breathing again,” said
Mandy.
“As with many preterm infants, feeding has always
been, and continues to be, an
issue for Amelia. Her growth
rate was delayed as a result
of her feeding issues and for
a number of years we found
ourselves embroiled in a vicious circle of specialists all
trying to get Amelia to eat.
Finally, at age three, we discovered that Amelia suffers
from oral aversion, most
likely related to her prolonged time on a ventilator during her first four weeks of
life, and since then we have
adapted our approach to her
feeding issues.”
Amelia is now 12 and experts say she has done remarkably well for a baby of
her gestation. Unfortunately, Amelia suffers from
dyspraxia, a sensory processing disorder, social
anxiety, and eating issues —
but these issues are managed
to the extent that to the
outside world, she is a happy
pre-teen surrounded by
friends.
Even still, there can be no
doubt having a preterm baby
was an experience that
changed Mandy’s life
forever. Eager to share her
story and help others who
find themselves flung into
similar situations, Mandy
teamed up with five other
parents of premature babies
to set up the Irish Neonatal
Health Alliance charity.
Now, when she is not with
her family, she spends her
time volunteering with the
INHA to support and empower families affected by
prematurity by advocating
increased awareness,
improved pre-conceptual,
ante-natal and postnatal
education, equitable and
standardised neonatal care,
and improved long-term care
for both the premature baby
and the family.
“From the humble beginnings, of a small group of
volunteer parents, the INHA
has penetrated every aspect
of the neonatal space in
Ireland,” said Mandy.
“We have established a
collaborative platform to
facilitate national and international stakeholders working together to reduce the
incidence of preterm births,
empower parents, standard-
For Cork woman Ruth
Evans, dealing with premature births is all in a day’s
work.
A senior midwife at Cork
University Maternity Hospital, Ruth has been working
with premature babies,
referred to fondly as ‘preemies’, for the last 25 years.
“I’m in CUMH since it
opened in 2007 but I was in
the Erinville and Holles
Street before that… so I’ve
worked probably 25 years in
neonatal at this stage. A long
time,” she explained.
The unit caters for babies
born as early as 23 weeks.
Some are born weighing only
500g — as light as half a bag
of sugar.
“The babies are so tiny,
and they’re gorgeous… but
not all of them go home, unfortunately. There are babies
that don’t make it through.
We might manage to keep
them alive for a few weeks or
a few hours and eventually
they can’t surmount the task
in front of them. The worst
part of the job definitely is
when it comes to that, when
you know you’re going to
lose a baby,” said Ruth.
“You’re seeing parents at
an extremely vulnerable
time. Some of them have
gone through such a time to
get this baby, years of IVF or
whatever. And you build up
a huge bond with the parents. You become their
friends, really, because some
of them could be with us for
six months. But whether
you’ve only met the parent
that day, or a week ago, or a
month ago… it’s awful to
have to tell them their baby
isn’t going to make it.”
While staff members are
careful not to break down in
front of parents, it’s impossible not to be affected.
“You are emotional,
there’s no doubt about it. But
you do gain experience with
years, on how to deal with it.
If you have an extremely
stressful, busy, distressing
shift, it does play on your
mind for a while. You would
bring it home with you. But
also when you go home, you
have your own family who
also needs you, so you have
to try and put it into compartments. But you are affected by it and you do think
about it for a while. But you
try not to talk about it.”
Thankfully there are more
happy endings than sad ones
— the best part of the job is
saying goodbye to a premature baby who has thrived
under the care of the neonatal unit. “We get to see the
babies growing from 500g to
maybe 4.5kg kilos by the time
they’re going home maybe
four or five or six months
later. It’s fantastic to see
that,” said Ruth.
“There’s a sense of pride
you feel when they leave and
you know you’ve done a good
job with them. Their time in
ICU is difficult, but then
when they come out of ICU
there’s still another two or
three months of work to get
them independent and off
oxygen and feeding properly… and so we’re very
proud of what we do here.”
One might forgive the
CUMH staff for being tearyeyed when they say goodbye
to a family they have worked
with for half a year, but they
know they will see them
again — most parents of premature babies return regularly to update the nurses on
their child’s progress.
“A lot of them would come
back, yes. Some of the parents find it very difficult to
come back with their child,
actually. They find coming
in the door they’re nearly
having a panic attack because this is where it all happened, but at the same time,
they want us to see the
progress and the milestones
along the line,” said Ruth.
“They might also come
back for a clinical appointment in the hospital, and so
they’d pop in then too. We
also hold an annual coffee
morning on World Premature Day in Brú Columbanus
in November every year and
the amount of kids that come
to that — all the way up to
teens — is fantastic. You
won’t remember them all,
but they’ll remember you.”
While some go on to
progress as normal, others
develop issues as they grow:
Sometimes lung issues stemming from their prematurity, sometimes issues stemming from the lifesaving
treatment they received.
“A large percentage would
have mobility issues, learning difficulties, educational
difficulties, sight, hearing…
there are quite a lot of complications they can have.
“A lot of the treatment we
have to give can cause other
problems. Then the brain is
so immature they can have
brain haemorrhages in the
early months or so and that
can leave them with cerebral
palsy or learning difficulties.
You just don’t know,” said
Ruth.
“Your baby might look
good and healthy going
home, until they start not
reaching milestones in the
first year or two and you
start to realise there are
issues. But they’re involved
in early intervention from
the minute they leave the
hospital — speech, language
therapy, physical therapy,
occupational therapy — so
everything is picked up fairly
quickly. But there are difficulties for them, no doubt
about it.”
A nurse’s story
When Kate O’Halloran was
born prematurely at the
CUMH, her parents would
never have guessed their
daughter would start her
professional career at the
same unit, 24 years later.
Cork woman Kate, now a
neonatal nurse at the facility, often tells mothers and
fathers about her own premature birth — she finds it
helps them realise there is a
potential future there for
their child, regardless of how
tiny and underdeveloped
they might currently be.
“Parents can be very
anxious, very emotional,
they get upset very easily.
You would have to work
through that time with them
and help them see the light at
the end of it. I suppose things
won’t always go to plan and
those days are tough, but the
good does outweigh the bad.
We do see more good stories
than bad stories,” explained
Kate.
“Sometimes I tell parents I
was premature and they can
kind of see a projection into
the future for their child.
They usually find it quite
reassuring. It gives them a
bit of hope.”
Amazingly, Kate now
works with one woman who
helped care for her as a newborn. “We kind of found that
out coincidentally. One of
the girls knew I was born
prematurely and she was
just saying it in the staff
room one day and we worked
out one of them worked there
at the time and had looked
after me.”
Growing up with the
knowledge of her premature
birth affected Kate’s career
choice later in life. “When I
was qualifying, I had to look
and see what area did I want
to work in. Since I started my
life out in the neonatal unit,
it kind of seemed fitting to
start my career there as well.
It seemed like a nice fit.
And I think I made the right
choice.”
She has been there nine
months so far, having
studied in UCC, and is the
youngest member of staff. It
has been a short timeframe,
yet Kate has already had to
deal with the toughest part of
the job: infant mortality.
“When you see a baby who
isn’t improving, or who you
know isn’t going to live,
that’s very tough.
“It’s very tough for the
parents, and for us, and you
try and give them that time
to make memories with their
baby,” she said.
“Or to see a baby who has
been quite well and who has
deteriorated… that’s very
tough for parents to watch.
When it’s looking bad and it
goes downhill, there is some
time to process the information and try come to
terms with it. But when a
healthy baby takes a sudden
turn… those are tough
days.”
Dealing with traumatic
cases on a daily basis is extremely tough. It can be hard
not to take the grief home.
“Yes, it can be hard to
switch off from it. If you have
had a tough day and things
haven’t gone right, maybe a
baby has been deteriorating
a little bit, those days can be
rough. You have to try your
best not to bring it home with
you, but it’s always there a
little bit in the back of your
mind,” said Kate.
“But when you get to send
a baby home, that’s lovely.
There’s nothing better than
saying goodbye to a baby
who has been very sick and
you didn’t think you’d see
this day but now you’re
sending them off home
and they are in the car
seat and the parents are the
happiest you’ve ever seen
them.”
And thankfully they do
come back to visit. “Parents
can spend a few months in
the unit and they make great
relationships with the staff
and you become very personal. You get a little bit attached. You really do get to
know the babies personally,
and the parents. You know a
lot about them. So I think
they feel more of a draw to
come back to the neonatal
unit than someone who has
been in for two or three days
and had a full-term baby.
They haven’t had that
two- or three-month
relationship,” said Kate.
“The nurses get very excited when they come back
and they go out to see them
and how far they’ve come. So
I can’t wait for the day I get to
do that and I get to welcome
back a baby that I helped
care for. But they tend to
come back when they are
toddlers, so it will be a few
years for me yet!”
Laura’s story
Ruth Evans, clinical midwife manager, Laura Devitt, from Cashel, Co Tipperary, with baby Brídín and Kate O’Halloran, neonatal nurse, who
was herself a premature baby, and now works at CUMH.
Picture: Jim Coughlan
When then-mother of three
Laura Devitt was pregnant
with baby number four,
nobody thought she would go
into labour prematurely.
All of her other children —
Maria, Róisín, and Ronan —
were carried to full term.
Baby Brídín, however, had
other ideas. She made her
appearance 10 weeks ago, at
just 25 weeks old.
“Shock is the only word to
use,” said Laura. “We didn’t
think this would happen at
all with me, given that I had
three others, big babies, all
full terms; this was completely out of the norm. She
was the only one that was
premature.
“We kind of just went with
it. Whatever was happening
was happening and there
was nothing I could do to
stop it so I had to go with it
and we just hoped everything would go OK.”
Laura went straight to her
hospital in Clonmel when
her waters broke, but, as the
facility couldn’t cater for
babies under 32 weeks old,
she was sent to Cork for
treatment. The very next
day, Brídín was born.
“She was taken directly
into the neonatal unit when
she was born so it was a few
days before I got to hold her.
I didn’t mind it that much
because I knew it was what
needed to happen and I
wanted her to get the care
she needed. In an ideal situation, you would love to hold
them straight away, but I
knew she needed the care so
I was quite happy for them to
take her and tend to her
needs,” said Laura.
“She was born and she
took a breath and they were
happy with that… but later
on, she had to be incubated,
and put on a ventilator. And
she was on that then for a
day and then she was on a
breathing machine for a
while… I was worried.
You don’t know what’s
going to happen. But the
staff didn’t seem fazed by
her, and that was reassuring.
It made me think it was all
normal.”
The name Brídín came to
Laura while she was in the
ward.
“I didn’t even know there
was such a name so I looked
it up on my phone and sure
enough it was, and the meaning of it was power and
strength. So I knew that was
her. I think it suits her.”
Brídín is spending her first
Christmas in CUMH as she
won’t be ready for discharge
until late January or early
February. The situation
has been tough on Laura,
husband Daniel, and their
three young children.
“I think the biggest
thing for my other children
was to get used to was the
fact that I was gone to Cork
and they wanted to know
when I was coming home. As
for Brídín herself, I think it’s
a little bit surreal for them
because, other than videos
and pictures, they still
haven’t seen her,” said
Laura.
“But the staff here at the
CUMH are really helping us
through it. They are fantastic, they really are.”
Conall’s story
You don’t get balloons and
congratulations when your
baby is born as prematurely
as ours was. It’s so minuteby-minute people don’t
know what to say.
Analysis: 13
8
News
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
Ministers
face cold
sweats
as they
await fate
Daniel
McConnell
Political Editor
Comment
Well, he has certainly put the
cat among the pigeons.
No subject matter exercises ministers more than
talk of a reshuffle.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
has made it clear he intends
conducting the fourth reshuffle of his tenure this
summer after the local and
European elections.
“I’ve always said that
would be the logical time to
reshuffle the Cabinet, to reshuffle your team is after the
local and European elections. That was done on the
last occasion by Enda Kenny
as Taoiseach. I’d be minded
to do the same. There’ll be a
chance to reshuffle the team
then, perhaps in June or
July. That would give them a
chance over the summer to
read into new briefs if they
get them. But we need to get
their first,” he told political
correspondents recently.
Varadkar was criticised
for his extremely limited
changing of the ministerial
order when he became Taoiseach in June 2017, demoting
just one minster, Mary Mitchell O’Connor. O’Connor
was given the consolation of
a super junior ministry,
allowing her to remain at the
Cabinet table, a decision
which left many in Fine Gael
scratching their heads.
Since then, he has been
forced into two mini-reshuffles following the resignations of then Tánaiste
Frances Fitzgerald in November 2017 and Communications Minister Denis
Naughten in October. But
should he and his shaky government survive until the
summer, just who at the
Cabinet table is vulnerable?
Well, any reshuffle will be
limited to Fine Gael ministers and not the Independents, Shane Ross and Katherine Zappone. Super Junior minister Finian McGrath
is also unaffected. So absenting himself, technically Varadkar has 12 positions to
play with but realistically he
will want to limit the reshuffle as much as possible.
They are notoriously precarious exercises for leaders,
bringing resentment, disappointment and anger at
every turn. Be too cautious,
people will accuse you of
bottling it. Be too aggressive,
you open yourself to enemies
and Varadkar will seek to
continue his position of total
control over his party.
Therefore a number of
ministers are likely to be immune from the threat of demotion. They include Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Tanaiste Simon Coveney and Communications
Minister Richard Bruton.
Donohoe, despite some
harsh criticism over his giveaway budget, has cemented his position at the
heart of government while
Coveney’s position as Tánaiste and key Brexit minister is enough to spare him.
Bruton, who has been at
Cabinet since 2011, was until
the Naughten crisis in the
running for the drop but is
now safe as houses given the
need for the Government to
shore up the National Broadband Plan.
Mitchell O’Connor has
presumably seen the writing
on the wall hence her saying
she wants to run for Europe.
A case of jumping before
being pushed.
Justice Minister Charlie
Flanagan is another who has
repeatedly been linked with
the drop. He was lucky to escape unscathed from the
Frances Fitzgerald crisis and
her resignation spared him.
Health Minister Simon
Harris has had a tetchy relationship with his party
leader. He was the only
member of Cabinet to back
Coveney in the leadership
race and only survived after
Coveney appealed to the
Taoiseach to allow him to remain. He could face demotion, either to another department or out of Cabinet.
Housing Minister Eoghan
Murphy has endured a torrid and while he was Mr Varadkar’s campaign manager,
relations between the two
have since cooled. He too
could be shown the door.
Training day
Boys’
autism
legal case
back in
court
Aodhan O Faolain
and Ray Managh
Contenders
Safe As Houses
■ Paschal
Donohoe –
Finance
minister has
cemented his
importance to
Government,
despite
criticism of his
giveaway
budget.
Brilliant winter sunshine lights up St Kevin’s Way — the pilgrim path to Glendalough, Co Wicklow — as Anthony Quinn, Henry Smith, and Alun Sanders work with rescue dog
Ellie during a Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) training exercise. SARDA dogs are used by emergency services in rescue and recovery operations. Picture: Garry O’Neill
■ Simon Coveney –
Although not a warm
character
and he and
the
Taoiseach
have an
uneasy
relationship,
the
Tanaiste’s
performance
on Brexit will
see him
remain.
■ Richard
Bruton – A
previous
contender
for the drop,
but now
cannot be
moved given
the
controversy
around the
National
Broadband
Plan.
Relegation Zone
■ Eoghan
Murphy –
Housing
minister has
endured a
torrid time
since
becoming a
minister.
Was
Varadkar’s
campaign
manager but
relations
have cooled.
■ Charlie
Flanagan –
Justice
minister has
repeatedly
been tipped
for the drop
and once
again is a
contender to
be moved
given
Taoiseach’s
desire to
modernise the Cabinet.
■ Simon
Harris – the
health
minister and
Varadkar
have an
uneasy
relationship
and was
only spared
following
pleas from
Coveney
when
Taoiseach took up office. A
strong media performer,
Harris could see himself
moved out of health.
■ Mary
Mitchell
O’Connor –
Super
Junior
minister
is on her
way out,
signalling
her desire to
stand for
Europe in
the summer. Jumping before
she is pushed.
Promotion hopefuls
■ John
Paul
Phelan –
Junior
housing
minister
who is
very close
to the
Taoiseach
■ Michael
Darcy –
Junior
finance
minister who
is another
close
confident of
Leo
Varadkar
Defence Forces group ‘not confident’ of pay rise
Sean O’Riordan
Defence Correspondent
The organisation representing Defence Forces officers
says it doesn’t have conf idence that the Public Service
Pay Commission (PSPC) will
deliver much-needed pay increases for lowly-paid soldiers, sailors, and aircrews.
The warning from Raco
(Representative Association
for Commissioned Officers)
comes after many hardpressed Defence Forces
families were forced to rely
on charitable donations of
food hampers to ge t them
over the Christmas period.
Raco general secretary,
Commandant Conor King,
said little had changed for
the lowest paid public servants since Nasa (National
Association of Army
Spouses) took to the streets
30 years ago to highlight the
deplorable pay and conditions endured by military
personnel.
Comdt King said Nasa’s
a c t i o n s ga ve bi rt h to th e
founding of his own military
representative association
a n d th at of si st er or ga ni sation PDForra, which represents enlisted personnel.
He said the recent Respect
and Loyalty parade outside
the Dáil, organised by veterans, and the founding of
the lobby group Wives and
Partners of the Defence
Forces (WPDF) showed that
little had changed since 1998.
Veterans attending a Parade for Respect and Loyalty for the Irish Defence Forces at Merrion Square,
Dublin, in September.
Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Both veterans and WPDF
helped organise food
hampers before Christmas
for needy Defence Forces
families.
A number of businesses in
areas close to military installations also offered serving
members of the Defence
Forces and their families discounts, acknowledging their
poor levels of pay.
T h e De pa r t me nt of De fence has referred a pay increase for military personnel
to the PSPC.
Nasa’s campaign led to a
root and branch review of
the Defence Forces by the
Gleeson Commission.
“And 30 years on it is sad
to see that very little has
changed. The Defence Forces
are still the lowest paid public sector workers and we do
not have confidence that the
Public Service Pay Commiss i o n w i l l d e l i ve r m u c h needed pay increases for our
lowest paid soldiers, sailors,
and aircrews,” said Comdt
King.
F e a r s ha ve ag ai n be en
raised that poor pay is one of
the reasons why the Defence
Forces is struggling to get recruits and to retain experienced personnel, who are exiting in droves for better pay
and conditions in the private
sector.
The Defence Forces chief
of staff, Vice Admiral Mark
Mellett, has just announced
t h e la un ch of an ot he r re cruitment campaign for the
Naval Service.
The Naval Service is suffering more than the Army
or Air Corps from the recruitment crisis because personnel are normally separated from their families for
longer periods due to sea patrols.
The r e cr ui tm en t dr iv e
opened last Friday, but no
cut-off date was given for the
receipt of applications.
In the past the Naval Service has experienced severe
difficulties filling its recruit
classes, which can be anything up to 48-strong.
Last July, 65 recruits were
called to the Naval Service
headquarters in Haulbowline, Co Cork, to undertake
medical and fitness tests.
However, just six turned
up.
The manpower shortage
has led to reservists being
called up to plug gaps on offshore patrols.
■ Those wishing to apply for
recruit positions should see
www.military.ie/careers/
naval-service/
A legal challenge aimed at
compelling the HSE to assess
the health and educational
needs of three young siblings
with suspected autism will
return before the High Court
in the coming weeks.
The cases are the latest of
dozens of High Cour t proceedings brought against the
HSE on behalf of children
over alleged delays in having
their needs assessed.
These actions have been
taken on behalf of the three
brothers, all aged under 7
years, by their mother. They
claim an application to have
the children’s needs assessed
by the HSE was submitted at
the end of March 2018.
In each of the brother’s
cases that process has not
commenced.
If the boys don’t get the
a p p r o p r i a t e re so ur ce s to
meet the needs of their suspected conditions their
d e ve l o p m e n t m a y b e
permanently affected, it is
claimed.
They claim that under the
2005 Disability Act a child’s
assessment must start within three months from when
the completed application
form is received by the HSE.
T h e ch il dr en cl ai m th e
HSE has been guilty of
undue and excessive delays
in considering the boys’ applications for assessment of
their needs. The nine-month
delays in conducting the assessments are an unjustifiable default in the discharge
of a public duty in circumstances where the legislation
states the assessment should
commence within three
months, it is claimed.
The High Court heard that
the eldest of the brothers was
diagnosed as having global
developmental and speech
and language difficulties in
2017. In the three years before that he received a total
of eight hours of speech therapy, it is claimed.
Since he was diagnosed he
has had no treatment other
than a meeting with a
specialist liaison nurse dealing with children with autism, it is also claimed.
The second boy has not
been formally diagnosed but
a public health nurse has
noted he had global development and speech and language delays. The children’s
mother is concerned he
shows many signs of autism.
The youngest boy has been
referred for early intervention because a public health
nurse had concerns given
t h e fa mi ly hi st or y. Th ei r
mother says the youngest is
also showing signs of autism.
The lack of formal diagn o s e s co up le d th e de la ys
have resulted in the children
being unable to secure places
in schools or playschools
with specialist autism units,
it is alleged.
Delay in €8m flood prevention May says more work
scheme a setback for Glanmire to do before Brexit
vote in Commons
Sean O’Riordan
An €8m flood prevention plan for a
Cork satellite town has been delayed because a review is being
undertaken of an environmental
impact assessment (EIA) and it
also awaits sanction from the minister for public expenditure and
reform.
T h e de la y in th e Gl as ha bo y
Flood Relief Scheme will be a setback for scores of householders
and business owners in Glanmire
who suffered from serious flooding on June 28, 2012.
The delay was notif ied to
S en at or Co lm Bu rk e af te r he
questioned minister in charge of
the OPW, Kevin “Boxer” Moran,
on the process.
Mr Moran said the flood relief
scheme has been submitted by the
Office of Public Works to the minister for public expenditure and
reform for formal confirmation
under the Arterial Drainage Acts.
He said the approval process
can take up to six months.
I n d e p e n d e n t sp ec ia li st s ar e
also being asked to review the EIA
report submitted as part of the
scheme documentation.
Mr Moran said this will be the
final element of the planning pro-
David Wilcock
Flooding at Meadowbrook estate in Riverstown, Glanmire, after an overnight
thunderstorm in 2012.
Picture: Eddie O’Hare
cess for the scheme, after which
the procurement process will commence to bring the scheme to construction stage.
However, he didn’t give a timeframe for this to be wound up. It
had been hoped that construction
would already be underway.
Mr Burke said that while he
welcomed the fact that progress
had been made, he was “disappointed that six years after seri-
ous flooding occurred there are
still procedures which have to be
completed before the major works
can be carried out”.
He said he will be meeting Mr
Moran later this month to get an
update on how the scheme is progressing.
However, Mr Burke says he believes it is now likely to be next
September before construction
work will get under way.
UK prime minister Theresa May has
spoken with European leaders over
Christmas but said there is still more
work to do just over a week before
her key Brexit deal returns to the
Commons for a key vote that will
shape the UK’s future.
MPs are due to debate the withdrawal agreement hammered out with
B r u s s e l s on Ja nu ar y 9 be fo re a
meaningful vote the following week.
Having been forced to pull the vote
in December in the face of almost
cer tain failure, May needs something fresh to offer critics in the Tory
ranks if it is to pass this time.
A Downing St spokeswoman said
while discussions between the UK
and EU had continued she was still
working on getting the “legal and
political assurances” required.
She said Ms May had “been in contact with European leaders and that
will continue in the lead up to the
vote”.
It came as questions were asked
a b o u t th e Br it is h go ve r n m e n t ’ s
preparations for a no-deal Brexit
after it emerged a €15.3m contract
to run extra ferries was handed to a
company with no ships and which
h a s n o t p r ev i o u s l y o p e r a t e d a
service.
S e a b o r n e F r e i g h t wa s o n e o f
three companies awarded contracts
totalling €120m last week to lay on
extra crossings to ease the pressure
on Dover when the UK pulls out of
the EU. The company aims to operate
freight ferries from Ramsgate to the
Belgian port of Ostend, beginning
with two ships in late March and
increasing to four by the end of the
summer.
In a separate setback to Ms May,
the US ambassador to the UK has
said that a “massive bilateral trade
deal” between the UK and America is
unlikely if the Brexit deal succeeds.
Woody Johnson said US President
Donald Trump would look positively
at an outcome which enabled America to strike major trade agreements
with the UK.
However, he cautioned that if the
prime minister’s withdrawal agreement were to succeed, then negotiati n g a q u i ck a n d m a s s i ve t r a d e
deal between the US and UK “doesn’t
look like it would be possible”.
Bishop of Kilmore retires from position due to ill-health
Conall Ó Fátharta
Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly has retired from his position on health grounds and
has had his resignation
accepted by Pope Francis.
In a statement, the diocese
of Kilmore said Bishop
O’Reilly had written to the
Pope some months ago requesting him to accept his
early retirement as Bishop of
Kilmore due to ill-health.
It was confirmed yesterday morning in Rome that
Pope Francis has accepted
this request and that, as a result, the bishop’s retirement
takes effect immediately.
Bishop Leo was appointed
Coadjutor Bishop of Kilmore
by Pope John Paul II in Nov e m b e r 19 96 . He wa s or dained bishop in February
1 9 9 7 . He wa s in st al le d as
Bishop of Kilmore in succession to Bishop Francis
MacKiernan in November
1998 in the Cathedral of Saint
Patrick & Saint Felim,
Cavan.
T h e go ve r n a n c e of th e
diocese is now assumed by
the College of Consultors, a
group of dioces an pri ests
who act as advisers to the
bishop.
The consultors will meet
today to elect a diocesan administrator who will be responsible for the leadership
of the diocese until a new
bishop is appointed by Pope
Francis.
President of the Irish
Catholic Bishops’ Confere n c e , Ar ch b i s h o p Ea mo n
Ma rt in de sc ri be d Bi sh op
O’Reilly as a man who was
“unafraid to speak from the
heart.”
“ B i s h o p Le o ’ s mi ni st ry
has been characterised by a
compassionate and pastoral
instinct together with a real
empathy for those who are
struggling with life and faith.
H e ha s be en un af ra id to
speak from the heart, with
courage and conviction, on a
wide range of issues of
concern to Church and society: on behalf of unborn
and vulnerable human life,
on child safeguarding, social
inequality and justice and
peace. His presence and wisdom will be greatly missed at
the quarterly meetings of the
Irish Bishops’ Conference,”
he said.
Archbishop Martin said
Bishop O’Reilly’s “huge contribution to Catholic education” will be his enduring
legacy.
“Bishop Leo has remained
s t e a d f a s t in hi s de te rm ination to support the right of
p a r e n t s t o h a ve t h e i r
children educated in accorda n c e wi th th ei r re l i g i o u s
convictions,” he said.
News
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
9
New year celebrations
Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour, Australia during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Picture: PA
A guest wears 2019 glasses as she takes a photo of a countdown to the new year
event in Beijing, China.
Picture: PA
A Yellow vest protestor holds the French flag at the Champs-Elysees ahead of New Year’s
celebrations.
Picture: PA
Clerical warnings and Brexit uncertainty as
revellers ring in new year around the world
Catherine Shanahan
A woman takes a photo as she stands near the LED light and waits for the New Year’s fireworks at the Palace of Justice building to mark the first day of the new year outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Picture: Getty
Bono’s son Eli Hewson performs with his group Inhaler as part of the New Year’s Eve Festival at the
Customs House, Dublin.
Picture: Gareth Chaney
Global celebrations and
homegrown theological
messages — such is the
nature of New Year’s Eve, a
platform for pyrotechnics,
laser light shows, countdowns, downpours, clerical
warnings about the
immorality of abortion and
Brexit uncertainty.
Christmas Island and
Samoa kickstarted the party
which wrapped at Baker
Island in the USA, having
moved through roughly 24
time zones, with cities like
Sydney capturing the headlines for its usual dazzling
fireworks, despite downpours, while in New York’s
Time Square, Snoop Dogg,
Sting and Christina Aguilera
welcomed in 2019 along with
revellers from around the
world who came to see the
traditional crystal ball drop
in New York City.
Celebrations took place
under tight security, with
partygoers checked for
weapons as a police drone
kept watch over the
festivities for the first time.
Security was also tight in
France with more than
147,000 security forces
deployed to New Year’s Eve
celebrations as Gilets Jaunes
anti-government protesters
were expected on the
Champs Élysées in Paris,
as protests over pay and
conditions continue.
In London, temporary
bells were due to ring out
inside the scaffolding around
Big Ben which has been
Crowds gather to watch coloured lights being projected onto Dublin’s Customs House as part of the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee
performance, a family-friendly sound and light show.
Picture: PA
Plenty of brave swimmers participate in the annual New Year’s swim in the harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Picture: PA
Competitors in fancy dress run across the Pennine tops in
Yorkshire, in the annual Auld Lang Syne Fell race. Picture: PA
undergoing renovations
since August 2017.
Brexit was set to shape the
celebrations with London
mayor Sadiq Khan saying
that the city’s fireworks display would be a celebration
of the capital’s relationship
with Europe.
Brexit was also on the
agenda here at home with
church leaders warning in
their New Year’s message
that”many live their lives
with a lack of security and an
absence of hope”.
“The ongoing uncertainty
of Brexit has added to those
worries, both for business
people and ordinary citizens
alike. Many businesses fear
for the future, while many
families, struggling to make
ends meet today, are anxious
about what that future might
hold.”
The lack of a functioning
government in Northern
Ireland has added to the
uncertainty, and Church
leaders urged political
parties to step up to the
mark and show positive
leadership.
In a separate New Year’s
message on World Day of
Peace (today) Eamon Martin, archbishop of Armagh
and primate of All Ireland,
made reference to the introduction of abortion services
in Ireland from today. He
said despite the legislation,
“it remains gravely morally
wrong to deliberately and
intentionally take the life of
an innocent person, whatever their state or stage of
life”.
“To co-operate in such an
act, by supporting it directly
or indirectly, either as an
individual act or as a social
policy, shall always be
gravely wrong,” said the
archbishop.
He also said that “no-one
should be forced, against
their conscience, to
participate in abortion or to
refer patients to others for
abortion”.
New Year’s Eve
celebrations varied widely
throughout the country,
with by far the biggest event,
the Liffey Lights Midnight
Moment Matinee, taking
place in the capital.
Gavin James headlined a
special concert as part of the
New Year’s Eve Festival.
However, in other cities,
celebrations were largely hit
and miss with no official
public events planned to
usher in the new year
in Waterford, Galway,
Limerick or Cork.
Iraqi security forces take a selfie as people gather in the centre of the northern city of Mosul
to celebrate the coming of the new year.
Picture: Getty
10
World News
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
Bangladesh PM rejects allegations of vote rigging
Zeba Siddiqui and
Ruma Paul
Bangladesh Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina yesterday rejected opposition complaints
o f vo t e r i g g i n g a n d s a i d
people had gone to the polls
enthusiastically in a largely
peacefully general election
t h at h e r r u l i n g a l l i a n c e
swept with a landslide.
H a s i n a wo n a t h i r d
straight term in Sunday’s
election, with alliance led by
her Awami League winning
287 of the 298 seats for which
results had been declared,
the Election Commission
said.
But the opposition rejected
the result and called for a
fresh vote, complaining of
what it said was widespread
rigging.
Hasina dismissed com-
plaints of cheating and the
chief election commissioner
rejected the opposition demand for a re-run of the vote.
He said voting had been held
in a peaceful manner.
At least 17 people were
killed during the vote, police
said, after a violent campaign in which the opposition alleged the government
denied it a level playing field.
The Election Commission
Aid ‘blocked
or stolen by
militias’ as
Yemen starves
Maggie Michael
Factions and militias on all
sides of the war in Yemen
have blocked or diverted the
delivery of food aid, or sold it
on the black market, an investigation has revealed.
The Associated Press has
found that large amounts of
food make it into the country
but, once there, do not go to
to people who need it most.
This raises questions
about the ability of United
Nations agencies and other
aid organisations to operate
effectively in Yemen.
T h e i n ve s t i g at i o n wa s
based on public records and
confidential documents obtained by the AP, and interviews with more than 70 aid
workers, government officials, and citizens from six
different provinces.
The UN estimates 1.5 million Yemeni children are
malnourished, including
400,000 to 500,000 who suffer
l i f e - t h re at e n i n g “ s eve re
acute malnutrition”.
The problem of lost and
stolen aid is common in Taiz
and other areas controlled
by Yemen’s internationallyre c o g n i s e d g o ve r n m e n t ,
which is supported by the
Saudi-led military coalition.
It is even more widespread
in territories controlled by
Houthi rebels, the struggling
government’s main enemy
during nearly four years of
warfare which has spawned
the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Observers have attributed
the near-famine to the coalit i o n ’ s bl o ck a d e o f p o r t s
which supply Houthi-controlled areas.
The UN’s World Food Programme has 5,000 distribution sites across the country
targeting 10 million people a
month with food baskets, but
says it can only monitor 20%
of the deliveries.
This year, the UN, the US,
Saudi Arabia, and others
h a ve p o u r e d m o r e t h a n
€3.5bn in food, shelter, medical, and other aid into
Yemen. That figure is expected to keep climbing in
2019.
Despite the surge in help,
hunger — and, in some
pockets of the country, famine-level starvation — has
continued to grow.
An analysis this month by
a coalition of global relief
groups found that even with
the food aid that is coming in,
more than half of Yemen’s 29
million people are not getting enough to eat.
They include 10.8 million
who are in an “emergency”
phase of food insecurity,
roughly five million who are
in a deeper “crisis” phase,
and 63,500 who are facing
“catastrophe”, a synonym
for famine.
Counting the number of
people who have starved to
death in Yemen is difficult,
because of the challenges of
getting into areas shaken by
violence, and because starving people often officially die
from diseases that prey on
their weakened conditions.
Save the Children estimates that 85,000 under-5s
have died from starvation or
disease since the start of the
war. In some areas, fighting,
roadblocks, and bureaucratic obstacles have reduced the amount of aid getting in. In other areas, aid
gets in but does not reach the
hungriest families.
In the northern province
of Saada, a Houthi stronghold, international aid
groups estimate that 445,000
people need food assistance.
Some months, the UN has
sent enough food to feed
twice that many people. Yet
the latest figures from the
UN and other relief organisations show that 65% of resi-
dents are facing severe food
shortages, including at least
7,000 people who are in
pockets of outright famine.
The government has not
provided any answers over
the food theft so far, and officials at the agency that oversees aid work in Houthi territory — the National Authority for the Management
and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs — did not
return repeated phone calls.
UN officials are generally
cautious in statements about
the Houthis, partly due to
fears that the rebels might
re s po n d by bl ocking U N
a g e n c i e s f ro m a c c e s s t o
starving people. But, in interviews with the AP, two
senior UN of f icials used
strong language in reference
to both the Houthis and their
battlefield adversaries.
Geert Cappelaere, Middle
East director for Unicef, the
UN’s emergency fund for
children, said authorities on
“all sides” of the conflict are
impeding aid groups — and
increasing the risk that the
country will descend into
widespread famine.
David Beasley, director of
the UN’s food programme,
said “certain elements of the
Houthis” are denying the
agency access to some parts
of rebel territory — and appear to be diverting food aid.
“It’s a disgrace, criminal,
it’s wrong, and it needs to
end,” Mr Beasley said. “Innocent people are suffering.”
The rebels and the coalition have begun peace talks
in recent weeks, leading to a
reduction in fighting, and
easing the challenge of getting food aid through Hodeida, the port city gateway to
the Houthi-controlled north.
However, even if donors
are able to get more food in,
the problem of what happens
to food aid once it makes
landfall remains.
said earlier it was investigating allegations of vote rigging from “across the
country”, and Hasina told reporters the commission had
every right to do so.
Hasina’s win follows a decade in power in which she
has been credited with improving the economy and
promoting development,
while being accused of rights
a b u s e s , a c r a ck d o w n o n
media and suppressing dissent. The government rejects
those accusations.
The main opposition
Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (BNP), which had boycotted the last general election in 2014 saying it would
not be fair, won just six seats
in the 300-seat assembly this
time.
BNP leader Khaleda Zia —
Hasina’s arch rival and a
former prime minister —
was jailed in February on
corruption charges she says
were politically motivated.
This was the first election in
which the BNP campaigned
without her.
Hasina told reporters the
opposition had done badly in
the election as it lacked
leadership. She also said she
was surprised the opposition
had not campaigned more
actively.
The rivalry between the
two women — both related to
former leaders — has largely
defined Bangladeshi politics
for decades.
Raising minimum wages
for workers in Bangladesh’s
robust garments industry,
the world’s second-biggest
after China’s, could be one of
Hasina’s first tasks, party
leaders have said.
On reflection
Sheikh Hasina flashes a victory
sign.
Picture: AP Photo
Sudan urged
to stop use of
lethal force
against
protesters
Karen O’Shea
A wind-skater and a walker are mirrored in a puddle at the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany.
Picture: Kay Nietfeld
Psychological barriers to life on Mars
Rod Minchin
Ugly interior design, interplanetary ‘jetlag’, and personality clashes are among
the problems that will
hamper humanity’s efforts
to settle on Mars, experts
say.
The technical challenges
of reaching the Red Planet —
and getting the crew home —
are massive, but experts met
in London last week to consider the social and psychological obstacles.
Examples raised at the
meeting included a fall-out
over the colour of paint inside a remote base, and a
claim that up to half of crews
do not “get along” on space
missions.
The event was funded by
the Mohammed bin Rashid
Global Space Challenge, and
the meeting’s recommendations will be sent to the
project as it works towards
human settlement in space.
“The biggest hurdles to
Mars settlement are not
technical but psychological,”
said meeting organiser Dr
Federico Caprotti, of the University of Exeter.
“Long-range missions
raise psychological questions that current knowledge
in space science cannot
answer. For example, the
International Space Station
enables a quick return, and
therefore a sense of psychological closeness to the
Earth.
“Mars does not allow this,
and that brings a risk of intense pressure.
“There is also the issue of
interplanetary ‘jetlag’. The
journey could take about 400
days — though experimental
plasma engines could speed
this up.
“The
psychological
effects of a journey that long,
combined with the lack of
real-time communications
with Earth as signals take
four to 24 minutes could be
huge.”
Pre-mission psychological
tests are used in selecting
crews, but these are not always effective in determining whether individuals will
work well together.
One of the experts at the
meeting, who had been involved in planning multiple
space missions, said that,
despite these tests, 40% to
50% of crews could not get
along together once in space.
“That would be a major
problem on a 400-day return
journey and the intervening
mission on Mars,” said
D r S t e ve n P a l m e r , o f
the University of Exeter,
who has worked on both
space research and in the
Antarctic.
“We also heard about a
mission in a remote location
on Earth where someone
painted some walls in a colour others didn’t like — and
this caused resentment and
damaged team cohesion.
“Many people think a
Mar s mi ssi on shoul d be
manned by ‘natural leaders’,
but organisations like the
British Antarctic Survey
have found that you need
people who can compromise.”
The meeting brought together experts from fields
including astrophysics,
geography, innovation, and
ethics.
Human Rights Watch is urging Sudan’s government to
instruct security forces not
to use lethal force against
protesters.
T h e N e w Yo r k - b a s e d
group says security forces
have used tear gas and live
ammunition against protesters who have taken to the
streets since December 19 to
demand that Sudan’s autocratic president Omar alBashir should step down.
The statement came hours
before a day of renewed protests, with demonstrators in
the capital, Khartoum, expected to try to march on Mr
al-Bashir’s palace to demand
he relinquish power.
Amnesty International
said it has “reliable reports”
that 37 protesters were killed
in the first five days of protests. The government has
acknowledged 19 deaths,
while Human Rights Watch
said independent groups
monitoring the situation put
the death toll at 40.
An umbrella of independent professional unions
which called for yesterday’s
protests in Khartoum have
urged Sudanese people to
take to the streets elsewhere
in the country.
Mr al-Bashir, who has
been in power since 1989,
vowed in a meeting with police commanders on Sunday
that his government would
not tolerate any attempt to
undermine the stability and
security of Sudan, according
to the state news agency.
An Islamist, he also sought
to justify the killing of protesters, quoting from the
Koran, according to a video
clip of his comments.
He said: “It’s deterrence to
others so that we can maintain security, which is a
valuable commodity and,
God willing, we will not risk
the security of the citizens or
the nation. The objective is
not to kill the protesters,
but... to safeguard the security and stability of citizens.”
Human Rights Watch’s Jehanne Henry said: “President al-Bashir appears to be
making public speeches that
justify excessive use of force
instead of condemning this
brutality.”
Europe’s Left nearly died but it can rise again
T
he crushing defeats of
2017 — the near-death
experience of the Socialist Party in France, the
deflation of the Social Democrats
in Germany and the Labour
Party in the Netherlands, the
shrinking of the entire left wing
in the Czech Republic — apparently weren’t enough of a wakeup call. The defeated parties
haven’t regained popularity, and
some, like the German Social
Democrats, have slid further
down in the polls. The centre left
collapsed in the Italian election,
letting two populist parties take
the reins. In Sweden, the Social
Democrat-led government saw
diminished support in an inconclusive election and is unable to
keep governing. In the UK, the
Labour Party was unable to wrest
power from the squabbling Tories, largely because it is itself divided on major issues such as
Brexit and the desirable degree of
wealth redistribution. Far away
in Brazil, the Workers’ Party lost
the presidential election.
Just five European Union
countries are still ruled by
centre-left or leftist governments
— Greece, Slovakia, Malta, Portugal and Spain. Only Spain’s Socialists won power in 2018, and
not in an election but rather in an
unusual parliamentary coup. In
Greece, the leftist bloc Syriza will
probably lose power this year,
and in Spain, centre-right parties
are better positioned than the Socialists for the next election,
whenever it comes. In the 2019
European Parliament election,
the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats — the
centre-left umbrella party — is
projected to be the biggest loser,
and while the more modern and
more radical European United
Left-Nordic Green Left is expected to gain a few seats, that
won’t be nearly enough to help
The Left has the
information it
needs to pull out of
its nosedive. It just
has to start using it,
writes Leonid
Bershidsky
the entire leftist spectrum recoup
its losses.
How the Left got lost
There are three accepted explanations for this woe. One, popular
among leftists themselves, is that
the traditional parties took a
wrong turn somewhere.
Another view has to do with
the changing class structure of
society. Its proponents argue that
the old working class is gone, taking with it the traditional base of
the leftist parties united by class
consciousness and by the institutions that supported it, from labour unions to choral societies
and women’s clubs.
The third concept is more radical than the first two. It posits a
collapse of the entire traditional
left-right paradigm, describing it
as too simplistic for today’s complex matrix of factors affecting
political preferences. Social
scientists Yann Algan, Elizabeth
Beasley, Daniel Cohen and Martial Foucault analyzed this matrix earlier this year using a detailed dataset from the 2017
French presidential election.
They saw people with lower-thanaverage incomes for their level of
education voting hard left, for
Jean-Luc Melenchon, and people
with higher incomes than their
education level going for the
centre-right (Francois Fillon).
They noted that people with
lower interpersonal trust went
for Melenchon if they had higher
life satisfaction, and for nationalist populist Marine Le Pen if they
were less happy with their lives.
The ideological divides that used
to match class lines have also
shifted: For example, though the
supporters of Le Pen were as unlikely to be wealthy as those of
Melenchon, the nationalist’s
voters weren’t particularly interested in redistribution.
The three explanations of the
traditional left’s demise approach
the same problem from different
angles. The structure of society
has changed for a number of reasons: broader access to education, deindustrialization, migratory flows, the success of social policies pursued by the same
leftist parties that are suffering
now at the polls. At the same
time, the toolbox for describing
and measuring societal divides,
as well as for exploiting them for
political purposes, has improved
dramatically with the rise of data
science and social networks. The
leftist parties, meanwhile, have
failed to use this toolbox to offer
compelling ideas to the social
groups that might be willing to
support them.
How the Left could rise
I’m not a leftist by any definition.
No one who grew up in the Soviet
Union, as I did in Moscow in the
1970s and 1980s, can be one without amnesia-inducing drugs.
State-run redistribution will always turn into a corrupt, wasteful system that fails to make anyone happy regardless of how
much repression is involved.
That said, I have a stake in the
survival of the traditional left in
the Western world. It has a proven record of making societies
fairer, holding back imperial impulses, shortening wars. It has
Honesty on immigration
A group of ‘Yellow Vests’ protests in France.
been a useful counterbalance to
the natural inclination of the
traditional right to support big
business, the military and lawenforcement machines.
The traditional left doesn’t
have to give up these important
roles. What it requires is clarity
on three issues: Whom it stands
for, what it stands for and how to
communicate the ideas.
The new potential support base
includes diverse groups. Three of
these are government employees
who believe in the positive
mission of the state; creative
classes and intellectuals who
stand for freedom, diversity and a
massive role for educational institutions; a precarious working
class that feels ill-treated by a system rigged in favor of the rich. All
of them share an interest in one
thing: fairness.
Many leaders on the left understand this, and Martin Schulz, the
losing German Social Democratic
candidate for chancellor in 2017,
even chose “More Fairness” as
his slogan. The reason he lost was
that he couldn’t explain what the
word meant to him and how he
was going to deliver fairness to
the different target groups. In
Picture: AP Photo/Bob Edme
such a situation, the government
employees, intellectuals and students tend to vote for environmentalist parties like the German
Greens, which share their sensibilities. Many of the insecure
workers go for the nationalist
populists who address the issue of
fairness in the simplest terms: A
country, according to them, must
help its own first.
There are, meanwhile, ways to
address the concerns of all the potential audiences while advocating clear policies. The Dutch
GreenLeft, which did unexpectedly well in the 2017 election and
has increased its popularity
since, provides an important
example. It’s the product of a
merger of four progressive parties that stressed different aspects of socialism and environmentalism but found ways to
combine both. Merging with
Greens can be a productive way
forward for the traditional left,
since voters appear to move
freely between them. In Germany, for example, the decline of
the Social Democrats has led to
the rise of the Greens, who replaced them as the nation’s second most popular party this year.
The Green Left has departed from
traditional redistribution ideas;
the party proposes programs that
stress getting the underprivileged into training and work
rather than providing more financial support for them. While
calling for more education spendi n g , i t a c t u a l l y a d vo c a t e s a
smaller government and a more
streamlined political system, catering to the anti-elite mood of the
struggling lower middle class.
A combination of “green” goals
with leftist sensibilities could be
an answer to movements like
France’s Yellow Vests. Instead of
fuel taxes, which set off violent
protests because they have an immediate, direct effect on the tightest family budgets, such hybrid
parties want to extract environmental taxes primarily from big
corporations. Though the effect
of higher corporate taxation
would trickle down to the poor,
too, the framing of the matter is
less likely to cause protest — especially if investments in public
transportation come through, as
these parties promise. The coalition government in Luxembourg,
headed by a centre-right party
but also including a leftist one
and a green one, proposes to
make public transportation free
next year, a popular move that is
likely to boost the government’s
staying power.
A focus on fairness should
probably mean less of a focus on
political correctness. Social liberalism has prevented politicians
on the left from talking freely
about the dark side of immigration. That hasn’t helped immigrants much.
In many countries, they’ve
been pushed out of sight into
areas the locals avoid and left to
suffer the consequences of poor
policing, lacking social services
and labor-market discrimination.
That has little to do with fairness; punishing crime is fair, and
so is linking social support to
positive, lasting labor-market
outcomes. Being pro-refugee, as
most leftist and environmentalist
politicians are, shouldn’t tie the
leadership’s tongues in knots,
something the intellectual audience has learned to accept but
that resentful workers hate.
Parties led by young leaders,
such as the Dutch GreenLeft’s 32year-old Jesse Klaver, have been
good at communicating specific
ideas to diverse target groups on
social media. So far, traditional
leftist parties have largely left
this field to populists, who find
the social networks a convenient
tool for spreading divisive messages. But nothing is preventing
the left from taking the war to
them in a way that helps them
win elections. Traditional, offline
networks — those unions and
choral societies — are no match
for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and leftist parties have
been too slow to realize this.
This time of desperation for the
traditional left is a time for bold
alliances, primarily with the
Greens, and for clear ideas promoted cleverly with specific target groups in mind. The leftist
parties should seize the opportunity to learn and experiment
rather than wait for the old support levels to come back. They
won’t. If this opportunity is
missed, the Western world is in
for years of conservative or fractured governments trying to fight
or appease leaderless movements
like the Yellow Vests, which they
don’t really understand. That
prospect alone should give believers in the leftist ideal of fairness
an itch to get their act together.
■ Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist
World News
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
11
Markets and commission relief as Italy passes budget
Giulio Piovaccari
Kevin Spacey: His request to
skip his appearance was denied.
Spacey bid to
avoid court fails
A US judge has denied Kevin
Spacey’s request to skip his
appearance in court on accusations that he groped a young
man.
The decision by Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett yesterday means Spacey
will have to attend his January
7 arraignment.
Spacey had argued he should
be excused from appearing because his presence would “amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection
with this case”.
He is pleading not guilty.
The 59-year-old Oscar-winning
actor is accused of groping the
18-year-old man in a Nantucket
restaurant in 2016.
He is charged with felony indecent assault and battery.
US citizen faces spy
charges in Russia
Russia’s domestic security
agency says it has arrested a
US citizen on espionage
charges.
The Federal Security Service,
or FSB, the top KGB successor
agency, said that the American
man was detained in Moscow
on Friday.
The agency said he was
caught “during an espionage
operation”.
The state Tass news agency
identified the detained man as
Paul Whelan. Spying charges
carry a prison sentence of up to
20 years in Russia.
The arrest comes as Russia-US
ties have sunk to post-Cold
War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and the allegations of Russian meddling
in the 2016 US presidential
election.
Vatican spokesman
and deputy resign
The spokesman for the Vatican
and his deputy resigned
suddenly yesterday, an official
statement said.
It gave no reason for the resignation of Greg Burke, an American, and Paloma Garcia Ovejero, a Spaniard. They quit two
weeks after Pope Francis appointed an Italian journalist and
personal friend, Andrea Tornielli, to become editorial director
of all Vatican communications.
“Paloma and I have resigned,
effective Jan. 1. At this time of
transition in Vatican communications, we think it’s best the
Holy Father is completely free
to assemble a new team,”
Burke tweeted.
The Vatican said Alessandro
Gisotti, an Italian journalist believed to be close to Tornielli,
would be spokesperson for the
interim.
Iraqi warplanes
target IS leaders
Iraqi warplanes hit a meeting of
Islamic State leaders near Deir
al-Zor in Syria yesterday, destroying the building they were
gathered in, the military said in
a statement, without giving
further details about the militants targeted. The statement
said F-16 fighter jets carried out
the raid around al-Sousa village in eastern Syria, as “30
leaders from Daesh (Islamic
State) gangs” met in the building. The strike came a day after
Iraq’s government hinted at
greater involvement for its
armed forces in Syria as the US
begins withdrawing troops
from the country.
Senator Elizabeth Warren:
Prominent liberal.
Senator takes step
towards presidency
Senator Elizabeth Warren has
taken the first major step towards launching an anticipated
campaign for the presidency.
“No matter what our differences, most of us want the
same thing,” the 69-year-old
Massachusetts Democrat said
in a video that highlights her
family’s history in Oklahoma.
“To be able to work hard, play
by the same set of rules and
take care of the people we love.
That’s what I’m fighting for and
that’s why today I’m launching
an exploratory committee for
president.”
Mrs Warren burst onto the
national scene a decade ago
during the financial crisis with
calls for greater consumer protections. She quickly became
one of the party’s more prominent liberals even as she sometimes fought with Obama administration officials over their
response to the market turmoil.
Mrs Warren will announce a
campaign plan early in 2019.
Italian deputy prime
minister Matteo Salvini said
yesterday he did not see any
danger to the government
in the coming months as
it turns its attention to new
reforms after finally pushing
its 2019 budget into law.
Parliament approved the
much-contested budget on
Saturday, just ahead of a
year-end deadline, following
a deal with the European
Commission which calmed
f inancial markets and
averted a risk of financial
fines against Rome.
“I hope this will be the last
b u d g e t t o b e a p p r o ve d
via long and complicated
negotiations with Brussels”,
Salvini said in an interview
with newspaper Il Corriere
della Sera, saying he hoped
E U ve t o p o w e r o n s t a t e
f i n a n c e s wo u l d s o o n b e
shelved.
Matteo Renzi, a former
prime minister and ex-leader
of the centre-left opposition
Democratic Party, predicted
on Monday that the coalition
could break up before European parliamentary elections scheduled for May 26.
Renzi told La Stampa daily
that the ruling parties — the
League and 5-Star Movement
— were deeply divided over
an array of issues and said
that the government would
surely split apart.
“ B u t w e wo n ’ t h e a d
to early elections,” he said,
predicting instead either a
major coalition reshuffle or
the creation of a new ruling
alliance from the various
parliamentary strands.
Salvini, who heads the
League, dismissed the
idea.
“ Yo u d o n o t c h a n g e a
winning team,” Salvini said
in comments released on his
Facebook page.
Salvini said among the
first measures the governm e n t wo u l d t a c k l e i n
the New Year were a bill
to strengthen “legitimate
defence” rights for ordinary
people and also a push for
greater autonomy for the
northern regions of Veneto
and Lombardy.
Prominent League leaders
have warned that the sevenmonth-old coalition will
fall if its devolution plan is
blocked by a clearly reticent
5-Star.
While the League strongholds are in the rich northern regions of Italy, 5-Star
votes are concentrated in the
country’s poorer south.
The southern regions are
output. They signed a preliminary deal with the former centre-left government to
gain greater oversight in 23
policy areas, including the
environment, infrastructure, health and education,
but the accord was not
e n a c t e d b e f o re n at i o n a l
elections in March redrew
the political map in Italy.
Prime minister Giuseppe
Conte has said he will
present his proposals to the
regions by February 15.
■ Reuters
Democrats
seek to end
shutdown
with bills
Dozens
missing
as blast
levels
Russian
block
Vladimir Soldatkin
Rescuers scrambled amid
freezing temperatures to
recover people trapped in
the rubble of a Russian
city apartment block that
collapsed in a gas explosion on Monday, killing at least four people
and leaving dozens missi n g , n ew s a g e n c i e s r e ported throughout yesterday.
The blast, thought to
have been caused by a gas
leak, damaged 48 apartments in a nine-story
building in Magnitogorsk,
an industrial city in the
Urals some 1,700 km
(1,050 miles) east of Moscow, the emergencies ministry said.
“Four people have been
killed, five are in hospital
... and the fate of 35 is unknown,” Russian news
agencies quoted the
emergencies ministry as
saying.
President Vladimir
Putin flew into Magnitogorsk late on Monday
afternoon, the Kremlin
said, as rescue workers
toiled in temperatures of 22 Celsius (-7.6 Fahrenheit) to locate people
trapped in the debris.
Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova told state
television that the chances
of finding survivors were
diminishing as the day
wore on.
R I A n ew s a g e n c y r e ported that the blast tore
through the building at
around 6am (local time)
when many residents
were asleep.
Monday was a public
holiday in Russia.
There have been several
similar incidents in Russia in recent years due to
aging infrastructure and
poor safety regulations
surrounding gas usage.
In 2015, at least five
people were killed when a
gas explosion damaged an
apartment building in the
southern Russian city of
Volgograd.
■ Reuters
wo r r i e d t h a t t h e y w i l l
receive less funding in future
if Lombardy and Veneto get
to keep more of their own tax
take.
“ H a n d i n g o ve r m o r e
power to regional governors
and city mayors will benefit
both north and south. Spending decisions taken by local
administrations avoid waste
and robbery,” Salvini said on
Facebook.
L o m b a r d y a n d Ve n e t o
together account for around
a third of Italy’s economic
■ Trump orders a slowdown to the
withdrawal of US forces in Syria
Zeke Miller
This image taken from TV footage, shows Emergency Situations employees working at the scene of a collapsed section of an apartment
building in Magnitogorsk.
Picture: Chelyabinsk Region Governor Press Service photo via AP
House Democrats are introducing a package of bills that
would re-open the US federal
government without approving money for President
Donald Trump’s border wall.
The House is preparing to
vote as soon as the new Congress convenes on Thursday,
as one of the first acts after
Democrats take control, according to an aide.
The package to end the
shutdown will include one
bill to fund the Department
of Homeland Security at current levels, with $1.3bn for
border security, through to
February 8.
It will also include six
other bipartisan bills, some
that have already passed the
Senate, to fund the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Housing and Urban
Development and others
closed by the partial shutdown.
T h e y wo u l d p r o v i d e
money through the remainder of the fiscal year, to
September 30.
Democrats under Nancy
Pelosi are all but certain to
swiftly approve the package.
What is unclear is whether
the Republican-led Senate,
under Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell, will consider it or if Mr Trump would
sign it into law.
The partial government
shutdown is in its second
week over Mr Trump’s demand for $5bn for the wall.
Republican senators left
for the holidays refusing to
vote on any bills until all
sides, including Mr Trump,
were in agreement.
Senators were frustrated
that Mr Trump had dismissed their earlier legislation.
The president continued to
insist he wants to build a
wall along the US-Mexico
border, despite the assertions of three confidants.
“An all concrete Wall was
n e ve r a b a n d o n e d , ” M r
Trump tweeted yesterday.
“Some areas will be all
concrete but the experts at
Border Patrol prefer a Wall
that is see through (thereby
making it possible to see
what is happening on both
sides).”
Mr Trump’s comments
came after officials, including his departing chief of
s t a f f , i n d i c at e d t h at t h e
president’s signature campaign pledge to build the wall
would not be fulfilled as advertised.
White House chief of staff
John Kelly told the Los Angeles Times in an interview
published on Sunday that
Trump abandoned the notion of “a solid concrete wall
early on in the administration”.
“To be honest, it’s not a
wall,” Mr Kelly said, adding
that the mix of technological
enhancements and “steel
slat” barriers the president
now wants along the border
resulted from conversations
with law enforcement professionals.
Meanwhile, Trump has ordered a slowdown to the
withdrawal of US forces in
Syria, Republican senator
Lindsey Graham has said.
“I think we’re in a pause
situation,” the South Carolina Republican said outside
the White House after lunch
with the president.
Mr Trump announced earlier this month that he was
ordering the withdrawal of
all the roughly 2,000 troops
from war-torn Syria, with
aides expecting it to take
place swiftly. The president
had declared victory over the
Islamic State group in Syria,
though pockets of fighting
remain.
Mr Graham had been an
outspoken critic of Mr
Trump’s decision, which had
drawn bipartisan criticism.
Analysis: 13
Strictly star: Brother risked his life to save mine in club attack
Suzy Fox
Strictly star AJ Pritchard
has told how his brother
“saved his life” and risked
his own dancing career by
throwing himself in front of a
pack of nightclub attackers.
Curtis, 22, a professional
dancer on the UK’s Dancing
With The Stars, was left unconscious in the “unprovoked” attack and requires
knee surgery. His Strictly
star sibling, 24, was left with
bruises on his face, arms,
body and legs.
AJ told The Sun: “Curtis
risked his own dancing career to save mine as he threw
himself in front of the attackers so they couldn’t get to
me. He was thinking of both
my dancing career with my
legs and my TV career with
my face. He tried to protect
me and in doing so saved my
life and legs from danger.”
Curtis, who has been
forced to pull out of Dancing
With The Stars’ upcoming
run, said the incident on the
dance floor of the Nakatcha
nightclub in Nantwich,
Cheshire, “could have been
fatal” and may spell the end
of his career.
AJ and dance partner
Lauren Steadman finished
fifth in the BBC1 favourite
and the brothers had been
enjoying a family Christmas
a t h o m e i n S t o ke . T h e y
headed out in Nantwich on
D e c e m b e r 2 7 w i t h t wo
friends and wound up at the
nightclub, where they had
been “lots” of times and
knew the staff. AJ said they
felt it was a safe place for
them to go and they took to
the dance floor with a group
of people. He said the pair
were then set upon by “about
eight blokes” and were
punched and kicked.
Curtis said he saw four
men go for his brother and
tried to put himself between
A J a n d t h e bl o w s . A f t e r
suffering several punches
Curtis fell to the floor unconscious, the Strictly star said.
AJ said he had to drag his
younger brother away from
danger as the nightclub’s
security moved in to break
up the melee. Curtis had
suffered injuries to his shins,
nose, lips, and face.
Channel patrols stepped
up amid migrant crossings
David Hughes
T wo m o re B o r d e r F o r c e
cutters will patrol the English Channel after scores of
migrants risked the perilous
crossing over the Christmas
period, Sajid Javid has announced.
The British home secretary cut short a family holiday in South Africa to take
personal control of the situation following criticism of
the Government’s response.
Mr Javid said 230 migrants
had sought to cross the
Channel in December alone,
with just under half preve n t e d f ro m l e a v i n g t h e
continent by the French
authorities.
There has been a surge in
the number of migrants attempting to navigate the
Channel’s busy shipping
lanes, often in small boats
which cannot be detected by
radar.
This year, 539 migrants
have attempted to travel to
the UK on small boats, with
children as young as nine risking the crossing.
Of these, 434 made their att e m p t s i n t h e l a s t t h re e
months of the year.
Some 227 migrants were
intercepted by the French
before they made it to the
UK.
The Home Office revealed
a group of 12 migrants,
including a 10-year-old
child, were detained after
landing on a Kent beach
yesterday morning.
As well as redeploying the
two cutters from overseas to
join HMC Vigilant which is
already in the area, the home
secretary pledged:
■ Better co-operation between French and UK law
enforcement agencies.
■ More work on disrupting
attempts to cross the Channel “both directly but also in
more covert ways”.
■ T h e G o ve r n m e n t w a s
doing “everything we can” to
ensure migrants are returned to France where possible.
But the Home Secretary
acknowledged that if Border
Force vessels pick up migrants in British waters,
they would be taken to port
Curtis said he knew something was wrong with his leg
when he was unable to put
pressure on it as he tried to
walk. The dancer said he
hopes an operation can correct any damage to his knee
without complications, adding: “There’s a chance my
dancing career is over.”
Police told the paper a
20-year-old man had been
arrested and released under
investigation.
AJ Pritchard: ‘Curtis risked his
own career to save mine.’
Day-trippers face levy for
cost of maintaining Venice
Police and Border Force agents by a empty dinghy on the beach
at Lydd-on-Sea in Kent after a group of suspected migrants were
detained by police on the beach.
Picture: PA
in Britain.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes warned just
days ago that deploying additional craft could act as a
“magnet” for migrants by encouraging them to risk the
crossing.
Mr Javid acknowledged
there was a “balance to be
struck” in the patrolling.
Speaking after a meeting
with senior officials from the
National Crime Agency and
Border Force, he said: “It’s
both about protecting
human life but also about
protecting our borders.”
A measure in Italy’s 2019
budget law will allow the
local government in Venice
to charge day-trippers for access to the city’s historic
centre as a way to help defray the considerable costs of
maintaining a popular tourist destination built on
water, the mayor said.
Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter that the
n e w v i s i t o r s ’ t a x wo u l d
“allow us to manage the city
better and to keep it clean”
and “allow Venetians to live
with more decorum”.
The City Council will be
responsible for setting the
charge and determining the
collection method.
The mayor’s office said it
would vary from €2.50 to €10
per person, with exemptions
for students, people travel-
ling briefly to Venice for
work or business and regional residents.
Officials estimate that as
many as 30 million people
visit Venice each year, with
about one-fifth spending at
least one night in the historic
centre of the city, which excludes islands in the lagoon
and a mainland.
Mr Brugnaro said the substantial cost of cleaning and
maintaining security has so
far been paid “only by Venetians”.
Many natives have been
forced to the mainland due to
the high cost of living, and
the huge influx of tourist
also from cruise ships has
contributed to wear and tear
on the architecture, which
also endures frequent flooding caused by high winds.
12
Opinion
Established 1841
A year of pigs and posters
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
Rees-Mogg makes global headlines
and Leo conquers the Universe
Two pivotal I
votes remain
possibilities
This year — welcome 2019 — closes the 12-year cycle of the
Chinese zodiac designations making this the year of the pig.
We know 2019 will be a year of many important elections or
referendums. It will be as much the year of the election poster
as it will be the year of the porker — which opens the door for
the most obvious of puns.
That process, one that can be as flawed as humanity, has
begun. In Bangladesh in recent days prime minister Sheikh
Hasina’s alliance won a thumping majority, securing her a
third straight term following a poll which her opponents say
was rigged. The win consolidated Hasina’s decade-long rule
during which she was credited with improving the economy
and promoting development. Naturally, there is a downside.
She has been accused of flagrant human rights abuses, a
media crackdown and suppressing dissent, charges she
unsurprisingly rejects. A similar saga is unfolding in one of
the world’s very poorest countries — the Democratic Republic of Congo voted on Sunday to find a successor to long-serving president Joseph Kabila after a fraught campaign marred
by crackdowns and disruptions. The president, in power for
almost 18 years, cannot run for a third term.
Four years ago, 863,500,000 people voted in India’s general
election. That led to Narendra Modi becoming prime minister
and his BJP winning a majority of 282 seats. That process is to
be repeated in April and May in the world’s largest democracy. At the other end of that spectrum, though no less important, parliamentary elections will be held in Andorra in
April to fill all 28 seats of the general council.
Even though there are around 100 national elections scheduled, South Africa’s seems of particular significance. This
will be the sixth election there since the end of apartheid. The
pressure created by unfulfilled promises to tackle poverty
seems to be coming to a boiling point, as issues around land
ownership show all so sharply. Almost a quarter century of
self-governance have not had the impact hoped for. Millions
remain impoverished. The dream of a free, stable South Africa has been dashed by corruption and ineptitude. These
crossroad elections may be the most important since Nelson
Mandela’s 27 years in prison ended in 1990. What should have
been an exemplary post-colonial country may yet become another Zimbabwe — what a tragedy that would be.
In May, some 500m people will elect a new European parliament — the first without British representation since 1970. In
February, the parliament cut the number of MEPs from 751 to
705 because of Brexit. A review which reallocated some of the
UK’s 73 seats gave Ireland two extra seats, bringing our representation to 13. Ireland’s EU election will be held on May 24
as will local elections where it will be interesting to see if
boundary changes have any real impact. Though all of these
elections are important the two most important, from an
Irish perspective, remain theoretical. A general election is
not anticipated in 2019 but, events, dear boy, events may intrude. A second Brexit referendum may well be desirable but
one remains uncertain or even unlikely.
So, a year of pigs and posters — Happy New Year!
Sowing the seeds of change
A modest but
powerful move
One of the shameless and all-so-revealing dodges used by
Irish businesses, whose balance sheets might be constrained
by a more responsible, by a more honest response to climate
collapse, is that this is a small country that can’t really do
much to turn the climate change tide.
We are so very small, goes the drive-on-regardless argument, that there is nothing we could do that would have a global impact. That, like all Ponzi schemes, seems plausible at
first glance but when reality intervenes — as in the fact that
the world is made up of many small countries — it is seen for
the swizz it really is. Many small countries working together
can achieve great things.
Another self-serving argument offered by those unwilling
to face reality is that there is little or nothing an individual
can do to avert climate collapse. Not so, meet Orla Farrell,
who has, for two decades used trees to educate children about
their place in the world and their obligations to it. She has retired early and, in conjunction with Crann — Trees for Ireland and progressive local authorities, she intends to get
every one of Ireland’s one million schoolchildren to plant a
tree over five years. Inspired by Kenyan Noble laureate Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement, and German schoolboy, Felix Finkbeiner, who has planted 15bn
trees, this project is both practical and inspirational. Yes, it is
possible to confront climate change, one small step at a time. .
Record passport year
The new Irish
One of the unintended consequences of the Brexit vote was
that 200,000 Irish passport applications were received from
Britain this year. The number from England, Scotland and
Wales was up by more than a fifth compared to 2017. Out of
the passport applications received this year, 84,855 came from
Northern Ireland and 98,544 applications were received from
Great Britain. These figures represent an increase of 2% and
22% respectively making 2018 a record-breaking year. A total
of 822,581 travel documents were issued.
That was not the only céad míle fáilte metric to shine
brightly last year.
Over 10,000 people were granted Irish citizenship in 2018.
Justice and Equality Minister Charlie Flanagan announced
that 10,158 people — including 3,136 children — got citizenship in 2018. The figures bring the number of new Irish
citizens welcomed since the introduction of citizenship ceremonies in 2011 to over 120,000. Another swing inspired by
that vote is that the number of UK nationals obtaining Irish
citizenship increased from 41 in 2015 to 665 in 2018.
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WAS really tempted to start
off 2019 with a load of rugby
predictions. Was I not the first
one, after all, to predict this
time last year that Ireland would
win the Grand Slam in Twickenham — something we had never
done before in our history?
And of course, for anyone
passionate about the game of
rugby, 2019 is really the biggest
year of all. But I’m not going to
burden our rugby team with my
amateur expertise this year. We’re
away three times and home twice
in the Six Nations, and our last
match will be played to the strains
of Land of my Fathers in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
I won’t even make a prediction
about the World Cup, except one. At
breakfast time on November 2 next,
I will be ensconced in front of the
telly, tea and toast at the ready, as
the Rugby World Cup final kicks
off. And I’ll be wearing green.
So, no expectations, no unrealistic ambitions, no foolish high
hopes. I’ll just be on tenterhooks,
all year long.
But I know you hang on my every
word at this time of year, waiting
for my unerring insights into what
is likely to unfold throughout 2019.
Since, in all probability, this is
likely to be the most unpredictable
year in recent memory (and that’s
saying something), I’m not going to
encourage you to take out any bets
on these predictions. But in the
world we’re living in, you never
know!
■ January: There is consternation
in Dublin and London when Jacob
Rees-Mogg holds a press conference to announce that he has solved
the Irish question. He has published a private member’s bill in
the House of Commons to re-enact
the Act of Union of 1800. “This will
eliminate the need for any border
on the island of Ireland,” he explains, “by reintegrating those ungrateful Irish back into Her Majesty’s dominion”.
■ February: Rees-Mogg abandons
his bill when he is offered the post
of secretary of state for trade in a
Theresa May reshuffle. On his
third day in the job, he flies to Ulan
Bator, and holds a press conference
in the presidential yurt. To cement
Britain’s first trade deal with Mongolia, he announces an order for
100 tons of aaruul, in useful family
size blocks. “It’s made from curdled
milk that is rehydrated and dried,”
he explains. “It never goes bad and
it’s very good for your teeth.”
■ March: Tension mounts
throughout Europe as the deadline
for British withdrawal looms, with
no prospect of an agreement. At the
last minute, Theresa May announces that to avoid further confusion, she is rushing a bill through
the Commons to postpone departure. At the same time Fifa announces that Britain has been
awarded the next World Cup in 2022
instead of Qatar, and that Brexit
will only happen if Britain fail to
(But seriously
“
this year) let’s hope
we might finally
begin to see a turn
in homelessness
crisis
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg:
Will he solve the Irish question this
month? Fergus Finlay makes his
predictions... Picture: Victoria Jones/PA
Fergus
Finlay
win it. All sides insist that no bribery took place.
■ April: With the international
situation defused by Fifa’s gesture,
preparations begin at home for the
local and European elections. Peter
Casey announces that after long
and careful consideration he has
decided to form a new party. It will
be called WYHY — the “Whatever
You’re Having Yourself” party —
and will run candidates for Europe
and local councils. Everyone who
was ever associated in any way,
shape or form with the Dragons’
Den programme immediately
denies they are joining WYHY.
■ May: Despite, as he says himself,
not having a racist bone in his
body, Casey runs a barnstorming
campaign throughout the country,
on the slogan “Ireland for the Irish
and no special treatment for the
ethnics”. He just fails to get elected
to the European parliament, despite giving 174 media interviews,
but declares that getting two
WYHY councillors elected is a
triumph. “I can’t remember their
names,” he says, “but they’re a
strong foundation for the future.”
■ June: The United States govern-
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ment shutdown enters its sixth
month. Schools announce they will
not be reopening in the autumn,
and there is a constant flood of ambulances carrying sick people
across the border to Mexico for
medical treatment. President
Trump announces that it’s all the
Democrats’ fault because they
won’t agree to pay for adequate
border security.
■ July: The shutdown is ended
after Democrats and Trump agree
to build a white picket fence, with
gates every hundred yards, the entire length of the Mexican border.
“This is what I’ve always wanted,”
Trump says. There is some confusion among his most fervent supporters when it is revealed that the
fence will be 4ft high, but Trump
tweets that it will be the best picket
Letters to the editor
@irishexaminer
fence in the world.
■ August: As Ireland basks in 30
degree temperatures, with the experts predicting that this is the future, plans are announced to cover
the banks of the Shannon, from
Roscommon down to Limerick,
with vineyards. Diageo and the
government will be co-owners of
the project. Diageo are confident
that wine exports will soon rival
those of Guinness. But the Taoiseach is adamant that he wants
every household in the country
to be able to develop an appreciation for a good Cabernet Sauvignon.
■ September: Celebrations erupt
around the country when it is announced that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has won the Mr Universe world
championship in Las Vegas. “I only
entered as a joke,” he says shyly.
However, his unique poses and
spins so impressed the judges that
he was an easy winner of the worldfamous body building contest, now
known as Mr Olympia.
■ October: Having beaten Gibraltar twice, and had some other results we’d prefer not to talk about,
the Irish football team faces Geor-
www.irishexaminer.com
gia and Switzerland in make-orbreak fixtures away from home.
Three minibuses carrying the last
remaining Irish supporters are in
loyal attendance. The FAI deny
paying supporters to travel. “We
just paid for the free buses,” a
spokesman says.
■ November: There is keen anticipation in the run-up to the Budget
about whether the Government
will respond to the challenge of climate change. Minister Donohue
announces a major subsidy for
farmers willing to feed Carrageen
Moss to their cattle, because as he
explains it will significantly reduce
their methane emissions. “We’re
determined to make Ireland a
world leader in seaweed,” he tells
reporters.
■ December: Although we are still
more than a year away from a proposed election, it is noticed that
pensioners (who always vote in
huge numbers) have all been given
free mobile phones in the weeks
after the budget. Fianna Fáil denounce the measure as a cynical
ploy. A party spokesperson says
that it had been FF’s intention, if
elected, to award every pensioner a
free two-week holiday instead, as a
responsible measure to strengthen
the tourist sector further.
Apart from all that, it would be
wonderful to think that this year
we might finally begin to see a turn
in the homelessness crisis that has
caused so much hardship for
families and children in the recent
past. And maybe finally 2019 will be
the year in which we start to take
things like real accountability seriously. But whatever happens, I
hope you and your families have a
happy and peaceful New Year.
/irishexaminer
The Irish Examiner, Linn Dubh, Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork. 021-4272722, fax 021-4275477, letters@examiner.ie
We need to
step back
from military
glorification
Ireland should withdraw from
involvement in the EU/Nato army —
“As a nation we box above our
weight.”
Dan Harvey Lt Col (retired) uses this
worn-out cliché in the opening
sentence of his letter (Irish Examiner,
December 28). How does anybody
know this to be a fact; how is “boxing
above weight” measured? Countries
across the world also have star
performers in many disciplines; are
those nations also “boxing above their
weight”? He continues using another
cliché term: “Our small nation, with its
big heart, rises to the great occasions
and shines”. Big heart? Viewing
Ireland with rose coloured glasses?
Has anybody noticed the “big heart”
of Irish motorists racing past old ladies
trying to get into the traffic at road
intersections?
He goes on to eulogise the Irish
serving in the military, those who have
been deployed and continue to serve
with the United Nations. Those in the
non-conscripted Irish military
volunteer for UN assignments do so,
not for a high moral reason, but for
personal fulfilment, double pay,
adventure and enhanced promotion
prospects. They are not motivated by,
“holding the line for peace, holding
the line for stability, holding the line
that ordinary people can live normal
lives in dignity. De-escalating the
conflicts, providing the space for
peace, allowing the context for cooler
heads to prevail, that honourable
settlements and common-sense
compromises may be reached,
that will allow the peoples of the
mission areas a taste of the liberties
we enjoy every day and take for
granted here in Ireland and the
European Union”.
There are those who do not identify
with “liberties we enjoy every day... ”
There are those who judge Ireland to
be a vassal State of autocratic
governance by prominently unelected
old men of a pseudo-EU empire who
cannot be removed from office. There
are those who believe the UN is used
as a battering ram for the principal
economic powers of the world, that
the UN takes sides in conflicts to suit
marauding empires. There are those
in Ireland who believe Shannon airport
should not be used as a base for UN/
Nato bombing of Middle-East and
Oriental populations.
Let’s hope 2019 will be a year Ireland
will step back from the glorification of
the military, retreat from getting
entrenched in the EU/Nato army. For
the sake of the common good, the
people of Ireland should dismiss the
EU militarisation. Taoiseach Varadkar
should publicly retract his promise to
increase annual military spending
from currently €900m to €3bn. That
amount would be better spent on
resolving the housing and health
service crises.
Joe Terry
Tower
Blarney
Co Cork
What of Government
moral responsibility?
I agree with minister for state for older
people Jim Daly when he says that
there is a need for single residential
units within the community, especially
for those who are living in isolated
areas. This need has become greater
in recent years. He gives an example
from Naas where the Sisters of Mercy
converted the old convent building.
Long before the Naas centre, Sr
Celestine and the Mercy Sisters in
Charleville provided such
accommodation and services on their
own property. I believe that many
would welcome such projects and the
will is there if the project is
approached in the correct manner.
I would suggest to Mr Daly that in his
role as a government minister he
communicate directly with religious
orders, parishes and community
groups and formulate a plan. But then
again that kind of politics is hard work
and does not make headlines.
I also found it ironic that Mr Daly
would take such moral high ground on
the issue, saying the Church had a
‘moral duty’. He is part of a
government whose policies have
led to people on medical cards being
kept waiting for essential treatments,
where we have record numbers of
homeless, having huge numbers of
sick people on trolleys in hospitals
and developers hoaring zoned
building land until they can make a
bigger profit.
I would like to remind Mr Daly that the
moral compass turns 360 degrees
and may I suggest that he and his
party put their heads together and
work out a policy that address their
moral responsibility on this issue
which is of their own making.
looks forward to possibly a new
beginning and better times ahead. It is
this quirk of the human psyche that
brings us through difficult times. If we
didn’t have this in us we would all
capitulate at the slightest setback we
encounter along the way.
To everyone who has struggled in
2018, whatever the circumstances, I
wish them happiness for the year
ahead. We know not what joys await
us in 2019.
Fr Tim Hazelwood
Killeagh
Co Cork
Is it not time, in the event a person is
found to be driving a vehicle on a
public road, without motor insurance,
the vehicle be seized, and forfeit? The
vehicle could either be sold at auction
or scrapped.
Why should people be allowed retain
vehicles under these circumstances?
If an uninsured driver is involved in an
accident resulting in death or personal
injury then the taxpayer is forced to
“pay” through the Motor Insurers
Bureau of Ireland.
Give the Gardaí authority to seize,
impound, sell or destroy any
uninsured vehicle.
Buffoonery we
could do without
I refer to Robert Sullivan’s “silly illinformed” letter (December 6),
refuting climate change and in
particular David Attenborough’s
recent scientifically based comments,
in Poland. Initially, I thought I was
reading some of Donald Trump’s
audacious twitters, such was the
impudence and disregard for the
esteemed Mr Attenborough, on such
matters.
Such “mockery and buffoonery” on
this critical world issue serves little
purpose – unless you are in the
farcical mode. Perhaps Mr Sullivan, in
between his busy corresponding life,
might find time to further engage with
fakenewswhitehouse.com.
Vince Dullea
Clonakilty
Co Cork
Here’s to new year,
to all optimists
There is something special about New
Year’s Eve. We bid goodbye to one
year and welcome in a new one. No
matter how bad we feel a year has
gone for us, the eternal optimist in us
Tommy Roddy
Lower Salthill
Galway
No insurance?
Impound the car
Michael A Moriarty
Rochestown
Cork
‘Tis the season for
wanton excess
Is it time to stop the wanton
consumerism of Christmas? Fearing
to sound like Ebenezer Scrooge in this
175th anniversary year of the
publication of Charles Dickens’
A Christmas Carol am I alone in
feeling nauseated by the sheer
wastefulness?
Seeing bins bulging with perfectly
reusable food and gifts in the wake of
Christmas prompts me to ask, should
there be collections in the days after
Christmas locally and nationally of
unwanted goods, foodstuff and gifts
so that such materials can be utilised?
Might I also advocate the return of the
pig swill bin-man to collect reusable
food waste. Why are we sending quite
reusable food waste to landfill?
Christmas has become the season of
wanton excess and greed.
It seems that very little has changed
since Charles Dickens the tale. The
greed and gluttony remain rife.
Perhaps we need to return to the real
Christmas sentiments of love and
charity where we can all be happy and
rejoice in the Midwinter darkness.
Paul Horan
Assistant professor
Trinity College
Dublin
Gerry West
I want to find a long-lost friend from
Ballincollig, Co Cork — Gerry West. I
would be most grateful if you were
able to assist in any way at all.
I am 60 years old and would put Gerry
somewhere around 70, I do hope you
can help as I am now unwell and
would love to see him sometime
soon.
Brendan Gallagher
Woodvale Mews
Eglinton
Co Derry BT47 3FE
0044 7752107835
Rugby lessons to
be learned
Some striking examples of aspects of
Gaelic culture were on display in
Thomond Park on Saturday. First we
had tribal warfare: the Pale versus the
natives with the men from Leinster
rushing headlong into the men from
Munster and yellow cards go
flúirseach. Then we had a foreigner
becoming more Irish than the Irish
themselves and earning a red card.
Such an encounter is an annual event
but with the improved fitness regimes
it is becoming more spectacular.
Hopefully, lessons have been learned,
and ar an am seo arís there will be no
yellows and reds.
Ted O’Keeffe
Ranelagh
D6
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Analysis
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
13
You don’t get balloons and congratulations when your baby is born as prematurely as ours
was, writes Conall Ó Fátharta. It’s so minute-by-minute people don’t know what to say
The smallest miracles
have the biggest effect
N
othing prepares you for being
the parent of a child born
extremely preterm. You simply
put life on hold, trust in medical science, and hope that your child
is strong enough and lucky enough to
survive.
My son Éanna is now just over two
years old. I look at him walking, running, talking, colouring, and I can
barely believe it. Every time he gives me
a hug I remember that he was once
small enough to fit in the palm of my
hand. The feeling I get when I see him
and hold him now is beyond words but I
feel it in the core of my being. It’s a love
that almost hurts.
Éanna was born on August 11, 2016.
He wasn’t due to arrive until 19 November, 2016. He arrived into the world at 25
weeks gestation and weighing just 790g
(1lb 11oz). He fitted into all the brackets
you don’t want to be born in — extremely preterm and extremely low
birth weight.
I had about 12 hours notice that my
child was going to arrive long before we
had planned. My partner Bláithín had
early pre-eclampsia, which deteriorated rapidly the night before Éanna
was born.
I was at home when Cork University
Maternity Hospital called me to come
in. Bláithín was in the high dependency
unit. The staff was struggling to control
her blood pressure. There were a lot of
people in the room. A consultant told
me that it would not take much change
in her condition for staff to deliver the
baby that night but that the hope was to
do it in the morning. One way or another, I was told, this baby will be arriving on the following day.
That night I signed a lot of forms. We
were told about the obvious risks associated with a child being born this
early. We were told that the child may
not survive.
Truthfully, I was more worried about
Bláithín than my unborn child. All I
wanted was for her to be OK. I slept in
the car.
I was present for Éanna’s birth but
saw nothing. It’s not a happy memory. I
sat outside gowned up and was told I
may or may not be called in for the
birth. It is perhaps the only time in my
life where I felt genuine terror and
panic. I thought of everything that
could go wrong. I thought about losing
Bláithín.
The delivery was marked by silence.
The room was full of people — most of
whom I never saw as they were behind a
large screen. Everyone spoke in low,
hushed, and serious tones. I wanted
someone to say something. Children
born at that gestation don’t cry. They
don’t make a sound. I only knew Éanna
had been born when a woman in surgical mask poked her head around the
corner, touched my arm and asked me
had anyone told whether it was a boy or
a girl.
The first time I saw Éanna was about
30 seconds later as he was rushed to the
neonatal intensive care unit. I briefly
was permitted to touch him lightly.
People talk about the love you feel
when you first see your child. At that
moment, my emotion was not love, but
fear. He frightened me. He was so small
I could barely process his existence at
that moment.
A man told me his weight was good
for a baby of his gestation. This man
Blaithin Kiernan and Conall Ó Fátharta with their son Éanna at their home in Cobh, Co Cork, at Christmas 2016.
Not only did the
“
staff care for my son
with a love that has
to be seen to be
understood, they also
cared for us. They fed
us, counselled us,
dealt with our moods
and our tears
would be our consultant for the next
two and a half years.
He saw both Bláithín and me later
that day and took us through what to
expect. I was full of questions but he
had no hard and fast answers.
He told me Éanna had had a good first
hour and that’s where we are for now.
Hour by hour. Hopefully, we would get
to day by day, then week by week. It
remains the best advice I could give to
anyone going this experience. You
simply have to live day by day.
I sent my sister a text: “I’m just worried that we will get through it all OK.
It’s day by day really.”
Premature babies usually have a
good start but it was the following few
days that things change. He also told me
the survival rate for a child born at 25
weeks was between 60% and 70%.
I saw Éanna for the first time just
over three hours later. I didn’t get to
hold him until five weeks later. I was
petrified. Even watching what was
involved in taking him out to hold was
a nerve-wracking experience.
Our lives revolved around routine. I
went to the hospital, then to work, back
to the hospital at lunchtime, back to
work, back to the hospital after work,
then home and to bed. This was life for
months on end. I slept like a log. It was
the one release from the worry and
pressure which dominated every minute of every day.
Éanna was in the hospital for 116
days. He was in intensive care for eight
weeks.
In that time, he was on and off a ventilator three times, had a blood transfusion, a lumbar puncture and all
manner of other medical interventions
most of us never experience in a lifetime.
He stopped breathing in my arms and
had to be bagged to be brought around.
We had phone calls in the middle of the
Picture: Dan Linehan
night to say he had to be intubated after
having a setback.
We lived for consultants rounds,
which happened twice a day, every day.
If the consultant was happy, your day
was made. If there was a problem, it
consumed you.
Weight checks happened on a Sunday
and a Thursday. Every weight gain was
a huge boost.
We had a lot of bad days but also good
days. The day we left intensive care, the
day he came out of an incubator and
into a cot where we could hold him, the
days his oxygen requirements were, the
day his lines were removed, the day his
feeding tube came out.
We were the lucky ones. So many
things can go wrong when a child is
born very early. Éanna managed to
walk that fine line and come through
the other side. In our time in the CUMH
neonatal unit, others were not so lucky.
Their children didn’t make it home.
You don’t get balloons and congratulations when your baby is born as early
as Éanna was. People don’t know what
to say. Those moments came for us
when Éanna came home with us on
December 2, 2016.
I don’t really have the words for what
Blaithín and I owe the staff at CUMH —
everything. Our health service often
takes a beating in the media. During our
journey, not only did the staff care for
my son with a level of love that has to be
seen to be understood, but they also
cared for us. They fed us, counselled us,
dealt with our good moods, bad moods,
and our tears.
Éanna is now a happy-go-lucky two
year old and full of life. Just a few weeks
ago, on November 28, we were finally
signed off by our consultant.
I simply shook his hand and said:
“Thank you for everything.”
It seemed too small a sentiment but
the right one.
Trump’s America First policy means Syria will come last
N
O Middle East conflict is as
complex as the one raging in
Syria. The fight involves a government that is antithetical to
Western values and a Sunni extremist
insurgency that at one point captured
the borderlands between Syria and Iraq
and fought all the way to the gates of
Baghdad.
The stakes of the war are so high that
a varied cast of foreign actors, including
Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Hezbollah,
have all been drawn in.
But there are actually numerous
wars being fought in Syria.
One struggle, waged against the Islamic State (ISIS), is well known to the
public.
Less understood is the war to succeed
the House of Assad, which has ruled the
country as a secular dynasty for almost
50 years.
A third conflict involves northern
Syria’s Kurds, who joined with the
United States to fight ISIS but whose efforts have stoked fear among Turkish
leaders that the aspirations of Syria’s
Kurdish population could embolden the
Kurds in Turkey.
Now add to this many-sided conflict a
US president who is uncomfortable
with nuance or detail. Donald Trump
neither possesses an internationalist
mindset nor grasps the message that
American power conveys.
But while Mr Trump could have been
forgiven for arguing that America’s
only interest in Syria was the defeat of
ISIS, his recent decision to withdraw all
US forces — which he justified with an
erroneous declaration of victory — is
inexcusable.
Mr Trump’s decision will embolden
President Bashar al-Assad, whose rule
has been catastrophic for Syria.
Mr Assad has consistently shown an
The US withdrawal
from Syria is being
ordered unilaterally by
a president
who clearly
has no idea
what he is
doing, writes
Christopher R Hill
inability to navigate the complexities of
the crisis, including the rapid urbanisation, and subsequent radicalisation,
of rural Sunnis displaced by climate
change; the incubation of radicalised
Sunnis in neighbouring Iraq amid the
consolidation of Shia political power in
Baghdad; and the growth of Kurdish
nationalist sentiment in the region.
But Mr Assad did know whom to call
to maintain his grip on power, and the
infusion of Russian, Iranian, and regional Shia groups was enough to turn
the tide in his favour.
That has given his regime a new lease
of life in a region not accustomed to giving leaders second chances.
And yet, Mr Assad, like the French
Bourbons, seems to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing during his
18 years in power, and is unlikely to
consolidate his victory by introducing
the federalised, decentralised structures needed to govern Syria effectively.
US policy in Syria, the policy that Mr
Trump campaigned against and has
now officially abandoned, has long
rested on two pillars: stability in Iraq
and the defeat of ISIS.
Under President Barack Obama, and
then briefly under Mr Trump, US forces
worked with local fighters to bring ISIS
to heel. But, contrary to Mr Trump’s
claims, ISIS is neither defeated nor
dead; absent viable institutions and
stable political arrangements in Syria,
the group is likely to return in some
form.
Rather than acting unilaterally, as he
apparently did, Mr Trump should have
been asking his foreign policy team for
clarification on a number of thorny
questions.
What endgame should the US be seeking in Syria?
Given Mr Assad’s support from Russia, Iran, and Turkey (whose interests
in Syria are hardly trivial), how likely
US military vehicles in Manbij, Syria. Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops will leave
Manbij residents dreading an attack by Turkey.
Picture: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
is his departure?
What political solutions are possible?
Is an election feasible or desirable in
a context devoid of functioning institutions?
But even posing these simple ques-
tions — which admittedly have no easy
answers — seemed beyond Mr Trump’s
ability and range of experience.
Instead of asking anything, Mr
Trump chose to declare victory and
leave.
That decision, and the expected withdrawal from Afghanistan and perhaps
elsewhere, fits a familiar pattern:
America’s engagements with the world
are too often guided by a premature belief that the objective has been achieved.
But the withdrawal from Syria is
more notable — and may be more damaging — than most, because it is being
ordered by a US president who clearly
has no idea what he is doing, and who is
incapable of gauging his actions against
the lessons of history.
Facts are not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom, but in Mr Trump’s
worldview, there is simply no room for
the idea that history can both inform
and repeat, or for the connections
among many of the world’s most pressing security challenges, whether Syria,
Russia, or Iran.
Typically, US foreign policy is viewed
as a proxy not only for the president’s
toughness, but also for his responsibility to use all resources at his disposal to
grapple with matters of state and
national security that the public may
not see.
But with Mr Trump, there is none of
that. The bluster and blunders that
have become visible to all are as
thoughtful and strategic as it gets.
■ Christopher R Hill, former US Assistant
Secretary of State for East Asia, is Chief
Adviser to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in
Diplomacy at the University of Denver, and
the author of Outpost.
www.project-syndicate.org.
14
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
ARTS
www.irishexaminer.com
Edited by Des O’Driscoll
Ten films
for 2019
1
The Favourite
Released today
Director Yorgos Lanthimos
makes a leap backward from The
Killing Of A Sacred Deer in a
period tale of intrigue and sex set in
the 18th century court of Queen
Anne. The cast to die for includes
Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and
Olivia Colman in an era when
England is at war with the French,
duck racing was a popular pastime
and pineapples were the ultimate
pleasure. All is well until a new
servant with lofty ambitions sets
queen and country at odds. Produced
by Irish company Element Pictures.
2
Stan & Ollie
January 11
Set in 1953, and charting the UK
and Ireland tour (including the
visit to Cobh and Cork) of the
famous comedy duo, vainly trying to
revive their careers to half-empty
theatres. Steve Coogan and John C
Reilly are perfectly cast as the
complex double act who owned the
movies until WWII, only to see their
popularity dwindle through petty
infighting and the public’s changed
taste. Written by Jeff Pope and directed by Jon S Baird, the film details
the ghastly drudgery of their provincial tour, and the age-old rivalry that
bubbled to boiling point. Shirley
Henderson and Nina Arianda as the
pair’s wives, Lucille and Ida, steal
every scene they’re in.
3
The Upside
January 11
A remake of the 2011 French
hit, The Intouchables, where a
quadriplegic billionaire hires
an ex-convict to be his daily helper.
Limitless director Neil Burger takes
the reins with Bryan Cranston and
Kevin Hart providing the bromance
chemistry. While it didn’t exactly
bring the house down at the recent
Toronto Film Festival, it still
deserves a viewing given the cast,
which also includes Nicole Kidman
and Julianna Margulies.
New instalments
of Star Wars and
Toy Story are
among this
year’s crop
of eagerlyanticipated
movies, writes
John Daly
The film received a lasting blast of
dubious publicity when Mortensen
used the ‘N’ word repeatedly on a
premiere press junket to highlight
how the epithet was casually used
during that time period.
5
Captain Marvel
March 8
Things aren’t looking great for
the Avengers after the carnage
unleashed by Thanos in
Infinity War — so what better time
for a some female pyrotechnics to
even the score. Set in the 1990s, this
latest Marvel Comic episode introduces Brie Larson as Carol Danvers,
the Air Force pilot with all kinds of
super powers. Co-directors Anna
Boden and Ryan Fleck take the helm,
with Jude Law, Samuel L Jackson
and Annette Benning rounding out
the cast.
4
Green Book
February 1
Peter Farrelly, one half of the
sibling duo who wrote and
directed the likes of There’s
Something About Mary turns his
back on gross-out comedy for this
true tale of Tony Lip, a doorman at
the legendary Copacabana Club who
struck up a friendship with AfricanAmerican pianist Don Shirley and
became his chauffeur around the
Deep South in an era when race
relations were at their worst. Viggo
Mortensen and Mahershala Ali take
the lead roles in a story scripted by
Nick Vallelonga, the son of Tony Lip.
6
Greyhound
March 22
Based on the book, The Good
Shepherd, by CS Forester, this
WWII actioner sees Tom Hanks
once again putting on a military
uniform, as he did in 1998’s Saving
Private Ryan. Bolstered with a cast
that includes Elisabeth Shue,
Stephen Graham and Lee Norris,
Hanks plays the commander of the
naval ship, Greyhound, which was
relentlessly chased by German Uboats during the desperate Atlantic
crossings. Expect serious action from
director Aaron Schneider, who won
an Oscar for Best Live Action Short
in 2003. Hanks also scripted the film.
7
Wild Rose
April 19
Killarney born Jessie Buckley
seems destined to take her
burgeoning acting career to
another level in 2019 with a number
of film projects due for release during
the year — especially this inspirational fairytale about a Glasgow
petty thief who dreams of becoming a
major Nashville singing sensation.
Directed by Tom Harper and scripted
by Nicole Taylor, the film has ‘crowd
pleaser’ written all over it and seems
a just reward for RADA graduate
Buckley, and her whole-hearted
dedication to an entertainment
career since coming second in the
I’ll Do Anything television talent
show in 2008.
8
Toy Story 4
June 21
Hollywood has never been shy
about messing with a classic,
and those of us who thought the
last film ended the series perfectly
were obviously mistaken. Creator
John Lasseter said that Pixar would
only make a fourth movie if it was
“just as good as or better than the
previous three in the franchise,” so
who knows what’s in store. Tom
Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack and
the gang have all signed up again for
this latest voyage ‘to infinity and
beyond.’
9
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly in Stan &
Ollie, due for release on January 11.
The long-awaited Toy Story 4 looks set for release in June; below, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in Green Book; Domhnall Gleeson is
due to return in the next instalment of Star Wars in December.
The Lion King
July 19
James Earl Jones as King
Mufasa, Donal Glover as
Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, and
Seth Rogan as Pumbaa? Stand aside
and let me first in the queue. Director
Jon Favreau’s live action reboot of
this modern Disney classic journeys
once again to Pride Rock and the
battle for royal succession that’s
pretty much like The Crown — except
with a furry mane. Hans Zimmer and
Elton John reprise their respective
roles as composer and songwriter
from the 1994 animated original,
though this reviewer is sad to see that
Jeremy Irons lost his part as Scar to
Chiwetel Ejiofor this time round.
10
Star Wars: Episode IX
December 19
So where do you go after
the majesty of Skellig
Michael? Such will be the
focus of the next episode of this space
opera written and directed by JJ
Abrams. Stars Adam Driver, Daisy
Ridley and Domhnall Gleeson will
once again don the galactic garb for
what will be the third and final
instalment of the Star Wars sequel
trilogy and the ninth and final
instalment of the Star Wars Skywalker saga.
The plot, as always, is wrapped
tighter than the third secret of
Fatima, but one thing is sure — it’ll
be huge.
Bright days as Irish films happy to do Sundance
The year ahead is also shaping up as a
particularly good 12 months for Irish
films, with five featuring at this year’s
prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
Screening at the famous Park City,
Utah location from January 2
t o Fe b r u a r y 3, th e l i ne -u p
includes: Lee Cronin’s The
Hole in the Ground, starring
Seana Kerslake, right; two
international co-productions,
Sophie Hyde’s Animals and
S a c h a Po l a k ’ s D i r t y G o d ,
alongside two Irish documentaries, Garry Keane and
Andrew McConnell’s Gaza and
Kim Longinotto’s Shooting the
Mafia.
Chaste dreams of
future husbands
We have the
‘responsibility
not
to show them
for too long,
because they are
watercolours and
they will fade
The Crawford’s display of Harry Clarke’s paintings
includes Fiona Shaw’s reading of the Keats poem
that inspired them, writes Ellie O’Byrne
M
EDIEVAL tradition had it
that on the night of January
20, a special kind of magic
could happen.
Young women in England,
Scotland and parts of Ireland
believed they could dream of their
future husband if they observed
certain rituals and prayed to St
Agnes, the martyred patron saint of
the chaste.
In 1923, Harold Jacob of Jacob’s
biscuits commissioned the stainedglass artist Harry Clarke to produce
a window based on the 18th century
English poet John Keats’ romantic
poem ‘The Eve of St Agnes’ for his
father’s Dublin home.
Clarke, renowned for his feverish
work ethic and possibly already beset
by the tuberculosis that would claim
his life eight years later, completed
the window within a year. Months
after it was installed, he sold the
astonishingly beautiful watercolour
studies on which the window’s
panels were based to Cork’s
Crawford Art Gallery.
Clarke’s distinctive otherworldly
vision is visible in every pencilstroke beneath the blue-hued watercolour scenes, decorated with tiny
wintry sparks of white gouache that
add to the sense of fairy-tale as Keats’
heroine, Madeleine, first dreams of,
and is then awoken by, her lover
Porphyro following her prayers to
St Agnes.
The result is magical, and not only
because of the subject matter, says
exhibition curator Dr Michael
Waldron. The finished stained-glass
window is displayed in the Hugh
Lane Gallery in Dublin, but the
watercolours offer a rare glimpse at
Clarke’s process.
“He’s a much-loved artist and
people are drawn to him and his
sense of style, particularly in his
stained glass of course, but also his
book illustrations,” Waldron says.
“This series of 18 watercolours are
preparatory sketches and the detail in them is extraordinary, in
that there are pencil-marks
and little notes and figures
coming out of the corners.”
“It’s those little touches
that connect you to the artist
and that’s quite moving.”
The watercolours have been
on display to the public down
through the years, but this
exhibition, entitled Dreaming In
Blue: Harry Clarke Watercolours,
aims to unlock the narrative in
Clarke’s work: it’s accompanied by
an audio recording of celebrated
Cork actor Fiona Shaw reading
Keats’ 42-stanza poem.
Irish films have a good history at
Sundance, with many like Brooklyn, The
Lobster, Sing Street, and The Guard
h a v in g us ed it as a sp r i ng bo a r d to
greater things.
“The selection process is
one of the most competitive
in the world, so to have such
a strong line-up 2019 edition
festival is a fantastic
achievement for our indust r y, ” sa id Sc re en I r e l an d
chief executive James
Hickey.
“Two out of the 12 documentaries in the international
line-up, selected from all
over the world, are Irish.”
Some of Harry Clarke’s watercolours on display at the Crawford Art Gallery; inset, exhibition curator Michael Waldron.
Shaw, whose own portrait
is in the Crawford’s collection, was a natural choice to
bring ‘The Eve of St Agnes’
alive for gallery visitors, Dr
Waldron says: “Fiona Shaw is not
only a national treasure, but a local
treasure as well. Her voice is wonderfully trained and she really understands how to tell the story.
“We asked her, and she said she’d
be delighted. She produced this
really wonderful recording which is
at once cold and warm: her voice has
both the crisp coolness of the night the
story is set on and the warmth of the
love story.”
In the adjacent second floor
screening room, the full-length
documentary Harry Clarke: Darkness
Into Light, which explores the life and
work of a man once described by the
writer George Russell as “one of the
strangest geniuses of his time”, is on
view.
Clarke was a prolific stained-glass
artist and book illustrator: his distinctive glass work can be seen in the
Honan Chapel in UCC and his highly
stylized illustrations of Edgar Allen
Poe, Faust and Hans Christian
Andersen for UK publishing house
Harrap are much beloved.
Dr Waldron, the gallery’s new
assistant curator of collections and
special projects, was partly inspired
by the National Galleries of Dublin,
London and Scotland’s annual January Turner Watercolours exhibition
in his idea to reimagine and exhibit
the Clarke watercolours, an event
which will form a part of the gallery’s
annual calendar.
“We really want to reveal things
about the collection that are muchloved but not always seen,” he says.
“But we have the responsibility not to
show them for too long, because they
are watercolours and they will fade,
so it is for conservation reasons too.”
On top of this, the exhibition’s timing, running from Christmas to St
Valentine’s Day and of course including St Agnes’ Eve itself, adds to the
magic and romance of Clarke’s
unique vision and Shaw’s reading.
“For me, storytelling is essential,”
Dr Waldron, whose PhD was on the
connection between English Literature and visual art, says. “Curating an
exhibition like this, there has to be a
train of thought and you have to speak
to a wide audience.”
“I think people are drawn to Harry
Clarke for his complexity. There’s
this exquisite, ethereal beauty; he invites you to come back again and
again.”
■ Dreaming In Blue: Harry Clarke
Watercolours runs until Feb 14 at the
Crawford Art Gallery Cork. For
information on upcoming tours with Dr
Waldron see www.crawfordartgallery.ie
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
@irishexaminer
15
/irishexaminer
www.irishexaminer.com
Editor: Esther N
McCarthy @estread
LIFE/STYLE
Tuesday, 1 January, 2019
Food waste/zero waste
LOUIS COPELAND: ‘FUNCTIONAL
TRAVEL COATS WILL BE KEY’
My motto in the kitchen has always
been “nothing goes in the bin”.
There will always be some form of
food waste — skins from vegetables,
scallop shells, egg shells, used coffee
grounds etc — but we try to minimise it
where possible. These could also be
used for compost which you could then
use to grow your own fruit and
vegetables, which is something we will
be looking at for next year at Glovers
Alley. We also only use whole animals
in Glovers Alley, so we have to use
every part of that animal for something.
At the moment we have whole sika
deer, Comeragh mountain lamb,
suckling pig, pigeon, and various game
including pheasant, partridge, and
hare. It’s amazing for the young chef on
the meat section who has to butchercook these animals every day.
Casualisation in the
workplace
wool in summer.
Men wearing “classic
suits” on a daily basis are
predominantly dying out
and their suits are now
more for client meetings
and events.
We a r e he lp in g me n
from all backgrounds
make that change while
s t i ll lo ok in g sm a r t an d
feeling comfortable.
Another key trend is funct i o n a l t r av el co a t s an d
bags.
Manufacturers are
using knowledge from the
sportswear industry and
applying it to coats for the
travelling businessman.
A great example of this
is UBR coats, started by
the former chief designer
from Helly Hansen. These
coats have a 4-way
s t r e t c h , th ey ’ r e su pe r
light, fully waterproof and
fully breathable.
Multifunctional pieces
The modern man needs to
buy “pieces” for his wardrobe that are multi-functional.
A good example of this
is the swacket (sweater &
jacket). You can pair this
w i t h je an s an d ch in os
which makes it extremely
versatile.
More pickling and fermentation
There’s already a huge interest in pickling and fermentation over the past few
years, with different brands of Kombucha on the market, kimchi, pickles,
tempeh, kefir, etc. I think the main idea
and focus will be to consume less processed foods in general.
Chef Andy McFadden:
‘2019 will be all about
zero waste’.
Vegetables and vegetable proteins
Denim or die
We will incorporate more plant-based
foods into our diet, such as wholegrains, sprouts, and seeds,
including for health reasons.
Vegetables will also become more
prominent on restaurant menus.
From ‘swackets’ to
seaweed, art to
armcuffs, Esther N
McCarthy asks
the experts to tap
into the trends we
should watch out
for in 2019
Nose-to-tail eating
The philosophy of using the whole
animal will also be applied to fish and
vegetables, which also makes the
food become more interesting and
furthermore comes back to the food
waste point.
Seaweed
More people will be eating seaweed. It
has some very diverse flavours, from
the almost spicy, peppery dulse to the
nutty wakame. It’s also very abundant
and readily available.
Every man needs a wellt a i l o r e d pa ir of je an s.
Throwaway denim always
seem like a clever purc h a s e bu t th ey a l wa ys
lack a professional fit and
don’t last. Tailored jeans
like Jacob Cohens will last
you for years and consistently feel great. Also, keep
an eye out for our new Richard J Brown jeans
coming next season.
Have coat, will travel
■ Louis Copeland & Sons
are synonymous with
men’s clothing and have
been in business since
1933, Louis Copeland recently launched Made of
Irish – a new website
showcasing the best of
Irish design and craft.
madeofirish.com
Knit news
Fine knitwear is key to
c o m p letin g a lo o k an d
can be used stylishly in
both winter and summer.
Make sure to get extra fine
Raw food
Raw foods will see a continued growth
in popularity as the lack of cooking
helps preserve nutrients.
MAIREAD DE BLÁCA: ‘LAYERING,
ARMCUFFS, AND FEATHERS’
Food provenance, healthy
convenience food, no more plastic,
better labelling
More people are becoming more aware
of where food comes from. We will see
more healthy and delicious- tasting
convenience food rather than stodgy
takeaways.
The war on single-use plastic will
gain even more traction. We will see
greater transparency around food labelling.
A wave of brooches, piles
of layering and a cornucopia of arm cuffs — here
are the jewellery trends I
spotted on the New York,
London, Milan, and Paris
Spring/Summer 2019 runways, that we all will be
wearing in no time.
■ Dublin-born chef Andy McFadden
trained alongside some of the most
respected chefs in the world, including
Shane Osborn, Sergio Herman, and
Ireland’s own Neven Maguire.
After graduating top of his class in Culinary
Arts from Tallaght Institute of Technology,
Andy moved to London, where he spent
six years working in a number of high-end
restaurants. At one point, Andy was the
youngest chef in London to hold a Michelin
star.
Andy opened Glovers Alley restaurant at
the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin, in February
2018, and he has gone on to win Best Chef
in Ireland and Best Chef in Dublin at the
2018 Food & Wine Awards, for his
signature modern French cooking.
■ www.gloversalley.ie
Trend
watch
ESTHER MCCARTHY: ‘BE PREPARED
TO GO CRAZY FOR CORAL’
Overshadowed in recent
s e a s o n s by s t a t em en t
earrings, bracelets are
back for 2019. You can
stack the arm above and
below the elbow or wear
them as carefully chosen
arty cuffs — and you’ll get
extra style points come
next season if you wear
them over sweaters.
Broach brooches
NATASHA ROCCA DEVINE: ‘GET READY TO STAGE AND STYLE’
I believe home styling and staging will be a key
trend in 2019. Akin to that of personal stylists,
people are becoming practical in their spending,
particularly in their home or office spaces, as
there are various options to save costs.
A staging or styling specialist is key to making
the best choices, short and long-term.
Art is the core essence to this style of design.
As a staging specialist, each project space I see
as a new ‘gallery’ to curate. So, my choices are
fundamental to the sale of the home for the agents
and clients I work with for my business. Particularly where there are large homes, or over various
floors, the art and sculpture can connect everything together.
The OK Coral
Brace yourselves: The Pantone colour of the year for
2019 is Living Coral 16-1546. So get ready for all
things aquatic to swim into your colour schemes.
Just peachy
Think soft and warm, peachy coral intertwined with
summer days, sunsets and tropical reefs. You are
going to see this seep into everything from the throw
on your sofa to the lipstick on in your make up bag.
From neon pops in accessories like bags and earrings
to neckties for the boys and goldfish lamps for the
bedrooms.
Statement art
In the shops now
Select one piece of art, ideally from an artist of
your choice, or one recommended, to create a
statement in key rooms in your home, office or
commercial space.
New Look have a coral pleated midi skirt, Next Ireland
are stocking kids coral fleecy jackets,River Island have
a cute coral bikini and Debenhams are carrying coral
chunky platforms by Faith. Pictured below are Eames
style dining armchairs by Danetti.
Library wall art
Place a variety of art on a feature wall using
different artists, frames, and styles. Like flowers,
hang them in threes or uneven numbers. Ideal for
halls, stairs, or feature walls. Also perfect for art
collectors or those with limited spaces.
The last word
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone
Color Institute, says: “Colour is an equalizing lens
through which we experience our natural and digital
realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral.
With consumers craving human interaction and social
connection, the heartening qualities displayed by the
convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.”
www.pantone.com
■ Esther N McCarthy compiles the WIshlist pages of
the Irish Examiner Property and Interiors magazine
Arm cuffs
Subdivide and conquer
Use art to subdivide a space. Ideal for open
plan offices or within larger homes. Choosing
different styles of art, placed with different
furniture, can create a variety of moods within one
space without adding walls or panels.
Bookshelf art
On a large open-facing bookshelf, invest in
beautiful books (eg by ROADS) along with your
p e r s o n a l co l l ec t i on . Co mb in ed w i th so me
sculptures or small paintings framed on a stand,
they can create a wonderful gallery and functional
effect, for homes or offices alike.
Art and light
Combine beautiful art and a similar style of
pendant or lamp (eg modern or vintage) on a
feature wall or space in your home or office. This
can be a very effective tool to highlight your art,
lighting and/or a specific space.
I used art from a project for RTÉ’s Find Me A
Home, where the art assisted in the 10% increase
of the sale price.
I chose a charcoal piece of art by Gay O’Neill
from The Open Window Gallery, Rathmines,
c o m b i n e d w i th a be sp ok e ta b l e f r om DU A
Studio (architects) along with Harvey Norman,
Ikea, Kitchenrespray.com and vintage pieces to
transform the space.
■ Natasha Rocca Devine: The Interiors NRD
specialises in staging for the real estate market.
See: theinteriorsnrd.com.
CARL D’ALTON: ‘MINDFUL DRINKING IS GOING TO COME TO THE FORE FOR CUSTOMERS’
Mind how you go
People have become much more
conscious of what we eat and
where our food comes from and I
see this crossing over into our
drinking habits. I think the concept of “mindful drinking” will be
a big trend this year. That is, not
just having any G&T, but picking
one based on where and how it
was made. Is it local? Does the
distillery have a sustainability
ethos?
Positive buzz
A n o t h e r ex am p l e of m i nd fu l
drinking is a project I worked on
when taking part in this year’s
World Class Global Finals. We
were tasked to not only come up
with a cocktail, but also to create
a community project around it.
M in e wa s an in i t ia t i ve ca l l ed
“BeePositive” which involved distributing wildflower seed bombs
every time a cocktail was sold to
help create wildflower havens for
our declining bee population.
Mindful drinking is drinking with a
positive purpose!
Ice, ice baby
Gin and bear it
Irish, naturally
Regarding spirits, gin will still be
king this year. As a nation, our
palates are becoming more discerning. We know what we like
and Irish gin seems to be it!
One tip for people throwing parties at home this year would be
this — stock up on ice! It’s the
most important ingredient in your
drink. Also don’t be afraid to experiment and blur the lines bet w e e n co ok in g an d m i x i ng a
drink. Try making your own syrups with your favourite flavours
and then combine them with your
favourite spirit.
At Cask, we pride ourselves on
producing four award-winning
menus every year and we’re not
going to stop! We let mother nat u r e d i c t a t e ou r in g r ed ie n t s,
which is a wonderful way for us to
learn to forage and also meet
some amazing people who know
so much about our island’s offerings — so this year, expect even
more natural Irish cocktails.
■ Carl D’Alton is the World Class
Irish Bartender of the Year 2018
and cocktail master at the multiaward-winning Cask bar on
Cork’s MacCurtain Street. He is a
core member of the bar team that
have a strict ethos of basing their
cocktails around the wild ingredients that grow locally, and have
built a reputation for producing
the most creative and innovative
drinks menus in Ireland.
■ www.caskcork.com
Apparently the 80s are
b a c k , or no s t a l g i a fo r
them is! With that nostalgia the brooch has
re-emerged. Lots of extralarge
o v e r- t h e - t o p
brooches were spotted on
the catwalks, but some
lovely polite brooches are
there for the less dramatic
of us, who don’t wish to
go back to the 80s.
Piles of layering
Lots of layering of necklaces, ideal for any
jewellery-lover. Large long
necklaces are being
mixed with shorter, lighter
pieces. Mixing and matching of different styles will
a l s o be a h i t, g i v i ng a
vintage allure.
Dig deep into your
wardrobe in 2019 and find
y o u r c l as s i c p i ec es to
c o m p l e t e yo ur v i n t ag e
look.
Feathers in many
colours
Feathers in lots of vibrant
colours are back. We saw
this western wind look on
the 2018 catwalks and it
appears this trend is
going nowhere.
Feathers
aplenty
a l i g n e d w i th a v i be of
independent style and a
look of tribal, these are
fun, light to wear, and will
be perfect for a night on
the tiles in 2019.
■ Mairead deBláca is an
Irish award-winning jewellery designer from Mallow,
Co Cork.
Mairead’s jewellery is sold
in more than 20 countries
and she was shortlisted in
the Bank of Ireland Start
Up Awards in 2017, where
she was awarded the
national bronze prize,
along with winning the
Women’s Network Rising
Star from the Dublin City
Local Enterprise Office.
Business
Business editor: Eamon Quinn Business desk: T: 01 5330877/8, 021 4802387 F: 021 4275477
irishexaminer.com/business
Firms unprepared for PAYE revamp
Pádraig Hoare
Many companies and
em plo yers re ma in unprep a r e d fo r ch an ge s to th e
PAYE system which come
i n t o la w to da y, a pa yr ol l
specialist firm has warned.
The modernisation of
t h e PAY E s y s t e m m e a n s
employers will need to
calculate and repor t their
employees’ pay and deductions as they are being paid.
R eve n u e s a y s t h e n ew
system will make it easier to
deduct and pay at the right
time the correct amounts of
income tax, pay-related
social insurance, universal
social charge and local prop-
erty tax. The tax body said
modernisation
wo u l d
s tre am l ine b u si ne ss pr ocesses and reduce the
administrative burden on
employers.
However, some companies
and employers remain unprepared for the “revolutionary changes concerning the
method of payroll processing”, according to contractor
accounting firm Accounting
Pro.
“Consequently, increased
research, communications,
and legal awareness will be
required for private sector
employers in order to meet
t h e s e g o ve r n m e n t r e g u la t i o n s , ” s a id t h e f i rm ’ s
administrator
Kieran
O’Callaghan.
Accounting Pro said there
were a number of benef its
t h a t wi ll ta ke pl ac e as a
result of the new Paye
modernisation program
once firms became familiar
with it.
However, Mr O’Callaghan
warned: “Small employers,
ad-hoc employers and
employers who use a manual
payroll system may struggle
to make correct and timely
payroll submissions. This
m a y l e a d t o a R e ve n u e
compliance intervention and
potential penalties for the
employer.
“Employers that make late
submissions and multiple
corrections on payroll submissions will be identified by
Revenue. This may result
i n a Re ve n u e co mp li an ce
intervention and possibly a
Revenue audit which could
lead to severe penalties if
m a t e r i a l di f f er en ce s ar e
found.”
Meanwhile, a body repres e n t i n g re s t a u r a n t s h a s
reiterated its criticism of the
rise in the Vat rate for the
industry from 9% to 13.5%.
C h i e f e x e c u t i ve o f t h e
Restaurants Association of
Ireland, Adrian Cummins
said it would lead to
closure of restaurants and
therefore loss of jobs.
Irish shares back
at 2015 levels
The Iseq Overall Index of
Irish shares ended the year almost 21% lower, to fall back to
levels of late January 2015.
Brexit concerns and fears over
a slowdown in global growth
have spurred US investors to
pull money out of European
stock markets.
Some of the heaviest share
losses of 2018 were posted by
Ryanair, down 28.5% in the
year, and by Bank of Ireland,
down by 30%, which are exposed to the potential further
devaluation of sterling under a
no-deal Brexit.
Other bank shares fared badly
too: AIB ended the year over
31% lower and Permanent TSB
lost over 32% of its value.
Shares in market heavyweight
Viability of many housing
projects now in question
@examinerbiz E: business@examiner.ie
In brief
CRH were down 21% in 2018.
The relative and outright
winners included Kerry whose
shares fell by only 7%, and
Glanbia whose shares rose
12%.
Regional financial
services plan call
Financial services investment
across the country should be
part of Government strategy in
2019, according to Fianna Fáil
finance spokesman Michael
McGrath.
He said the uncertainty arising
from Brexit “has undoubtedly
led to an increase in invest-
ments being made in Ireland by
a wide range of financial services firms”.
Carlos Ghosn
detention extended
A Tokyo court said it has extended the detention of ousted
Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn
by 10 days until January 11.
Mr Ghosn, accused of aggravated breach of trust, is facing
allegations of making the carmaker shoulder £13.2m
(€14.75m) in personal investment losses.
He denies the allegations.
New technological
university
Technological University Dublin has been formally estab-
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
lished by law today after Dublin
Institute of Technology, Institute
of Technology Tallaght and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown combined.
US firms send
€440bn home
US companies have sent home
over $500bn (€440bn) they
held overseas in 2018 to take
advantage of tax changes, but
data suggest the pace is slowing, potentially removing a key
source of support for Wall
Street.
Dollar repatriation in the JulySeptember period fell to
$93bn, around half of secondquarter volumes and less
than a third of the $300bn
or so sent home from January
to March, current account
data shows.
Tech hub
■ ‘Trade-off’ is needed to get housing supply moving in the right direction
Conor O’Connell
The boom is back, or so we keep
hearing from many different commentators, in relation to construction activity.
While it is quite true that commercial and industrial construction has taken of f over the last
number of years, we are still left
with a lagging residential construction sector.
Although the output of the residential construction sector is increasing, it is still significantly
below the required demand. It is
anticipated that approximately
18,000 residential units will be
completed in 2018. However, many
of these are one-off housing units,
renovations and retro-fits, many
of which will not reach the market.
The true level of housing output
that will reach the market in 2018
is likely to be between 10,000 and
12,000 residential units.
Figures are still only available
up to September but these show
that nationally only 9,239 residential units in scheme - housing estates - and apar tment developments were completed for market.
The majority were completed in
Dublin and the mid-east where the
market value is greatest due to demand and purchasers being in a
pos iti o n to secure a mor tg ag e
product.
The National Planning Framework calls for 50% of all residential development in Metropolitan
Cork and other areas to take place
on brown field or existing urban
sites. It is dif f icult to see how
apartments can be constructed
with the current cost structures
for apartment development.
Constr ucting and delivering
apartments is not financially viable for the “build to rent” sector
or for sale to open market in locations outside of the prime Dublin areas. The rents, the yields and
the market value of an apartment
product is below what it costs to
construct.
While the new guidelines in relation to the design of apartments
and the new guidelines in relation
to tall buildings are welcome, they
still do not adequately address the
overall delivery costs with apartment construction.
Charging Vat at 13.5% for those
wishing to develop residential
units in sustainable locations is
counter-productive and tax policies should align with planning
policy.
S o m e of ou r bu il di ng re gu lations in relation to apartment
construction are onerous.
We need a Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI) for apartment developments, particularly
in the regional urban locations
such as Cork, Limerick, Waterford
and Galway where we are seeking
to grow the population by 50%
mainly, in a lot of instances, in
brown field locations.
I f we ar e se ri ou s ab ou t th e
National Planning Framework, if
we are serious about these growth
targets for Cork City and elsewhere, then we absolutely need an
urgent review of all the delivery
costs.
Another complicating factor are
t h e na ti on al ho us in g de ns it y
guidelines. In Metropolitan Cork,
these density guidelines are causing confusion in the market place
as they seek 35 units to the hectare
in locations that are suburban and
where there is simply no demand
for apartments or duplex units.
A developer cannot build apartments or duplex units where there
is simply no demand for that product in that location.
In the centre of Cork City there
is obviously demand but there is
simply no demand in locations
like Midleton or Carrigaline for
apartments or duplex units. These
national density guidelines are
not appropriate in suburban locations and need to be altered to
reflect the commercial reality.
In the private sector, the model
has always, and continues to be,
that a developer will purchase
zoned residential land and then go
through the planning process to
secure the necessary planning
permission for residential development on that land.
It seems that every proposal for
The residential construction sector is
still lagging behind other areas.
residential units is subject to objections from local residents and,
in some instances, politicians objecting to the housing supply that
they themselves are calling for. If
land is zoned for development
there should be a presumption
that development will proceed.
In some of the larger markets in
metropolitan Cork, it is rare that
any development will produce 50
sales in a year.
Even in the Cork residential
market, the largest outside of Dublin, it can take many years for
even the smaller developments to
complete and sell out. A developer, therefore, finances the development in phases.
In other words, the sales of the
f irst 20 units justif ies the commencement of construction on the
next phase of 20 units in a typical
scenario in most markets outside
of Dublin.
Residential property development for the private sector is a
risky business, with large, upf r o n t co st s th at ca nn ot be re co up ed un ti l th e de ve l o p m e n t
completes. Many property developers will tell you that you only
make your prof it on a development when the final few houses
complete. In most instances, this
can be many years after the original proposal was made.
Housing policy needs to ensure
that the builders involved at the
lower end of the scale can continue to be involved in the Irish
construction sector and the resi-
dential sector. Housing policy cannot always be aligned to those who
are mainly only interested in the
larger markets, who can build at
scale and take a very long-term
view.
In many towns in Ireland, it is
simply not viable to build a house
and sell on the open market. We
have seen, throughout 2018, a cooli n g of f on ho us e pr ic e gr o w t h
th rough out mo st ma rket s and
while double-digit increases took
place in the earlier part of 2018, in
some locations, all the indicators
for the latter part of 2018 show that
single-digit increases in house
prices are going to become the
norm.
T h e Ce nt ra l Ba nk ’s le nd in g
rules will ensure that mortgage
lending is limited to 3.5 times the
income of most applicants. This
policy is working in cooling house
prices but it also inhibits the ability of the private residential construction sector to provide units
in most of Ireland.
If we are at the stage in the market where house prices cannot increase, land has reached its maximum value and replacement costs
are still greater than market costs
in most locations, then controlling
input and delivery costs should be
to the fore in housing policy.
There will need to be a trade-off
if we are serious about delivering
more private residential construction units throughout Ireland. The
State, semi-state agencies, local
authorities and fi nanciers will
have to accept that their take from
a residential unit will have to reduce in order to boost supply.
Wages and materials, factors
largely outside the control of the
industry, are increasing. The viability of many private residential
projects, right throughout Ireland, is now coming into question.
Can we proceed? Will we make a
p r o f i t if we pr oc ee d? In wh at
phases will we proceed? These will
be foremost in the thoughts of all
of those involved in the private
residential construction sector.
■ Conor O’Connell is Munster regional director at the Construction Industry Federation
Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Technological University Dublin president Professor
David FitzPatrick at the Greenway Hub in Grangegorman looking forward to 2019 and the ongoing development of
Ireland’s first technological university which has been formally established by law today.
Picture: Maxwells
Pressure mounting on Irish oil industry to show its worth
This year, on paper at least,
seems as though it could be
something of a watershed for
the Irish oil and gas exploration industry.
Of course, that feeling has
existed in previous Januarys, but 2019 will at least
see drilling activity, which is
always a good barometer of
real progress.
Furthermore, while there
are still barriers and hurdles
to navigate, 2018 ended with
some of those threats easing,
if not fully evaporating.
W h i l e st il l te ch ni ca ll y
alive, People Before Profit’s
bill, aimed at banning future
drilling in Irish waters, was
basically voted into limbo by
the joint Oireachtas climate
change committee last
Geoff
Percival
month. The percentage of
companies having trouble
accessing finance remains in
the double-digits but has signif icantly declined in the
past 12 months.
That said, nearly threequarters of Irish-focused explorers want further streamlining of government regulations. A recent PwC survey
also found that the percentage of companies who deem
the outlook for the Irish offshore as being favourable
has dropped from 74% to 63%
in the past year.
Still, there are plenty of
reasons for those on the sidelines looking in to be cheerful, not least the prospect of
drilling, with Chinese
money flowing through
m a n y a d r i l lb i t . Th e e x chequer stands to win big if
any company finds big. Over
a quarter of companies plan
to continue with Irish exploration activities based on
current oil prices of between
$50 and $60 a barrel.
Nexen, the Chineseowned/Canadian-based explorer will drill in the southern Porcupine Basin; Ireland’s basin du jour; Tony
O’Reilly’s Providence Res o u r c e s , an d it s Ch in es e
backers, will finally drill in
anger at Barryroe in the Celtic Sea and British explorer
Europa Oil and Gas will put
more of its ducks in a row before embarking on a broad
west-coast drilling campaign
probably starting in 2020.
Providence is also eyeing
development of its west coast
assets in the near-term and
Europa and Predator Oil and
Gas have assets close to Corrib, which could keep that region alive, in gas generation
terms, for longer than previously estimated.
“The results of this new
phase of exploration drilling
will provide an important
guide and indicator to the
hydrocarbon potential of the
I r i s h of fs ho re ,” sa id Pa t
Shannon, chairman of the
Irish Of fshore Operators’
Association (IOOA).
“ New da ta , ex p lo ratio n
models and technology are
b e h i n d th e mo me nt u m of
deep-water exploration in
I r e l a n d . Fo re ca st br ea kevens for potentially sizeable
deep-water discoveries show
the area to be competitive
globally at the current and
predicted oil price.
“These factors are providing the conf idence behind
the large exploration investment figures that are likely
i n th e co mi ng ye ar s , ” he
said.
Meanwhile, while it is unlikely to succeed in its primary aim of banning Irish
exploration activity, Brid
S m i t h an d Pe op le Be fo re
Profit’s bill has sharpened
minds on how Ireland must in the longer term - gradually transition from a fossil
fuel reliance to renewable
energy generation from
wind, solar and other
emission-less sources.
The industry’s argument
f o r s u s t a i n e d d r il l i ng i s
based on the need for Ireland
to lower its reliance on imported energy and the basic
need for fossil fuels remaining for the foreseeable future, rather than drilling for
the sake of drilling.
“ T h e IO OA re co gn is es
that Ireland needs to make a
transition to a low-carbon
economy. It needs to happen,
but the transition will take
t i m e a n d i n ve s t m e n t . I t
needs to be costed and
planned. Oil and gas companies, with significant energy expertise and new technologies, can play an important role in this transition
process,” said Mr Shannon.
“We believe that oil and
gas will continue to play a
vi ta l ro le in me et in g th e
world’s and Ireland’s energy
needs in the transition to a
low carbon future, a view
that is shared by the Intern a t i o n a l En er gy Ag en cy
among others.
“In particular, we recognise the benefits of natural
gas, and believe it will play
an increasingly important
role in the energy mix in Ireland, helping to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
For now, at least, the public seems to agree. More than
60% of respondents to a rec e n t su rv e y on Ir el an d ’ s
energy needs said that offshore oil and gas exploration
and production can help protect Ireland from the potentially neg ative impacts of
Brexit.
“Brexit increases energy
security concerns and postBrexit, Ireland will not have
a direct connection to the
main EU energy infrastructure,” said Mr Shannon.
H o w e v e r , Gr ee n Pa r t y
leader Eamon Ryan has argued a continuation of exploration would show where
Ireland really stands on the
climate change issue.
Commencements were up
almost 25% in October on a
year-to-date basis, with the
12-month running total rising to over 21,000 units.
Meanwhile, planning permissions surg ed over the
past year and were up by almost 70% year-on-year in the
third quarter of 2018.
It is important that
this soon translates into an
acceleration in the pace of
growth in house-building activity.
In this regard, registration
f igures, which are seen
as reflective of developer
a c t i v i t y , ha ve st ar te d to
pick up again after having
spent much of 2018 behind
their 2017 levels.
Residential property
prices continue to rise at a
strong pace. However, there
has been a noticeable slowdown in the rate of increase
since the spring.
Nationally, according to
the latest CSO data, house
prices rose by 8.4% year-onyear in October. This compares to a 13.3% yearly rate
in April.
It is clear from the geographic breakdown that the
main source of the slower
price growth is the Dublin
market.
In the capital, the annual
increase in prices slowed to
6.3% in October, having been
as high as 13% in April, with
the biggest deceleration evident in areas where house
prices tend to be more expensive.
Meanwhile, non-Dublin
price growth continues
to outpace the Dublin market, although here too, the
pace of increase has moderated.
Outside the capital, prices
rose by 10.6% year-on-year
in October versus their recent high of 15.2% back in
June.
The deceleration in house
price inflation larg ely reflects the impact of the Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules, which were
tightened somewhat in 2018.
These tighter mor tg ag e
lending ru les will remain
in place in 2019, suggesting
that the pace of growth
in house prices may moderate somewhat further this
year.
The relatively restrictive
loan-to-income ratio of 3.5
times may also be serving as
a constraint on the pace of
g r o w t h i n D u bl i n h o u s e
prices, in particular.
However, with the housing
market remaining defined by
an ongoing shortfall in
supply, prices are likely to
continue rising in 2019.
The challenge facing
the sector is to ensure
that the surge in planning
permissions over the last
year quickly translates into
s h a r p l y h i g h er l e ve l s o f
house building activity.
Housing output needs
to double from its 2018
l eve l s to me et an nu al de mand and, indeed, rise well
above this level to meet the
pent-up demand in the sector
f r o m th e ye ar s of un de rsupply.
It could be well into the
next decade before supply
and demand come close to
balance, unless the pace of
growth in house building accelerates from here.
■ Ol iv e r Ma ng an is ch i e f
economist at AIB
Over the course of 2018, house
building activity improved.
A balanced property market could still be many years away
The dominant feature of the
Irish residential property
market last year remained
the shortfall in supply.
However, over the course
o f 2 0 1 8 , t h e r e wa s s o m e
f u r th er im pr ov em en t in
house building activity.
The latest update to the
CSO’s ‘new dwelling completions’ figures reveal that on a
cumulative 12-month basis
to September, the total stood
at 17,161 units.
Comparing the first three
quarters of 2018 to the same
period of 2017 shows that
new supply increased at a
rate of 28%.
E x t r a p o l a t i n g ou t th is
pace of growth, for the year
Oliver
Mangan
as a whole, indicates that
new dwellings completed in
2 0 1 8 m a y h a ve t o t a l l e d
around 18,500.
In 2017, the full year total
was 14,435.
Forward looking indicators, such as housing
starts — as measured
by commencement notices
— suggest that the improving dynamic in supply
will continue.
Finance
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
17
INVESTING & SAVING 2019
Value is back
as glamour
shares fade
Peter Brown
Taking control of your finances by first eliminating any expensive debt, such as credit cards, is the starting point if you are trying to save to build up a deposit for a house. Once that is done, save regularly by
setting up a standing order into a savings account.
For your investments and
savings, big choices lie ahead
In a recent article in this newspaper, I referred to 2018 as a year of
uncertainty for personal finances.
I feel that 2019 will be the same.
The only thing I think that is certain this year is that there is not
going to be a general election.
Here are my thoughts for investments in this new year.
F o r th os e of yo u lo ok in g to
get on to the housing ladder in
the next few years, my advice is
t o p l a n e f f e c t i v e l y a n d l i ve
frugally.
With the advent of more comp e t i t i o n fr o m le nd er s, su ch as
Pepper coming more into the mortg age market, there should be a
little bit more chance for potential
borrowers to get on the property
ladder and out of the rent trap.
It does pay to educate yourself
on the options of fixing a mortgage, as I feel some of the options
for long-term fixing are very attractive, given the likely increase
in interest rates over the coming
years.
If you don’t have the option of a
deposit from a family member,
building up a deposit will take
time.
Taking control of your finances
by first eliminating any expensive
debt, such as credit cards, is the
starting point.
Once that is done, save regularly
Nick
Charalambous
by setting up a standing order into a
savings account.
If you are serious about buying
within the next three to five years,
save with a bank. The savings rates
a re po or bu t it do es pa y to sh op
around, and my advice is to use comparison sites to look for the best
available rates that suit you.
Some comparison sites are easy to
navigate, and suggest that surprisingly high savings rates of 2.25% are
achievable — but such elevated rates,
of course, come with some strict conditions.
There are also financial tech companies gaining ground in Ireland
which are app-based and which offer
a wealth of technological advantages,
including budgeting, bill-splitting,
and the ability to immediately freeze
credit cards if they are lost or stolen.
If you are looking at more than five
years to build up your deposit, and
are frustrated with the low return on
savings, I would suggest a life assura n c e co mp an y sa vi ng s ac co un t.
These are of fered by Zurich Life,
Aviva, and New Ireland — to name
just a few.
H o weve r , I wo u l d ad vi se co nsumers to tread carefully and be
wary of some products that look
great on the surface but are laden
with fees. Having worked in the industry for 20 years, I have seen savings plans in which up to 3% of the
contribution is taken out while management fees of over 1.5% a year
make it almost impossible to make
any money.
I n ad di ti on , I am in cr e a s i n g l y
coming across individuals who are
saying they would tie money up for a
long period. I think this is a mistake.
We currently have historically lowinterest rates which are going to rise
in the coming year or two.
Higher ECB rates will affect tracker mortgages. It may also be a cost-ef-
For people
“
looking to get on to
the housing ladder
— plan effectively
and live frugally
fective opportunity for households with trackers to put some
additional money to pay down
their mortgages more quickly.
That said, tying up funds when
savings interest rates are low
doesn’t make sense.
For people with money in pensions and investments, or those
looking to start long-term savings, I am reminded of my allt i m e fa vo u r i t e s a y i ng of th e
world’s most successful investor,
Warren Buffett.
He refer red to a period of a
long stock market bull run — a
bit like the one we have just experienced — and likened people’s
behaviour to a good New Year’s
Eve party.
“After a heady experience of
t h at ki nd , no rm al ly se ns ib l e
people drift into behaviour akin
to that of Cinderella at the ball.
They know that overstaying the
festivities — that is, continuing
to speculate — will eventually
bring on pumpkins and mice.
“But they nevertheless hate to
miss a single minute of what is
one helluva party. Therefore, the
giddy par ticipants all plan to
leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem,
though: They are dancing in a
room in which the clocks have no
hands,” he said.
The big issue this year is the
e f f e c t of Br ex it on in ve s t ments. Brexit weighs heavily
on Irish companies and the
Irish stock market is deeply affected by the Brexit uncertainly.
It remains uncertain what is
going to happen on March 29,
and whether the UK leaves the
EU with or without a transition deal. The UK may hold another referendum on EU membership or secure some sort
of last-gasp renegotiation of
T h e re s a Ma y ’ s wi th dr aw a l
deal. I would suggest that 2019
is not the year to be taking
chances.
Most people will painfully
recall the effects of the last recession.
I don’t believe that a recession will occur any time soon,
but it is as inevitable that some
sort of downturn must follow.
I’ll leave you with another
saying from Mr Buf fett, the
world’s greatest investor: “Be
fearful when others are
greedy, as only when the tide
goes out do you discover who’s
been swimming naked”.
■ Nick Charalambous is managing director of Alpha Wealth Financial Advisors with offices in
Cork and Dublin.
The market is seriously conc e r n e d ab ou t th e gl ob al
economy.
Its worries include the ongoing trade war between the
US and China; the potential
for an emerging markets
d e b t cr is is sp ar ke d by a
strong dollar; global debt levels; as well as lofty develo p e d st oc k ma rk e t va l u ations, particularly in the
US.
Then there is Italian debt
to add the concerns over the
Brexit debacle. We’ve recently seen big declines in
technology stocks, which is
not surprising given that
va l u at i o ns fo r th e se ct o r
provide no margin of safety.
S t o c k s wi th ex pe ns iv e
va l u at i o n s — g l a m o u r
stocks — have been hit hard
but so have so-called value
stocks, although relatively
less so.
D e f e n s i v e as se ts ha ve
b e e n hi t wi th bo nd s an d
gold. There seems nowhere
to hide for the investor, after
nine years of strong equity
gains. It is definitely time to
rebalance.
Last year was a difficult
year for most types of investors. But investors never
h a ve to ta l co nt ro l . Wh at
matters is how well we manage risk and how flexible we
can be in making our investment decisions.
Va l u a t i o n h a s a l wa y s
been a poor predictor of returns in the short run, but
over the long run, it works
out. Pay a high price and
you get low returns in the
long run. Pay a low price
and you get high returns in
the long run.
Since the global financial
crisis ended, growth stocks
have significantly outperformed value stocks.
L o o k i n g fu r t he r ba ck ,
however, we see that value
stocks outperformed growth
stocks for roughly a decade
leading up to the financial
crisis.
Value stocks are typically
defined as shares that trade
at a significant discount to
their true value, sometimes
known as the intrinsic
value.
Value stocks are usually
those of mature businesses
whose stocks have experienced temporary earnings
setbacks, or suffered due to
political or economic events
which have hurt their industry.
Value stocks can be found
in emerging markets, Europe, the UK, and in commodity stocks.
We fe el th at de ve l o p e d
markets could be in for a
rough ride, especially the
US. Our reasoning is simple:
US Treasuries provide a lot
of competition with US
equity valuations.
I t is a di f f er en t wo rl d
when you look at interest
rates in Europe, the UK, and
Japan. Interest rates there
are so low they offer no competition at all to equities.
Most human beings make
their investment decisions
based on things that are already known and this
causes markets to overshoot
in both directions.
We think markets have
discounted a lot in emerging
markets and we find their
valuations attractive.
We think Brazil is compelling. And emerging market
bonds look attractive despite the turmoil.
Investing is about seeking
o u t op po r t un it ie s wh er e
cheap assets, or value, are
showing strong relative mom e n t u m o n a q u a r t e rl y
basis.
Buying value will not only
outperform over any threeyear rolling period of time
but it is also a fact that you
suffer a lot less during
major downturns when you
own cheap assets, particularly when debt levels attached to those assets are
low.
Unt i l re ce n tl y we ha ve
b e e n in an en vi ro nm en t
where ‘value’ has exhibited
weak momentum and ‘glamour’ or expensive valuations
exhibited strong momentum. We feel that is about to
change.
Back-tests going back to
the 1800s show us that not
only do value stocks outperform growth stocks, they
also suffer significantly less
downside. From a statistical
standpoint, it is highly unlikely growth investing will
continue to be the best fi nancial discipline for investors over the next 10 years.
Before the dotcom crash
of 2000, technology stocks
we re al l th e ra ge . At th e
time, no-one wanted to hear
about tobacco, construction
or commodity stocks — all
of which turned out to be
extraordinary investments
over the long term.
Each economic cycle is
d i f f e r e n t , s o we a r e n o t
necessarily advocating tobacco, construction, or commodity stocks.
We do not advocate continual switching nor are we
able to predict the future.
This is a moment when
there looks to be a change in
this economic cycle and adjusting strategy now could
be very valuable on a five to
ten-year horizon.
■ Peter Brown is founder of
Baggot Investment Partners.
He is at baggot.ie and
pbrown@baggot.ie
Why the all-island drinks industry dreads a no-deal Brexit
I
reland’s drinks industry continues
to prosper. It is one of the country’s
most dynamic sectors, driven by innovation and growing demand in
export markets.
It’s an industry that continues to
make a vital contribution to the
country’s economy, employing 90,000
people and exporting more than €1.25bn
worth of produce.
Since 2001, the average per adult alcohol consumption in Ireland has declined by over 23%.
Despite a continued fall in consumption here, consumers are becoming
more sophisticated in their tastes and
are eager to try the plethora of new,
quality products on the market.
After a strong 2018, we head into 2019
with many uncertainties for the industry.
At home, there are risks associated
with Ireland’s disproportionately high
excise rate, as well as the Public Health
Alcohol Act.
Globally, Brexit will present challenges for the all-island drinks industry, particularly if Britain were to crash
out with no deal.
Additionally, there is the looming
threat of trade wars and tariffs.
In 2018, Irish gin producers took advantage of the global gin craze and exports soared, up 226% in the first eight
months of 2018.
Demand for gin also continued to
grow in Ireland and pink gin was the
major breakthrough category in the domestic market.
Also on the spirits side, it was an exciting year for Irish cream liqueur.
After recovering from what producers dubbed “a lost decade”, 2018 saw
further growth.
Preliminary export figures for 2018
suggest there was an export growth rate
of approximately 8% for this year,
driven by strong export growth to the
US.
In 2018, Irish whiskey consolidated
its position as the fastest growing premium spirit category in the world.
A number of Irish whiskey distilleries launched their own distilled
product for the first time, increasing diversity and consumer choice.
There are now 21 operational whiskey distilleries in Ireland, up from just
four at the start of the decade.
Patricia
Callan
Poitín will benefit from a promotional push in 2019 while Irish whiskeys
will likely go from strength to strength.
Looking ahead, we anticipate that
growth in the Irish whiskey sector will
continue to strengthen and more Irish
whiskey distilleries will launch their
own distilled product for the first time,
this year.
While the growing demand for gin led
to a prosperous 2018, this year will
likely see the domestic market becoming saturated.
As such, there will be a greater need
to support exports from the sector.
Separately, greater attention will be
put on driving sales among other Irish
spirits.
Two decades after poitín was legalised, sales remain quite low.
This year we will work with producers, Bord Bia and the Department of
Agriculture to create an awareness
campaign that will be rolled out to promote the product.
It is also anticipated that there will be
increased scrutiny by consumers and
the trade on the authenticity of Irish
spirits in export markets.
Meanwhile, brewers are looking to
lighter and zero-alcohol products.
Beer remains Ireland’s most popular
alcoholic drink and brewers across the
country continue to introduce exciting
In 2018, Irish whiskey consolidated its position as the fastest growing premium spirit category in the world. A number of Irish whiskey
distilleries launched their own distilled product for the first time. There are now 21 operational whiskey distilleries in Ireland.
new products to the market.
Last year saw the emergence of lighter lager options to the market, hovering
around 4% alcohol by volume, or ABV.
It is now anticipated that non-alcoholic beers will become increasingly
popular. Ireland also remains a major
exporter of beer.
Beer exports, by volume, rose only
slightly, by 0.2% in 2017 and were valued at €273m.
That makes Ireland the eighth largest
beer exporter in Europe.
The emergence of craft cider is also
leading to more choice for consumers.
In recent years, cider drinkers have
enjoyed unprecedented choice in pubs
and on shelves due to the emergence of
craft cider.
In 2016, cider consumption accounted
for 7.5% of all alcohol consumed.
Cider’s share grew to 7.7% in 2017.
Of note also is the fact that there was
a significant increase in apple cider vinegar sales in the on-trade sector in 2018.
Ireland’s love affair with wine continues.
Since 2000, the market share for wine
has grown significantly.
In 2017, the wine industry saw a 0.47%
increase in total consumption.
The sector employs over 1,100 people
directly while supporting thousands of
other jobs in Ireland’s pubs, restaurants, independent off-licences, supermarkets and in hotels that sell wine.
The big threat this year is a no-deal
Brexit, which should be avoided to protect all-island drinks industry.
The drinks industry, like other sectors in the economy, is busy planning
ahead for Brexit, which presents sig-
nificant uncertainties.
The Irish drinks industry operates on
an integrated all-island basis with
seamless cross-border supply chains
and three cross-border so-called Geographic Indications: Irish whiskey,
Irish cream liqueur, as well as Poitín.
The aggregate value of trade in
drinks products between the UK and
Ireland in 2017 was €364m.
A third of the sales, or €121m, was the
aggregate value of north-south trade.
Plans
While contingency plans are being
put in place, a no-deal Brexit should be
avoided at all costs to minimise risks to
trade flows and consumer spending.
A no-deal would be seriously damaging, with potential consequences including immediate tariffs on cream,
barley, malt, glass bottles, apples, finished cider and other supply chain inputs, as well as regulatory and customs
checks at any new hard Irish border,
leading to additional delays and costs.
The industry is also focusing on the
implementation of the Public Health Alcohol Act.
While the Public Health Alcohol Act
is now on the statute books, there are
still many unanswered questions in relation to how it will be implemented.
This year we will be continuing our
calls on the Minister for Health to establish an implementation group, to include the industry.
Ireland’s disproportionately-high excise rate negatively affects producers
and punters.
The excise rate on alcohol is the second highest in the EU and is disproportionately high compared to other EU
member states.
In addition to having the highest excise on wine, Irish consumers pay the
second highest rate on beer and the
third highest rate on spirits.
The industry this year will again be
campaigning to reduce Ireland’s excise
rate, which would help to drive innovation in the industry.
Then there is the threat of escalating
trade wars and higher tariffs.
The prospect of additional trade wars
and tariffs is of concern.
The US is a major market for Ireland’s drinks industry.
Currently, there is a 25% tariff placed
on imported spirits to the EU, which is
damaging for our global businesses.
It places us firmly in the firing line
for retaliation from the US at any moment.
So, we have to ensure a prosperous
future.
As we look ahead, we remain committed to taking on the various challenges and uncertainties faced by the
industry head-on.
We look forward to working with our
stakeholders and the wider business
community to ensure there is a prosperous future for Ireland’s drinks industry, which remains one of the most exciting indigenous sectors.
■ Patricia Callan is director of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland
18
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Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
SOCIAL & PERSONAL
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Time Out
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
TIME
WARP
Jonas Armstrong,
actor, 38
WIZARD OF ID
HOROSCOPES
ARIES
LIBRA
Confidence effortlessly radiates throughout your aura
and amplifies your instinct to lead. The energetic planet
Mars drives into 1st House of Personality as the new
year arrives, adding a lively spirit to everything you do.
Dig deep into your bravery, show the world what
you’ve got, don’t be shocked when others are quick to
follow your example. John C. Maxwell, “People may
hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”
Paradoxically, the mix of independence and togetherness is exactly perfect at times today. You breathe a
sigh of relief when the stress hits the road, and that’s
what can happen with your everyday worries. Supermodel Christie Brinkley advises, “Share your smile
with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.”
Freely dole out the best of the good will that’s in your
heart. What’s given tends to come back tenfold.
TAURUS
SCORPIO
You’re ready for aimlessness to be yesterday’s news.
Extend an invitation to prosperity and positivity that
would be nearly impossible for fate to ignore. Precisely
define what it is you hope to achieve in the near future,
maybe even writing it down along with an action plan.
The more specific you can be about what you want,
the better. When you know exactly which direction to
go, each gain, no matter how small, is a motivation.
Beg, borrow, or steal a few extra moments to catch up
with your feelings and aspirations. Today’s Scorpio
Moon resonates with your personality on a deeper
level, putting you in touch with reserves of talent and
energy that may have lain mostly dormant in recent
days, weeks, or months. Leave behind the things
you’ve outgrown and reset your focus upon a version
of what truly fires your enthusiasm.
GEMINI
SAGITTARIUS
Fresh energy peals through the psychic atmosphere
like a starting bell at the beginning of this new year.
Stories told by others or the wonderful deeds being accomplished by a dedicated group set your imagination
afire today. You want to be where the meaningful action is and by letting healthy instincts be your guide,
you’re virtually guaranteed to find yourself in exactly
the right place at exactly the right time.
Cosmic conditions buoy potential in your zone of intuition as the new year begins. Tune into your heart to
sense the fresh opportunities waiting just around the
bend. Nurture your precognition and the spirit of curiosity it fosters. The presence of enterprising Mars in
your 5th House of Creativity and Self-Expression empowers courage. Take the kind of healthy risks that can
give birth to bright ideas brimming with possibility.
CANCER
CAPRICORN
If you’re seeing opportunity appear where once you
saw only a brick wall, that’s no mirage. The actionplanet Mars brings his assertive energy to 10th House
of Public Life. A power-packed trend can unfold when
you believe in yourself, commit to training or practice,
and bring out the best of your talent. Bill Bradley, “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle
you arrive in.” Rev that engine and get ready for a win.
You need people more than you might want to admit.
Maybe you’re gathering with friends, relatives, schoolmates, or neighbors to celebrate the new year. Or
maybe you’re shopping or traveling with your family
today. Whatever the specifics, there are always highs
and lows to navigate when interacting with others.
You’re up for the challenge with motivational Mars running the show in your 4th House of Security.
LEO
AQUARIUS
Mixed feelings and surprising reactions are stirred by
the nitty-gritty demands of necessity today. You prefer
to rise above complications and messy drama now
that fiery Mars has newly arrived in your 9th House of
High Ideals. And the good news is, avoiding trouble is
a can-do proposition. Process emotions through your
value system and essentials can be handled tactfully
and with minimal fireworks or theatrics.
Your attention is divided in multiple directions at once
as the new year rolls in. Break out the best of your
multitasking skills today. Even if you can’t be in more
than one place at the same time, the wonders of cutting-edge technology can make it seem that way. Bring
a cheerful determination to sending good will wherever
and to whomever you wish. A wave of positive energy
effectively ripples out to touch the hearts of many.
VIRGO
PISCES
While someone’s no-holds-barred ways create a stir,
you’re in the mood to exercise caution. There’s good
reason why your eye for detail is open wide, especially
in an area where it might be exceptionally problematic
for the baby to be thrown out with the bathwater.
What’s salvageable can be valuable, and this knowledge gives you a special edge over the competition.
Leave the attention gobbling to others.
Feelings tend to elevate you into the clouds at times,
and what a lovely, heady sensation that can be. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground
or the same escapist breeze that happily raises you
could sneakily carry you away. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma said,
“When we have a good balance between thinking and
feeling, our actions and lives are always the richer for
it.” Keep heart and mind even-steven for best results.
March 21 - April 20
Double Crossword
No.17,385
CRYPTIC CLUES
Down
Across
January 1
New Year’s Day, and the
National Day of Cuba,
Sudan, and Haiti.
Feast day of St Felix of
Bourges, St Almachius, St
William of Dijon, St Eugendus or Oyend, St Peter of
Atroa, St Odilo, and St Fulgentius of Ruspe.
1772: The first travellers’
cheques were introduced
by the London Credit Exchange Company. They
could be used in 90 cities.
1881: The first British
postal orders were issued.
1887: Queen Victoria was
proclaimed empress of
India in Delhi.
1890: Football nets were
used in goals for the first
time, for a match in Bolton.
1894: The Manchester
Ship Canal, England, was
officially opened to traffic.
1901: Six states and two
territories federated to
form the Commonwealth
of Australia.
1909: The first payments
of old-age pensions were
made in Britain, with persons over 70 receiving five
shillings (25p) a week.
1931: The Road Traffic Act
came into force, introducing traffic policemen and
compulsory third-party insurance.
1958: The EEC came into
being. Its six members
were France, Italy, West
Germany, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Britain, Ireland and Denmark joined this day 1973.
1959: Fidel Castro overthrew the government of
Fulgencio Batista, and
seized power in Cuba.
1964: The first Top Of The
Pops was aired, with
Jimmy Savile as its presenter.
1974: New Year’s Day was
celebrated as a national
public holiday for the first
time.
1992: Egyptian diplomat
Butros Butros Ghali became the sixth secretarygeneral of the UN, taking
over from Javier Perez de
Cuellar.
1993: Czechoslovakia
split into two separate
states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the
peaceful division had
been engineered in 1992.
On This Day Last Year
U.S. President Donald
Trump tweeted that Pakistan had been a “safe
haven” for terrorists from
Afghanistan and had
given America “nothing
but lies & deceit” after getting more than $33 billion
in U.S. aid.
Birthdays
Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler), funk musician, 61; Dedee Pfeiffer,
actress, 55; Michelle
Holmes, actress, 52; Paul
Lawrie, golfer, 50; Jonas
Armstrong, actor, 38;
Colin Morgan, actor, 33;
Jack Wilshere, footballer;
27.
Solutions to
previous puzzle:
CRYPTIC
Across: 1 Stem the tide; 9 Eon;
10 Accordion; 11 Tight; 13
Trestle; 14 Sitter; 16 Strops; 18
Reshape; 19 Lodge; 20 Keeping
up; 21 Has; 22 Appearances
Down: 2 Ten; 3 Meant; 4
Hecate; 5 Torrent; 6 Driftwood;
7 Death stroke; 8 Intersperse;
12 Go to sleep; 15 Examine; 17
Beggar; 19 Lupin; 21 Hie.
QUICK
Across: 1 Imprecision; 9 End;
10 Guarantee; 11 Event;
13 Enhance; 14 Occurs; 16
Aplomb; 18 Impulse; 19 Tutor; 20 Universal; 21 Bet; 22
Unreasoning Down: 2 Mad; 3
Right; 4 Craven; 5 Smash-up;
6 Out-and-out; 7 Ceremonious;
8 Reverberate; 12 Exception;
15 Relieve; 17 Versus; 19 Talon;
21 Bun.
Quick Crossword answers
also fit the large grid
4 Broken blades round
one cause
incapacity (7)
8 This kind of map offers
freedom from
anxiety (6)
9 It's put on the road to
make the snake stop (7)
10 Find the bottom six feet
down! (6)
11 They fly from a miner in
disorder (6)
12 The making of Haydn's
oratorio (8)
18 Piece of formal writing I
restate differently (8)
20 Bore right inside the
bit (6)
21 Steel fastener required
for broken plates (6)
22 Saw the leopard so
described (7)
23 They have big bills for
lifting gear (6)
24 Takes umbrage at
being told to go in the
reserves (7)
1 A novel introduction (7)
2 Showing less inclination
to behave as a
sycophant (7)
3 Send back information
about the dockyard (6)
5 An insect destroyed for
example (8)
6 Stick short notice near
this place (6)
7 One reposes under fifty
one flowers! (6)
13 See 16 Down
14 The sort of yarn that's
producing tears? (7)
15 Free to negotiate
another rental
agreement (7)
16 & 13Dn Naive concern
for the product of the
capital (6,8)
17 Move in agony and
wither dreadfully (6)
19 Walter Smith
transforms inside (6)
QUICK CLUES
Across
Down
4
8
9
10
11
12
18
20
21
22
23
24
Cubpoard (7)
Charm (6)
Scorn (7)
Diversion (6)
Disregard (6)
Widespread
disease (8)
Feeler (8)
Indigenous
people (6)
Sturdy (6)
Include (7)
Dread (6)
Under (7)
1
2
3
5
6
7
13
14
15
16
17
19
Laggard (7)
Shorten (7)
Sanctuary (6)
Of the US (8)
Overhang (6)
Make certain (6)
Car driver (8)
Obtain (7)
Reading desk (7)
On land (6)
Tiny (6)
Mason's tool (6)
September 24 - October 23
April 21 - May 21
October 24 - November 22
May 22 - June 21
November 23 - December 21
June 22 - July 23
December 22 - January 20
July 24 - August 23
Bridge Notes
January 21 - February 19
August 24 - September 23
February 20 - March 20
North-South vulnerable, South deals
WEST
♠J 6 4
♥7 2
✦Q 9 4
♣ K 10 7 5 4
NORTH
♠A K Q
♥ K 10 9 6 3
✦8 5 3
♣A 6
EAST
♠ 10 9 8 3 2
♥Q 8 4
✦ 10 7
♣8 3 2
SOUTH
♠7 5
♥A J 5
✦A K J 6 2
♣Q J 9
The bidding:
SOUTH WEST NORTH
1NT
Pass
2D*
2H
Pass
4NT
6H
All pass
*Transfer to hearts
Opening lead: Five of C
19
EAST
Pass
Pass
Many players would interpret North’s
four no trump bid incorrectly -- as Blackwood. North’s sequence of bids is invitational, showing a five-card major along
the way.
South had a maximum in support of
hearts and jumped to the heart slam.
The opening club lead ran to South’s
nine, and the next problem was finding
the queen of hearts.
South reasoned that West would not
have led away from a king -- an aggressive lead -- if he had any hope of a trump
trick.
Accordingly, he led a low spade to
dummy’s ace and ran the 10 of hearts.
A heart to the jack and the ace of hearts
picked up the trumps and assured the
contract.
Satellite and Cable Extra
Starting from 1, fill in the grid in
a clockwise direction with fourletter words. The last letter of
each word becomes the first
letter of the next word. If you
have correctly filled in the grid
there should be a seven-letter
key word reading across
from 8.
An overtrick wasn’t important, but it was
fun to go after, especially if there was an
unusual play involved.
South cashed the ace of diamonds followed by dummy’s king and queen of
spades and the last two hearts, discarding three diamonds.
CLUES:
1. Apple seeds 2. Pace 3. Not
rich 4. Smell strongly 5. Make
woollens 6. Therefore
7. Exchange 8. Stopper
9. Ruminant mammal 10. Sort,
kind, 11. Finishes 12. Chimney
deposit 13. Conversation
14. Hardy cabbage
15. Recedes 16. Squalid house
Key word clue: Occupation
West still had to discard on the last
heart.
Whatever West chose, declarer could
take the rest for a lovely overtrick.
Sky One
Sky Cinema Drama
Sky Cinema Family
Sky Cinema Action
6.00 Micro Monsters with David
Attenborough (S)
6.30 The Bachelor King (S)
8.00 David
Attenborough’s
Conquest of the Skies (S)
9.00 David
Attenborough’s
Conquest of the Skies (S)
10.00 David
Attenborough’s
Conquest of the Skies (S)
11.00 David
Attenborough’s
Natural History Museum
Alive (S)
12.30 David
Attenborough’s
Galapagos The broadcaster
explores
the
Pacific
archipelago. (S)
1.30 David
Attenborough’s
Galapagos The
unique
species that live in the
isolated habitat. (S)
2.30 David
Attenborough’s
Galapagos (S)
3.30 Ratburger Adaptation of
David
Walliams’
book,
starring Sheridan Smith. (S)
5.00 The Queen and I Comedy,
starring David Walliams and
Samantha Bond.
6.30 The
Simpsons
Bart
persuades his family to go on
a cruise. (S)
7.00 The
Simpsons
Homer
receives marital advice from
a movie star. (S)
7.30 The Simpsons (S)
8.00 A League of Their Own
With Tony Bellew, Lizzy
Yarnold and Alan Carr. (S)
9.00 Man
of
Steel
(2013)
Superhero
adventure,
starring Henry Cavill.
11.50 DC’s
Greatest
Movie
Moments The greatest
moments from the superpowered world of DC.
12.50 A League of Their Own
With Dele Alli, Stephen
Mangan and Rob Beckett. (S)
1.45 Delicious
2.45 Street Crime UK (S)
3.10 The Force: North East (S)
4.00 Monkey Life (S)
4.30 Monkey Life (S)
5.00 Futurama (S)
5.30 Futurama (S)
6.30 All I Want for Christmas
(1991) With Leslie Nielsen.
(S)
8.10 Home Alone: The Holiday
Heist (2012) With Christian
Martyn. (S)
9.50 Surviving Christmas (2004)
See 2.50am. (S)
11.30 The Polar Express (2004)
See 7.15pm. (S)
1.15 Daddy’s Home 2 (2017) See
9.00pm. (S)
3.00 Fred Claus (2007) See
10.45pm. (S)
5.00 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
With James Stewart. (S)
7.15 The Polar Express (2004) A
boy doubts the existence of
Father Christmas, until a
magical train arrives to take
him to the North Pole.
Animated adventure, with
the voices of Tom Hanks and
Leslie Zemeckis. (S)
9.00 Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)
Having
settled
their
differences, Brad and Dusty
must now deal with their
intrusive fathers during the
holidays. Comedy, starring
Will Ferrell. (S)
10.45 Fred Claus (2007) Santa
reluctantly agrees to bail his
selfish estranged brother out
of jail – on condition he helps
to make toys for Christmas.
Comedy, starring Vince
Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. (S)
12.45 This Christmas (2007)
Family problems resurface
when the Whitfields reunite
for the first time in years to
celebrate
Christmas.
Comedy drama, with Delroy
Lindo and Idris Elba. (S)
2.50 Surviving Christmas (2004)
A lonely millionaire hires a
family to help him enjoy the
perfect Christmas, but the
plan goes horribly wrong.
Comedy, with Ben Affleck,
Christina Applegate and
James Gandolfini. (S)
4.30 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
See 5.00pm. (S)
6.45 The Lego Ninjago Movie
(2017) See 2.35pm. (S)
8.35 Coraline (2009) Stop-motion
animated fantasy, with the
voice of Dakota Fanning.
10.25 The Boss Baby (2017) See
6.15pm. (S)
12.10 Hook (1991) See 10.00pm.
(S)
2.35 The Lego Ninjago Movie
(2017) Animated adventure,
with the voice of Jackie
Chan. (S)
4.25 Mary and the Witch’s
Flower (2017) Animated
adventure, featuring the
voice of Kate Winslet. (S)
6.15 The Boss Baby (2017) A
youngster believes his baby
brother is a tycoon sent to
destroy his perfect family
life. Animated
comedy,
featuring the voice of Alec
Baldwin. (S)
8.00 Field of Dreams (1989) A
corn
farmer
hears
a
mysterious voice inspiring
him to create a baseball
diamond, which is then
visited by the ghost of a
former player. Fantasy, with
Kevin Costner. (S)
10.00 Hook (1991) A grown-up
Peter
Pan
returns
to
Neverland to rescue his
children from Captain Hook.
Steven Spielberg’s fantasy
adventure, starring Robin
Williams. (S)
12.25 The Haunted Mansion
(2003) Comedy, starring
Eddie Murphy. (S)
2.05 The Land Before Time
(1988) Animated adventure,
with the voice of Gabriel
Damon.
3.25 The GadgetGang! In Outer
Space (2017) Animated
adventure, featuring the
voice of Brian Munn. (S)
5.00 Tad the Lost Explorer and
the Secret of King Midas
(2017) Animated adventure,
with the voice of Oscar
Barberan. (S)
6.00 The Jurassic Games (2018)
With Ryan Merriman. (S)
7.30 Black Panther (2018) See
5.15pm. (S)
9.45 Avatar (2009) A soldier uses
a genetically engineered
body to help an alien tribe
fight off a corrupt mining
corporation.
James
Cameron’s sci-fi adventure,
with Sam Worthington and
Zoe Saldana. (S)
12.30 Ready Player One (2018)
See 10.00pm.
3.00 Thor: Ragnarok (2017) With
Chris Hemsworth. (S)
5.15 Black Panther (2018) With
Chadwick Boseman. (S)
7.30 Avengers: Infinity War
(2018) When a galactic
warlord attempts to execute
an insane plan, an army of
superheroes try to stop him.
Fantasy adventure, starring
Robert Downey Jr.
10.00 Ready Player One (2018)
Gamers explore a virtual
world in the quest for a
deceased tycoon’s fortune.
Steven Spielberg’s fantasy
adventure,
starring Tye
Sheridan and Olivia Cooke.
12.30 Braveheart (1995) Medieval
Scottish hero William Wallace
fights to drive the English
from his country. Historical
epic, directed by and starring
Mel Gibson. With Patrick
McGoohan
and
Sophie
Marceau. (S)
3.30 Premium Rush (2012) A
bike messenger delivering a
package across New York is
pursued by someone willing
to kill to get hold of it. Thriller,
starring Joseph GordonLevitt. (S)
5.10 Godzilla (1998) A giant
mutant lizard spawned from
an atomic test rampages
through the streets of New
York. Hollywood remake of
the
Japanese
monster
adventure, with Matthew
Broderick and Jean Reno. (S)
Monday’s Solutions:
1. Pink 2. King 3. Gait 4. Toss
5. Snub 6. Buzz 7. Zinc 8. Cake
9. Eton 10. Nose 11. Even
12. Noun 13. Neat 14. Thaw
15. Writ 16. Tuba
Key word solution: CABARET
GOLD
7.10 Only Fools and Horses
Christmas Special. (S) 7.40 The
Story of Only Fools and Horses. (S)
8.35 Only Fools and Horses. (S)
9.10 The Story of Only Fools and
Horses. Featuring footage of a
special sketch performed by the
cast for the royal family. (S) 10.15
Only Fools and Horses. (S) 10.55
The Story of Only Fools and
Horses. The colourful characters
who revolve around Del and
Rodney’s world. (S) 11.55 Only
Fools and Horses (S) 1.15 The
Story of Only Fools and Horses.
How the Trotter family grew over
the course of the series. (S) 2.15
Saluting Dad’s Army. A celebration
of the BBC sitcom. (S) 3.15 Dad’s
Army.
Captain
Mainwaring’s
brother visits. (S) 4.05 Saluting
Dad’s Army. Alexander Armstrong
looks back at the heyday of the
show. (S) 5.10 Dad’s Army. Private
Godfrey faces homelessness. (S)
5.50
Saluting
Dad’s
Army.
Alexander Armstrong goes behind
the scenes to discover just how
Dad’s Army was made. (S) 6.50
Morecambe & Wise in America.
The comedy duo’s attempts to
become stars in America during
the 1960s. 7.50 Dad’s Army. Firstever episode of the classic
comedy, starring Arthur Lowe. (S)
8.30
Saluting
Dad’s
Army.
Alexander Armstrong looks at how
the show transferred to the radio
and stage. (S) 9.30 Death on the
Tyne. Comedy mystery, starring
Johnny Vegas and Sian Gibson.
11.35 Only Fools and Horses (S)
12.55 Bottom (S) 2.10 Johnny
Vegas: My Favourite Sketch. (S)
3.00 My Favourite Sketch. (S) 4.00
Teleshopping
Sky Witness
6.00 Border Security: Australia’s
Front Line. (S) 6.30 Border
Security: Australia’s Front Line. (S)
7.00 Road Wars. 7.30 Road Wars.
8.00 Brit Cops: Law & Disorder.
Control of crowds at football
matches.
9.00
60
Minute
Makeover. A home transformation
in Cookridge, Leeds. (S) 10.00 60
Minute Makeover. A home
transformation in Normanton,
West Yorkshire. (S) 11.00 60
Minute Makeover. A home
transformation
in
Irlam,
Manchester. (S) 12.00 Nothing to
Declare UK. The work of customs
officers in the south of England. (S)
12.30 Nothing to Declare UK. The
work of customs officers in the
south of England. (S) 1.00 Nothing
to Declare UK. The work of
customs officers in the south of
England. (S) 1.30 Nothing to
Declare UK. The work of customs
officers in the south of England. (S)
2.00 Nothing to Declare UK. The
work of customs officers in the
south of England. (S) 2.30 Nothing
to Declare UK. The work of
customs officers in the south of
England. Last in the series. (S)
3.00
UK
Border
Force.
Documentary
series
taking
viewers inside the UK Border
Agency. (S) 4.00 UK Border Force.
A student is prevented from
entering the UK. (S) 5.00 UK
Border
Force.
The
team
investigates sham weddings. (S)
6.00 UK Border Force. Immigration
officers cause a flight to be
delayed. (S) 7.00 UK Border Force.
The UK Border Agency carries out
a mass deportation. (S) 8.00
Criminal
Minds. The
team
investigates a murderer striking on
the same date each year. 9.00
Criminal Minds. A murderer kills
women who have a strong scent.
(S) 10.00 Murders That Shocked
the Nation. Exploring the story of
Armin Meiwes. Last in the series.
(S) 11.00 Criminal Minds. The
agents investigate an urban
vampire. (S) 12.00 World’s Most
Evil Killers. (S) 1.00 How I Caught
the Killer. (S) 2.00 9-1-1. 3.00 Road
Wars. (S) 4.00 Brit Cops: Law &
Disorder. 5.00 Border Security:
Australia’s Front Line. (S) 5.30
Border Security: Australia’s Front
Line. (S)
Discovery
6.00 Combat Dealers. A military
equipment collector adds to his
stock. 7.00 Alaskan Bush People.
8.00 Gold Rush. 9.00 Gold Rush.
10.00 Gold Rush. 11.00 Gold Rush.
12.00 Gold Rush. Six men from
Oregon head to Alaska to dig for
gold. 1.00 Gold Rush. Parker
adapts his plan to hit a million
dollars. 2.00 Gold Rush. Rick and
Parker’s troubles continue to get
worse. 3.00 Gold Rush. Parker
hires a new driver that isn’t as
experienced as he claims. 4.00
Gold Rush. Heavy rainfall for
several days causes problems for
Parker and Rick. 5.00 Gold Rush.
Six men from Oregon head to
Alaska to dig for gold. 6.00 Fast N’
Loud. The guys customise a ’65
Chevy Impala. 7.00 Supertruckers.
The Kings Heavy Haulage team
moves some aircraft wings for
Airbus. 8.00 Gold Rush: The Dirt.
Behind-the-scenes interviews with
the miners. 9.00 Gold Rush: White
Water. New series. Dakota Fred
and his son Dustin risk their lives
to find a fortune in gold nuggets.
10.00 Master Of Arms. Expert
craftsmen must build a 19th
Century Bowie knife. 11.00
Wheeler Dealers. Mike and Ant
answer questions from fans
across the globe. 12.00 Gold
Rush: White Water. 1.00 Wheeler
Dealers. 2.00 Master Of Arms.
3.00 Gold Rush: White Water. 3.50
Gold Rush. 4.40 Gold Rush. 5.30
How It’s Made.
MTV
6.00 Disaster Date. 6.20 Ex on the
Beach: Body SOS. 7.00 Catfish:
The TV Show 9.00 The Royal World
2.50 The Ride. 3.15 MTV Asks
Little Mix. 3.40 My Super Sweet
16. 4.00 Teleshopping.
History
6.00 Ancient Aliens. 7.00 Ancient
Aliens. 8.00 Forged in Fire. 9.00
Forged in Fire. 10.00 Forged in
Fire. 11.00 Forged in Fire. 12.00
Forged in Fire. Four custom
knifemakers compete to make the
best usable knife. 1.00 Forged in
Fire. Four new bladesmiths tackle
transforming the barrel of a gun
into a knife. 2.00 Forged in Fire.
Two smiths have five days to
create a Dayak war sword, the
Pandat. 3.00 Forged in Fire. Two
contestants reproduce a Japanese
Naginata. 4.00 Forged in Fire. The
final two smiths create African
blade the Zulu Iklwa. 5.00 Forged
in Fire. Two finalists must create an
ancient Indian weapon used to
stab and slice. 6.00 Forged in Fire.
Two smiths forge a German
Zweihander. 7.00 Forged in Fire.
Former winners return for the
chance to craft a weapon called
the pata. 8.00 Buried: Knights
Templar and the Holy Grail. The
true fate of the Knights Templar
and the whereabouts of the Holy
Grail. 9.00 Dark Files. An
abandoned military base known as
Camp Hero in Montauk, Long
Island. 11.00 Ancient Aliens.
Theories that an ancient monolith
represented an alien being. 12.00
Conspiracy Rising. 1.00 Forged in
Fire. 2.00 Forged in Fire. 3.00
Forged in Fire. 4.00 Forged in Fire.
5.00 Forged in Fire.
Syfy
6.00 The Outpost. 7.00 Marvel’s
Runaways. 8.00 Teleshopping. A
chance for viewers to buy bargains
galore at home. 11.00 Primeval.
12.00 FILM: Who Am I? (2014)
Mystery drama, starring Tom
Schilling. 2.10 FILM: Star Trek:
Generations.
(1994)
Sci-fi
adventure sequel, starring Patrick
Stewart and William Shatner. 4.40
FILM: Star Trek: First Contact.
(1996) Sci-fi adventure, starring
Patrick Stewart. 6.50 FILM: Star
Trek: Insurrection. (1998) Sci-fi
adventure sequel, starring Patrick
Stewart. 9.00 FILM: The Running
Man. (1987) Sci-fi action adventure,
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Yaphet Kotto, Maria Conchita
Alonso and Richard Dawson. 11.10
FILM: Twelve Monkeys. (1995) Scifi thriller, starring Bruce Willis and
Brad Pitt. 2.00 Marvel’s Runaways.
3.00 Primeval. 4.00 Buffy the
Vampire Slayer
20
TV & Radio
RTÉ One
6.00 EURONEWS 6.50
Teleshopping
7.25 FILM OLIVER! (1968)
Musical, starring Ron
Moody. (S)
10.05 NEW YEAR’S DAY
CONCERT 2019 (S)
12.45 Telly Bingo 1.00
RTÉ News: One
O’Clock and Weather
(S) 1.10 Neighbours (S)
1.40 EastEnders (S)
2.15 Ireland’s Fittest
Family – Highs and
Lows (S)
3.25 FILM
TOMORROWLAND: A
WORLD BEYOND
(2015) Fantasy
adventure, starring
George Clooney. (S)
5.45 NUACHT RTÉ News
with Signing and
European Weather.
6.00 THE ANGELUS
6.01 RTÉ NEWS: SIX ONE
AND WEATHER (S)
6.30 LIFE AFTER THE
RISING The lives of
Irish citizens 100 years
ago. (S)
7.30 FAIR CITY Renne is
given some difficult
news. (S)
8.00 EASTENDERS The
residents gather for
Mel and Ray’s wedding.
(S)
• Life After The Rising
RTÉ One, 6.30pm
9.00 RTÉ NEWS: NINE
O’CLOCK AND
WEATHER (S)
9.30 FILM THE BOSS
(2016) Premiere. A
disgraced entrepreneur
looks to launch a
comeback with the
reluctant help of her
former PA. Comedy
starring Melissa
McCarthy. (S)
11.25 KEITH BARRY’S
MAGICAL NEW YEAR
PARTY With music
from Kodaline, the
Stunning, the Academic
and more. The
programme also
features magic,
including one of the
most daring and
dangerous feats of
escapology ever seen.
(S) Weather
12.45 FILM TINKER TAILOR
SOLDIER SPY (2011)
Thriller, starring Gary
Oldman. (S)
3.00 CHICAGO JUSTICE
3.45 REDWATER (S)
4.45 TELLY BINGO
4.55 EURONEWS
(S) Subtitles Teletext page 888
eir Sport 1
6.00 CLASSIC GAA 9.00
Classic Premier League
West Brom v Man Utd
12/13. 9.30 Classic
Premier League Ipswich
Town v Liverpool 01/02.
10.00 Classic Premier
League Tottenham v
Chelsea 12/13. 10.30
Liverpool v Everton 11/12.
11.00 PRO14 Rugby Union
3.00 DICK WARNER’S
FISHING ODYSSEY
4.00 ATLANTIC’S EDGE –
YEAR IN LAHINCH
5.00 NEWCASTLE UNITED V
MANCHESTER UNITED:
1995/96
5.30 BLACKBURN ROVERS V
NOTTINGHAM FOREST
6.00 GOLF CENTRAL Up-todate and comprehensive
coverage from around the
world of golf, featuring
expert insight and analysis,
scores and highlights.
7.00 PRO14 RUGBY UNION
11.00 ARNIE The people who
influenced Arnold Palmer.
12.00 SUPER FIT SENIORS
1.00 CLASSIC PREMIER
LEAGUE CHELSEA V
MAN UNITED 12/13
1.30 CLASSIC PREMIER
LEAGUE ASTON VILLA V
MAN UTD 12/13
2.00 CLASSIC PREMIER
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
RTÉ2
6.40 TRTÉ
12.20 FILM SANJAY’S
SUPER TEAM (2015)
12.25 REVOLTING RHYMES
Part one of two. Three
animations based on
poems from Roald
Dahl’s children’s book.
1.00 FILM FREE WILLY 3:
THE RESCUE (1997)
Family adventure,
starring Jason James
Richter. (S)
2.35 FILM WHERE
EAGLES DARE (1968)
A commando unit sets
out to rescue an
American general held
captive by the Nazis in
a heavily defended
fortress. Second World
War adventure, with
Richard Burton and
Clint Eastwood. (S)
5.30 STORIES FROM THE
2018 FIFA WORLD
CUP Memories and
the main talking points
from Russia. (S)
6.35 ALL THE GOALS OF
THE 2018 FIFA
WORLD CUP Action
from Russia, featuring
memorable strikes by
the likes of Cristiano
Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
and Kylian Mbappe. (S)
8.30 SUMMER OF
HURLING Galway v
Clare. A look back at
the 2018 All-Ireland
Senior Hurling
Championship semifinal from Croke Park.
(S)
9.30 FILM CONOR
MCGREGOR:
NOTORIOUS (2017)
Premiere.
Documentary following
the MMA fighter, one
of the most
recognisable names in
the history of the UFC,
filmed over the course
of four years. The film
charts McGregor’s
personal and
professional journey,
from claiming benefits
and living in his mum’s
spare room with his
girlfriend, to winning
multiple championship
belts and huge pay
packets.
11.15 THE DOIREANN
PROJECT (S)
11.45 FILM SEARCHING
FOR SUGAR MAN
(2012) Premiere.
Documentary following
two fans in search of
their musical idol.
American singer Sixto
Rodriguez enjoyed a
brief recording career
in the 1970s before
fading into obscurity.
However, his politically
conscious music
became incredibly
popular in South Africa.
Bizarre stories of his
death had circulated
over the years, but two
devotees plan to find
out what really became
of him.
1.25 WORLD’S
DEADLIEST: JAWS
AND SINS (S)
2.20 LINE OF DUTY
3.20 EURONEWS
VIRGIN MEDIA ONE
SKY ATLANTIC TG4
6.40 WHO’S DOING THE
DISHES? (S) 7.30
Airline USA (S) 8.00
Surprise Surprise (S)
9.00 The Best of
Ireland AM (S)
10.30 FILM DIARY OF A
WIMPY KID: RODRICK
RULES (2011) Comedy
sequel, starring
Zachary Gordon.
12.23 VIRGIN MEDIA NEWS
UPDATE 12.25 Animal
Kingdom 1.30 Live:
Racing from
Cheltenham 3.30
Airline USA 3.58 Virgin
Media News Update
4.05 The Cube
Celebrity Special:
McFly
5.05 FILM MADAGASCAR
(2005) Animated
comedy, with the voice
of Ben Stiller.
6.58 VIRGIN MEDIA NEWS
UPDATE
7.00 EMMERDALE Cain
seeks retribution,
Harriet tries to heal the
past, and Bernice is
plagued by insecurity.
(S)
7.30 EMMERDALE Cain
seeks retribution. (S)
8.00 CORONATION
STREET Audrey pins
her hopes on Lewis
proving Gail wrong.
8.30 CORONATION
STREET
9.00 WHO WANTS TO BE A
MILLIONAIRE? New
series. Jeremy
Clarkson hosts the bigprize quiz, inviting
another line-up of
contestants to answer
questions that could
change their lives.
10.00 FILM EDGE OF
TOMORROW (2014)
Premiere. A soldier
fighting against an
alien army is
repeatedly killed and
brought back to life to
relive the same battle.
Sci-fi adventure,
starring Tom Cruise.
12.15 AN AUDIENCE WITH
MICHAEL BUBLÉ
1.20 THE GRAHAM
NORTON SHOW 2.35
Close
5.20 WHO’S DOING THE
DISHES? (S)
6.00 SAVING MY
TOMORROW 6.40 The
West Wing (S) 7.40 The
West Wing (S) 8.40
Arthur Miller: Writer (S)
10.40 Discovering:
Marilyn Monroe (S)
11.40 FILM JANE FONDA
IN FIVE ACTS (2018)
An intimate look at the
life and work of Jane
Fonda.
2.15 ELVIS PRESLEY: THE
SEARCHER (S)
4.25 ELVIS PRESLEY: THE
SEARCHER (S)
6.20 ANDRE THE GIANT
The life and career of
the wrestler, from his
upbringing in France to
his WWF tenure and
forays into the
entertainment world.
With contributions from
Hulk Hogan and Billy
Crystal. (S)
8.00 BLUE BLOODS Erin
worries she is in danger
when her apartment is
broken in to and a
colleague is attacked,
while Jamie and Eddie
discover a pipe bomb in
an elderly woman’s
home. (S)
9.00 ESCAPE AT
DANNEMORA New
series. Drama series
based on a prison break
in New York in 2015,
when two convicts
escaped prison with the
help of a married female
prison officer.
10.10 GAME OF THRONES
Jorah and Tyrion run into
slavers. (S)
11.10 GAME OF THRONES
Jon prepares for
conflict, Sansa tries to
talk to Theon, and
Brienne waits for a sign.
Elsewhere, Jaime
attempts to reconnect
with his family. (S)
12.20 RAY DONOVAN
1.30 BANSHEE (S)
3.30 ENTOURAGE (S)
4.05 THE WEST WING (S)
Virgin Media 2
7.00 Agatha Christie’s Marple (S) 9.00
Agatha Christie’s Marple (S) 11.00
Xposé: On the Red Carpet 11.30 Just
Henry 1.15 Box Office Bitesize 1.30
Emmerdale (S) 2.00 Coronation Street
(S) 2.30 Coronation Street (S) 3.00
FILM: Kung Fu Panda (2008) 5.00 FILM:
Husband for Hire (2008) 7.00 Box Office
7.30 Box Office 8.00 Paul O’Grady: For
the Love of Dogs (S) 9.00 Love Island:
The Christmas Reunion 10.35 The
Graham Norton New Year’s Eve Show
11.50 Coronation Street 12.20
Coronation Street 12.50 Emmerdale
1.50 The Graham Norton Show 3.00
Close
Virgin Media 3
6.00 Teletubbies 6.30 Bob the Builder
6.45 Bob the Builder 7.00 In the Night
Garden 7.30 The Adventures of
Paddington Bear 8.00 Total Drama
Action 8.30 The Sparticle Mystery 9.00
Alphabetical 10.00 Guess This House (S)
11.00 Christmas Dinner Date 12.00 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (S) 1.00 BBQ Champ
(S) 2.00 Judge Rinder 3.00 Judge
Rinder 4.00 The Royal 5.00 This Time
Next Year 6.00 Agatha Christie’s Marple
(S) 8.00 Agatha Christie’s Marple (S)
10.00 Arthur & George 11.00 Brides in
the Bath 1.00 Close
Sky One
6.00 Micro Monsters with David
Attenborough (S) 6.30 The Bachelor King
(S) 8.00 David Attenborough’s Conquest
of the Skies (S) 9.00 David
Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies (S)
10.00 David Attenborough’s Conquest of
the Skies (S) 11.00 David Attenborough’s
Natural History Museum Alive (S) 12.30
David Attenborough’s Galapagos (S) 1.30
David Attenborough’s Galapagos (S) 2.30
David Attenborough’s Galapagos (S) 3.30
Ratburger (S) 5.00 The Queen and I 6.30
The Simpsons (S) 7.00 The Simpsons (S)
7.30 The Simpsons (S) 8.00 A League of
Their Own (S) 9.00 FILM: Man of Steel
(2013) 11.50 DC’s Greatest Movie
Moments 12.50 A League of Their Own
(S) 1.45 Delicious 2.45 Street Crime UK
(S) 3.10 The Force: North East (S) 4.00
Monkey Life (S) 4.30 Monkey Life (S)
5.00 Futurama (S) 5.30 Futurama (S)
UTV
6.00 CITV 10.25 Britain’s Favourite Walks:
Top 100 (S) 12.55 ITV News and Weather
(S) 1.00 ITV Racing: Live from
Cheltenham (S) 3.30 You’ve Been
Framed! (S) 4.00 Tipping Point (S) 5.00
The Chase (S) 6.05 Harry Hill’s Alien Fun
Capsule (S) 6.35 ITV Evening News;
Weather. (S) 7.00 Emmerdale (S) 8.00
Coronation Street (S) 9.00 Who Wants to
Be a Millionaire? (S) 10.00 ITV News and
Weather (S) 10.20 Tommy Cooper
Forever (S) 11.20 Tommy Cooper Forever
(S) 12.15 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
(S) 1.05 ITV Nightscreen 3.00 Living with
Quads (S) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (S)
ITV WALES, as
UTV except:
1.05 Jackpot247
7.00 CÚLA 4 7.02 Zak Jinks
7.15 Jamie’s Got
Tentacles 7.27 Kazoops
7.34 Kazoops 7.41 Dot
7.53 Masha agus an
Béar 8.00 Zou 8.11
Alvinnn agus na
Chipmunks
(ALVINNN!!! and the
Chipmunks) 8.22 Ár
Scéal (S) 8.35
Muireann agus an Litir
Chuig Daidí na Nollag
9.00 Room on the
Broom (S) 9.28 Elmo
Anseo 9.34 Dónall
Dána
10.00 FILM THE
SPONGEBOB
SQUAREPANTS
MOVIE (2004)
Children’s animated
comedy, with the voice
of Tom Kenny. (S)
11.30 CRAINN NA
HÉIREANN A look at
native trees the ash
and the hawthorn. (S)
12.00 Na Bailéid (S)
12.30 An Lá a Rugadh
Mé (S)
1.00 FILM THE GREAT
GATSBY (1974)
Drama, with Robert
Redford. (S)
3.40 CLUICHÍ NA BLIANA
Another chance to see
a GAA match from the
weekend. 4.38 An
Aimsir Láithreach
4.40 FILM STAR TREK
INTO DARKNESS
(2013) Sci-fi adventure
sequel, starring Chris
Pine. (S)
6.57 AN AIMSIR
LÁITHREACH
7.00 NUACHT TG4
7.15 SIAR 30 BLIAIN (S)
7.30 AN BHUÍON CHEOIL
Examining the local
love affair with the fife
and drum band in west
Donegal, and what
fuels the commitment
to and longevity of the
marching band tradition
in these communities.
(S)
8.30 ROS NA RÚN Dee is
hurt and angry by Katy
and John Joe’s lies,
and Vanessa is happy
to be back in town,
even though she is
upset by what Berni
tells her.
9.00 AN AIMSIR
LÁITHREACH
9.05 FILM MOULIN
ROUGE! (2001)
An idealistic writer
arrives in Paris to join
the bohemian
revolution and falls in
love with a courtesan.
Romantic musical,
starring Ewan
McGregor, Nicole
Kidman and Jim
Broadbent. (S)
11.30 ROS NA RÚN Dee is
hurt and angry by Katy
and John Joe’s lies,
and Vanessa is happy
to be back in town,
even though she is
upset by what Berni
tells her.
12.00 ROBBIE WILLIAMS:
ONE NIGHT AT THE
PALLADIUM
1.10 FRANCE 24
International news.
BBC 1
6.00 BREAKFAST (S)
9.00 FILM PLANES: FIRE &
RESCUE (2014)
Animated adventure
sequel, with the voice of
Dane Cook. (S)
10.15 FILM HOME (2015)
Animated adventure,
featuring the voice of
Jim Parsons. (S)
11.40 DYNASTIES (S)
12.40 BBC NEWS; Weather.
(S)
12.55 THE ARCHBISHOP OF
CANTERBURY’S NEW
YEAR MESSAGE The
Most Rev Justin Welby
reflects on how
communities can be
sources of hope. (S)
1.00 FILM THE RAILWAY
CHILDREN (1970)
Period family drama,
starring Jenny Agutter.
(S)
2.45 PLANET EARTH II: A
WORLD OF WONDER
(S)
3.45 FILM THE JUNGLE
BOOK (1967) Disney
animated adventure,
with the voice of Phil
Harris. (S)
5.00 FILM INSIDE OUT
(2015) Premiere. Pixar
animated fantasy, with
the voice of Amy
Poehler. (S)
6.30 BBC NEWS (S)
• Avengers: Age of Ultron
BBC 1, 11pm
6.50 BBC NEWSLINE;
Weather. (S)
7.00 DOCTOR WHO The
time traveller and her
crew deal with a
terrifying new year
threat. (S)
8.00 EASTENDERS (S)
9.00 LUTHER New series.
Idris Elba returns as the
eponymous DCI. (S)
10.00 MRS BROWN’S BOYS
NEW YEAR SPECIAL
(S)
10.35 BBC NEWS; Weather.
(S)
10.50 BBC NEWSLINE;
Weather; (S) National
Lottery Update (S)
11.00 FILM AVENGERS:
AGE OF ULTRON
(2015) Superhero
adventure sequel,
starring Robert Downey
Jr. (S)
1.10 WEATHER FOR THE
WEEK AHEAD (S) 1.15
BBC News (S)
BBC1 WALES, as
above except:
6.50 BBC Wales Today;
Weather (S) 10.50 BBC Wales
Today; Weather (S)
BBC 2
Channel 4
• Only Connect
BBC 2, 8pm
6.30 SIGN ZONE: ZOG (S)
7.00 Puerto Rico: Island
of Enchantment –
Natural World (S) 8.00
An American in Paris:
The Musical (S) 10.15
New Year’s Day
Concert Live from
Vienna 2019 (S) 12.45
Nature’s Weirdest
Events (S)
1.30 FILM MONKEY
KINGDOM (2015)
Premiere.
Documentary following
a newborn monkey and
its mother in Sri Lanka.
(S)
2.50 FILM THE EAGLE
HAS LANDED (1976)
Second World War spy
adventure, with
Michael Caine. (S)
5.00 FILM THE FINEST
HOURS (2016)
Premiere. Fact-based
disaster movie, starring
Chris Pine. (S)
6.55 SIGN ZONE: THE
ARCHBISHOP OF
CANTERBURY’S NEW
YEAR MESSAGE (S)
7.00 THE SNOW WOLF: A
WINTER’S TALE (S)
8.00 ONLY CONNECT The
Birdwatchers take on
the Brews in Victoria
Coren Mitchell’s quiz.
(S)
8.30 UNIVERSITY
CHALLENGE
CHRISTMAS 2018 (S)
9.00 AMAZON: EARTH’S
GREAT RIVERS (S)
10.00 ROBERT CAMPBELL,
MOUNTAIN MAN (S)
11.00 FILM THE
REVENANT (2015)
Western, starring
Leonardo DiCaprio. (S)
1.25 MOCK THE WEEK
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
(S) 1.55 Waterworld (S)
2.05 FILM SIGN ZONE:
ANT-MAN (2015) (S)
3.55 THIS IS BBC TWO (S)
BBC2 WALES, as
BBC2 except:
1.30 Weatherman Walking (S)
1.45 Welsh Sports Review
2018 (S) 2.15 Scrum V Live (S)
4.30 Extreme Wales with
Richard Parks (S) 10.00 FILM:
The Revenant (2015) (S) 12.25
FILM: Young Frankenstein
(1974) (b/w) (S)
BBC 4
7.00 New Year’s Day Concert from
Vienna 2019 (S) 9.00 Mark Kermode’s
Secrets of Cinema (S) 10.00 FILM:
Oasis: Supersonic (2016) (S) 11.55
Britpop at the BBC (S) 12.55 Elvis: The
Rebirth of the King (S) 1.55 Beirut: An
Art Lovers’ Guide (S) 2.55 A Day in the
Life of Earth (S) 3.55 Close
6.05 EVERYBODY LOVES
RAYMOND (S) 6.30
Everybody Loves
Raymond (S) 6.55
Everybody Loves
Raymond (S) 7.20 Frasier
(S) 7.45 Frasier (S)
8.10 FILM DIARY OF A
WIMPY KID (2010)
Family comedy, starring
Zachary Gordon. (S)
10.00 FILM THE MUPPET
MOVIE (1979) Comedy,
starring Dom DeLuise.
(S)
11.55 THE SIMPSONS Bart
tries to win the
affections of a girl at his
school. (S) 12.25 The
Simpsons (S) 12.55 The
Simpsons (S)
1.25 FILM SPLASH (1984)
A mermaid falls for a
New Yorker she saved
from drowning and
assumes human form
so she can follow him
onto dry land. Romantic
fantasy comedy, starring
Tom Hanks and Daryl
Hannah. (S)
3.40 FILM TURNER &
HOOCH (1989) A cop
investigating a murder
has only one witness to
help him solve the case
– the victim’s large,
smelly dog. Family
comedy, starring Tom
Hanks and Craig T
Nelson. (S)
5.40 NEWS (S)
5.50 FILM SISTER ACT
(1992) Comedy, starring
Whoopi Goldberg. (S)
7.40 THE GREAT NEW
YEAR’S BAKE OFF
Noel Fielding, Sandi
Toksvig, Prue Leith and
Paul Hollywood are
reunited in the tent, and
four former contestants,
including Candice
Brown, hope to win the
Festive Star Baker title.
(S)
9.00 THE INBETWEENERS:
FWENDS REUNITED
Cast members Simon
Bird, Joe Thomas,
James Buckley and
Blake Harrison reunite
for a celebration of the
sitcom. (S)
11.00 THE INBETWEENERS
The gang goes on the
infamous sociology and
geography field trip to
Swanage, and Will takes
a shine to new girl
Lauren – but she is only
interested in Simon. (S)
11.35 THE INBETWEENERS
Will plans to celebrate
his birthday with a
grown-up dinner, but the
event clashes with a
more popular party – so
the gang gatecrashes
the rival gathering. (S)
12.10 THE INBETWEENERS
(S) 12.45 The
Inbetweeners (S) 1.10
Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (S)
2.00 The Crystal Maze
(S) 2.55 The People’s Vet
(S) 3.50 Embarrassing
Pets (S) 4.20 Food
Unwrapped (S) 4.45
Come Dine with Me (S)
5.40 Kirstie’s Handmade
Christmas (S) 5.55 The
King of Queens (S)
Irish Examiner Guide to the best sport on television
Sigurdsson is in it to win it
Sky Main Event
LEAGUE ARSENAL V
TOTTENHAM 12/13
2.30 CLASSIC PREMIER
LEAGUE READING V
MAN UTD 12/13
3.00 CLASSIC GAA
eir Sport 2
5.00 EIHL HIGHLIGHTS 6.00
NHL Ice Hockey 10.00
PRO14 Highlights
NHL ON THE FLY
NHL ICE HOCKEY
PRO14 HIGHLIGHTS
NHL ON THE FLY
LIVE NHL ICE HOCKEY
Chicago Blackhawks v
Boston Bruins (Face-off
6.00pm). Coverage of the
Winter Classic match at
Notre Dame Stadium in
South Bend, Indiana.
9.00 TUSKA SPRINT
TRIATHLON 2018 Action
from the race in the Welsh
Super Series.
9.30 PRO14 RUGBY UNION
Dragons v Ospreys.
11.30 THE OCR WORLD
CHAMPIONSHIPS Action
from the 2018 Obstacle
Course Racing World
Championship.
12.30 NHL ON THE FLY
1.30 LIVE NHL ICE HOCKEY
Nashville Predators v
Philadelphia Flyers (Faceoff 1.30am). Coverage of
the match from
12.00
1.00
3.00
5.00
6.00
Bridgestone Arena.
4.30 2018 BALA TRIATHLON
6.00 GOOD MORNING
SPORTS FANS BITESIZE
7.00 Good Morning Sports
Fans 10.00 Soccer Special
Pre-Match
12.00 LIVE PREMIER LEAGUE
Everton v Leicester City
(Kick-off 12.30pm).
Coverage of the top-flight
clash, which comes from
Goodison Park.
2.55 LIVE EFL Nottingham
Forest v Leeds United
(Kick-off 3.00pm). All the
action from the
Championship encounter
at the City Ground.
5.00 LIVE PREMIER LEAGUE
Cardiff City v Tottenham
Hotspur (Kick-off 5.30pm).
Coverage of the top-flight
clash from Cardiff City
Stadium.
8.00 LIVE WORLD DARTS
CHAMPIONSHIP
Coverage of the 16th day
of the PDC event at
Alexandra Palace in
London, featuring the final
of this year’s competition.
11.00 SKY SPORTS NEWS
1.00 LIVE WWE LATE NIGHT
SMACKDOWN
Spectacular wrestling
action with the over-thetop stars of the States,
profiling fighters causing a
stir and following feuds as
they spill out of the ring.
3.00 SKY SPORTS NEWS
Sky Cricket
6.00 ASHES MEMORIES
3.00 ASHES REGAINED:
COOK’S REDEMPTION
5.00 ASHES MEMORIES
2.00 ASHES REGAINED:
COOK’S REDEMPTION
4.00 ASHES GREATS
Sky Action
6.00 SKY SPORTS BOXING
GOLD 7.00 WWE
Smackdown Hlts. 8.00
NFL: America’s Game. (S)
9.00 Sky Sports Boxing
Gold 10.00 Sporting
Records 11.00 NFL:
America’s Game. (S)
12.00 NFL – A FOOTBALL LIFE
1.00 SPORTING RECORDS
2.00 GREAT SPORTING
MOMENTS
2.30 SKY SPORTS BOXING
GOLD
4.00 GREAT SPORTING
MOMENTS
4.30 SPORTING RECORDS
5.00 WWE SMACKDOWN
7.00 SPORTING RECORDS An
in-depth look at some of
the greatest milestones
ever recorded in sport.
7.30 WILDFLY FISHING
E
verton v Leicester
City (Kick-off
12.30pm). Coverage
of the top-flight clash,
which comes from
Goodison Park. Everton
were 2-1 winners
in October’s reverse
fixture, with the
Toffees capitalising
8.00 FIGHT NIGHT Dillian
Whyte v Dereck Chisora.
9.00 WWE LATE NIGHT RAW
Wrestling action from the
States with the over-thetop stars, featuring the
likes of Seth Rollins and
Finn Balor. Presented by
Michael Cole, Corey
Graves and Renee Young.
12.00 NFL: AMERICA’S GAME
(S)
1.00 LIVE WWE LATE NIGHT
SMACKDOWN
Spectacular wrestling
action with the over-thetop stars of the States.
3.00 SUPER LEAGUE GOLD
(S)
3.30 SKY SPORTS BOXING
GOLD
4.00 SPORTING RECORDS
on Wes Morgan’s
63rd-minute red
card when the score
was 1-1 courtesy of
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s
spectacular strike
14 minutes later.
Live Premier League,
Sky Main Event,
12.00pm
N
ottingham
Forest v Leeds
United (Kick-off
3.00pm). All the
action from the
Championship
encounter at the
City Ground. Live
EFL, Sky Main Event,
2.55pm
5.00 SPORTING GREATS (S)
Eurosport
7.00 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
TENNIS 8.30 WATTS. 8.45
Biathlon. 9.45 Ski
Jumping. 10.45 Live
Cross-Country Skiing.
Coverage of the Tour de
Ski event from Val Mustair
in Switzerland, featuring
the sprint event.
12.30 LIVE SKI JUMPING
Coverage of the second
stage of this season’s Four
Hills competition comes
from GarmischPartenkirchen in Germany,
featuring the HS140 event.
3.00 LIVE ALPINE SKIING
Coverage of the World Cup
meeting from Oslo in
5.00
6.00
7.00
8.00
10.00
11.30
12.30
1.00
• Gylfi Sigurdsson, Live Premier
League, Sky Main Event, 12pm
Norway, featuring the
parallel giant slalom.
CROSS-COUNTRY
SKIING
SKI JUMPING Four Hills
action from GarmischPartenkirchen in Germany.
ALPINE SKIING The
World Cup meeting from
Oslo in Norway.
ATP TENNIS
TENNIS: HOPMAN CUP
Action from day four of
the team event at the
Perth Arena in Australia, as
USA faced Switzerland.
SKI JUMPING Four Hills
action from GarmischPartenkirchen in Germany.
HORSE EXCELLENCE
LIVE ATP TENNIS The
Brisbane International.
Coverage of day three at
the Queensland Tennis
Centre, where the players
have gathered for valuable
court time ahead of the
Australian Open.
2.00 LIVE ATP TENNIS The
Brisbane International.
Coverage of day three at
the Queensland Tennis
Centre, where the players
have gathered for valuable
court time ahead of the
Australian Open.
3.00 ATP TENNIS
5.00 LIVE ATP TENNIS The
Brisbane International.
Further coverage of day
three at the Queensland
Tennis Centre, where the
players have gathered for
valuable court time ahead
of the Australian Open.
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Family Notices
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
Situations Vacant
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In Memoriam
Ahern
Nan Donegan
WATER’S PLACE, MALLOW
FIRST ANNIVERSARY
Sadly missed by her nieces
and nephews, relatives,
friends
and
close
neighbours. A good and
generous friend to all.
Anniversary Mass, January
27 at 10am in Church of
The Resurrection for Nan
and deceased members of
her family.
Always remembered
Never forgotten
Road Bowling
PEAKE 11.30 J Shorten v
D. Hubbard.
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IN THE MATTER
OF
THE COMPANIES ACT 2014
R. & L. LOGISTICS LIMITED
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN
Pursuant to Section 587(6) of
the Companies Act 2014, that a
meeting of the Creditors of the
above named company will be
held at Carnegie Court Hotel
Swords, Co. Dublin on 17th
January 2019 at 9.30 am for
the purposes of appointing a
liquidator.
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O’Donovan
13th ANNIVERSARY
In loving memory of a dear
husband, father and grandfather JOHN (J.D.), late of
Sandymount Avenue.
You still live on in the
hearts and minds,
Of the family and friends
you left behind.
(Loved and remembered
every day by your wife
Breda, Mary, Judy, Peter
and families).
O’Donovan
Contact Ph. 021-4811609
Mary Hunt
EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY
In loving memory of MARY,
Douglas and Rosscarbery,
who died on January 1st,
2011.
Never more than a thought
away,
Loved and remembered
everyday.
(Sadly missed by John, John
Ross, Emily, Andrew and
grandchildren)
In Memoriam
13TH ANNIVERSARY
In loving memory of my
brother JOHN who died on
January 1, 2006, late of
Glasheen. R.I.P. Masses
offered.
Deep in our hearts your
memory is kept,
To love and cherish and
never forget
(From
Pat,
Patricia,
Michelle, Bryan and Alan).
13th ANNIVERSARY
In loving memory of my
brother JOHN, late of
Sandymount Ave., Glasheen
Road, who died on 1st of
January 2006. RIP. Masses
offered. Our Lady Of
Lourdes pray for him.
A date that is filled with
sadness,
Returns to me today,
As I stop to remember
you,
In a very special way.
(Always remembered by
your sister Margaret)
O’Donovan
13th ANNIVERSARY
In loving memory of my
brother JOHN, who died on
the 1st of January 2006, late
of Sandymount Ave.,
Glasheen Road. RIP. Mass
offered.
My words are few,
My feelings deep,
My memories of you will
always keep,
Will those who think of
John today,
A little prayer to Jesus say.
(Always remembered by
Maura, Carol and Edward)
Family Notices
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In loving memory of a dear
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CORNELIUS ‘SONNY’, late of
Shanavally, Riverstick, who
died on January 1, 1981.
R.I.P.
Will those who think of
him today,
A little prayer to Jesus say.
(Always remembered by his
wife Frances and family)
In Memoriam
O’Donovan
FARRAN
TONY’s family remember
him with love and prayer on
the 16th Anniversary of his
death.
Great Island
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Tom Boyle v Dan Halloran.
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CARRIGALINE
12TH ANNIVERSARY
In loving memory of KAY,
who died on January 1,
2007.
Time passes,
Memories stay,
Never forgotten,
Especially today.
(Lovingly remembered by
her husband Jim and
family).
O’DWYER In loving memory
of my dear friend ANGELA
whose first anniversary occurs
today.
Your life was a blessing,
Your memory a treasure,
You are loved beyond words
and missed beyond
measure.
(Sadly missed by your dearest
friend Keith)
Death Notices
O’CONNELL (Grenagh and
formerly of Knockacarracoush,
Cullen, Co. Cork, Borden,
Mallow and UCC): On
December 30, 2018, at Mercy
University Hospital, PATRICK
(PAT), beloved husband of
the late Margaret (nee
Houlihan), dear father of
Timothy and Louise. Deeply
regretted by his loving family,
daughter-in-law Aoife, son-inlaw Séamus, grandchildren
Ben and Ruth, brothers
Denis, Séamus and Daniel,
sister
Nina
(Tangney),
brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law,
nephews, nieces, relatives,
neighbours and his many
friends. Rest in peace.
Reposing at St. Lachteen’s
Church, Grenagh from 5pm
to 8pm on today Tuesday,
January 1. Requiem Mass
at 11am on tomorrow
Wednesday, January 2. Burial
afterwards in Cullen Cemetery.
Family flowers only please.
Donations if desired to St.
Therese’s Oncology Ward,
Mercy University Hospital,
Cork.
21
Death Notices
O’LEARY (Waterloo, Blarney):
On December 31, 2018,
peacefully, in the presence of
her loving family, at Bridhaven Nursing Home, AGNES
(nee Lyons), beloved wife of
the late Dan, loving mother of
Donal, Tom, Kathleen, Tim
and the late Jerry. Sadly
missed by her loving family,
grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister Theresa,
sons-in-law, daughters-in-law,
nephews, nieces, relatives,
neighbours and a large circle
of friends. Reposing at St
Mary’s Church, Waterloo on
this (Tuesday) evening from
5pm to 7pm, followed
by prayers. Requiem Mass
on tomorrow (Wednesday)
at 2pm. Funeral afterwards
to All Saints Cemetery,
Garrycloyne.
Requiescat in pace
www.oconnorfuneralcork.ie
22
News
Irish Examiner
Tuesday, 1.01.2019
Call for
resources
to tackle
domestic
violence
■ Women’s Aid issues plea as
tough legislation comes into force
Conall Ó Fátharta
New domestic violence laws
which come into effect today
wo n ’ t b e ef f e c ti ve un le ss
support services, the gardaí
a n d th e c o u r t s a r e g i ve n
additional resources.
That’s according to
Wo m e n ’ s A i d , w h o h a v e
called on the Government to
ensure to back the Domestic
Vi o l e n c e A c t 2 0 1 8 w i t h
a dd i t io na l m e a s u r e s an d
supports.
The legislation includes
measures such as the
extension for eligibility for
safety orders to young
wo m e n w h o e x p e r i e n c e
a bu s e i n da ti ng r el atio n ships; recognition of an intimate relationship as an aggravating factor in domestic
violence cases, and the crime
of coercive control.
It will also see the introduction of out-of-hours’
special sittings of the district
courts to provide for orders
in emergency situations and
the prohibition of electronic
c o m m u n i c at i o n w i th vic tims.
The legislation also
includes measures to make it
easier for those affected by
domestic abuse to avail of the
c o u r t sy s t em a n d l in k i n
with specialist support services.
Women’s Aid has said it
plans to monitor the impact
o f th e p r o v i s i o n t o tre at
t he i n t im at e re l at i o n s h i p
between the abuser and his
v i c t i m a s a n ag g ra va t i n g
factor through its ongoing
Sentencing Watch project,
with a report due in September 2019.
Director of Women’s Aid
Marg aret Mar tin said the
laws were the culmination of
many years of lobbying by
the group and other organisations.
“From today, women must
feel change quickly. It must
be positive, it must be practical, and it must make them
a n d th e i r c h i l d r e n s a f e r
from abuse. What is promised on paper must be fully
resourced to be effective in
protecting those affected by
domestic violence.
“We are concerned that an
already over-stretched
system will see an increase
i n d e m a nd w he n the ne w
provisions commence.”
Ms Martin said Women’s
Aid’s national helpline was
available to those affected by
domestic violence but also to
people wondering how the
new laws will affect them.
She also highlighted the
extension of eligibility for
access to safety and protection orders to those in
intimate relationships, who
have never lived with their
boyfriends as a key part of
the new law.
“This change will make a
significant difference to the
safety of younger women.
“ We a l s o w e l c o m e t h e
move to prevent abusers to
communicate electronically
with their victims, a step in
the right direction to address
the digital abuse and online
h a r a s s m e n t o f wo m e n by
partners and exes.”
Ms Martin also welcomed
the introduction of out-ofhours special sittings of the
district cour ts to provide
f o r or de rs i n e m erg en cy
situations.
“We hope that Garda will
use this provision to of fer
vulnerable women the
chance to apply for immedia t e pr ot ec t i on w h e n it i s
needed and that this
measure is adequately resourced, so that it will work
in practice.
“The Domestic Violence
Act will bring about muchn e e d e d im p r ov e m e n t fo r
wo m e n e x p e r i e n c i n g d o mestic violence. The systems
to support women as they try
to access support and protect i o n f r om a bu se m u s t b e
properly resourced to make
s u r e th a t t h e p r o v i s i on s
make a real dif ference for
victims of domestic violence
especially for specialist support services, the courts and
the gardaí,” she said.
■ Women’s Aid 24hr National
Freephone Helpline can be
contacted at 1800 341 900
Oh yes she is
Vanessa Feltz, radio and television personality, and her grandchildren Zekey and Neroli Benitah who attended the Everyman CADA production of the pantomime ‘Cinderella’ at
the Everyman Theatre, Cork. Also pictured are Zoe Talbot as Cinderella and Ross MacLeod as Prince Charming. The show’s run continues until January 13. Picture: Denis Minihane
West Cork campaigners seek solar farm guidelines
Seán McCárthaigh
C a m p a i g n e r s op po s i ng a
large solar farm planned in
West Cork have called on
the Government and local
a u t h o r i t i e s to i n t r o d u c e
legislation and guidelines to
c o n t r o l an d r e g u l a t e th e
development of such projects
around the country.
The Finnis-Mishells Solar
Free Valley Group claims
the absence of national
guidelines has resulted in a
free-for-all rush to obtain
p l a n n i n g p e rm i s s i on for
solar-farm developments on
prime agricultural land.
“ T h i s p o l i c y va c u u m
creates a situation whereby
o p p o r t u n i s t i c de ve l o p e r s
are taking advantage of the
situation and trying to push
t h r o u g h p o o rl y - t h o u g h t
o ut a p p li c a ti o n s w i th o ut
consideration for the
environment or rural
communities,” the group’s
chairman, Mike Walsh, said.
Dozens of applications for
solar farms have been lodged
in the past two years with
the vast majority securing
planning permission, despite
strong opposition in many
c a s e s fr o m c o mm un i t i e s.
T h e m a j o r it y of p ro j ec ts
have been located in rural
areas of Munster and south
Leinster.
The group has lodged an
appeal with Bord Pleanála
against plans for the development of a 13.1MW solar farm
at a large site around 4km
northwest of Bandon which
was sanctioned by Cork Co
Council last year.
BNRG Neoen Holdings, a
Dublin-based renewable
energy fi rm, is seeking to
build a solar farm consisting
of 40,000 solar panels on a 40-
The Finnis-Mishells group says there is still an opportunity to
avoid mistakes that have ‘riddled the wind farm industry over the
past 20 years’.
Picture: PA
hectare site in the townlands
of Finnis and Mishells.
The cost of the project is
estimated at over €13m and it
will generate energy to
power the equivalent of over
1,750 homes per annum.
A ru l i ng o n the c a s e i s
expected later this month.
Although the FinnisMishells group is not
opposed to the principle of
renewable energy, Mr Walsh
said there was an issue at a
national level about solar
farms being located “in the
a p p ro p r i at e en v i ro n m e n t
with proper checks and
balances.”
“ I f th ey a r e n o t p u t i n
place will the people of
Ireland look back and ask
who and how was all of this
a l l o we d t o h ap pe n to o ur
e nv i ro nm e nt, ” M r Wa l s h
said.
He said there was still an
oppor tunity to avoid mistakes that had “riddled the
wind farm industry over the
past 20 years.”
In their own case, Mr
Walsh said the industrial
scale of the project was not in
keeping with the character
of the local area or “good
agricultural practice” as it
would result in the loss of
4 0 a c r e s o f h i gh ly f e r ti le
agricultural land in the
Ballymahane River valley.
“Greenfield sites are used
to decrease installation costs
and increase profits for the
developer at the cost of the
local communities, environm e n t an d t h e co un t r y i n
general,” said Mr Walsh.
In the UK, guidelines
recommend solar farms
should ideally be located on
low-grade farmland and
brownfield sites. In addition,
they should avoid affecting
th e vi su al as pe c t of la n dscapes and should predomin a n t l y b e o n fl a t te r r ai n
which is well screened by
hedges and trees.
Last month, the Minister
for Housing, Planning and
Local Government, Eoghan
Murphy said in the absence
of national guidelines, he
was satisfied that the planning code was “sufficiently
robust” to facilitate the assessment of individual planning permission applications
for solar farm development.
Train firm loo-sing patience after bra blockage
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Virgin Trains is urging passengers to use toilets appropriately after a bra was
flushed onboard and caused
a blockage.
The train operator said
four toilets per day were
taken out of service as a result of incorrect use, totalling more than 18,000 lost
toilet hours per year with a
repair bill of over £180,000.
Other strange items found
to be flushed down the pan
on the Pendolino trains include glasses, wedding rings,
nappies and a football scarf.
Wet wipes accounted for
over 90% of onboard blockages, the firm said, with
wipes labelled as “flushable”
still leading to problems due
to clogging of internal pipes.
Talking toilets and tonguein-cheek signage are used on
Virgin Trains to promote responsible toilet use.
Michael Jacks, head of
fleet and engineering at Virgin Trains, said: “It did make
us smile when we found the
bra as it’s not something you
would expect to find.
“But it does highlight a
very serious issue, and one
that greatly impacts on our
customers.
“Bins are provided, and we
would remind everyone to
follow the 3Ps of flushing.
Only pee, poo and paper
should be flushed down any
toilet.”
Young prodigy
USA: A 16-year-old Kansas
boy will soon earn his high
school diploma — and a few
days later he’ll travel to Harvard to collect his bachelor’s
degree.
Ulysses High School senior Braxton Moral will attend both commencement
ceremonies in May, becoming the only student to successfully pursue a four-year
high school degree and a
bachelor’s degree from Har-
A world
apart...
vard at the same time, The
Hutchinson News reported.
Harvard has changed the
rules, Braxton’s father Carlos Moral said, so his son will
be “the one and only” reaching that milestone. Braxton
Moral will be 17 when he gets
his diplomas.
Carlos Moral said they
began to realise their son
was special when he was in
the third grade.
“They told us: ‘You need to
do something. He’s not just
gifted. He’s really, really
gifted,’” he said.
Braxton Moral skipped the
fourth grade.
The Ulysses school district
allowed him to take some
high school classes while he
was still in middle school.
Before high school he took a
class offered at Fort Hays
State University. Then he
was admitted into Harvard.
Braxton Moral simultaneously studied at the high
school and the Harvard Extension School. The program
typically serves adults who
work and can’t attend
classes on campus full time.
Ulysses High School math
teacher Patsy Love served as
the proctor for the Harvard
program, administering
Moral’s tests in Kansas.
Moral spent the summer before his junior year at Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“We constantly are monitoring Braxton to make sure
he is not too overwhelmed,”
said Julie Moral, Braxton
Moral’s mother. “No achievement is worth him being
unhappy.”
Braxton Moral is on track
to graduate from the Bachelor of Liberal Arts program,
with a major government
and a minor in English, said
Harry Pierre, associate director of communications
for Harvard’s Division of
Continuing Education.
Braxton Moral said he
hopes to attend Harvard Law
School next.
“Politics is the end-game
for me,” he said, though he’s
still too young to vote.
Zika virus warning
USA: A police force has been
criticised after issuing a
warning about methamphetamine being infected with
the Zika virus and offering to
test people’s drugs in a plot
to catch users.
According to Sky News,
Hanrahan Police Department in Louisiana published
the warning on Facebook,
saying: “If you have recently
purchased meth in any area
of Louisiana it may be contaminated with the Zika
virus.”
The force told residents:
“Please bring all of it to your
local police department and
they will test it for free.”
However, the town’s
mayor said he was concerned about false information being spread by
the police department.
Unsurprisingly, nobody
took the force up on the offer
— despite the alarm the Zika
virus caused when it swept
across the Americas in 2015.
Brazil declared an end to
its Zika emergency in May
after a drop in cases.
The virus was primarily
transmitted through mosquito bite blood contamination, although it can also
be passed from mother to
child and through sexual intercourse.
It is not believed that the
virus can infect methamphetamine.
Outgoing mayor, Tina
Miceli, criticised the Facebook post, saying: “I am concerned about the information that is disseminated to the community and
our surrounding communities, and how they are getting their information. I
don’t want residents afraid
without having information.”
Ms Miceli’s replacement,
Tim Baudier, said he found
the post funny.
Breaking the ice
A brave swimmer plunges into a pool carved from solid ice in the Songhua River as part of the build-up to
the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival which begins on Saturday.
Picture: Tao Zhang/Getty Images
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