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Wednesday, 26th February 2014

A study in Volatility

Events are moving so fast in the Ukraine at the moment that it is sometimes hard to figure out exactly what is happening and what, more importantly, the outcome will be. We all know that the President Yanykovych has left Kiev and that his main rival Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison and said to the waiting crowds that the dictatorship is over. But as we have learned from similar situations in other countries just because the leader is awol doesn't mean that a definitive resolution to the conflict has been found. It would appear that there is still a lot to play for and that even outside the country there are lots of players who have vested interests in what happens in the Ukraine. Ostensibly the overthrow of Yanykovych happened because he wanted to have closer

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Wednesday, 19th February 2014

Rain, rain . .

In a week where there was bloodletting over allegations of bugging of the Garda Ombudsman, a week where the President was forecasting a disaster over youth unemployment and a week where news of wars filled the airwaves there was something else on the minds of most people. And that was the weather. No matter what you might think will top the news agenda at any given time you can rest assured that when an unseasonable weather front approaches then Irish people will talk first and foremost about that rather than almost anything else. Of course you might think that by this stage we would be used to storms in winter and good weather in summer but that isn't really the case. Nature has a way of reminding us on a regular basis that we are all ultimately

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Wednesday, 19th February 2014

Amusement at Murphy's Folly




A Chara

I read your piece last week regarding the traffic situation at the Folly and the comments by Jason Murphy with much amusement. Mr Murphy appears to be of the view that the recent safety improvements at the Folly do not work but he speaks of course to a small number of residents and drivers who use this route at peak times.

I cycle from Ballygunner to the Industrial Estate on the Cork Road, morning and evening, Monday to Friday, at peak traffic times and have to say the recent works at the Folly Church and addition of cycle lanes on the short section of the Folly are a welcome move by the City Council. It is good to see that safety of road users is of high importance in the Council and I applaud this effort to

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Wednesday, 12th February 2014

A matter of equality

Who would have ever thought it that two separate T.D.s, one from Fine Gael and one from Labour, would have stood up in the Dail and spoke about their experiences of homophobia in Ireland today. For all of those who think that Ireland hasn't developed over the last number of years and that somehow our public representatives are at a distance from the lives that we all lead these two men really brought home how wrong that thinking is. Both were quite eloquent and definitely passionate about describing about how difficult it can be being gay in Ireland today. Not only can it be hard to battle the everyday insidious homophobia that gay and lesbian people have to deal with but sometimes it can go beyond that. Deputy Buttimer described how he has been shouted at in

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Wednesday, 5th February 2014

Good News Bad News

The news that Ireland is the best country in the European Union when it comes to cutting dole numbers has been met with incredulity by most people on hearing this. There is sometimes a big difference between the anecdotal and the empirical but it would seem that most Irish people would question heavily any assertion that Ireland's record on employment has been anything other that abysmal over the last number of years. But the statistics show that unemployment has indeed gone down by a large margin here in Ireland and specifically youth unemployment. Of course though, if were to take a step back and question the statistics you might come up with something more accurately approaching the truth of the matter. The fact is that while unemployment figures might have gone down the next logical step to

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Wednesday, 29th January 2014

Demographics and Assessment

Demographics and Assessment 35% of people with dementia admitted from home were discharged to nursing homes

The average length of stay for a person with dementia admitted from home and discharged to a nursing home was 59 days, compared to 22 days in a person admitted from home and discharged home.

The actual practice as evidenced by the healthcare records (HCR) was less than the stated practice by senior managers and clinicians in each hospital: 62% of hospitals reported that an assessment of functioning using a standardised instrument is routinely carried out, but 36% of patients had this performed; 97% of hospitals reported that nutritional assessments were routinely performed, but 76% of patients had a nutritional assessment recorded; 88% of hospitals reported that the person's weight or body mass index (BMI) would be routinely recorded during the admission, but 39%

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Wednesday, 22nd January 2014

When the Taoiseach, accompanied by his Minister of Health, takes time out of his schedule to go and meet the staff of any organisation you know that there is something seriously wrong. In this case the organisation in question is the CRC which has hardly been out of the headlines for the last number of months. We thought that there couldn't possibly be any other revelations concerning the finances of that group until it was found out through the Dail Public Accounts Committee that the former head of the CRC Paul Kiely actually received over 400,000 Euro in his pension that he hadn't already declared to the same committee. And where this money come from? It of course came from charitable donations from the public. And to add further salt to the wounds this pension money, as it became, was

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Wednesday, 22nd January 2014

Mr Enda Kenny, Taoiseach.,

Government Buildings,

Upper Merrion Street,

Dublin 2.

Dear Mr. Kenny,

We represent over 20 townlands here in north Waterford from Mahon Bridge to the banks of the Suir. We were totally outraged by your comments on pylons on a visit to Saudi Arabia recently. You seemed to imply that the vast majority of the people in our area who are against the pylons and the tens of thousands of people elsewhere in rural Ireland who are against them, will, through our opposition to the Eirgrid projects, cause emigration of young people and hinder the creation of jobs through projects such as these.

Do you not realize that the vast majority of people in rural Ireland against pylons already have family members working overseas because of forced emigration, largely caused, not by us poor peasants, but by economic policies pursued by the last

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Wednesday, 15th January 2014

water, water everywhere

The establishment of a new agency that would oversee the privatisation of water here in Ireland was never going to be a popular proposition. When it comes to paying for such a fundamental and basic necessity for everyday life many people believe that is what they taxes for. However it seems now that despite all the arguments back and forth that we are very soon going to be paying for our water. We have had it pointed out ad nauseam to us just how much it costs for water to come out of our taps. No one is disputing that but that doesn't mean to say that people agree when it comes to what many believe is a basic everyday necessity. But the Troika made it very clear that for Ireland to receive help that we would have

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Wednesday, 8th January 2014

No matter how far we think that we have advanced as a people there are certain things that happen to us that remind us that to a large extent we do not have total control over our own lives. One of those things is the weather. The weather has become such a conversational pass time in Ireland that sometimes it seems that we talk about little else. The very unseasonably good weather that we had during the summer was such a revelation that we were all taken unawares by it and couldn't believe our good luck. Good weather just doesn't happen in Ireland and particularly during the summer, as much as a paradox as that sounds. However what we are used to is bad weather. The Inuit people might have 50 different words for snow but Irish people must have

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Letters to the Editor


    HealthCatastropheMary Harney, when she was Minister for Health, many years ago, declared that 300 people on trolleys in hospital corridors was a 'health crisis'. Now here we are in 2018 and we have nearly twice that number of people on trolleys within a hospital system that barely seems able to cope. The sad and infuriating thing about this, is that this is a yearly occurence where every winter ,just as the New Year is coming in, we find ourselves in the same position - every year.The Gove …

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