Saturday, March 14, 2015

Donie's Ireland daily news BLOG update

Ireland’s economy is no longer built around one industry,

We have left the Celtic Tiger behind says Kenny


Taoiseach tells US audience that country has left excesses of Celtic Tiger behind.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny started his St Patrick’s Day trip to the United States by telling an audience of businesspeople in Atlanta that Ireland had moved beyond an economy built around one industry.
Speaking at a business breakfast to the Irish Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, Mr Kenny spoke about the country’s recovery saying that it had left behind the excesses of the unsustainable economic boom era.
“The so-called Celtic Tiger years were a veneer driven in many cases by shallowness and by greed,” the Taoiseach said.
“The economy was expected to be built and to be sustained on one platform only and that collapsed with all the consequences that came with it. But now it is different where all the sectors are growing, all of them, and that is the broad-based economic growth that we are pleased to see happening.” Mr Kenny told the business audience that Ireland had endured a “torrid time” over the last number of years and the Government had to take some “very difficult decisions” .
“Thanks to the sacrifices made by many hundreds and thousands of the Irish people and the decisions taken by Government as part of a clear strategy and a clear plan, I can say with confidence here in Atlanta that the economic recovery has now taken hold in Ireland, is taking hold in Ireland and will be managed very carefully for the benefits of everybody’s future, ” he said.
The Taoiseach paid tribute to Irish-American businessman Don Keough, the former veteran executive of Atlanta-based Coca Cola and economic adviser to the Government who died recently, describing his advice as “always a source of great assurance and of great strengths”.
“The best tribute we can pay Don is to build on that strong relationship that he helped create [between Ireland and Atlanta],” he said.
Afterwards, Mr Kenny met Coca Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent and Irishman Irial Finan, executive vice president of the company and president of the bottling investments and supply chain, at the company’s worldwide headquarters.
The Taoiseach is on a six-day visit to the US for St Patrick’s Day. He will travel to Austin, Texas where he will officially open the new Irish consulate before he travels on toWashington for business meetings on Monday.
He will meet US President Barack Obama in the White House on St Patrick’s Day on Tuesday for their annual meeting in the Oval Office and for the St Patrick’s Day lunch hosted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner at the US Capitol.

These leading Irish people tell us why they’re involved with Renua Ireland


These three ordinary people who want to run for Ireland’s newest party in the next election.
LUCINDA CREIGHTON was definitely the star of the show at the launch of Renua Ireland today, but the party also had a number of its members in attendance.
Renua has 180 people who want to run in the general election. Not all of them will with Creighton indicating that the party will field between 50 and 60 candidates at the next election.
We spoke to three of them to gauge why they wanted to get involved and what persuaded them to run for the country’s newest political party.
  Mailo Power, a hotelier in Waterford, says the reason she got involved was because of the challenges that are facing family-run businesses like her own.
It’s a voice for those people who are actually struggling, the whole idea of cashflow and all that was a major challenge for us.
“I’ll be going forward as a candidate for the selection process in Waterford. None of us are confirmed candidates, we all have to go through the selection process, but I’ll be putting my name in the hat!”
  Anne Farrell, from Roscommon, says she’s always been politically interested but resisted the urge to get “dragged into it” up until now.
She describes Creighton as a “very vibrant, young, steely, confident girl”.
On this occasion when Lucinda Creighton took the stand she did on the vote in Dáil Éireann, I respected her stance on the issue. She voted against her own party, one which she was, politically, moving upwards in. I found that her honesty and integrity appealed to me.
She said the Irish people are “crying out for honesty and integrity” and to be included in the process of government. For her it was a case of “do it now, or shut up”.
Farrell is the sister of Labour senator John Kelly. Michael D Higgins was one of her tutors in NUIG “back in the day” and she did canvass for Labour in Galway in the past.
But ultimately, she hopes to run for the party in Roscommon-Galway East.
Finally, we also spoke to Shane Dunphy above main picture is a social worker, commentator and journalist, who wants to run for the party in Wexford “if they’ll have me”.
One of the things that just struck me time and time again when I was a child protection worker was the fact that everybody who was working in the area was full of the best intentions in the world, wanting to do the best for their clients. But they were hamstrung by lack of finances, resources, social workers, and psychologists on the ground.
He said in Renua Ireland he has found people who are “absolutely committed to making real change”.
He says getting involved was an opportunity to implement “real, positive change”.

Anglo Irish wind-down leaves €1.85 billion for unsecured creditors

Pedestrians are seen walking past a branch of the Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin in this September 30,

The winding down of the lender at the heart of Ireland’s 2010 financial crisis has left 1.85 billion euros for unsecured creditors which may be distributed before the end of the year, the Irish finance ministry said on Friday.

Anglo Irish Bank’s wind-down vehicle, the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC), has paid 14.7 billion euros to creditors and has given deadlines to unsecured creditors for further claims, the ministry said in a statement.
“The Special Liquidators inform me that they could be in a position to make an interim distribution to unsecured creditors in the last quarter of this year,” Finance Minister Michael Noonan said in a statement.
He said there was no risk that the state would need to inject additional funds into the lender.
IBRC was put into liquidation in 2013 in a deal that released Dublin from a commitment to quickly pay off a 29 billion-euro debt incurred by Anglo Irish.



If you’re heading to the pub this weekend, here’s the proof you need to know you deserve it.

We’re a hard-working bunch, and it appears we’re carrying a fair share of the load with our European neighbours.
The latest news from Statista has outlined the longest working hours in Europe… and let’s just say we’re glad we’re not toiling away in Greece.
Coming in at 42 hours a week, the Greeks topped the poll for longest hours in a working week, followed closely by Portugal on 39.3 and Spain at 38 hours per week.
The study also found France falling to number four with 37.5 hours per week.
Ireland came in at number seven on the list – with the Irish workforce racking up 35.4 hours on average per week. We fair marginally better than Italy and our neighbours over in the UK who averaged 36.9 and 36.5 hours respectively.
So feel free to order another pint and have a sleep-in in the morning.


Grafton Street Dublin goes green to celebrate St Pat’s & its new pavements


Grafton Street above left before the street was repaved.
Dublin’s Grafton Street will go green on Friday night in a joint celebration of St Patrick and the completion of the street’s repaving scheme.
The €4 million repaving project saw sections of the street cordoned off for months at a time since May 2013 so that the old red brick surface could be replaced with stone.
With the project now completed the council is moving on to the streets to its west, starting with Johnson’s Court, a narrow lane that runs from Grafton Street to the Powerscourt Town Centre, and the pedestrianised section of Wicklow St.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke will perform the ceremonial switching on of the new street lights at 6.45pm. The lighting will be green for this weekend to mark the St. Patrick’s Festival. “This will showcase a new public lighting feature which allows the council to change the colour of street lights on Grafton Street to mark special occasions,” the council said.
Mr Burke thanked businesses and shoppers for their patience during the work. “Following these works Grafton Street is now an even bigger draw for shoppers and tourists. The works were carried out with the minimum of disruption and that is a credit to everyone involved, in particular the City Council, the contractor, the businesses and members of the public.”
Work on Wicklow Street and Johnson Court is due to start next month and be completed by late September at a cost of €0.5 million.
The work is part of the Grafton Street Quarter Public Realm Plan published in 2013, which envisages a €14 million investment over three years to upgrade the largely Victorian area from St Stephen’s Green to College Green and from South Great George’s Street to Kildare Street.

Ultrasound technology may help to treat Alzheimer’s


In a breakthrough, scientists have found that non-invasive ultrasound technology can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and restore memory in mice.

Researchers from Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland discovered that the innovative drug-free approach breaks apart the neurotoxic amyloid plaques that result in memory loss and cognitive decline.
Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research director Professor Jurgen Gotz said the new treatment method could revolutionise Alzheimer’s treatment by restoring memory.
“We’re extremely excited by this innovation of treating Alzheimer’s without using drug therapeutics,” Gotz said.
“The ultrasound waves oscillate tremendously quickly, activating microglial cells that digest and remove the amyloid plaques that destroy brain synapses,” Gotz said.
The approach is able to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier, activating mechanisms that clear toxic protein clumps and restoring memory functions.
“With our approach the blood-brain barrier’s opening is only temporary for a few hours, so it quickly restores its protective role,” Gotz said.
Researchers have tested the new approach using mice with an Alzheimer’s model, and the next step is to scale the research in higher animal models ahead of human clinical trials, which are at least two years away.
“This treatment restored memory function to the same level of normal healthy mice,” Gotz said.
“We’re also working on seeing whether this method clears toxic protein aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases other than Alzheimer’s and whether this also restores executive functions, including decision-making and motor control,” Gotz said.

Ancient teeth found in Sri Lanka shows of earlier human life in the rain-forests

The site of Batadomba-lena in Sri Lanka, where human teeth dating back 20,000 years old were excavated, is pictured in this undated photo for March 11, 2015.
People adapted to living in tropical rainforests thousands of years earlier than previously known, say scientists who found crucial evidence in 20,000-year-old fossilized human teeth discovered in Sri Lanka.
The researchers said there has been a debate about when our species began living in rainforests, with some experts arguing such habitats may have been too daunting for early human hunter-gathers.
In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, the scientists examined teeth from 26 people found at various archaeological sites in Sri Lanka for evidence of whether their diet consisted of rainforest plants and animals. They obtained small tooth enamel samples and analyzed them with an instrument called a mass spectrometer.
Almost all the teeth, including the oldest ones from about 20,000 years ago found at the Batadomba-lena rock shelter in southwestern Sri Lanka, indicated a diet primarily of food from the rainforest.
“Humans have been manipulating and living within dynamic rainforest environments for at least 20,000 years and probably even longer,” said University of Oxford archaeologist Patrick Roberts, who studies early human adaptations. “The lifestyle, as we can see, was dedicated rainforest subsistence.”
Scientists previously had not found direct evidence of human occupation of rainforest regions before about 10,000 years ago.
Compared with open habitats, rainforests present difficulties such as dense vegetation that makes it tough to get around; small, nimble and often arboreal prey animals; and a bewildering array of plants and fruit, including poisonous ones.
“However, it is clear that hunting and gathering communities in Sri Lanka figured out how to adapt to such settings,” said Oxford archaeologist Mike Petraglia, another of the researchers.
The researchers said these people hunted monkeys, giant squirrels, mouse deer, porcupines and other mammals, as well as freshwater and forest snails, while also eating nuts and starchy rainforest plants.
“These results further the picture that our species was incredibly adaptive, and it is arguably this that made us the first species to expand across the diversity of the globe’s ecologies and environments,” Roberts said.
While the study provides the earliest direct evidence for human reliance on rainforest resources, the researchers said other evidence suggests people may have taken to Sri Lanka’s rainforests as early as 38,000 years ago.
Roberts said archaeological work in Africa, Southeast Asia and Melanesia suggests humans may have used rainforest resources at least 45,000 years ago.     

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