From the Papers

No More Time Changes

We used to call them ‘old time’ and ‘new time’ or ‘summer time’ and ‘winter time’, and it would take us days to work out the yearly confusion when clocks went back or forward one hour. From 2021, that will no longer happen in Ireland. Like other member states within the EU, the country will settle on the same time throughout the year. Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 7.01.42 am.png

By April 2020, each country will be required to nominate which time they decide to maintain. Apparently, in a survey some time ago, Ireland overwhelmingly ‘voted’ to end the clock changes. It is likely that what we called ‘summer time’ will be chosen as the standard throughout the year.

It used to be said that the reason for the time changes was to convenience farmers. Whether they will have an opinion on the new dispensation is not known.

John Connell in Australia

John Connell worked for some years in Australia with SBS and the ABC and won aScreen Shot 2019-02-10 at 11.40.35 am.png Walkley Award for his work. He then had a breakdown and returned to Ireland to work on the family farm in Longford. He is currently back in Australia promoting The Cow Book and has been interviewed on Weekend Breakfast on ABC television as well as by Phillip Adams on Late Night Live. The Cow Book was reviewed here in Australia in The Irish Echo in August last year.

The review concludes ‘There is a lightness about the writing, but a constant tension too. It is there in the strains between a father set in his ways and a son who keeps his thoughts to himself; it is there in the inevitable struggle with the early Irish spring; and it is there, unwritten and unsaid, in the young man who has had successes as a writer, but longs to be accepted as a farmer.’


Strike called off

The strike called by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has been called off to allow members to consider the government deal. It is estimated that the offer would result in an increase of about €875 in annual pay for members.

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INMO Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha (Ní Shé)

This has been contrasted with the rise in pay for Gardai in 2017 which resulted in an average increase of €3500 for each garda.

And while all this is happening, the teachers are also in discussion with the government.


Remembering Ringey

By agreement as near to universal as Ireland is capable of, Christy Ring was the greatest hurler of the age, the country’s version of Don Bradman. A non-smoker and non-drinker (that’s a pioneer pin in his lapel), he died in March 1979 at the age of 58 as a result of a heart attack on his way to see his doctor. He won eight All Ireland medals, was a master of ground

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In an RTE interview

hurling in particular, and despite his relatively small physique, knew how to look after himself in close encounters. His name even crops up in Tim Winton’s latest book The Shepherd’s Hut.

Now, Ireland is remembering Ringey again after the death of his wife Rita in her early 90s. The Irish Examiner quotes the secretary of his former club Glen Rovers describing her as “a quiet and unassuming woman who had a great life with her husband.” The couple had twin sons, one of whom died as an infant, and a daughter. Their wedding in 1962 was the first such event filmed by Telefis Eireann.


New Laws for Tech Use

Social media firms such as Facebook and YouTube can face heavy fines or criminal charges under new Irish laws if their platforms are involved in cyber bullying or have videos that promote self-harm.

The European Union expects Ireland “to regulate all video-sharing platforms” that are based in the country.Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 5.52.54 pm.png Already, YouTube have said they will ban comments on videos that show young children.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton will have responsibility for writing the laws which will include heavy penalties. “I believe that the era of self-regulation in this area is over and a new Online Safety Act is necessary,” he is quoted as telling the Irish Independent.

One of the tricky areas under the new regulations will be requiring technology companies to monitor children using their services without parental control.