The Compensation Culture
We have referred on a few occasions in these reports to the way that Ireland seems to have developed a booming industry around compensation for injuries, real or feigned. Now the Independent has written a revealing set of stories describing ways that the legal and the medical professions cooperate to manipulate the system. Certain firms of solicitors refer clients – with whiplash for example – to particular doctors who are prepared to write a full report after a 40-second examination. And doctors are known to reciprocate by referring clients to particular firms of solicitors. Meanwhile, the ordinary person wonders why insurance costs are going up year by year. Not by ten or twenty percent, but by factors of three or more. Land of saints and scholars indeed. Well done, Indo.
The Troubles of Kevin Myers …
There was a time when you read something because it was under his byline, because you knew it would be sharp, clear and possibly give an alternative view on some issue. But then, he was accused of being anti-Semitic and misogynist in an article he wrote about women in the BBC. Suddenly, nobody wanted to know him and he was isolated from his peers and a lifetime of contacts. His critics included J K Rowling, Hillary Clinton and Leo Varadkar; among his defenders were Alan Shatter and the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland. Myers is now writing his memoir, due to be published this year. Expect fireworks.
… and of the FAI
The FAI is the body that runs soccer in Ireland. For quite some time, they have been in the news for their financial problems. What caused those problems is not clear from casual browsing of Irish news sources, though the name of their former CEO John Delaney seems to crop up in many reports. Now we learn that they have lost a €10m sponsorship with Three, they are being bankrolled by UEFA to the tune of €1m per month, and in the words of the Indo, ‘total liabilities are lurching beyond €50m.’ It appears that the Gardai are involved.
One of the issues that the FAI have taken seriously is that women international players should be paid the same as men.
Meanwhile, there is a hope that Ireland can reach the final of their pool in the European championships and that, according to The Irish Echo, their last match may be against Northern Ireland.
A Bridge to Scotland
Irish PM Leo Varadkar has confirmed that he and British PM Boris Johnson discussed a bridge between Ulster and Scotland. The DUP are strongly in favour of the idea and see it as a way of firming the statelet’s connection with the mainland. The cost of a 30 km bridge from Larne to Portpatrick in Scotland is estimated to be in the region of €18 bn, only a little less than the Channel tunnel.
The Taoiseach wished them well, but said that Ireland would not be contributing to the project. How the Scots feel about the idea is not clear.
Mr Varadkar has, however, indicated that the Irish government is interested in cooperation on a number of projects, if the political parties up there could get there act together. Among the projects was a high-speed rail link between Belfast, Dublin and Cork. Another was setting up a university in Derry for the north-west of the country. He pointed out there there were 40,000 students in the cities of Cork and Galway, but only 4,000 in Derry.
Driving by Numbers
In the first nine months of 2017, the Gardai issued 84 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs. The following year, that number had increased fourfold to 332. In the year just ended, 2019, that figure had again increased almost three times to 906.The figures obviously depended on regions where Gardai were most active, and the Kildare Division had the biggest numbers, followed by Cavan-Monaghan. Meanwhile, arrests for drink-driving have decreased.