Irish News May June 2024

Irish News May June 2024

Simon Harris pictured speaking on the phone to US President Joe Biden

Simon Harris pictured speaking on the phone to US President Joe Biden

Harris discusses Gaza, Ukraine in first call with Biden

McEntee seeks to bring Ireland in line with EU through new immigration laws

Taoiseach working to ‘grow support’ for Palestine among fellow EU nations

Taoiseach: World should be appalled by reports of Ukrainian children being electrocuted and tortured

Taoiseach's home targeted for second time by anti-migration protestors

Gardaí probe alleged animal welfare issues at Dublin Zoo

 EU countries approve landmark nature restoration law after delays

Taoiseach: Further income tax cuts and cost-of-living package as part of Budget 2025

Monday, 17 Jun 2024

Deportation flights to begin 'by the end of the year' - McEntee | Newstalk

Ryan and Martin to step down from Green Party leadership roles

Investigation after 5,000 fish die in Cork river

'Somebody needs to grab this issue by the neck' - How to deal with Dublin tents

Efforts are underway to find alternative accommodation for dozens of asylum seekers who have pitched tents in Dublin city
Jack Quann Jack Quann  17 MAY 2024

Conor Feehan: How ‘tent city’ strategy has turned into complex game of musical chairs | Irish Independent

Integration Minister Claims Shannon Ukrainian Accommodation Contract Terminated Due To Concerns Arising From Site Visit - Clare FM

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It says in the papers: changes in newspaper readership in Ireland

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Israel announces daily 'pause' for aid deliveries to Gaza

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United Ireland: Varadkar says Irish government must push harder .

BBC News 16th June 2024 

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Irish Newspapers By County
Kerry Weekly Reporter
The Kerry Weekly Reporter was a nationalist newspaper with a Catholic orientation. In 1920 The black and tans burnt the Kerry Weekly Reporters printing works on Russell Street and Market Street Tralee in 1920.
The Kerry Weekly Reporter was a nationalist newspaper with a Catholic orientation. In 1920 The black and tans burnt the Kerry Weekly Reporters printing works on Russell Street and Market Street Tralee in 1920.
Raymond's Kerry Herald
Raymond's Kerry Herald is one of 19 publications available through the Irish Newspaper Archives resource. Raymond's Kerry Herald Prospectus extract: 12/01/1856 We believe we are not disappointing public taste when we decline to make any exaggerated promises or premature pledges as the future performances. The counsel who states nothing but what he can prove is he who bests consults the interests of his clients.
Donegal News
Originally established in 1902 to cover the area of Derry in Northern Ireland, the Donegal News moved across the border to Letterkenny during World War II in an effort to avoid harsh censorship laws.

Originally established in 1902 to cover the area of Derry in Northern Ireland, the Donegal News moved across the border to Letterkenny during World War II in an effort to avoid harsh censorship laws.


Leo Varadkar said preparations needs to be stepped up for a possible end to the border BBC News Sunday, 16 Jun 2024

The former taoiseach said: "I think we have to acknowledge that for quite some time the Irish state gave the Catholic Church a special position and therefore treated minorities as if they were in a different position.

"I think we have to acknowledge that.

"In terms of apologies, I think apologies are appropriate, but you have to be careful about them.

"You can only apologise for things that happened, it has to be authentic, you've to mean it."

Mr Varadkar said "you have to know it will be accepted too".

"I often hear people who are republicans, who maybe would have been supporters or involved in the IRA in the past, when they give apologies, it is kind of a general language, ‘apologies for what happened and everyone suffered and what everyone did’.

"I think if we are going to start to change minds and hearts among Protestant people, a much more stronger, specific apology for ‘what was done and what we did’, I think would help to change some hearts and minds."


'Sneering and denigrating abuse'

White haired man sitting and speaking at event

David Adams is a former paramilitary and loyalist politician

In a section entitled ‘Protestant Perspectives’, the discussion also included former paramilitary and loyalist politician David Adams and DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) founder Wallace Thompson.

Mr Adams has been critical of the Ireland’s Future group in the past and voiced his concerns again.

He claimed that members of the group were ignoring, and in some cases, opposing the need for reconciliation between divided communities.

Mr Adams described his remarks as a “wet blanket” at the event, but he appreciated the invitation.

He said there had been a “sustained campaigning of sneering and denigrating abuse” aimed at unionists on social media and mainstream media.

Looking to the future, he said: “Either we all win or we all lose, it’s that simple.”

On a united Ireland, he said if he lived to see a border poll he would make a decision based on the situation at the time, and would choose the option that would secure the best future for his children and grandchildren.

Ireland’s Future have defended their work.

On their website, they say they are dedicated to “mutual respect between all views and traditions that share this island”.

grey haired man with glasses in shirt and jacket

Wallace Thompson is founder of the DUP

'Out of my comfort zone'

DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) founder Wallace Thompson also spoke at the event.

Last month, he said he felt a united Ireland was inevitable.

At the event, he described himself as a life-long supporter of the Reverend Ian Paisley, as well as a unionist and evangelical Protestant.

He received a round of applause after admitting he was “out of my comfort zone”.

Nonetheless, he insisted his conscience was clear for attending an event linked to a united Ireland.

PA Media Blonde woman in white blazer speaking into a microphone

Michelle O'Neill also addressed the audience at Ireland's Future event in Belfast

First Minister Michelle O’Neill also spoke at the event.

She insisted that Casement Park would be rebuilt while she is in office.

The Sinn Féin vice-president said her preference was that it would be ready in time for Euro 2028 but she made it clear that even if it was not completed by then, it would still happen.

“In case there’s any doubt out there, Casement will be built on my watch,” she said.

Northern Ireland is due to host five games in the championships but the stadium site remains derelict and redevelopment work has yet to begin.

Supporters of the project hope the next UK government, after the 4 July election, might provide the necessary funding.


'Diary clash'

Politicians from both sides of the border spoke at the event including Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald, the SDLP’s Claire Hanna and Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan plus representatives from the Alliance Party, Green Party, Workers Party, Fine Gael, People Before Profit, Aontú, the Social Democrats and the Irish Labour Party.

The Alliance Party leader, Naomi Long, was due to speak but withdrew because of a “diary clash”.

One of the slogans of Ireland’s Future is “paving the way to the reunification of the island”.

On its website it states it is “not a political party and are not affiliated to any political party”.

More on this story

No Casement Park funding plan until after election

Thousands talk united Ireland at Dublin event

Casement Park and the long road to Euro 2028


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Israel announces daily 'pause' for aid deliveries to Gaza

Children wait for food at a distribution centre in Deir-al-Balah

Children wait for food at a distribution centre in Deir-al-Balah

Israel's military said it would "pause" fighting around a south Gaza route daily to facilitate aid deliveries, following months of warnings of famine in the besieged Palestinian territory.

The announcement of a "local, tactical pause of military activity" during daylight hours in an area of Rafah came a day after eight Israeli soldiers were killed in a blast near the far-southern city and three more troops died elsewhere, in one of the heaviest losses for the army in its war against Hamas militants.

UN agencies and aid groups have repeatedly sounded the alarm of dire shortages of food and other essentials in Gaza, exacerbated by overland access restrictions and the closure of the key Rafah crossing with Egypt since Israeli forces seized it in early May.

Israel has long defended its efforts to let aid into Gaza including via its Kerem Shalom border near Rafah, blaming militants for looting supplies and humanitarian workers for failing to distribute them to civilians.

"A local, tactical pause of military activity for humanitarian purposes will take place from 8am to 7pm (6am-5pm Irish time) every day until further notice along the road that leads from the Kerem Shalom crossing to the Salah al-Din road and then northwards," a military statement said.

A map released by the army showed the declared humanitarian route extending until Rafah's European Hospital, about 10km from Kerem Shalom.

People queue for hours to receive in Gaza City

AFP correspondents in Gaza said there were no reports of strikes, shelling or fighting this morning, though the military stressed in a statement there was "no cessation of hostilities in the southern Gaza Strip".

The decision, which the military said was already in effect, was part of efforts to "increase the volumes of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip" following discussions with the UN and other organisations, it said.

The announcement also comes on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

The United States, which has been pressing close ally Israel as well as Hamas to agree to a ceasefire plan laid out by President Joe Biden, on Friday imposed sanctions on an extremist Israeli group for blocking and attacking Gaza-bound aid convoys.

In Gaza City, in the territory's north, "there is nothing left" to eat, said resident Umm Ahmed Abu Rass.

"What is this life?" she told AFP. "There is no fuel, no access to medical treatment... and there is no food or water."

"We want to live."

The military said the eight soldiers killed yesterday were hit by an explosion as they were travelling in an armoured vehicle near Rafah, where troops were engaged in fierce street battles against Palestinian militants.

Military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told a televised briefing that the blast was "apparently from an explosive device planted in the area or from the firing of an anti-tank missile".

Separately, two soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Gaza and another succumbed to wounds inflicted in recent fighting.

Yesterday's losses were among the heaviest for the military since it began its ground offensive in Gaza on 27 October, taking its overall toll since then to 309 deaths.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences following "this terrible loss".

In a statement, he said that "despite the heavy and unsettling price, we must cling to the goals of the war".

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas following the Palestinian group's unprecedented 7 October attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Hamas also seized 251 hostages. Of these, 116 remain in Gaza, although the army says 41 are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 37,296 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory.

World Food Programme deputy executive director Carl Skau said recently that "with lawlessness inside the Strip... and active conflict", it has become "close to impossible to deliver the level of aid that meets the growing demands on the ground".

Children line up to receive food in Deir al-Balah

G7 leaders on Friday said aid agencies must be allowed to work unhindered in Gaza, calling for the "rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need".

Egyptian, Qatari and US mediators have been pushing for a new truce since a one-week pause in November which also saw hostages released from Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoner held in Israeli jails, and increased aid deliveries into the Palestinian territory.

But as diplomatic efforts have stalled, fears of the war spilling over into a broader Middle East conflict have been rekindled in recent days by an escalation of tit-for-tat violence between Israel and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally.

Hezbollah said intense strikes since Wednesday were retaliation for Israel's killing of one of its commanders.

Israeli forces responded with shelling, the military said, also announcing air strikes on Hezbollah infrastructure across the border.

The two top UN officials in Lebanon called on all sides to cease fire.

"The danger of miscalculation leading to a sudden and wider conflict is very real," they said in a joint statement.

During a Middle East trip this week to push a Gaza truce plan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said "the best way" to help resolve the Hezbollah-Israel violence was "a resolution of the conflict in Gaza and getting a ceasefire".

That has not happened.

Hamas has insisted on the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and a permanent ceasefire -- demands Israel has repeatedly rejected.

Mr Blinken has said Israel backs the latest plan, but Mr Netanyahu, whose far-right coalition partners are strongly opposed to a ceasefire, has not publicly endorsed it.

Integration Minister Claims Shannon Ukrainian Accommodation Contract Terminated Due To Concerns Arising From Site Visit - Clare FM

13th June 202 

The Department of Integration claims its contract with a Shannon property housing Ukrainian refugees has been terminated due to concerns arising from a site visit.

Ukrainians living in Phoenix House in the Shannon were served with a letter from International Protection Accommodation Services on Monday, outlining a decision to relocate them to Lisdoonvarna before the end of the month.

Since shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine two years ago, up to 100 refugees have been residing in Phoenix House, formerly the Shannon Development Building, on the site of the Shannon Town Centre.

This week, they’ve been informed by IPAS that they’ll be moved to Lisdoonvarna on June 24th.

With many having secured jobs and enrolled their children in schools locally, Cathaoirleach of the Shannon Municipal District Donna McGettigan of Sinn Féin claims the decision shows a lack of consideration for all parties.

Integration Minister Roderick O’Gorman claims the contract for the property has been terminated “due to concerns raised following a site visit by the Ukraine Compliance team, along with QTS, an independent inspection company hired by the Department, and the Department of Social Protection”.

Lisdoonvarna Fine Gael Councillor Joe Garrihy believes people in his area are at their wit’s end due to the consistent lack of consultation on refugees coming into their area.

The Department of Integration claims “every effort has been made” to allow Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection, or BOTPs, in Clare to remain “as local as possible” but this has proved difficult because of “very few vacancies in the area due to a significant number of move”.

The Department also says BOTPs are “free to make their own arrangements for accommodation, or to reach out to the Red Cross or the Local Authority to avail of pledged or offer a home properties”.

Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil, Meelick Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe says taking refugees out of a community after they’

O’Halloran Confident Minor Hurlers Are Ready For Shot At Defending All Ireland Title

O'Halloran Confident Minor Hurlers Are Ready For Shot At Defending All Ireland Title - Clare FM

14th June 2024 Clare FM

Clare’s minor hurling coach is confident the squad are focused ahead of their shot at history on Sunday.


The Banner saw the curtain come down on the 2024 campaign after defeat to Donegal ended their championship season.

This year saw Clare in contention for promotion from Division Three, contest the Munster final, and qualify for the top tier championship series.


Fitzgerald Praises Positive Season For Clare Football After Championship Exit

17th June 2024

Clare boss Mark Fitzgerald feels having a campaign in the top tier of the All Ireland football series will lead to huge development for his players

Independent TD offers bail surety for man accused of murdering RUC officer, High Court hears | Irish Independent

Independent TD Thomas Pringle offered a bail surety for John McNicholl.

Independent TD Thomas Pringle offered a bail surety for John McNicholl. 

12th June 2024 By Eoin Reynolds


Independent TD Thomas Pringle has offered a bail surety at the High Court for a man wanted in Northern Ireland to face a charge that he murdered an RUC officer nearly 50 years ago.

Detective Sergeant Adrian Murray told the court this afternoon that he arrested 72-year-old John Edward McNicholl this morning at the defendant's home in Newmills, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Wicklow mum makes heartfelt plea after negative public reactions to son’s Tourette’s | Irish Independent 

by Eoin Mac Raghnaill 12th June 2024

Rathdrum resident Leonie Byrne with her son Finn (13).Rathdrum resident Leonie Byrne with her son Finn (13).

A Wicklow mother whose son has Tourette syndrome and coprolalia has implored her community to be more understanding after a string of involuntary public outbursts led to unsavoury incidents that damaged the teen’s self-confidence and desire to go outside.

After being diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) last year, 13-year-old Finn Byrne from Rathdrum developed coprolalia, which manifests in the form of involuntary speech that isn’t socially acceptable, including curse words, racial slurs and sexual innuendos.

King's Birthday Honours: NI recipients

16th June 2024 BBC News 

PA A women sitting on a chair

Bronagh Hinds said it was a great privilege to be nominated

BBC News NI has pulled together a full list of the Northern Ireland recipients of the King's Birthday Honours list.

The commonly awarded ranks are as follows:

Companion of Honour - Limited to 65 people. Recipients wear the initials CH after their name

Knight or Dame

CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire

OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire

MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire

BEM - British Empire Medal

Guide to the honours

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Robert Bailie OBE; for services to the economy and to opera in Northern Ireland

Norman Fulton, deputy secretary of Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs; for services to agriculture in Northern Ireland

Bronagh Hinds, co-founder of Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition; for services to peace and promoting women’s rights

PA A women smiling to camera

Prof Donna Fitzsimons described the honour as amazing

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

David Cunningham, National Crime Agency officer; for services to law enforcement

Ronald Joseph Dawson; for services to fundraising and to charity in Northern Ireland and abroad

Prof Donna Fitzsimons, head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast; for services to healthcare and to education

David Marshall, director of Census, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra); for services to official statistics and census taking in Northern Ireland

James McAlee, consultant clinical oncologist at Northern Ireland Cancer Centre; for services to cancer care and treatment in Northern Ireland

Paul McGurnaghan, state director of digital services at Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA); for services to information technology and digital innovation

Dr John McKeown, veterinary surgeon; for services to the veterinary profession

Prof Noel Purdy, director of Research and Scholarship at Stranmillis University College, Belfast; for services to education

Joy Scott, chair of Clanmil Housing Association; for services to social housing in Northern Ireland

Karen Turner, leader of Traveller Education Support and Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support at Education Authority; for services to education, to minority ethnic support services in Northern Ireland and to speech and drama

PA A man and a boy

Mairtin Mac Gabhann said it "was not an easy decision” to accept becoming an MBE

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Jeremy Adams; for services to disability sport

Valerie Adams; for services to archives in Northern Ireland

William Adamson, Northern Ireland Development Officer at National Sheep Association; for services to the sheep industry

Alison Cairns; for services to renal patients and their families within the Western Health and Social Care Trust

James Campbell, business support services manager of the Northern Ireland Audit Office; for public service

William Carson, founder of the Container Ministry, Irish Methodist Mission Partnership; for services to the community in Northern Ireland and abroad

Beverley Roy Corry; for services to athletics

Patrick Duffy; for services to Special Olympics sports and to young people, particularly those with learning disabilities in the Newry and District Gateway Club

Clodagh Elizabeth Dunlop; for services to stroke survivors and to the reform of stroke services

Robert Grundy, former chair of Matrix; for services to science, technology and innovation policy

Raymond Hall; for services to pipe bands and to the community in Northern Ireland

Mary Hamilton; for services to local government, to education and to cross-community reconciliation in Northern Ireland

Catherine Harper; for services to domestic abuse support in Northern Ireland

Stephen Harrison, principal of Gilnahirk Primary School, Belfast; for services to education in Northern Ireland

James Huey; for services to education and to rugby in Northern Ireland

Elaine Hunniford; for services to young people and to safeguarding in sport

James Irwin, president of Dungannon and Moy Branch, Royal British Legion; for voluntary service to veterans in Northern Ireland

Prof Barbara Jemphrey, director of Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen's University Belfast; for services to education

David Johnston, state community outreach officer at the Northern Ireland Office; for public and community service in Northern Ireland

Prof David Simon Jones, professor, pharmaceutical and biomaterial engineering and lately pro-vice-chancellor at Queen's University Belfast; for services to education and to pharmacy

Máirtín Mac Gabhann; for services to organ donation in Northern Ireland

John Madden, principal of Roddensvale School, Larne; for services to education and to children with special educational needs

John Martin; for services to agriculture and dairy farming in Northern Ireland

Dr Patricia McCaffrey, consultant geriatrician at Southern Health and Social Care Trust; for services to older people in Northern Ireland

David McConville, biomedical services manager at the State Pathologist's Department; for services to the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland

George McMath, deputy principal at Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra); for services to the Northern Ireland Census

Richard Moore; for services to equine-assisted therapy and learning in Northern Ireland

Stephen Mulligan, principal, Mossley Primary School, Newtownabbey, County Antrim; for services to education

Desmond Nevin, executive director, customer and operations of Northern Ireland Water; for public service

Frances Nicholson, professional social worker of Department of Health Northern Ireland; for services to social work and to adoption and fostering services

Nicholas Price DL; for services to the food and hospitality industry and to the community in Northern Ireland

Catherine Quinn, principal of Abbey Community College, Newtownabbey, County Antrim; for services to education

Raymond Rafferty, chair of trade unions, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust; for services to health and social care in Northern Ireland

Lindsay Robinson; for services to perinatal mental health in Northern Ireland

Bernadette Shiels; for services to the arts in Northern Ireland

Prof Maxwell Watson; for services to palliative care medicine

Robert Wilson, regional officer for Northern Ireland, Association of School and College Leaders; for services to education

William Young, project manager at South West College; for services to civil engineering education

PA Medals on display

Most honours are awarded at new year and on the monarch's official birthday, in June

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Brian Adams; for services to young people and sport

Ellen Barnett, volunteer at St Saviour's Church, Craigavon; for services to music and to the community in Craigavon

Richard Black; for services to the Royal British Legion in County Tyrone

Derek Borland; for public service in Northern Ireland

John Caldwell; for voluntary services to the community in Donaghadee, County Down

Elizabet Coleman; for voluntary and charitable services to the community in Belfast and missionary work in Africa

John Davidson; for services to the licensed retail sector

Kevin Dolan, state senior supervisor of the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs; for services to forestry

Claire Drummond, head of student wellbeing, Ulster University; for services to higher education

Aidan Early, chair and co-founder of Community First Responders Group Armagh and Tyrone; for voluntary service to the community in Northern Ireland

Adele Elder, area catering manager at Education Authority; for services to education and to charity in the Causeway Coast and Glens

William Gillespie; for services to military and police support in Northern Ireland

Connor Graham, state ambassador and peer mentor of Action Cancer Northern Ireland; for services to people with skin cancer

Sheelagh Greer; for services to music in Northern Ireland

James Hamilton; for services to community safety and the neighbourhood watch

Irene Hewitt; for voluntary services in Londonderry

Marguerite Hull; for services to the St Vincent De Paul Society and to the community in Eglinton, County Londonderry

Irene Hunter; for services to the Royal British Legion in County Londonderry

Michael Ievers; for services to drama in Northern Ireland

Andrew Kennedy, chair of the board of governors at Ballykeel Primary School, Ballymena; for voluntary service to education and to the community in Ballymena, County Antrim

Mandy Kilpatrick, principal private secretary to the Lady Chief Justice; for services to justice

William Henry King; for public service in Northern Ireland

Erroll Adrian Lutton; for services to hockey

Brian Lynas; for services to the Boys' Brigade and to the community in County Antrim

Kenneth Mannin; for services to the community in County Londonderry

Elizabeth McCann, state receptionist at the Department for the Economy; for public service

Richard McClune; for voluntary service to police and military welfare in County Armagh

Francis McCoubrey; for services to local government and to the community in west and north Belfast

Karen McCourt, foster carer; for services to foster care in Northern Ireland

Patrick McCourt, foster carer; for services to foster care in Northern Ireland

Audrey McDowell; for voluntary and charitable services to the community in County Down

Gordon McDowell; for services to sport and to the local community in County Down

Phyllis Michael; for services to Girlguiding Ulster and to the community in County Londonderry

Paul Mullen; for services to the community in County Tyrone

Rosemarie Mullen; for services to the community in County Tyrone

Sarah-Jane Mullen; for services to the community in County Tyrone

Stephen Newell; for services to the community of Greyabbey, County Down

Sharon Nurse; for services to midwifery and neonatal education in Northern Ireland

William Patterson, governor of Stranmillis University College, Queen's University Belfast; for voluntary service to higher education

John Porter; for services to scouting and to the community in Northern Ireland

Isabella Rafferty, foster carer; for services to foster care in Northern Ireland

Hilary Richardson; for services to Girlguiding and to the community in Tobermore, County Londonderry

Matilda Richardson, executive officer at Police Service of Northern Ireland; for public service

Samuel Taylor, school caretaker at Windsor Hill Primary School, Newry; for services to education and to the community in Newry, County Down

Paula Tierney; for voluntary and charitable services to HomeStart Belfast North, particularly during Covid-19

Robert White; for services to association football and to charity in north Belfast

PA Photo of a man outside

Det Ch Insp John Caldwell was badly injured in a New IRA murder attempt in Omagh, County Tyrone

King's Police Medal (KPM)

John Caldwell, Detective Chief Inspector, Police Service of Northern Ireland

Niall McCready, Detective Sergeant, Police Service of Northern Ireland

Mervyn Seffen, Superintendent, Police Service of Northern Ireland

King's Ambulance Service Medal (KAM)

Heather Foster-Sharpe, assistant director emergency preparedness, resilience and response at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

King's Birthday Honours: How does the UK honours system work?

 King's Birthday Honours: How does the UK honours system work? - BBC News

  • King's Birthday Honours  16th  June 2024 BBC News
  • Dame Jilly Cooper at Windsor Castle
  • Novelist Jilly Cooper was made a dame by King Charles at Windsor Castle

    The 2024 King's Birthday Honours was announced in mid-June.

    The awards typically celebrate the contribution of well-known personalities, government employees and ordinary people who have served their community.

    When are honours awarded?

    Most honours are awarded at new year and on the monarch's official birthday, in June.

    The King's Birthday Honours list in 2024 included:

    • a knighthood for Alan Bates, the former sub-postmaster who successfully campaigned to highlight the Post Office Horizon scandal

    • damehoods for actress Imelda Staunton, designer Anya Hindmarch and artist Tracey Emin

    • MBEs (Member of the British Empire) for Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Amy Dowden and EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis

    The 2024 New Year Honours list included:

    • a damehood for bestselling writer Jilly Cooper

    • knighthoods for Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis and pub chain JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin

    • CBEs (Commander of the British Empire) for ex-rugby league players Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield for raising awareness of motor neurone disease

    • an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for England women's football interim captain Millie Bright and singer Leona Lewis

    • MBEs for actress Emilia Clarke and England goalkeeper Mary Earps

    King Charles III's first Birthday Honours list in 2023 included:

    • an OBE for ex-footballer Ian Wright

    • MBEs for broadcasters Ken Bruce and Davina McCall

    • a knighthood for former hostage Terry Waite

    In May 2024, nine people received bravery awards, external as part of the King's first civilian gallantry list.

    Departing prime ministers can also issue resignation honours.

    Boris Johnson and Liz Truss both left office in 2022.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with Home Secretary Priti Patel, during a visit to Surrey Police headquarters on July 27, 2021 in Guildford, United Kingdom

    Boris Johnson's resignation honours recognised close allies, including former Home Secretary Priti Patel

    Mr Johnson's controversial list, released in June 2023, initially contained eight names rejected by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, external.

    It did not name the nominees but Mr Johnson's ally, former Tory MP Nadine Dorries, said "sinister forces" had stopped her receiving a peerage.

    Ms Truss was widely criticised for submitting an honours list after only 49 days in the job. Her 11 nominations largely consisted of political supporters and former aides.

    When Parliament ends before a general election, dissolution honours are typically given to politicians.

    After the death of a senior member of the Royal Family, Royal Victorian Order honours are awarded to people who served the family.


    How are people chosen for honours?

    The New Year and birthday honours are awarded by the King following recommendations by the prime minister or senior government ministers.

    Members of the public can also recommend people for an award., external These nominations typically make up about a quarter of all recommendations.

    Honours' lists include awards for people who:

    • have made significant achievements in public life

    • committed themselves to serving and helping Britain

    Resignation or dissolution honours are decided by the prime minister and do not go through the same process.

    The Foreign Office has responsibility for the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List. Honorary awards for foreign nationals are recommended by the foreign secretary.

    Honours are traditionally kept confidential until the official announcement, with lists provided to media outlets under embargo.

    But a number of 2024 New Year honours' recipients issued their own embargoed press releases weeks in advance.

    How are nominees vetted?

    People in line for an honour are checked by the Honours and Appointments Secretariat,, external which is part of the Cabinet Office government department.

    The Cabinet Office has agreements with other government departments to let it access confidential information about nominees.

    For example, HMRC provides a low, medium or high-risk rating, external on a nominee's tax affairs.

    Peerages are vetted by the House of Lords Appointments Commission., external

    A Parliamentary and Political Services Committee considers honours for politicians and for political service.

    In recent years, political donations made by some nominees, external have received scrutiny.


    Can you turn down an honour?

    When somebody is approved for an honour, they are sent a letter asking if they will accept it.

    A list of 277 people who turned down honours between 1951 and 1999 - and subsequently died - was made public following a BBC Freedom of Information request., external

    It included authors Roald Dahl, JG Ballard and Aldous Huxley, and painters Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud and LS Lowry.

     Benjamin Zephaniah

    Poet Benjamin Zephaniah said it would be "hypocritical" to accept an honour including the world "Empire"

    The late Benjamin Zephaniah rejected an OBE in 2003 because of the association with the British Empire and its history of slavery.

    Others reported to have turned down an honour include David Bowie, Nigella Lawson, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

    Can an honour be removed?

    Some people have had their honours withdrawn by the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

    They include Rolf Harris, who went to prison for indecent assault, and Anthony Blunt, the former art adviser to the Queen who was revealed to be a Soviet spy.

    Paula Vennells

    PM Rishi Sunak said he would support calls for the Honours Forfeiture Committee to consider withdrawing Ms Vennells' CBE

    In January 2024, former Post Office boss Paula Vennells said she would hand back her CBE after facing mounting pressure over the Horizon IT scandal.

    Twelve months earlier, actor and TV presenter Alan Cumming returned his OBE over the "toxicity" of the British Empire.

    How and when do people receive their honours?

    Honours are typically awarded by the King, Prince of Wales or Princess Royal, at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

    Recipients can select their investiture's date and location but not which member of the Royal Family presides over the ceremony.

    The King with Sergio and Emma Petrucci at Buckingham Palace

    Last year, the King awarded Sergio and Emma Petrucci MBEs for services to health and the community, at Buckingham Palace

    British Empire Medals are presented locally by lord-lieutenants, who represent the King. Recipients are also invited to attend a royal garden party.

    What types of honours are there?

    Knights and Dames

    The honour of knighthood comes from the days of medieval chivalry, as does the method used to confer the knighthood - the accolade, or the touch of a sword, by the sovereign.

    A knight is styled "Sir" and their wife "Lady".

    Women receiving the honour are styled "Dame" but do not receive the accolade.

    The honour is given for a pre-eminent contribution in any field of activity.

    The rank of Knight Commander (KBE) or Dame Commander (DBE), Order of the British Empire, appears on the Diplomatic Service and Overseas list.

    The Order of the Bath

    The Order of the Bath is an order of chivalry and was founded in 1725 for service of the highest calibre.

    It has a civil and military division and is awarded in the following ranks: Knight Grand Cross (GCB), Knight Commander (KCB) and Companion (CB).

    The Order takes its name from the symbolic bathing which, in former times, was often part of the preparation of a candidate for knighthood.

    Order of St Michael and St George

    This Order was founded by King George III in 1818 and is awarded to British subjects who have rendered extraordinary and important services abroad or in the Commonwealth.

    Ranks in the Order are Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCMG), Knight or Dame Commander (KCMG or DCMG) and Companion (CMG).

    CBE, OBE and MBE medals

    Order of the Companions of Honour

    This is awarded for service of conspicuous national importance and is limited to 65 people. Recipients are entitled to put the initials CH after their name.

    Orders of the British Empire

    King George V created these honours during World War One to reward services to the war effort by civilians at home and service personnel in support positions.

    The ranks are Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), and Member (MBE).

    They are now awarded for prominent national or regional roles, and to those making distinguished or notable contributions in their own specific areas of activity.

    British Empire Medal (BEM)

    The medal was founded in 1917 and was awarded for "meritorious" actions by civilians or military personnel, although the recipients did not attend a royal investiture.

    Scrapped in 1993 by Conservative Prime Minister John Major, the BEM was revived in 2012.

    Royal Victorian Order

    By 1896, prime ministers and governments had increased their influence over the distribution of awards and had gained almost total control of the system.

    In response, Queen Victoria instituted The Royal Victorian Order as a personal award for services performed on behalf of the Royal Family.

    The ranks are Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight or Dame Commander (KCVO or DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO) and Member (MVO).

    Royal Victorian Medal

    Associated with the Royal Victorian Order is the Royal Victorian Medal which has three grades: gold, silver and bronze. The circular medal is attached to the ribbon of the Order.

    Royal Red Cross

    Founded in 1883 by Queen Victoria, the award is confined to the nursing services. Those awarded the First Class are designated "Members" (RRC): those awarded the Second Class are designated "Associates" (ARRC).

    King's Police Medal

    Awarded for distinguished service in the police force.

    King's Fire Service Medal

    Given to firefighters who have displayed conspicuous devotion to duty.

    King's Ambulance Service Medal

    Awarded for distinguished service in the ambulance service.

    King's Gallantry Medal

    Awarded to civilians, for acts of exemplary bravery.

    King's Commendation for Bravery

    Awarded to civilians and all ranks of the British armed forces, for actions not in the presence of an enemy.

    King's Commendation for Bravery in the Air

    Awarded to civilians and all ranks of the British armed forces, for acts of bravery in the air not in the presence of an enemy.

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11th June 2024 BBC News

Merseyside Police Anthony McCall in his police mugshot after being arrested

Anthony McCall had been drinking before handled the self-loading pistol

A man who accidentally shot himself in the face while drunk has been jailed for more than five years.

Anthony McCall discharged the self-loading pistol at a house in St Helens, Merseyside, on the afternoon of 11 June.

Merseyside Police said he needed surgery and it later "transpired that McCall had accidentally fired the weapon into his own face".

The 36-year-old was convicted of firearms offences at Liverpool Crown Court.

Merseyside Police The self-loading pistol McCall injured himself with

The self-loading pistol McCall injured himself with

McCall, of Valiant Close in West Derby, Liverpool, was jailed for five years and four months.

He was convicted of possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a certificate and possession of a firearm and ammunition when prohibited for life.

Det Insp John Mullen said: “This highly unusual case shows the extreme danger posed by firearms, not only to those who are targeted in our communities, but those who handle them without the necessary expertise or, in this case, sobriety.

“I hope this serves as a sobering reminder for anyone who would store, carry or mind a firearm and ammunition."

Listen to the best of BBC Radio Merseyside on Sounds and follow BBC Merseyside on FacebookX, and Instagram.

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NI should follow plane spotter plan, says enthusiast

16th June 2024  By Toni Connor, BBC News NI

Plane spotter calls for NI viewing area after Dublin plan (

Luke Wilson Passion for planes

Luke Wilson has been plane spotting 15 years

Northern Ireland's airports should introduce dedicated plane spotting areas, an enthusiast has told BBC News NI.

Earlier this week, Dublin Airport submitted an application to build a new viewing area for the public to watch take offs and landings.

Luke Wilson said he spends about 40 hours a week watching planes.

"When I found out that Dublin has applied for an application for a plane spotting facility I was delighted," he said.

Dublin's proposal on Old Airport Road would "provide a comfortable and safe space for the community to view aircraft movements", a statement outlined.

It will allow clear views of the south runway and the cross-wind runway.

Dublin Airport Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport's proposed facility is at a site locally known as The Mound

The airport said it wanted to build an elevated covered platform with seating and car parking spaces.

Mr Wilson, who is 20 and from Newtownabbey, said: "If this was approved it would encourage me to travel to Dublin at least one day over the weekend.

"My hobby is my passion. I first started when I was only five or six going on family holidays.

"Then it would have been unusual but over the last few years I have seen the numbers grow."

Luke wilson One of Lukes plane spotting images

Luke Wilson said a dedicated area would attract more enthusiasts

There are no dedicated plane spotting areas at Northern Ireland airports, however, some informal positions are popular outside the boundaries.

Mr Wilson said it was hard to describe the joy he gets from plane spotting.

"It would actually surprise you how many people find it enjoyable," he explained.

"I am in a Facebook group where I post my photos from spotting and I will have thousands of people reacting, the satisfaction is unbelievable."

James Rodgers Pilot James Rodgers

James Rodgers praised Dublin Airport's plans for a viewing area

'Footfall for plane spotting'

Mr Wilson continued that he would like to see Belfast International Airport in particular follow Dublin's plan.

A note on Belfast International Airport's website states it had a viewing gallery which is now closed.

It had been "unique" in Northern Ireland, the website stated, in terms of having a land-side viewing area, while visitors could also listen in on air traffic control communications.

"I would love them to consider designating a café or car park for plane spotting," Mr Wilson said.

"This would attract more people. I know there would be the footfall for it.

Northern Ireland-born pilot James Rodgers told BBC News NI "very few" airports had plane spotting facilities, however, he felt Dublin Airport connected well with its passengers and social media followers.

"I know lots of young aviation enthusiasts that have been hosted by Dublin Airport for a day and were able to access the traffic control tower," he continued.

"They are the best airport in my opinion."

The airport's proposal was "brilliant", he added.

"I know it is an application but it's looking positive."

dublin airport Dublin Airport's impression image of an area for watching planes

Dublin Airport's proposed airport observation facility

Gary McLean, managing director of Dublin Airport, said observation facilities are a feature of airports around the world.

"As well as providing a plane-spotting platform, the facilities also create an interface between the airport and the local community, helping aviation enthusiasts to engage with the airport by observing aircraft movements and airport operations.

"This location has been an informal 'plane spotting' area over the past 40 years and we think it's time to put a more formal facility in place."

BBC News NI contacted Northern Ireland's three main airports to ask if they had plans for public viewing areas.

Belfast International and City of Derry airports said they had no such plans, while Belfast City Airport said given its location there are "multiple opportunities for plane spotters to enjoy great views".

“Whilst we have no plans to develop a specific area at this time, we are always grateful for the suggestions and feedback received from the local community," a spokesperson added.


Cow stuck in the mud rescued from marsh

16th June  By Jake Wood, BBC News NI
Thomas Steele  cow stuck
The heifer had escaped from Rowreagh dairy farm in Kircubbin, County Down

Dozens of firefighters, members of the coastguard and farmers rescued a cow stuck in the mud in County Down on Saturday.

The 500 kilogram heifer had escaped from Rowreagh farm near Kircubbin and wandered onto a marshy tidal inlet, before sinking up to its neck in the mud.

At around 21:30 BST, 16 firefighters, members of the coastguard and an animal rescue team from Newcastle assisted in hoisting the cow from the mud, using some rope and a reach forklift.

After a two-hour rescue operation, the cow was lifted to safety and returned to the farm uninjured.

The heifer was stuck up to its neck in mud for around five hours before being rescued

'The poor animal was exhausted'

Thomas Steele, of Rowreagh Farm, said it was the first time it had happened to one of his herd of around five hundred.

"At first we were surprised when a member of the public notified us," he said.

When Mr Steele, his brother Samuel and his father William went down to assess the situation, they realised they would need help to free the animal.

Upon arrival, the animal rescue team and fire service were able to reach the trapped animal by using a floating bridge.

They then attached some rope and a harness around the cow to begin lifting her to safety.

"For four or five hours she was stuck there, the poor animal was exhausted," he said.

Mr Steele said his heifer has "brightened up a bit" since getting cleaned in warm water and some rest.

"Our cows roam quite freely, so she had wandered out to the bay when the tide was out and got stuck.

"I want to thank the fire service and the animal rescue team from Newcastle, they were quick to respond and very useful in the situation.

"It would have been a great loss for us, to lose good livestock, it's in our nature as farmers to look after them," he added.

Thomas Steele Steele brothers

Thomas Steele and his brother Samuel of Rowreagh Farm

 Noel Gallagher among headliners at Y Not Festival 

24 January 2024 By Jude Winter, BBC News, Derby
Getty Images Y Not
Noel Gallagher performing at Y Not in 2016

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Kaiser Chiefs and Snow Patrol have been announced as headline acts for this year's Y Not Festival in the Peak District.

The event is due to take place in Pikehall, Derbyshire, from 2 to 4 August.

The line-up also includes Jamie T, The Kooks, Declan McKenna and The Vaccines.

The festival started as a house party in 2005 but has evolved into a bigger event in the years since.

Getty Images Jake Bugg 

Nottingham-born singer-songwriter Jake Bugg will also appear at the festival

The 17th edition of the festival also includes acts such as Holly Humberstone, Jake Bugg, The Snuts and a solo performance from Frank Turner.

Kaiser Chiefs will be kicking off the festival on the Thursday night, with the party coming to a close with a performance from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds on the Sunday night.

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Stroud consultant says leading girl guides is 'rewarding' 

4th June 2024 BBC News

Handout Jodie Sabin is holding her baby son Elliot

Mrs Sabin said many people might not realise flexible volunteering is an option

A hospital consultant who leads a girl guide group in her spare time says it is "incredibly rewarding".

Dr Jodie Sabin, from Stroud, Gloucestershire, is one of Girlguiding's "flexible volunteers", who juggles sessions alongside the demands of her career and parental responsibilities.

Speaking ahead of the 40th National Volunteers Week, Dr Sabin, 38, said: “Being part of Girlguiding makes me feel like I am part of a huge extended family, and seeing the girls thrive is incredibly rewarding.”

“It kept me going through the monotony of maternity leave," she added.

With almost 80,000 volunteers, Girlguiding has one of the largest volunteer networks in the UK.

Many of its volunteers find flexible ways to support its 300,000 young members.

While Dr Sabin was training to become a doctor, she was accustomed to anti-social hours, long shifts and 48-hour working weeks.

But she said she was "welcomed with open arms" to the organisation.

"It was never an issue for anyone that I couldn't be there every week," she added.

Dr Sabin explained "so much" of her life changed when she had her first child Elliot, two years ago and guiding remained her "one constant".

Handout Jodie Sabin
 Dr Sabin says flexible volunteering is a "great option"

At the time, Dr Sabin was leading her guide unit solo, so the whole group took a six-week break shortly before she gave birth.

The unit resumed when Dr Sabin returned, with her newborn son in tow.

Her husband Rob signed up as a unit helper for six months so he could help look after their son while she led the sessions.

Dr Sabin said she believes many people might not realise flexible volunteering is an option at Girlguiding.

National Volunteers' Week runs until 9 June.

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Full time pre-school for NI 'could take 10 years'

Full time pre-school for all NI children 'could take 10 years' (

BBC News 16th June 2024
By Robbie Meredith, BBC News NI education correspondent • Barry O'Connor, BBC News 

 Full time pre-school for all NI children 'could take 10 years' (

Casey McGivern Casey McGivern with her son

Casey McGivern with her son

It could take up to 10 years to give all children in Northern Ireland a "full-time" place in pre-school.

That is according to an independent study commissioned by the Department of Education.

Education Minister Paul Givan has appealed to pre-schools for "patience" over the move.

There are currently more than 22,500 children in nursery schools and pre-schools in Northern Ireland.

Fewer than half of those children go to pre-school for 4.5 hours a day with the majority going "part-time" for 2.5 hours a day.

Mr Givan recently announced that all children would be entitled to attend pre-school "full-time" for 22.5 hours a week as part of a wider strategy for childcare and early years.


'Concerns expressed'

The Northern Ireland Executive has decided to spend an initial £25m on helping parents with childcare costs, which includes £5m to increase hours for pupils in pre-school.

But the Department of Education-commissioned study estimated that the long-term move to give all children 22.5 hours a week of pre-school will cost Stormont between £242m and £337m over the next decade.

That includes paying for more staff, toys and play equipment, refurbishment of existing buildings and opening new pre-schools.

There could be a need for around 1,000 new pre-school places and about 50 new pre-schools.

The study said that the transition to full-time "is assumed to take place over a 10-year period".

PA Media Paul Givan

Education Minister Paul Givan has appealed to pre-schools for "patience" over the move

Pre-school and early years education staff who spoke to the report's authors also said the move "should take place over a five to 10 year period".

"Most of them expressed concerns that standardisation would be made compulsory across the board without an adequate notice period and that settings would be expected to introduce the extended day without having enough time to make the necessary adjustments," the report said.

One pre-school staff member told the authors: "I think what they're going to have to do is be realistic about how long this project is going to take."

Getty Images Pre-school

There are currently more than 22,500 children in nursery schools and pre-schools in Northern Ireland

'Most significant expansion'

Most pre-school staff who responded to a survey conducted for the report said that overall they were in favour of the move to 22.5 hours a week.

Some pre-school leaders have previously expressed concern at the rising costs they face and the level of funding they get, especially in the voluntary or non-statutory sector.

In a letter to pre-schools, Mr Givan said that the evidence for giving all children 22.5 hours a week in pre-school "is strong in terms of its impact on supporting social and emotional development and preparing children for school".

He said the move to full-time would be the "most significant expansion of early years developmental provision in over 25 years".

But he told schools that "this will require careful planning and implementation over a period of time and so I ask for your patience in this regard."

The minister said that he hoped that an additional 2,200 children would move to going to pre-school for 22.5 hours a week by September 2025.

'Burden of childcare'

Casey McGivern is one of the founders of Melted Parents NI, a group of parents who campaign for better childcare provision.

She welcomed the plan for 22.5 hours of pre-school a week for every child in Northern Ireland.

"However, we are also of the view that this is not childcare and it's not an answer to the childcare crisis," she told BBC News NI.

"It doesn't make much of a difference to the burden of childcare for families."

She said "bills don't really change, regardless of a full-time place in preschool or not".

"So a really welcome announcement, but we are firmly of the view that this isn't childcare and it's not a solution for now, which is what families need," she added.

"We've known that this will take some time and I suppose that leaves us wondering why it was announced in the way that it was.

"It's a big job."

Fiona Campbell Fiona Campbell

Fiona Campbell also welcomed the move to 22.5 hours a week

Fiona Campbell is the manager and owner of Happy Faces nursery in south Armagh.

She also welcomed the move to 22.5 hours a week.

"I think the 22.5 hours, the same as the schools, would be much better and it would make us all feel very equal," she said.

"I'll be ready for it in September if it's needed.

"I don't understand why it would take so long.

"Though maybe there's some community settings that wouldn't have kitchens to be able to provide the free school meals, but I don't know if that's why.

"We would be fine for the meals, because we're attached to a nursery and we already have the cooks in the kitchen and everything in place."

She also told BBC News NI that children being in pre-school for 4.5 hours a day could make the cost of wrap-around care for parents "more affordable".



Gardaí have 'no role' in referring rough sleeping asylum seekers to IPAS

Tents seen on Dublin's Leeson Street last week

On 1 March, a spokesperson for the department told RTÉ News that there were "numerous referral pathways" onto the priority accommodation list for rough sleeping International Protection applicants "such as via homeless services, non-governmental organisations and An Garda Síochána."

And in an affidavit read out in High Court proceedings last month, Assistant Secretary General David Delaney at the Department of Integration said that: "IPAS has been liaising closely with charities and An Garda Síochána order to identify any IP (International Protection) applicant sleeping outdoors encountered during outreach programmes or during nightly patrols. People who are referred directly by An Garda Síochána are triaged and accommodated immediately."

When asked to respond to comments from a garda spokesperson that An Garda Síochána has no role in referring rough sleeping International Protection application, a department spokesperson said: "Referrals for those who are rough sleeping are currently done through homeless outreach partner organisations."

The spokesperson said that "IPAS is in ongoing contact with An Garda Síochána and other agencies in relation to the welfare and accommodation of IP applicants who are sleeping rough".

"Where tents are removed, the (State) agencies and NGOs involved liaise with IPAS in relation to accommodation availability at that time and provide appropriate information and guidance to the IP applicants involved."

However volunteers who have been supporting the rough sleeping asylum seekers have said that no clear information is being given to the men who are being moved, and instead they have repeatedly been incorrectly instructed to go to the International Protection Office, only to be immediately turned away.

Some asylum seekers were not offered accommodation after they were moved from tents

Over the last ten days rough sleeping asylum seekers have been told to move from where they had pitched their tents in city centre locations on around ten separate occasions.

On Tuesday and on Friday this week, Dublin City Council "with the support of An Garda Síochána carried out an operation to remove a number of tents" from Leeson Street and Merrion Square respectively.

However, unlike previous multi-agency operations, the Department of Integration was not involved and offers of alternative accommodation were not linked directly to the removal of the tents.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Dublin City Council said it "has no role in accommodating International Protection applicants and Government Information Services or IPAS should be contacted on this matter."

In addition to the two DCC led operations, there were other occasions in the last week where gardaí have instructed rough sleeping asylum seekers to move their tents.

A spokesperson said that "An Garda Síochána also has an obligation to respond to complaints being received about encampments."

RTÉ News understands that no NGOs were involved in these operations.

However volunteers have been advocating on behalf of those who have been moved on, and have made repeated requests to gardaí and to IPAS for those men to be placed on a priority accommodation list.

Volunteer Olivia Headon said that some of the unaccommodated asylum seekers were offered accommodation, however others remain without.

"To our volunteer group and the men, it seems ad hoc what bodies are involved in referrals or are aware each time about them, and which of them then informs IPAS or whether those referrals are actioned," Ms Headon said.

"Nearly all of these men have been referred as rough sleepers to IPAS on several occasions already, and the only times we have witnessed rough sleepers be accommodated directly (after they have been made to move) that we are sure of, are either when IPAS are present or the police agree to conduct emergency referrals," she added.

A spokesperson for the Department on Integration said that "Government departments and agencies are working together on a daily basis to co-ordinate their activities in response to the overall daily arrivals, and to assess capacity to accommodate rough sleepers in a constantly-evolving situation".


 Conor Feehan: How ‘tent city’ strategy has turned into complex game of musical chairs | Irish Independent 

Tents pitched on Merrion Square in front of Leinster House and the Taste of Dublin festival. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Tents pitched on Merrion Square in front of Leinster House and the Taste of Dublin festival. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Conor Feehan

The handling of the asylum-seeker camps by official Ireland in Dublin has turned into a complex and relentless game of musical chairs, pass the parcel and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.

A cat-and-mouse game between one side and the other resulted in 40 tents being pitched in a neat row on the Government’s doorstep on Merrion Square yesterday.

 Man (19) charged over two alleged ‘serious assaults’ of passengers on board Tenerife flight diverted to Shannon Airport | Irish Independent .

Video shows horror machete attack on young associate of John Gilligan
A young associate of John Gilligan suffered serious injuries in a horror machete attack in west Dublin. Gardai are investigating the serious assault in broad daylight in the Dublin 22 area. Our shocking footage shows the youngster set upon by two thugs who inflicted serious injuries as he lay on the ground. The youth was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries including horrific wounds to his arms.
Video shows couple smash up vehicle in alleged road rage incident
 Serial fraudster Carrie Jade Williams using alias to gain qualifications as a first responder | Irish Independent

Serial fraudster Carrie Jade Williams using alias to gain qualifications as a first responder

Gardaí alerted over concerns Samantha Cookes could get access to vulnerable people

Gardaí have been put on alert that Samantha Cookes — the serial fraudster who uses the pseudonym Carrie Jade Williams — has applied for courses in Cork and Kerry that could help her gain work with vulnerable people.

Cookes (35) has obtained live-in au pair posts and job offers with families with young children in Dublin, Cork and Celbridge in the last year using the name Sadie Harris.

Asylum seeker tents at Leeson St double since Friday
RTE News Sunday, 9 Jun 2024 
The Irish Refugee Council has described the number of international protection applicants without accommodation as a 'grim record'
The Irish Refugee Council has described the number of international protection applicants without accommodation as a 'grim record'

The number of tents pitched at Leeson Street Bridge, on the footpath close to the Grand Canal, has doubled since Friday, with close to 30 now there.

On Friday, the latest figures from the Department of Integration revealed there are 1,966 international protection applicants without accommodation.

The Irish Refugee Council, which advocates for refugees, has warned the figure is likely to breach 2000 in coming days.

It said the Government's response was inadequate and that kilometres of what it called "ugly fencing" would not solve this issue.

The total number of eligible male International Protection Applicants who have arrived in the State since early December last year is 3,669. The Government figures show 366 have been offered accommodation after availability and vulnerability triage.

A total of 3,303 people have received payment in lieu of accommodation with 1,337 subsequently offered accommodation.

The payment given to people without accommodation is a €75 temporary increase to their €38.80 per week Daily Expense Allowance.

The next figures are set to be published by the Department on Tuesday.

This new encampment is the largest to emerge since a number of tents were moved on from the Grand Canal at the end of last month.

Since then a small number of tents have been moved on from surrounding parks and green areas across Dublin whilst many more international protection applicants are reported to have been staying in various temporary accommodation including in hostels, on sofas and in churches or mosques, or to be sleeping rough in other areas of Dublin city, as well as in other cities and towns.

‘Four fellas driving to school in a tractor’ - Do learner drivers need more restrictions? 

As the number of accidents involving learner drivers increases, should there be more restrictions...
Ellen Kenny  18 JUN 2024
‘Four fellas driving to school...

As the number of accidents involving learner drivers increases, should there be more restrictions on those with learner’s permits? 

According to the Road Safety Authority, the number of learner drivers in accidents has trebled in the last four years. 

Some 27,000 motorists have also been driving on only a learner’s permit for 11 to 20 years, according to the briefing. 

These figures have resulted in increased calls for restrictions for learner drivers such as a limit on how many times you can renew your permit. 

There is also discussion of further regulations such as a lower speed limit for learners. 

Driving instructor Brenda Bolger said restricting learners from driving beyond their lessons will result in less experienced drivers. 

“If you break down the content of [a one-hour] lesson – there's an introduction, recap of the previous lesson, any questions or queries,” she told Lunchtime Live. 

Tents removed from Dublin's Grand Canal for third time this month

Gold medal likely to inspire a new generation of athletes 

Ireland's gold medal in the mixed 4x400m relay is likely to inspire a new generation of athletes.

Last night, the mixed relay team of Chris O'Donnell, Rhasidat Adeleke, Thomas Barr and Sharlene Mawdsley won the accolade for Ireland at the European Athletics Championships.

Among those watching last night's race in Rome were some of the more than 1,400 competitors who are taking part in track and field events in the Dublin Juvenile Athletic Championships.

This event is being held at Morton Stadium in Santry this weekend.

Rhashidat Adeleke's younger brother, 15-year-old Abdullahi Adeleke is a member of Tallaght AC and a participant in the event.

Abdullahi Adeleke said it was really inspiring to see his sister and her team

Mr Adeleke said his whole house screamed with excitement during last night's gold medal win.

"I was screaming, everything was crazy. The entire house was screaming. I was actually so surprised," he said, "because I saw her like catching it and she was a little bit behind and then she started moving and that was like wow".

"She always does it. She always finds a way to push forward and overcome her adversities," he added.

He has been competing in the 100m and 200m events at the competition and said it was really inspiring to see his sister and her team win.

"They have really good chemistry, so it's really good," he said, adding that he was really proud of her.

Beauty Ikpefua competed for Tallaght AC and participated in the shot put and discus events.

Ms Ikpefua said: "She just like pushes me because she's from our club and we could be like her someday.

"I was just so proud to see someone from our club running there and doing so well."

Ms Ikpefua's friend and a competitor in the 200m race Montaka Khan said: "I think it was great because we're going to the Olympics 4x400m which is fantastic, and I think that Rhashidat really influenced me to do better.

"I hope I can be like her one day."

Maria McCambridge said said everyone at Morton Stadium was talking about the medal


Man appears in court charged with murder of Croatian man in Dublin


The airline has asked that it be given at least 15 days notice to allow more time for alternative arrangements to be put in place for passengers.

IALPA has claimed that 15 days would allow Aer Lingus to avoid paying compensation to passengers but the airline insisted that it is seeking the additional time in order to minimise the impact on customers, adding that it has no difficulty refunding, re-accommodating and compensating passengers where that is required.

Aer Lingus has said that industrial action would have a severe and devastating impact on the travel plans of customers.

It is likely that the airline would try to hire external aircraft and crews to cover some routes but availability would be limited at this busy time of year.

In aviation disputes, the announcement of a strike date can be as damaging as the strike itself.

As soon as the date is revealed, passengers cancel their flights and book with alternative providers. The airline involved has to begin the costly process of putting contingency plans in place.

If the strike is ultimately called off, as happens in many cases, much of the damage has already been done.

If my flight is cancelled due to a strike, what are my rights?

Under EU regulations, consumers have certain rights when flights are delayed or cancelled due to strike action.

These rights may include compensation for delay or cancellation, as well as care and assistance while passengers wait.

"Strikes by baggage handlers or other groups external to the airline may be considered extraordinary circumstances, but strikes by airline staff, referred to as internal strikes, are not considered extraordinary circumstances and so any compensation due under EU regulations must be paid," according to a spokesperson for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

IALPA said its members at Aer Lingus have not had a pay rise since 2019

"Consumers who have trouble accessing compensation can lodge a complaint through the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), which is responsible for enforcing these rights in Ireland," the spokesperson added.

When it comes to travel insurance, holidaymakers are being advised that some policies do not cover strikes.

"Those about to head off on holiday soon should therefore check directly with their travel insurer to see what level of cover (if any) they have in the event that they have to abandon their holiday on foot of any unfolding strike," said Paul Walsh spokesperson for People Insurance.

"In the event your current policy has inadequate strike cover, or none at all, you are unlikely to be able to boost your strike cover by buying an add-on at this stage.

"Most travel insurance policies have a prior knowledge rule which means you will usually not be covered for any claim which arises as a result of a risk which you already knew existed prior to the date of booking your trip and/or travel insurance," Mr Walsh said.

"However, if you are departing from the EU, under EU law, you'll usually be offered the choice of a refund or reroute if an airline cancels your flight."

"Note though that this only applies to your flight and you will likely struggle to get a refund for other elements of your trip, including accommodation and car hire," he added.

What is this row about?

Back in December last year, an independent pay tribunal at Aer Lingus recommended a set of proposals that included a 12.25% pay increase.

For pilots, it would have meant an effective increase of 8.5%.

Members of IALPA voted to reject that deal however saying it did not reflect the impact of inflation, the big profits being earned by Aer Lingus and the sacrifices made by pilots to sustain the airline during the Covid pandemic.

IALPA said its members at Aer Lingus have not had a pay rise since 2019 and is seeking increases of almost 24%.

The matter went before the Workplace Relations Commission in February but management and pilots were unable to reach an agreement and so it went before the Labour Court for a hearing in April.

The Labour Court issued interim recommendations which included pay increases for pilots totalling 9.25% but this was rejected by IALPA.

The union has defended its 24% pay demand claiming that other airlines have awarded similar levels of increase in recent years.

Aer Lingus has described the pilots' pay demands and exorbitant

Aer Lingus has described the pilots' pay demands and exorbitant, outrageous and untenable. It has rejected claims that pilots have not seen their pay increase since 2019, pointing out that increments have continued to be paid allowing pilots to continue to rise up the pay scale.

The company said that other staff groups in Aer Lingus accepted the proposals put forward by its independent pay tribunal and that Aer Lingus pilots are on higher pay compared to many competing airlines.

The dispute has seen Aer Lingus lose out on the allocation of two new Airbus aircraft with its parent company IAG allocating the planes elsewhere within the group due to the uncertainty caused by the row.

How much are Aer Lingus pilots paid?

The Aer Lingus pilots’ pay scale is long and complicated with allowances and increments reflecting years of service and the types of routes being flown.

At the entry-level, a co-pilot starting out is paid a basic salary of around €36,000. With payments related to actual hours flying an aircraft, that co-pilot can reach a total remuneration package of around €59,000 a year.

A captain at the top of the scale earns a total package of around €287,000.

There are different pay structures for co-pilots and captains, as well as different scales depending on whether a pilot flies long-haul or short-haul routes.

When it comes to the latter, Aer Lingus pilots are well-paid compared to their short-haul colleagues in competitor airlines such as Ryanair.

Of the almost 800 pilots at Aer Lingus, around a quarter of them are pilots on the top pay grade.

At the other end of the scale, IALPA has accused management of failing to reverse Covid-era cuts to lower pay grades for new entrants resulting in new pilots earning up to 10% less than colleagues who were employed prior to the pandemic.

All industrial disputes get resolved in the end and this one will too.

In the meantime, however, the uncertainty goes on for passengers who are planning to fly with Aer Lingus this summer.

It could be some time yet before a solution is found to a row that is as long and complicated as the pay structures at the heart of the dispute.