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Posts Tagged ‘ Michael Noonan ’

News In Brief: Healy-Rae’s Cross And Gerry’s Not Happy Either

Mmmm Michael-Healy-Rae (image: irishecho.com.au)

Mmmm Michael-Healy-Rae (image: irishecho.com.au)

This, was the week Gerry Adams used the word “bastards” and everyone went mental but he wasn’t the only one letting his mouth work before his brain had had a chance to turn on.

Gregory Campbell a DUP politician and “b**tard” really went to town when he decided to lay into the Irish Language, poor defenceless little thing that it is. “Curry my yoghurt can coca coalyer” he told the Northern Assembly, taking the piss out of the Irish phrase: “Go raibh maith agat, Ceann Comhairle” meaning “Thank you, Chairperson”. He couldn’t see the big deal though and also said any proposed Irish Language Act would be treated, by himself, as toilet paper. Charming. Anyone that didn’t get the joke he said, needed a humour bypass. NIB doesn’t know, maybe he thought he was saying something else entirely, like; A man walked into a bar …. Or maybe he was just pissed, you’d need a drink to face the Northern Assembly. Continue reading

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News In Brief-Kilkenny Man’s Hitler Cake Courts Controversy

hitlercake

 

There are monkeys loose in Belfast. Actual monkeys, running about, acting the maggot. They escaped from Belfast Zoo and have since been blamed for trouble in the Holy Lands, excessive drinking, late night parties and defecating in the street. (For those that don’t know the Holy Lands are a notoriously student populated part of the city. You’ve probably seen the area on the news when the lads have set light to a car.) Still, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em is what Martin McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson are reported to have said in a joint statement.

VAT on hurleys is to remain the same at 23% despite ash dieback affecting the trees they’re made from. We’ll be forced to make sliotars from spuds and our sticks from ham sandwiches! It’s not really a joke though, despite the issue being brought to the attention of a certain Noo-Nar man it was rejected as VAT can only be reduced in very “limited cases”, like if you’re a multi-billion dollar technology company. The trees may be dying off but soon it’ll be the hurley makers business dying back. Continue reading

News in Brief – Photocopy murder? Best leave It To The Gardaí

"You're not in America now, sonny."

“You’re not in America now, sonny jim.”

Apparently 25 per cent of us fear being found out as lacking at work. Many of those suggesting accidentally viewing porn or something us NSFW (not safe for work) is their biggest fear. Eight per cent, according to the report in The Sun, think the photocopier is out to get them. Oh dear.

People “shouldn’t be mucking around in Garda business”. This isn’t film noir, it’s Noonan. Far away on the L.A. suburbs familiar to detective novels the Gardai are apparently having their evidence fiddled with, causing problems in court. Enter Noonan, he was a quiet man, a maverick, some call him crazy, some call him . . . other things. Passing comment in relation to the Anglo Tapes being leaked to the press he said: “The Gardai are the ones who investigate crime in this country”. Good to know of course but not exactly the narrative of a great crime thriller.

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News In Brief-Rat Plane Crashes In Dublin As Sports Team Go Off The Ball

Rats Safe After Airport Crash

Rats Safe After Airport Crash

If News in Brief can’t be bothered this week can we blame it on tooth ache like Rory McIlroy? Only joking News in Brief is always on the ball. Unlike the Newstalk sports pundits behind the ’Off The Ball’ team, they’re definitely off: the ball, the side and the airwaves. The group’s departure comes after the lads were not allowed the option of moving from 7pm to 6pm for fears listeners would not be receptive and incurring the wrath of George Hook. Despite the possibility of a swift swop to RTE any transfer deals haven’t been signed as yet and it’s getting closer to extra time (very proud of all those sport references). It’s a shame they left this week, there was some kind of ball game on Tuesday wasn’t there? Continue reading

Brutal Noonan Unveils Bombshell Budget

Noonan_Budget_2013_dec052012Upon unveiling  Budget 2013 , the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said there are signs that the country is emerging from the worst of the economic crisis but despite that he still implemented measures which make the richer richer and the poorer poorer.

He said the bailout programme was being fulfilled, but further cuts were still necessary as we are by no means out of the abyss.

The main highlights of Noonan’s brutal budget, which has no doubt been overseen by Germany prior to publication includes:

No increase in excise duty on petrol or diesel.

From midnight, a packet of 20 cigarettes increases by 10 cent while tobacco will also increase

From midnight, excise duty on a pint or beer or cider will increase by 10 cent, on a standard measure of spirits by 10 cent, and on a bottle of wine by €1.

The rate of VRT and motor tax will increase from 1 January.

Minister Noonan said a property tax would be introduced at a rate of 0.18 per cent — and for properties valued over one million euro it will be 0.25 per cent.

Unearned income for everyone else will become subject to PRSI in 2014.

From 1 July 2013, maternity benefit will be treated as a taxable income, but will continue to be exempt from the Universal Social Charge.

In his Budget speech, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said Public Service staff numbers will be reduced to around 287,000 in 2013.

In health, the Budget measures will result in the current 50 cent per item prescription charge for medical card holders being increased to €1.50.

People over 70 years of age with a medical card will have it replaced with a GP only card, if their weekly income is €600 to €700 for a single person or €1,200 to €1,400 for a couple.

The amount private patients have to pay for medicines each month, before the State covers the cost, rises from €132 to €144, which will save €10 million.

The health budget for next year will be €13.6 billion which the Government says represents an extra €150 million.

With Budget 2013 comes another wave of hurt and austerity for the people of Ireland, we are no closer to emerging from the abyss despite what propaganda the government sell us.

News in Brief-Tubridy Fails,Councillors Peed Off Over Loo And Adams Shows His Intellect

Adams: Simple and Effective

Kite flying in the late summer sun sounds like fun to me, that’s why Eamon Gilmore is raining on our parade. The Tanaiste was though referring to “budget kite flying”. This slightly strange turn of phrase, comes to dampen a potential split in the Labour party after a disagreement concerning the suitability of their upmarket meeting venue in the recession. As the cost of living soars it’s not surprising party members feel a bit awkward drinking champagne from a shoe. Gilmore’s creating enough of his own wind to fly a kite.

One politician who doesn’t mince his words is Gerry Adams who has notably replied to calls by the governments economic advisors for tougher budgets than those set out by Michael Noonan. What was the Sinn Fein leader’s response? “Get lost”. Well said.

In international news Angelina Jolie is also a whizz with words. The other half of Brangelina has recently visited Syria, not baby shopping but doing that other thing she does, saving the world! Whilst there she commented there was “much to be done” and called on the international population  to “do everything they can”. Thanks Ange.

More intelligent responses came from students in their Junior Cert, the results are in! In general Maths results were up but languages were lacking, could this signal an insular Ireland to come, separatism from international monetary markets and the ability to count just how much money we actually have in the bank?

With population figures taken into account Ireland came fourth in the Paralympics and earned a total of sixteen medals across London 2012. Not too shabby and a source of great pride to the whole country who welcomed our champions home with great ceremony and celebration. First stop the Late Late Show where the host managed to make a mockery of the whole thing and get Adam Nolan’s name wrong, repeatedly. He certainly wouldn’t want to meet the boxing champion in the ring after calling him Andy throughout the show causing Adam to take to Twitter to endorse the return of Pat Kenny. And the gold medal for prize prat goes to Ryan Tubridy.
Gluten free food for coeliac sufferers will no longer be paid for by the HSE. As the government continue to claw back the cash in cuts (€3.6m they estimate in gluten-free food), those who become ill from gluten in foods will be forced to cough up the cost themselves. With nothing to eat for energy it is unlikely coeliacs will mount the high-profile protest outside Leinster House that followed cuts to carers of the disabled.

Lady Gaga has a new hairdo and Robbie Williams has a new clothing line and luckily for us they’re both in Ireland this weekend! Gaga has flown in to perform her Born This Way tour whilst Robbie is stopping off at Brown Thomas to launch his ‘Jack Farrell’ label before playing the 02. Tickets to see Gaga will cost up to €96 while Robbie’s launch is invite only but of course both assure us they LOVE Ireland.

More exciting in Mallow Town in County Cork is the news that a public toilet is no nearer completion and starting to pee off councillors. Work began on the loo last October and is still not completed. “It’s not like we’re building the Taj Mahal,” commented one councillor.

Education Cuts Pose a Real Threat to our Future

  • Threats and bully boy tactics. That’s what Ireland’s present government is becoming known for. We’ve already seen it with the fiasco that has been the introduction and implementation of the hated household tax – threats of further fines and lawsuits should Irish citizens refuse to simply shut their mouths and stump up a good chunk of what little cash is left to them to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

That hasn’t resonated too well with the Irish public. Despite government figures which quote a compliance rate of around 60 per cent, when the figures concerning landlords with multiple properties on which they must pay the charge are removed, the number drops down to the half-way mark. Householders aren’t the only ones who are being forced to shoulder the debts of people farther up the chain and thus apparently immune to retribution. Recent reports are suggesting that students and their parents will be hit by a review of grants, while Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney has been openly warned by Finance Minister Michael Noonan to cease publicly opposing any proposed changes to the system.

Grants are already means tested to the hilt. Everything from which a student’s parent receives income is included in the application, and as someone who has had the misfortune of having to wade through the river of paper needed to secure a miserable few euros of assistance, I can attest to the processes’ thoroughness. Rest assured, should an area of income amount to only one cent, that cent will be considered. Now the penny pinchers are scrutinising the system as closely as possible, in an attempt to find new ways by which to deny prospective students government assistance. Savings accounts are one possible way they have hit upon. Should you have gone against the grain during the years of the Celtic tiger, and squirreled away money rather than recklessly spent it, bad news. And if you’re a farmer? Bad luck again, apart from the heavy rains delaying the harvest once more. Aside from business premises, farmland may also be included under a new, ‘improved’ means test, despite the fact that it may be simply sitting there collecting grass, without making a significant or even any contribution to a family’s income.

It’s not just a monetary impact that this will have. Sure, more families will have to fork out extra to ensure their kids receive a necessary education and have some hope of getting a job in the next few decades. But for others, university simply isn’t going to be an option anymore. The number of entrants and graduates will fall and all the bluster about finding more jobs will be pointless, because in the future, there won’t be the people to fill them. Instead, we’ll have scores of young people, whose only qualification is a Leaving Cert or perhaps a FAS course which, in a world where many employers are looking for master degrees more and more, means they are about as useful for getting a job as only having done your Junior Cert.

We pride ourselves on our Irish identity. At home or abroad we fly the flag, shouting for our representatives with an unbridled fervour and passion, or looking on in pride as they tour the world. We are fighters, lovers, a race of proud people who stand up to oppressors and never say die. Ireland, at one stage and for quite a long time, was also the land of saints and scholars, the island of education, to whom the rest of the world flocked in search of knowledge and learning. Our leaders have already ensured the next generation will be saddled with the debt of a few. Will we throw away their chances at an education too? Our future lies with the young people, and if we can’t do our utmost to provide them with the best possible education, we’ve not only failed them but our country and its future. If only our politicians showed the same level of support and apparent admiration and care for the ordinary people of this country as they do for the exceptional ones.

In the end, the power to refuse these movements should rest with the Irish people. It is to us that our politicians answer to, and it is us who can make or break them. We elect them to run our country on behalf of us, to look after the population as a whole, rather than run us into the ground and shove our faces in the dirt while we’re down there. Perhaps we need to look after ourselves. As V said so memorably, “people should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

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