Author Archive

Is knocking Ireland patriotic?

Monday, March 17th, 2008

I have often thought about creating “The real face of” type websites for various issues in Ireland that annoy me. Long list I know. This got me thinking about it again.

I was thinking of one that would be made to point out the many flaws with Ireland for potential tourists. I’m sure Discover Ireland/Fáilte Ireland would be massively annoyed with a site about the “Real Ireland” which would rank very highly for “Holiday in Ireland” or “Irish Holidays”. It seems quite sad and damning that the only way to make a lot of Irish society or the Government react or to enact change is to embarrass them into doing it. Perhaps if enough people pointed to a site with a tourism reality check then the Government and Tourist boards would do their best to get rid of ripoff artists, filthy B&Bs and crap transport systems.

The same would go for a site dedicated to explaining what happens if you set up a business in Ireland. Sorry, Dublin only, no proper broadband, all sorts of stealth taxes etc. etc. If that ranked on the same page as the I.D.A. and Enterprise Ireland, I’m sure that would not be liked or appreciated. Perhaps it would bring about change? The Government are great with their unpatriotic protestations when someone does a reality check, would a site like this which knocks Ireland be unpatriotic, should there be an element of talking up the country too to balance the site out?

hmm...Shamrock - a SMART INDIAN restaurant?!
Photo owned by fergie_lancealot (cc)

Google is the great equaliser these days, for those rich enough or in a country developed enough to let all their population access an unfiltered Internet that is. So a great equaliser to a tiny percentage of the world… If everyone can see sucha reality check via a simple search, will there be a positive reaction eventually?

It could be done democratically enough too (messer suggestions and mob rule Wolfetone song style voting would just be removed) with people suggesting what the worst things about Ireland are from a tourist perspective and the top 5 would be displayed on the front page with all the others on the next pages. Is this viable?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Fluffy Links – Monday March 17th 2008. Begorrah.

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Via Sinéad and for the day that’s in it: Turn Irish with Irish Spring.

Exploding pints and other shenanigans.

Six word reviews of the bands that played at South by South West.

Someone wants to know about Mary Harney’s boobs.

Meant to linky this ages ago. Dreadful Thoughts, the rebirth.

When I become self employed, I’ll be buying this “My boss is an asshole t-shirt”. Hattip Alexia.

His Rickness is on Twitter.

Speaking of which. I’ve set up a bargain alerts Twitter account. Get bargain alerts via IM, RSS or text message. For now there are just updates from Budget Travel, more will be added. Do you have suggestions of bargain feeds to be added?

Free Intellectual Property Audit from Cruickshank.

Want to be a little scared about your privacy. The 10 biggest data breaches since 2000.

A crazy, mad and fun lecturer.

Via Adam – Just, just .. watch.

Happy Bockday

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Missed it by a day but the Kingpin of Limerick blogs celebrated two years yesterday. Well done Bock and fair play for bringing a whole load more people into the Irish Blog O’Sphere via your blog.

We all hold out for heroes, right? – Sneak peek at Blog Awards 09 opening act

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Via Jonnyboy – Drag queens, keeping Wonder woman costume designers in business since time began, the end of this is good too:

Watch out unlocked Irish iPhone users on firmware 1.1.4, you might be leaking money

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

If you recently bought an iPhone or upgraded to 1.1.4 and are an o2 customer you might not realise that 1.1.4 has the settings for Edge built in and switched on. So basically you could unwittingly being forking out a fortune if you don’t have the 1Gig or 10Gig data option enabled on your account.

See, on a 1.1.4 firmware iPhone, you can’t get to the Edge settings under Settings/General/Network:
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The solution is to install an app via Installer.app called Boss Prefs which will allow you to disable Edge:
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Click the heels of your red shoes and repeat

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

There's no place like home

The houses that Frank built – Frank Fahey has a few gaffs

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

FAHEY, Frank (Galway West)

1. Occupational Income …….. (1) Teacher on secondment: Gort Community School, Co. Galway, Employer – Department of Education and Science; (2) Rental income from properties, income from capital gains on sale of property and shareholdings.

Other Information Provided: (1) No income received.

2. Shares …………………….. Shares in Eircom, Bank of Ireland, Irish Life & Permanent, Kingspan, Grafton, Worldspread and McInerney Properties.

3. Directorships……………… Nil

4. Land ……………………… (1) 2 apts Castlerea, Co. Roscommon: letting; (2) Apartment 8A, 16 Eglinton Court, Galway: letting; (3) House at Kilbeacanty, Gort: letting; (4) Apartment at Dun Aengus, New Docks, Galway: letting; (5) House at Dun na Coirribe, Galway: letting; (6) House at Liscannor, Co. Clare: letting; (7) House at Rinawade Close, Leixlip: letting; (8) Shareholding in apartment at Dun na Coirribe, Galway; (9) Shareholding in extended family owned properties at Moydrum, Athlone: letting; (10) Shareholding 4 Apts & Shop, Lower Gerald Street, Limerick: letting; (11) Shareholding in Sage Construction Co. Ltd.; (12) Shareholding in retail unit, two offices and warehouse at Crowe Street, Gort; (13) House at Jumeirah Estates, Dubai; (14) Dwelling house at The Grove, Crowe Street; (15) Shareholding in apartment at Starthmore Road and one apartment at Tappan Street, Boston, Massachusetts: shareholding in Fahey Higgins L.L.C. Boston; (16) Five apartments owned in partnership at Rue Paul-Emile, Janson 1000, ten apartments owned in partnership at Rue Du Sceptre 1015, Brussels; (17) Apartment at Chancery Lane, Dublin 2; (18) Apartment at Cathedral Place, Limerick: letting; (19) House and site at Villefranche, France; (20) Deposit paid and contract signed on property at Porto De Mos, deposit paid at Lagos and Mongadoha Lameira, Alcantarilha, Portugal; (21) Apartment at Irishtown, Dublin.

5. Gifts ……………………… Nil

6. Property and Service …….. Nil

7. Travel Facilities ………….. Nil

8. Remunerated Position ……. Nil

9. Contracts …………………. Nil

Cathal Ó Searcaigh – Remove his poetry from the syllabus

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Edit: Apologies for the glaring omission of Bock’s coverage of Cathal Ó Searcaigh. Bock’s been covering this for a good while.

So now that more people have seen the documentary about Cathal Ó Searcaigh there’s a greater number of opinions out there than there were at first. Suzy has pointed out her thoughts on the matter and I think she was quite balanced about it and dare I say it quite politically correct. While it seemed obvious the documentary maker turned what would have probably been a rather bland docu into a sensationalist piece and got a huge amount of attention, the most damning thing about all of this is the way gay people and those in the Arts have twisted the stark reality of the situation and common logic to apologise and forgive the predatory acts of Cathal Ó Searcaigh. This guy is a serial abuser and the documentary, rough as it was, showed how he got whatever he wanted due to the massive power imbalance between him and the boys he “treated”.

Dermod Moore’s piece in Hotpress defending Ó Searcaigh is a wonderful example of going to extreme lengths to forgive his actions while scolding anyone who shouted “abuser” at him. Comparing his plight to the persecutions of Oscar Wilde and Roger Casement. Christ. Dermod could well move on to doing PR for the Catholic Church abuse tribunals after this but those priests weren’t gay so maybe not, they were paedophiles, whereas Cathal Ó Searcaigh isn’t. See you’re not a paedophile once the boys are past puberty, then you’re a pederast. A sure that’s ok then. From his article:

The answer may be far more complex and uncomfortable: this man, like many men and indeed some women, has a form of sexuality that is transgressive, and seeks to push the limits of desire as far as he can. At its root may indeed be a broken heart, as Ní Chianán alludes to in the film, and a desire to avoid the painful feelings of being dependent, of being possessive and obsessive. But it may also be driven by delight in pleasure, a love of beauty and gentleness, and a lack of shame about sex.

That’s one of those things that pisses me off with so many in the gay community. All for equality once it’s positive but point any flaws with gay people and you’re homophobic. We’re all equal, except you can never speak ill of us because then you’re some kind of bigot and you don’t understand. Is it cos I is gay? No it’s because you’d be put in jail if you tried that crap in Ireland.

There’s a follow up article in the Irish Times from Dermod Moore too which is all about attacking the documentary maker and her character while quickly pointing out that Ó Searcaigh didn’t know any better. Poor thing.

While the Department of Education have said his poetry is to stay, should they really let it? The free advertising and potential future sales of his work from being on the syllabus could give the guy more money again to “treat” all those boys he likes to control. Abuse and power imbalances were exploited with the money made from his work already. Should it be continued to be endorsed?

Chilli

Friday, March 14th, 2008

IMG_0052

Dáil Eireann Register of Interests for 2007 aka What do our TDs own?

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Check out all 111 pages of the Register of Members Interests of Dáil Éireann 1 January 2007 – 31 December 2007. There are a few interesting ones.

Randomly selected:
Our Taoiseach hasn’t a penny or something:

AHERN, Bertie (Dublin Central)
1. Occupational Income …….. Nil

2. Shares …………………….. Nil

3. Directorships……………… Nil

4. Land ……………………… Nil

5. Gifts ……………………… (1) Honorary membership of Clontarf Golf Club for the year 2007: Clontarf Golf Club, Dublin 3; (2) Manchester United opus presentation: Kraken Sports & Media, UK Ltd., Pilgrim Street, London; (3) Bronze Cuchulainn sculpture by John Behan: Dublin Central Fianna Fáil; (4) Official pass for entry to 10 greyhound stadia: Greyhound Board, Henry St., Limerick.

Other Information Provided: (1) I do not receive any material benefit from this as I do not play golf. (2) I have given this publication to the State for observation by the public in Farmleigh. (3) Presented to me in recognition of 30 years service to Fianna Fáil, received in my capacity as Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Central. (4) I do not use this pass.

6. Property and Service …….. See Donations Statement for 2007 (Form 2) under the Electoral Act 1997 (as amended).

7. Travel Facilities ………….. Nil

8. Remunerated Position ……. Nil

9. Contracts …………………. Nil

One TD has shares in Google:
ARDAGH, Sean (Dublin South-Central)

1. Occupational Income …….. Accountancy practice: Ardagh Horan, 168 Walkinstown Road, Dublin 12.

2. Shares …………………….. Shares: Bank of Ireland, Irish Life & Permanent, CRH, Google Inc., Tullow Oil, South County Golf Club, CB Film Productions Ltd: films; AB Productions Ltd.: films; Managed Fund: Mliif Japan Opportunities €50K; Oppenhein Growth Fund €50K; Mliif Emerging Europe Fund €50K; Robeco MM Asia-Pacific Eqs €50K.

3. Directorships……………… Nil

4. Land ……………………… Milltown: 1 apartment: rental; 1 townhouse: rental; Clondalkin: 1 apartment: rental; Walkinstown: Accountancy/Constituency office: accountancy practice/constituency office; Budapest: ¼ share apartment: not let.

5. Gifts ……………………… Nil

6. Property and Service …….. Nil

7. Travel Facilities ………….. Nil

8. Remunerated Position ……. Nil

9. Contracts …………………. Nil

NOONAN, Michael (Limerick East)
1. Occupational Income ……..Reduced pension from Dept. of Education for service as teacher: Dept. of Education, Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2.

2. Shares …………………….. Shares: (1) Anglo Irish Bank, Stephen Court, 18-21 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2; (2) Lyxor ETF China Enterprise HSCEI, Lyxor Asset Management, 17 cours Valmy 92987, Paris, La Defense Cedex, France; (3) CRH, 42 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2; (4) ISEQ 20 ETF, 3 George’s Dock, IFSC, Dublin 1; (5) iShare FTSE 100, Barclays Global Investors Ireland, JP Morgan House, Mayor Street, IFSC, Dublin 2; (6) iShare FTSE Mid 250, Barclays Global Investors Ireland, JP Morgan House, Mayor Street, IFSC, Dublin 2; (7) Lyxor – Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 ETF, Lyxor Asset Management, 17 cours Valmy 92987, Paris, La Defense Cedex, France; (8) Lyxor – Dow Jones Select Div 30 ETF, Lyxor Asset Management, 17 cours Valmy 92987, Paris, La Defense Cedex, France: (9) Lyxor ETF MSCI India, Lyxor Asset Management, 17 cours Valmy 92987, Paris, La Defense Cedex, France; (10) Powershares Nasdaq ETF, PowerShares Capital Management LLC, 301 W. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL 60187, USA.

3. Directorships……………… Nil

4. Land ……………………… 20 acres of mixed pasture and woodland attached to my residence at Mt. Trenchard, Foynes, Co. Limerick: woodland and farmland which is let.

5. Gifts ……………………… Nil

6. Property and Service …….. Nil

7. Travel Facilities ………….. Nil

8. Remunerated Position ……. Nil

9. Contracts …………………. Nil

MCGUINNESS, John (Carlow-Kilkenny)
1. Occupational Income …….. (1) Transport company: Interlink, Hebron Road, Kilkenny; (2) Landlord: O’Loughlin Road, Kilkenny.

2. Shares …………………….. Investment Bond: Hibernian Life & Pensions, Dawson St., Dublin 2: investment.

3. Directorships……………… Chairman Non-executive: (1) K.I.A.L.; (2) K.I.D. Co.; (3) Young Irish Film Makers: voluntary groups.

4. Land ……………………… (1) 11+12, O’Loughlin Road, Kilkenny: letting; (2) 24, Industrial Est., Hebron Road, Kilkenny: letting; (3) Grove Island, Limerick: letting; (4) Shinrone Nursing Home: letting; (5) 31, Woodlawn View, Santry, Dublin 9: letting; (6) 4, Kilcoran Lodge, Co. Tipperary: letting; (7) Rolestown House Hotel, Dublin: letting; (8) 2, Trimbleston, Dublin 14: letting.

Other Information Provided: (1) Pub, off licence, grocery shop, motor service business; (2) warehouse, office, retail; (3) student accommodation; (4) nursing home; (5) & (6) accommodation; (7) co-ownership, investment.

5. Gifts ……………………… Nil

6. Property and Service …….. 1, Maryborough St., Carlow: John Flynn, same address: use of room for 1 hour per week for clinics (for part of 2007) now discontinued.

7. Travel Facilities ………….. Nil

8. Remunerated Position ……. Nil

9. Contracts …………………. Nil

WALL, Jack (Kildare South)
1. Occupational Income …….. Landlord: 15 Leinster Street, Athy, Co. Kildare.

Other Information Provided: Flat over constituency office leased for €60 per week.

2. Shares …………………….. Nil

3. Directorships……………… Non-executive Director: (1) Goodwill Housing Co-op: Newbridge: housing co-op; (2) Casteldermot Housing Co-op: Castledermot: housing co-op.; (3) Churchtown Development Association: Athy: voluntary community association.

Other Information Provided: All voluntary positions that have no remuneration or value to the directors.

4. Land ……………………… 15 Leinster Street, Athy, Co. Kildare: constituency office and flat.

Other Information Provided: Constituency office purchased 1998.

5. Gifts ……………………… Political donation for 2007 election: S.I.P.T.U., Liberty Hall, Dublin 1.

Other Information Provided: Donation of €2,500.

6. Property and Service …….. Nil

7. Travel Facilities ………….. Nil

8. Remunerated Position ……. Nil

9. Contracts …………………. Nil