Analysis
The investigation was broadcast in September 2014

The Field of Dreams Investigation: An Update

Sharp-eyed Prime Time viewers may recall an investigation broadcast in September last year about a “strange transaction” involving a piece of land in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. More than €500,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on a sloped field and costs related to the application to build social housing on that field. The investigation resulted in an internal audit report being drawn up by the Department of Environment. That report has now been completed, it contains a number of interesting recommendations. For those …

Greek government engages in game of brinkmanship

After continuous financial instability and cutbacks since 2008, it is easy to see how heaping additional debt and further austerity on to Greece was unpalatable. Conditions on the ground in Greece have worsened and it is almost impossible to see how repeating the same fixes were ever going to lead to a different result. From that point of view one could easily have sympathy with the view taken by the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras who castigated the conditions the …

Asteroid impact – should we be concerned?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent In February 2013 a 20 metre wide 7,000 ton piece of space dirt unexpectedly ripped across the skies above Chelyabinsk in Russia. Travelling at 19km per second it exploded with energy equivalent to 500 kilotons of TNT or 30 times the force of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. It was so bright that it burned the eyes and skin of people on the ground, while the force blew out windows, ripped roofs off buildings …

Inside Greece: Healthcare system in disarray

The mimosa trees are in full pink blossom along the dusty road which winds its way through an abandoned army base on the outskirts of Athens. Behind the wire fence is an ordinary, brick building. Inside is something extraordinary. It’s a busy afternoon at the Metropolitan Community Clinic of Hellinikon. Volunteers deal with a constant stream of patients. “We are not an NGO,” one of the volunteers, Christos Sideris, tells me. “We are a grassroots organisation.” Christos used to work …

Where do migrants go when they reach Italy?

The Milano Centrale train station stands magnificent, along one side of the Piazza Duca d’Aosta. It’s front is 200m wide and the vaulted ceiling of the entrance concourse is 72 metres high from the floor. Look up and you see monumental statues and stonework. A pharaoh would have been pleased. At ground level something much more humbling … there you find part of the answer to a question many are asking. Where do the hundreds of thousands of migrants who’ve …

Tony Ryan’s legacy

The 30th anniversary of Ryanair in recent weeks was a birthday that largely went unnoticed. Over the past three decades the airline has transformed its image from a cheap – and sometimes nasty – low fares carrier to an affordable Google of the skies; with its new warmer image being matched by a sophisticated use of social media and data analytics.

Will Apple Music become the core music streaming product?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It’s said that good things come to those who wait. At Tim Cook’s keynote during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week it took almost two hours of other announcements before the company finally unveiled its new music streaming product Apple Music. By rights therefore it should have been good, really good in fact. So why has the response from many quarters been uncharacteristically underwhelming in the days since the latest big Apple launch? …

Questions raised as vote on TTIP cancelled

The political mud slinging in Strasbourg this week knows no bounds. The target – the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group – which is being blamed for the cancellation last night of today’s European Parliament vote on the Transatlantic Trade and Partnership agreement. In an unprecedented move, European Parliament President Martin Schulz emailed MEPs to inform them of the cancellation. It was an action which Marian Harkin, one of the longest serving Irish MEPs, said she had never seen …

The church and solemnising marriage

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference began in Maynooth this afternoon – its regular three-day summer meeting. It’s widely expected that the fall-out from the last month’s marriage referendum will be discussed. The most controversial policy issue facing the 28 prelates is whether their priests should continue acting as solemnisers for the civil aspect of church marriages. Last week Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin said that, speaking personally, he would be slow to withdraw clergy from the role. For a wedding to …

From Patriots to Freedom – NSA enters new data age

By Caitriona Perry, Washington Correspondent The USA Freedom Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama last night, brings in new changes to how the NSA and other US intelligence agencies can monitor phone records. But what’s the background to this new law? The law is quite a dramatic development.  It’s the first review of US surveillance operations in over a decade. The genesis for it came about after revelations by Edward Snowden two years ago that the NSA was effectively …

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