Religion, nursing and teacher training – what’s the connection?

The dominance of the churches in primary education here has led to an unusual situation at Dublin City University, writes RTÉ Education Correspondent Emma O Kelly. This year sees the full incorporation into DCU of three former colleges of education – the Catholic St Patrick’s and Mater Dei colleges, and the Church of Ireland College of Education (CICE). Both St Pat’s and the CICE train primary school teachers in denominational courses. In negotiations on amalgamation all three colleges were keen …

Mario Draghi is a socialist (sort of)

OK, as an effort at click-bait this headline may not the most convincing, but now that I’ve got your attention, let me update you on this week’s Brussels Economic Forum (which definitely ain’t a click-bait term!), where investment was a recurring theme. The boss of the European Central Bank was able to step away from the usual lines about cross checks and five-year inflation expectations to look at some of the wider issues confronting the European Economy. In particular things …

A wake-up call for government on digital skills

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent As journalists, we generally try to deal in facts. But sometimes, anecdotal evidence is far more compelling and indeed trustworthy. I regularly meet the managers of technology business operating here – from massive global multinationals, to tiny early stage start-ups. As well as probing what’s going well for them, and their plans for the future, I often make a point of asking them about the challenges they are facing. For some, it’s scaling rapidly, …

ESRI shows customers bamboozled by choice

It is critical that regulatory bodies make use of a new ESRI study to ensure consumers are not bamboozled into overpaying or making the wrong purchase, writes Business Editor David Murphy. We all know the feeling – you go to buy something and within minutes you are completely bamboozled. Perhaps health insurance is the best example. There can often be 30 different policies on offer within a limited price range. Each policy has a vast array of different features. Some …

Diplomatic impunity?

  Most people think it’s not appropriate for Sabina Higgins to make public comments on abortion. We asked the question of our Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research Smartphone panel and 46% of respondents felt that the wife of President Michael D Higgins should not have said anything about abortion, 42% thought it was appropriate and 12% didn’t know. There is nothing in the constitution preventing the spouse of the President from making comments about whatever he or she wants. It has merely …

Mercury rising – how to safely watch the planet’s transit past the Sun

By Will Goodbody Science and Technology Correspondent On Monday 9th of May something special is happening in the sky. And thanks to the time of the day, and hopefully the weather, there’s a good chance you might be able to experience it. But without the proper precautions and equipment observing Mercury transiting the Sun can be very very dangerous to your eye sight. So read on. What is this “transit” all about? Mercury is our solar system’s smallest planet. It …

Ireland misses pollution targets by a mile

One of the faults of journalism, and it has many, is that it often lets the urgent overshadow the important. One of the biggest threats to life on the planet is climate change. This country is going to miss its greenhouse gas emissions targets completely and the Government’s own plans to address this shortcoming are hopeless. And that’s the view of a State body. Ireland is supposed to reduce its emissions to 20% below 2005 levels by the year 2020. …

Delegates, superdelegates and selection conventions

The process to select the individuals who will contest the US Presidential Election for the Democratic and Republican party is well under way. It’s been exciting, controversial and dramatic. But it also can be confusing, as the system is so different to our own. RTÉ Washington Correspondent Caitríona Perry explains the maths behind the politics. Q: There was so much fuss at the start of the year about Iowa and New Hampshire and what the voters there were doing and …

Will flood levy cause a new storm?

Insurance offers protection against risk, but not against certainty – this is the cold-comfort response that homeowners in areas prone to flooding get when they question why they can’t get covered. Many people who have been hit by the recent floods will be left to pick up the pieces without the help of a cheque from an insurance claim; often because they were flooded before and so couldn’t get the cover that they needed. The people whose homes, land and …

The net effect of the Web Summit email controversy

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent What a complete and utter mess. Some people have and will continue to try to put a positive, forward looking gloss on it. But there is no escaping the reality that the circumstances surrounding the Web Summit’s decision to leave Ireland are a shambles, for all concerned. The contents of emails between the Web Summit organisers and the government, released yesterday by the company itself, tell at least something of the story. They …