Displaying items by tag: Ireland

Thursday, 02 February 2023 22:24

Christians attacked for declaring truth

There are currently three European cases where Christians are under attack for speaking out biblical truth concerning gender and same-sex marriage issues. Pastor Akil Pano is accused of hate speech in Albania after defending the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ and rejecting ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’. In Malta, Matthew Grech has been accused of promoting ‘gay conversion therapy’, and in Ireland teacher Enoch Burke has been removed from his job after refusing to call a transitioning pupil by a new name and ‘gender neutral’ pronouns. Also, in Finland the case of Päivi Räsänen continues; after being acquitted for expressing her views based on the Bible about sexuality and marriage, she is again having to defend her views at the Court of Appeal.

Published in Europe
Friday, 15 July 2022 09:57

Ireland: cocaine and guns

On 12 July the Gardaí seized €1.1m worth of cocaine and arrested three men at Dublin Airport with support from German and South American police and revenue officers. Investigations are still ongoing. The previous day, an Uzi machine gun, silencer and two magazines of ammunition were found in Dublin, the second such discovery since March. Before 2012 the guns were issued to the Gardai. The weapons will be analysed to establish if they were used in any recent attacks. No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing.

Published in Europe
Friday, 15 October 2021 10:08

Brexit: Northern Ireland checks on British goods

The UK wants to change the Brexit process to allow goods to circulate more freely between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as current rules impose too many barriers to the sale of products. The EU have set out proposals that involve reduced checks on goods and medicines. The January post-Brexit arrangement, the Northern Ireland Protocol, was introduced to help prevent border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Both sides agree in differing degrees that the protocol poses many difficulties. EU and UK talks to reach a better arrangement are likely to go on for several weeks.

Published in British Isles

Minister for health Stephen Donnelly said that the government will continue to lift Covid-19 restrictions ‘as quickly as possible’. There would still be public health advice for situations where infection rates are higher. When asked if he thought that all restrictions on indoor capacity limits would be lifted before Christmas, he said, ‘Yes, I do. The road to freedom lies ahead, but things may still get worse before they get better. What we want to do is to provide real certainty for people. It’s been a brutal year and a half’, he added. The government is currently working on a roadmap on the lifting of all restrictions, which will be published next week.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 17 June 2021 21:43

Ireland: a vision for the future

Leo Varadkar, the Irish deputy prime minister and the leader of Fine Gael, says that while the views of unionists must be ‘acknowledged and respected, ‘no one group can have a veto on Ireland's future’. He told delegates at a virtual Fine Gael conference on 15 June that he wanted to see the party establish a branch north of the border. ‘We should be proud to say unification is something we aspire to, It should be part of our mission as a party to work towards it.’ He also said there was a growing middle ground in Northern Ireland, and Fine Gael should reach out towards it. However, he said unification must not be the ‘annexation’ of Northern Ireland. ‘It means a new state in which almost a million people are British. Like the new South Africa, a rainbow nation, not just orange and green.’

Published in Europe

Large numbers of Irish trucks have begun transporting goods via ferries to France, to avoid delays on the more traditional route to continental Europe via Britain, which withdrew from EU trading rules on 1 January. Ireland's transport minister said that France may now require rapid Covid tests from Irish truck drivers operating on this route. The new measures would target the more infectious variant of the coronavirus first discovered in England but now widespread in Ireland. The PCR Covid test can take several days. However, a much quicker antigen test can give results in minutes. Whichever test the French decide on, the truckers will have to manage it and ensure they do it without disrupting supply chains. (France’s demand for Covid tests from British drivers in December caused significant delays and disruption.)

Published in Europe
Thursday, 18 June 2020 21:27

Ireland: coalition government

The leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green party have struck a deal to form a coalition government in Ireland four months after a general election scrambled the political landscape. The proposed coalition, which still needs to be ratified by grassroots members, would bridge a century of rivalry between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and inject urgency into Ireland’s response to the climate crisis. It will also need to steer new laws, including one for a €6.5bn (£5.8bn) coronavirus support package, through a fragmented parliament.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 30 April 2020 21:48

Northern Ireland: cross-border coordination

Two major business groups have written to the governments in Dublin and Belfast to urge coordination in the recovery from coronavirus. The CBI and its Irish equivalent, Ibec, said that an economic reboot will need ‘the highest level of cooperation, coordination and joined-up thinking’. They highlighted the importance of integrated supply chains across the border and Irish Sea, stopping short of requesting a synchronised exit from the lockdown. There have been political differences at Stormont on the level to which an all-island approach should be taken to coronavirus. The two groups say that it is in everyone's interests to have experts on both sides of the border regularly communicating on their respective plans for economic revival and recovery, including all-island business and cross-border employment. They add, ‘It would be helpful and worthwhile for parallel conversations to take place between the two islands, with the North-South Ministerial Council and the British-Irish council providing appropriate formal frameworks for such discussions’.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 14 February 2020 10:25

Ireland: new government needed

Ireland needs to form a new government after election results showed Fianna Fáil winning 38 seats, Sinn Féin 37, and Fine Gael 35. The numbers indicate that negotiations to establish a government could be prolonged. The prospect of the left-wing, nationalist Sinn Fein entering Ireland’s government looks likely. This could make some people uncomfortable when they recall all the ‘Troubles’ of the past. In a world of fragmenting politics with Ireland’s Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, onlookers say it was only a matter of time before Sinn Fein found a route to power. Before the election, both the other parties had ruled out forging a coalition with Sinn Fein, citing its tax policies and IRA past as deterrents. Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has said she would ask the EU to support Irish reunification if she was part of the next government.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 16 January 2020 20:49

Ireland: general election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that Ireland will hold a general election on Saturday 8 February. It is unusual for Ireland to hold elections on a Saturday; they are usually on a Thursday or Friday. As a result of the decision, the Irish parliament - or Dáil - will be dissolved. Varadkar has been leading a minority government for two years since taking over from former Prime Minister Enda Kenny in 2017. Finian McGrath, the Dublin Bay North TD and minister for disability issues, has said he will not seek re-election. But he is far from retiring and will remain involved in political activism. He said, ‘I hope to spend time encouraging some of the 13 percent of Ireland’s population who have some form of disability to get involved in politics at a local or national level.’

Published in Europe
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