Irish representation at EU poverty conference notably absent

The growing number of European 'working poor' was a focus of concern at the Ninth Annual Roundtable Meeting on Poverty and Social Exclusion held in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday this week. Despite the deteriorating financial situation of many Irish people, the Irish contribution to the meeting was weak. By Deirdra O Regan

Speakers at the meeting argued that the financial crisis must not serve as an excuse for government inaction on poverty. Indeed, the need for urgent measures to counter poverty was highlighted.

Poverty-stricken Europeans voice frustration in Brussels

Too many people in Europe are currently faced with the choice between "heating and eating" according to Fintan Farrell, head of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN). Deirdra O'Regan reports from the People Experiencing Poverty conference in Brussels.

The EAPN, with Irishman Farrell at the helm, is the main driving force behind the annual meeting of People Experiencing Poverty, which opened today in Brussels. The two-day meeting, which is in its ninth year, is primarily intended to encourage and allow people experiencing poverty to influence policy.

Muslims protest at Belgian embassy in Dublin

On Saturday, a diverse group of Muslims staged a protest outside the Belgian embassy in Dublin. The crowd were demonstrating against plans by the Belgian parliament to ban the public wearing of face veils, a move which will have a significant impact on the Muslim population.

Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Somalia were represented outside the embassy, however the most vocal of the small crowd were Irish converts.

NAMA statement on Loan Transfers

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) will acquire over 1,200 individual loans with a nominal value of €16 billion for a consideration of €8.5 billion, representing an average discount of 47%. It completed the transfer of the initial tranche of loans from Irish Nationwide Building Society and EBS Building Society on 29th March.

Texts and Emails, Monday 29 March 2010

Topic: The banks, pay talks, the latest church scandals, and political upheavals.
Panellists: Deirdre De Burca, Nell McCafferty, Paul Sommerville, Michael Colgan and Nicola Cooke (Sunday Business Post).
Vincent, Thank you for pointing out to Nell the offence caused to Christians by her remark about the cross.
Noreen O'Carroll.

Ireland exposed to €500m bill in rushed DDDA deal

This afternoon, Fine Gael TD Phil Hogan released documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, which detail the process by which the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) was granted a substantial extension to its borrowing allowance.

The documents reveal that Taoiseach Brian Cowen, then Minister for Finance, took just 14 working days to sign off on approval for the DDDA to massively increase its borrowing level, allowing it to enter into a speculative property deal on the Irish Glass Bottle site.

How and when the DDDA borrowed hundreds of millions

The following is the timeline of events that led to the massive borrowing of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA). This information was obtained by Fine Gael in a Freedom of Information request, the detail of which was made public in a press conference this afternoon.

Renewed calls for the prohibition of US Military from Shannon

The Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) has called upon the Irish government to end the use of Shannon airport for military stopovers. A conference marking the seventh anniversary of the Iraq invasion yesterday drew together a coalition of political figures including Independent TD Finian McGrath, Labour TD Joe Costello, MEP Joe Higgins, Sinn Féin TD Aengus O Snodaigh and Chairman of the Irish Anti-War movement, Richard Boyd Barrett.

Texts and Emails, Thursday 18 March 2010

Topic: The Omagh bombing, the culpability of the police on both sides and why no one has ever been convicted.

Panelists: Godfrey Wilson, JimHiggins MEP (FG) and Declan Power (Security Analyst). Noirin Hegarty, Emmet Oliver and Patsy McGarry review the papers.

Most of the bishops are canon lawyers Willie Walsh, John Mc Areavey etc. Ask them if they took part in secret juridical cases and if they told Gardai or did anything? I’m sure Sean Brady was not the only one!