So far the roll-out of electronic voting has cost the State €51 million, almost double the original estimate of €33 million. The machines were used in some constituencies in the last election in 2002 but their roll out was halted in 2004 amid concerns from the Commission on Electronic Voting about their reliability. A final report by the commission last July said the counting technology, a computer programme, could be manipulated to change the outcome of a vote, and in tests it sometimes eliminated the wrong candidate.
Alcohol causes the death of an Aborigine every 38 hours in Australia. Between 2000 and 2004 1,145 Aborigine deaths were caused by alcohol, double the amount of alcohol related deaths in the non-indigenous community. These figures are contained in research from Australia's National Drug Research Institute (NDRI).
Local residents in Limerick are campaigning to save four large trees on the site of a new aparthotel in Highfield, Limerick city. Two of the trees – Monterey Cypress tress – are estimated to be 150-200 years old. The other two are a Giant Redwood and a Turkey Oak tree.
Fourth-generation taxidermist Leon Bouten supplies, stuffs and restores all of the Natural History Museum's animals in his studio in Holland or, in the case of Spotticus the giraffe, on site in the museum itself. Emma Browne looks at this fascinating procedure.