Cuts in special needs 'at odds with Education Act'

The Joint Committee on Education and Science met today in Leinster House to discuss the effects of reductions in the number of teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). Chaired by Green Party TD Paul Gogarty, there were calls for the reversal of recent cuts to SNAs by principals of both special needs schools and mainstream schools.

Interview with Chris Morash

Professor Chris Morash is the Head of the Department of English, Media and Theatre Studies in NUI Maynooth. His most recent book, A History of the Media in Ireland, published by Cambridge University Press, traces the history of forms of communication in Ireland over the past four centuries: the vigorous newspaper and pamphlet culture of the eighteenth century, the spread of popular literacy in the nineteenth century, and the impact of the telegraph, telephone, phonograph, cinema and radio, which arrived in Ireland just as the Irish Free State came into being.

58,000 x-rays were not reviewed in Tallaght hospital

The Health Service Executive (HSE) finds itself in the midst of another scandal tonight following revelations that approximately 58,000 x-rays taken in Tallaght hospital were never reviewed by a consultant radiologist.

This follows on from controversies regarding the deaths of children in HSE care and consistent failures to properly vet prospective foster parents, particularly in the Dublin and Cork regions.

Future of publishing industry uncertain

This fast-paced world continually throws up new dangers. However, very often we are confronted with the same old problems constructed in a different way. The latest technologies, in particular, have re-shaped the old debate between art and money.

Secular option crucial to inclusive education system

Primary schools must detach from religious teaching if the education system is to provide for the preferences of many parents. By Joseph Galvin.

Recently the Irish Times carried out a poll asking parents whether they would favour the Catholic Church relinquishing control of the primary school system. A majority of 61% replied yes. Currently, over 90% of Ireland's primary schools are run by the Catholic Church, a balance that must be redressed if it is to reflect the wishes of parents. 

Fascinating re-telling of an ancient Amazonian myth

“Don’t we breathe through what we speak? Don’t story-telling and singing blot out our pain?”

The Amazon River and rainforest have captivated, provoked, even frightened, since the earliest times of human habitation. In Orphans of Eldorado, Milton Hatoum evokes the legend of The Enchanted City - a shining city of gold at the bottom of the Amazon River where people live as enchanted beings.

Interview with Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in Zanzibar in 1948 and moved to Britain in 1968. He is a Professor of English at the University of Kent in Canterbury and is best known as a novelist. He won the Radio France International “Temoin du Monde” Prize (By The Sea) and has been short-listed for the Booker Prize for Fiction (Paradise), long-listed for the Booker Prize (By The Sea), the Whitbread Prize (Paradise), and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award (By The Sea).

State primary care ambitions lack credibility

The primary care strategy of the Health Service Executive (HSE) is admirable in its ambition, but experience on the ground shows that those ambitions are a long way from being reached writes Sara Burke.

Over eight years on from the launch of the primary care strategy, there are 222 teams in place. 90-95 per cent of health care needs can be met by them and they are Brendan Drumm’s pet project. So what do these teams actually do? Do they really exist? And how widespread are they?

Lansdowne Road is with O'Leary in the grave


There is a feature to the new “Aviva” stadium which is symptomatic of a cultural degeneration, I believe, with a disturbing political nuance. It relates also to the “O2” concert venue at the Point.

A little over six years ago, on January 27th, 2004, John O’Donoghue, then minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, made a speech which began: “This is a good day for Irish sport.” That morning the government had agreed to spend €190 million on a new stadium at Lansdowne Road, well over half the then projected cost of the venture.

Making Our Minds Up

Every day we make thousands of decisions. From figuring out whether to have strawberry or apricot jam on our toast to deliberating whether or not to propose marriage, we shape our lives through the choices we make. How we actually make decisions, the variety of factors brought into play and the sections of the brain that are activated, is a mystery that has preoccupied thinkers since ancient times. Only now, with the incredible strides neuroscience has made in recent years, are we close to reaching a solution to this perennial enigma.