Rich reap rewards of bank bailout

AIB SHARES fell back a bit yesterday. At 12.30pm they were at €1.75, down by 2.8 per cent on the previous day, but hanging in there. They had been at €3.20 in late September, which was a splendid performance, given all the turmoil. After all, the share price had been at a miserable 27 cent back on March 5th, and the rally since then has been quite impressive, don't you think?

Irish well-being degraded by recession

The rise in inequality and poverty during the economic boom was damaging enough. But now, rising unemployment, income cuts and spiralling debts are contributing to an even graver depletion in the state of Irish ‘well-being’, according to Helen Johnston, Senior Policy Analyst with the National Economic and Social Council (NESC).

Slow progress on child and adolescent mental health services

Two weeks ago, the HSE published its first Corporate Performance Report. One of its headlines was the progress made in the area of child mental health and the fact that there were now 54 child and adolescent mental health teams up and running. Are there 54 child and adolescent mental health teams up and running around the country? And what sort of services are they providing? 

Transforming Ireland - the challenges

A new book,Transforming Ireland: Challenges, Critiques, Resources by Michael Cronin, Peadar Kirby and Debbie Ging, critiques the impact of the free market during Ireland’s Celtic Tiger boom on a wide range of areas of public life such as the media and the pharmaceutical industry. It also examines the influence of the boom on health, education, state surveillance, immigrants, the welfare state, consumerism and the Irish language.

Two-tier Google excludes Ireland and other countries from Android market

The 'Android' phone, Google's answer to the iPhone, was finally released in Ireland this week. This should have opened a lucrative market for Irish technology companies to develop and sell applications for Android. But a barrier to the Google payment system prevents Irish developers from selling their product. Only developers located in nine countries (all first-world) may register for the payment system. By Malachy Browne

The pickle with peat

Research shows that six per cent of global man-made carbon emissions is attributable to ‘reclaimed’ bogs. Yet international climate conventions ignore peatland as a cause of global warming. The case for peatland's inclusion in the next climate protocol (being negotiated in Copenhagen next month) was made at a recent lecture organised by the Environmental Protection Agency. By Malachy Browne.

Ireland a lifeboat for humanity

Climate change due to man-made global warming will likely bring humanity to the brink of extinction: our survival will depend on climatically temperate islands like Ireland and New Zealand. So says James Lovelock, a respected and life-long scientist whose conclusions on climate change are published in “The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A final warning”. By Malachy Browne.

Health workers' strike set to proceed

Despite a day of protracted talks on 28 October, health sector unions emerged ready for 24 hour strike action, due to take place on 24 November. Very little of the detail has been worked out in terms of duration or services affected but it is safe to predict that if it goes ahead:

* it will, in effect, be like Christmas day with minimal services available
* Nurses will continue to staff wards with emergency cover
* The Irish Nurses Organisation are at the talks but have no plans to ballot yet - but their members will provide emergency cover if on strike