Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Does New Alcohol Bill Add Up?

Posted: February 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

The End of Cheap Wine?

The Irish Government has introduced a Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) Alcohol Bill, but many remain sceptical about both the motives and effectiveness of the new legislation.

Under the Bill, alcohol will have a minimum price of 10c per gram, meaning a bottle of wine will cost a minimum of €7 and a bottle of spirits at least €24.

However, the new law has been greeted with widespread scepticism, with many suggesting the Bill to be merely a cynical ploy by the Vintners Federation (the lobby group representing pub owners) to hobble their supermarket and off-licence competition. The sceptics have noticed that pub prices will not be affected by the new law.

Many are questioning why the new law is being introduced at a time when a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) study showed alcohol consumption in Ireland to have decreased by 25% since 2005.

Others, meanwhile, have voiced doubt as to how effective the Bill will be, with even some pub owners joining the chorus of scepticism.


Is Dublin Port Brexit-Ready?

Posted: February 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Dublin Port

With the prospect of a hard Brexit just weeks away now, Dublin Port is bracing itself for an unprecedented increase in activity.

Until now Britain has acted as a ‘land bridge’ for Irish goods and produce travelling to and from mainland Europe, with 862,000 units of freight transferred annually between Ireland and Britain.

After Brexit, this freight would become non-EU freight, increasing by fivefold the number of non-EU freight units moving through Dublin Port. This, in turn, would mean an enormous increase in the workload of customs officials at Dublin Port.

For some companies the ‘land bridge’ is no longer seen as a viable option however. They are worried about potential delays and their associated costs at UK ports such as Holyhead and Dover, as well as the effect the longer transit times would have on perishable products like fruit and veg, and meat.

Many importers and exporters are now looking at the possibility of by-passing Britain and moving their produce directly from Ireland to France, the Netherlands and further afield.

But with these extra routes, comes extra traffic for Dublin Port and its workers.

To that end, the Irish government has announced plans for an extra 1,000 customs staff to work at Dublin and Rosslare ports.

But will this be enough?

Like all things Brexit, nobody knows for sure……..


Airports are boring. In the best case scenario you catch your flight after a seemingly interminable period spent queuing and being herded through various screenings and checkpoints where the possession of the wrong amount of shaving gell earns you the same level of suspicion as one of Al-Qaeda’s finest. Airports are the departing countries way of saying: “You might be going on a sun-kissed two week holiday to some exotic location, but we’re going to make damn sure you’re miserable by the time you get there.”

Airports are a vortex of fun, a gathering point for the bored and the irritated. But clearly TV3 thought such a Godawful setting would make for quality TV when they came up with the idea for Dublin Airport: Life Stories. They were wrong. So very, very wrong. (more…)

Obituary: James Cantwell

Posted: July 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

Last August saw the passing of one-time Waterford News and Star journalist Jim Cantwell at the age of 75. Although best known for being the first Communications Director of the Irish Catholic Church, it was in the offices of the then Waterford Star where Jim’s fledgling media career took flight.

Although educated in Dublin, it was on Suirside that Jim’s family had their roots and to where he returned upon the completion of secondary school in the mid-fifties. A voracious reader with a passion for sport, the teenager had developed a keen eye for prose and soon identified journalism as his career of choice.

Having secured a six month trial at the ‘Star through a family friend, Jim’s vocation began in the time-honoured tradition of all journalism careers – making tea and delivering post. Whether he excelled at either was moot, so short a time did he take to progress to full-fledged reporter, after an act of daring initiative earned him the scoop of the year. (more…)

"Talking nonsense? Me?!"

“Talking nonsense? Me?!”

There are certain managers for whom every public utterance is scrutinised, dissected and happily challenged by the frothing wolves of a media pack all too eager to sink their teeth into any perceived contradictions or mistruths. For the modern-day football manager the media are every inch as formidable an opponent as the identity of the man in the next dugout, a foe to be taken lightly at their peril. For every manager that is, except Jose Mourinho, for whom every laughably absurd and self-serving address is treated with as much deference and sincerity as though it were delivered from a mount in the Middle East a few millennia ago.

In fact, it’s difficult to think of a more prolific expounder of nonsense in the world of football than the Portugese for whom every campaign can be filed into one of two categories; the successful ones and the ones in which he was cheated. For in Jose’s world there can be no other explanation for short-comings. Eliminated from the Champions League at Camp Nou? Clearly the referree’s fault and not the person responsible for playing Robert Huth up front. Lose a Champions League Semi-final against a Liverpool side costing a fraction of his own team? Clearly the fault of the linesman and nothing to do with his own side’s failure to resister a single attempt on target over 180 minutes against a defence containing Djimi Troare. Unable to budge Barcelona from their perch? Why, a Uefa conspiracy, of course, and nothing to do with an inability to get the best out of the most expensively assembled side in the history of the game. (more…)