Danny Boyby Daniel O'Carroll
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- Drunk Irish teen charged with threatening to kill Guyanan president - 17-year-old told bodyguards he'd like to shoot Donald Ramotar
The future of Ireland's smart-economy is looking decidedly bleak after the beleaguered Irish Government confirmed earlier this week that it intends raising the college registration fee to €2,000 ($2,664) and adding grant cuts to the list of austerity measures facing the Irish third level sector in the new year.
The news makes grim reading for Irish student unions who have been lobbying fervently over the past few months against Government plans to raise tuition fees, but who are refusing to call outright defeat on the matter, with the holding of a major student march on Cork next week perceived as a last ditch attempt to show the Government that opposition to the planned move still runs at fever-pitch.
The unfortunate reality, is that the student marches and lobbying are beginning to seem like a waste of time and effort - if commendable ones - as the Government sends out clear signals that only the size of the fee increase is up for discussion.
Prime Minister Brian Cowen's televised address to the nation this evening, in which he finally capitulated to demands for a general election, will dispel any hopes party loyalists may still be clinging to that the Republican Party is anything but a sinking ship.
The announcement that a general election will be held early next year comes as little surprise though. It's hard to conceive of a social group or voting bloc that the incumbent government hasn't managed to anger or alienate over the last number of months, as everybody and anybody seems to be angry about the party's leadership/perceived ruination of the country; the party's popularity has unsurprisingly ebbed to an all time low.
This afternoon's official announcement from the Irish Government that it will indeed be applying for an IMF/EU emergency rescue funding package should well and truly be the final nail in the coffin of a government which has long lost the mandate of its people to remain in power.
Without wanting to over-dramatize, there's also a real fear that the constant economic and political volatility will actually push Ireland into a state of civil unrest.
An Irish trade-unionist recently said that the upcoming Budget's expected cutbacks would be too much for the people to bear, adding that his Union, the TEEU, would consider launching a campaign of 'civil disobedience' if cuts were as bad as expected.
Senator David Norris, one of Ireland's most outspoken gay-rights activists, has said that not only has he planned out his own funeral, he's also started recording his own eulogy, to be played as his coffin is buried into the ground.
The eccentric Senator is mustering support through a vigorous PR and Facebook campaign to become Ireland's first openly gay President.
Cork radio listeners got the revenge they'd been waiting years for this morning when local radio presenter Neil Prendeville was forced to apologize on-air for having allegedly masturbated next to two strangers on a scheduled Aer Lingus flight.
I'm sure that there are many ex-Corkonians among the Wild Geese who frequent the blog pages of IrishCentral, so if you hadn't heard the news already you'll probably be glad you did now!
I'm not a big radio fan, but for those unfamiliar with the wonderful city that is Cork, Prendeville's infamy in Ireland's 'real capital' is known to even someone who's never heard his show before.
Ireland is on the verge of re-introducing fees at third level institutions, including the country’s seven universities.
The move was precipitated by an interview which appeared last night on This Week in Politics during which the Irish Minister for Defence, Minister Killkeen, gave a very unconvincing answer to when pressed on whether or not the State was planning to reintroduce paid tuition in the upcoming Budget.
The Minister told the weekly politics program that: ‘We have a very difficult challenge [in balancing the Budget]; no areas is exempt from consideration, the challenges are very very difficult.’