Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

Good afternoon. Here’s all the news you need to know this lunchtime.

TOP STORIES - Budget 2016

The Health Minister Leo Varadkar has said he would have liked to see a sugar tax in Budget 2016, but that his request wasn’t granted. A tax on sugar-sweetened drinks was one of the measures Leo Varadkar had suggested as a means of tackling obesity, particularly in the young.

CASE STUDY: For Lorraine Cooke, the test of whether the budget would work for her was whether it would allow her to get a job. It failed. The 27-year-old Galway native, who has been blind since birth, is tired of scraping by on welfare and desperately wants to get a paying job.

CASE STUDY: It may be the first positive budget since I left Ireland but it’s still not enough to lure me back home says Aoife Breen. In 2009, I “temporarily” moved to London, confident I’d be back on Irish soil the following year having completed a master’s degree. Six years later London is still my home and the truth is I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll return.

Wondering what the Budget 2016 bottom line is for you and your family? If so check out our budget calculator - developed in conjunction with the KPMG group - right here.

For this and much more, visit our BUDGET 2016 section right HERE


Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

The parents of Siobhan Phillips who was critically injured in Sunday’s shooting in Omeath in Co Louth have paid tribute to Garda Anthony Golden who was shot dead in the same incident. Both Siobhan and Garda Golden were shot in a domestic violence incident at her home.

The Taoiseach has called for consultations with local communities today over accommodation for survivors of last weekend’s halting site fire. Locals yesterday mounted a blockade at a proposed temporary site offered to survivors of the Carrickmines blaze which killed 10 members of the travelling community.

Democratic Unionist leader Peter Robinson has rejected as “outrageous and groundless” an accusation he was to receive a payment linked to the North’s largest ever property sale. Mr Robinson denounced the claim as he gave evidence to a Stormont committee investigating the controversial €1.6bn (£1.2bn) sale of assets owned by Ireland’s National Assets Management Agency (Nama) to US investment firm Cerberus.


Russia has appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation to open a new probe into last year’s downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. The Dutch Safety Board said in its final report released on Tuesday that the Boeing 777 was destroyed on July 17, 2014, by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the area controlled by Russia-backed separatist rebels.

Pope Francis is asking forgiveness for recent scandals that have hit Rome and the Vatican. The pope did not cite specific examples in his off-the-cuff request for pardon at the start of his general audience.


Cork camogie star Ashling Thompson has admitted that she doesn’t remember what she said in the speech she gave after winning the All-Ireland final in September. The Cork captain also admitted she was not put through concussion protocols even after mentioning feeling concussed during the speech.

UEFA have released the seedings for the Euro 2016 play-off draw and, as expected, the possible opponents for the Republic of Ireland are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Sweden and Hungary. They are the seeded teams for the draw and Martin O’Neill’s men will have to play one of the four teams over two legs between November 12-17.


Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

Former Scotland prop Peter Wright claims World Rugby need to show greater consistency in the way they hand out punishments after Ross Ford and Jonny Gray were controversially ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup. The Dark Blues pair were each given three-week bans for an illegal two-man tip tackle on Samoa’s Jack Lam which dumped the flanker on his head.

For more latest news, views and banter visit our Rugby World Cup Centre HERE 


Guinness-owner Diageo is selling the majority of its wine business to one of the world’s biggest publicly-listed winemakers, Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) for $552m. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to complete around the end of the year.

The Irish arm of consumer goods giant Unilever last year returned to pre-tax profit to record a surplus of €6.3m. Three million Irish consumers use a Unilever product every day and new accounts filed by Unilever Ireland Ltd show the firm recorded a pre-tax profit last year after sustaining pre-tax losses of €8.9m in 2013. That represented a positive swing of €15.2m.


This is a giveaway budget. In substance and delivery, if not tone, it is a throwback to the halcyon days of that other great smoke and mirrors merchant, Charlie McCreevy, writes Michael Clifford


Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

Especially since his death, Steve Jobs has become a god to many in IT and design. As a new film on his life is to be released, Michael Moynihan meets up with an Irishman who worked closely with the former Apple head.


At one point yesterday, it was probably harder to find messages on social media platforms that were not about Paul O’Connell, as tributes flooded in for the Ireland rugby captain who has now played his last game for his country.


A New York woman has come under the media spotlight for trying to sue her nephew after a particularly ’forceful hug’ caused her to break her wrist.

Kids just have a way with words, don’t they? They’re so honest and blunt and have a knack for timing. Take this little boy, who on grabbing a large pack of Always maxipads while he’s in the supermarket with his mother, takes the opportunity to display his innate curiosity.


GAMING: Star Wars Battlefront is just coming off a major open beta and developers DICE and EA has spoken out about the experience.

MOVIES/TV: It’s October, which means a new TV season recently kicked off in the States, heralding the arrival of a slew of new shows that just want to be liked and hopefully not cancelled before they get a chance to really prove themselves.

TECH: Who doesn’t love a bit of Ed Sheeran? Thanks to Thinking Out Loud, he’s become the first artist to break the half a billion plays on Spotify on a single song.


Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

omebody cue the fangirl hysteria, as One Direction are on their way to Dublin. So, what does one of the biggest bands in the world demand backstage we hear you ask? We’ve got the list right here.


Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

We have the main points of the Budget from the Dáil and from the press briefings giving more detail on Budget 2016. Tax cuts, welfare increases, a new childcare package and a freezing of the local property tax are among the main components of Budget 2016.


Spring has sprung and a new Munster festival promises to celebrate its arrival with gusto, says Eve Kelliher.Spring has sprung: Munster festival promises to celebrate with gusto

The spotlight will fall on two Munster architects in a new showcase this year.Munster architects poised to build on their strengths

Prepare to fall for leather, whatever the weather, says Annmarie O'Connor.Trend of the week: It's always leather weather

The starting point for Michael West’s new play, in this joint production by Corn Exchange and the Abbey, is an alternative, though highly familiar, 1970s Ireland. You know, elections every few weeks, bad suits, wide ties, and a seedy nexus of politics and property development.Theatre Review: The Fall of the Second Republic at Abbey Theatre, Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner