Your Wednesday morning catch-up

Good morning. Here’s everything you need to know before you start your day.


Key voter groups were showered with cash in one of the biggest ever pre-election giveaway budgets, which targeted pensioners, young families, and middle-income earners. Despite Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisting that he would not repeat the ‘Bertieomics’ vote-buying mistakes of his Fianna Fáil predecessor Bertie Ahern, the opposition accused the Coalition of electoral opportunism in the way it splashed out the €3bn at its disposal.

Sweeping changes to the Universal Social Charge will see workers make savings from a few hundred euro to almost €1,000 over a yearFinance Minister Michael Noonan announced the tax cuts and pledged the coalition would abolish the USC over the lifetime of the next government if returned to power.

Find more of the latest news and views on BUDGET 2016 HERE 


Council officials are to meet with residents of Carrickmines this morning who have objected to survivors of a fatal fire moving into their neighbourhood. The group used their cars yesterday to block 15 members of the traveller community from accessing temporary accommodation on Rockville Drive in South Dublin. A candle light vigil will be held at the scene of a fatal fire in Carrickmines tonight that claimed the lives of 10 members of the one family.

Your Wednesday morning catch-up

A priest called for increased Garda resources at a special prayer service yesterday at Dundalk station in memory of murdered Garda Tony GoldenThe service was attended by colleagues of the father of three and senior members of the force, including commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.


Your Wednesday morning catch-up

Dutch prosecutors have said it could be some time before we find out who was responsible for bringing down flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. A criminal investigation is ongoing. Yesterday, a report found it was hit by a missile last year launched from an area under the control of pro-Russian rebels, but former Kremlin Adviser Aleksandr Nekrasov has said evidence from the Russian Defence Ministry suggests otherwise.

Alcatraz prison’s reputation as never having a successful escape is being questioned amid new claims from the families of two escapees that the men made it away alive. Brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris chiselled through the walls of the prison in 1962, climbed on to the roof, and used a makeshift raft made from raincoats to paddle away into the night.


Your Wednesday morning catch-up

Paul O’Connell’s Ireland career ended prematurely on the pitch at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium last Sunday. We knew as much at the time, but it was only confirmed yesterday with a brief bulletin from the Irish Rugby Football Union stating, definitively, that his World Cup was over. Hamstring. Surgery. Months in recovery.

Ireland have missed out on a seeding for the Euro 2016 play-offs next month. The complex co-efficent system after last night’s round of matches means Ireland can meet Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia or Hungary in the two-legged play-off.


Your Wednesday morning catch-up

Joe Schmidt last night promised Ireland would forge ahead without Paul O’Connell, but not before admitting his captain’s leadership would leave a massive hole as they prepare for Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final with Argentina.

Elsewhere, Sean O’Brien has been hit with a one-week ban for punching France’s Pascal Pape, leaving Ireland without three pivotal pack leaders for Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final with Argentina.

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


Your Wednesday morning catch-up

Cork’s Clarion Hotel has been acquired by the Dalata Hotel Group for €35.1m in a cash deal expected to be concluded before the end of this month. Dalata, the largest hotel operator in the country through its ownership of the Maldron and Clayton brands, had been linked with the high-profile hotel, which was placed on the market with a €30m price tag in July.

The Irish arm of aircraft leasing firm, Aercap last year plunged into the red with losses of $75m (€65.89m) in spite of revenues jumping by 30%. Aercap is the world’s second biggest aircraft leasing firm and earlier this year the firm confirmed that it was moving its Dublin headquarters into a new landmark building facing onto St Stephen’s Green.


A promised €1.5bn budgetary package doubled magically into a €3bn one. Just like that, writes Gerard Howlin


Your Wednesday morning 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.


Paul O’Connell will go down in history as a “world icon”, according to Lions assistant coach Rob Howley as tributes poured in from around the globe for the Ireland captain.


To celebrate the Budget, Dublin radio station Spin1038 asked their listeners to let them know what they would tax if they could and it seemed to hit a nerve - #ThingsIdTax is now trending in Ireland.

Your Wednesday morning catch-up

A technical error caused a church’s bells to ring non-stop throughout the night – leaving residents sleep-deprived and torturing nearby workers.


GAMING: Call of Duty Black Ops 3 will have its single player campaign completely unlocked from the start, so you can play it in any order you like

MOVIES: While the news about the Volkswagen clean diesel scandal only broke weeks ago, there are already plans for a movie.

TECH: Microsoft is hoping to avoid an issue that Android handsets run into whereby some devices get left in the dust as new updates roll out by taking control of update rollouts.


Your Wednesday morning catch-up

The best acts in hip hop were honoured at the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta, Georgia. Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean took away the most gongs on the night.


Your Wednesday morning catch-up

Café Paradiso in Cork has been named best restaurant in Ireland at the 2015 Travellers’ Choice Restaurants awards. The award is based on millions of reviews and opinions posted on travel site TripAdvisor over a 12 month period.


Keep chomping on those carrots so your eyes will be in perfect working order for that prolonged annual gaze through the keyhole as Home of the Year returns for a sixth series next week.Home of the Year offers a good excuse for a bit of good-natured interiors voyeurism

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

More From The Irish Examiner