Entries categorized "Current Affairs" Feed

A lot of smart people like @pjprendergast think student loans will happen in Ireland

College Lives Episode 2
Photo by @topgold during an active learning lecture.

ALTHOUGH I DON'T EXPECT to see student loans as an essential part of the third level system in Ireland before I retire from it in 1105 days, I fully anticipate co-signing a loan to help my under-10s attend the higher education institution of their choice. That's because the Irish government simply does not have the budget authority to restore funding to higher education at the level it once provided.

The fiscal reality is driven by European restrictions. When I first arrived in Ireland in the late 90s, Ireland could just print money or run to the international markets for a sovereign bond to get the funding line necessary to finance third level colleges and universities. But now, a financial black hole is leading to the concept of users paying.

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Watching #CAO2016

When the Tricaster makes things look funnier

SEVEN YEARS AGO, I answered a few phone calls from unemployed construction workers who wanted a lifeline to employment. They rang our campus to explore CAO options and several started coursework on our BSc in Creative Multimedia a few weeks later. Today, the picture has changed with the biggest increase in demand for Irish third level courses in support of the construction sector.

Brian Mooney explains today that "the CAO points requirements ... (have increased) for applications on construction, nursing, architecture, engineering/technology, business, pharmacy". Points for courses in the arts "have dropped across the board".

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One Degree of Separation from Ireland's Rich List

Animation and The Sunday Times Rich List
Cathal Gaffney in the Sunday Times.

FOR THE FIRST TIME, I know people on Ireland's Rich List. The Sunday Times puts the Collison Brothers, Colm Lyon and two Brown Bag animators on The Sunday Times Rich List and I've met all four of the lads in different places throughout Ireland and France. It's nice to see success touch the lives of deserving people.

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Reliving Early Days as an Aircraft Accident Investigator

T-38 Preflight
Bernie Goldbach Snapped back in the 80s.

BACK IN THE 80S, I used to investigate major aircraft mishaps and ever since those days, I've kept a kit bag ready to go in one of our closets. I've considered what I might be doing if my duties took me to the remains of the Russian Metrojet passenger Airbus 321 (A321 on Flight KGL9268) jet that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula with 224 people on board on 31 October. [1]

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Following the smugglers' money trail into territorial waters

IN THE 80S, I knew friends who flew into Libyan waters fast enough to create rooster tails of spray as they locked onto targets a few miles inland. Today, I'm walking the streets of Cork next to Irish sailors who may be plying those waters in search of smugglers carrying migrants.

Migrant Boat

Ireland's national broadcaster is carrying stories about an initiative in the European Union that will expand the naval mission to permit the Irish Navy interception rights. The plan, outlined by the Wall Street Journal, involves stopping smuggler ships carrying migrants from Libya to Europe.

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Behind the CAO Headline Points #edchatie

BEHIND THE HEADLINE entry points data, the an Irish Times Freedom of Information Act result shows "more than 12 per cent of honours degree courses listed by universities and institutes of technology are taking in fewer than 10 students". [1] Joe Humphreys, the writer of the article, does not speculate why.

Dad at Work Snapped by 6yo Daughter
Snap of @topgold prepping a lecture hall.

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Liking S/N Ratio of @magicRecs

ALTHOUGH MANY BREAKING stories emerge on Twitter, you often need to sift through the casual and banal to find info that matters--unless you enjoy the signal-to-noise ratio of @MagicRecs.

While listening to a report on RTE Morning Ireland through the static of our kitchen radio (shown below), a Twitter direct message from @MagicRecs suggested there was a back story related to the talking points of the day. In this instance, I learned @sulliview was recently followed by two journalists. Margaret @sulliview Sullivan is the New York Times public editor. I follow no fewer than 45 journalists on Twitter.


Photo of long-serving radio by @topgold.

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#redacted thoughts from an American in Ireland


Handheld video by @topgold.

I AM FASCINATED with the current tension between the private citizen Denis O'Brien and the public interest. It's an issue playing out in the Irish courts while stifled in the Irish press.

I made a short YouTube clip [1] while trying to figure out what is happening in the case of #obrienvrte. The principal players aren't supposed to talk about the issues--although the spokesmen in the RTE audio clip [2] cited below bring clarity to some of the salient points. But in light of the information vacuum that emerges, interested citizens like myself are reduced to following the flow on social media not via #redacted mainstream media. I don't think that constraint sustains the public interest and hope the Irish courts right that wrong.

RTE This Week #redacted

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