KILKENNY -- It's a Bank Holiday weekend in Ireland and that means newsagents sell fewer Sunday newspapers. No single issue jumps out from broadsheets on my radar scope but some stories might gain traction as the summer unfolds, especially since it appears that there will be an early election called by the current Irish government. There's a lot of noise at the moment against the Justice Minister's initiative to allow cafe bars to serve alcohol and most papers are pointing out that the minister signed off on a process whereby the police force trumped up murder charges against innocent businessmen a few years ago. These front-page items run deeper than the usual "Bash Minister McDowell" because now they're accompanied by both public commentary and parliamentary maneuvering. Both suggest the public are ripe for changing some of the faces in the government.
Charlie McCreevy explains Europe. In the "McCreevy interview" by Pat Leahy of The Sunday Business Post, Ireland's European Commission Charlie McCreevy explains that many people in Europe are angry with the out-of-touch elites in Brussels. "The great majority of people ... just want to earn a decent living, be able to afford a few pints, go to a game of football and have a bit of sex." It would appear that those are not Constitutional rights because both the French and Dutch rejected the European Consitution last week.
Mikhail Gorachev explains how to beat Chelsea. In a Sunday Times interview, Mikhail Gorbachev suggests that some of the riches of the Chelsea Football Club were plundered from Russia. He believes Russia's millionaires should pay back the money.
Some think the $1 trillion has been hidden away by Russian businessmen. If they don't return that, our courts are likely to decide they acquired it illegally. Then they couldn't use that money anywhere. One day it will be used for the benefit of Russia.""Good news for Manchester Uniterd, then," quips Jasper Gerard.
Twin your town to Africa. Jeremy Clarkson asks, "What is your local council twinned itself with a town in Africa? ... When your village has been given the responsibility for a specific village in Africa, abdicating your responsibility to keep the people in that village healthy is not an option... (P)overty is a global problem. But the solution, I suspect, is local."
Imdemnities for Reviews. The decision of Dick Roche, the environment minister, to seek indemnities from those seeking judicial reviews of important public infrastructure projects will incense environmentalists, writes Damien Kiberd. "But what did they expect? Over the past two years, they have pushed forward objectors who are at no financial risk should their actions fail".
Irish broadband faltering. Conor Brophy explains two things well in a half-page article. He documents how Ireland will fail to achieve its target of connecting 500,000 people to broadband by 2006. He also explains how the dominant telco will stifle some new startups by foot-dragging and refusing to comply with directives of the Communications Regulator.
Recycle your iPod. Apple now has a free recycling program for iPod running in the States. Customers can bring iPods they no longer want to any of Apple retail store in the US for free environmentally friendly disposal, and those who drop off an iPod, iPod mini or iPod photo will receive a 10 percent discount on the purchase of a new iPod that day. It's interesting how "we will recycle your iPod for free" doesn't grate like "I'll buy your iPod for $30" especially since your battery life is only half of what advertised.
Surfing abroad. Louise McBride skewers some numbers in her article about mobile data costs. She writes, "In Australia, it will cost you €19.90 or €20.73 to download 1 kilobyte of information onto an O2 Blackberry handset, depending on the network." I think she means it costs around €20 per megabyte. When I visited the States, my data charges were in line with those in Ireland, providing I connected to T-Mobile.
Spying on Raftery. The Sunday Tribune cites Tom Raftery's "Blogging for Business" event in Cork next Thursday and promises to "have a spy in the audience".
Conor Brophy -- "Well behind on broadband" in the Sunday Tribune, June 5, 2005.
Damien Kiberd -- "Sound of discord puts Euro vision out of tune" in The Sunday Times, June 5, 2005.
Jeremy Clarkson -- "Twin your town to save Africa" in the same edition of the Times.
Jasper Gerard -- "Give the money back, Mr Chelski" in The Sunday Times News Review, June 5, 2005.
Louise McBride -- "Caution needed when surfing the net abroad" in The Sunday Business Post, June 5, 2005.