News Ireland daily BLOG Saturday

Saturday 6th July 2013

There were some 50,000 pro-life supporters in Dublin for march

Thousands take to Dublin streets over proposed abortion legislation  

Up to 50,000 pro-life supporters marched on Leinster House today in the first public protest since the expulsion of four Fine Gael deputies who failed to support the Government’s abortion legislation.

The rally heard repeated calls for the Government to once again put the issue of abortion to the people in  another referendum. A large force of gardai were deployed on Dublin’s O’Connell Street as the pro life march ran  the gauntlet of  some 400 pro-choice supporters who lined  both sides of the street near the Spire monument. Though both groups exchanged slogans and some insults there were no real clashes and no arrests. Today’s rally was the third major gathering in recent months  and probably the largest. The ‘All-Ireland Rally for Life‘ was  addressed by a number of speakers including the founder of the Libertas movement Declan Ganley and Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute as well as representatives of Youth Defence. Pro-life groups  from all over the country  were represented at the march with an initial gathering stretching across two sides of Parnell Square but that number swelled at the rally in Kildare Street – outside the Dail.

Poll suggests Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin support up

but fall in backing for Fine Gael, Labour and the Seanad abolition


A Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll suggests that Fianna Fáil has opened up a three-point lead over Fine Gael.

Fine Gael has dropped one point to 26%, compared to 29% support for Fianna Fáil, a rise of two points. Labour’s support has fallen three points to 8% – while Sinn Féin has risen two points to 19% since the last poll in May. Support for independents and others has risen by one point to 19%. A high level of those polled are undecided, accounting for 34%. Dissatisfaction with the Government is running at 75% according to the poll, with only 17% happy with the Coalition, broadly similar to earlier polls this year for the newspaper. Asked about the future of the Seanad, 43% of those polled want abolition with 30% seeking reform and 5% wanting it to stay the same as it is. The number favouring abolition is 10 points down on the last Seanad poll taken in December. The large rise in undecided voters – up 11 points to 22% almost mirroring the drift away from those wanting abolition – points to a more open campaign facing the government when it gets underway in the autumn than may previously have been expected.

Dissatisfaction with Enda Kenny’s leadership is 64% according to the Sunday Independent poll with 25% happy with his performance.72% are unhappy with Eamon Gilmore’s leadership of the Labour Party, with only 16% of those polled saying he should remain as party leader.Support for Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has dropped further, with 56% dissatisfied with his party leadership, compared to 47% in early May. His satisfaction rating of 30% is the highest of the four main party leaders. Dissatisfaction with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has risen by one point to 57% – with 24% of those polled happy with his leadership.

One in every 19 Irish patients will pick up infection in our hospitals


ONE in every 19 patients in Irish hospitals has a healthcare infection such as MRSA, which was acquired in the course of their treatment.

The figure is lower than the European average of one in 18, according to a new survey by the European disease watchdog. It means that in any given day, around 494 patients in Irish hospitals have an infection acquired during a stay in hospital or other healthcare setting. More than 1,000 hospitals in 30 European countries took part in the first survey of its kind from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.


The main infections affecting Irish patients are pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infections, which accounted for one in five of the patients. Surgical site infections suffered by those who had an operation were also a serious problem, as were urinary tract infections. Bloodstream infections, such as MRSA, accounted for 14pc of those affected. The report pointed out that although some of these infections can be treated easily, others may more seriously affect a patient’s health, increasing their stay in the hospital, requiring further surgical intervention or prolonged treatment with antibiotics and “causing considerable distress to these patients”. The prevalence of healthcare-associated infections was highest amongst patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). Marc Sprenger, the watchdog’s director, said: “The survey confirms that healthcare-associated infections pose a major public health problem and a threat to European patients.” Overall, the figures involved amount to an estimated total of 3.2 million patients each year.

Written bids invited by Allsop after abandoned auction in Shelbourne Hotel


Sale of more than 100 properties abandoned after Allsop auction protest in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.

Allsop Space has said it will proceed with the sale of more than 100 properties next week after it was forced to abandon an auction at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on Thursday following a protest. The company is inviting people to submit written bids by 5pm on Tuesday. Once the highest bidder has exceeded the reserve price on a property, a deposit will be required and legal paperwork must be signed by close of business on Wednesday. Director of auctions at the company Robert Hoban said the firm had lined up hundreds of people to bid on more than 120 properties, many of whom had already paid for legal advice and surveys. He again expressed concern at the nature of the protest, which he described as aggressive. Mr Hoban said he understood the anger over the economy and its collapse and was aware of the financial difficulties many people were in. However, he pointed out that Allsop Space had a policy of not accepting forcibly repossessed family homes. “I understand and fully respect people’s right to protest, but they were protesting at something we do not do. We are mainly dealing with commercial investments . . . of people who are [in] receivership.”


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