Ireland daily news BLOG update

Wednesday-Thursday 6th & 7th August 2014

Current figures show the highest number of Irish start-ups in July since Pre recession


Figures show highest number of Irish start-ups in July since pre-recession

The number of start-up companies in Ireland reached its highest level in July since before the recession in 2007, new figures from credit and business risk analysis company suggest.

In a sign the Irish economy is on the rebound, 1,518 start-ups set up shop in Ireland in July, which is the equivalent of 49 new companies being established every day. The 1,518 figure is an increase of 11pc since the same time last year.

Most start-ups (22%) set up in the professional services sector, with wholesale and retail coming in as the second most popular sector for Irish start-ups at 10%, followed by construction at 9%.

Christine Cullen, managing director of, said last month’s figures were “further positive signs of economic renewal”.

“July’s company start-up figures are the highest seen in that month in seven years and are indicative of greater business confidence,” said Cullen.

“The strong increase in start-ups will also have a knock-on effect in the wider economy, such as in job creation or improving B2B trading.”

Irish coroner claims & fears that new death certificates will hide suicide’s


The optional, short-form death certificates are being introduced by the Irish Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste) Joan Burton, in a bid to ease the distress of families bereaved by suicide, drugs or violence

A coroner has criticised plans for a new type of death certificate in the Republic of Ireland, expressing fears that it could help to “hide” suicides.

The Irish government is introducing a short-form death certificate that will not include the cause of death.

They will not replace long certificates but are an additional option for deaths by suicide, drug abuse or violence.

However, coroner Terence Casey said the move could do “more damage than good” to suicide prevention campaigns.

Greater openness

He said he feared that the omission of suicide from some death certificates would help to sweep the issue “under the carpet”.

Mr Casey is the coroner for the south east area of County Kerry and has regularly spoken out about the need for greater openness and discussion about suicide.

He said made a conscious effort to talk about the issue about four years ago, because he was having to officiate at an increasing number of suicide inquests.

In such cases, a verdict of suicide is recorded on the existing long-form death certificates, as well as the physical cause of death, according to the coroner.

‘Tragic circumstances’

The new, short-form death certificates are being introduced shortly by the Irish Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste) and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton.

Answering a recent parliamentary question, Ms Burton said: “I am very much aware that where a death occurs in tragic circumstances that the cause of death registered on the death certificate can cause distress to loved ones.

“In this regard, I will shortly introduce, by regulation, a short form death certificate that will omit the cause of death.”

However, Mr Casey said that the proposed change to death certificates was “going to defeat the whole purpose of what I’ve been trying to do over the last three to four years”.

The coroner said suicide was still very much a taboo subject and he wanted to help to remove the stigma felt by those affected by bringing the issue out into the open.


He has highlighted the problem from the court bench on several occasions and said more suicidal people would seek help if the families affected were more open to discussing the issue.

Mr Casey said he believed his approach was working as the number of cases coming before him had reduced.

He said that over the past decade his jurisdiction has regularly recorded up to 20 suicides a year, whereas this year there have been four cases to date.

In an updated statement on Wednesday, Ms Burton said her intention was to assist grieving families, adding that the new, optional documents would not affect existing death registration rules.

“This is to address the ongoing concerns from members of the public and public representatives that, where the death certificate must be presented at schools, for example, the cause of death can cause distress to loved ones in cases involving suicide, violent death and death from substance abuse.

“Making provision for the issuing of a certified extract does not in any way affect the matters recorded in the Register of Deaths, including cause of death, or impact in any way on the compilation, extraction and publication of vital statistics,” she added.

But Mr Casey said the families of the deceased were already aware of how their loved-ones died, and the removal of suicide or drug abuse from official documents was a step in the wrong direction.

‘Stresses and strains’ can account for higher sick leave in our health service


The INMO is defending its members after it emerged health workers and Gardaí take the most sick leave in the public service.

Figures published today show uncertified sick leave cost the economy €430m in 2012.

There are no figures available for last year, and new rules this year have cut the number of days allowed in half.

Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says they have a very challenging job.

He said: “I’m not standing over any malingerer, but equally, I am saying that in the world of work that I represent, there are stresses and strains, and with the patients in the bed, they want a 100% healthy person looking after them who has no risk of cross infection, no back strains.

“So there are explanations, but I’m not defending the malingerer.

“But I’m not going to apologise for nurses, midwives or other public servants who are legitimately out because of demands of their occupation.”

QPR Soccer aces back the Console anti-suicide drive


Queens Park Rangers football club have joined forces with Irish suicide prevention charity Console to roll out a programme aimed at helping to save lives.

The soccer club has endorsed a Console three-hour training programme called Question, Persuade, Refer which will be rolled out at sporting clubs across both Ireland and the UK.

Players Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne along with manager Harry Redknapp have given public backing to the programme.

The two organisations were brought together by Leslie Haylock Speed, sister of former soccer star Gary Speed who took his own life in 2011.

Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly said: “Just as people trained in CPR help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognise the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help.”

Redknapp, speaking at the team’s pre-season training base at Carton House in Co Kildare, said that the QPR training highlights three simple steps that anyone can quickly learn to help save a life from suicide.

“Professional sportspeople may often block out what may be going on in their personal life and adopt a persona in the dressing room,” he said.


“Anyone who has done the course will come away with a bit more empathy and a realisation that maybe there are things going on in a person’s life that mean a quiet chat may be the best thing.”

Mr Kelly said Console was now working with the GAA, soccer clubs and the Irish Rugby Union Players Association.

Parkinson’s drug causes unwanted orgasms for a 42 year old Woman


A woman started having up to five orgasms a day after she started taking a drug for Parkinson’s disease

A 42-year-old woman has been admitted to hospital experiencing unwanted orgasms after being prescribed rasagiline, a drug given to some people with Parkinson’s disease.

She had been taking the drug for seven days before the orgasms started, but began experiencing hyper-arousal and increased libido on the seventh.

Each one lasted up to 20 seconds, three to five times a day, according to Live Science.

The team who treated her, from the department of neurology at Necmettin Erbakan University in Konya, Turkey, said typical symptoms from this drug range from flu-like systems to gastric problems.

The researchers believe it could be due to an increase in dopamine in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates pleasure – and is triggered by rasagiline.

They wrote in the report, published in the upcoming issue of the journal Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of this adverse effect of rasagiline”.

Giant crocodile makes light work of hippo calf in dramatic display of power and agility


Fearsome predator ‘toys’ with its prey before taking the poor victim to deeper waters to enjoy its meal

Clearly no one told this giant crocodile it is considered bad manners to play with your food.

The fearsome predator , which can grow up to 6 metres, was photographed seemingly toying with a hippo calf following a kill at Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The dramatic images show the monster appearing to have fun with its prey by tossing it around like a rag doll.

Photographer Roland Ross said he was stunned and surprised by the impromptu 25-minute ‘performance’ before the predator disappeared into deeper waters with the carcass.

Mr Ross added that the croc appeared much larger than others spotted in the area, with an average length of about four metres.

Crocodiles are not known for playing with their prey after a kill, behaviour which is more common among sea mammals such as dolphins and orca whales, who regularly perform dynamic displays with their food.

The most ‘Super’ Supermoon of the year Is happening this weekend


If you missed the supermoon earlier this summer, you’re in luck. This weekend will feature the most super of supermoons in all of 2014.

The full moon begins Sunday at 2:09 p.m. ET, but will still put on a great show Saturday night, and it will appear as much as 30% brighter and 14% bigger than usual. The moon won’t be this close to the Earth again until September 2015.

The scientific name for the event on Sunday is a perigee full moon (it will still look great on Saturday night, though). The phenomenon itself isn’t particularly rare, according to Geoff Chester at the U.S. Naval Observatory.

“Generally speaking, full Moons occur near perigee every 13 months and 18 days, so it’s not all that unusual,” said Chester. “In fact, just last year there were three perigee Moons in a row, but only one was widely reported.”

However, this weekend’s moon will become full in the same hour as perigee, becoming its biggest and baddest all year on Sunday.

A phenomenon called the “moon illusion” is the reason the moon can appear so much larger than usual.

“The illusion occurs when the Moon is near the horizon,” according to NASA. “For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects.”

The bright moon could outshine the long-anticipated Perseid meteor shower, which is happening Saturday night.

The Perseid meteor shower is known as one of the best meteor showers to observe, because of the fast and bright meteors that frequently leave trains, according to NASA.

Astronomers hoping for a good view of the meteor shower should head to dark areas away from urban lighting and find a spot in the shadow or trees or other cover to block out some of the light from the moon.

Whether you catch the Perseids on Saturday night or not, it will be a great evening to view the moon. Here’s where to watch in a group setting:

Dublin Zoo has a new attraction – and it’s a cute “Asian lion cub”


This is the newest and latest DUBLIN Zoo’s attraction – an Asian lion cub. And he is amazing.

The as yet unnamed cub was born to mum Zuri and dad Kumar who came to Dublin Zoo from Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands last year.

The birth of the cub is “very significant”, the zoo says, coming as a boost for the international breeding programme for this critically endangered species.

There are less than 350 Asian lions in the wild and their entire wild population can be found in one place – the Gir Forest in India.

According to the animal care team at Dublin Zoo, the lion cub is bonding well with his parents, first time mum Zuri and experienced dad Kumar.

Team leader Ciaran McMahon said ‘We’re thrilled about the arrival of the cub. He has a wonderfully playful and curious personality. It’s lovely to see Zuri taking to her role as a new mum so well and Kumar is as cool and calm as ever. At two months old he now weighs an estimated 6.6kg.

In the past Dublin Zoo was very successful breeding African lions. It is now of great conservation importance that zoos maintain a viable population of critically endangered Asian lions.

Dublin Zoo would like to invite the public to suggest a name for the new arrival based on his Asian origin. Name suggestions can be submitted through the Dublin Zoo Facebook page.


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