Monday 18 December 2017

In brief: Bank whistle-blower to fill Healy-Rae spot on Citizens Information Board

Bank whistle-blower Eugene McErlean is to be appointed to the Citizens Information Board to fill the post vacated by Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae who was sacked by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton. As internal auditor of AIB, Mr McErlean warned the then Financial Regulator of systematic overcharging at Allied Irish Banks in 2004/5. The overcharging scandal by the banks led to AIB being forced to repay customers €65.8m.

Taxing Master sought by Government

THE Government is looking for a new Taxing Master, a job which comes with a salary of more than €145,000. Part of the brief will be to reduce Ireland's high legal costs. The Taxing Master of the High Court is responsible for providing independent and impartial assessments of legal costs regarding solicitors, barristers and expert witnesses and this is the first time it has been widened to include barristers and legal cost accountants with similar levels of experience to solicitors. A vacancy has arisen following the retirement of one of two taxing masters of the High Court in December 2010.

No winner of €6.3m Lotto jackpot

There was no winner of last night's main Lotto jackpot of €6,314,037. The winning numbers in last night's draw were: 11, 12, 21, 38, 41 and 43. The bonus number was 10.

The Lotto Plus 1 numbers drawn for a jackpot of €350,000 were: 4, 20, 25, 31, 38 and 42. The bonus number was 27. The €250,000 Lotto Plus 2 numbers drawn were: 9, 15, 19, 28, 40 and 43. The bonus was 29.

Bill aimed at regulating receivers

The chairman of lobby group The Friends of Banking, Jerry Beades, has called on the Government to support a proposed Private Members' Bill, 'The Control of the Repossession Industry and Insolvency Practitioners Bill, 2011.' Mr Beades said "the need for regulation of receivers has never been clearer". Bank-appointed receivers have now taken over a huge range of farms, pubs, hotels and supermarkets as the recession bites even deeper. "The repossession industry is an area of no regulation or control," Mr Beades claimed yesterday.

Only one Air Corps chopper airworthy

ONLY one of the Irish Air Corps' €72m fleet of six AW139 helicopters -- grounded last week after a fatal crash in Brazil -- has been allowed to fly again. The Defence Forces said the manufacturer AgustaWestland issued an airworthiness directive with regard to tail rotor blades on all AW139 helicopters. A statement said: "One Air Corps AW139 has been authorised by the Military Aviation Authority to resume flying, and the remainder of the fleet will recommence operations once all aspects of the airworthiness directive are addressed."

The Defence Forces said there has been no interruption to the Air Ambulance Service provided by the Air Corps as a result of the temporary suspension of AW139 operations. Smaller EC-135 helicopters and a Learjet were used in the air ambulance role.

Panel to debate merits of raw milk

A panel discussion on the proposed banning of raw milk sales in Ireland is to be held in the Sugar Club, Dublin, on Tuesday. The debate has been organised by the Campaign for Raw Milk, a group representing food businesses and organisations who believe people have the right to choose. Panellists in the debate will present the various arguments for and against the ban. Raw milk is legally sold in most EU countries and in many states in the US.

Businessman pushes job creation plan

A businessman who has waged a 27-year crusade for a fairer economic system wants to see Ireland put its future economic focus on incentivised job creation rather than slashed production costs. "It all boils down to job creation -- if you create employment you create a recovery and then a boom and a fairer society for everyone," businessman Richard Bartley said.

Under the People for Peace and Prosperity initiative, employers would be given tax incentives in return for job creation. The Cork company director will launch the proposal in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel on Wednesday and is hoping to secure the support of economists for his plan.

Delaney to address Kavanagh School

Sunday Independent columnist Eamon Delaney will give a talk entitled 'The fantastic in the everyday' at the annual Patrick Kavanagh School in Buswells Hotel, Kildare Street, Dublin on Tuesday at 8pm. The talk will deal with the arts and bohemian scene of Ireland in the Sixties and the relationship between the poet and Eamon's father, the sculptor Edward Delaney.

Hundreds of jobs for Irish in Australia

Hundreds of Irish workers will be part of the massive "fly-in, fly-out workforce" needed to build the AUS$45bn (€34bn) development turning coal-seam gas into liquefied natural gas on Curtis Island in central Queensland, Australia.

Just 800 people are now working on the mangrove-fringed island but this is expected to rise to at least 6,000. They will be housed in specially constructed camps within two years, according to The Australian newspaper. They will also be highly paid, with wages estimated at €112,000 for skilled workers, and electricians in high demand.

Jacqueline King, chief executive of Future Skills, a company owned by the union movement in Australia, said it was working with its Irish union counterparts to provide accreditation for Irish workers -- electricians in particular -- to come to Australia.

"Because their economy crashed so quickly they had a lot of people nearly finished apprenticeships who can be skilled up. We've told them that if they want to come to Australia, it's all in the regions," she told the newspaper.

Housewife leaves €2m behind in will

Maeve Green, a housewife from Knocklyon, Co Dublin, who died on January 26, 2011, has left an estate valued at €2,017,853.

Other wills: Bridget Gleeson, a farmer and housewife of Puckane, Co Tipperary who died on August 13, 2010, left €1,605,586; Martin Roche of Coolamber Court, Templeogue, Dublin, who died on February 8 last, left €1,570,298; Michael Watson, a pensioner of Lower Albert Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin, who died on March 19, 2008, left €1,489,817; Gwen (Iris) Brown, a retired bookseller of Harty's Quay, Rochestown, Co Cork, who died on January 28 last, left €1,187,348 and Allan Brown, a retired farmer of Shanbally House Stud, Nenagh, Co Tipperary who died on October 14, 2010, left €1,070,619.

The value of wills include property, including the family home, and should not be regarded as cash amounts.

Sunday Independent

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