Friday 19 January 2018

Last-minute surge in RTE staff taking up voluntary redundancy scheme

There has been a last-minute surge by RTE staff wishing to avail of the station's voluntary redundancy scheme. The number of last-minute applications has meant that last week's deadline was extended by a week, to last Friday.

Management at the station had been looking for up to 200 redundancies, and it is understood the figure achieved may be close to that.

Meanwhile, a RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta spokesperson has clarified that staff at the Irish language station are not paid the same as their RTE counterparts, as was reported last week, and are actually paid less. They are on a grade and pay structure unique to any other division in RTE.

It is now understood that a triangular consolidation of Irish language assets, as was reported with respect to the proposed overall RTE reforms, is not to take place. This consolidation would have seen an amalgamation of Radio na Gaeltachta, TG4, and the Nuacht news service.

However, TG4 and RTE are in fact two separate bodies under the 2009 Broadcasting Act, and such an amalgamation would require a change to the act. There is, however, a process under way to amalgamate the RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta news service and the RTE Nuacht news service, as part of an urgent process at RTE to maximise efficiencies and to reduce costs. RTE Nuacht provides Irish-language television news for RTE and TG4.

Meanwhile, with every cost now under the spotlight, the station is also to review its on-screen clothing allowances. Last year, the total wardrobe cost to the broadcaster was €226,595, down from a 2010 outlay of €280,777.

Greyhound to increase bin charges

Waste-disposal company Greyhound has announced a 16.5 per cent increase in bin charges, which will come into effect from next Sunday.

The company, which took over the bin collections of 140,000 customers from Dublin City Council early this year, said it was putting up waste-collection charges because of a rise in levies for private companies using landfills.

The Department of the Environment will increase its landfill levy from €50 per tonne to €65 next month.

Greyhound said it would be increasing the "per-lift" cost of 140-litre black wheelie bins from €3.60 to €4.20.

The fee for 240-litre black bins will go up from €6 to €7.

Householders who use black bags will pay €10.50 for three tags instead of €9. In south Co Dublin, the 31c/kg charge will go up to 33c.

One winner of €2m Lotto jackpot

THERE was one winner of last night's €2m Lotto jackpot, with the ticket being sold in the North East. The numbers were 19, 22, 27, 33, 40, 44 (bonus 43).

There were no Match 5+bonus winners but there were 31 Match 5s, who each win €2,322; 96 Match 4+bonus (€188); 848 Match 4s (€60); 2,252 Match 3+bonus (€33) and 31,559 Match 3s (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 1, 15, 21, 34, 37, 38 (bonus 7) and Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 2, 8, 18, 22, 26, 35 (bonus 4).

In the UK draw for stg£4.1m the numbers were 3, 25, 28, 30, 39, 45 (bonus 5).

Cyclist seriously injured at event

A cyclist had to be airlifted to hospital after he sustained serious head injuries during an event in Co Clare.

The man had been participating in the An Post Tour de Burren cycle event when he was involved in an accident at Ballyella Hill near Fanore at around 10.30am yesterday.

The man was airlifted to Cork. He is understood to be 49 years old and from Co Limerick.

And a second cyclist was injured in a separate incident shortly after midday on the same stretch of road. The 34-year-old from Blackrock in Dublin was not seriously injured.

Pensioners hurt in horror coach crash

MORE THAN 40 pensioners on a day trip were injured in an horrific coach crash last night in Co Donegal.

Gardai said 49 pensioners and two occupants of a car were hurt in the incident when the vehicles collided at Castleogary, on the road between Killybegs and Donegal Town.

The pensioners are all from the Stranorlar and Ballybofey areas of Co Donegal and had been on a day trip to Ardara.

No one was seriously injured.

River searched for two missing people

Searches were being carried out yesterday in and around the River Slaney after gardai in Enniscorthy confirmed that two people had separately gone missing in the area.

On Friday evening, gardai and the Slaney Rescue Service, along with volunteers, began a search of the river after a man was seen falling from a bridge over the River Urrin.

Yesterday afternoon, gardai confirmed that the search has been upgraded to two missing people, following a report that a 47-year-old local woman had been reported missing. A handbag and some personal items of clothing were found on the bank of the Slaney, near where the man entered the river.

TD lashes needless speed cameras

Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins has slammed speed cameras used on a road that has not had a fatality in two centuries.

Speaking in a Dail debate on transport, he noted: "When I look across the Slaney valley, I see one of the new speed- camera vans parked at an entrance to a forest."

The last person killed on that road was in 1903 -- when a horse bolted after it was startled by a steam train.

"It is my view that, very often, speed cameras are located with the intention of obtaining the maximum amount of cash," Mr Timmins said, "rather than assisting road safety."

New caretaker team for Anam Cara

Anam Cara, the voluntary group established to support bereaved parents, has put in place a team of professional caretakers. All the caretakers are professional counsellors, who will support the existing network of volunteers who offer help to parents who have suffered the loss of a child.

CEO Sharon Vard said: "We are delighted to now have a professional team to meet bereaved parents. Up to now, we have had volunteers who have fulfilled this role very well. However, we have always been mindful that grief and bereavement needs specialised and professional help."

Contact Anam Cara on 01 4045378, on the information helpline at 085 28888888, or email

Farmer leaves close to €4m in his will

A Donegal farmer has left nearly €4m in his will, which went to probate last week. Joseph Hanna of Carrigans, Donegal, who died on June 29, 2009, left €3,999,054.

Other wills: Helen Shaughnessy, Bagnelstown, Co Carlow, €2,390,225; Margaret Foster, Newtownpark Ave, Dublin, €1,492,096; Anthony McGuinness, farmer, Garristown, Co Meath, €1,453,526; and George Sutton, architect, Priory Ave, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, €1,042,632.

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

Sunday Independent

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