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70,000 homes at risk of pyrite

Over 70,000 houses on the East coast are potentially affected by the scourge of pyrite, North Dublin Fianna Fail Senator Darragh O'Brien told the Upper House.

"I have visited houses that are unsafe for people to live in," he said. "People have no recourse to insurance companies and there is no action from the Government."

Sex crimes Bill

A Bill to ensure there is an obligation on persons who have knowledge of all serious offences, including sexual offences against children or vulnerable adults, to inform the Garda of same was introduced to the Dail by Justice Minister Alan Shatter. The Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act 1998 specifically excludes sexual offences.

Convention bid

The Government intends that the proposed Convention on the Constitution will consist of 100 members, the Taoiseach told the Dail.

A polling company will be engaged to select at random 66 people entitled to vote in a referendum to be members of the Convention. The Convention will hold its first meeting in September.

Banks 'too soft'

The two main reasons for credit refusal for Small & Medium Enterprises are a lack of collateral and the shortage of expertise in the banking sector, Dublin Fine Gael Senator Cait Keane said. "Our banks have become too soft and risk averse," she said. "The banks have become too dependent on what were once guaranteed returns from property."

Wind boost

There has been considerable growth in the deployment of wind farms in Ireland from around 300 MW of capacity in 2005, to over 1,600 MW of capacity operational in the market today, Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte told the Dail.

Text book deal

The Irish Educational Publishers' Association has agreed a voluntary code of practice, which commits members to limiting the publication of new editions and to maintaining editions in print unchanged for at least six years, Education Minister RuairĂ­ Quinn said.