Sunday, December 28, 2008

70,000 retail jobs face axe in 2009

The economic crisis will significantly worsen in the New Year, with a shocking 70,000 jobs now expected to be lost in the beleaguered retail sector alone.

Retail forms a huge part of the economy with almost 30,000 wholesale and retail businesses in the country.

The sector employs around 200,000 people -- over 9 per cent of all jobs -- and accounts for close to a quarter of consumer spending.

In the New Year, it is widely anticipated that a third of such businesses will close, an unprecedented development which will lead to up to 70,000 job losses.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Over €6.5m paid in just five years of deportations

The Department of Justice spent over €150,000 chartering a flight for a sole Ghanian failed asylum seeker earlier this year, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

Four years earlier, the department spent over €50,000 deporting a lone Gambian asylum seeker. The cost of flying one Romanian home came to just €1,000 in the same year. In total, the justice department has spent almost €6.5m deporting 1,493 failed asylum seekers over the past five years.

Major concerns raised over asylum seekers leaving infants alone in state-run centres

MAJOR concerns have been raised about asylum seekers leaving infants and young children alone in rooms at state reception centres without any supervision.

The fears are outlined in a series of inspection reports into reception centres, operated on behalf of the Department of Justice by private contractors.

The reports show that the practice of leaving children, some of whom are just a few months old, alone in their room is widespread at the asylum-seeker complexes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

One in three prisoners not Irish

Almost one third of people sent to prison in 2007 were not born in Ireland.

According to the latest report from the Irish Prison Service, more than 11,000 were convicted of an offence last year.

On average there are 3,321 offenders behind bars on any given day, an increase of 4.1%.

120,000 more jobs will go, warns ESRI

The Irish economy will shed almost 120,000 jobs in 2009 and 50,000 people will emigrate, an economic forecast warned yesterday.

The ESRI also believes the Government will be hard-pressed to pay the 3.5pc wage rise due in September under the national pay agreement.

In a Quarterly Economic Commentary, it said GNP will shrink by 4.6pc next year on top of an anticipated 2.6pc contraction for 2008.

"We now expect that average employment will fall by 117,000 in 2009," said the report.

"A fall in employment of that size will be consistent with net outward migration of 50,000, with the unemployment rate averaging 9.4pc."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recession sees racism rise as minorities are targeted

THE recession has seen an increase in the discrimination and targeting of minorities, the outgoing state-funded authority on racism has said.

Delivering its final report ahead of disbanding, the National Consultative Committee on Racism (NCCRI) said it was “dismayed” at the Government’s weakening support for groups battling discrimination.

The Government cut the NCCRI’s budget by 100% in the budget, which has forced the group to close its doors. Its role is to be merged into the office of Minister for Integration Conor Lenihan.

The group’s director, Philip Watt, said it was a time to actually increase resources to combat discrimination.

“There has been a significant hardening of attitudes to Travellers and people of colour,” he said saying this was due to the recession.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sign the No2Lisbon re-vote Petition

We petition the President of Ireland Mary McAleese, who holds the power to stop a referendum if it is deemed unconstitutional or undemocratic. We feel that to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty fulfils these requisites and as such, as the elected President of the Irish state we ask her to use her legislative powers and influence on this matter…

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cowen confident of 'Yes' vote for Lisbon re-run

Taoiseach Brian Cowen last night said he was "confident" the planned second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will be successful.

But Mr Cowen said the Government would have to take it "step by step" and stressed he was not yet in position to formally call a second poll by next October.

Following an EU summit, at which he secured concessions on four major issues of concern for the Irish people, Mr Cowen is on track to run Lisbon II.

"On the basis of the agreement today, and on condition of our being able to satisfactorily put guarantees in place, I have said that I would be prepared to return to the public to put a new package and to seek their approval to it," he said.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Govt betraying Irish people"

Libertas president Declan Ganley is accusing the Irish Government of betraying the Irish people by planning to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Under a plan being discussed by EU leaders in Brussels, the Government will hold another referendum before the end of next October in an effort to overturn last June's 'no' vote.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Barroso 'convinced' Irish Lisbon demands can be met

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said today he was “convinced” the EC can satisfy the Irish electorate's concerns over the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking ahead of this week’s crucial European Council summit on Thursday and Friday, Mr Barroso said the meeting must find a way of enabling Ireland to reverse the No vote on the treaty last June.

“I am convinced that we can respond to [Brian Cowen’s] national concerns while finding a European solution”, Mr Barroso told a news conference in Brussels.

Mr Cowen last week met key European leaders and Mr Barroso to discuss the Lisbon treaty.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Charlie McCreevy talks sense

LIBERTAS chief Declan Ganley outmanoeuvred all the political parties on the Lisbon Treaty campaign and won the argument, European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has claimed.

In a veiled criticism of the tactics and performance of Fianna Fail and other pro-treaty parties, Mr McCreevy said the Libertas founder had been listened to more than anybody else and was "singularly successful" in getting people to vote 'No'.

The referendum turnout also suggested that a "considerable segment" of the 53pc who voted were those who failed to vote in last year's general election, the European Commissioner said.

"So, therefore, people did take the issue very seriously. So, that has to be respected," he said.

10 held in human trafficking raids

A total of ten people have been arrested in a major operation targeting human trafficking.

Four women and three men were arrested following raids on nine brothels and six other locations across Ireland.

This afternoon, another man was arrested by the PSNI in Co Down and a man and a woman were detained by police in Wales.

The four women and three men being held in the Republic are suspected of committing a number of offences including organising and managing prostitution.