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Archive for January, 2008

Ó Cuanacháin Decision Could Lead To Withdrawal Of Other Meritorious Cases

Yesterday in the Seanad chamber, I raised the High Court’s decision in the Ó Cuanacháin case. I have met Ms. Ó Cuanacháin, and was most impressed by what she had to say. I argued that if the House was to remain relevant, it should be debating this case, given its immediacy. I proposed an amendment to the Order of Business to do exactly this:

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Broadband Update: Operators to Announce Higher Speeds In Coming Days

In advance of the publication of my Broadband Bill in the Seanad, I have learned that several telecoms operators intend to make major announcements in the coming days. It is thought that areas with speeds currently in the region of 2-3Mb broadband will soon have services offered in the region of 7-8Mb.

This may be proof that our campaign to improve broadband is having tangible results. But it is not reason for complacency. Thank you for all your emails and responses thus far, and keep them coming here or to (Enable Javascript to see the email address)">(Enable Javascript to see the email address). Your stories and suggestions have been hugely helpful.

Broadband Bill To Be Published

Given the abject failure of the government to provide universal, high-speed broadband to every household and business in the county, I have decided to introduce my own Bill that will do exactly this.

The main provisions of the Bill will include:

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Brokers Bet On Basket Cases

What sort of advice are you hearing from your broker in the stock market turmoil? Did he tell you to sell your shares? Even to keep your money in cash? Not a chance. If he did, you are unique. Did he bamboozle you with gobbledygook? You bet he did.

Have you been listening to all the usual bull? About how this crash is a “buying opportunity.” Go on, he is pointing out the high yields from Irish bank shares, he is making inane comparisons with our “European peers”, or he is waffling knowledgeably about the Irish economy still being in “a growth phase.” He should be an anaesthetist, not a broker.

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Country Held Back By Government’s Broadband Blindspot

Stick your head in the sand; deep as you can bury it; ignore the spike in inflation; forget the property collapse; to hell with the budget deficit; disregard the rise in jobless. All is well. We still have the “knowledge economy”.

Welcome to the closing scene in the Celtic Tiger’s life: the nursing home. Send for the crutches.

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Paddy Wright: Grandfather, Gossip, GAA Man

PADDY Wright’s death at Christmas hit hard. I was lucky to know him reasonably well in recent years. Our regular encounters were born out of conflict.

Ten years ago Paddy decided to sue me for a piece of common-or-garden defamation printed about him in this column. Solicitors’ letters were flying around the office. We squared up for a piece of futile, macho sabre-rattling. The High Court beckoned. The prospect of a day in the box against this bellicose Smurfit plutocrat rather appealed.

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D4 Hostess Eyes Ethna’s Seat

Nominations closed yesterday week for the shoot-out at the EBS board of directors. The victim of last year’s board shafting, Ethna Tinney, handed in her nomination (read about last year’s battle with the board here). She alone is carrying the flag for the members.

Ethna is no certainty. Peculiar characters are throwing shapes. Not only are a few of the current board cabal seeking re-election, but according to my EBS mole there could be dark horse candidates, comfortable in either camp.
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