Ah, Taoiseach, you’re a married man! Enda Kenny meets designer Leonie Cornelius, who is sitting in her garden entitled ‘A Love Letter To The West’, on the first day of the Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. (Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)
HERE ARE THE things we learned, loved and shared today as we round off the day in three easy steps.
THINGS WE LEARNED:
#ABORTION: Health minister James Reilly has been sent a 1,642-page report from the Oireachtas health committee summarising its hearings on the draft abortion bill earlier this month. The feedback, which doesn’t make any formal recommendation, will now be used to frame the final draft of the bill. Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil has decided its TDs and Senators will have a free vote on the abortion bill, after failing to hammer out a unified position.
#EXCOMMUNICATED: A senior Vatican official has said Catholic TDs should resign their public position rather than be forced to vote in favour of legalising abortion. Jacques Suaudeau told pro-abortion TDs: “If you are faithful to your conviction, then you have to get out.” The Iona Institute’s David Quinn, however, has said TDs will not face excommunication for supporting the legislation – but that they should not fear losing their party whip.
#ELECTORAMA: The proposals for the revised boundaries of Ireland’s beefed-up city and county councils have been published. The proposals will see Ireland’s population of councillors nearly halved, as town councils are scrapped and county councils split into municipal areas as a result. Find out how your council is changing here.
#UNEMPLOYMENT: Ireland’s unemployment rate fell to 13.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 – largely through an increase in part-time unemployment and a reduction in the overall size of the labour force. There are now 292,000 people out of work in Ireland.
#JOBBRIDGE: The government says the three childcare firms who were profiled in Tuesday night’s RTE documentary on abusive conditions in childcare facilities will be given a nationwide ban from taking on JobBridge interns. The Department of Social Protection’s moves follow complaints from Sinn Féin that some childcare firms were seeking “no experience needed” interns, even after the national outrage from Tuesday’s broadcast.
#UNLAWFUL: Independent TD Mick Wallace says he was the victim of an unlawful arrest in 2000, for which legal action is still ongoing. In a heated exchange at a press conference earlier, Wallace said he was not permitted to talk about the issue while proceedings were still ongoing, but that he was definitely arrested wrongfully.
Arise, Dr Winfrey. An emotional Oprah sheds a tear after she receives an honorary doctorate from Harvard University during commencement ceremonies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Elise Amendola/AP)
THINGS WE LOVED:
- Sir Patrick Stewart is very sweet. The veteran actor became the unlikely suspect of global attention yesterday when he tweeted that he was having his very first slice of pizza. He’s now explained to New York magazine that it was his first slice of pizza, as opposed to his first pizza… but that he was having some because he and his fiancée were hungover.
- Here’s a lovely write-up about a tattoo studio in WW1-era Britain – and how some people, including children, went to get the military insignia of their husband or father tattooed on to remember them while they were at war.
- So here’s Gordon Ramsay doing a live televised cook-a-long when guess who shows up as a guest… but a Gordon Ramsay lookalike. (Scroll to 2m15:)
(YouTube: Stacey Stevenson)
THINGS WE SHARED:
- So there’s this iron bead that they found in Egypt in 1911, which had baffled people for decades because it appeared to date from 3,300 BC – a full millennium before iron smelting was discovered. Researchers now think they know where the iron rod came from…
- Things we shared? Well, to mark tonight’s Social Media Awards, we shared this blog post about a tweet of a Vine of an Instagram of a Tumblr of a Facebook status update about a Tweet. GO HOME INTERNET, YOU’RE DRUNK, etc.
- Finally, tonight: did you know that Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the best improvisational comedy game of all time, is being remade in the US? And that the show has attained such cult status that most of its old episodes are on YouTube? And that this one has a pre-Comedy Central era Stephen Colbert playing a TV news anchor? Enjoy: