EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.
1. #BONDHOLDERS: It’ll be up to the European Central Bank to see if Ireland can follow through on plans to start burning Anglo’s senior bondholders. The bank has yet to comment on Michael Noonan’s plans, announced yesterday, when he said Ireland did not want to pay out fully on “speculative investments”. Noonan says he already has the backing of the IMF.
2. #100 DAYS: Today marks 100 days in office for the Fine Gael and Labour coalition, and the two party leaders – Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Fine Gael, and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore of Labour – are to hold a press conference later today outlining their progress so far. Speaking on Morning Ireland today, Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin said he would only give the coalition “three or four out of ten”.
3. #BAILOUT: One thing the government hasn’t yet secured is a reduced interest rate on the Irish bailout loans – and Kenny yesterday confirmed in the Dáil that he had declined a number of invitations to meet French president Nicolas Sarkozy for bilateral talks. France is, of course, the main sticking block to reducing our rate – they want us to hike corporate tax first. Harsh words were exchanged over whether Fianna Fáil had done any better, the Irish Times recounts.
4. #RADON: A report from the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland says a house in Castleisland, Co Kerry, recorded one of the highest concentrations of radon gas ever detected in Europe, RTÉ News reports. 900 homes in Ireland were above the safe limit for the gas, which causes more cases of lung cancer than everything but smoking.
5. #RACISM: The Sun says it knows what racial slurs were levelled at Derry City’s Eamon Zayed during Monday night’s League of Ireland game against Shamrock Rovers – apparently an unnamed player, referring to Zayed’s Libyan heritage, called him “Gaddafi”. It also reports that Zayed was subject to taunts from St Pat’s fans at a game last week, a claim that club denies.
6. #AL-QAEDA: The world’s largest terrorist organisation has named its new leader: Ayman al-Zawahri has taken over from the late Osama bin Laden. The Egyptian, who turns 60 next week, is said to have been the “brains” behind the September 11 attacks.
7. #CANADA: Riots have broken out in Vancouver after the local hockey team, the Kanucks, lost 4-0 to the Boston Bruins in the final deciding game of the Stanley Cup, ice hockey’s equivalent of a world series. The country famously went into delirium when, at the same stadium, Canada beat the US in the final of the Winter Olympics only last year.
8. #IMPAC PRIZE: Irish author Colum McCann has won the world’s richest literary prize – taking a €100,000 cheque for his novel ‘Let the Great World Spin’. In an interview with today’s Irish Times, McCann tells Eileen Battersby he had tried to write ‘the great Irish novel’ – but had failed because he “wasn’t messed-up enough”.
9. #BLOOMSDAY: Speaking of great Irish novels… On this day in 1904, James Joyce’s hero Leopold Bloom remarked: “A good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub.” Well, to mark the day, a software developer has proved: you can do it (as long as you don’t include hotels). His proof can be examined online. Of course, there’s another way to cross Dublin without passing a pub: just go into them.
John Streeton enjoys himself during Bloomsday celebrations outside the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, in 2008. Open street performances of scenes from Ulysses will be held across Dublin today to mark the anniversary of Leopold Bloom’s fabled trek across the city. Photo: PA