Oireachtas agenda Magdalenes water charges and Coillte sales

first_imgWHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House?TheJournal.ie lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.DÁILWednesday kicks off with about 30 minutes of Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, and once the day’s agenda has been signed off on, there’s time for another two hours of discussion on last month’s Magdalene Laundries report.At 2:30pm Brendan Howlin takes Questions to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; there’s discussion of four topical issues at 3:45pm.After that, at 4:33pm, there’s discussion on two different educational bills: the last consideration of the Education and Training Boards Bill 2012, which merges Ireland’s VECs, and the Further Education and Training Bill which disbands FÁS and replaces it with the new ‘Solas’.The day wraps up at 7:30pm with the second of two 90-minute sessions debates on a technical group motion against the sale of felling rights at Coillte forest lands. The vote on that, at 9pm, will be the last business of the day.The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.SEANADThe Seanad’s day also begins at 10:30am, with 75 minutes of debate on the day’s agenda. At 11:45am members will once again consider proposed amendments to new taxi licencing laws.At 3:30pm Fianna Fáil’s senators get two hours to debate a motion of their choice – though there was no decision, at the time of publication, about what they’d consider. At 5:30pm there’s two hours of debate on the Magdalene Report, before the day winds down with discussion of a few adjournment matters at 7:30pm.The day’s Seanad business can all be viewed here.COMMITTEESFive committees hold public sessions today. Let’s deal with them in chronological order:At 9:30am the Transport and Communications committee meets the incoming chairman of the Port of Cork, John Mullins, to talk about the future of that facility. (Watch here.)The Justice committee convenes at 2pm to discuss penal reform with the founder of User Voice, Mark Johnson. (Watch here.)It’s a hot topic at the Environment sub-committee at 2pm: Fergus O’Dowd is present as members consider proposed amendments to the legislation behind the new system of water charges. (See ‘One to Watch’ below.) (Watch here.)At 5pm the Public Service Oversight and Petitions committee considers the latest petitions sent in by the public. (Watch here.)At 2:30pm the Foreign Affairs committee hears from Amnesty International, who have some thoughts on Ireland’s EU presidency. (Watch here.)TheJournal.ie‘s one to watchThe discussions on the Water Services Bill 2013 – which is behind the new system of water charges – will be keenly watched.Sinn Féin has tabled a rake of amendments which turn the bill into a ‘National Water Framework Bill’, which agrees only to consider the issue but not commit Ireland to charges. Similarly, SF’s Brian Stanley and Catherine Murphy have opposed many of the Bill’s key sections.It’ll be a tense and tricky afternoon to see how the government defends itself against a deeply unpopular measure.Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?last_img read more

Vote for civil marriage for samesex couples an historic step

first_imgTHE CONSTITUTION CONVENTION has voted overwhelmingly in favour of recommending that the Constitution be changed to allow for civil marriages for same-sex couples.Following yesterday’s submissions, 79 per cent of people voted ‘Yes’, with 19 per cent saying ‘No’, and a further one per cent which offered ‘No opinion’.In a joint statement, the advocacy groups Marriage Equality, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) called it “an historic step”.GLEN director, Brian Sheehan said that the result was “a major milestone on the remarkable journey to full constitutional protection for lesbian and gay people and families in Ireland.”Regarding the question of whether this amendment should be permissive (where the State may enact laws providing for same-sex marriage) or directive (where the State shall enact laws providing for same-sex marriage), 78 per cent of people voted that it should be directive.Parenting and guardianshipA final question asked delegates if they agreed, disagreed or had no opinion that “having regard to the changed arrangements in relation to marriage, the State shall enact laws incorporating changed arrangements in regard to the parentage, guardianship and the upbringing of children”.81 per cent of people voted ‘Yes’, with 12 per cent voting ‘No’ and a further two per cent offering ‘No opinion’.Following today’s vote, a report will now be drafted with the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention going to Government.The chairman of the Constitutional Convention, Mr Tom Arnold, said that the weekend’s discussions had “been both passionate and thoughtful, both heartfelt and rigorous.” The Government has committed to formulating a public response to each of the Convention’s recommendations within four months of them being made which means that today’s outcome progresses the issue and moves it on considerably.(ConstitutionIe/YouTube)Read: Constitutional Convention to vote on same-sex marriage today > Throughout this process, citizens were actively encouraged to engage with the issue of same-sex marriage and make their views known through the website and by other means. There was an unprecedented response from the public and over 1000 submissions were considered by the Convention.Fine Gael TD, and chair of the party’s LGBT Group, Jerry Buttimer TD, called today’s vote result an “overwhelming endorsement” that send a “loud signal to the rest of the world about the value the Irish people place on equality, diversity and inclusiveness.”The debate over the last two days at the Convention was exceptional and the forum gave those in attendance an excellent opportunity to thrash out the issues of concern to them in understanding what marriage equality means both personally and for wider society.last_img read more

Obama We will find out who did this and we will hold

first_imgRead more coverage of the Boston Marathon explosions> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqO5YVqtjT0YouTube: newswatchstationADDRESSING THE AMERICAN people from the White House tonight US President Barack Obama pledged that authorities would find out who carried out the two explosions at the Boston marathon and hold them accountable.Speaking just hours after the double explosions rocked the finish line of the marathon leaving dozens injured and at least two dead, Obama said that the “full resources of the federal government” were available to authorities in the Massachusetts city.“The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight,” he said adding that it was a “senseless loss”.“We don’t have all the answers,” he added, saying that multiple people had been wounded. Obama said he had spoken to the director of the FBI and his Homeland Security chief as well as congressional leaders.“There are no Republicans and Democrats on days like this,” he said.He stressed that people should not jump to conclusions about who is responsible for the twin blasts but said the “full weight” of the US justice system would come down on those responsible.Obama said that Boston emergency services including firefighters, police and first responders had responded “heroically and continue to do so as we speak.”“Bostonians are tough and resilient and American people will be with them,” Obama said before concluding his brief press conference by stating: “We will find out who did this, and we will hold them accountable.”Read: New York City on high alert after Boston explosionsPhotos: Chaos and devastation after Boston Marathon blastsUpdated: So far no reports of Irish caught up in marathon blastsRead: Police say JFK Library incident was ‘fire related’last_img read more

Voters in Inishfree all 6 of them go the polls today along

first_imgMOST OF US won’t get to cast our votes until early tomorrow morning — but for some two thousand voters off the west and northwest coasts, polling day comes a day early.2,124 voters, to be precise, are eligible to vote today on the islands in question — which include Arranmore and Tory Island off Donegal, Mayo’s Clare Island and Galway’s Inishmore and Inishboffin.Inishfree, also off Donegal, has the smallest electorate of the list — with just six eligible voters.Citizens living in the areas typically vote a day early to avoid the possibility that bad weather that could prevent ballot boxes from being brought to count centres on time.Air Corps helicopters will pick up the full boxes this evening and ferry them to the mainland.Some 440 people on islands off Cork, including Bere, Clear and Sherkin islands, will vote tomorrow, when the polls open nationwide at 7am.Counting for the local elections begins on Saturday, with the process expected to go on late into the evening.The European count gets under way at 9am on Sunday.Read: Fine Gael bottled water, giant floating heads and other strange sights from Election 2014Read: 7 things we learned from last night’s Dublin Prime Time debatelast_img read more

Tens of thousands flock to Gorey for the Olympics of Sheep Shearing

first_img Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTubeGlobal gatheringIn total, competitors from 27 countries are in Gorey to take part this weekend — including shearers from China and Japan, who arrived at the site yesterday. The youngest participant is 15-year-old Australian Ethan Harder, who’s taking part in his first northern hemisphere competition.Away from the woolly goings on — you might fancy heading to a Good Food Ireland village featuring live cooking demonstrations from the likes of Darina Allen and Derry Clarke. There’s also fashion shows, tugs of war, heritage exhibitions and musical performances — as well as something called the “Queen of the Wool” which takes place on Saturday night.This being the day before the election, you can expect to see quite a few familiar political faces too. From Fine Gael, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and his Cabinet colleague Leo Varadkar will be along later, supporting Simon Harris in his bid to secure the fourth seat in Ireland South. Other candidates and their canvassers are also expected to drop by to shore up votes, before the European and local election polls open at 7am tomorrow.If you are thinking of heading down, there’s contests going on from 7.30am each day between now and Sunday. One child goes free for every adult paying the €10 entry fee.You never know, you might even get to see Simon Coveney tackle some livestock… Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTubeRead: Two ministers, some sheep, and a city centre photo-op. What could go wrong?Read: An adorable sheep-goat hybrid has been born in Kildare ORGANISERS OF THE Golden Shears 16th World Sheep Shearing Championships are expecting some ten thousand international visitors over the next few days in Gorey, Co Wexford.Thousands of Irish spectators will be heading to the area too, for what’s being billed as “the Olympics of Sheep Shearing”.The international event, which also takes in wool handling and sheepdog trials, will be the first to have been held in Ireland since 1998, and the nations’ competitive shearers have (apparently) been honing their skills in recent weeks ahead of the off.The six-strong Team Ireland will be headed up by Donegal man Ivan Scott, who claimed the world record two years ago (744 lambs in eight hours, since you ask). He’ll be joined in the machine shearing class by Galwegian Tom Kennedy.Elsehwere, Seamus Joyce and Peter Heraty, both from Mayo, will be flying the tricolour in the ‘blade shearing’ class. Father-and-son team George and Brendan Graham of Wexford compete in the wool handling contests.If you’ve never seen a sheep shorn in anger, check out this video of the elder Graham in action…last_img read more

Oireachtas Health Committee to meet HSE on creche issues

first_imgThere have been calls for the installation of CCTV cameras in creches to provide parents with the opportunity to check in on what is happening in the creche throughout the day. In light of the horrendous footage shown on Prime Time, the idea that this could reassure parents is understandable. However, it is neither workable, nor is it enough to truly solve the problem that is facing us.She said “it will do nothing to solve the root causes of mistreatment”. She said that the best way to ensure children are getting the best care is:We must focus on ensuring that those who are responsible for caring for children are fully trained, and have the necessary qualifications. We must provide support for childcare workers, through mentoring, coaching and other kinds of practical support.A garda investigation and HSE investigation are underway into the footage broadcast on the Prime Time programme.Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that the footage was “harrowing, distressing, shocking, and… absolutely unacceptable”. She said it was evident that the inspection procedures in place were not fulfilling the standards needed.New inspectors are being recruited to address the lack of HSE-appointed child inspectors in five counties.Read: Nationwide JobBridge ban for creche chains featured in RTÉ programme>Read: Van Turnhout “not convinced” HSE equipped to respond to parental concerns> THE HSE WILL appear at the next Oireachtas Health and Children Committee to discuss the creche scandal.Labour TD Ciara Conway told TheJournal.ie that the committee will meet after a short break and will discuss the recent RTÉ Prime Time investigation A Breach of Trust, which focused on undercover footage in three creches in Ireland.She said that representatives from various childcare organisations and the HSE will appear before the committee to discuss what is happening to deal with the findings of the programme.Conway said that “unfortunately there is no quick-fix solution to this” and that if it is too quick “you might put the wrong system in place”.The Labour Party TD for Waterford has opposed calls for the installation of CCTV cameras in creches in the aftermath of the scandal:last_img read more

Irish people spending an average of €1000 while on holiday

first_imgIRISH HOLIDAYMAKERS ARE expecting to spend an average of €1,000 while on vacation this year, according to the latest data from KBC.The bank’s Saving’s Barometer indicates that 60 per cent of Irish people plan on taking a summer holiday hits year.Some 70 per cent of those going on holidays are saving specifically for the holiday itself and unsurprisingly savers are far more likely to take a holiday than those without a savings account.There’s no gender imbalance when it comes to taking a break with men and women equally as likely to go on holiday. However men expect to spend significantly more than women while on holiday; €1,158 as opposed to €858.Though most Irish holidaymakers save for their trip, 20 per cent plan to use their credit card and 5 per cent intend on taking out a loan to pay for it.Only 17 per cent of people plan to stay in Ireland for a ‘stayaction’ while almost one in three plan a sun holiday.Read: 10 tips for avoiding those excess baggage fees>Read: This is everything* you need to know about bringing your pet on holidays>last_img read more

What can your nails tell you about your health

first_img A car plowed through the main hall of Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, New York SpaceX is trying to buy a hamlet inside its Texas rocket-launch site because it ‘did not anticipate’ there’d be any ‘significant disruption’ to residents who live there 16-year-old Greta Thunberg met with Obama and chided senators, saying they’re not trying hard enough to fight climate change (You probably don’t want to be flicking through this if you’re sitting down to eat).WHEN MOST OF us look at our hands, we might notice that we need to trim, clean, or stop biting our fingernails, and that’s about it.But if you ask a dermatologist, they can see a whole lot more. Everything from poor diet and stress to serious kidney problems can be revealed by a glance at your fingernails.There are about 30 different nail signs that can be associated with medical issues, though many may indicate more than one problem, according to Dr. Amy Derick, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Northwestern University.Here are eight of the things a doctor can tell about your health based on your fingernails.1. People with emphysema and other lung problems frequently develop what’s known as “clubbed” nails, according to Derick. When this happens, the fingertips become rounder and the curve of the nail changes, developing a steeper up and down pitch. Clubbed Nails Source: Jerry Nick, M.D./Wikimedia Commons2. Small little pits or indentations can be a sign of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or eczema, according to Dr. Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University. Arthritis affects the joints and can be related to psoriasis, which, like eczema, affects the skin.3. People who aren’t eating well and have vitamin or dietary deficiencies may have thinner than normal nails, which are more likely to break, according to Day.4. Horizontal lines, also known as Beau’s lines, are associated with serious physical stress. They look like an indented line across the nail, and frequently occur in people who have gone through chemotherapy, according to Day. They can also occur after some illnesses, injuries, or with severe malnourishment. Interestingly, there may be an altitude connection too. They’ve also been found in people who dove 1000 feet and others who participated in an Everest expedition. Beau’s lines Source: Elipongo/Wikimedia Commons5. Vertical lines, however, are generally not such a big deal. Some people are more genetically prone to them than others, but they’re commonly associated with aging. Occasionally they may appear in malnourished people.6. When people are iron-deficient, their nails can turn spoon-like, according to Derick. Instead of curving down and covering the finger normally, they’ll start to rise up on the sides and front, going from the normal convex shape to a more concave shape, like the part of a spoon that holds liquid.7. Kidney and liver problems can create “half-and-half nails,” where one part of the nail is white and the other part dark or pink, according to Derick. Kidney and liver problems frequently cause discoloration that shows up in nails and skin. Half and half nails Source: Lee et al, Annals of Dermatology8. A nail that lifts up out of the nail bed can also indicate kidney or thyroid issues, says Derick. Many thyroid problems and autoimmune diseases like Graves or lupus create complications that dermatologists notice while examining patients.Doctors note that because disease diagnosis is complex and some symptoms can be associated with different diseases, you should always see a medical professional if you are concerned about something you notice.- Kevin Loria READ: Two scientists spent six hours locked in a public toilet in the name of research READ: A glass or two of alcohol a day is good for you? Think again, say scientists The US is building a case against Iran in the attacks on Saudi Arabia, but Trump is in no rush to act last_img read more

12 memories every Irish person has of the local teenage disco

first_imgDOES THE PHRASE “Will ya meet me mate?” send a chill down your spine? Do you still have a penchant for body glitter? Do you know all the moves to Saturday Night by Whigfield? You probably attended a teenage disco or two.Any decade, any city, any town, whether you went to one in your whole life or one every week – if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all.The decidedly unglamorous settings Source: Geograph.ieParish halls, rugby clubs, glorified barns. If you could fit 30+ teenagers in there, you had  a disco.Being too self-conscious to dance properlyShuffling. Swaying. Big fish, small fish, cardboard box. Source: ImgurJust add crippling self-doubt and you’ve got the average teen’s full repertoire of dance moves.Both looking forward to and dreading the slow set Source: TumblrSo much could go wrong here. But it was a chance to get close to the person you fancied, so it couldn’t be missed.Terrible, terrible musicIn the 1980s, it was Rick Astley. In the 1990s, it was the Macarena. In the 2000s, it would have been the DJs Cammy, Sammy or Rankin. Source: mynottc/YouTubeDon’t allow nostalgia to cloud your judgement. They’re all terrible.Terrible, terrible clothesThink of the style of the era, but LESS. Not nearly enough body glitter, girls. Source: ShutterstockThe tiniest skirt you could get away with leaving the house in (to be swapped for a much tinier skirt once you reached your friend’s house).  String tops. Dress shirts for the lads.And body glitter. So much body glitter.Having one of your first sups of alcohol on the bus to the disco Source: FanpopAnd feeling incredibly cool and rebellious.“Will you shift my friend?” Source: ShutterstockYou either a) did the asking, b) were asked or c) were the friend. No one was safe.Hearing rumours that someone was going ‘all the way’ out the back Source: ReactiongifsOr at least some of the way. Whatever, you still CAN’T BELIEVE IT.Trading shocking tales of discos in big towns Source: Facebook/The WezzWezz in Dublin had (and still has) a reputation of being The Absolute Worst. Your friend’s cousin goes there and she told them everything. Your own disco never really matched up, did it? (You probably didn’t want it to.)The weekly dust-up outside the venueWhat was the reason again? Doesn’t matter. HIT HIM! HIT HIM! Source: WikiaThe shame of being picked up by your parents afterwardsAnd trying to disguise the fact that you were out of your little tree on alcopops, or that you’d just been wearing the face off some young one. Source: HowlAtTheMoon.comAnd exchanging stories the next dayIt was all about the numbers – how many cans? How many times did you get the shift? How many fights? Source: Giphy(Sadly, the same thing still applies to your adult social life.)Share your cherished memories of teenage discos in the comments – but keep it clean, OK?11 appalling trends you will DEFINITELY spot in an Irish nightclub>The 9 types of dancer in an Irish nightclub>last_img read more

Sovietera image retouching tool predates Photoshop is actually French

first_imgIn the video above we can see that Soviet computer engineers were digitally scanning and retouching images way back in 1987, three years before Photoshop was available. Don’t worry this isn’t quite the Sputnik-like failing of Western technology that it might seem, Thomas Knoll started working on what would become Photoshop that same year. And that ended up being slightly more popular than Советский фотошоп (not that that’s the real name, it just means “Soviet Photoshop”).Also, as it turns out, some graphics historians/commentors noted that this device isn’t Soviet at all, it’s the PERICOLOR-1000 running Russian software. I haven’t been able to turn up much information on the PERICOLOR-1000 but this does mean one thing–you’ll be spared the otherwise mandatory “In Soviet Russia” joke. Either way, it’s a great video that reminds us just how awesome old technology is.AdChoices广告As for the computer–that’s the Apple III which came out in 1980 and would have been somewhat outdated at the time, though perhaps not behind the Iron Curtain.via Boing-Boinglast_img read more

IBM celebrates 100 years of invention and breakthroughs

first_imgIt’s coming up to IBM’s 100th anniversary, which is set to happen on on June 16 this year. As part of the celebrations the videos you see above and below have been released as a reminder of what IBM has achieved over those years.For younger generations, who just know IBM as that company registering thousands of patents every year, it may not register that this technology giant created the precursor to the modern PC, was the computing power behind the Apollo shuttle missions, put in place the system that would become the universal barcode, invented the relational database, DRAM, fractal geometry, and that little nub on laptops you can use instead of a mouse.Highlights of the video include a discussion of the System 360 which was a huge risk for IBM at the time when production lines were running out of memory. But today over 70% of the world’s data resides on those systems proving it was a huge success and the right risk to take.Project SABRE, first developed in 1958 to solve a problem airlines had with managing customer data, is still used today by Amtrack, the 911 system, Expedia, Travelocity, and many more. It was meant to handle thousands of transactions a day, but scaled to now cope with 30,000 a second.Another project all geeks are thankful for is the IBM Personal Computer. A team of 12 young engineers managed to create the first prototype of what became the PC in just four months. Other facts you may not know are that the motherboard was developed by a woman on that team and that Pac-man was used as a test case for whether the machine worked.Not satisfied with just creating the IBM Personal Computer a team at the company was tasked with answering the question: “What if you could redo computer architecture from scratch the right way?”. The result was the RISC architecture.Away from technology IBM was forward-thinking when it came to people. Not just employing those that could make the breakthroughs, but also not discriminating against anyone. In 1914 they employed the first disabled workers, in 1934 the first women were employed for technology positions, and in 1935 IBM ruled they would get equal pay to men in the same positions. Then in 1953 the company decided to make it clear they would not discriminate against race, color or creed going forward and decades before anyone else.More recently IBM has been involved with the Genographic project which uses DNA as a tool to track back humans to their beginnings. But the work being done, the data collected, and the systems being produced could one day lead to a very much more personalized health care solution tailored to the individual.This second video shows one person for every year IBM has been around giving a short history of the company.  It’s more evidence if any were needed as to how influential the people who form IBM have been.I wonder what the IBM videos created in 2111 to celebrate the 200th anniversary will show?via Engadgetlast_img read more

Pixar teases new movie Brave

first_imgEver since Toy Story made us all fans, Pixar hasn’t really put a foot wrong. A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up. They really do know their stuff and seem capable of producing hit after hit with little effort.This summer we have Cars 2 to enjoy, but Pixar is already teasing its next movie release expected this time next year.Yesterday, the trailer you see included above appeared on YouTube giving us a sneak peek at Brave. It seems like quite a departure for Pixar and the story reads like the introduction for a Rogue-like character in an MMO.The main character is a red-headed young girl called Merida who is a skilled archer and must face off against a lush forest full of beasts. She does a deal with an eccentric old Witch to help solve a problem she caused in the kingdom. The wish she is granted just ends up making things worse and Merida has to show true bravery to overcome it.The details are thin, and our focus is on what the movie looks like for the time being. We’ve also got a great line-up of voice talent to look forward to with Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Julie Walters all confirmed as taking major roles.As with all Pixar films, the quality of the visuals is stunning. If Blizzard decide to do World of Warcraft 2 I think this is what they should be aiming for quality wise, at least for those initial teaser story videos we always get to introduce the game. On the flip side, Pixar could have an interesting video game in the works to support the movie. While it’s doubtful that we will get an MMO, we can at least hope that such a game bucks the trend of poor titles off the back of a movie license.It’s a shame we have to wait until next summer to see Brave, but then there’s always the back catalogue of Pixar movies to re-watch in the meantime.More at Disneylast_img read more

Google Earth puts Paris on interactive 48 screen display

first_imgIn the movies, governments and secret agencies have spent years viewing far corners of the Earth on giant interactive displays. Truth is about to emulate fiction, as a collaboration between Google and a French government bureau is bringing Google Earth to a giant 48 screen display. The aim of the project is to give you a projected view of what Paris — 3D buildings and all — will look like in 2020.The project, housed in the Google Research Institute in Paris, is a joint venture between Le Pavillon de l’Arsenal (Paris Center for Architecture and Urbanism) and Google. While the Liquid Galaxy project has seen Google Earth ported to public computers with eight displays (like in Androidland), Le Pavillon’s proposal was to spread the satellite images over more than 130 square feet; Google jumped at the chance.Each of the 48 displays is running a separate instance of Google Earth, all of which are synchronized. The singular view is then controlled at any of the four surrounding multitouch terminals. Guests can pan, pinch-to-zoom, and use the gigantic Google Earth much as they would on an iPad or Galaxy Tab. The result is a tremendous birds-eye view of the planet that would make a James Bond villain drool.To avoid making the 40 square meter display look like an Atari game, Google shot higher-resolution satellite images of Paris. If you can’t make it to Paris, you can view the combination of real and sci-fi images by downloading this file and opening it with the Google Earth desktop app.Google says it’s going to open source the project’s results on Liquid Galaxy over the next few months. You can see Google’s video of the display below:via Google LatLong Bloglast_img read more

Apple removes Sweatshop iOS game from sale because it made them uncomfortable

first_imgWhen Apple removes a game or other app from the App Store it’s usually because one or more of the many rules has been broken. But in the case of Sweatshop HD, the game just made Apple uncomfortable, and it’s hard to argue your case as a developer against that.Sweatshop HD was created by BAFTA-winning creative studio Littleloud. It has tower defense gameplay mechanics, but tasks the player with running a sweatshop producing clothing and footwear. It is aimed at young people in a bid to get them thinking about where the clothes we buy come from and the conditions workers in some of these factories suffer through.Over its 30 levels the player has to deal with ever larger orders, more types of products to make, but also problems like fires, no toilets, unions, and employees getting tired or ill. It’s realistic because the choice of what to do–look after the workers or complete the orders–falls to the player, and hopefully teaches them the difficulties in balancing the two in the process.For Apple though, such an educational game ended up being too uncomfortable for them to sell. And although it was allowed on to the App Store in November last year, it has since been removed. Littleloud tried to get the game back by making it clear in the app that it was fictional. They also informed Apple that the charity Labor Behind the Label was involved to ensure everything being depicted was true to life.Sweatshop HD remains missing from the App Store, though, and is unlikely to return. That seems totally unfair as it was educational and Apple’s response clearly shows it doesn’t want apps to deal with difficult issues. This isn’t the first example of such behavior either, as Apple also decided to remove Phone Story from sale back in 2011.The good news is, you can still play Sweatshop as it was also released as a browser-based Flash game.last_img read more

Monster Hunter Online beta videos hit YouTube

first_imgIt’s hard to believe we are now already on the 4th generation of Monster Hunter games from Capcom. The series has seen releases across PS2, PSP, Wii, Wii U, PS3, 3DS, Xbox 360, iOS, and Windows since 2004. The latest of those being Monster Hunter 4, which is heading to the 3DS later this year.The only true MMO in the series so far has been Monster Hunter Frontier Online, and that game only saw a release in Japan across Xbox 360 and PC. But Capcom has teamed up with Tencent to create another Monster Hunter MMO entitled Monster Hunter Online.The game is set to launch this year, and a beta is currently underway. While that beta may be limited to China right now, videos of the game have started to surface, a couple of which you can see included here, with many more being uploaded.MHO looks gorgeous, and there’s a good reason for that–it has been developed using Crytek’s CryEngine 3. You may also be surprised to find Capcom is releasing the game initially in China this month and using a free-to-play business model. A lot of subscription MMOs have been making the switch to F2P in recent years and finding success, and Capcom clearly thinks it’s the way forward for online games.Will the game be heading to other territories? Crytek has stated in the past that MHO is going to see a worldwide release, but they later retracted the comment. Monster Hunter as a series is so popular I would be surprised not to see MHO get released elsewhere, but then again, Capcom is happy to keep producing other games in the series to keep fans happy.last_img read more

Geek deals 422 Dell U2413 IPS monitor 89 128GB SSD more

first_imgOur other top deals:Ends today: OCZ Vertex 450 128GB SSD for $89.99 plus free shipping (reg. $129.99 | via Newegg)Microsoft Surface Windows RT tablet 32GB (refurbished) for $299 plus free shipping (reg. $349 | via Microsoft Store)Microsoft Xbox LIVE 12-month Gold Membership card for $39.99 plus free shipping (reg. $59.99 | via Newegg on eBay) The UltraSharp U2413 from Dell has all the premium specs we could want: IPS LCD panel, 1920×1200 resolution, LED backlight, fully adjustable stand, extensive digital inputs, and a three-year warranty. IPS technology is the cream of the crop today, offering extra-wide viewing angles and deeper, richer colors; there’s a reason why Apple uses it so much. The resolution may not sound like much of an upgrade over 1080p, but the extra vertical resolution is surprisingly helpful.An overlooked aspect of any monitor is its stand. Most budget monitors have a stand that will give you at best five degrees of tilt adjustment. The U2413’s stand allows an extensive range of motion via tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments, ensuring you can achieve the ideal ergonomic setup based on your work area.It will connect to nearly any computer via DVI, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, and HDMI inputs, and even has a USB 3.0 hub built-in. The wide color gamut supported by the U2413’s new LED backlight means it’s suitable for professional users, like graphic artists. All of this is backed up by a three-year warranty that includes advance exchange, free shipping, and bright pixel coverage.We’ve seen this popular 2013 model marked down a hair below $400 only one time prior, for a very limited-time sale, and today’s deal is the lowest price we’ve seen in months. Take advantage of the two stackable coupons and upgrade today. You’ll have to hurry though, we expect this deal to end today.Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920×1200 24-inch IPS monitor for $422.99 plus free shipping (reg. $599.99 | use both coupons G8RBT2GDLSB$VD and 9QB025WNJ3X$MJ)last_img read more

Heres What Happened Today Monday

first_imgHere’s What Happened Today: Monday Regency Hotel trial adjourned, Varadkar meets Sinn Féin over the North and Barry Bennell sentenced – It’s the Fix. NEED TO CATCH UP? TheJournal.ie brings you a round up of today’s news.IRELAND Waltons has closed down its iconic George’s Street premises, almost a century after it opened its first branch in Dublin city centre. The George’s Street branch was opened in the early 1990s but was closed last week. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ieLeo Varadkar and Tánasite Simon Coveney met with Sinn Féin leadership this evening to discuss the ongoing impasse in Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin said direct rule of the North by Westminster was “off the table”.A woman who pleaded guilty to having a gun at Connolly train station in Dublin walked free after being sentenced today by the Special Criminal Court.A small Galway village erected three billboards in honour of the filmmaker Martin McDonagh.A garda who suffered PTSD after being attacked by four men was awarded €15,000 in compensation.Convicted killer Graham Dwyer‘s challenge against the Garda Commissioner and the State over the use of mobile phone records during his trial is due to commence tomorrow.Power outages in Dublin city affected thousands of people this afternoon.Central Bank governor Philip Lane was withdrawn as a candidate for the role as vice-president of the European Central Bank.The parents of a five-year-old boy who drowned near Ballymena, Co Antrim appealed for information.The Regency Hotel shooting trial was further adjourned this morning after the Special Criminal Court heard that material in the case has presented some “unprecedented conundrums”.Taxi drivers threatened to protest over the impact a proposed new plaza in the city centre would have on their business.Fianna Fáil were poised to block the sale of loans by Permanent TSB, saying that it should not go ahead.A new Irish study found that most deepwater fish have ingested microplastics.WORLD Jason Dunford (left) and Chris Unsworth outside Liverpool Crown Court ahead of the sentencing of serial paedophile football coach Barry Bennell for hundreds of historical sexual assaults committed on young boys in his care. Source: Peter Byrne#FLORIDA: The Florida mass shooting suspect appeared in court today, with his lawyers seeking to avoid him being sent to death.#SENTENCED: A British paedophile who admitted 137 criminal offences involving online abuse, including encouraging the rape of a four-year-old boy, was sentenced to 32 years in prison.#UNITED STATES: The White House said that Donald Trump supported a bipartisan effort to improve a national system of background checks for gun purchases in the wake of the Florida school shooting.#BENNELL: Disgraced former football coach Barry Bennell was sentenced to 30 years in prison.#OXFAM: An Oxfam internal report found that it ‘cannot rule out’ the possibility that Haiti officials hired underage sex workers.PARTING SHOTThree billboards have been erected outside Lettermullen, Co Galway to honour Irish director and filmmaker Martin McDonagh.McDonagh spent a lot of time in his father’s home of the small Gaeltacht village when he was growing up. Source: Róisín Nic Leoid https://jrnl.ie/3861035 By Cormac Fitzgerald Get our daily news round up: Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img Feb 19th 2018, 8:58 PM Share7 Tweet Email 12,057 Views Monday 19 Feb 2018, 8:58 PM No Comments last_img read more

Poll Should the Leaving Cert points race be abolished

first_img Image: Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ie A MAJOR REVIEW of the Leaving Cert is now under way.Part of that review will look at ways of easing the pressure on students of competing for points in the exam, the Irish Times reported. Despite large numbers of secondary school students progressing to third-level education, a lot less progress into vocational routes.Systems such as those in Sweden and New Zealand, which have more pathways into vocational routes such as apprenticeships, will be looked at as part of the review.A lot of countries have moved away from a single final exam, with classroom learning and end-of-term tests the barometers on which students are judged before progressing to further study.So, today we’re asking you: Should the Leaving Cert ‘points race’ be abolished? 31,922 Views YesNoNot sureVote 87 Comments By Sean Murray Poll Results: No (3514) Yes (8194) Short URLcenter_img Tuesday 20 Feb 2018, 8:36 AM Feb 20th 2018, 8:36 AM http://jrnl.ie/3861317 Image: Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ie Not sure (1103) Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Poll: Should the Leaving Cert ‘points race’ be abolished? A new review of the Leaving Cert is now underway from policymakers. Share18 Tweet Email1 last_img read more

Setback for Trump as US judge stops deportations under refugee ban

first_img Image: Susan Walsh AP/Press Association Images Short URL 33,284 Views A FEDERAL JUDGE issued an emergency order last night temporarily barring the US from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump’s travel ban, saying travellers who had been detained had a strong argument their legal rights had been violated.US District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York issued the emergency order after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a court petition on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations who were detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.The judge’s order affected only a portion of Trump’s executive action. As the decision was announced, cheers broke out in crowds of demonstrators who had gathered at American airports and outside the Brooklyn courthouse where the ruling was issued.The order barred US border agents from removing anyone who arrived in the US with a valid visa from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also covered anyone with an approved refugee application.It was unclear how quickly the judge’s order might affect people in detention, or whether it would allow others to resume flying.“Realistically, we don’t even know if people are going to be allowed onto the planes,” ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said. “This order would protect people who they allow to come here and reach US soil.” By Associated Press President Donald Trump with Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington on, Friday Setback for Trump as US judge stops deportations under refugee ban The American Civil Liberties Union won a legal challenge, describing Trump’s move as a ban on Muslims. Video won’t play? Click here.The directive did not do anything to prevent attacks from homegrown extremists who were already in America, a primary concern of federal law enforcement officials. It also omitted Saudi Arabia, home to most of the September 11 hijackers.As a candidate Trump pledged to temporarily ban Muslims from coming to the US, then said he would implement “extreme vetting” for people from countries with significant terror concerns. He told reporters yesterday the order is “not a Muslim ban”.“It’s working out very nicely,” Trump said of the implementation of his order.We’re going to have a very, very strict ban and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years. Jan 29th 2017, 7:34 AM Victory!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/uyza3zrQSX— ACLU (@ACLU) January 29, 2017 To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017 http://jrnl.ie/3211059 center_img 65 Comments Source: ACLU National/Twitter President Donald Trump with Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington on, Friday Image: Susan Walsh AP/Press Association Images Share Tweet Email3 The order sparked protests at several of the nation’s international airports, including New York’s Kennedy and Chicago’s O’Hare, and facilities in Minneapolis and Dallas-Forth Worth. In San Francisco, hundreds blocked the street outside the arrival area of the international terminal. Several dozen demonstrated at the airport in Portland, Oregon, briefly disrupting light rail service while hoisting signs that read ‘Portland Coffee Is From Yemen’ and chanting anti-Trump slogans.US lawmakers and officials around the globe also criticised the move. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said while Trump is right to focus on border security, the order is “too broad.”“If we send a signal to the Middle East that the US sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion,” Sasse said.Our generational fight against jihadism requires wisdom.In Tehran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would stop issuing new visas to US citizens in response to Trump’s ban, but that anyone already with a visa to Iran wouldn’t be turned away.Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to say that refugees were welcome in Canada, “regardless of your faith”. Under Trump’s order, it had appeared that an untold number of foreign-born US residents now travelling outside the US could be stuck overseas for at least 90 days even though they held permanent residency “green cards” or other visas. However, an official with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said last night that no green card holders from the seven countries cited in Trump’s order had been prevented from entering the US.Some foreign nationals who were allowed to board flights before the order was signed on Friday had been detained at US airports and told they were no longer welcome. The DHS official who briefed reporters said 109 people who were in transit on airplanes had been denied entry and 173 had not been allowed to get on their planes overseas.In her three-page order, Judge Donnelly wrote that without the stay “there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa holders and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017, executive order.”Just over a year ago, then Governor – now Vice President – Mike Pence said calls to ban Muslims from entering the US were “offensive and unconstitutional”. Source: Governor Mike Pence/TwitterSyrian WarTrump billed his sweeping executive order as a necessary step to stop “radical Islamic terrorists” from coming to the US. It included a 90-day ban on travel to the US by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen and a 120-day suspension of the US refugee programme.Trump’s order singled out Syrians for the most aggressive ban, indefinitely blocking entry for anyone from that country, including those fleeing civil war. Source: Justin Trudeau/Twitter Sunday 29 Jan 2017, 7:34 AM Two of the first people blocked from entering the United States were Iraqis with links to the US military. Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi were detained by immigration officials after landing at New York’s Kennedy airport on Friday night. Both had been released by Saturday night after their lawyers intervened.The government can exempt foreign nationals from the ban if their entry is deemed in the national interest. But it was not immediately clear how that exemption might be applied.Diplomats from the seven countries singled out by Trump’s order would still be allowed into the US.Those already in the US with a visa or green card would be allowed to stay, according to the official, who wasn’t authorised to publicly discuss the details of how Trump’s order was being put in place and spoke only on condition of anonymity.Trump’s order also directed US officials to review information as needed to fully vet foreigners asking to come to the US and draft a list of countries that don’t provide that information. That left open the possibility that citizens of other countries could also face a travel ban.The US may still admit refugees on a case-by-case basis during the freeze, and the government would continue to process requests from people claiming religious persecution, “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country”.American-Islamic RelationsThe Council on American-Islamic Relations said it would challenge the constitutionality of Trump’s order.“There is no evidence that refugees — the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation — are a threat to national security,” Lena F Masri, the group’s national litigation director, said. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.” Protesters at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York yesterday Source: Craig Ruttle/APJohn Cohen, a former Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism official who worked under Democratic and Republican administrations, said the order didn’t address America’s “primary terrorism-related threat” — people already in the US who become inspired by what they see on the internet.Trump’s order drew support from some Republican lawmakers who have urged more security measures for the refugee vetting program, particularly for those from Syria.“We are a compassionate nation and a country of immigrants. But, as we know, terrorists are dead set on using our immigration and refugee programmes as a Trojan Horse to attack us,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said in a statement on Friday. “With the stroke of a pen, he is doing more to shut down terrorist pathways into this country than the last administration did in eight years.”It is unclear how many people would be immediately impacted by the non-refugee travel ban. According to the statistics maintained by the Homeland Security Department, about 17,000 students from the seven designated countries were allowed into the US for the 2015-2016 school year. In 2015 more than 86,000 people from those countries arrived in the US on other, non-immigrant visas and more than 52,000 others became legal permanent residents.Last year the US resettled 85,000 people displaced by war, political oppression, hunger and religious prejudice, including more than 12,000 Syrians. Before leaving office President Barack Obama announced the US would accept 110,000 refugees in the coming year, but Trump’s order cut that by more than half to 50,000.Read: Refugees detained at airports after Trump bans them from entering USRead: Donald Trump made a big decision about abortion this week – here’s what you need to know Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

I havent lost faith but Im also a realist and understand sometimes

first_img Share Tweet Email1 Ireland head coach John Bracewell sat down with The42 this week. Image: Donall Famer/INPHO Monday 1 May 2017, 8:45 AM May 1st 2017, 8:45 AM Short URL A COUPLE OF weeks after his appointment as Ireland head coach, John Bracewell sat in the Malahide pavilion and looked out over a sodden ground.In one wet afternoon, the realities of the situation he had walked into were laid bare as the showcase fixture against England was washed out and a rare chance to flex the muscles against a higher-ranked team went with it.It wasn’t officially Bracewell’s first game in charge, as paperwork issues meant the start of his tenure was delayed until later in the summer, but he was in position and it was the start of a new chapter for Irish cricket. A new era.This week, exactly two years on from that abandoned match in Dublin, Bracewell’s side face England in a historic two-game series, which includes Ireland’s first-ever One-Day International fixture at Lord’s.The New Zealander’s time in charge, and that new era, has been underwhelming at best, and instead of the tangible levels of excitement and optimism surrounding the game at Malahide, there is now a certain degree of apprehension heading into what should be a landmark series.Thousands of supporters are expected to travel over to Lord’s next Sunday for a hugely momentous occasion in the history of Irish cricket, but many will travel in trepidation.After banging on the door for so long, using the performances and results of the national team on the international stage as persuasive evidence in their case for more opportunities, Ireland are now preparing to sit at the sport’s top table at a time when the team is in rapid decline.“Statistically it hasn’t been great,” Bracewell admits, when asked to assess his two years in the job.That’s something of an understatement when you consider Ireland stuttered to qualification for the ICC World Twenty20 on home soil, then failed to win a game at that tournament as they lost to Oman and Netherlands and overall have won just 21 games of cricket in 57 fixtures. Ireland suffered heavy defeats in all three formats to Afghanistan during the winter. Source: Press AssociationMoreover, there has been an alarming inevitability about this downward spiral, with the warning signs extending as far back as Bracewell’s first summer at the helm. Nothing has changed or is being done at the top-level to address the obvious shortcomings with Ireland’s depth practically non-existent despite the brouhaha surrounding the national academy.When you think of Irish teams under previous regimes, the sides which brought the likes of Pakistan, England and West Indies to their knees you think of passion, intensity, hunger. When you think of the last two years, words like inconsistent, mediocre and uninspiring come to mind.Last month’s comprehensive, abject and damaging defeat to Afghanistan in the Intercontinental Cup was an almost fitting end to a winter which saw Ireland slip to series reversals in all three formats to their Associate counterparts.The manner in which Bracewell’s side slumped to an innings and 172 run loss in a game of such significance was the most concerning aspect and instantly raised questions about the coach’s future.“We need to be realistic and when I think back about the results they were indicative of the level of the two teams in those [Indian] conditions,” he says, before remarkably insisting he wasn’t surprised or disappointed with the results.“I wasn’t either surprised or disappointed in the outcomes because it’s not easy for our guys to go to India and expect outstanding results.“We’ve played a lot of big teams both home and away and we’re starting to get in the mood of touring. That change of emphasis from event cricket to international touring cricket has been quite a culture shock for our guys and losing key players when we lacked that depth affects our competitive chances and we have to be realistic about that.“That’s not an excuse but losing Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Jacob Mulder and Paul Stirling – they’re four key players. Whilst those sort of things happen, I was delighted with our attitude and commitment and our growth through those six weeks.“I think we made really good advances in our cricket, our cricket maturity and knowledge and we’ll be a far better side going back next year and competing.”Being realistic is something Bracewell repeatedly says throughout the course of our chat, and while he has a point, the truth is that the last two years haven’t been good enough and that’s based on the standards set by these very players under the previous regime. Bracewell took over the reins from Phil Simmons in May 2015. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO“If you’re going to be in international sport, you want to have international standards and we are working hard to achieve those,” he continues.“In all facets in terms of facilities, the amount of play, gaining experience, gathering depth and it’s a process. That’s the stage where we’re at and I certainly accept the fact people want results and I don’t have a problem with that and we are trying to get those results.“Everybody wants high expectations and everybody wants to win. I don’t have a problem with people wanting to win but we also have to face the reality that this is a very very steep learning curve.”Bracewell says he is aware of the criticism and the growing levels of displeasure among the supporters as the optics and consequences of heavy defeats threaten to undermine previously uninterrupted progress. Ireland can ill-afford to keep performing as badly when the world is watching.“I shut that out but I’m not naive,” Bracewell says of the critics. “I’m aware there are massively high expectations in regards to what is expected of the team and what is expected of myself as coach. That’s the reality of international sport, there is an expectation that you must succeed but that’s not always based on facts.”Let’s look at those facts.Ireland’s record under Bracewell — 21 wins in 57 games — is poor, and that’s being kind; but to put that statistic in some sort of context, 41 of those games have been against Associate opposition, with Ireland winning 21 and losing 20.By way of comparison, Ireland won 98 of 111 completed Associate fixtures, losing just 13, under Phil Simmons. The argument that results have turned because Ireland are playing more higher-ranked teams in the last 24 months lacks substance.There can be no criticism for losing games against the likes of Australia and South Africa but a team which once held such supremacy at Associate level has dramatically lost its swagger and ability to grind out results.The reality, there’s that word again, is that Bracewell took over when this golden generation of Irish cricketers had reached their peak and the development of the team was about to stagnate — but the performances and results are ultimately his responsibility. He, nor Cricket Ireland, can use that as an excuse. It’s their job to find a solution, to make the necessary changes. Ireland have a busy summer ahead with games against England, New Zealand, Bangladesh and West Indies. Source: Press AssociationHow can a team which came agonisingly close to reaching the Super 8s in the 2015 World Cup have regressed to such an extent that Bracewell describes the current situation as one of ‘massive transition’?The buck stops with him and irrespective of resources, because Adi Birrell and Simmons worked within even greater limitations to far greater success, the results, and this is a results game, haven’t been good enough.“When you lack enormous resources in terms of a playing pool, the stars have to be aligned for you to get it right. We’ve got to align everything on the day to win. I’ve been around long enough to understand these things,” he explains.“Whilst I love winning and I’m preparing my side to win, I know every time they turn up, this particular Irish side try to win. They are a side that I would never question that they are not 100% dedicated to try to win that the resources they have behind them.“I haven’t lost faith in this side, I haven’t lost confidence in this side but I’m also a realist and I understand sometimes our 100% isn’t good enough on the day. I am 100% confident in the fact we are good enough that if we get it together on the day we can beat any side.”Ireland have done it before against the very best. They’ve played, been competitive and beaten Full Member nations on the biggest stage over the last 10 years so it begs the question why can’t Bracewell get the best out of this group too?“We’re working towards our bowlers becoming a lot more aggressive in one-day cricket,” the Kiwi says.“We’ll be looking to take wickets earlier rather than screw sides down and try to frustrate them and hope we take advantage. We’ve got to understand that sides are turning up against Ireland and they’re not going to be surprised anymore.“They’ve been embarrassed by them in the past and they’re not prepared to let that happen again. So we’ve no longer got that shock or surprise element, or the attitude of let’s take it easy, let’s play some of our bench players against Ireland.”Against England next week, Bracewell reveals his side will need to take risks: “We need to keep strong with our process in trying to play games and win games and not look nice. Bracewell says the morale in the dressing room is still as high as ever. Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO“Unfortunately looking nice and having nice losses and looking like we’re tough because we batted the 50 overs doesn’t necessarily wins games of cricket. We’re going to have to take risks. We’re there to try to win the game, and not just look good.”That’s all in the short-term and there has to be an appreciation that Cricket Ireland are working on two fronts; to keep the national teams, both men and women, moving forward in the right direction whilst also pumping resources into developing key projects such as the academy, ‘A’ programme, training facilities and ensuring financial stability.Warren Deutrom and all at Cricket Ireland have worked tirelessly over the last number of years to get the national team and sport to the level it’s currently at. There can be no denying the superb job they have done and the progress which has been made on and off the field.Last week’s development at International Cricket Council (ICC) boardroom level which paves the way for Ireland to be elevated to Test status in June is testament to all the hard work over the last decade; but there needs to be a team capable of competing on that stage.Having played Test cricket for New Zealand before coaching his country, Bracewell’s pedigree and experience cannot be questioned, but whether he is the right man to lead this journey has been and will continue to be questioned.“For me, it’s a process of trying to develop a number of things which will stand Ireland in good stead in the long-term,” he continues. “We at the moment are going through a massive transition in our cricket and the development of our cricket.“There’s a lot of things that we’re putting in place that the benefits of which probably won’t be seen or felt for two, three, four years down the track and maybe even the next generation.“It’s something we have to go through. It’s something other countries have had in place and taken for granted but we’re putting them in place whilst trying to produce a national side who are trying to get results at the same time.“I’m not interested in doing any other job, this is the one for me. It suits my psyche, I’m a long-term thinker in how I go about my business. I’m not doing this to get to another gig somewhere so it’s not a live or die situation for me.“What we’re doing is a long-term benefit to Irish cricket and we need to stick with that and unfortunately there might be some short-term pain.” Cricket Ireland last week announced a shirt sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines as work continues off the pitch for the future. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHOThe most important part of all this jigsaw is what happens on the pitch and after a forgettable winter, Ireland head into a defining summer needing a sharp change in fortunes if the gloom is to be lifted.Bracewell’s contract expires at the end of October and last month Cricket Ireland Performance Director, Richard Holdsworth, hinted that another string of bad results would put his future in serious jeopardy.The Kiwi has been in the game long enough to know that for himself, even if he feels he needs more time to stamp his mark and continue on the work he has started in Ireland beyond his initial contract.“That’s not my choice,” is Bracewell’s reply when asked if he would like more time in the job.“That is in the hands of my bosses, they’re the ones that judge us and judge what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and whether we’re doing it right or wrong.“I’m sure through an appraisal process, they will make that decision. I’m just in the position I’m in. I’m enjoying what I’m doing, I enjoy the guys that are involved in it, I enjoy working with playing staff, I enjoy the process the academy is going through at the moment.“I enjoy the journey Cricket Ireland is on but I also have to be a realist, it’s a judgemental sport and people will judge where we are and whether we need to be further ahead in terms of performance than where we currently are. That’s not for me to judge, I’ve just got to do the job I’ve been given to the best of my ability.” Bracewell’s contract expires in October. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHOThat job now revolves around Bristol and Lord’s this Friday and Sunday for what is set to be a stern examination of Ireland’s credentials and any weaknesses are likely to be ruthlessly exposed by an explosive looking England side.This is the start of an opportunity Ireland have been waiting so long for. The chance to play on the biggest stage and at the game’s most iconic venue but the irony, of course, is that it all comes when Ireland is at its lowest cricketing ebb in recent history.Bracewell acknowledges that these are challenging and testing times but insists morale inside the dressing room is still as high as ever and the players are still steadfast in their commitment to the cause.“These guys aren’t prima donnas, they’re blue-collar, hard workers. They dig in and they don’t complain. I really enjoy that part of it, it’s refreshing and their expectations and their disappointments are carried personally and just as hard as what supporters feel.“These guys work damn hard and I’m proud of every one of them which makes me quite loyal towards them. We’ve just had six weeks living in the same hotel, going to the same ground and playing against the same team. Now if there’s anything that’s going to bust a team apart when they’re losing, that is.“Our guys every turned up with a smile on their face, went about their work, never complained and played hard and fair every day for six weeks. I’ve never been in a group like it. They got on so well and they’ve been talking about this day [v England at Lord’s] since it was announced last year.“It’s going to be a fantastic cricket occasion, a historic one but at the end of the day it’s another cricket match. We can’t lose sight of that and of course we want to win and the guys will get excited if we do, but for me it wouldn’t change anything we’re trying to do.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! ‘I haven’t lost faith but I’m also a realist and understand sometimes our 100% isn’t good enough’ John Bracewell’s two years in charge of the Irish cricket team haven’t gone as he would have hoped and with a historic series against England this week, there is pressure on the head coach to turn results around with more and more questions being asked of him. By Ryan Bailey Ireland head coach John Bracewell sat down with The42 this week. center_img Don’t say it too loudly, but Ireland could become a Test-playing nation this summer Image: Donall Famer/INPHO 4 Comments http://the42.ie/3367053 19,562 Views Follow us: the42.ie Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more