Irish news media summary – 19th March

A review of the social, medical, ethical and educational issues in the news with links

“Majority” of hospitals have cut 1-year waiting times for patients
TheJournal.ie – The Minister told the Dáil that he was determined to address the issues causing unacceptable delays for hospital patients.

Presidential vote for emigrants
Irish emigrants living abroad may be allowed to vote during future presidential elections under plans being considered by the Government.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore confirmed that voting rights for the diaspora would be debated in the upcoming constitutional convention.

The new diaspora speaks
The Irish Times asked readers to tweet their definition of Irishness. Some were philosophical: “Being Irish means we must persevere.” Some took a negative turn: “Being Irish means sympathy for fraudsters.” A lot were affectionate: “Being Irish means having an Aunt Mary.”

And some nailed it: “Being Irish means emigrating because the country’s in tatters, and telling the world how much you miss it,” wrote Julia Cashman.

There it is, in under 140 characters, a perfect summation of that centuries-old torment over the auld sod, as seen through the eyes of emigrants. In today’s Ipsos MRBI survey of recent Irish emigrants for The Irish Times, the push-pull factor that infuses the responses like the lettering through a stick of rock.

Emigrants leaving by choice, not necessity, survey shows
Irish Times – A majority of those who emigrated from Ireland in the past few years left the country out of choice and did not feel they were forced to do so, according to a major survey of attitudes among recent emigrants.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos MRBI for The Irish Times, found that 59 per cent of emigrants left out of choice while 41 per cent said they were forced to emigrate.

Locals lose out in ‘dead zone’ of heritage centre
Independent – Embraced by the majestic Boyne River and in the shadow of the Bru na Boinne sites — which include Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth — the 18th century heritage village of Slane should be a wonderful place to live. Instead, pubs and businesses and two banks have closed and even the atmospheric old hotel, once a home from home for salmon anglers and a meeting point for locals, is no longer open. The trouble, according to many local people, is that Slane and its hinterland is paying too high a price for its wonderful location in the lea of Newgrange.

Feuds take bloody toll as spiral of murder persists in Limerick
Indepenedent – Concerted action by gardai in Limerick has dramatically reduced the city’s record homicide rate to well below national and European levels but the number of killings involving Dublin gangs shows no signs of declining. Arrests, charges and seizures of weapons in Limerick have staunched the toll of the city’s gangland killings from its height in 2006 when six people were shot dead, mainly as a result of the furious feuding between criminal families in Limerick. The homicide rate then of around seven per hundred thousand of population earned Limerick the unenviable record of western Europe’s homicide capital. Previously, Glasgow had held the record homicide rate of between 4.5 and 5.5 per 100,000 population.

‘When I came to Ireland I trusted people. Not any more’
Irish Times – The Santa Maria off Harcourt Street in Dublin is the city’s only homeless hostel specifically for foreign nationals. Here are Hungarians, Slovaks, lots of Polish people, Lithuanians, one Spaniard and, some nights, a Nepalese man. It’s men only, 50 at capacity, all of whom have been accessing homeless services for two years or more. There are 47 medium-term beds and three night-to-night beds with a different head on the pillow every night. Three floors, four or five beds per room, mostly bunks. Opened six months ago, it is due to close in the coming weeks. An existing hostel with 35 beds in the north inner city is to be assigned to migrants.

Convention to consider emigrant voting rights
RTE  – Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has confirmed that the issue of voting rights for emigrants will be dealt with in the upcoming Constitutional Convention.

Eight arrested in Holyland unrest
BBC – Eight people are arrested overnight in the Holyland area of Belfast for a range of anti-social behaviour.

Appeal to trusts over teen death
BBC – A coroner appeals to two health trusts to review care centre policy following the death of a teenage girl in Newtownards in June 2010.

Royal A&E issues ‘need addressed’
BBC – The son of an elderly man who died unnoticed in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital A&E unit speaks to the BBC.