CSO figures see rise in employment

Credit thejournal.ie

Credit thejournal.ie

CSO figures released today show a rise in employment in Ireland. There was an annual rise of 3.2% in the year until the third quarter of 2013, bringing total employment to 1,899,300.

On a quarterly adjusted basis, numbers in employment rose by 22,500 in this quarter. This also follows on from a seasonally adjusted increase in employment of 13,500 in the second quarter of 2013.

The unemployment rate over the quarter decreased from 13.6% to 12.8%. An unemployment decrease of 41,700 in the year brings the total number of people out of work down to 282,900.

The total number of persons in the labour force in the third quarter of 2013 was 2,182,100. This showed an increase of 16,300 over the year. The number of people not in the labour force in the third quarter of 2013 was 1,410,700, a decrease of 19,000 over the year.

Stephen Kinsella, Lecturer of Economics in the University of Limerick, tweeted the following: “Unambiguously good news for Irish labour market: emp. up 58k in year to 2013:Q3, unemployment down 41.7k”.

According to the Irish Times, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said: “There are still far too many people out of work, and tackling unemployment will remain the Government’s number one priority, but these figures demonstrate that we are making steady progress”.

John Lillis

Is attending a private school a genuine advantage getting into third level?


Credit schooldays.ie

As a response to the annual publication of the Irish Times’ league tables, which found an advantage to attending a fee-paying school, we asked several DIT students their thought on the matter:

Georgia Dunne (Business and French):

“It depends on the individual, whether the school suits them or not. I don’t believe it does make a difference. You get what you give whether you’re in a private school or not.”

Colin O’Donovan (Masters in Marketing):

“I do feel students from private schools have a definite advantage. There’s a private school in my area. People go up an extra one hundred points going there-it’s almost just a series of intense daily grinds. There is nothing wrong with public schools but private schools definitely give an advantage. Public school students can be distracting to each other, private school students tend to be more focused.”

Dónal Murray (Architecture):

“I think in private schools there is less trouble, less anti-social behaviour than what my friends in public schools experienced so that is advantageous. There’s an advantage not in terms of their education but in terms of facilities. You hear horror stories about public schools; there was a stabbing in my friend’s year in a local public school.”

Sean Hannon (Hospitality Management):

“Absolutely-private schools are massive networking opportunities. People who go into certain sectors will keep in touch with, and help each other out. The rugby club in my old school hold an event every year, for instance. Being part of an alumni is seen a business opportunity.”

Michael McManus (Business and Management):

“Yeah I definitely got a good education by going to a private school; I think it really benefited me over all. If push comes to shove I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and use the connections I made there.”

Katie Byrne (Law):

“No I don’t think it made a difference paying for education. If you’re willing to put in the work you will succeed either way.”

Hannah Popham

League tables show further evidence of elitism in education

castleknock college

Credit castleknockcollege.ie

Students from fee-paying schools are still dominating the highest point courses in universities, according to the Irish Times school league tables published today.

Despite data which says that non fee-paying schools accounted for three quarters of the top 100 secondary schools in the 2013 league tables, it is private school students who snap up the most sought after courses.

The league tables also show a major advantage to the affluent south Dublin area, with 25 schools there sending at least 94 per cent of their students to college. The list shows that 17 schools in the top 100 are located in south Dublin – 14 of them fee-paying – while north Dublin boasts only two, Castleknock College and Ard Scoil Rís.

Mary Maguire, deputy principal of Warrenmount National School, Dublin 8, which has 49 per cent foreign national attendance, expressed concern at the elitism within the Irish education system.

“Not many of our students’ families are in a financial position to send their children to fee-paying schools, and even at such a young age they definitely face a disadvantage being forced into state-run schools.”

The research also found that there was an overall increase in university attendance, with school leavers 14% more likely to go to University than the figures from the 2012 league tables.

However, a spokesperson for the Teacher’s Union of Ireland has called the league tables “an exercise in silliness”.

Hannah Popham

Kenny refuses to talk until all details are gathered


Credit WikiCommons

Credit WikiCommons

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has defended his government in the Dail today in light of recent revelations that a number of state-funded hospitals and health agencies may be in breach of official policy on pay for senior executives.

The Irish Times reported this morning that a number of health sector bosses were receiving ‘top-up’ allowances, including chief executive of Our Lady’s hospital in Crumlin who has reportedly been receiving an extra €30,000 per year, funded from the on campus store, on top of her €110,000.

During leaders questions this afternoon Kenny stated the ‘complete picture’ was ‘needed and necessary’ for discussion and debate on this issue.

He further commented that when all issues and details of the agencies are gathered by the Minister for health, hopefully by the close of business today, following the circulation of a ‘clear, strong straight forward’ letter from the government to these agencies calling for answers, the issue will be quickly reported by him online and then can be debated in the Oireachtas.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams called these revelations a ‘disgrace’, stating ‘we have these occurrences when thousands of children are waiting to be seen in hospital’ and suggested the Department of Health has been aware of these breeches since as far back as 1998.

Independent TD Joan Collins further ridiculed the Taoiseach and his government today; stating that there is politically appointed Labour and Fine Gael representatives on the Boards who have allocated these salaries.

She questioned whether they knew or voted on this issue and stated that ‘the situation is a shambles and those running it should be sacked.’

Ann-Marie Donelan

Journalists warn of biased media at National Media Conference

Credit NMC2013’s Facebook

JOURNALISTS and students alike flocked to Trinity College Dublin on Saturday for the second annual National Media Conference, in association with the Irish Times. According to organisers, over 200 students and figures from the media
were in attendance for a series of debates and speeches on a range of issues regarding the press, television and radio in Ireland. Panellists included Liveline presenter Joe Duffy, the Irish Times’ Editor Kevin O’Sullivan and Morning Ireland presenter Fran McNulty. Many of the panellists discussed the various class and ethnic biases which permeate the media. ‘The only working class voices appearing on RTE at the moment are those from Love/Hate,’ said Joe Duffy.

Former deputy editor of Metro Éireann Catherine Reilly also alluded to the lack of ethnic minorities included in Irish media, which she referred to as ‘severely lacking’. Bob Collins, Chairperson of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, said that there was also ‘undoubtedly a class bias in reporting. News is far too middle class in composition… The working class should not only be of interest at Budget time.’ In another panel, which included Irish Times’ Features Editor Conor Goodman, Morning Ireland’s Fran McNulty and co-founder of boards.ie Tom Murphy, Murphy stirred controversy when he referred to Irish Times’ columnist John Watters as a ‘troll’. Murphy also criticised the media for ‘cow-towing to elites’, such as politicians, priests and bankers in Irish news reportage. Goodman also warned of the dangers of social media as a reliable news source, and said: ‘Stories circulating social media will be interpreted as a rumour until it appears on RTE, Irish Times and the BBC.’

The film panel included director of Threesome and Moone Boy Ian FitzGibbon, and Ed Guiney, producer of What Richard Did and Garage, who discussed the changing industry, in which he claims the horror genre has overtaken porn as the most profitable. ‘You can make horror films on the smallest budget with the highest profit. At the moment it is more profitable than porn.’ Director Ronan Burke also claimed that the move of film-watching online was not threatening to the industry: ‘People will always want to go to the cinema. It’s an experience you can’t get watching films online.’

Organisers say that the Twitter hashtag #nmc13 was trending for nine hours in Ireland, and that at one point it was the second trending Twitter tag in the country. Damien Carr, co-director of the National Media Conference said: ‘We feel the event was a tremendous success this year, with great interest and attendance from students and general media enthusiasts across the country. The discussions also attracted great input from the audience which we were also
delighted with.’

Hannah Popham