Social Democrats gain cross-party support for new protections for tenants

Eoin Stynes reports on the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill, which will seek to provide tenants with more security while renting

The price of peace: statistics from An Garda Síochána reveal the risks members of the force must deal with daily.

It is common knowledge that occupational hazards are very much part and parcel of choosing an occupation with An Garda Síochána. The first half of the 2010s it seems however, were particularly dangerous years for members of the force.

Figures released from An Garda Síochána’s Freedom of Information office have revealed the number of injuries sustained by members of the force since 2008. Most notable of these statistics are the number of assaults on gardaí and the number of road accidents, which have taken place.

2008 as shown below reveals that the number of recorded assaults on members of the force had begun to see a decrease from 2009 onwards, only to skyrocket in 2013. The figures continue to elevate to just under 300 attacks on gardaí in 2015. Interestingly however, the number eases in 2016 and has reached 153 so far this year.


On duty members of the gardaí throughout 2010 to 2016 have been involved in a large number of road traffic related accidents, with figures of injuries sustained by gardaí reaching almost 100 per year. 2009 saw a drop by about 22%, only to increase again by another 30% the year after. The trend eases in 2011 to 84, but rises until 2013 to 128 accidents, a spike of 35% in the space of two years.

This current year, however, the figures for recorded road accidents stand at 61.


Figures from the garda appropriation accounts of 2016 have shown that the number of garda vehicles damaged over the past eight years have risen substantially. While 2008 saw 482 recorded vehicles damaged in the year, both attributable and not attributable to gardaí, that figure has not once decreased since then.

The number of damaged vehicles peaks in 2015 at 682, the closest figures to that being 667 damaged vehicles in 2011 and 639 2012. There has however been a somewhat significant decrease in these numbers last year with the number of damaged vehicles totalling 602, an easing of 11.8%.


By Henry Phipps

Paper Bear trying to crack Irish Christmas card market

A Dublin based greeting card company has come up with a novel approach to producing Christmas cards., is a pop up card company that makes greeting cards for all occasions including Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, get well cards and even cards depicting famous Irish landmarks … all ideal for sending to loved ones living abroad.

With the busy Christmas period upon us, PaperBear are producing new designs, including Comet the reindeer, Christmas Molly Malone figures and Dublin bridge scenes.

The cards retail between €3.99 and €6.99 and there are also multipack sets available for €11-€20.



Set up in 2013, this is PaperBear’s fourth year in business. The company was set up by Katie and Aaron Dowling.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the business, Aaron Dowling said the idea came following a trip to Spain, where they saw a pop up card shop and seeing potential in the idea, they decided to put their business skills together and set up the company.

“The process begins with drawing out a sketch for a card idea. Once we work on the design more and finalise it, we create a 3D sketch. We use Corel Draw do add layers to the picture to bring it to life. Then we cut the layers out and create the objects that will pop out of the card.

“We are aware of the global implications of using our resources like paper but since March 2017, we have worked with One Tree Planted. We plant a tree every day in places like the Amazon and Kenya … so that we can give back.


“We have a stall set up at the Dun Laoghaire Christmas markets this year which we are proud to be a part of.”

The opening days and times for the markets can be found on the website under their events calendar.

By Nicole McNelis

Video: Ibrahim Halawa on his time in an Egyptian prison


Ibrahim Halawa speaks to Hajar Akl, Mary-Kate Findon & Leanne Salmon about the 4 years he spent in prison in Egypt and how he is adapting to life back home in Dublin.

Living with Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system of about 1,200 children and adults in Ireland.

A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. It also obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

We had a one on one chat with someone who lives with the condition to tell us more about what life is like with CF.

What is daily life like with cystic fibrosis?

It’s more complicated than other people’s normal routines and there’s a lot more involved in my day than meets the eye, a lot more to consider.

How much more stress is added to your day?

Well I have to get up earlier than I would if I didn’t have cystic fibrosis and stuff like physio can set you up for a good day or bad day chest wise. I don’t have spontaneous days as much because I have to pre-plan things like have I my tablets for the day? Is my chest clear enough? Am I feeling good?

How does it affect your social life?

It can negatively impact my social life. This week for example I’m not feeling the best so I might not be able to go to a ball in college which everyone is excited for and I might not be able to go to my friends 21st. It’s bad because I can’t plan in advance. I have to really take it day by day because on Monday I could be fine and on Tuesday I could be really sick. I’m not as spontaneous as I would like to be, but if I am in good health I just have to be confident I can get through the night without feeling ill.

Do you have to tailor your diet in any way?

In general, the diet of someone with cystic fibrosis is high protein and high fat because due to the insufficient function of the pancreas, fats and vitamins and the nutrients in food aren’t absorbed as much as a normal person so some people with cystic fibrosis can find it hard to put on and maintain their weight. They tell you as a kid to pretty much eat as much as you can. They don’t really place an emphasis on healthy eating which I don’t like because I think you can have a healthy diet and also include what you need to maintain your weight. There can be problems due to the high fat aspect with blood sugar and diabetes, but diet you just have to be a lot more mindful of it and try your best to work with it.

Was having cystic fibrosis something you considered when choosing a course in college and do you think it will affect future job opportunities?

It went through my mind obviously because it always has to when planning my future. I think because of the person I am, I’m a determined, hard working person, so cystic fibrosis is a part of me but it’s not what dictates my life because I don’t allow it to. In relation to hours and things I just decided I’d take it as it comes because that’s just the best way to look at things and I try meet the challenges that would come with any course.

I would like to think it won’t affect my job opportunities but that would be in an ideal world. I think it will affect how I pursue getting a job and what hours I can do when considering I might have to take some time off if I get quite ill or maybe I’ll lose a job because I’m ill. So it is a worry and it is a constant worry how I’ll cope being in a professional environment but as I said before you just have to take things as they come.

Has it gotten any easier over the years to live with?

I spent a lot of my childhood in and out of hospital; it frames a big part of my childhood memories. It’s definitely not easier because I’m older, if anything it’s harder. When I was a child I didn’t know any different whereas now as an adult that knows this is a condition that hinders me, I feel a lack of control when I should feel control. It’s harder because I have things like an academic life, a social life, a romantic life to tend to so being in hospital is much more of a hindrance when I want to get on in my life.

By Shane McGannon