Intervention in Syria : international peace or escalating conflict?

Léa Pelard reports on the conflict in Syria in the wake of air strikes from the United States, United Kingdom and France. 

Tributes Pour in as Stephen Hawking Passes Away Aged 76

Science’s mercurial maverick has finally passed away after a 50+ year battle with ALS, writes Dylan O’Neill

Repatriation of French Terrorists Continues to Divide Opinion

Léa Pelard reports on the French government’s position on the repatriation of French nationals who have travelled to fight with Isis in Syria and Iraq.

Learner drivers least likely to pass their test in Dublin

Ennis is the driving test centre with the best pass rate in Ireland in 2016 according to a new report published by the Road Safety Authority.

Overall, 73.25 percent of people who took their driving test in Ennis passed.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) have published a list of the pass rates for all its driving centres in 2016.

The figures account for the fifty driving centres that the RSA operates around Ireland.

Churchtown was the driving centre with the lowest pass rate for drivers at 42.41 percent.

In Dun Laoghaire (45.16%), Tallaght (45.22%), Raheny (46.53%), Finglas (48.05%), Naas (49.16%) Rathgar (47.77%) and Wicklow (48.87%) less than half passed their driving test.

new-piktochart_26722024 (3)

The overall average pass rate for all driving centres was 53.65 percent. According to the RSA, these are some of the most common reasons why people fail driving tests:

  1. Inadequate observation moving off, at junctions, at roundabouts and when changing lanes.
  2. Failure to anticipate the actions of other drivers.
  3. Incorrect road position on the straight, on bends, turning left, turning right, at roundabouts, and when overtaking.
  4. Inadequate progress at junctions, roundabouts, on the straight, and when overtaking.
  5. Incorrect or inadequate use of mirrors and signals.
  6. Non-compliance with traffic controls, e.g. road signs and markings and traffic lights.
  7. Incorrect, inadequate or inappropriate use of vehicle controls, including gears, clutch, accelerator, steering, handbrake, foot brake, and secondary control.
  8. Excessive speed for the road or traffic conditions.
  9. Failure to yield the right of way to others.
  10. Lack of competence in the reverse and U-turn manoeuvres.

When asked if there was any plans to open more driving centres in 2017 the RSA said they have no plans to open any new centres but will review resources available in existing centres around the country.

“The RSA does not have any plans to open any additional driving test centres in 2018, but continues to review resources and to monitor waiting times closely and is constantly reviewing and adjusting the deployment of driver testers in order to meet demand as much as possible at the centres where the need is greatest,” said a spokesperson for the Road Safety Authority.

The pass/fail statistics for 2017 will not be finalised until early 2018. “We will publish these statistics on our website once they are finalised. It is the case that pass and fail rates are usually quite similar from year to year,” said a spokesperson for the RSA.

By Keeva Tyrrell



CSO figures reveal Irish women are better educated than men

Latest census figures reveal that women in Ireland are better educated than men, as 43.2 percent of women aged 15 and over received third-level education in 2016 compared with 40.7 percent of men.

Census figures released last month by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that 42 percent (1,216,945) of the population aged 15 and over had a third level qualification, compared with just 13.6 percent in 1991.

“This report shows a continuing decline in the numbers of early school leavers and increases in the numbers with third level qualifications,” said Deirdre Cullen, senior statistician with the Central Statistics Office.

Hajar Infographic Education.png
More women in Ireland hold third level degrees than men. Source Hajar Akl

Broken down to age groups, out of those aged between 15 and 39, 56.2 percent of them had a third-level qualification, compared to 18.9 percent of those aged 65 and over.

The counties with the highest rates of completed third-level education were Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with 61.1 percent, Galway City with 55.2 percent and Dublin City and Fingal, both with 48.7 percent. The counties with the lowest rates were Longford and Wexford, at 32.5 percent.

The figures also show that for people aged twenty, those with parents with higher levels of education were more likely to still be in education. In all, 60.6 percent of all 20-year olds in family units were students in 2016.

And among those whose parents were educated to a maximum of lower secondary level, 44.9 percent were full-time students, increasing to 65.2 percent for those with both parents educated to upper secondary level. For those 20-year olds with both parents having a degree, 87.5 percent were full-time students.

The figures also showed that those with a qualification in Arts had the highest unemployment rate in 2016, at 11.6 percent (down from 17.1 percent in 2011).

Between 2011 and 2016 the unemployment rate fell the most for those with a qualification in Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction, from 15.7 percent to 6 percent. Those with a qualification in Education had the lowest unemployment rate in 2016 at 3.1 percent.

Although more women had third-level education, more men (16,016) had a doctorate (Ph.D.) than women (12,743). The 28,759 people who stated that they had a doctorate level qualification was an increase of 30.9 percent on the 2011 figure, and up 99.5 percent on 2006. There were 23,296 persons at work among this group, while the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent.

By Hajar Akl