Thursday, 3 January 2013

News Roundup

Recent stories revealed under Freedom of Information

HSE boss ‘can keep €160k over-payment’

The Irish Examiner reports that the acting head of the Republic's Health and Safety Executive has been overpaid by over 160,000 Euro, but will not be asked to repay the money as it is their fault, not his.

Staff shortage ‘compromises’ state watchdog

Also at the Examiner, it has been revealed that the Office of the Comptroller General, in charge of keeping track of public spending, is operating well below its proper staffing level - because of cuts in expenditure.

Service held in memory of teenagers killed in Belturbet

According to the Irish Times, the Department of Justice has refused a request from RTE's This Week programme to a file on a bombing 40 years ago.

Tax breaks for political and sports memoirs criticized

The Arts Council has criticized the inclusion of memoirs of politicians and sports personalities - and books such as The Irish Seaweed Kitchen - in the scheme which allows non-fiction books a tax break of up to €40,000, the Irish Times reports. Books are supposed to be related to an arts subject. The provision, automatically extended to fictional works, is not considered to cover, for example, the memoirs of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Record number of businesses served closure orders

The number of food businesses forced to close by health inspectors in the republic is up by over a third: 90 have been condemned as posing a grave and immediate danger to public health, according to the Irish Independent. The causes included rat droppings and live cockroaches.

Fury as State pays €50,000 to wash windows

The Evening Herald writes that the Department of Social Protection has paid fifty thousand Euro to clean the space between double glazed windows on a single government building.

The mystery of the Oireachtas member who ran up €95 bill on one phone call

As the Irish Mail on Sunday has revealed, since phone calls made by members of the Dail and Senate are not logged for legal reasons, nobody knows the origin of some of the very expensive phone calls emanating from Leinster House - including one to Columbia which cost 95 Euro. Full details are available on

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