Tag: Community Interest

Business women – get your training here!

I received an email this morning from Margaret Durand of FEIW (Female Entrepreneurship Ireland Wales).

Feiw are currently setting up

a pioneering enterprise development course for women in business in the South East. We have designed the programme around the training needs of businesswomen in the region based on the input of these women and the programme is the first of its kind in Ireland. We are currently recruiting for the next intake of participants and are trying to reach a new audience of businesswomen including those working in the technology and ICT sector.

If you are interested in this course you can download the application form from the FEIW website. A parallel course is running in Wales at the same time, so if you are based there, or know someone who is, and could benefit from this course head on over to the FEIW website for more info.

Charity gig in the Spailpín Fánach

Donal has a post up about a gig in the Spailpín Fánach tonight to benefit the ISPCC. From Donal’s post:

Performers on the night include The Fuchsia Band, back from their travels and who always put on an energetic and entertaining show; Cork singer Ger Wolfe singing some of his distinctively Cork ballads; Dan O’Callaghan, a piper from Cork who has travelled around the world playing music; Tommie Cunniffe on accordion, who is currently recording his debut album; and, last but not least, John Mitchell on flute accompanying Donal O Caoimh on the uilleann pipes.

So, if you are based in or around Cork and can spare some time for some great music, drop along to the Spailpín Fánach. The doors open at 8:30pm.

Simon says

The Irish national elections are coming up sometime in the next twelve months (note to self – check I’m on the register since we moved!).

By 2007 the current coalition government will have been in government for 17 of the last 20 years. Simon McGarr has written an empassioned post listing some of their many failures and calling for change in Ireland.

It kind of reminds me of Sidney Lumet’s movie Network and Peter Finch’s character, news anchor Howard Beale imploring his viewers:

You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’

I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:

[screaming at the top of his lungs] “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

Well, possibly Simon wasn’t quite that impassioned, but then again maybe he should have been!

Publish and be damned (or possibly lose your house!)

I attended the presentation by Digital Rights Ireland at TechCamp Ireland recently and while I was impressed by the presenters and what they had to say, I honestly felt a lot of it was scaremongering to get support.

In a one-to-one after the presentation, TJ McIntyre told me that simply by publishing an article, you can lose your house. “It doesn’t matter if the article is defamatory or not – if someone decides to take a case against you, the cost of solicitors and barristers will run into the tens of thousands. Very few bloggers can afford that.” And if you have no house or tangible assets? I asked. Then, the courts can make an arrangement to have the amount deducted from your salary until it is paid off, TJ informed me. They are very flexible like that. He’s just trying to scare-up a few more clients, I thought!

Then, a friend contacted me – we’ll call him John for the sake of this post – but he’s really a reasonably well known blogger in Ireland. John told me he had received a cease and desist letter from a Dublin law firm, regarding some posts he had made earlier this year about a company we’ll call XYZ co. XYZ co. seemingly treated their employees badly, a few court cases were taken, reports were published in the media and questions were even asked in the Dáil (the Irish parliament). In all this, John simply published what was happening (often re-printing articles from the mainstream media) on his blog.

The cease and desist letter was followed by a summons to the Four Courts.

Now John was really worried. On legal advice he pulled any posts pertaining to XYZ co. from his blog. When I asked him on IM what happens next he said:

17:15:00 John: then i send the lawyers a nice letter saying well i am not really interested in entering into legal proceedings regarding this matter, and the “offending” content has been removed. then sit tight and see what their next move is
17:16:46 trftry: And if anyone on the blogosphere notices the posts’ removal and asks where they have gone?
17:17:27 John: well becuase otherwise i will be in the dock, and to be honest without any support from people, I can not afford to be a test case.
17:17:54 trftry: I understand that
17:18:14 trftry: But how will you react to people’s questions when they arise?
17:18:23 John: i will tell them the truth
17:20:11 trftry: On your blog?
17:20:20 John: if asked, yes.
17:22:01 John: there is no other option for me tom. without the free assistance of lawyers, and some method of insurance for myself in teh event of a negative outcome, i would be pretty mad to continue. i would have expected the law to be a little more progressive in the matter, but from what i am being told, it doesn’t seem to be
17:23:19 John: i would be a very just person, but without support, my hands are tied.
17:24:06 John: of course people will be interested in why the posts are gone. and i will tell them. i owe it to myself and others to give reasons why, but at the end of the day, since the law is stacked _against_ me, i will not win.
17:24:29 John: of course it is wrong, and unjust, and i hate it, but what other options are there for me?
17:24:49 trftry: I have no idea John

Before John took down the posts, I went through them. I felt John had been very careful in his posts to make sure he didn’t defame anyone and yet he had to remove them on threat of legal proceedings and he’s still not confident that that will be the end of it.

The law on defamation in Ireland is stacked against bloggers (against all publishers really but bloggers for the most part don’t have the means at their disposal that mainstream publications would have). I suspect Ireland is not alone in this.

This raises a couple of issues;

  1. Bloggers are blissfully publishing articles completely unaware of the potential legal consequences and financial implications and
  2. There are no guidelines for bloggers in this regard – on two fronts i) what constitutes a defamatory post and more importantly ii) what to do in the event you are accused of publishing one.

What can be done? In the immediate term, I think bloggers will have to rigourously self-censor or face the very real risk being brought before the courts (with all the expenses that implies). In the longer term, we need to agitate for a reality check in our laws on libel and defamation. The best way to do this, I imagine, is through supporting the work of Digital Rights Ireland – hopefully, they will have some suggestions for us on this matter in the very near future.

Digital Rights Ireland have a very useful libel pamphlet on their site with advice for bloggers and web hosts on defamation in blog posts and blog post comments (something we often forget about).

Link Cosmos

Where to eat in Glengarriff

If you find yourself in the beautiful West Cork town of Glengarriff and you are looking for somewhere to eat, I can heartily recommend you stay well away from Casey’s Hotel Glengarriff.

I was there last weekend with my wife, my son and my wife’s nephew and we had lunch there – the food was vile and the service was appalling.

For instance, I ordered fish and chips – not too much wrong you can do with that, I thought – wrong! The fish was completely tasteless and the chips were so greasy that even the ketchup I tried to put on the chips to disguise their greasy taste, couldn’t stick to the chips and kept sliding back off they were so greasy!

We were asked to pay for our meal after ordering it – i.e. before it was delivered to the table, we had to pay for it! They are obviously used to people refusing to pay because of the poor quality of the food.

The table was dirty when we arrived – no problem there, I asked one of the staff to clean it – he grudgingly cleaned half of it and left the rest filthy.

Just behind the eating area are kept empty soft drink bottles – this attracts hordes of bees/wasps who then buzz around you and your food as you try to eat.

The lunch for the four of us (three and a half really – my son is just over two years old!) was €41.60

In short, Casey’s hotel has no redeeming qualities that I could find.

If you are looking for somewhere to eat in Glengarriff, eat anywhere but Casey’s Hotel.

Edited to correct the spelling of Glengarriff!

Irish standards compliant web development agencies and websites

Since I delivered the talk for the Irish Internet Association last Thursday in Mitchelstown, several people have asked me for the names of web development agencies who develop standards compliant websites.

I know of a few Irish web development agencies who develop web standards compliant sites and will list them here – if anyone knows of any that I have missed out on, be sure to let me know and I will update this list.
Copper Reed Studio
Ionet Limited
TheDesignTribe Interactive
iQ Content
Eoghan McCabe Web design

I was also asked for examples of Irish commercial websites which are web standards compliant. Again I am listing the ones I know of or have been made aware of. If you know of any that I have missed, please let me know and I will include it here.
Fota House – Developed by 9mmfilm.com
Morgan Leahy Group – Developed by Copper Reed Studio
O’Hurley Blair Irwin – Developed by Copper Reed Studio
trinityhorne – Developed by Copper Reed Studio
Blooming Amazing flower company – Developed by Fusio
MetLab – Developed by Ionet Limited
SalesLeads.ie – Developed by Ionet Limited
Exact Ltd. – Developed by Ionet Limited

Below are a couple of non-commercial Irish standards compliant sites that I felt deserved mention:
Children’s Research Centre, TCD – Developed by Copper Reed Studio
University of Limerick, Cooperative Education & Careers Division – Developed by Copper Reed Studio
The Labour Relations Commission – Developed by Fusio
The Department of Finance – Developed by Fusio
The Department of Foreign Affairs – Developed by Fusio
Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General – Developed by Fusio
Dublin European Institute – Developed by Ionet Limited
Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices – Developed by Communicraft

Again, if there are any sites you feel should be listed here, send me on the domains and I will add them.

Updated Mon 12th June 2006

Missing: Robert Holohan

Gardaí (the Irish police force) at Midleton, Co. Cork are searching for Robert Holohan, an 11 year old boy, who has been missing from his home at Ballyedmund, Midleton since 2.30 p.m. on 4th January 2005.

Robert Holohan

Robert Holohan left his home on his BMX bicycle and hasn’t been seen since. His bike was found at 5.15 p.m. by neighbours.

Robert is described as 4’11” in height and was wearing a black jacket with ‘Nike’ written in orange on the back and was wearing black track suit bottoms.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was using The East Cork Golf Club or Range on the afternoon of Tuesday 4th January to come forward if they have any information to offer.

Robert’s BMX bicycle was found nearby and it is believed there were a number of people using the club or range that afternoon. Patrons may have seen something that may be of significance that may have slipped their mind or that they do not feel is relevant.

The crucial times would be between 11am and 6pm.

Gardaí have also issued this picture of a Nokia 3200 Mobile Phone similar to the one owned by Robert.
Robert Holohan's Nokia 3200 mobile phone

The phone has not been found to date.

Update 10/1/05:

Gardaí have this morning issued a new photograph of Robert (above). This image was taken the night before Robert went missing. The shirt he is wearing in the photograph is the same shirt that he was wearing on the day he went missing, which he wore underneath a black jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Midleton Garda Station, Cork on 021-4621550.

Volunteers helping the Gardaí in the search for Robert Holohan found a body near Inch Strand, Whitegate, Co. Cork yesterday Рmore details are available here.

Further Update:
A 20 year old local has been charged with the manslaughter of Robert Holohan